One of the hottest niches in the internet marketing community is Search Engine optimization (SEO). Everyone dreams of top search engine rankings for competitive keywords because they know that this would be the equivalent to printing money on auto-pilot. Can this still be done though? Is ranking on top of Google still possible – even with competitive keywords?
Getting a ton of free targeted traffic around the clock is a reality for many website owners, and yes, it can become your reality too.
First, there really is no magic formula to top search engine ranking. There is, however, one ESSENTIAL element you must perfect in order to make top ranking – for competitive keywords – happen for you, and that is: Consistency!
#1.) Consistently Keep Your Facts Straight!
We can have all the SEO knowledge in the world, but until we make things happen on a consistent basis, we will not see massive results.
I am not saying “being fluent in SEO” is bad. In fact, I recommend consistently educating yourself on the topic if you are serious about using SEO as a marketing vehicle. A solid guide I would recommend starting with, would be – what I call – the SEO Bible by Matt Hepburn.
SEO is changing more rapidly these days than I change my undies. It sounds gross (on my part), but I read a while back (on SEOMoz I believe) that Google updated their algorithm approximately 2.5 times a day in 2012. Most of these updates were minor tweaks, but then we had a whole zoo of animals thrown at us as well, so – keeping your facts straight (as to what works and what does not work anymore) is CRITICAL if you want to not only survive, but thrive with top rankings.
#2.) Consistently Keep Crunching Out Content!
Do you remember the whole “Google Sniper” buzz by George Brown? It was a great product when it first launched in 2011, and though it is still selling hundreds of copies every day, the majority of the guide was outdated only a few months after it’s launch – thanks to a handful algorithm updates Google brought about.
Looking back, Google brought out one update after the other – like the Exact Match Domain (EMD) penalty for example – that crippled the very foundations of what the guide taught to exploit.
Another one of the ideas was to put a handful of articles on the site and then – more or less – let it sit. It worked great back in the day, but that does not work so well today. Google likes to consistently see new content getting added to a website.
In other words, keep the content coming. Update your website/blog with at least one new post every week. I actually took the liberty to cross check my blogs (and those of my wife) and found that blogs that got new content on a consistent basis (at least once a week), drastically outranked and outperformed blogs that had way more content yet were not updated regularly.
Take this blog for example: It used to get a ton of search engine traffic on a daily basis. I was not good at keeping it updated though (it isn’t my main money maker) and pretty much all search traffic disappeared after a while. However, this year I have been fairly good at adding new posts regularly – and it is already proving to pay off.
I plan on sticking with it and post at least once a week – just to bring it back to life. It has become a bit more of a personal blog for me (even more so than our travel blog) so I do not feel right about outsourcing content for it. Having said that, I am actively outsourcing content to iWriter for some of my other money maker blogs. My goal is to get one new piece of content on all of my sites at least once a week.
It means a huge increase in monthly expenses for me, but I know it will pay off in the long run. Google likes to see new quality content getting added regularly and – unless that changes – I will continue feeding it to them.
#3.) Consistently Build New Backlinks
Link building is that one thing webmasters try to take shortcuts with. Yes, there are some pretty cool WordPress plugins out there that automate some of this for you (thinking of course about Samson Elite, Doc Presser, or Social Zon) and they are all fantastic, but that should not be the extent of your backlink building.
Now, I have posted many times before that I outsource pretty much all of my backlink building (if not to Fiverr than to my virtual assistants) but let me take this a step further and add some “consistency” to it as well.
What if once a week we would sit down for an hour – strictly to familiarize ourselves with our competition and leverage them to boost our ranking? What if – instead of an hour a week – we habitually did this for just 10 minutes a day? Success is rarely achieved by doing something magnificent once – it generally comes as a result of small habits practiced on a consistent basis.
I am of course talking about blog commenting. Leaving a nice comment on a competitors site – that has your name link back to your site – is a good way to steal authority, linkjuice, as well as the much sought after “targeted” traffic. Also, since Google prefers seeing a high percentage of a site’s backlinks come from niche related sites, getting backlinks from competitors is PERFECT!
