Step 5 (pt. 4): Driving Traffic: Online Free
Avish: Fred, next up in the traffic quadrants is free online traffic.
Fred: Yeah. We’re going to have a total of four quadrants as we mentioned earlier. So now we’re talking about the free online methods of driving traffic to your site. And again, let’s remind people that I’m giving all four quadrants and chances are – the best thing to do would be to pick one, maximum two of this for me to the quadrants to start with.
Avish: Okay, and so online free is going to be a pretty big section.
Fred: It is.
Avish: So let’s start with – the main thing with free online traffic search is engine optimization or SEO.
Fred: Yeah and this is where I have sort – I have spent my time in this one because frankly, I didn’t want to spend a lot a money. I started out years ago doing a lot of Pay Per Click Advertising and I got some decent results, but I really wasn’t as diligent about doing as I should had been. So I tended to get a little bit concerned about spending big money because when Pay Per Click first just started, it was easy for anyone to make money. As more and more people got into the market and more stupid moneys, as I call it got into the market where they weren’t testing and tracking and watching their data, it was very, very difficult to make money in Pay Per Click.
Now it’s to say its still is, it will depend on your particular niche that don’t be turned off by that, but I like to concentrate on the free methods of driving traffic, just because that’s who I am and how I think so the first one that we’re going to talk about is the SEO or search engine optimization. So why don’t you query me on that.
Avish: Okay. Well for so for the very uninitiated, what the search engine optimization mean?
Fred: Search engine optimization is the method of doing things on your site, both onsite and offsite that will get your particular site to rank as highly as possible in the search engines and really what we’re talking about is not the engines, but the search engine Google. That’s our primary concern although Yahoo and MSN and Bing are also important as well, but our primary concern as well is to try and get to the top and what we have is something called – other than sponsored links that are up on the very top of the page or down the right hand side, this is to try and get what’s referred to and you may hear this term a lot so understand it, it is organic search engines listings and those are the listings that Google decides to put you in a position without having to pay for it.
Avish: Okay and when you talked about top listings. What do you mean? Does that mean a million results, so where you want to be?
Fred: Yeah. It turns out. I mean, there’s a lot of data and statistics on this. I don’t know about everybody listening or reading this particular program, but in my case, when I go to Google and put in a few keyword terms and I see a million listings turned up, I generally stay on the first page. Occasionally, I’ll to the second page, but if your listing isn’t on the first page, forget it and usually if it’s not on the top 3 or 4, it’s not really all that effective either. So when we’re going for search engine optimization, we’re going to try and find a way to get us to the very top, within the top 3 to 5 listings, that’s our goal.
Avish: Okay and so there are a lot of off – I mean this is a huge topic. There are a lot of things you can do to get better rankings, correct?
Fred: Yeah and I mean one of the things that – lets just boil it down to a few of the basics here and we can elaborate on all these, but number one is that Google likes content. It likes a lot of good stuff. A lot of media information about your topic and so if you were to compile and again, this will be a long-term thing.
If you’re going to comply of a lot of great information about your topic, putting into a written form and again, Google right now because of their spiders, the things that go out looking for content, they’re automatic little computer arms that go up there searching the web. They really can’t look that easily and evaluate audio or video at this point although they’re trying very much to do that, but cannot evaluate the text on your site. Now again, this is changing and Google is going into audio and video content and sort of pulling out the text and the words, but right now, most of it is still text-based and again, its going to be that way for a while, but again as things gets more sophisticated, Google will be able to search audio and video content as well and discern whether or not you have content people are looking for.
So you want to have a lot of really good written audio and video content on your site and you want to up that up on a regular basis, overtime. That’s really one of the keys, its content, content, content to get into the search engines to like you, but it’s not going to happen overnight.
Avish: Okay and with the content, should the content be geared around the keyword or you just put a good content regardless of keywords?
