Brian, I recently found your blog by following OKDork.com. Just want to say you’re really amazing with the content you put out here. It’s so helpful, especially for someone like me who is just starting out. I’m currently writing posts for a blog I plan to launch later this year. I think my niche is a little too broad and I have to figure out how to narrow it down. I essentially want to write about my current journey of overcoming my fears to start accomplishing the dreams i have for blogging, business, and travel. In doing so, I will share the best tips, tools, and tactics I can find, as well as what worked, what didn’t and why.
How can you get the context part right? It begins with planning topics that are a good fit for your customer personas and then aligning them with appropriate high and mid-volume keywords. As Content Marketing Institute discusses, be very careful not to “over” optimize – keyword stuffing or trying to rank for a keyword just because it has a lot of searches can backfire on you. Always keep that target audience in mind.
Secure (https) to non-secure sites (http): Since Google began emphasizing the importance of having a secure site, more websites are securely hosted, as indicated by the “https” in their URLs. Per the security protocol, however, any traffic going from a secure site to a non-secure site will not pass referral information. For this issue, you can correct by updating your site to be secure through a third-party SSL certificate.
A few links down and I've noticed that Brian has a link from WordPress.org. Not bad! Turns out that his content has been referenced within one of WordPress's codex posts. If I were to reach out and offer some additional insight, citing one of my articles, there's a chance I could bag a similar link, especially considering they have a 'Useful Resources' section.
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Great post Matt, I am just getting more into traffic and seo so reading through most of your content… Just tested my site and it wasnt too good 54/100 mase some changes on the images and now 68/100 with more suggestions to improve on, which I will need to learn more about … I have also added a large image on Yoast seo for Twitter so will see how that goes too… Thanks Again :)

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Keyword Tracking in SEO: The 5 Irrefutable Laws Keyword tracking is like calorie counting. It’s time-consuming and boring and unexciting. But if you will yourself to do it, day in and day out, you’re all but guaranteed to see positive results. Where diligent calorie counting leads to weight loss… …diligent keyword tracking leads to higher rankings on search...
Well, the age of print media is coming to a close. But there’s no reason why some enterprising blogger couldn’t use the same tactic to get new subscribers. Let’s say you have a lifestyle blog targetting people in San Francisco. You could promote the giveaway through local media, posters, and many other tactics (we’ll get into these methods shortly).
Consider your resources. If your website traffic has been increasing by 10 percent with blogging alone but you’re now going to start investing in pay-per-click (PPC) ads, you can expect an increase that correlates with the additional spend. If you’re a B2B company, you can expect about a 2.5 percent click-through rate for your ads. The cost of PPC ads is based on the keywords you’re bidding on, who else is bidding on them and how relevant your ads are (known as your quality score). A marketing agency with expertise in demand generation will be able to recommend a budget and set realistic expectations for website traffic based on that budget.

