I've been seeing a lot of people new in online marketing asking a lot of questions on how to get started making money online using SEO. Now what I'm going to share with you is my personal strategy that I've been using for the last year and a half with consistent success. What I am not here to do is debate what each person feels is outdated or not effective because each person does have their own strategy and therefore different results. All I can do is share what I'm doing from the last year or two with you and what is still currently working for me. So here we go.
I've been doing CPA marketing for about 5 years now, making great money with it for the last 4 (first year I lost money, that is all). In the last 4 years I've used many strategies from paid traffic to SEO and while I find that paid traffic converts 10 times more and faster, you're also gonna pay 10 times more than you would with SEO. In addition you're gonna have to keep on advertising if you're going to make money and who wants to do that?
With SEO you have the ability to stop advertising at some point in time, if you even do it at all, and you will still make decent money online. So I've put together over the years an 10 step process to doing this. This is really MY 10 step process to how I approach a CPA product. When I do SEO for my own products I follow much of this but a few things are different and we'll get into that later.
First of all...
• You need good on page SEO which is the obvious, metas, title, keywords in body, body content and we'll get into that later.
• You need lots of content that is keyword targeted to the keywords you want to get ranked for in the Google search engine.
• You need to connect all of your pages with xml sitemap so that Google can easily surf your site and see all of the pages on it.
• You need all of your pages linking back to the homepage which is very important. Google doesn't just count off site links as backlinks, they count on site links too...more later.
• You need powerful sites linking back to your site. Without this Google won't take your links too seriously because it's not "authenticated" by a more respectable site.
There can be argued that there are many other factors needed but these 5 are the most key in my experience. Now that we've got the outline of SEO success outline it's now time for me to show you...
My 10 Steps To SEO Success
This may come as a shock to you (sarcasm of course) but I'm not a big time marketing Guru, I'm just a guy who knows a few things. And one of the things I know is...
Step 1: The Right Niche
Most people would tell you to not pick a niche that's too competitive. Makes it too hard to get ranked in that niche. You hear this all of the time. Go for the low hanging fruit, don't waste your time with a big niche, you will never get ranked high for it. And while I KINDA believe that to be true, I also know that it's just as easy to get ranked for a tough niche as an easy niche if you know what you're doing. I've found that in my experience getting ranked high for a big niche just means you need more on page content and more powerful backlinks.
So when I go looking for a niche, I don't pick an "easy" to rank for niche, I pick a competitive one and I do that for two reasons.
REASON # 1: A competitive niche means that's where the biggest demand is at that time. If 1000 people are in one niche and 10,000 are in another, my first observation is that the more competitive niche has more competition because there is more DEMAND in that niche. Which means there's plenty of money to go around for everyone.
REASON # 2: A competitive niche has longer lasting results. A niche that is low in comp COULD just mean it's a trend that won't last very long. I don't ignore it but at the same time if I want to make a long term income stream (not a quick hustle) I'll go for a niche that is seemingly always in demand. Just makes more business sense to me.
So we all know I like high in demand niches. Period. I don't mess with small niches unless I want to make a quick hustle.
And how do I find that niche? Keyword research. I go to Google Keyword Tool and put in some common terms like "diet" or "weight loss" or "home business" or "credit repair" or "auto insurance" and so on. When I see a keyword with millions of searches a month (or even 100's of 1000's) that's the niche I pick because if people are searching for it in that quantity, it must be a HUGE need for it and there are plenty of revenues to be made. Again, this is backwards from what "experts" and "guru's" tell you and I have my theories on that (which is beyond the scope and the point of this guide). I've found that in most cases going for the bigger niches gives me the longest lasting income stream.
Now, what are the biggest niches? I know you guys want a shortcut so here goes...Insurance (Auto, Life, etc), Financial, Credit Repair, Debt Consolidation, Fitness, Weight Loss, Health (many different sub niches like Snoring, Back, Foot, etc). These are very stable niches that last every year, all year long but out of all of these, health and Fitness are the most steady and consistent of them all.
Step 2: The Right Keywords
After you've picked your niche, it's now time to get the keywords. This is easy if you've picked a good niche using the guide above first. Say you picked "Weight Loss" niche which currently has 11 million global monthly searches. Obviously, one of your keywords would be "Weight Loss" and your main keyword would always be "weight loss." This is the hardest keyword to get ranked for in your niche because it's searched so much and found by reputable sites.
