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stoplight_colorsLevel: Beginner
Get Involved: 30-Day Challenge Signup
Details: Read About The Challenge

Prerequisites: Affiliate Marketing 101 Course (free!)

Guess what?  You graduated!  As of right now, we’re moving out of the content and website phase of being an affiliate, right into the traffic part of the course!

I can’t tell you how many emails and comments I’ve fielded saying, “Thank you for all the great training, but I already have content done…  I need traffic!”  And boy do I get that!

Before making the jump right to getting traffic though, I need to give you a bit of a walkabout.  I need to bring you up to speed on the way things work in the search engines so you can move your sites and your articles up the ranks as quickly as possible.

Keep in mind, this stuff changes OFTEN!  Every other month, Google is levying some huge update that renders some sites useless, while skyrocketing others.  We’re going to do our best to keep you updated by testing stuff out for you, but know that just because something works now, doesn’t mean it will forever.

Free Traffic vs. Paid Traffic

billboard-advertisementTo be clear, all traffic is paid.  Some forms of traffic you pay for with money.  Other forms of traffic, you pay for with time.  Either way, there is a cost involved.

Free traffic is characterized by website visitors that you don’t pay money to get.  They click a link, visit your site, and hopefully take some action that you want them to.  The most common form of easy, free traffic is from the search engines; namely Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Paid traffic, on the other hand, can be anything from Facebook Ads to Google Adwords, banners on SiteScout to BuySellAds, and everything in between.  There are countless ways to pay for traffic online – not all of them will work for you.

So, at first, we’re going to stick with the one thing we know works where you can invest a little bit of time and get traffic for months (or years even)!

That one thing is Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.

Search Engine Optimization 101

SEOThe goal of Search Engine Optimization is to rank your websites as high in the search engines as possible, with Google being your main priority as it represents your largest source of traffic.

To do that, there are 3 things that you need to concentrate on:

  • On-Page SEO – This is everything that happens on your site… Articles, keywords, images, linking structure. The good news is that if you followed the 30-Day Challenge up until this point, then this part is already done!
  • Off-Page SEO – Off Page SEO is everything that happens outside of your site… The links pointing to your site. The linking text. The quality and quantity of links. This is the part we’re going to be messing with through the rest of the Affiliate Website section of the Challenge!
  • Social SEO – Social SEO is still pretty new, but is taking hold as we speak.  Basically, search engines are looking for ‘human interaction’ when it comes to content.  Things like comments on your article, Facebook Likes and Shares, Twitter Retweets, Youtube Views and Comments, LinkedIn Shares, and all the other various forms of likes, shares and pins.  In short, Google is looking for humans to vet content for them.

There are over 200 different major factors in the Google algorithm, spanning everything from incoming links to keyword density to social interaction…  So, to get a handle on it, we’ll break it down one by one in the coming lessons.

Your #1 Priority = Be Natural

emoticon20n-1-webHere’s the thing about SEO…  If you do something that seems spammy to you, it will most likely get you blacklisted in Google.  That’s what all of the updates have been about for the most part.

  • If you build links too fast, you get slapped.
  • If you build only one type of link, like from article directories or social bookmarks, you get slapped.
  • If you build only low quality links, you get slapped.
  • If you write content that isn’t specific to one keyword, you get slapped.

The goal is to build a solid foundation for your site to stand on, as naturally as possible.

Let’s go for a little hypothetical tour of what Google is looking for.

Let’s say some random, new site is launched.  This is about what happens:

  1. The site goes live and puts up a few articles.  Chances are, they might get a few links, maybe 2 or 3.
  2. The site owner shares an article on Facebook and Twitter and they get 10-15 shares.
  3. A week later, they get some media converge, where they get a few more incoming links from bloggers, like 15-20.
  4. Because of that blogger coverage, they get added to some social bookmark sites so people can reference them later.
  5. One of the people who was following a friend’s social bookmarks works for Time.com and needed to write a story about a cool startup, so they covered the new website.
  6. The Time.com article gave the website an authority backlink, and exposure on 100 or so brand new blogs (creating a lot of low level links, as well as a few upper level links…)

What you just read is natural SEO at it’s finest.  It’s what Google expects to see when a new site is launched.  They expect to see a bunch of different kinds of links, as well as backlinks from low profile and high profile sites alike.  Google also expects to see some social interaction, like Facebook Shares or social bookmarks.

