How To Get Traction… Fast

Getting Traction With SEO

SEO Quick wins for getting over the traffic hump

 
I routinely get emails from individuals looking for some SEO help. Assuming that it’s not a question that a quick Google search can answer, then I’m happy to help when I can.

Many of these messages end up having a common theme. An individual has started building a potentially great business or startup, but they just haven’t quite been able to take off yet. All of the basic fundamentals are there, but they are lacking the traction needed to take it to the next level.

It can really hurt to be so damn close, to have worked so hard, but to have success just outside of your reach.

Today I’m going to share with you one of these emails that I received that I believe a lot of you can get some benefit out of. How to get traction on a product when you need it most.
 

The Email:

Hi Travis,
I know you do really well manufacturing your own health products to sell online, so I’m hoping you can help give me some advice.

I make specialty [redacted] vitamins and sell them at [redacted].com. We’re doing ok at it, but we haven’t quite gotten the traction that we were hoping for yet and our operation is slowly running out of funds. We are not broke yet, but if things don’t change in the next few months we won’t be able to stay in business and I’ll have to go get a job.

We tried PPC, but I think there is too much competition and the CPC is too high for us to become profitable so I just shut it down. I’m very interested in SEO instead. We’ve done some already, but I know that SEO results can take a few months which we don’t have. Do you have any suggestions? I know you’ve spoken about gray hat before.
Thanks!

My Response Email:

( expanded some for this post )

Hey Man great news, I see all kinds of really awesome opportunities for you here! I can see that you’re already doing a lot of the basics, but just a few little tweaks here and there can have massive payoffs for you in no time. You don’t even realize how close you are. Follow my plan below and you’ll be smooth sailing in no time.
 
When Bears Rule The World
 

Your To-Do List

Step 1: Keyword Intent

Read, learn and master everything about “buying keywords”. Understanding these simple principles will completely change everything about your business. It’s the 80/20 of all online sales.

Apply everything about the buying keywords to your PPC campaign. I just looked through your PPC via SEMrush and see that you’re focusing on all the wrong stuff. I’m obviously an SEO guy, but PPC can be an incredible traffic source if you get it right and you’re just leaving money on the table if you don’t use it.

I believe that any PPC campaign can be profitable if you niche down enough and get your funnel in order. Find those super niche phrases of people wanting EXACTLY what you sell (buy x online). Ignore anyone who “might” be interested (info on x. The CPC and the competition appears to be much lower for these phrases as well.

Also, start using some retargeting as soon as you can. You will instantly make your PPC many more times cost effective in the long run.

Step 2: SEO

Again you have a ton of opportunity here. Not to beat a dead horse, but again apply the buying keywords to your site is step 1. Most of the good SEO’s out there know that keyword selection is possibly the most important factor in a winning campaign.

As for your question about the grey-hat SEO… Believe me I love blasting things with backlinks, as it can be a ton of fun. However, I never recommend these tactics for your main business website. It’s just not worth the risk of getting penalized. It’s always a coin flip, and Google is only going to get smarter over time. There are too many other easy wins out there anyway.

Parasites:

This is where you can have some awesome quick wins. I just looked through your backlinks and Googled around a bit. You have so much opportunity here!

One Excited SEOer

Just in case you don’t know, when I say “parasites” that is SEO-slang for high authority webpages for ranking that are NOT your own website. For our purposes it means SEO’ing other websites in order to drive traffic back to your actual homepage.

You have a few incredible links from [redacted: 3 HIGH authority posts on Alexa top 1000 sites that talk really well about his brand], you have a great relevant YouTube channel that already has some traction, a Facebook page with a lot of engagement, and possibly most importantly you have your product selling on Amazon (more on that later). I highly recommend that you just rank these in the Serps.

In the long run, high rankings for your actual business website will produce the best results, but this can take a lot longer, and is more of an uphill battle. Why would you solely focus on that when you can rank all of these pages much easier and in less time?

Why do I recommend focusing on parasites?

All of these sites have huge existing domain authority. Google trusts them, and they are already swimming with delicious link juice. With your own site, you will need to build up this trust first, but with the above parasites the trust already exists. That means these will rank much much quicker than your own, and they have an incredibly lower chance of being penalized. It’s harder to penalize a site that’s this important in the world, so you can be a little more aggressive with your link building and keyword usage.

Parasite Ranking Breakdown:

1) For the existing authority posts:

Simply go through them and pick out any keywords used in the content that are relevant to your buyers. Since you cannot actually edit and optimize these posts unless you’re the editor, you just need to start creating backlinks for these. Focus your efforts on the keywords in the post title whenever possible for easier rankings. The overall goal for these is to rank them in the SERPS so that relevant readers come from the search engines, and then click through to your website. As a bonus, your site is now already trusted by the visitors since it was “recommended” by the previous articles.