How we remedy this is simple. We optimize our pages for the keyword "Weight Loss" and use the Google keyword tool to find other related keywords that will be easier to get ranked for. I see "Rapid Weight Loss" has only 246,000 searches a month as well as "Diets For Weight Loss" and "Weight Loss Diets" to name just a few at the time of this posting using the Google Keyword Tool on the keyword "Weight Loss." So now I'm gonna pick a couple dozen or more of these, including some easier to ranked keywords like "New Weight Loss" with 60,000 searches and "Weight Loss Diet Plans" with 60,000 searches for example.
These will later on make up my keyword list that I'll be targeting on my site to get better SEO results. What we do is we use the lower hanging fruit/keywords to begin to get us some Google attention. They help get us ranked for SOMETHING and then the more we get ranked for those lower words, the higher they climb in results, the easier and higher we get ranked for a main keyword "Weight Loss."
Step 3: The Domain Name
If you're following the steps in order then this is a quick and painless process. You have the "Weight Loss" niche, using the "Weight Loss" main keyword for ranking purposes, now the domain part is simple. You find SOME KIND OF WAY to put your main keyword in your domain name. It doesn't matter if it's .biz, .com, .net, .info....whatever....just have the words "Weight" and "Loss" in that order in the domain name.
It can be www . My-Weight-Loss-Plan .whatever. If it's taken throw in some numbers My-Weight-Loss-Plan-2011.whatever or something. If that's taken then do something like this My-Weight-2011-Loss-Plan or How-My-Weight-Was-Loss or something. Doesn't matter. Obviously, you want your domain name to make sense but as long as your main keyword is somewhere in the title IN THAT ORDER you will be just fine with Google. The domain name is another key component in giving you a jumpstart in your SEO campaign. Just a sidenote, when you buy this domain name, pay extra money to have this name private. You don't want your comp seeing your domain, searching whois and stealing your idea. They could do that either way but don't make it easy for them. All of my CPA domains are private.
Step 4: The Blog
I see people all of the time with one page lander sites. All over the place. And that's good only if you're gonna advertise for the rest of your life but if you want good, consistent, converting traffic from search engines then you're gonna have to develop a WEBSITE with MANY pages, not just one page. The bigger your site, the better chances of getting indexed and ranked higher. The easiest way to do that is to create a Wordpress blog.
Keep it simple, clean, nothing overly fancy. The standard "Twenty Eleven" theme that comes with a wordpress installation or update is sufficient and clean enough. Just change the header image a little so that it has an image of your niche. For weight loss, find a weight loss image. What I do is I cheat. I'll find out the dimensions of that header, then go to google, click on "images" at the top left, then do an advanced search, enter in my banner dimensions, put the keyword "Weight Loss" in it and see what it pulls up. Yeah, shame on me, but if it's CPA who cares anyway, right? It's fair game to me and a shortcut to getting the job done faster...and cheaper.
Now for the SEO. Normally, you want your keywords in the Meta Title, Meta Description, Meta Keywords, H1 Tag (for headline), H2 Tag (for subhead), and sprinkled throughout the body LIGHTLY. Don't have the keyword every other sentence or you'll just get slapped by Google. Plus it makes for a terrible reading experience to your visitors.
Another important thing to note is that you want to take advantage of Wordpress tagging. This has very good SEO qualities which we'll explain in step 6 later. The good thing about wordpress is every blog post turns into a page. Your blog title turns into a H1 so if you have "Weight Loss" somewhere in the title you're doing great! You don't have to ALWAYS have it there but the more you have it there, the stronger your site will become. You also want to setup a category for each keyword and post keyword targeted posts in each category. So for "Weight Loss" setup a category called "Weight Loss" and only post blogs optimized for "Weight Loss" in that category. You can then tag with 5-10 other keywords if you want.
A Quick Sidenote
You'll also want to use Tracking 202 to track your conversions. In addition you'll want to setup a Google Analytics account for all of your domains and place the tracking code before the </body> tag in all of your sites. If you're using Wordpress then you can just edit the "footer" file in the "appearance" and "editor" tab. One other thing to note is that you'll need to setup a free Google Webmasters account too and link your Google Analytics to it. This will help you keep track of all the inbound links, which keywords your indexed for, what position it's in, how many searches they're getting a day and so on. Setup for those is beyond the scope of this guide but is really easy and Google gives you great tutorials to complete the process. Quick and painless.
