Not so long ago, every webmaster used to start their media marketing campaign solely by keeping the ‘big daddy’ in mind.
It was the chief source of exposure – the number one search engine traffic source that helped websites get visitors. It was the most visited website on the internet, dwarfing every other site.
A whole new industry was created to optimize business websites as per this big daddy’s requirements.
Until one day…
When a new media marketing era started that made people socialize online. These new social media platforms also became a breeding ground for publishers to attract eyeballs on their content and to try and attract direct traffic from those sources.
The ‘big daddy’ I am talking about is Google. If you’ve ever started a website with the aim of getting online exposure, then you must have definitely read a couple of articles on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
And you might have even achieved great search engine traffic results from Google.
But, as they say, “don’t keep all your eggs in one basket.”
Diversifying your website traffic sources will ensure that your business does not tank in the wake of a single Google algorithmic update.
Consider Andrew, who lost 80% of his website traffic to Trollingmotors.net with the release of the Penguin update.
It was after this loss of direct traffic that he realized the risk of relying solely on Google for customers.
Don’t you dread being in a similar situation? Losing all your web traffic because Google decides to change the game.
Also, building traffic from Google requires consistent effort for 3 months or more. You need to target long-tail keywords, build authoritative backlinks and optimize your website pages for Google.
Not to mention the dominance of the click throughs received by top 3 spots in Google.
If you aren’t in the top 6, don’t expect more than 4% of clicks to your website. And if you aren’t on the first page, you can almost abandon thinking about organic traffic, direct traffic and any other kind of web traffic from Google.
Not on the first two pages?
Then be it page 3 or 300…you aren’t getting any visibility.
And I don’t think I need to tell you the difficulty in ranking in the top 3 spots for keywords that have good search volume.
The hard hitting reality is that most businesses fail to rank for their targeted commercial keywords and don’t get intended results from SEO.
Are you willing to build a more sustainable and robust source of organic traffic for your website?
Then let’s roll with 5 alternative search engines besides Googles that drive traffic your way.
Onward and upward!!
1. Drop meaningful comments on high-traffic websites in your niche
If you’ve been a SEO media site before, you might have dropped comments on blogs that use the do-follow attribute.
It used to help in deriving link building juice, building authority for your website and elevating your rankings in the search results. Even SEJ recommended blog comments to build links, back in 2007.
That’s why black hat SEOs created programs to drop automated spammy comments on a number of blogs.
I’m confident that you’ve seen comments like the ones below.
Comment spam monitoring tool, Akismet, shoves off around 7.5 million comments in an hour.
While such spamming of site content might have worked in the past, now it has minimal SEO benefit and can actually contribute to the bounce rate of web pages
You can go after blogs that allow do-follow comments. But, in terms of SEO, a single contextual backlink from an authoritative website will outrank 10 quality comments.
If your backlink profile consists of anchor text and link building only from comments, then it can be considered a link scheme by the search engines.
That does not mean you shouldn’t comment at all.
When done right, comments are a great way to show your expertise and build your brand and can only add to your marketing efforts.
In his 31 days to better blog workbook, Darren Rowse lists the following benefits of commenting.
And don’t worry about getting penalized.
Matt Cutts said that
Value-adding comments that speak to your target audience (without spammy keyword-heavy names) are fine.
Today, most blogs don’t allow do-follow comments. But, the major purpose of blog comments is to encourage visitors to start a dialogue about the site content. Every blogger wants to make their blog more interactive and social.
So, even though no-follow comments are not counted by Google to rank your website:
They are great for starting relationships with influencers and generating targeted organic traffic and leads for your business.
You should schedule some time to drop relevant and insightful comments on popular blogs in your niche. And on your own blog posts, you can help your target audience by responding to their questions.
Online marketer Sherman Smith leaves about 6 blog comments everyday. He recommends that newbie bloggers add blog commenting in their marketing arsenal.
I also answer every comment I receive on my blog posts.
In fact by leaving 249 comments, I’ve earned 3,973 visitors, 6 consulting leads and a $25,000 corporate speaking gig – all from a simple referral source of leaving comments.
Please don’t leave one word comments like “Great Post” or “Wow!” I generated only 82 visitors from such basic comments. That’s just 3.2 visitors per comment.
