You don’t have to look too far or for too long to find someone who has had their domains hijacked. User names and passwords can be hacked, but when you add two-factor authentication–AND IT’S FREE–you can rest easy. Get your NameSafe today. And, yes, while we say free, we mean when you use your smart phone to get the Namesafe App. Here, Owen has all the details in Technicolor.
Geo domains are awesome. They are domain names that cater to a specific geographic location, most commonly cities. They are great for SEO because users quite often search for things like “denver ethiopian restaurants” or “denver audi mechanics” on Google and other search engines. Search engines love exact match keywords in the domain name and geo domains offer a fairly easy way to have them. Now, if you know the exact city you want to target things are easy. You can simply register the domain DenverEthiopianRestaurants.com (available by the way), create some sweet content about the topic, and be done. But let’s say you want to target all major cities in a particular state, that’s where the Name.com Geo Domain Search Tool comes in. I’ll now show you how, with pictures.
Step 1: type your keywords into the search field
Step 2: choose your geo domain options
Here you can choose whether to append or prepend your keywords to the place name. Different keywords might look better one way or the other. Denver Roofing Companies, for instance, sounds better than Roofing Companies Denver. Likewise, Fishing In Denver might sound better than Denver Fishing. Those might not be the best examples but I think you get the idea. You can choose prepend or append based on how users most commonly search for the phrase you are targeting. You also need to select the TLD you want to search, the country, and state you want to pull cities from. You will notice other options in the Countries and States drop downs, feel free to play around with those. You can optionally enter a population range of cities you want us to pull. If you leave those blank we will simply pull the top 300 locations by population.
Step 3: click search and scroll down to the “Geo Domain Results” section
The first set of results you will see are the exact match keyword search results in our famous “Power Bar”. The next set will be the geo domain results themselves. Unfortunately, due to the way we perform domain checks the top 300 results by population will be in no particular order but they will be there. With each geo domain result we give you a link to perform a search on that term for all of the TLDs we offer, the population based on the most recent data we have (we admittedly need to update our database with new data), and of course the ability to add the domain to your cart. You should probably add them all, just sayin’. Based on the results for Colorado, one could completely corner the market for Ethiopian restaurant geo domain search results in the state 🙂
Step 4: go forth and be awesome
Now just buy the domains for the keywords you want to market in the cities you want to market to, create compelling and awesome content with some sweet SEO, and start getting some very specific location based traffic rolling into your site.
As always, let us know what you think and feel free to send us suggestions for how we could possibly improve the service.
Get Traffic to your site with these SEO Tips
Every search engine has a basic set of rules they use in determining how to rank your blog or website. Learn these rules and help the search engines find your content faster as well rank you higher because you are seen as valuable in terms of content for given keywords. This is all SEO. Wanna get started on learning these rules?
Actually, if you have been following this “get traffic” series, you already have a head start. We’ve been giving you social media tips, tips on engaging your audience, google service tips, and even a quick rundown of 20 methods to try for traffic. Use these methods combined and your already doing SEO, and naturally at that! However, let us give you a clearer perspective on those tips that actually yield SEO and how you can help those little search engine bots find your blog or website.
4 Basics of SEO to get right for traffic:
We introduced you to the methods on keyword research earlier. Google defines a keyword as: “An informative word used in an information retrieval system to indicate the content of a document”. Well if they define it that way – then it’s pretty darn important! Make use of these magical keywords in your post or website title, a few times throughout your content, and even in your images. Keep your images original (psssst – have you noticed I resorted to hand drawing mine?) and then title it including your keyword. You’ll be excited when searching the keyword later and see your website’s image in the image search results.
Remember, my goal is to give you easy tips to immediately try, ones that are FREE. Linking is basically having other blogs or sites link to you and, if you play fair, you’ll thank them by including a link back to them. Don’t forget these other ways of creating links back to your site: Social Media, Social Bookmarking Sites (Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg), and blog directories (Technorati, for example)
Remember, we’re talking FREE methods here, so buying links is not an option in this post. Besides, don’t you think the search engines are aware of this tactic? Be careful not to get ignored! Oh, and for those rogue sites that are linking to you – get help with the new Google Disavow Tool. You can submit to Google the links that you do not intend and it’s not guaranteed, but they are likely to listen and ignore them to improve your rank.
