Whether you’re just starting out or have been trying for some time, if you’re not making money then you’re frustrated. Now there’s no shame in making money online. You don’t have to be a spammer or a shark. All you have to do is provide what people want, when they want it with a design they like and trust. That’s it.
So if you’re frustrated I want you to do these 5 things to make concrete repeatable progress online:
1. Google Analytics. Get Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools on your site. Don’t worry about setting up the Analytics goals and funnels yet. Just make sure that you’ve got visitor and keyword tracking on your site. If you use WordPress get the Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools plugin and add them both to your site. That’s not too difficult, is it?
2. Choose 1 Keyword. Choose a keyword in your niche that gets a couple hundred searches per month but doesn’t exceed 20 competing websites. If you use the Wordtracker part of BrainstormTools.com it’ll give you all the relevant data. If you aren’t using any paid keyword tool, contact me and I’ll run a good keyword list for you. We want to work with ONE keyword in your niche.
If you pick a keyword that’s non-commercal – then we’re going to work on list buiding. If you’re picking a commercial keyword, then we’re going to work on sales. Now the difference between commercial and non-commercial is simple. “Buy Auto Mechanic Tools” is way different than “benefits of a framing hammer”. The guy searching for the “benefits” may not be looking to buy anything at all. The guy searching to “buy” is likely looking to “buy”.
3. Write a Post or Page. Write a post or page about this keyword. The key here is to write it in the voice of your audience, with your knowledge and authority and the structure the search engines want to see. Make sure the keyword you chose is part of the blog post title. Make sure the keyword is part of the Page Title and Page Description and make sure you mention the keyword twice in your body copy (that’s a good start). Then make sure the Google Analytics code is on the page (for non-Wordpress users).
Finally, what is it you want your reader to do after reading this page? That needs to be in there. Do we want them to buy something or get on a list? If you want them to buy something then your copy needs to help them make the transition from searching to buying. If you want them to get on your list, then we need to provide incentive for them to do so.
4. The Social Side. One thing you control is the social media side of the SEO equation. For this first post I want you to use your warm market to help you. That means make sure you tweet your article, post it on Facebook, add the image to Pinterest and make a quick video to put on Youtube.
Now ask your market (friends, customers, acquaintances) to help you retweet these things. Have them comment on the blog post. Have them embed the video on their site. And don’t forget to ask people to press the 1+ button. This social part is an important step.
5. Moving up the ladder. Now, head over to Google Webmaster Tools a few days later and check to see where your page is ranking for your keyword. This is where we see the evidence of our success. We also want to use Google Analytics to see if other search terms are bringing traffic to your post.
Now take your main keyword and plug it into the contextual targeting tool in Google Adwords. Write a couple more blog posts using the keywords in the first column and link back to your main post. When people read these two articles, our goal is that they click a link and go to the main article. So weave that into the copy.
Designing the Results. Now we’ve got 1 keyword, 1 post, internal incoming links, external incoming links and awareness from your market that the page exists. Wait a day or two and see what Google Webmaster Tools says about your ranking for this post and keyword.
If that wasn’t enough to move you up in Google, try adding a Slideshare presentation with link back, a doc to docstock.com with a link back, another related blog post, a guest post on another site, or an audio file via Tout or BlogTalkRadio with a link back. Then check Google Webmaster Tools and see how you’re doing.
Our goal here is to raise this post in Google’s search results so we have some daily incoming traffic. Once that happens, then we get to start testing the opt-in box or the “buy now” button. You’ll want to wait until 300 people have come to the page before you make any decisions. If after that your conversion rate is less than 10%, try changing something.
Pick a new spot for the opt-in box, or choose a new style. Perhaps change the “subscribe now” button to something like “I definitely want to try that”. Change it from Blue to Red. Change something and see what happens.
What you want to learn is what helps make your posts rise in Google’s search results. What gets them to take an action. What language gets them to buy. You want to test, take notes and learn from what you’re doing. And then when it works – start over with another keyword.