Yes, it’s a bold statement, because for years all the SEO experts have been telling you to build your backlinks and get guest posting to Improve Google Ranking.
But today I’ll show you how to enjoy FREE Organic Traffic for your blog without spending days or weeks pitching people, and trying to get backlinks from them.
Yep, I barely even bothered with backlinks for one of my niche blogs and in less than 6 months I’m already enjoying plenty of FREE Organic Traffic.
Do you need Link Building Strategies?
For years, I thought this was the key to success to Improve Google Ranking but maybe things have changed in 2016. Just maybe Google is starting to catch up with all the people trying to ‘game SEO’ and beat Google at its own game.
Sure backlinking is one of the most common Link Building Strategies you can use, but do you really have the time to do this?
In the past, Bloggers tended to get backlinks when commenting on other people’s blogs and everything was working well until Google decided that these backlinks were no longer going to improve your ranking.
And we were told that submitting your blog to directory services is the sure way to get ranked faster. And now this can actually hurt your ranking and not improve it.
So perhaps you’ll get desperate and Buy Backlinks in the hope that you’ll rank faster, but do you really know what you’re buying? Google is delisting suspect websites all the time, so buying backlinks from the wrong site could actually hurt your ranking.
Can you see a trend here?
You spend so much time building your backlinks and forget the one thing that really matters.
Aha! So all I need is to do guest posting and build my links that way.
Do you need a Guest Posting Strategy?
Of course, it does help to get more exposure to other people’s audiences and this has been another popular Link Building Strategy.
But have you seriously tried to get a guest post opportunity from a popular Blogger?
First, you’ll need to catch their attention via Social Media, or email. And you won’t be the only one.
Then comes the pitch on how you’ll totally blow their readers minds.
Perhaps you’ll need to write a long form post of 2000 words or more just for the pitch.
And then maybe they don’t like your work in the end anyway.
Now don’t get me wrong, Guest Posting is a great strategy to use if you want to spend the time writing on someone else’s blog, but what about yours?
Is it getting neglected?
If you drive the traffic to your blog, will the readers stay for the few articles you’ve written?
Sure, the traffic from that Guest Post will provide an initial spike in interest, but unless it gets ranked in Google Search you won’t continue to enjoy the benefits of ongoing traffic over time.
Time to write another guest post?
Should you do Keyword Research?
Now we’re starting to get somewhere.
Keyword Research is still the most relevant way to Improve your Google Ranking, IMHO. Why?
Becuase Google Search is an algorithm which means it works with rules.
And the number one rule Google must satisfy is to find the article that best suits the Googlers needs.
How does Keyword Research work?
If you do a Google search for ‘cats’ do you expect to find websites about ‘dogs’ ? Or course not.
Now, what if I search for ‘popular cat names’ do you expect to find an article about ‘popular cat breeds’ ? Definitely not.
See where this is going?
People search for specific things and want specific results.
So if I search for ‘popular cat names’ I get cat names but I also see these other related keywords at the bottom of the Google Search results
So it’s safe to assume Google relates these terms with ‘popular cat names’ and you should try to include some of these related words within the body of your post. Preferably make them a section and use H2 or H3 tags as Google prefers this.
Use the Save Time Strategy Instead
As a blogger, you’ll need to decide if you want Organic Traffic or simply want to find your own Website Traffic. Organic Traffic is FREE and is really targeted traffic so it’s easier to understand what the target audience is looking for.
This makes it easier to write for a specific audience and to promote a related call to action. Organic Traffic should still be your number one goal and as long as you don’t try to ‘Game Google Search’ your traffic should continue to grow over time.
If you want to choose the other path, and find your own website traffic, then you’ll be busy on social media, creating guest posts and generally spending 80% of your time promoting your work. This strategy works too, but you’ll find as soon as you take a 2-week break or loose a little interest, your blog traffic will dip.
Organic Traffic is still the quickest way to passive income and will continue to drive traffic to evergreen content as long as Google decides you are relevant to their audience.
A Case Study
So the charts I’m about to show you are for a side blog project that’s less than 6 months old. And because I stayed focussed on building content, rather than trying all the strategies to ‘Game Google Search’ I’ve managed to create 80 blog posts in that time.
That’s about 3 per week and yes it’s just a side project.
I’ll talk about how I structure these blog posts later on.
So let’s get into the numbers.
Ok, this chart looks awesome doesn’t it? But when you look at the actual numbers you’ll realise how little-referring pages I have and I can honestly say I’ve spent less than an hour actively building backlinks, which in my case was commenting on a few blogs and using the URL in the field provided.
