A lot has changed in the industry and from time to time it’s important to clarify what’s working to drive traffic. Here is a break down of some of the most current, updated tactics and strategies that are working to generate traffic.
Submit your best work to reputable websites in your industry that accept guest posts. Upon acceptance of your article is posted their blog and you’re able to benefit from referral traffic as well as a backlink to your website.
Before you submit your articles, make sure you read the submission guidelines and details to save yourself time and wasted effort. Many blogs will only offer you a nofollow backlink-which means it won’t count towards your authority and ranking since search engines won’t follow.
In order to find the top sites that offer guesting posting, perform a search for “websites that accept guest posts.” The search results are littered with sites that provide extensive lists some of the best websites in which you can submit your articles.
Another alternative is to type in (without quotations) “allinurl: keyword + write for us” in order to bring up the sites that specifically have your keyword and “write for us” in the URL. You can also try “allintitle: keyword + write for us” to find blogs that have those words in their title.
Use the command lines with other words related to keyword topic and mix up the search phrases “write for us”, “guest post” “guest post submissions”, “guest author” in order to get more sites to submit your article.
Writing articles can come easy to some and to others it’s not a very easy task to lift the quality to the standards of the best sites to be published on. The Renovation Method is a guest posting system that can help establish a routine and best practices that will increase the odds of your article being accepted by blogs. Like anything worthwhile, it may take some practice in getting the standards of your writing up to where it needs to be.
This is an oldy but a goody. Boosting authority by building your list of referring domains will be a quicker process when there are more people involved in promoting your website.
Make a list of the most prolific voices in your industry. When you’re reading the top blog sites in your industry take note of the authors whenever you come across an article that stands out. This list will be your prospects that you will reach out to for links.
Get a feel for what each of your prospects writes about. Check who they are linking out to in their articles. Create a piece of content that could be an ideal replacement to a link they used that is outdated or low quality.
Make it a point to link to these authors in your own writing. When you reach out these authors you are going to compliment them on their work and show them where you’ve linked to them. Very modestly suggest your newly published, updated content as a replacement for the outdated content they used to link to in their article.
Whatever happens with your proposal one of the most valuable aspects of reaching out is that you are making yourself known and starting an open dialogue that can lead to future links when the opportunity presents itself.
Many universities and colleges have resource pages on their website that list local businesses who are willing to give a discount to students. Find school websites that link out to company websites and contact the school to make your offer. If you can land an .edu link it will provide a massive boost in your authority and credibility which will result in improved rankings.
#4-Use competitor links
Using the tool of your choice to generate a backlink report for your competitor’s websites (Ahrefs, SEMrsh and Moz offer tools for a backlink report). Go through the list of backlinks and approach the websites for every backlink you don’t have.
Caution should be exercised when choosing your links. If the website has been around for a long time there is a good chance that there are links on that site that good be toxic for yours.
Keep in mind that there have been many updates over the years that have exposed websites for participating in “link schemes” that would generate a penalty for your site if you get a backlink from them. Stay away from low-quality directories, private blog network sites and any highly spammed websites as they will result in reducing your ranking and possibly a penalty.
#5-Broken link repair
In a nutshell, this strategy in finding broken links on high-quality websites and reaching out the owners to inform them of their broken link while providing them with a solution to repair it.
Make a list of your link prospects. Run the URL of each site through any tool that provides a backlink report on broken links (Ahrefs is a popular choice).
Once you find the broken links you will need to find out what content used to be linked. In most cases you can use the “Wayback Machine” to find the pre-existing webpage. You will create content that not only replaces your findings, but is even better by providing more detail and updated information.
Your next step is to reach out to the website owner and write an email informing them of their broken link. You will also need to nonchalantly volunteer your page as the replacement page for the link.
For the owner it’s a win, win situation. They are improving their SEO by repairing a broken link and they didn’t need to do much thinking to find a suitable replacement because you did all the work for him.
#6-Posting to social media
What if whenever you published something onsite you could instantly get a few thousand people to look at it? Your social media network can provide you that benefit if you are consistent in your efforts to building up your audience.
Get in the habit of posting your content to all of your social media profiles. You will need to post quality content in order for it to get shared so keep that in mind when you create content. It needs to be shareable. There is a slim chance that it will go viral but that’s never the goal. The goal is to get people to share it within their network in order to expand your own.
