Link building is one of the most popular ways web owners use to rank their website on the SERPs. It’s also one of the fastest ways to bring Google’s penalty hammer down on your website.
Well, if link building is an effective organic SEO strategy, why ban people from doing it? And if it’s frowned upon by Google and other search engines, why do site owners still risk it? The answer to this has been shrouded in shades of grey for a long time.
Firstly, the problem with backlinking isn’t the act of linking itself; it’s the intent behind it. Websites that have a few links to their web pages from authoritative websites have a good thing going. However, too many web owners take it too far and try to drown their websites in links from unreputable sites, most of them paid for.
Of course, we get the drive; everyone wants to earn wealth and live an improved lifestyle. However, using shady backlinking practices to boost your site’s traffic and, potentially, revenue, is almost guaranteed to end in tears.
Buying backlinks is a massive risk, and it’s only a matter of time before Google’s algorithm fishes out your site. And you can be sure they will, and when they do, there’s no coming back. The introduction of ‘no-follow’ links was a response to spam links; these link types tell websites not to pass on their reputation or vote of confidence to the sites linking to them. Still, no-follow and do-follow links can be useful if you know how to use them, but that’s not the reason for this post.
The truth is that links are still a huge ranking factor for websites even though search engines see most of it as an SEO guideline violation. Thankfully, there are a ton of other ways to boost organic traffic to your website.
You could be building a POD platform like Teespring, an authority blog like Neil Patel, an essay writing service review outfit like Online Writers Rating, etc. Whatever the case, if you’re thinking of how to increase organic traffic, the strategies on this list will prove incredibly useful for you if you do them right.
Focus on researching and putting viral content.
There’s regular content, and there’s viral content. This doesn’t mean that regular content is terrible by any means; however, viral content, by definition, is the kind of content that “breaks the internet” and pulls waves of traffic to your website.
While almost anyone can write and publish regular blog posts, creating viral content is an art form. It takes a higher level of writing and research skills to put out such content successfully. Thankfully, there are few reliable resources online to help with that.
Authority resources like Buzzfeed, Upworthy, and many more have a ton of posts to guide you in writing articles that will go viral. Virality, beyond the writing and research, has to also do with having your finger on the pulse of trends, as they are more likely to go viral.
Another resource for gleaning viral trends is Buzzsumo. It is an established idea generator for insight into trends and trend-worthy article ideas. YouTube is also another great idea generator. You will come across many videos that inspire you about stuff that hasn’t been written about yet, or at least not exhaustively. Develop those and watch your organic traffic grow.
Long-tail keywords are your friend.
Can you make a guess how many people are trying to get traffic with “digital marketing,” “hair care,” “credit cards,” and more? Probably a lot more than you think. There’s just one problem; they’re all doing the wrong thing.
These keywords are generic and very likely oversaturated. Plus, they have no intent behind them anyway. However, imagine instead of trying to rank for “what are credit cards?” you build content around “what are the best no-fee credit cards in Ontario?” Do you see the difference? The latter keyword is a long-tail example and is something people are searching for. Everyone already knows what a credit card is, so no one is searching for the first keyword—unless they’re from another planet, which is just as unlikely.
Long-tail keywords typically have sizeable search volumes that grow with time, so it makes sense to use them to boost organic traffic. Just bear in mind, though, that ranking for long-tail keywords is almost always a long-term tactic. You’re almost guaranteed to see no impact on your traffic in the first few months. But if you’re patient, the results typically start to come in at the six-month mark and beyond, and it can affect your website traffic rankings significantly.
Don’t search for keywords. Search for questions.
Technically, they’re the same thing. However, when most people make a search engine query, they usually phrase them as questions. Quick usage of Google’s autocomplete feature will prove this assertion. What’s more? These are usually long-tail keywords, which means the competition and traffic potential is relatively low and high, respectively.
So how to get traffic to your website using these questions? You’d have to find them first, and besides Google’s autocomplete, places like Quora are a good place to start your search. A quick tip: if you find a Wikipedia page as a top result, the chances are that you may have a shot at the keyword in question. Wikipedia typically doesn’t employ too many backlinks, so showing up as a top result points to the fact that you may be able to rank for the same keyword without risky backlinking practices.
Tools like Moz are also great at sniffing out a page’s domain and page authority. You can use it to analyse the top five results to understand your chances for ranking for any given keyword better.
Niche topics are amazing.
There was a time before Google Panda when crash and burn website experts were raking in the big bucks. All they had to do was create a website and stuff it full of hundreds of pages talking about the exact same niche topic. Thankfully, those days are gone, and Google’s algorithm has prioritised content quality.
Still, this doesn’t negate the usefulness of niche topics. There are so many untapped or undersaturated niches out there that are just waiting to be discovered and optimised. Niche topic sites include gun blogs, health blogs, writing recommendation blogs like Best Writers Online, gaming blogs, gardening blogs, and more. Almost anything could be a niche topic.
So look out for niches that have relatively little competition, and you should be able to create content that will rank for said niche easily.
Look out for markets beyond your geographic location.
Don’t forget; the world is a global village. Just because you live in the United States does not mean you should only target US traffic. Consider creating content for a more global audience. Content marketing is relatively still unpopular in many parts of the world, keyword saturation is still a myth, and many of the practices circa Google Panda still work in these places.
The beautiful thing is that content for these regions can blow up nicely and boost your organic traffic without you needing to build a single backlink.
Hopefully, you can see now that how to get traffic to your website isn’t always about link building. The strategies in this post are wonderful to get a superior rankings to boost that will, in turn, grow your organic traffic, risk-free.
Melissa Mauro is a self-improvement author who is always interested in new projects. She wants to create her own writer brand, that’s why Melissa is looking for fresh platforms for the implementation of her ideas. Creativity and unique style make it possible to deliver valuable and engaging content to her ideal reader.