Create and submit a sitemap of your blog or website to tell search engines that you have a new link each time you post. If blogging, check for a plugin on the platform from which you blog on. The easiest example is for WordPress using their Google XML Sitemap. Or, if you run a website, make sure to submit your sitemap to Google WebMaster Tools. If you’re feeling adventurous, then do this for as many search engines as possible. Start by creating an account with each. This process will certainly speed up the time it takes the search engines to find your new content. Meaning earlier than expected traffic. Well, that’s the goal.
All search engines want to provide value to those who search and original content ensures you have value. Google, and similar search engines will index you much lower, if at all, if your content is extremely similar to other web sites. Don’t even think of creating new pages that just link to other pages either. Always give your unique spin on the keyword topic you are discussing. More originality=greater chance of traffic.
In the same vein, be careful of too many affiliate ads on your site. Of course, we hope we are one of them, but ads are considered links away from your site that are not original content. Search engines understand you will have ads – just balance it out with your content.
That wraps up our SEO tips! Our goal was to get you familiar with the basics of SEO. You must practice these tips to become comfortable and watch the changes in your blog or website ranking. Nail them and maybe we can help in the future with a more advanced series!
Anyone tried the new Google Disavow Tool? Let us know how it may have worked for ya in the comments below. Actually, tell us anything you like in the comments below, I’d love to hear from ya’ll!
Whew, that is the last tip we have in this “Get Traffic” series! Check out all your FREE goodies you can immediately try for traffic to your blog or website:
Part 5: The Basics of SEO to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 5 of 5 in a “get traffic” series (that’s what you just finished reading)
Research with Google to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 4 of 5 in a “get traffic” series
Find FREE Traffic for your Blog/Website with Google
There are many ways to use Google to help you with finding (and quite possibly) driving traffic to your blog or website. This post deserves to be so much longer, but today we’ll touch on 4 simple ways to inspire you in your traffic search. Our bet is you’ve heard of at least two of these tips and we hope to teach you something new with the other two.
All week we have been tackling part fo a larger post on FREE ways to open the way for traffic to your site. Our goal has been to introduce you to simple methods you can immediately try. By using these methods consistently you should see an increase in traffic to your site or blog. We’ve covered Social Media strategy and Engagement Tactics. It’s now Google’s turn to take the spotlight.
4 Google Resources to help find where the traffic is
1. Use the Google AdWords Keyword tool for developing content and post titles
Need help in developing a blog post idea? One that, hopefully, is of interest to the reader, thus driving traffic to your site? Give the free Google AdWords Keyword tool a whirl. If you have seen low traffic to your blog posts or website pages, you may be titling them wrong or not speaking to the keywords that people are searching for. Before writing your next post – search your chosen keywords for the topic in the nifty keyword tool. Google will return how many people are searching for that keyword (or phrase) as well as show suggestions of other, similar phrases. The results can get pretty granular but my point is to just get you to give the tool a shot. Choose a blog post title from the terms that people are naturally searching for so they can find you. Consider giving those keywords a whirl or two in the content of your post. Don’t forget to entertain your audience with a unique perspective and content on the topic they searched for.
2. Google Analytics helps you identify opportunities and the things you are doing right
The free Google Analytics tool takes a little effort to initially set up – but its effort well worth it. This google service will give you transparency into where your traffic is coming from, how long they are engaging with your site, where they like to click, and other pages they are interested in. Obviously, you’re doing something right on the pages with higher traffic. Keep it up champ! Instead, we want to encourage new traffic so let’s look at how to find the opportunities.
Navigate to find your traffic sources. Pay attention to the following:
-Are you receiving lots of google traffic that bounces? Look at it as an opportunity to find out why they searched your keywords and change your message to speak to them. Keep them on your site.
-Do you notice that another site is sending you traffic? That means they have linked to you and this is great news! Keep this opportunity going by returning the favor or reaching out to establish a mutually beneficial relationship.
-Do you see social media resources sending traffic? Are you using that social media platform? If not, join now – there’s a natural buzz for you to develop and turn it into more traffic! Need help on how to use certain social media platforms? The answer may be here: Using Social Media to Drive Traffic to your Blog
The main lesson for traffic is view where you current traffic is coming from – then get to engaging and encouraging those sources for more.
