If your task is getting visitors to a low-ranking company site or blog with your content, then you have a job that’s more demanding than Virat Kohli’s. Here’s why.
Virat (derived from the Sanskrit viraat meaning ‘huge’ or ‘massive’) is one of the best players on the Indian cricket team and has carried the team on his shoulders many times in the Test, ODI, and T20 formats, much to the delight of Indian fans and the consternation of his opponents.
Yet, your job is possibly more thankless as you wage a constant battle to be placed on the first page of the search engines, which is known as search engine optimization. With over a billion websites and mobile apps competing for attention, only a handful of them can claim to have regular visitors in the thousands. That’s over one billion balls coming your way and trying to get you out.
The sites that don’t rank are forced to scrounge for scraps. Yes, the responsibility of gaining visitors to a perennially weak-ranking site is one of the most frustrating tasks that one can be assigned to.
If page views have been low regular monitoring of your Google Analytics results confirm this, you may now need to bat like Virat – having the massive task of getting visitors to notice your site (halting the batting slide) and then, read the content on your site (chasing down the opposing score).
“People come to your site because they are looking for something. They want to do more, have more, be more”, says Jeni Eliott, a blogger.
Satisfying Your Site Visitors (Fans) With Your Content
One good technique to satisfy your site visitors is to follow the 5 point checklist laid out by Ahava Leibtag of the Content Marketing Institute. According to Ahava, valuable content should be:
If your new site is ranked by Alexa (or SiteCatalyst or Compete or Similarweb) in the top 1,000,000 globally or 50,000 in a country such as India, it can be considered a good start. You have put together a good opening partnership and now it’s time to capitalize on this.
Ranking on Alexa (Batting Well) With Your Content
So, how does Alexa determine the rankings of various websites?
From the Alexa website:
Alexa’s traffic estimates and ranks are based on the browsing behavior of people in our global data panel, which is a sample of all internet users.
Alexa’s Traffic Ranks are based on the traffic data provided by users in Alexa’s global data panel over a rolling 3 month period. Traffic Ranks are updated daily. A site’s ranking is based on a combined measure of Unique Visitors and Pageviews. Unique Visitors are determined by the number of unique Alexa users who visit a site on a given day. Pageviews are the total number of Alexa user URL requests for a site. However, multiple requests for the same URL on the same day by the same user are counted as a single Pageview. The site with the highest combination of unique visitors and pageviews is ranked #1.
It’s up to you to decide if this system is more complicated than the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern Method.
So, right off the bat, you need to get your site to appear correctly in the top search engines right? Absolutely correct, but which engine?
Since Google is the king of search engines with nearly 70% market share, getting your site noticed by Google is a necessity to ensure that visitors find your website, if they were to search with the right keywords that fit your website.
Satisfying Google (Smashing Sixes) With Your Content
Whatever be your target audience, here’s how to satisfy Google as per the State University of New York, Plattsburgh:
- Google likes the following:
- Outbound hyperlinks
- You revealing your location
- Also, Googlebot isn’t psychic, so remember to link your pages
Follow these tips to bat well and score boundaries. There is a catch, however. Chitika Insights, an Online Ad Network published a report in 2013 which magnified the difficulty that sites face in getting visitors.
The report derived from the internet habits of over 8 million visitors found a staggering 88% difference between visitors to the 1st page and the 2nd page of Google. While 94% were more prone to click on any of the 10 links that Google provides, less than 6% went to page 2 and hardly any clicked on page 5 beyond.
So what happens to pages 6 – 1.0 million?
These pages will still get views, but Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and Natural Selection will come into play – Survival of the fittest.
Google slowly starts phasing out content that is poor, outdated, irrelevant, plagiarised, inappropriate, etc. They get pushed down the ranking list until they just fall off the surface of the Earth so that only the best pages survive. Don’t be the batsman that didn’t get selected.
Ranking Above Other Sites (Beating the Opposition) Through Your Content
For every Team India or Australia, there are many teams like Hong Kong, Oman, or the Netherlands. Much like you may not have known that these countries have a national cricket team, many people do not know that you have a website. You need to evolve or your web pages cease to exist, for Google that is. Google is like the ICC, and if you’re not good enough, you don’t rank high.
Making it through the selection process is easier said than done. The struggle gets even tougher when trying to rank in foreign countries (batting in non-Indian grounds) Hopefully, this starkly brings forth the importance of ranking high on any search engine. In fact, we can make a case for batting harder on the Bing and Yahoo pitches to make up for the difficulties of ranking (scoring) high on Google.
Much like cricket, there will be heartbreaking losses and unexpected wins.
You can manage to write a great post (hit a century) and still not rank on the first page (win the match). In essence, with all your hard work, you could still have only a very small audience that is directed to your site via the search engine route.
This small audience should worry and excite you at the same time. This core group votes for the party, irrespective of the candidate. They will probably forgive you for transgressions like the odd typo, spelling error, or even a lackadaisical article.
You also have a chance to experiment with your writing (batting) style and tweak the topics of interest. The worrisome part is that the small audience may drift away before your writing has a chance to grow roots and embed itself in the reader’s consciousness.
Don’t give up hope. SEO and cricket are both unpredictable. We have all heard of scenarios where a team manages to hit a six off the last ball and wins it all!
Stay Unbeaten With Opteamize
In conclusion, don’t let yourself be like the one-man army Kohli in the Indian batting order. Strengthen your team for the page-rank battle.
Unearth decent writers within your company and arm them with good SEO and blogging tools to make their job easier. You have to obtain quality blog articles from guest writers. Give away a free template or software to entice the reticent reader. Seek ideas from your committed readers and give them what they are looking for. Make sure you have a good digital marketing team (coach) as well.
You need the right batting lineup for the right conditions. Only then can you achieve victory in all formats and all grounds. The World (Cup) is yours!
What do you think? Do let me know what techniques worked for you as a newbie blogger or content writer to reel in that loyal audience.
If you are interested in a Blogging workshop for your college or content writing team, enroll in our course.
If you want to buy or gift a copy of my latest book for bloggers, here’s a link to the Amazon store – “Business Blogging for Beginners: Six Steps to Success”.
Contact us for more. Keep writing while watching those exquisite cover drives by you know who.