Step 5: The Wordpress Plugins
There are quite a few plugins you can use but I'm gonna shorten your search with a few key to start off with.
WP Robot. This is an autoblog software that allows for you to create amazing auto content blogs that are triggered by keyword. It's gonna cost just a little cash but at once you have it, you have it and it's amazing for keeping your content fresh and bots coming back. Set, forget, that's that that is about for those of you who don't have time to write a bunch of content. They also come with great tutorials to show you the power of it. This even comes with an article spinner and a translator if you have an international blog. Check out the WP Robot site to see what all it does, truly amazing and I've been using it for years with success.
All In One SEO. It's a simple plugin that lets you edit your Meta Title, Meta Description and Meta Keywords so that they show up a on all your pages leaving none of them blank. For the blog pages, the blog title will become the Meta Title but for the pages with no blog postings, it will default at this edited meta information you setup in the plugin. There are probably better plugins, this is just what I use. And it's free.
Page Comments Off Please. Free plugin that gets rid of comment spam by disabling people from comment at all. You'll need this, trust me.
Google Sitemap Generator. You NEED an xml sitemap so that Google can crawl through. It just makes your indexing go faster. Nuff said.
Optimize Press. This is an optional plugin that is the only plugin you'll need for premium optin forms, sales page, blog postings, etc. Look it up to see what it does. It costs, but worth it. It's not a need but I recommend it heavily.
Step 6: The Content
Now there are all KINDS of talks about dup content versus orginal content, the dangers of using dup content...a lot of it is myth really. I want to clear up something about dup content. It's recommended that you use your OWN ORIGINAL content as it gives you the best success ratios for your SEO campaigns. At the same time, dup content doesn't get you slapped or banned like people say, quite the opposite. When we're dealing with on page content (not off page) dup content will bring you pages to your blog, increased searches to your blog, and traffic. Period.
I've sites that I use dup content on, I have sites that I use 100% original content on. Honestly? No huge difference. Either way I get traffic, either way I get indexed, either way I get first page on Google. I just haven't noticed a huge difference honestly. Now I DO KNOW that you get first page FASTER with original content but I don't have any horror stories with using dup content on my page. What I WILL say however is if you are planning on using dup content, don't take one article and spin it 100 times and post it because then your ON SITE uniqueness will be diminished BIG time. If you take 100 articles from a third party article zine site or something, that works 20 times BETTER than spinning 1 article 100 times and putting it on your site.
The only way to make spinning the same article a lot and using it on your site if your content is at the very least 30% unique from the other content on your site. I would try to shoot for 50% though but 30% is the absolute bare minimum to work with. But, when you take articles from other sites, you get 100% uniqueness on your own site. Understand this, Google judges your sites power two ways. By the uniqueness ON page and by the uniqueness in comparison to OTHER sites on the internet.
You can have a strong site with great on page uniqueness using dup content from other sites. You'd just have to make up for it by doing a lot of off site backlinking using 100% original content. Now, the more original content you have on page and off page via backlinks, the faster you will get ranked higher in Google. Yet, you will still get ranked well if you have dup content just make sure it's above 50% uniqueness on page and off.
Now I say all of that because WP Robot uses dup content. It pulls from RSS, news sites, yahoo answers, amazing, ebay, CJ, clickbank, youtube, and article sites using the keywords you choose and places them on YOUR site. It also creates the category, pulls the article title, the article content, the tags, videos, and places them in your blog on autopilot. You can set it up to post in intervals. I normally choose 1 article posting per day for smaller sites and maybe 6 -12 a day for bigger ones. You'll be AMAZED how fast you get indexed, how fast you get high search results, how many clicks etc just by doing that. No spinning, no writing, no blog editing...just simply bringing in content automatically and providing quality to your visitors.
Now you all you have to do is monetize the site by having either Adsense or some strategic placement of promotions through your posts. Some Wordpress templates allow you to append a header and footer before and after each post that you setup in the main panel once. You can have your CPA offer at the bottom of each post. I usually put something like this at the bottom of each post: "Did You Enjoy This Read? Click Here To See Recommended Weight Loss Solutions In Your Area!" and have that be a hyperlink to my CPA offer (of course tracked by Tracking 202).