3. Scope your competitors angle or new perspectives with Google BlogSearch
I fell in love with Google BlogSearch! This google search only returns results of blogs. Try searching those keywords you identified with the Google AdWords Keyword tool (or wing it with your own phrase) and view exactly what other bloggers are writing about the topic. You’ll be able to sort the results by time frame to see what’s most relevant for right now. Use this information to adjust your content to captivate your audience so the traffic returns or chooses your title to read over another similar blog topic. Added bonus if you view the competing blogs. See where people are commenting. Blogs that have lots of comments are definitely hot topics that can deliver traffic. Go get it!
4. Google Reader will show you more than just your favorite sites you like to keep up with
It will also show you the subscriber count and how often blogs post per week. If you’re smart with this data you can use it for traffic. Consider reaching out to blogs with high subscriber counts and number of posts per week. Engage them by offering to guest post. Or look at some of the medium size blogs (who may be looking for additional subscribers) and offer to share traffic between the two of you with a link exchange or cross promotion. TRAFFIC!
Of course these are not the only Google options for traffic, but as you develop your traffic we figured these were quick and free methods you could employ today. Earlier we bet that you may have at least heard of two and may hear about two new ones. Our guesses were that you’ve at least heard of Google AdWords and Google Analytics. Google BlogSearch and Google Reader are two cool tools that we think don’t get much attention. (but they should!) Give ’em a shot and let us know in the comments below your favorite Google Tips.
We hope you’re enjoying this “Get Traffic” Series. Next up (and completions of the series) are basic SEO tactics for traffic.
Wanna view what you may have missed?
Using Engagement Tactics to Drive Traffic to your Blog or Website | Part 3 of 5 in a “get traffic” series
Free Traffic to your site with these Engaging Tips
Engagement. It’s just a little buzzword for describing how you interact with your online audience, both online and even offline. It’s also measurable with the ultimate goal of bringing traffic back to you. It’s funny how the Internet has taken a normal human ability for socialization and has us quantifying our interactions with others, then measuring the outcome of those interactions all in hopes that we can maximize our impact with future interactions. But that is a philosophical debate for another time. Simply, engagement is no different from brick and mortar stores where they talk to their customers, call up their mentors, visit surrounding businesses, and participate in various business associations. All in hopes that the more you put yourself out there, the more business will come your way. Let’s talk about just how to do that on the Wild Wild Webs with our new buzzword – Engagement. (pssst – all methods are FREE)
But before we jump in, I wanted to remind ya this is part of a series for driving traffic to your blog or website – all for FREE. First, we gave an overview of 4 basic tactics for driving traffic. Then we continued the series, by delving into the specifics of our first topic: Social Media. Next up is today’s topic: Engagement. A lot will refer to social media as engagement, which it certainly is part of it, but I’ll provide other, more creative ways of engagement. That discussion begins now…..
5 tips to try today to engage your audience and bring traffic to your site:
1. Blog and Forum Commenting
I’m pretty sure you already are reading blogs that are similar to your niche as well as reviewing specific topics in helpful forums. Get to commenting! Every time. By commenting on other’s blogs and participating in niche specific forums you are interacting with an audience that is targeted to your niche. While commenting use these tips:
-Hopefully you’ve already created a Social Media presence. Most blogs will allow you to comment as your Twitter self – for example. This way, if people are interested in you, they click your avatar and find out information about you -maybe even leading back to your site!
-Leave a thoughtful comment. Avoid: “great post” or “good job”. State specifically what interested you or how the blog enlightened you. These details get attention and give someone a reason to reach out to you.
-Avoid placing a link back to your website in your comment. Most blog commentators or forums will delete your comment if you appear ‘spammy’. Your avatar for commenting should have details on how one can find you online.
If you don’t already have a blog roll you follow, try social sharing forums such as Reddit or Stumbleupon. You’ll quickly come across some you’d like to follow. Bonus: don’t forget to register your blog to these forums to get found.
2. Link back to other sites from your blog or website
If they are checking their analytics, they’ll take notice and most likely visit you. This may lead to a link exchange if they find you relevant. Linking back to you is the ultimate goal here. In this way they share their audience with you, meaning eyeballs to your site.
