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Building Traffic for Dummies – Part 1

You’ve spent a considerable amount of time and money creating a fully monetized website with all of the newest gadgets and coolest plugins that the online world has to offer. Your sales funnel is absolutely air tight and will undoubtedly convert, bringing you untold amounts of revenue. The only problem is, you have no traffic.

Yes, content is king, but traffic holds the keys to the castle. Without it, all of your hard work will be in vain. There is absolutely no way around it. No matter how amazing your content is and no matter how desperately your target market needs your product, you will not see a single penny unless you are consistently building traffic.

As far as internet marketing goes, building traffic is one of the most difficult, yet rewarding aspects to fully master. Most marketers fail because they refuse to implement some of the most rudimentary traffic building techniques that could potentially lead to big paydays down the line.

Sure, you could fork out money, hand over fist for paid ads, but who wants to spend the rest of their marketing career paying for leads when they can have them dropped directly into their lap for free?

Some of these techniques may take some time to reach their full potential, but once they do, the juice is definitely worth the squeeze. All too often, marketers look for instant gratification, which should NOT be part of YOUR marketing plan.

For the sake of those looking to increase their revenue by flooding their site with highly targeted traffic, this guide is perfect for you.  In this 2 two part series, I will expand on how to begin to acquire traffic for even the most novice of marketers.

Keyword Analysis

The first step in the traffic building process is to discover the right keywords to target.  Most simply go into Google’s Keyword Planner, type in a few words that suit their niche, and look for those that have low competition, yet offer a substantial amount of traffic.

Though using the Keyword Planner is helpful, this is NOT the only step that needs to be taken. We have a lot to cover, so we aren’t going to delve too deep into the process of searching for keywords, but I will give you a few pointers that will help you on your way.

Until you’ve built up some authority, the majority of your keywords should be long tailed with a buyer’s intent. A “buyer’s intent” simply means that the keywords you choose should focus on the consumers that are interested in purchasing an item.

For instance, if I were to sell the Kindle Fire, a solid keyword phrase would be, “Where can I buy a Kindle?” or something of that nature.  Notice the intent of the search is to find the item in question and potentially make a purchase.

For this specific phrase, the suggested PPC bid is approximately $1.00. That means, in order to receive a return on an investment for placing an ad for this search term, marketers expect to receive at least $1.00 for every person that clicks on the ad. A high suggested PPC bid means that this is a highly sought after word because the traffic will likely convert to sales.

Once you’ve chosen your keyword phrase, it is time to test out the competition. Just because the Keyword Planner said that the competition is low, does not necessarily mean that it will be easy to rank on the first page. For this task, I would suggest equipping your browser with a nifty little tool called SEO Quake. It is a free extension that will allow you to quickly analyze the competition. If the competition is low, then perhaps you’ve found a lucrative keyword.

Think Outside the Box

Quality content has become an increasingly important role in the success of any site. Posting relevant content often, will eventually catch the eye of the Google web crawlers, and notify them that your site is worthy of being ranked.

Your content needs to be original.  What is your unique perspective on a topic that is going to convince your audience that you are not only worth reading, but worth sharing with others? Topics like “How to Burn Fat” and “How to Make Money Online”have been done to death.

What do you bring to the table that differentiates yourself from the thousands of others out there in your niche? There is no need to re-invent the wheel, but you must come up with something worthwhile in order to build your viewership.

Creating Content

The amount per post also plays a strong role in how the audience (and Google) views your site. Below is a graph produced by MOZ that showed the popularity of their pages based on word length.  Notice that the longer posts received a significant amount of attention compared to the shorter, less informative ones.

building traffic

This second graph shows the exact same posts in order, but replaces the word count with the amount of backlinks that were received. Notice a direct correlation to the amount of content that was created and the total number of backlinks. They’re almost identical!

how to drive trafficAdded infographics, videos, or other visual aids will also help in further engaging your audience as well.

Using Social Media to Your Advantage

Obviously if you’ve been around longer than a day, you know I am a strong advocate of social media. It helps unite marketers and their potential consumers in a way that simply was not possible 10 years ago. You now have the ability to hold full blown conversations with your audience on a daily basis, and they will likely respond back in kind. What more could you want?

