Site SEO: How to get traffic

by AJ

All about SEO and how to get traffic to your website and content

How Do I Get Search Engine Traffic To My Content?

A question I get asked all the time

How do I get traffic? This is the question I see asked the most when people join a new publishing site. It applies whether you are publishing pages on sites like Wizzley, Squidoo and Hubpages and it applies if you are posting on blogs and websites.

It does not matter what reasons you are writing for. It could be because you are trying to earn an income, it could be because you are promoting a charity, it could be because you are campaigning for a cause, it could be because you are promoting your Community, it could be because you just want to write for the sheer love of writing.

But whatever the reasons, if you are writing for an audience, no matter the size of the audience, you need to learn the strategies to get you found.

"Content is King" you will see expounded all over the internet - well at least on ethical sites! But there's a bit more to it than that. There's no point in writing your best ever article if no one is going to see it.

So how DO you get traffic?

This is what happens with good SEO

One of my Pages that Ranks High in Google Search Returns
Keyword Research
Keyword Research

How to get traffic

Three simple steps I use to get traffic

Simply put there's three steps to getting traffic to your websites, blogs and anywhere you are publishing content:

  1. Keyword Research
  2. Quality, original content, using those keywords
  3. Backlinks

Let's look at this is in slightly more detail.

1. Keyword Research

Using your target market's language

Before you write on a topic or set up a new blog/website you need to do your keyword research and I also mean even before you select the URL and title for your post or blog. If you write on a topic regularly, then do the keyword research and keep a note of the best keywords. Build your articles around those keywords but do revisit the keyword research every so often, because the keywords may change.

If you are not sure about how to do keyword research, then there's some links to resources at the end of this page.

So what is so important about keyword research?

Yes, I know some people find it mind-numbingly boring but it is one of those crucial tasks because get the right keywords and you will get traffic, get the wrong keywords and you won't - it is as straightforward as that.

In order to get traffic to your content, your content has to be using the language that your potential audience is using. You have to work your way into your target market's mindset and not assume that you know what people are looking for.

Yes, you know broadly speaking you think you know what they are looking for, which is the topic you are intending to write about but assumptions are dangerous.

I have seen many pages sink into oblivion, with no traffic, because the author assumed that:

a) people were definitely looking for their topic

b) they knew the search terms searchers use to find the information

And we all know that Ass-u-me makes an ass out of u and me!!

It is only when you are sure you know which search terms people are looking for that you can be sure that you are using the right phrases in your content. You can then check to see how much competition there is for those phrases. It is essential to analyse how much competition there is.

Basically you are looking for keywords that have high search volume (so you know you can potentially get high traffic) and low competition (so you stand a chance of getting traffic) - you can learn how to analyse the competition in the links at the end of this article . Once you have your keywords, you can then include them in your content.

2. Quality, Original Content

Content IS King!

Once you have your keywords you can write your content using those keywords throughout - but do it as a natural part of the content. Do NOT "keyword stuff", Google will penalise your Page Rank for it AND you will put off your potential audience. You will not get return visits.

And yes, make sure the content is original. By all means do your research but be sure to cite your sources and do not pass off other people's work as your own. It is cheating, it is not nice and it is a serious violation of Google's Terms of Service and also the TOS on every reputable website out there.

Google may also penalise you if you plagiarise on pages that feature Adsense - by cancelling your Adsense Account - ouch!

3. Backlinks

Perhaps no longer as essential for getting traffic

Currently there's schools of thought that in the future Backlinks will have less impact on a site's Page Rank and it will be keywords and content that will win the day. However, that is possibly years ahead and until it actually happens then along with good keyword research and quality content, backlinks still play a part in how Google measures the quality of a site and the relevance of its content to people using the Google Search Engine. It is the same with the other Search Engines.

(Simple definition of a backlink: A backlink is a link to your content from another site.)

In theory, the more relevant backlinks a site has, the more "authority" it develops with Google and the higher up your page may feature in the Search Returns.

You will note I use the term relevant and this is crucial. Google will give more weight to an anti-bullying site's backlinks, for example, if the other sites linking to it also deal with topics like bullying, parenting, child care, schools, education etc.

Other backlinks may still count for something but the more backlinks you have from relevant sites the better.