3. Attend your industry events
Remember our analogy of how brick and mortar stores attend their area business meetings and industry events? Well this is one offline form of engagement that still matters. Begin interacting in person with those who are similar to your niche. With everything so automated lately, a little emotional human interaction will help you to stick out in their minds. People are more likely to work with those they know. Maybe a joint development will come about that shares the audience between you and your new business partner. More visits to your site! Added bonus is the energy you pick up on from the events. You’ll return to your site motivated to make it the best.
4. Install a RSS feed/email subscription on your website or blog
Use the feed and email subscription to remind your traffic that you’re still there. Send them website updates or an email newsletter. Keep in touch with those who are already your visitors in hopes that they will return and just maybe, bring more people to your website. Need help in developing an email newsletter? I got the details for you here: Anatomy of a Weekly Email Newsletter
5. Guest Post
Guest posting is where you write a blog post for another blog. This is in hopes that others will take notice, become interested in what you have to say, and then visit your website or blog. Be careful not to be sales-y in your guest post. It should remain objective and helpful to the audience of the blog you are writing for. Instead, make sure your avatar and ‘about me’ section of the post contain your expertise and the link back to your site or social media channels.
Again, all methods above are the online and offline replacement of the socializing that brick and mortar stores do for bringing in business. Take advantage of these engagement tactics for visits back to your site.
Want more free ways of getting traffic back to your blog or website? Check out the previous two articles in this series.
Next up: We’ll detail some ways of using the various services Google offers for getting your traffic.
Let us know in the comments below if you have anything to add to these tips or ways I did not mention.
Free Traffic to your site with Social Media
Recently, we outlined 20 FREE ways to drive traffic to your site. The methods were broken down by category, but I realized there is so much more information to these tips than just listing them out. First up, are the Social Media methods. By consistently employing each of the methods below, I promise you will see more traffic to your site. Let’s get started….
Just in case you need to be reminded of the obvious – Twitter is a great place to engage an audience and promote your brand. Use this strategy as you begin:
- First you need to get a following to have someone to promote your blog/website to. Shoot for 5-7 daily tweets. A couple your own content, maybe a retweet, a couple that share or comment on others content, (the more relevant to your niche the better) and asking one conversational question seem to be the norm.
- Make sure tweets with your own content contain links back to your blog/website.
- Make sure to follow people everyday and engage your new followers through the tweeting rules above. It’s best to follow those that would be interested in your brand as you start. A keyword search within Twitter can help you to get started.
- Certainly follow back anyone that follows you
- Add you blog/website URL prominently to your Twitter Profile.
- Before your first pin, do some research and identify your target audience. You’ll want to use keywords in your pin descriptions as well as images that will speak to them.
- Then use your blog post or website images to create your pins. This is where interesting, original images will come in handy. Consider infographics – even if they are not part of your post, but as a way to summarize it. Consider even just text – choose eye-catching fonts and colors to state your blog title or website page title.
- Remember that research you did with keywords? Well make sure to include those keywords in your pin description so others can find you. Include your blog or website URL as well in your description. You’ll notice that you can type a whole lot there in the description, but I suggest just enough to captivate your audience and get them to click-through to your blog post or website. Keywords can be used with #hashtags similar to Twitter.
- Make use of the Pinterest Social Sharing button on your blog or website images. Your able to control where the image directs and initially, the description.
- Similar to Twitter, get social! Don’t just promote your brand, but pin other’s relevant posts as well. Your building a community of viewers to your site as well as developing and sharing your visitors with one another, in an effort to attract more visitors.
- Make sure to share your blog posts and any brand news. Look helpful by sharing news and articles that others in your niche may find relevant.
- Comment with care on pages similar to your niche.
- Remember one of the strategies of Twitter was to share your own content with a tweet? To add credibility to your blog or website with another social media outlet, consider linking your tweet back to the blog post posted on Facebook. Use sparingly as remember, you’d rather they direct back to your blog or website.
- You can be a little more casual on Twitter, but try to keep Facebook only about content regarding your blog and brand.
- With your personal Facebook maybe consider updating your “Work and Education” section to represent your Facebook Fan page for your blog or website.