Not only should you provide your blog content to your viewers via social media, but also offer free giveaways to garner some attention, consistently post about relevant topics that affect them (whether niche related or not), and always try to offer helpful advice whenever possible.

One of the best kept secrets for engaging new viewers is StumbleUpon and Google+ Communities. With StumbleUpon, you simply need to post your content and viewers will come to you when searching for a related topic. It really is that easy.  As for Google+ Communities, you can carry on conversations, offer advice, or link to your content for thousands of viewers to see.

Many communities frown upon spamming so it is important to ensure that your posts always link to something informative that offers value to the reader, and most of all, is relevant to the community that you posted in.

Posts that work the best on social media:

  • Open-ended questions
  • Pictures with “caption this”
  • “Like” / “Share” if you agree

Become an Authority by Seeking Out an Authority

Just because your site is brand new, does not mean that others will pass up the opportunity for more exposure.  Find the most influential people within your niche and ask them for an interview. By being polite and cordial, B2B relationships are easy to come by. Send them a short email introducing yourself and your site.

Explain your intentions and offer them an interview. Most of the top level marketers are obviously going to be busy, which is understandable, but an interview could be as un-invasive as emailing them a quick questionnaire.

For those that do reply, this could be the opportunity that you were looking for. Once the interview is finished, prior to publishing it, ensure that you provide the interviewee with a copy. If they enjoy it, then go ahead and publish your new content and politely ask them to share the interview with their followers.

Most marketers are more than willing to flex their “guru guns” by showing their audience how sought after they really are. This could potentially lead to a dramatic increase in traffic, and if you’re really lucky, they will link to it on their site with will provide your site with a nice SEO boost.

Fun with Infographics

Infographics spread like wildfire, plain and simple. A site such as Visual.ly will allow you to create stunning graphics in which you can share on your website and through your major social media accounts (especially Pinterest).

What should your infographics contain?

  • Choose an incredible headline
  • Short, yet rich data points that explain your topic well (Stats work extremely well for this)
  • Keep the data points between 8-9 max as any more will just look like clutter
  • Choose a designer that can offer 3-D graphics
  • Vertical infographics work better than horizontal ones
  • Add both your logo and URL at the bottom

Once you’ve created your infographic, it’s time to promote. By adding the Embed Code Generator plugin, you can add a clickable url to your infographic that will link directly back to your site whenever someone shares it on their site. It’s simple, yet effective marketing that generates the best results.

In Part 2 of this series we will be digging even deeper into more intricate methods that will bring even the newest site some serious traffic. If you found this post helpful, feel free to leave a comment below!


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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...


  1. Excellent information Sean. I learned more in five minutes for free than I have in hours buying infoproducts. Thanks for the tips. Keep them coming.

  2. Good read! Very informative

  3. Thank you for posting this Sean! This is very helpful. I am looking forward for another informative posts from you.

  4. I was waiting for this kind of post before. I want to say thank you for this. Keep posting stuffs like this 🙂

  5. I had an online business before and it flopped. I am glad to see this post so I can drive traffic to my site. This is very helpful. Thank you for posting this!

  6. I have learned that to have a very successful online business is to have awesome traffic to websites. I am very happy to find this. Thank you so much Sean!

  7. Thanks for this post. Very helpful!

  8. Thank you for this. A ton of information like this one should be posted. This will really help me in getting traffic to my sites.

  9. This is great info, Sean … but the *one* thing I find missing in such posts is PHYSICAL PRODUCTS. Everything is aimed at info (not just by you, by all gurus) and we poor slobs who are trying to move hard goods are overlooked. If you know a source, please direct me ….

    • A great point but a lot of these applications can also be applied to physical products. Think about listing an ecommerce store and promoting individual products in the same way. I also have clients who use these techniques for their products they list on Amazon as well. Its just a case of adaption 🙂

  10. This is another helpful post. I have read your other posts and they are all informative. Thank you Sean!

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