Nowadays, it isn’t about who has more links or who has better content.  It’s about who has a better backlink profile!

So, our job as affiliate marketers and search optimizers is to make Google believe that what they’re seeing with our site is the same natural profile as they’ve come to expect…  That’s what gets the rankings!

Plus, if you do this…  If you build naturally…  You won’t EVER be slapped.  How could you?  You’re doing the exact same thing as the biggest, most prolific sites in the world.  The only difference is that you’re doing it yourself rather than waiting for someone else to find you!

Up Next…

By the time we finish the affiliate website section of this challenge, you will know how to build each of the different kinds of backlinks we talked about above.  You’ll know how to get:

  • Article directory links
  • Social bookmarks
  • Social votes
  • Blog comment links
  • High PR links (authority sites)
  • Press release links (these are HOT right now!)
  • Youtube links
  • Open linkwheel links

Each day will focus on one of those topics.  You can also jump ahead and dive into the SEO section of the Affiliate Marketing 101 course!  (free sign up here!)

Thoughts?

In the comment section, please let me know that questions that you have about SEO, and I’ll try to make sure to address it in the coming lessons.  It might be about article marketing, blog commenting, anchor text, or whatever else.

Talk soon!

Jason

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21 Responses to Day 6: Free Traffic Basics

  1. Alex says:

    Some people say that press release links can be risky these days.

    • Jason Drohn says:

      Hey Alex! I actually haven’t heard that they’re risky at all. We’ve gotten a ton of Page 1, Spot 1 rankings because of press releases done on PRweb.

  2. I have had great success using vast keyword diversity incorperated in silo structures. I often get ranking for multiple keywords and many without additional backlinks. Have you had similar results?

    • Jason Drohn says:

      Sometimes. We always get far better results by optimizing for one keyword and scattering LSI keywords through a 1000 or so word post. Then, we’ll rank for the primary keyword and a lot of other, related keywords. After that, it’s just building links and maintaining those rankings.

      Also, please include your name in the ‘name’ box. That way we know who we’re talking to :0)

  3. […] linkbuilding.  SEO’s used it for years as pretty much the only way of building links, and, as we learned yesterday, one solitary kind of incoming link isn’t ‘natural.’   The result was a massive […]

  4. jennifer says:

    HI Jason,
    I would like to review your product, getting good grades guide, before promoting it. How can I get a copy?

  5. […] back when I was talking about the Free Traffic Basics, and referred to having good link diversity – this is what I was talking […]

  6. Jason Ellis says:

    Jason, Do the articles posted on Web 2.0 sites (for backlinking purposes) need to be unique? I ask because there are a lot of free PLR articles out there and if I can just repurpose them to post on Web 2.0 sites (some obvious exclusions apply for website stipulations – Ezinarticles, Squidoo etc) it will save me a TON of time in creating backlinks. I really really hope you respond as I’m looking to get started on this strategy as soon as possible :)

    • Jason Drohn says:

      Hi Jason! The articles need to be 30% unique.. So if you rewrite a 2 paragraphs or so, you’ll fly under the wire.

      The reason it’s 30% is because there are a fair number of ‘news’ blogs that will take a quote from another site, republish it, and put their own spin on it. The republished part usually comprises quite a bit of the article, if that makes sense.

      So 30% unique is recommended :0)

  7. Jason Ellis says:

    I have to say, I just finished your Off-Page Optimization module – WHOA :)

    I think there are two main bottlenecks I keep running into…

    #1 is the time is takes to actually create these diversified backlink portfolios (because you’re also building content on your Money Sites every day) and #2 is the expense of outsourcing the article creation.

    For example, I use the Content Authority for my article writing. To create a 500 word article for purposes of backlink distribution, it would cost $7.50 – so for 20 backlinking articles it costs $150

    For higher quality articles that go ON my money site, I pay about $16 per article (800 words). Those articles go on my money site only. My sites start out at 10 pages ($160)

    At this point, I’m looking at a total content cost of about $310 ($150+$160) per site between on-page and off-page optimization. How much money do I invest after that in content creation for backlinking? Should I stop at $310, move onto another site and see if that original one starts ranking and converting?

    In other words, how do you determine how much time and money to put into a new site initially before moving onto the next money site?

    • Jason Drohn says:

      Thanks Jason!