- Now that you have a Fan Page don’t forget to review your Facebook insights. Visit http://www.facebook.com/insights while logged in. You’ll get a look at how others are engaging with your posts so you know what kind of content to keep providing your users so they’ll keep coming back.
- Just like the other networks will pay off if you research your industry keywords, do so here as well. Use those keywords when completing your “About” section of your profile.
- Google+ activity will show up in a search result over other Social Media activity during a Google Search. Again, post often in your + account and pay attention to those keywords most relevant to the audience you wish to attract. They’re likely to find you when your content is ranking high.
- Take advantage of the Google+ Hangouts. It’s a way to interactively mingle with those who are interested in your blog or website niche topic. Try providing informative advice on your niche in general to attract the most viewers – don’t use it as a session to promote your blog or business. And guess what?! After the experience, since you directly engaged someone, guess who they will be talking about after. 🙂 It’s such a cool, new thing that people will definitely be talking about their Google+ Hangout experience. (hopefully with you)
- There’s this little thing called Google Authorship that happens naturally as you link your Google+ profile to your blog and vice versa. Google Authorship means it begins to trust you as a source on your topic. You’ll begin to rank higher so others find you. Bonus: You’re Google+ Profile pic may show up in Google Search results along your blog post or website! So make sure your Google+ Profile pic is best representing you or your business.
- Engage, Engage, Engage. Use your Google + profile often to find new followers and interact so you attract more followers. The benefit here over other social networks is that you will eventually begin to rank higher in search results (meaning greater chances of people finding your blog/website) as your network grows.
- Make sure to upload your blog posts here. Especially the more polished of your posts that would be helpful to those in your niche. For your website – provide your project status updates or any new developments.
- Take advantage of the “Recommendations”. Did you work with someone who maybe helped by guest posting, or provided design services? Give them an honest ‘recommendation’. These recommendations show up on their profile and get you views to your profile. Now sell ’em on your profile to bring traffic back to your site!
- You can import other social media streams to your profile. Try a widget for uploading your Tweets. Just be careful not be sale-sy as you Tweet.
- Take advantage of LinkedIn’s Answers resource. Browse through your industry Keywords to provide expertise on other’s questions. When you post your answer, there’s a link back to your profile and you may gain creditability. It works by asking questions too.
- Update your Business Skills. By choosing wisely, you’re bound to attract viewers as well as appear in the “Related Companies” for the skills you choose. For each skill set there are also groups to join.
Free Traffic to your Site – 20 tips to try today!
Are you an affiliate marketer? Then you know how important it is to get traffic to your site. More traffic means the better chance of people viewing and clicking your affiliate advertisements. Own a business website? Then you know that the more traffic the better chance of making money you’ll have. Beginning a blog? Then you should know how important it will be to develop a large loyal audience. One that once you begin to monetize your blog your readers will hopefully trust your opinion on the products – making you Affiliate dollars.
There are many other important facets to keep in mind with your traffic, but this post is specifically about getting eyeballs to your affiliate blog or website. It’s so hard not to talk about: consistency of posting relevant content, what happens when the traffic gets to your site to win them over, and even some of the paid ways to get traffic to your site. No this is specifically about just getting the reader to your site, in the most economical way possible. You may find that I couldn’t help myself and may have broken the “ONLY TRAFFIC TIPS” rule a little – but only when necessary. My intention is for you to use this mainly as a checklist. I’ll follow-up with detailed posts about each traffic driving source in the days to come as part of a series. Enjoy!
1. Social Media
- Twitter – This will be a great forum for you to engage your followers and post relevant content for your brand.
- Pinterest – You know I don’t have a lot of personal experience with this site, but am seeing more and more news about how to drive traffic to your site with this service. Do not underestimate its power. A quick google search will set you in the right path. We found this search: “how to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog” on google blog search to result in 5,000 articles just this week!
- Facebook – Please don’t be offended if you’ve never, ever used Facebook, but for most – this is pretty self-explanatory. Set up a Facebook fan page for your brand. Continually update with fresh content.
- Google+ – This can be a little gem. Most social media services stress engagement over the number of followers. This is one source where your number of followers matters. Get popular!