Fred: Well, I think that you need to think about who you’re best users going to be or who your best visitors is going to be. Would they be looking for certain kinds of concepts, so one of the thing I always suggest to people to do is to determine who is your ideal search visitor and what kinds of things might they will be looking for. So one of the best way to do this is to into the Google external keyword search tool which again, you can Google at the Google external keyword search tool and put in some of the keywords that you’re – try and find what we referred to as your dead center keyword and see what other keywords come up and as you see those other keywords coming up with lesser of same amounts of search or whatever, you may want to title some of your BlogSpot which of the ways we’re going to distribute content on our site is with a BlogSpot.
So you may want to use the different things that people are searching for as the titles of articles that you use in your blog and by the way, blogging is the best way and WordPress is the best platform to use for your blog and now most people have their entire websites setup, Fredgleeck.com is essentially setup on a blogging platform. So I don’t know if I rambled too much there. Do we need any clarification?
Avish: Yeah, let’s talk a little bit more about content and so what do you recommend especially to someone who is starting out, how frequently should they be updating and posting new content?
Fred: I think that the goal, I mean depending on how driven you are. You probably want and try and post at least 3 or 4x a week, whether be audio, video or text content. You want to be on there and posting frequently because then Google will start to see your site and realize that you have a new content and send their spider out to you more often. So the first thing you need to do is to get Google to know that you’re there and then get them to visit you more frequently once they know you’re there and the way that you do that is by constantly putting up new content on your site, so I’d say 3-4x a week for some kind of content, be it audio, video or text.
Avish: Okay and before we get into an in-depth discussion on blogging and all that. What are some of the other critical elements to get SEO besides having good content?
Fred: There are really things that I would talk about and again, the more of it – these are the three things. To have lots of great content, number one, to have a lot of people linking back to your site. They’re called backlinks because when you go to a site of each and you really love it you say, “Hey folks, check out this site I saw. “ In other words people saying to others because backlinks are basically are sort of a popularity contest within Google and it allows you or me to say to our friends, “Hey check out this great site that I saw, check out this great page on the site that I saw” and by doing that, you’re linking back to that site which Google looks that as a vote of confidence in that site and gives you higher rankings in the search engine.
So number one is good content. Number two is lots of backlinks and number three is which is a fairly – this one makes sense if you think about it. The amount of time that you can get people spend on your site. The stickiness of your site and this is one of the reasons why I put up this program free for people is so that they would come to my site and notice I did not allow people to download these audio programs. I put this particular section on my site up with all these audios that they can listen to right on the computer and the reason why I did that, one of the reasons I did it is number one, is to show my expertise on the topic area, but also, to keep these people on this site for a longer period of time which Google then evaluates very heavily in their statistics and if you ended up getting people stay longer on your site for a longer time, you will have a much easier time getting into the top 3 or 5 listings in Google’s organic listings.
Avish: Okay. So I want to have great content, backlinks and have a sticky blog or sticky website.
Fred: Right. Exactly and again, it is sort of people are probably wondering what about the blog and there’s a lot of issues there we can talk about.
Avish: Yeah. Let’s talk about that, like you said, the blog, your whole website could be on blog platform, but beyond that you want to be posting regularly.
Fred: Yeah, and if you are already using blog platform, I encourage you to use WordPress and then again, I would direct you to Dave Hamilton at AuthoritySites101.com and he can help you to put up a really good-looking site, really quickly.
So you know there is some things about the blogging. We just want to list a bunch of things to do with your blog. First of, use a WordPress blog and the beauty of that, once it its setup, its easy to update the content, you no longer have to beholding to some webmaster to make minor changes or even major changes if you learn how to us it. Now again, we talked about this earlier, but if you’re one of those people who wants to do it yourself then learn how to do blogging and learn how to do use WordPress as blog by going to Lynda.com and checking out what they have there. What else do you want to ask me about blog?
Avish: Let’s talk about – what’s this whole idea about tagging, you hear about, you need to tag your BlogSpot?
