How To Build Websites And Get Traffic In 2012
I’ve been building websites and blogs for years. For the first time in a really long time; things took a turn for the better (or worse?) in 2011.
Building successful anything online has become a little more difficult. No longer can you follow the simple 4 step formula of:
- Build Site
- Add Content
- Build Backlinks
- Get Traffic
As you probably already know; the search engines are a main traffic source for millions of sites across the globe. Getting lots of search engine traffic is essential if you want to build successful websites in 2012 and beyond. In early 2011; Google finally got round to shaking up the search results.
The panda updates started…
Google started rolling out what they called Google Panda updates. The updates were supposed to get rid of low quality sites and make the search engines yield better, more targeted and useful results. In reality; they didn’t do a great job. Sure they cleared up a lot of stuff and penalized many of the crappy sites out there.
They focused on user experience metrics. Metrics like avg. time spent on site, avg. page views/visit and other on-site metrics to figure out which sites were actually useful for their users. Panda virtualy crushed thousands of low quality sites, especially those using spammy link building practices.
Every intelligent webmaster knows all of this; but hardly any of them are doing anything about it.
If you want your websites and blogs to strive in 2012 and beyond; you need to focus on these factors:
1. Awesome Website Design
Many of the websites that got spanked in 2011 had bad designs. Having a bad design will lead to low time spent on site and a low avg. page views per visit. Even if your content is perfect; a bad design can really screw you over. My advice is to find a nice WP theme if you’re on a budget, or otherwise hire a designer and spend as much as you can on a killer design. ($1000-$10,000 is about right – any less and you’re not going to get anything special)
2. Amazing Content
Your site’s content should be your number 1 priority. If your content sucks, no one’s going to stick around. Unless your content is excellent and provides huge TARGETED value; no one’s going to share it, return to your website again or stick around for longer than 60 seconds. Remember that old saying content is king? Well it’s true now more than ever.
In 2012 and beyond Google is going to be paying more and more attention to content quality. Google has always paid close attention to content quality. After all, every ranking factor in existence was created to push the best content to the top of Google. Like backlinks. Google made backlinks King because they figured the more links pages have; the more popular they must be…
…And if they’re popular, the content better be pretty damn good. Or otherwise who would link to it?
Anyway, enough said about that. Google is going to continue to find more ways to bring the best content to its users. Google will lean more and more on factors like social sharing rather than link building. After all; link building can be most easily manipulated. That’s why your content must be bad ass… PERIOD.
3. Social Media
Social media is becoming increasingly more important. For traffic generation, website promotion, branding, building a tribe and of course SEO. I personally am not a huge fan of social media. I only do it because it’s accountable for a huge percentage of my traffic and overall online success.
Right now Google looks directly at social media for many ranking factors. Factors like:
- Number Of Times Your Content Has Been Shared On Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus One And Bookmarking Sites
- Number Of Facebook Likes You Have
- Number Of Followers You Have
From where I stand; it looks like Google is moving towards social media and away from the traditional link building factors to influence rankings. As I mentioned, link building is easily manipulated; unlike social media. You can read entire books on social media and how you can use it to promote your sites. I’ll save you the trouble by spelling it out for you right here:
1. Get Active On Social Networks
2. Encourage Social Sharing Of Your Content
3. Build Fan Base
In a sentence; the more social activity surrounding your site, the better it will do. The higher it will rank in the search engines, the more referral traffic it will get and the bigger its tribe will grow.
If you want a really successful website, you need to build a tribe. A community of people who love your site’s content and are happy to promote it for you. That’s the key right there. Building a community of people who will promote your site for you. How on earth?
By getting them to share your content on their favorite social networks. It’s as simple as using social sharing buttons and asking your readers to use them. But how do you build a tribe? That’s also simple; write great content and collect email addresses. You can easily build an email list and send subscribers to your new blog posts. If your content rocks, visitors will happily subscribe and turn into repeat visitors. (To collect emails use Aweber; or an alternative is to promote your RSS feed)
Once visitor’s have read a few posts, they’ll start to share them (just as long as you encourage sharing). If you’re not getting enough traffic to build a tribe; you need to focus on marketing strategies like guest blogging, article marketing, blog commenting and basic SEO.
Really, building a successful website comes down to 9 things:
- Have A Good Design
- Write Great Content
- Have Air Tight SEO
- Target Keywords
- Encourage Social Sharing
- Build A Tribe
- Get Tribe To Read And Share All Your Content
- Get Direct Referral Traffic, Rank In The Search Engines And Get More Traffic
P.S. Leave me your thoughts, comments and questions in the box below. Also opt-in to the email list on the right for more traffic generation & online promotion tips, tricks and secrets.