- LinkedIn – more snazzier than you thought! Did you know you can add your blog posts to your profile? Don’t forget to list your current website as a business either.
- Begin commenting on other industry targeted blogs to begin.
- Link back to relevant blogs from your blog. You stand a chance that they will consider linking back to you.
- Go to industry specific events. Also try hosting webinars or joining MeetUp. Great way to pair with like-minded individuals. If the traffic doesn’t come from these events, it’s a great way to motivate you to keep going!
- Make sure to have RSS feed and allow for email subscriptions to your blog or website updates. Try an email newsletter for both your website and blog. If you need help with how to develop one – check out this handy, dandy post: Anatomy of a Weekly Email Newsletter
- Guest post! Great way to get noticed by writing a relevant post on someone elses blog. In the same vein, encourage others to write a guest post for you. If they have a strong following their readers may become interested in you as well.
- Check out the Social Sharing (Reddit, stumbleupon, etc) as well as Forums. Just like commenting on other blogs, begin participating here as well as sharing your content in the social sharing sites.
- Google AdWords/KeyWords – Perform research on relevant keywords to your industry/topic. Then develop content and titles relevant to what people are already interested in. Once you get them to your page, make sure your content gives a unique perspective on the keywords they dig.
- Google Analytics – Helps to identify where your traffic sources are coming from as well as identify opportunities. Next step is to develop and encourage these sources.
- Google BlogSearch is a fantastic tool in the same vein as Keywords to help you see what other bloggers are writing about. You can sort the results by time frame for the most relevant up to date posts. View these posts. The ones with the most comments are hot topics.
- Along with Google BlogSearch, give Google Reader a try – you’ll be able to see the number of subscribers to each site displayed in the search results. Then employ your engagement tactics from our Engagement section to those with high viewership for maximum impact.
4. SEO (just the basics)
- Remember those keywords you researched? Well make sure to use those in an eye catching title as well as throughout your post.
- Remember all those Social Media – well that’s SEO!
- Images – use them and make them original. Try creating your own images. Title them so that when someone searches images or your keywords, your post image shows up in that “image” section of the search.
- Be careful not to place too many affiliate ads.
- Make sure your content is original and relevant.
You’ll find that as you participate in these steps you get rewards. Celebrate your rewards, no matter how small, and keep charging. Some of these ideas may seem painful, especially if you are not familiar with Pinterest or Google Analytics seems daunting. But learn them and push through. DON’T. GIVE. UP. It takes a while to build viewership, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. As you keep consistent and build traffic, things do get easier and your followers begin to do some of the heavy lifting naturally for you. Keep on blogging my friend! (or websiting!)
Check back as we detail the Social Media tactics for FREE traffic to your site. Until then, got any free methods that you’ve tried with success? I wanted to list the most obvious for immediate impact but I may have left out a goody or two. 🙂
Todd Clary and Colin Thomas-Arnold build apps. Todd is the creative side and Colin is the coder–but wait! They’ve discovered a working relationship that blends the creative and the code. No longer two separate entities working in two different worlds for one project, they advise business owners that for the best app you need a coder who’s more than a “black box” into which you can pour instructions. You need more than a code monkey, but a guy who gets the importance of the user experience. This is Part 1:
The Insightful is posted here every Wednesday, and offers information and advice to entrepreneurs and business ninjas. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for regular informative and entertaining videos.
You’re not developing for you!
They say a video should be really short–like about 90-seconds–to keep an online viewer’s attention. Unless…UNLESS…it’s really good information. This is really good information. Sherri is our reigning queen of the User Interface/User Experience. She recalls how designers were once employed to make things pretty, and then shares the important reality of making your website’s copy, icons, images and voice one coherent, profitable masterpiece. Now that’s inner beauty that radiates across the web…and into a really hot conversion rate.
We love picking Troy Olson’s massive brain. He’s the SEO guru over at JEMSU, and from one interview came three great videos. Here he talks about how easy it is to focus your business. It begins with knowing the keywords that describe who you are and what you do. Because, when you think about it, that’s how people will find you…and it’s how your customers will become interested in what you do.
The Insightful is supposed to be posted here every Wednesday, and offers information and advice to entrepreneurs and business ninjas. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for regular informative and entertaining videos.