2) Your YouTube videos:

First up we need to get these videos in shape to rank.

  • Edit the video titles to be more relevant to your keywords. Try and put the targeted key-phrase 1st in the title. Note that videos that include phrases such as “reviews” or “how to” tend to rank really well in Google for those terms.
  • Put a hyperlink to your website first thing in the video description, as well as add some calls to action (annotations) to the video leading to your site. You need to coax anyone watching your video to visit your site.
  • Write nice long keyword rich video descriptions. Always use unique content.
  • Optimize your video tags. Add in a bunch of them. I personally go for both hyper relevant tags and also some of the “big” generalized tags in the industry.
  • Build backlinks for your videos. It needs to be a mix of straight backlinks, combined with “embedded” links. Google likes to see videos that have been embedded. Also, a dash of social signals can do well here. Avoid fake G+’s on videos though.
  • Get views & subscribers. Now whatever you do DON’T go buy fake YouTube views, your account can get banned. But, you still need views in order to get traction. YouTube rankings are usually the result of a combination or keywords, backlinks AND views.
  • Some things you can do to get these views:
    • 1) Send out a press release. There will usually be some viewers that click through and watch the video, and some PR sites can embed the video. As a bonus, you also get backlinks from the PR. These aren’t overly valuable, but they do certainly help.
    • 2) Email your list. Let them know that you just posted a video here and they should check it out.
    • 3) Embed these videos on your website.
    • 4) Don’t go spamming, but posting these videos on your facebook page, relevant forums or groups can get some needed views (and links).
    • 5) Incentivize viewers to subscribe and watch other videos. If you don’t tell them to they probably won’t do it.

 

3) Your Facebook Page:

Facebook pages can rank really well in Google. Some tips to make them work better:

  • Set up your “vanity url”. Make this KW relevant.
  • Put your keyword(s) all over your page. Description, Title, about page, etc. Make sure and link to your website of course 🙂
  • Link to your Facebook page from your main website, and any other properties you may control.
  • After that, it’s again just about adding in some powerful backlinks and possibly social signals.

 

4) Your Amazon Page:

Ok… this is perhaps one of your biggest opportunities and you don’t even realize it. SEO for the Amazon search engine. Based on your Amazon seller rank, it looks like you’re already making a couple of sales on Amazon and you’re not even trying. You can make massive headway here in less than 60 days.

I’m not going to re-write it all here as it’s too long, but check out this Amazon seo tool that I co-founded. It’s incredibly powerful. Sign up to the “Amazon SEO Crash Course” (the email optin on the page) and you’ll get a step-by-step blueprint on how to improve your Amazon rankings in no time.

Besides that though, you should absolutely rank this Amazon page in Google! Amazon pages rank like magic in Google, and is one of the best strategies I personally use for getting traction for my brands.

Steps:

  • Of course do all the on-page SEO like you would a normal page. Put your keyword(s) in the title, bullet points, product description, etc.
  • Try and get your URL slug to contain your keyword. Amazon is a little tricky about this as there are lots of variations. You need to find the “canonical” url, which is basically the “master” url used if there are lots of possible variations.
    • To find the canonical, right click on your Amazon listing and select “view page source”. Now do a page search (“Cmd F” on macs or “ctrl f” on pc’s) for the term “canonical” (without quotes). The URL that immediately follows this is your main URL that you will rank.
    • If this URL slug does not already contain your keyword, start tinkering with the title of the Amazon listing. When the title changes, it will change what the canonical URL is. You should use your keyword near the beginning of the title to get it in the URL.
  • Now, link to your Amazon page from ALL of the other properties you control. Your website, facebook page, twitter, etc. Give it some love.
  • Once that’s done, now you just need to get some big-boss backlinks as usual and you should be ranking in no time.
     
    Note* Sometimes there will already be another Amazon page ranking in Google. Google usually only wants to show one Amazon page in the SERPS per keyword. So, if one already exists you just need to “out-do it”. It’s usually not that hard, but don’t be surprised if you have zero rankings on the page for a few weeks, and then all of a sudden move to the very top of Google. You have to “meet and exceed” that other Amazon page. You have to prove to Google that your page is more relevant than the other old one, after which your competitors page will just disappear and your listing will take over the Google spots

 
All of the above are some of the basics for getting you some great traction within the next couple of months. Now, I’m NOT saying that this is the end-all-be-all of your business, but it can get you over the hump and give you some more runway to making this venture work.
 
If you can do these above tactics, nail down your product offer funnel, make sure your email marketing game is solid, and implement the above mentioned retargeting all at the same time then your business will probably be in much different shape 3-6 months from now. Best of luck!
 

P.S. For every person who reads this and doesn’t follow me, a baby seal gets clubbed.

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