A good way to find targeted blogs that allow commenting, is by entering specific search strings. Here are 2 that I have used with great success in the past:
Just replace keyword with a broad niche keyword and do a search on Google. Unless you use a long tail keyword, you will find dozens (if not thousands) of blogs you can comment on.
It is a lot of work, I know, and it might not seem worthwhile right off the bet, but trust me when I say: the day will come when it will pay off!
What it all comes down to is this: how much time a day would you be willing to dedicate to getting top rankings for your money site? Would it be worth 10 minutes a day? If not, I think you are in the wrong business. 🙂
Commenting on other blogs for 10 minutes a day really is not much, and chances are you will need a lot more than that to get the results you want, but why not start small? Commit 10 minutes a day and go from there. The key here – again – is consistency. Anyone can spam a hundred blogs per minute with a software, but think longterm. Go the extra mile and you will have less to worry about should Google release another critter.
Many years ago I listened to an interview with Armand Morin (one of the biggest internet marketing gurus to date) who said he had made it a habit to write one article every night before going to bed. He insisted that becoming successful online wasn’t as much complicated as it was a consistency issue.
I said “Yeah right!” back then, but couldn’t agree more with him now 😀
Even if you know nothing about SEO, consistently putting point #2 and #3 into practice can – with time – result in your site getting a TON of targeted traffic. Not just as a result of traffic coming through your comment links (though that too will happen), but much more so because of improved search engine rankings.
My wife does not know a whole lot about SEO, and yet her site outperforms a lot of my sites by some 20,000 unique targeted visitors every month. Her secret? Point #2 and #3.
I might have a lot more SEO knowledge than her, but she is consistently putting out content (at least once a week) and also consistently leaving value-adding comments on her competitor’s blogs (she insists they are colleagues & friends, lol). It took time but – much to my envy – she built up an empire with those 2 simple habits.
Here is to reaching new heights in 2013!
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Great post Konrad.
I find that your advice about consistently updating your sites makes eminent good sense, particularly when you related your wife’s experience with her blogs.
I have and use Samson, but I must confess that I use it with some trepidation because you have made very few statements that assures me that it is still working, and that it complies with Google’s current rules and guidelines.
I hope you will soon take the time to offer something concrete, specific to either support or warn against the use of Samson.
You continue to be one of my trusted SEO info sources because I know you do your “homework” before publishing your advice.
All the best,
Although Samson Elite is a no-brainer use-it-daily plugin, I am overdue in split testing it. I have been wanting to do that for a while now but just never got around to it, so thank you for bringing it up. It just moved up my to do list 🙂
I wholeheartedly believe it still works wonders like before with all its .edu and .gov links (as well as all the other high PR sites) though.
I still get testimonials on a regular basis of people blown away by it and claiming exceptional positive outcomes so… my faith in Samson Elite remains strong – and I know it works – but like I said: I need to split-test it so I have some real stats to throw around.
I will keep you posted on that though,
Consistency, the secret to success to anything?
I’d say you’re dead on 🙂
“I am of course talking about blog commenting. Leaving a nice comment on a competitors site – that has your name link back to your site – is a good way to steal authority, linkjuice, as well as the much sought after “targeted” traffic.”
Thank you for this piece of information. It cleared up some confusion I had.
I think a lot of us got into the habit of spitting out way to many sites and in turn it’s harder than heck to keep up with all of them. I am guilty of that and have taken a step back and started to focus on two sites at a time. I don’t have the luxury of having assistants but someday I hope too.
I agree 100%. I have seen people trying to make a go online with over a hundred domain names/paid-for-blogs, and non of those blogs was making them a dime.
You are definitely going in the right direction there Bob 🙂
Spot on Konrad and it isn’t that hard.
The secret is to stay focused on one project, invest a little on Fiver or oDesk every week (instead of another shiny object)$5 will get you a decent article. Same with video, if you have a video channel add a new one each week (Fiver again), a bit of YouTube optimizing and watch the traffic flow.