You should rather add substance to move the conversation forward. Spending an extra minute or two to write a stand-out comment will ensure that the readers feel intrigued enough to click through your gravatar (or name) and visit your webpage. This method is much more natural in comparison to a banner ad and will bring direct traffic organically.
My 4 to 17 sentences long comments actually contributed to a majority of visitors – 3,891 to be exact. That’s 17.4 visitors per comment.
So how can you strategize your blog commenting? Here are 5 ways.
1. Be the first to comment on popular industry blogs – If you’ve been following either of my blogs (at NeilPatel.com or Quick Sprout) recently, you are probably aware of Deepak Rana.
He is the first to comment on many of my posts and my site content.
I am thankful to him not just for belonging to 9% of my most active readers that interact with my posts, but also because his support has helped in igniting the comments section on my blogs as well which is great for reducing my bounce rate and keeping readers on the page.
Now, when he occasionally shares a link to his content piece, I make time to check it out and to give him feedback.
I am sure many of you (my regular readers) might have also clicked through his name and checked his web pages due to his prominent visibility.
So, what’s a good strategy for being among the first few to post comments on a blog as part of your marketing efforts?
i. Follow a list of influencers or high-authority blogs in your niche on Twitter and other social networks.
ii. Install news aggregator Feedly on your mobile phone and desktop. It’s a one-stop app to stay on top of content published from many websites.
Caution: The key is adding value and gracefully starting a conversation. Don’t be eager to merely comment first on blog posts without even scanning them.
2. Search for blogs that feature comments on their post – You might not always be the first one to comment.
Some blogs like Buffer allow voting from readers on the comments. The best comment is featured right below the post.
Every reader who scrolls down through the end of post will scan your comment (eye tracking studies show that we read in an F-shaped pattern on the web). This is something to consider when mapping out your marketing efforts to pull in organic traffic.
As an example, look at the featured comment by Rohan Ayyar on this post about Buffer’s one month no publishing experiment.
Buffer disagreed with a couple of arguments made by Kevan Lee in the post. And he rationalized it with proper reasoning.
People liked his insights, which led to many upvotes. And Rohan’s comment was featured at the end of the post. Of course this would have had a positive knock on effect for him in the search engine traffic results.
Rohan got great exposure from the readers on this popular post (having 2000+ social shares), which would have driven traffic to his website.
3. Conduct a unique case study and share results – What is the number one ingredient that establishes the credibility of content?
It is science and data.
Blog comments are like mini guest posting opportunities. A comment can be insightful with purely your personal thoughts.
But sharing results from personal experiments increases your chances of getting noticed. This is especially true in results-driven niches like internet marketing.
Let’s suppose you run a test on building social media traffic from Facebook and achieved decent results from organic reach.
Next, you should specifically type search terms into the web for blogs posts on Facebook Marketing. Pick high authority blogs strategically (like posts appearing in Google’s top 10 for your subject) and write a detailed comment about results from your study. If you get lucky then these posts will be shared across social media and will direct traffic to your website.
An example is Shell Harris from TopTenz. I started my blog post on driving traffic from Stumbleupon featuring incredible results she mentioned in her comment in this KISSMetrics post.
If you implemented a strategy mentioned in a post, then the author of the post will be really excited to hear your results, because it’s a proof that his strategy works.
Not only will this draw attention to you (and your website) in the current post, but you might also get featured in a future post as a case study by the blogger. Or you might land an interview with him or her. All these outcomes are awesome for individual marketing campaigns and can direct organic traffic to you.
An example is Sue Anne from Successful Blogging. She commented on this Backlinko post with her results from using Brian Dean’s infographic strategies.
This got her a mention in Backlinko’s blog post and an interview with Brian Dean for her podcast.
4. Scan your website link profile and thank the people who linked to you – Are you monitoring your website mentions regularly?
Since someone took interest in your work, you should be thankful to them for showing trust in you. You can also reciprocate their gratitude by adding any additional insights on their posts.
This strategy can help you, not only with better search engine traffic but also in cultivating a great relationship with influential bloggers in your niche.
For checking your latest link building successes, you can use a tool like Link Alerts. It sends you email notifications about the new backlinks you receive.
Want a couple of examples on how to thank people?
In my article on beginner blogging mistakes, I mentioned Ryan from Blogging Paradise. He advocated writing 364 days a year.
Ryan dropped by…