Despite the so called “apocalypse” of Panda and Penguin, I still keep hearing of people dominating the search engines with long tail traffic. But how is this possible in a world where Google penalized so many sites? And somehow the traffic to many of my sites, including this blog continues to grow! What's going on here?? Are you telling me that normal people can still get free traffic from search engines?
Of course that's what I'm saying.
Although I'll be the first to admit that I've had to adjust my own strategies in the post-Panda/Penguin world (higher quality and less automated linking), the truth is the matter that when done right, you can most definitely still get as much (and perhaps more) Google traffic as before.
Rather than just take my word for it, I want to share 4 specific business types AND specific examples of owners that are crushing it with search engine traffic right now, and how they do it.
Every local business should have a website, and should be producing content to generate leads and more sales. I personally don't own a local business, so I can't speak with authority on it. But, I recently interviewed 2 business owners that use free search engine traffic to grow their business.
First is Marcus Sheridan, that took his local pool company from the brink of financial ruin to millions of dollars in sales – PRIMARILY THROUGH BLOGGING! I think its an absolutely amazing story, and I highly recommend that you listen to the podcast interview I did with Marcus right here.
He now recommends that all local business owners start a blog and grow their business by: Producing lots of content based on what customers are asking you everyday.
He gave an awesome speech at an inbound marketing conference recently where he specifically teaches local companies how to increase sales through content production. If you have the time, I highly recommend that you what this:
He's now a major blogger in his own right and consults businesses of all kind on how to increase sales through content marketing. Marcus is a strong advocate of keyword research and finding long tail keywords. In fact, he found Long Tail Pro early in 2012, and now has this to say about it:
“Long Tail Pro is the best keyword research and blogging idea tool I’ve ever seen. This software has gotten me really, really excited and it’s a perfect tool for businesses serious about content marketing.” – Marcus Sheridan, TheSalesLion.com
The second business owner I interview recently was my cousin Jon Haws. He owns a landscaping company in Allen, TX. He literally had no business at all (he was in nursing school), but decided to throw up a niche site targeting a landscaping phrase for Allen, TX. He used the principles I teach on my blog here to find the best phrase to target with low competition.
Jon was able to rank the site quickly and started getting phones calls from customers to hire him before he even purchased any lawn equipment. Its a very interesting story that you can listen to in our podcast interview right here.
Bloggers and Affiliates
If you have a blog, you should already understand this. The single biggest way to grow your blog is to produce lots of content targeting specific keywords. I wrote about how to target keywords and use them properly right here.
However, Fraser Cain, has been successfully implementing this for over 10 years. With his site, UniverseToday.com, he makes well over $100,000 a year from Google Adsense.
How does he do it? Well, its certainly not through link building. Fraser very explicitly says that he DOES NOT link build.
His secret is keyword research, quality content, and post frequency. If you listen to the podcast I did with Fraser a little while ago, he states:
“I'm a keyword pack rat!” — Fraser Cain
In other words, there is not some secret link building formula or black magic. Fraser has been successful through finding and targeting proper keywords, writing high quality content, and writing LOTS of it.
All bloggers and affiliates can do the exact same thing. Trust me, I know it can take a while to build relationships and “hit it big”. But the reality is that search engine traffic should probably still account for 50% or more of your total traffic (even if you hit it big).
So, if you focus on proper planning and true competition analysis, you can find great keywords that can start bringing in real traffic.
Niche eCommerce Stores
I have yet to open my own niche eCommerce store. (Although I was approached by someone this week to be a partner in their eCommerce business). For this reason, I defer to someone else with experience in this area.
I was actually just contacted by one of my blog readers, Nathan Hartnett. He explained to me that he owns about 9 different Niche eCommerce stores. When he first started his business he knew very little about picking a good niche.
However, through trial and error, he finally figured out that he could get SEO traffic to his stores if he was targeting the right keywords! (Sound familiar?). He literally took almost exactly what I was doing with Niche Adsense sites, and has built out a successful niche eCommerce business which still flourishes today.
In fact, he's written a book called Retail Rebellion: How to Start Your Own Online Retail Empire. Guess what one of the topics is he writes about? Yep, keyword research and niche selection.
The final business type that can dominate search engines with long tail traffic is Niche Sites. As you all know, this is what allowed me to quit my own job.
Niche sites are all about finding low competition keywords and then building a site surrounding that keyword or set of keywords. Despite some of the recent Google updates, there are still plenty of niche sites ranking.
Again, I have been able to do well with these from proper keyword research and competition analysis.
In fact, I'm seeing some real progress with a couple of newer sites I recently created. (And many of my old sites still earn well with Google Adsense).
Conclusion and Webinar Invite
I hope I've made clear that it doesn't matter what type of business you have, you can and should be generating sales through search engines. With proper planning and accurate competitor analysis, you can dominate the search engines no matter if you are a local business, blogger, eCommerce store owner, or niche site creator.
For this reason, I am holding a webinar on Tuesday December 11th to discuss 3 specific ways you can get more search engine traffic.
On the webinar, I will cover exact tactics I've used to uncover profitable keywords for niche sites and for my blog here. In addition, I will be answering as many questions as possible…I look forward to seeing you there!
Overall, I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments on the 4 examples of businesses that are dominating with long tail traffic. I look forward to the discussion.