Pretty standard stuff.
So most of these backlinks are just natural backlinks.
This is where it gets exciting. Check out these Organic Keywords that I’m ranking for in Google already.
It’s really taken a sharp rise in the last few weeks and as you’ll see this has also impacted my traffic.
Now this is the free traffic Google is currently sending my way. It had been slowly building since Feb and then I got a sudden peak as I made the second page for a high-volume search term.
So I quickly checked the article to see if I could improve it and decided to add another 400 words, making it even longer.
Then it dropped off again, and I thought I was too impatient and shouldn’t have improved it 🙁
But as you can see it has come back again in last few days and is now giving me more than twice the organic traffic as before.
So this map shows where my keywords rank in Google Search and the more orange nearer the top the better. It appears as though Google is starting to take my domain seriously since the beginning of March, so I’ve been busy adding more content.
Now these results aren’t amazing, but it probably is if you’re a new blogger, trying to drive even a few people to your blog.
Blogging is a long game so hang in there.
So it’s always nice to have a goal, and I like to be focused on where I’m heading, so I understand the real potential of the niche I’m in.
This also keeps you grounded, as you’ll see in this next image of my number 1 competitior.
This is my main competitor who has a 3+ years head start on me, so I’ve got some catching to do. Notice the Orange Line right at the top and for around 1500 keywords. Wow!
But I’m confident I can improve on what they’ve already achieved. It’s just going to take time.
Anyway, who wouldn’t like 40,000 free visitors to their blog each month.
My Blog Post Strategy
I use my LongTailPro Keyword research tool but you can use Google Adwords keyword search with a similar result. But if time is a factor for you then invest a few dollars in a decent keyword research tool. I use mine every day and have really got my money’s worth over the last year.
Each blog post has a similar structure and I make sure I add a few extra related keywords in the body of the content so as to signal to Google that this article is really about those keywords in the title.
I also include at least one photo, and use the main keyword in the image title.
Each post is at least 400 words long and I try to use a new focus keyword each time.
In fact, I’m really just using the guidance from my Yoast SEO plugin and trying to ensure I have green lights for each SEO recommendation.
It’s nothing more than that.
Oh, and there’s one other thing that’s worth mentioning and it’s I’m linking to a Youtube video in each article. I read somewhere that Google likes this and increases the relevance score. So for this niche blog I started linking a relevant video in each post.
So in picture form, the Blog Post Structure looks a little like this.
Rinse And Repeat
I’m about to start another niche blog project with a client, and I’ll be focussing on what I’ve talked about in this post. Although she isn’t tech savvy so I’ll be providing her with the keywords to use in her content.
Did you know that I provide a Keyword Research Service?
Anyway, it’s going to be interesting to see if we can replicate these kinds of results without any significant link building strategies.
However, sometimes you need to find the strategy that works best for you and ignore all the hype that suggest you must step outside of your comfort zone to be a successful blogger.
For us Introverts out there, writing good content utilising Keyword Research still looks to be the number one way to create a successful blog.
If you haven’t started your blog yet, it’s never too late to get started – How to Start a Blog and Make Money in 2016
I hope this article helps you to understand you don’t really need any link building strategies if you do solid keyword research and pay attention to a bit of basic common sense SEO. Maybe this is just new in 2016, but it certainly works.
And feel free to leave any questions in the comments below.
Progress Update (4 weeks later)
Well, it’s been 4 weeks since I made this bold claim of improving Google Ranking without any Link Building Strategies and I’m happy to report Organic Traffic continues to head in the right direction for this niche blog. In fact, I’m totally blown away with the numbers again.
And while I’m on this trajectory I’ll continue to make this blog my main focus.
Although, you’ll regularly hear the message that you should focus only on one blog, I’ve always been of the thinking, that if you have the time you should get a few niche blogs up and running to give you options down the track. Blogging and getting ranked does take time.
As you can see this strategy is definately paying off for me, and I have a few other blogs hitting an optimal organic traffic range.
And SEMRush is even suggesting the organic traffic I’m recieving right now would have cost me $274 if I’d paid for it.
So I might not be making a lot of money from this blog as yet, but I’m certainly saving plenty on adwords costs. 😀
I’ll provide an update again next month to show how I’m tracking and remember I’m still doing this without any serious link building strategies in play.
Oh, and by the way the Domain Authority for this blog is only ’13’ so this is also another contradiction on what you may hear from the ‘experts’.
So despite what you might hear, you haven’t missed the ‘blogging boat’ and there is still no better time to Start a Blog in 2016.
Leave any comments if you have questions.