Google’s stricter and stricter search engine algorithm updates have got us all scared out of our minds to practice any kind of back linking that goes beyond the occasional reference in a guest post author bio.
It’s no wonder: countless sites who were performing well in SEO and raking in the big bucks as a result literally lost their traffic over night (along with their incomes) and haven’t gotten it back.
And no one wants that to happen to them again.
But for newbie online marketers, seeing the surge in traffic after a quality guest post with a backlink makes chasing a backlink-building strategy all the more tempting—especially if they feel they can get away with it for a while.
While some backlinking is okay and won’t get your site punished, it seems the moment you start to focus on it as a strategy for traffic is the moment your site rankings start to plummet and you lose all that valuable rankings you worked so hard to earn.
So now we avoid backlinks like the plague.
Fortunately, there are three solid ways you can build your organic traffic numbers and your search ranking results without risking any consequences that come with the black hat SEO practices search engines frown on.
(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 blog traffic secrets click here or the image below)
1. Add Schema Markup to Your Website
To put it simply, schema markup is code you place on your landing pages so when they show up in search results, the search engine displays the information that’s most relevant, increasing your click through rate.
Here’s how it can help your web pages stand out.
Be honest, the ones with schema markup are the ones more likely to get your clicks, right?
And they’d be more likely to actually show up in search results too.
According to Searchmetrics, more than one-third of the sites that show up in Google rankings use some sort of schema markup, but of all the websites on the internet, only 0.3% use Google-approved schema markup.
This is how it works: when you add schema markup around a word or a phrase, it tells the search engine what those words or phrases mean.
Otherwise, when a search engine parses through your article, it just acknowledges the existence of those words, not their meaning.
Schema markup can help you define your location, your pricing, user reviews, and the main topic of your website: all factors that would help a user know what you’re all about before they click through to your site.
For an article, you can markup things like title, author, publication date, main image, url, and a featured section.
Google has an easy-to-follow Structured Data Markup Helper that leads you step-by-step through the schema markup process based on the type of items you want to boost your search engine rankings on.
2. Write a Reconsideration Request to Google
If you’ve got a niche site you’ve been running for a while that saw some negative fall out from one or a few of Google’s search algorithm updates, all hope is not lost—even if you were involved in black hat backlink building.
The people working at Google understand that you might have accidentally hired a shady agency to take care of your site marketing, or that you might have just been building links in happy ignorance only to be shocked to find out that what you were doing was wrong.
For these kinds of cases, they’ve created a reconsideration process that gives you a chance to prove yourself and show that your website offers quality content without spamming the internet.
However, getting your website reconsidered and the punishment action removed isn’t nearly as simple as writing a note that says, “Please forgive me Google. I promise to behave better in the future.”
First, you need to figure out which manual actions Google has taken against your site in relation to your accidentally excessive back links by checking it out in your webmaster tools.
Once you’ve got that down, remove as many of your excessive, non-quality backlinks as you possibly can.
If you can’t remove them, you need to at least disavow them.
(Just know that simply disavowing all your links because it’s easier than going through the work of removing them will not get your request approved: you need to prove you’ve made a good-faith effort to manually remove as many backlinks as possible. Search Engine Watch put together a nice guide to help you get started on removing backlinks.)
Once that’s done, put together some examples of how you’ve removed all the rogue links and stopped black hat SEO activity.
If you hired a shady agency by mistake, tell Google the full story and let them know that you’ve hired a better agency or how you’re taking care of it yourself.
If you were the one to blame, own up to it, but tell them the techniques you’re sticking to now to promote your site.
If you put in the required elbow grease to undo your past SEO mistakes and are honest in your reconsideration note, there’s no reason Google wouldn’t grant your request and take away your manual actions, giving you back the boost of traffic you need to make your site more successful.
3. Get Serious About Content Distribution
If content is king, then distribution is queen: it might be an over-stated mantra, but it’s true.
As a marketing consultant, I see far too many content producers broadcast their content over a handful of social media channels with false hopes that that’s all it takes to draw in new, quality audience members.
The need for quality, engaging content is a given.
But unfortunately, all too many niche marketers ignore or skim over the need for in-depth, strategic distribution of their current and past content as a key strategy for building quality, information-hungry traffic to their sites.
After all, what good does it do to put in hours creating killer content if you only get traffic from it for a week after it publishes?
It does some good, to be certain, but the potential is nearly limitless.
But to reach those limitless possibilities of exponential shares and free, incoming traffic, you’ve got to have a planned, strategic content distribution plan that tells you what to post: where and when.
But distribution includes far more than social media.
It includes guest blogging, inter-linking your own website, your email list, and even events.
A good way to keep yourself on track with content distribution is by using a spreadsheet tracker so you can plan which pieces of content you’ll share where, and when.
Tracking this on a weekly or monthly basis keeps you accountable to yourself and lets you plan in advance what the best pieces of content to share will be in correlation to your marketing strategies and product launches.
(P.S. If you'd like to download a free checklist of 31 traffic hacks click here or the image below)
Finding New Ways to Build Traffic as Niche Marketers
As a niche marketer, boosting your quality organic traffic without backlinks is all about planning and strategy.
What are some of the best ways you’ve found to boost your organic traffic without working on backlinks?
Any techniques you’ve implemented you think other niche marketers could benefit from?
We’d love to know more.