When we think about search engine marketing, there are usually two things that come to mind: PPC (Pay-per-click) and SEO (Search engine optimization). While both can be effective, they aren’t quite as helpful as you might think. Let’s take a quick look at why.
Pay-Per-Click Doesn’t Always Work
If you’ve ever used pay-per-click marketing, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. When you sign up with a PPC agency, you’ll begin to receive a flood of traffic. While this might sound great, it can also be pretty overwhelming. After all, you don’t want to end up with too much competition — especially when everyone is trying to beat the other person in order to earn that all-important click.
Even worse, when you do get that coveted click, you might find that it’s not exactly what you were looking for. Or the page you landed on was just an ad and has no value at all. When you search for something specific, you’ll often get diverted to an unsolicited URL in an effort to “game” the system. For example, if I wanted to learn more about SEO strategies, I might discover that the first link on the first page of results is actually an ad for an SEO company. Oops.
SEO Can Be Tricky
SEO is all about getting traffic from the search engines so that you can connect with potential customers. While it’s not always as easy as just filling out a form and submitting it to the first ranked site, it can be a lot more complicated than that. To truly optimize your site for the search engines, you’ll need to look into all aspects of content, including titles, descriptions, and more.
Imagine you’re a realtor and you’ve just landed on a site about buying and selling real estate. You look through the posts and see a lot of solid information. But that description of the site might be a bit deceiving because the actual content within is pretty bad. When you click on the link to get more information, you’ll get taken to a page that looks completely different than what you were expecting. And even worse, the description that came up when you got there wasn’t exactly what you were looking for. It was a waste of time and you lost out on potential customers.
To avoid these kinds of situations, it’s a good idea to work with an SEO agency. An expert will be able to go through your site, taking care of all the little details so that all the content is structured correctly. And for all the realtors out there, I’m sure you’ll be able to find a few good SEO agencies to help you out.
The Importance of On-Page Optimization
In addition to having the right content, you’ll need to make sure that all the pages on your site have the right elements in place. This includes:
- H1 (Heading 1) tags (H1) on each page
- ALT Text for images
- URL for every link
- Meta Description for every page
- Content for every page
- Sections for every page
- Make sure there’s a call-to-action at the end of every page
- Nofollow for every link
- Shared buttons
Making sure all these elements are there will help the search engines figure out what your page is about. It also helps the user understand what the page is about. So, if you want people to come back for more, invest in some good on-page SEO.
Off-Page Optimization (Link Building)
Even though SEO is all about ranking on the search engine results page, you can’t ignore the off-page optimization (link building) strategy. This is the process of gaining more links (backlinks) to your site from other sites around the web.
Every time someone links to your site, it’s like you’ve got free advertising. And not just any kind of advertising either. These are links from highly relevant websites that are likely to send your site a lot of traffic. This is also known as “Link-baiting”.
While it’s not impossible to gain a huge number of backlinks overnight, it does take a decent amount of effort. Which is why you should really consider hiring a reputable SEO company to help you out. They’ll be able to take care of all the link building for you so that you can get on with focusing on more important things.
If your goal is to drive traffic to your site, getting listed on the first page of Google is great, but it’s not the only thing you need to do. You’ll also need to develop a strategy for how you intend on engaging with your audience.
Build Long-Term Relationships
You’ve probably heard the expression, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Well, in the blog world, it’s even more true. Your connection with other bloggers can help you build a community and establish yourself as an authoritative voice in your industry. This, in turn, will help you gain more traction and make a greater impact.
If you want to succeed as a blogger, you need to consider building a network of some kind. This could be a virtual community (like the Google Blogger forums) or a physical one (like the WordPress group).
It’s great to have a single, authoritative blog that everyone goes to for information. But, to truly succeed as a blogger, you need to develop an audience that knows, likes, and trusts you. Building these relationships takes time and a lot of genuine interest in others.
Make Money Online
You don’t need to have a blog to become a successful online marketer, but it does help. Blogging is a fun and interactive way to engage with your audience and build a following. Many successful marketers and entrepreneurs have used blogging to gain a following and then turned that audience into paying customers. If you’re looking for ways to make money online, consider creating a free blog that integrates with existing revenue streams like Google Adsense, Amazon Associates, and more.
Attracting, Engaging, and Monetizing a Substantial Audience
The last thing you want to do is jump into blogging and then realize that no one actually cares about your content. Before you begin your blog, it’s a good idea to consider these three things:
- Your niche
- The purpose of your blog
- How you’ll monetize the blog
Choose your niche to identify with and then find an audience that shares your interests. When you have a clear understanding of what your blog is going to be about, it will be much easier to choose your articles, your tone, and even the design of your blog. WordPress has a free, basic option that you can use to create a blog. If you want to make sure your blog looks professional, you might want to consider paying for a premium theme.
To monetize your blog, you need to find a way to get paid for each blog post that you create. There are a variety of affiliate marketing opportunities that can help you make money online. For example, if you’re writing about fashion, you might want to look into getting paid to mention clothing brands. Or maybe you’ll want to write about style tips and tricks, in which case, you can promote fashion accessories among other things.
Blogs can be a great way to generate revenue. But to really make money from a blog, you need to take the time to grow an audience that trusts you and values your expertise. From there, you can build long-term, monetized relationships that will pay off in the future.