And of course if they don't buy they MIGHT optin to your list from pop up dominator so we're not worried. We'll just give them something of value and deliver it to them over time. But you need content and you need a lot of it, the more the better. I recommend getting in some orginal content as well to give your site some extra power but still use the autoblog content to give you juice.
NOTE: To all you conspiracy theorists out there who think dup content is the death of any campaign, ask Google why they don't slap Press releases syndicated sites. They are NEVER spun but if I send out a PR to PRWeb or something, it goes out to 1000's of sites and they usually get indexed pretty high still. Just a thought.
Now about page linking. Remember we said we need every page on your site pointing to your homepage? Well this is because every link linking to your homepage is a backlink. It doesn't matter if it's on page or off page, google counts those as backlinks. If you don't believe me, setup your Google Webmasters account and after it finishes cataloging all of your site links, it counts all those links as backlinks to your site (your homepage). Now, these are all WEAK backlinks but they are backlinks nonetheless and we'll get to that in step 8.
Another thing to take into account is the tagging and why we do it. Tagging is a way to make your site appear BIGGER to google by taking the same content on a blog post, and placing it on a different link on your site with the keyword being tagged. The more tags you have, the more pages you have. So if I post a blog post that's just one page. But if I post a blog post with 5 tags I just created 6 keyword optimized pages. That's why we tag and that's why it works so well. Tagged pages will get indexed too and helps send, yet again, more backlinks to the homepage. So If I have 100 posts on my site with no tags I have 100 backlinks to my homepage. But if each post has 5 tags then I now have 600 backlinks. More later.
Step 7: The Metas
This is probably the most USELESS SEO requirement. Back in the day, before black hatters screwed it up with keyword stuffing, these metas were the MAIN REASON you were getting indexed and traffic. Now Google practically ignores them but do you know why we don't? Because the first thing people see when they search for "Weight Loss" is they get results and those results have Title and Descriptions in them. Well you want that Title and Description to speak RIGHT TO THEM because if you have blank metas, Google will sup it out with "index of..." in the results and you won't appeal to your visitors.
What this does is makes the visitor think you aren't relevant, go on to the next result that actually HAS a meta Title and Description in it and click them. When google sees people passing you buy to get to the next guy, they're gonna slap you and push you down the ladder because the user experience has diminished...and this alone is a HUGE topic of discussion for another post.
So our niche is Weight Loss so we're gonna put something like this for the meta title "Looking For The Fastest and Safest Weight Loss Solution?" and then have our description say something like "Our weight loss plan will help you shed inches from your waist line a week...." and just go into benefits mode. Your meta title should be a short sentence about 15 words or less and your description should be about 50 words or less. This is like your biggest ad so make it good! Think benefits and you'll be fine. Also, put your main keyword within the first 10 words of each meta title and meta description. This will let visitors see the keywords they searched for and say "this is what I'm looking for" and click. If it's a blog post then make sure the blog title is compelling enough to make them want to click and read.
Step 8: The Off Page Linking
Off site backlinking is immense and can't be fully explained in this post. What I can say about it is you want to link to high Page Ranked (PR) sites. I hear all the time of guys selling 100,000 backlinks a month for 50 bucks and people are like "wow, that's a lot of linking, I'm in!" But the vast majority of those sites are low PR rankings. For the newbies, Page Rank or PR is googles way of judging the power of the site. Many factors go into play when they make the determinations but the rankings range from 0-10. Sites that are PR0 have the lowest ranking by google and sites with PR10 rankings are the most respected.
Sidebar alert, I find it funny that Google isn't even a PR10 but a PR9 and they created the ranking system....but I digress.
Now as a rule of thumb, you don't want to waste your time with low PR sites. Some say don't backlink to a site below PR2. I say PR2 is far too mediocre. I never backlink to a site that is below PR5. I can backlink 1000 times to PR5+ sites and beat your 10,000 backlinks to PR4 or lower sites...landslide victory. On top of that, because my sites are linked from better respected sites, I'm not gonna get slapped by google in 3 months and lose all of my rankings overnight. Also, I'm gonna grow faster than you because I have more powerful sites linking to mine than you have.