If you were to ask someone what the difference is between direct and organic website traffic, they would probably be able to warrant a good guess, purely based on the terms’ wording. They might tell you that direct traffic comes from going straight into a website by entering its URL into a browser or clicking a bookmark, while organic traffic comes from finding the site somewhere else, like through a search engine.
Having large groups of content that all revolve around the same topic will build more relevance around keywords that you're trying to rank for within these topics, and it makes it much easier for Google to associate your content with specific topics. Not only that, but it makes it much easier to interlink between your content, pushing more internal links through your website.
Breaking it down, Traffic Cost is SEMRush’s way of showing the hypothetical value of a page. Traffic Cost estimates the traffic a page is getting by estimating clickthrough rate (CTR), and then multiplying it against all the positions it ranks for. From there, it looks at what others would be willing to pay for that same traffic using Google AdWords’ CPC.
Beyond organic and direct traffic, you must understand the difference between all of your traffic sources and how traffic is classified. Most web analytics platforms, like Google Analytics, utilize an algorithm and flow chart based on the referring website or parameters set within the URL that determine the source of traffic. Here is a breakdown of all sources:
Hey Ashok! Good question. I work with clients in a lot of different industries, so the tactics I employ are often quite different depending on the client. In general though, creating killer resources around popular topics, or tools related to client services. This provides a ton of outreach opportunity. For example: We had a client build a tool that allowed webmasters to quickly run SSL scans on their sites and identofy non-secure resources. We reached out to people writing about SSLs, Https migration etc and pitched it as a value-add. We built ~50 links to that tool in 45 days. Not a massive total, but they were pretty much all DR 40+.
For our client: We only used a smaller quantity of very high-quality link building each month. So, for example we only built 40 of the best links each month to supplement the work we were doing on the content marketing front. We also invested heavily into tracking competitor backlink profiles, using Majestic SEO and Open Site Explorer. We worked out how the competitor's acquired specific backlinks, then by using outreach and content creation we obtained these links.
The Featured Snippet section appearing inside the first page of Google is an incredibly important section to have your content placed within. I did a study of over 5,000 keywords where HubSpot.com ranked on page 1 and there was a Featured Snippet being displayed. What I found was that when HubSpot.com was ranking in the Featured Snippet, the average click-through rate to the website increased by over 114%.
Everyone wants to rank for those broad two or three word key phrases because they tend to have high search volumes. The problem with these broad key phrases is they are highly competitive. So competitive that you may not stand a chance of ranking for them unless you devote months of your time to it. Instead of spending your time going after something that may not even be attainable, go after the low-hanging fruit of long-tail key phrases.
For one thing, when someone clicks on your article from a paid source, there’s a chance that if the content is good, they’ll share it and draw in even more organic traffic. Secondly, there has been evidence to show that paid listings have a positive impact on your search presence and can boost results from organic listings. Note that a paid ad in itself doesn’t boost your search rankings, but it contributes to your overall presence and may lead to further searches of your brand later on.
Website speed is a big factor that's related to relevancy. Your site is far more relevant if it loads quickly. To that end, find a good content-delivery network (CDN) you can incorporate such as Amazon's CloudFront or other services. CDNs help to spread your content across servers all over the world and serve them to the nearest visitor. Also, reduce and optimize images and use a service like Oleg Schegolev's SEMRush to help identify performance issues with your site's speed.
So many businesses are focused on attracting new customers through content marketing that they forget about more traditional methods. Email marketing can be a powerful tool, and even a moderately successful email blast can result in a significant uptick in traffic. Just be careful not to bombard people with relentless emails about every single update in your business. Also, don’t overlook the power of word-of-mouth marketing, especially from people who are already enjoying your products or services. A friendly email reminder about a new service or product can help you boost your traffic, too.
There are a lot of different avenues you can go with this one, and I’ve tried quite a few different methods. The first is finding related bloggers in your field and reaching out to see if they’ll accept a guest post from you – you’ll have to do a lot of trial and error with this, because you’ll get a lot of rejections, but reaching that new audience can really pay off.
Great article as always. My wife is about to start a business about teaching (mainly) Mums how to film and edit little movies of their loved ones for posterity (www.lovethelittlethings.com launching soon). We have always struggled with thinking of and targeting relevant keywords because keywords like ‘videography’ and ‘family movies’ don’t really some up what she is about. Your article ties in with other learnings we have come across where we obviously need to reach out to right people and get them to share to get her product out there because purely focusing on keywords I don’t think will get us anywhere.
Regarding Link Detox, links it diagnoses as Toxic are generally fine as they're either not indexed by Google or have malware/viruses/etc., but I recommend a manual review of any diagnosed as Suspicious. I used it recently to get started cleaning up our backlinks and some legit sites and blogs were under Suspicious simply because they didn't have many links pointing to them.
Google is currently been inundated with reconsideration requests from webmasters all over the world. On public holidays the Search Quality teams do not look at reconsideration requests. See below analysis. From my experience it can take anywhere from 15-30+ days for Google to respond to reconsideration requests; during peak periods it can even take longer.
So just how much of the traffic that finds itself labeled as direct is actually organic? Groupon conducted an experiment to try to find out, according to Search Engine Land. They de-indexed their site for the better part of a day and looked at direct and organic traffic, by hour and by browser, to pages with long URLs, knowing that pages with shorter URLs actually do get a large amount of direct traffic, as they can be typed quickly and easily into a browser. The results showed a 50% drop in direct traffic, clearly demonstrating how all of these other factors come into play during the analytics process.
In my latest ebook, I talked about some of my secrets when it comes to competitor analysis. Whenever I start a new online store, I’m always curious to know the main traffic sources of my competitors. This helps me understand which marketing channels I should prioritize. I sometimes use the free Alexa tool. All you need to do is type in your competitors website, scroll to “Upstream sites,” and look at the list of websites that were visited immediately before landing on your competitor’s website. If you see that Google tends to be the top choice, then you need to focus on Google Ads and SEO. If Facebook is the top website then you know you’ll need to create Facebook ads. Or if a niche blog is the highest source of traffic you can then focus on building out an outreach strategy to collaborate with that blog.
Hi Brian! I enjoy reading your posts and use as much info as I possibly can. I build and sell storage sheds and cabins. The problem I have is that there are no top bloggers in my market or wikipedia articles with deadlinks that have to do with my market. 95% of my traffic and sales are generated via Facebook paid advertising. Would love to get more organic traffic and would be interested in your thoughts concerning this.
When someone is looking for the type of product or service your company sells, they may visit an online directory to find a company that provides that product or service. Getting your business listed on these directories is a great way to get your brand name out there and generate new leads. Look for online directories specific to your industry, and get your company listed on reputable local business directories.
Once you’ve attracted your customers to your site, whether to a piece of content via social or a conversion page via SEO, they’ll often leave your site and come back a few times before they actually convert. Sometimes they’re doing research, sometimes they get distracted by other sites, and sometimes they’re just not ready to buy or give you the information you so badly need from them to drive your business forward.
Beyond organic and direct traffic, you must understand the difference between all of your traffic sources and how traffic is classified. Most web analytics platforms, like Google Analytics, utilize an algorithm and flow chart based on the referring website or parameters set within the URL that determine the source of traffic. Here is a breakdown of all sources:
Hi Matt, realizing now how difficult it is to run a blog, trying to promote it and carry on with your daily activities. I would say it's a full time job. Once you thing you done learning about something, something else is coming :). My blog is about preparing for an ironman so I need to add the training on top of it. Thanks a lot for sharing this article with us so we can keep focus!!!

Thanks a lot for this very long post! I’m printing it to read tomorrow with a nice cuppa. It has some good reminders of ideas I knew of but had forgotten in the midst of being busy. I appreciate the reminder, particularly as I’m super busy getting organized to grow my blog. I’m very happy to discover new ideas that I didn’t know of as well. Love your writing style. I’ll surely be browsing through your blog more in the future.
For our client: We monitored everything on a daily basis. If something came up, which needed to be fixed, we were quick to implement it with the development team at the business. We also rolled out numerous campaigns multiple times as they worked effectively the first time around in generating significant traffic so it was second nature to do the same thing twice.
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