By Karon Thackston © 2013, All Rights Reserved
Why is this search engine copywriter suddenly publishing articles on how to build targeted traffic without the need for Google? Because, when you hang all your hopes on one search engine, you make yourself very vulnerable.
Even though I do firmly believe search engine optimization is a fabulous way to bring qualified visitors to your site, it is far from the only option. Placing all your bets on Google leaves you open to major trials and tribulations like the one that was just unleashed recently. Take a quick look back at the abbreviated Google timeline and you’ll see what I mean.
2003 – Florida – Sent website owners scrambling after their pages (including many home pages) disappeared from the Google SERPs. While Google never actually came right out and said what was updated or why, it has long been believed that some sort of “over-optimization” penalty was put into place. This is the update that all but killed keyword density as a valid measure of SEO copywriting success.
2004 – Brandy – Focused on Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI), the use of synonyms and linking “neighborhoods.” Not nearly as destructive as Florida.
2008 – Dewey – A large-scale shuffle that caused a bit of temporary confusion in the rankings.
2009 – Vince – A major update that tilted the SEO scale in favor of big brands leaving many smaller sites with lower rankings.
2010 – May Day – Another catastrophic update that upset the balance of search traffic for tons of sites. Google confirmed a target to long-tail traffic.
2010 – Social Signals – Google and Bing confirmed they were using social media as a ranking factor. Finally! A significant update that didn’t cause turmoil!
2011 – Panda (in several phases) – Aimed at thin, low-quality content sites; many article directories and ecommerce sites suffered horribly with this update, losing significant portions of their traffic.
2012 – Penguin – The webspam / “over optimization” penalty. And here we go again. Another round of massive changes that have sent website owners/managers into a tailspin.
2013 – Hummingbird – Google’s completely new algorithm built for speed and accuracy ushered in a whole new way for results to be delivered based on semantics and conversational search.
(Thanks to SEOMoz for the comprehensive timeline.)
Blaming Google is Pointless: Replace the Traffic with Other Sources
Let’s face it… it’s Google’s search engine and they have every right to do whatever they feel is best. It’s not a public entity and nobody is forced to use their product. We all have freedom of choice so blaming Google is pointless. They are well within their rights to change their algo at any time they want.
What you need to do is stop complaining and replace the lost Google traffic with traffic from various other sources.
I’m one who has long said that putting all your eggs in one basket was just silliness. And you can see by the outraged cries of website owners who’ve been affected by various updates over the years that they now agree. Still, very few will actually put the steps in place to diversify their traffic.
That’s what this article series is all about: steadily building a flow of traffic that is not dependent on Google.
As I said in the beginning, I’m still a firm believer that optimizing your copy and your web pages is a smart thing to do. It should not be – however – the ONLY thing you do. Search engine optimization (SEO) needs to be a PART of your online marketing plan, but not your entire plan.
Do This Today to Start Building Traffic without Google
One of the first things you need to do is start your own, in-house list. A list YOU own and YOU control. It’s extremely easy to get started. Like everything else, you will have to put in some effort to build your subscriber base. But if you dedicate a bit of time each week, before long you’ll have a list of devoted followers you can depend on to bring you their business. In addition, if you offer quality products/services, they’ll likely refer friends and associates to you as well.
Step One – Offer blog updates by email and/or a newsletter
You will obviously need a blog in order to do this. You don’t, however, necessarily need a newsletter. Your blog can actually be your newsletter.
Autoresponder/Email Marketing Program – I personally recommend Aweber. They have one of the highest delivery rates in the industry and their setup/management is simple enough so even *I* can do it 🙂 They have excellent support and super videos that walk you through everything you need to do. With their Blog Broadcast feature, you can set the system up to send out a newsletter whenever you have new blog posts available. What’s more, Aweber will automatically publish your blog posts to your Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts.
Step Two – Offer an incentive
To get people to trust you enough to turn over their email addresses, you’ll want to offer something enticing. This incentive or bonus can be practically anything from a free report to a private consultation to free or greatly discounted products. My suggestion is to make it as hands-off as possible. If it’s something you have to ship (a handheld calculator, a sample of hand lotion, etc.) you’ll have additional time and expenses. I recommend going digital. These are all super ideas that can be delivered digitally or via auto-ship companies such as Kunaki.
- Access to private sites
- Private webinars
By using the blog / newsletter with the autoresponder service (Aweber) and an incentive of your choosing, you can begin to build targeted traffic without the need for so much dependence on Google.
Is there more to it than this? Absolutely! I’ve got a few more articles in the making about building traffic without Google … so stay tuned.
Online Marketing Consulting – Want somebody who has been there, done that to walk you through the steps of setting up a system for driving traffic that YOU control? I offer Internet marketing consulting services, both short-term and long-term.
Social Media – Think Twitter is just for personal use? It can help your business grow if you know these professional strategies for setting it up and turning it loose. Stacey Meyers is one of my favorite social media instructors because she makes things so simple to understand.
Discover List Building – Bob “The Teacher” Jenkins – Loved this course! Bob Jenkins is extremely easy to follow and lays out everything you need to know in step-by-step fashion. I refer to my notes from this course a good bit.
Blogging for Business – Part of the Wordtracker Masterclass series, this ebook is a super guide to everything you need to know to create a blog that gets followed.
How to Drive Qualified Traffic to Your Blog – Of course, you’ll need to get readers to your blog before you can have subscribers. Denise Wakeman offers a great video that outlines what to do to bring in more folks so your list can grow.