Fred: Yeah. The thing about it is, is in each of your BlogSpot, WordPress and other platform for blogging allow you to tell people what are the various keywords that people would have an interest in, who would think that this BlogSpot was valuable so tagging them allows the search engines to know, sort of, what are the types of people that would be interested in this BlogSpot? So again, you want to take some of your keywords and if your BlogSpot is relevant to those keywords, make sure and tag them with those different words.
Avish: Okay. Got it and that’s something you could easily do within WordPress?
Fred: Yeah. Within WordPress, you’re allowed to put a certain number of tags and that way, it will let the search engines know that you consider that post to have valuable content for somebody who would be looking for that particular keyword.
Avish: Okay. Now what about letting other people contribute to your blog. Is that something you can recommend?
Fred: You know what, I think that could be – when you let other people contribute to your blog, for the most part, its giving them a platform on your stage, but if you want to add a lot more content to your blog or if your having a problem coming up with more content than yourself, inviting people as guest bloggers is a good idea as well. So I would consider having other people as guest bloggers.
Avish: And one thing when I talk to people who are starting blogs that fuses them is this whole idea of RSS feed. What is exactly is that and is that something you need to worry about?
Fred: Well an RSS feed is something you can easily put up for your blog and it allows people to know. It’s just a method of knowing or letting other people know who had subscribed to your RSS feed which sounds really simple as indication. It’s a way of letting people know, “Hey this blog just added some new content, do you want to check it out” and then we have readers that allows us to see exactly what was put up. So basically is a way to alert someone. If they have a blog, they’re really interested in or if your blogs is really interesting to them, if they have an RSS feed from your blog, what will happen is it will give them alert and that alert will say, “Hey, Fred just posted a new content, do you want to see what it is, you wanna go to the blog.”
So its basically a way of allowing your blog to sort, of way that hand at someone in the middle of their busy schedule and say, “Hey look I got some new stuff” so RSS is something that you want to do because when you think about it — people are really voting, giving a vote of confidence to sign up for your RSS feed because they’re basically saying, “Hey I wanna be notified anytime Fred puts up new content” because I think its that valuable.
Avish: Right and there are two ways where people can have the RSS feed send directly to their email or they can subscribe through with RSS reader?
Fred: Right. There are two ways to do that and again, that gets in to a little bit of sophisticated but again, Google as a part of your Gmail account has an RSS reader that allows you to get the latest post sent directly into your email box or put in a fashion that you can read it quickly and easily.
Avish: Okay. I got it. So far, we’ll be talking about posting BlogSpot on your own blog, but two things I hear a lot of people talking about is guest posting on other blogs and leaving comments on other blogs.
Fred: Yeah. The reason why, I mean guest posting on other’s peoples blog is great because your sort of – someone else is giving you the opportunity to get a certain number of their readers and so if it’s the right kind of blog allowing or being allowed to be guest poster is a great opportunity for you so no one should turn down an opportunity, its targeting now.
I recently turned out a guest posting opportunity. Somebody contacted me and said, “Hey would you like to be a guess poster on my blog” and I looked that some of the other people that were on there and some of the content of the guy had and I just found that it was not at the level of integrity that I felt comfortable with. So just to make sure that if you are a guest poster or if you allow someone to guest post that you have people with similar levels of integrity and someone who isn’t going to mess up your reputation or you messing up theirs, vice versa. So just make sure that you’re in tuned with the person who either you’re letting post in your blog or whose blog you’re posting on.
Avish: Okay. So actually go and take a look at the blog with someone sent you a request for the best.
Fred: Yeah. I wouldn’t just automatically. That would be sort like people who often time evaluate products and give people blurbs and recommendations on products having never listen, to watch or read the product which is crazy.
Avish: Right. What about the extension of that, so obviously guest posting, you write content for someone else’s blog. What about the idea of commenting on other peoples Blog?