How do you get backlinks?

You build backlinks yourself and hope others do it for you too

The trick is to build your backlinks gradually and allow your content to build authority over time. (Google rewards pages that age over time and that continue to provide updated and relevant content. Just adding new posts to a blog updates it.)

You can build Backlinks by including links to your content in:

  • Related Blogs
  • Related pages you publish on sites like Hubpages, Squidoo, Wizzley, Zujava etc
  • Comments you leave on other people's related blogs
  • Comments on threads in related forums - but check if the forum allows it first

Note the emphasis on related!!

A important note about commenting: Don't just leave a comment like

"Great post. Please visit my post [enter URL]"

If the blog owner is anything like me, then your comment will not see the light of day and you certainly will NOT get a Backlink!

Promoting your Content

I do not do much promotion!

But what about promotion I hear you ask?

I do NOT promote - well very rarely. I regard all my link-building as Backlinking and I honestly hardly ever promote. This is because by researching my keywords and writing quality content, I let Google do my promoting for me.

If you can get your content in the first couple of pages of the Google Search returns for the keywords you are targetting then you WILL get traffic.

Keyword Research

Related articles on this site
Keyword Research is an essential part of Search Engine Optimization, which needs to be done BEFORE you grab a URL for articles, blogs and webpages.
A step by step guide on how to use the Free Google keyword Research Tool
Market Samurai is a great keyword tool that will help you analyse your competition andshow their weaknesses.
Once you have researched your keywords, where do you use them?
Updated: 02/24/2014, AJ
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

Did you pick up some good SEO tips about how to get traffic?

AJ on 08/13/2012

The section on Backlinks has now been updated.

AJ on 08/13/2012

Mira, thank you. And your comment reminds me that I need to update the section on Backlinks to include the most up to date thinking. As I said in the original text, the way Google seems to be treating backlinks IS changing and I need to remove the general references to submitting to Article Directories and add in advice about submitting to more relevant sites.

Mira on 08/11/2012

Hi AJ, you made some great points here. I think of all the 3 elements you focused on, backlinks are the hardest to do. I worked really hard to get links out there when I focused on another Web site of mine. Ultimately, the ones I was happiest with were backlinks random people built when they found something interesting on my site, and not the exchange links.

biztable on 01/27/2012

Search engine traffic is indeed one very important factor for success with any online business. This type of traffic translates to more targeted visitors who will bring in the sales. Never opt for black hat SEO to increase traffic to your website. Such tactics only give short term results and can lead your website to doom when unethical practices are detected.

Yeirl on 11/16/2011

It was easy to read and understand SEO here. Thanks!

Sara on 11/14/2011

Keyword research is very important. Squidoo is a good learning platform for beginners.

AJ on 10/31/2011

I have just returned to Wizzley after a bit of an absence and I can see so many new comments on here that I am so embarrassed I have not responded until now.

Thank you so much for all your comments!

To answer Chef Keem's question about the fact I "promoted" some of my articles, I guess I have different interpretations of "promotion" :) Let me explain...

I regard "promotion" as leaving a link in the hope of getting traffic to my content, in the form of visits from people who have seen my links. But most of the time, when I leave a link, I am aware that I will not get hardly any traffic from people seeing these links. Most of my links are there to get backlinks, not traffic.

I look on it that the Backlinks will add to the reputation of the page, it will help establish the page as an authority on the topic. The pages that Google believes have authority will be the ones that Google features high in the search returns.

Once Google ranks a page high in the Search Returns, then it is from there that you will get most of your traffic.

There are of course exceptions. I know some people get a huge amount of traffic if they are regarded as an authority on a topic on busy forums, but for most of us we get our traffic from Google.

I hope this explanantion helps, but if you have more questions maybe we could start a thread on the Wizzley forum?

Holistic_Health on 10/29/2011

there's nothing better than going after low-hanging fruit. It's like winning the lottery when you find a low-competition popular keyword.

Glenn619 on 10/28/2011

Great page about SEO often people go beyond measure in getting back links ignoring the fact that proper keyword usage and research along with quality content play a major role as well. Especially after the Panda update :p

crosscreations on 10/18/2011

Good point that if one does a good job at the BIG 3 of keywords, quality content & backlinks, then promoting is not necessary.

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