      What we do is build the site with between 3-6 articles (15-20 pages when done in WordPress because of categories, tags, etc).

      Then, do a few article marketing campaigns, social posting campaigns, and authority links.. Usually between 2 and 4 of each. So really, you only need 2-4 spun articles to pull that off…

      Then, we wait. We track the rankings of the keywords for about 2 weeks.

      If one of those keywords pops up above Page 6 of Google, we know we have a winner. All that post needs is more links to get to Page 1. For the keywords (or whole sites) that don’t get above Page 6, we stop working on it.

      Sometimes, those sites will come back in month 2 or 6. Sometimes they won’t. But ultimately, we let Google be the judge of what sites we are working on through keyword tracking.

      Does that make sense?

      If you follow something similar, you won’t be spending nearly as much on outsourcing, and your time will be better spent I think.

      – Jason

      • Jason Ellis says:

        That’s great, yes! Thanks very much. Kind of the “throw a bunch of spaghetti against the wall and see what sticks” approach ;) Of course, the difference being with Market Samurai keyword research, you’ll have a way better chance of throwing some sticky spaghetti lol.

      • Karl says:

        Hi jason,

        So am I correct in thinking that each article/post on your new site would get:

        1 x article marketing campaign (30 days distribution)
        1 x social bookmarking/voting campaign with (Social ADR and Onlywire syndication)
        Between 2 and 4 Direct In Post Authority Backlinks PR3 and above (higher the better) with mixed anchor text (33%Keyword loaded) (33% URL) (33% Click Here Etc or LSI keyworded)

        Wait for 2 weeks or more before deciding whether to invest further on Backlinks through PRweb etc.

        Best

        Karl

  8. […] There are 3 parts to successfully SEOing your website.  You read about these in Free Traffic Basics: […]

  9. Janie says:

    I was just watching your review webinar about monitizing websites and it made me wonder if Google might give a Page Rank preference to sites that have AdSense advertising. I know Google is all about providing good content, but all else being equal do you think a website could get an SEO boost by showing their ads?

    • Jason Drohn says:

      Janie! That is a great question! We haven’t ever seen it have a direct impact on our page ranking, but it would make sense that it would… Google would want to rank sites with Adsense better so they get more traffic (and more ad impressions/clicks)! Makes total sense.

      I can’t say we’ve tested it extensively, but from what we’ve seen it doesn’t make a difference. Embedding a Youtube video might get you some extra points too :0)

  10. Karl Dobbs says:

    Hi Jason,

    I read your comment about once you build your site your would do between 2 & 4 of those three backlinking tasks.

    Is that 2 to 4 per article or 2 to 4 per site total to see what sticks? Do you post 1 article and then do the back linking to that article and then the next day move on to the next article and so on? Or would you get all 6 articles up first and then start the back linking process to each article in turn?

    Can you do an article marketing campaign for every page/post on your site or is that too spammy?

    Also I use All In One SEO. I currently have it set for google to Noindex Date, Author and Tag Archives and NoIndex on the The Search Page. But ToIndex categories.

    I notice you mention that the site will have 20 pages above because of tags and categories. Should I be letting Google Index all these. Or is duplicate content an Issue and I should set everything to NoIndex including categories.

    Do you have a section for recommended settings for the All In One SEO?

    Best Regards

    Karl

    • Jason Drohn says:

      Hi Karl! Thanks for the in depth question :0) I’m going to break it apart a little and answer that way..

      – I personally start the back linking immediately after I publish a post. You may publish 6 posts and then start back linking – just make sure you do it. I find that if I put it off, I won’t get to it because ‘there’s just so much to do!!’ LOL

      – When you start a website, you can do article marketing for every page/post you publish. As your site matures, you don’t have to do that.. Maybe once a week or only for important posts.

      – All In One SEO – I’ve never had a problem letting Google index tag and category pages. It sounds like you’re setting it up way more strict that I do..

      – I’m actually moving a lot of our video training over, so there will be a section soon. For right now, you’ll see the settings and stuff in this section: http://levelingupacademy.com/members/dashboard/3-2-creating-a-website/. 4th video down, plugins, themes, settings, options, etc..

      J

  11. […] Content Google Loves Day 4: Publishing Your Stuff! Day 5: Money Making Site Tweaks Day 6: Free Traffic Basics Day 7: Building Links With Articles Day 8: Social Posting And Content Syndication Day 9: How To […]

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