Fred: When you comment on other’s people blog and they allow you to have a link back, what you’re doing is, number one, you’re allowing for an additional link to be seen by the search engines so that they say, “Ah, this person is going back to your site with that link.” Now the thing about this is when make a post or a comment on someone else’s blog, they have, most of them, if you have your WordPress settings set correctly, they have the ability to either approve or not approve your BlogSpot so you can’t just post such as crap. What you should do is if you post, make sure that you make a very wise and intelligent comment about the matter in hand and then its fine to give people a little bit of blurb about what you do and link back to your site, in your what’s called signature, but again, don’t just be posting on people’s blogs for the purpose of being there. Post there in order to get the right link back to your site, but also to show people that you’re an intelligent knowledgeable expert about something that you may made a comment on.
Avish: Okay, that makes sense. So like you’d said, it’s a huge thing, but I think about the basics covered and one more thing and I know this is happening to me and it happens to a lot of people is that specially when you’re and just putting your content out there, its not unrealistic to have your blog up for a while and not see a lot of traffic results, is that correct?
Fred: Yeah. Well the thing about it is when you think about it, if you already have, lets say with 10, 000 people on your list and you start your blog and you let them all know with an email that you sent to everybody that says, “Hey go check up my blog”, you’re going to get a lot more people going there than if you’re starting from scratch. This is a building process. We know that it takes time and there will be certain things that would spike your traffic. So let’s say for example, if you have been working on Speakingexpert.Com fairly consistently and what’s our traffic figure is these days. How many unique visitors are we getting per week or per month?
Avish: What I know, per day is somewhere 10 and 20, so nearly 600.
Fred: Yeah, so maybe about 500 people a month unique visitors coming to that particular site Speakingexpert.Com. Well, let’s say for example that tomorrow you and I are interviewed in the Wall Street Journal about Speakingexpert.Com what the goal was of the site, everything else and we got a nice multicolumn article written about us in the Wall Street Journal. What do you think that would do to the blog traffic?
Avish: It will give a serious spike.
Fred: Yeah. It would a serious spike. So what happens is, a lot of times when you’re starting and actually I don’t think its bad thing because when you first gets started with your blog, you’re going to start to create content and if you do it with every week as we said, 3-5x a week and so lets say you had 4x a week and you did for a full year, you have now over 200 posts on your blog, so now all of a sudden when you get some kind of a media opportunity or something that will give you massive exposure on the marketplace, when people go to your blog, it will actually be filled with really good valuable content.
I just look at the guy I used to know and he has got a blog site that he just put up and he has one post on it. So now if he got some kind of press or publicity where he was able to get large number of people to go to his site, it would actually be very, very poor timing because people go the site may go, “What’s this, he’s only got one post, there’s nothing, it was even on the bulk page, here’s nothing up there.” So its good that you don’t get your big hits right away in most cases because it gives you time to prepare your blog with some really good contents so when people go there, they don’t just go, “You know what, this is filled with nothing.”
Avish: Right, right. One more question about blogging because when your throwing number out there like 3 or 5x a week for years of 200 posts, 500 posts and so I’m maybe thinking men, I just put all my content into this one product and now I need to come up with 3-5 new things every week for years. How do people kind to keep the well-primed and to keep content new?
Fred: The way what I do it is first, if you don’t have an intense interest in your topic area, I think your changes of being able to create a lot of content overtime is very, very low so I always tell people, yeah, its great if your doing your blog and make money, but if you’re also not passionate about the topic and stuff to sustain your interest.
So number one is, I do a lot reading in my field. I have Google alert set up which allow me to know when people say or do anything on line about various terms having to do with information marketing. Now the reason why I have that is number one, I want to read what other people are doing, but I’m also intensely interested in knowing what’s going on in my field so that I can make various kinds of comments particularly on my blog and on my blog, I have two types of contents I post. I post timeless contents, something that will be – you know, again depending on how long we’re talking here, but something that will be relatively static that won’t not have to change much so that’s timeless content, but for my timely content, the content that changes with the day’s news. I am looking for things that are discussed on my fields so yeah, its is going to be something that people will have to put a lot of time, energy, and effort into overtime, but if their intensely interested in the subject mater that won’t be that difficult.
Avish: Okay that makes sense.