Another thing I want to say before I get into the strategy is that I really don't need a LOT of PR5 backlinks to my actual site, I just need a handful of maintained sites linking to it consistently. In fact, having TOO MANY sites linking directly to YOUR site can HURT YOU! Everyone I've talked to over the last few years getting slapped were doing 1000s of links to their site a day, doing article marketing and blog commenting. I'm not saying they don't work, I'm just giving you what I've picked up from experience (not someones course...take that how you want to...lol). I don't care what someone's book or video say, all the ones doing article marketing and blog commenting have gotten slapped like crazy from the people I've talked to.
The ones NOT getting slapped (from people I've talked to...if you haven't gotten slapped then it must be something else you're doing right to keep you from getting slapped) are using the same strategy I'm getting ready to give to you.
I create my blog using these above steps obviously. I then setup maybe 5-10 sites that I'm going to use as my buffer sites. Buffer sites are sites somewhat immune to google slaps and can take a lot of links to it without penalties. Let's take 10 sites for this example. Blogspot (which is own by google), Hubpages (which is an article site, yes, but a very respected one), Squidoo (and you can create lenses which is POWERFUL), Blogger, Wordpress (.org site), Newsvine, Technorati, Bloglines, Youtube, Meta Café and Vimeo (to name a VERY SELECT few).
You create accounts here, try to use the main keyword "Weight Loss" in all of your account creations, lens creations, subdomain creations etc for these sites. Next, you get a regular posting to these 10 sites (for example) maybe like once or twice a week but it HAS to be 100% original. It's ok to write one thing, spin it 10 times, make sure it's readable and post them. For the videos you can make free videos at Animoto. All you're going for is linkage anyway. You want to have your linkbacks to you money site in your postings and your profiles on these sites.
Post regular weekly steadily if possible and THEN if you want to do all that spamming crap with a million backlinks from blog comments and all that foolishness, you backlink THESE sites. What you do is you make your profiles or accounts more powerful with the backlinks, which then passes it's power down to your money site. So your site only has 10 links to it, but they are powerful links and you won't get slapped for it. Meanwhile, on your site, you have 100's maybe 1000's of pages that makes your site a strong standalone so it's a win win for you.
But that's the GIST of backlinking. You can either do this yourself or outsource. I personally don't have that much time so I have a team that does mine for me but they do it based on my instructions...I just don't trust a lot of people doing my backlinking.
Step 9: The Mailing List
This is actually easier than it seems. I don't know why there are $1k courses on this. It's simple. Provide valuable information and eventually people will buy from you. All you have to do is promote a 10 day "Weight Loss" tip guide that they get delivered to their email daily. Find someone who knows about weight loss and get him/her to write you 15 -20 short 500 word articles on tips to lose weight....or get PLR for all I care. Then you put one article per day for the first 10 days on autopilot.
On day 11, have an email that leads them to an offer but when you sell to them, don't be hype filled and pushy. Just sound like one friend to another friend making a recommendation. "Hey I see you've been learning a lot about weight loss and I hope you have success with that. I came across this weight loss solution that is supposed to be 100% effective. Check it out here and let me know what you think about it [link]." And that's your email. Obviously, it needs to be formatted so that it's not hard to read, keep short sentences about no more than 60 characters across. Anything beyond that should be placed on the next line.
Then on day 12, begin with a bonus tip but now for the rest of the month, only deliver about 2 tips a week. The format for the rest of the month is 2 tip emails, 1 small pitch email and you pitch the same way you did on day 11...friend to friend. If they don't buy anything by day 30, I stop sending them auto responses and just send broadcasts only. Now if you're short on budget, I recommend using Mail Chip for auto responder service. They don't have a standard 30 day trial. How they work is, your first 1000 leads are free for life and you can send up to 12,000 emails a month. After you get more than 1000 leads or start sending more than 12,000 emails a month then you have to pay. But chances cares, if you're doing things right, by that time you'll be making money.
Step 10: The Upsell
Occasionally you'll want to follow up send your 30 day+ subscribers emails to buy another product. You still keep content going on your site but you stop autoresponding to the 30 day prospect, broadcasts only. It can be a sales pitch or a link to a resource to provide value. I recommend doing 1 promotion per 4 emails after the 30 day subscriber mark. I know a lot of people don't want the headache of having a list but if you have one solid system like this then you can sell many health related products, not just one.
When I build systems like this I usually take one powerful niche at a time. There are a ton of other ways to do SEO but this is how I do it and thought sharing it with you guys will at LEAST give you ideas on what to do with it to make it your own. Hope this helps, if so, click the "thanks" button