How do you get more traffic to your website? First Page Sage founder Evan Bailyn says there are two ways:
“You can forcibly push traffic from one website to yours through ads or marketing, or you can pull traffic to your website through creation or curation.”
As far as Bailyn is concerned, the second way is much better. At yesterday’s Social Curation Summit in Los Angeles, the SEO expert and author of Outsmarting Google shared best practices for pulling readers in.
The first step for curators, he said, is to “create fabulous, niche content by putting a unique spin on collected media.” If you can’t be the best at something big, try being the best at something small.
“The more serious someone is about the search box,” Bailyn explained, “the more serious they are” about their search in general. Instead of trying to come up first in the search results for “best colleges,” try “best programs for learning maya 3d animation software” to get a new student.
“Google loves links and social sharing,” said Bailyn. The more sites you have linking to you, the more valuable your content becomes. “It’s sort of like votes in an election,” he added.
This, you might already know.
What you might not know is that some website administrators improve their results by reaching out to category experts and tastemakers through Twitter, industry blogs, conference speaker lists, and realtime search engines like Topsy and asking them for a link-back.
Asking for a link on a web page is more important than asking for a retweet or a Facebook share, said Bailyn, because on Google, social sharing is not equivalent to a link. (Not everyone at the Summit agreed with him on that point.)
It’ll take 10 to 20 emails a day to get a response and maybe 1 in 5 will result in a link. Bailyn recommends sending a compliment and an idea. Instead of asking directly for a link-back, ask the email recipients if they would share the piece with their audiences. Remember to think about how the content will benefit them as well as you.
Bonus tip: you need to own a URL for 24 hours to get the benefit of sharing it with others. Before you send out emails asking people to link back to you, Bailyn said to put the link on your website under a secret URL, keep it there for a couple days, place the tag on it, and then offer an exclusive to someone else.
Image by Annette Shaff via Shutterstock.