Be consistent in posting comments and responding to questions and comments thrown in your direction. People will feel the personal touch of your business and relate better by showing a little personality.
If you share other people’s content, they are more likely to share yours. Join groups that are related to your business and if you’re posting anything in places people don’t know you-make sure it’s worthwhile to look at. You don’t want to be labelled a spammer for your first impression so provide insight in your comments and post relevant material to discussion groups.
Getting your content shared isn’t a direct ranking factor, but it does lead to more traffic on your website through more people being added to your network. If you are providing resource pages on your site or just plain old meaningful content that people enjoy, people will link to your site. The more referring domains linking to your site, the more traffic from an improved ranking.
#7-Writing evergreen posts
Blog posts that have no expiration date are considered evergreen posts. Every website should have at least a few posts that could be considered evergreen because they provide traffic long into the foreseeable future. Evergreen posts provide long term traffic because they are usually made as a way to give away pure value to readers through an actionable or informative piece of content.
How-to guides, strategy guides, top ten lists, infographics, case studies, interviews, round ups and anything that goes deep into detail and be used as a resource without an expiration date is considered evergreen content. If a reader can learn a skill, ability, a solution to a problem or learns about a topic in depth they are likely to link to the article to share it for the value it provides.
Pages that provide value will accumulate backlinks as time goes which increases the value of evergreen posts since they will continue to produce more traffic the more the article gets shared. When content stays relevant for longer periods of time the traffic continues to build.
Most blog posts that fall under this category are long-form articles that go deeper into detail than a normal article. Although it isn’t a direct ranking factor, writing high word count articles are a characteristic of the top performing pages. The reason for this isn’t just the number of words but the level of detail and the breadth of a specific subject that is covered. In order to adequately describe any given topic, 1000 word articles is now considered a minimum for any topic that is adequately covered in-depth.
This becomes crucial to the traffic the post receives since search engines are ranking the pages that provide the most comprehensive answers to any given search query. By writing an in-depth article over 1860 words, you will beat the average word count of the average top ranked website and be forced to dig up and address many different subtopics that contribute to qualifying your page as a comprehensive solution to a search query.
When you write long-form content you are able to optimize by using many different phrases that point to the same keyword topic. Your subtitles will contribute to the overall summary of the page and could be used in featured snippets if they reflect subtopics that explain part of the solution your article is trying to provide.
Links to avoid
Search engines have become quite sophisticated in their abilities and it’s important to know what types of link building practices will get your website into major trouble. Here is a list of link building tactics that were once widely used by SEO’s which are now considered unsafe or “black hat”. If your site is exposed by Google for participating in any link schemes as defined as any practices that are or were used to manipulate ranking, the results will be a penalty on our site that can be detected by a loss in traffic and search visibility.
Private Blog Networks (PBN’s)
This practice was essentially a group of websites that were built for the purpose of posting content that contained links on it. There were massive private blog networks that typically contained low quality content in which you could pay to have the owner post a link to your site within the content of one of their related blog sites. Google systematically punished every site that had digital footprints connecting them to sites that accepted money for links.
Many people continued to build their own PBN sites by buying expired domains and building a website that inherited the domain authority of the expired domain. The footprints were concealed by registering sites with different ownership information (name and email address) as well as different hosting accounts. It was best practice to use different themes, different plugins and not to link anything out from the site until it had published a few posts and had been up and running for at least a month.
A combination of updates, improved artificial intelligence the inevitably of a multi-billion dollar company figuring out how to reverse engineer PBN’s made this practice extremely unsafe. It is typically not recommended to use PBN’s for link building as it can result in permanent damage to your site.
Directories were a go-to for many people to get easy links as they simply required registration to get the link. If the directory happens to be low quality, it can actually harm your site and reduce ranking.
There are still good directories that can provide your website traffic by being highly relevant to your industry but it is recommended to be selective about which directories you register your site.
Look for directories that are relevant to your niche and require some screening before publishing your profile. These are signs that the directory is upholding a certain standard in the information they’re providing their members.
Link building remains one of the largest ranking factors so it’s no surprise that search engines have focused on ways to identify the tactics used to manipulate authority and rankings. By implementing a “by the book” policy you can focus on the strategies that are not only working to date but will be around to maintain your rankings long into the foreseeable future.
About the author:
Christian Carere is a search engine optimization specialist and the founder of Digital Ducats Inc. Christian works primarily with SMB’s to improve the quality of traffic to increase leads and new clients.