Yup, you got it 🙂
Hey there Konrad,
I want to thank you for helping with the Backlink Diversity Launch this past week. I do see a few comments here about blog commenting, and while this can still be effective, I would caution your readers to diversify the types of backlinks that they build. When sites or pages are heavily weighted in one manner it is a signal to Google. I try to be diverse to prevent my ranking from tanking if and when the algorithm changes as it will.
you bet. I hope the launch went alright for you 🙂
I agree with you. Doing only one kind backlinking is not good for your SEO health, but blog commenting is a good place to start – especially considering there are so many different platforms we can now comment on while also planting a backlink.
Having said that, yes, agreed: diversify. SEO should be like a healthy diet where you eat a mixture of healthy fruits and vegetables for every meal. Nothing worse then eating the exact same thing every time 🙂
Thanks for the comment,
Good advice Konrad,
I keep hearing marketers say that SEO is dead but there have been some WSO’s recently that show otherwise. So long as you play by the rules and don’t engage in blackhat methods SEO still works.
For blog commenting I tend to search for blogs that use the CommentLuv plugin as most will give you a do follow link. Once you have the plugin and start commenting on other blogs who have it you will get comments back which all helps with getting your blog come up in the search results.
Thank you Sandy,
that is a solid tip you just shared. And I agree: this is not a blackhat practice unless we make it that. Leaving real comments on other blogs not only benefits those blogs (everyone wants real comments) but it also does benefit us.
Do you have a specific set of search strings you use to find these CommentLuv blogs that you could share?
In regards to “nofollow” links: Dori Friend recently noted in her Cheat Sheet Linking pdf, that “I have documented NoFollow links to rank sites, they do NOT pass PageRank, but the pass juice, and even if that were not the case, they are natural. If you have ONLY do follow links, you may look like you are SEOing your site, and that is against Googles T&C.”
I thought that was an interesting observation 🙂
Long time no see. I hope your travels are going well.
Though I have been using my limited time to concentrate on other areas, it is always nice to read your posts for a concise recap of the current state of SEO.
When all you hear is “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” it’s easy to write off the concept of SEO all together. It is good to hear that what is in fact happening is that it is in some ways becoming more rational.
The less we (and especially others) are gaming the system, the more sensible it is, and the more comprehensible it is to the layman.
Thank you Dan,
I really appreciate the kind words and agree that the playing field has become more level again – and those doing things right actually stand a fair(er) shot at again.
Good to hear from you again!
couldn’t agree with you more, consistent small moves create the direction of SEO. I use a very consistent plan to build the SEO strength of the site with small variations in new seo techniques. Keeps sites on top.
Well said Joel!
I read about adding content to your site and by just doing this you should be able to receive some nice traffic. I even came across 2 guys/gals who received over 100k visitors per month by just adding a lot of content to their site. Btw, no backlinking was applied acording to their info!
I also began to do something like this but realized that traffic doesn’t come in.
I wanted to know from you when you could see first good amounts of visitors to your site. How many content do you (and your wife) have on your sites?
Thanks and best regards
I too find there to be a direct link between amount of unique (quality) content and the traffic a site receives, but I believe the most important factor to be consistency. As in… consistently adding new content.
Bloggers that consistently hit it big with brand new blogs, make a new post daily (sometimes even 2 – 3 posts per day) for 3 months straight (or until they have at least one hundred posts) before they slow down to 1 – 2 posts per week.
Having around 100 posts appears to be a bit of a breaking point from what they tell me and I have also seen this to be true with some of my own niche sites and my wife’s sites.
Doing offsite SEO is still important though if these sites are in competitive niches – but it could totally become a secondary priority if producing quality content like a mad-man was the #1 priority 🙂
Anyways, I should make a post about this one because I do have some data that I could share.
I believe the whole Exact Match Domain (EMD) hatred we seen from Google was a direct result of the little content most EMD sites had. A handful of posts used to do the trick but that has changed. From my experience you will need new content regularly to keep your rankings for competitive keywords.
Like I said, topic for another post, 😀
yeah, thanks for your reply. I am eagerly waiting for your post about this topic 🙂