Is your blog or website a ghost town? Are there no visitors and no-one talking about your posts? How do you get free traffic to your website or blog? This method is simple and costs nothing.
Building websites and blogging using WordPress is easy. No, really. Almost anyone can create a site and it does not require genius-level IQ, deep technical knowledge or a degree in web development. In fact, getting a basic site up and running is the easy part and the difficulties set in when you try to get people to visit it. How do you get people to come to your site and spend time looking around?
No-one wants to talk to themselves, but when you only have a handful of visitors each day, that is what happens. You spend hours creating great articles, but hear nothing but crickets. What can you do to build the traffic to your site?
In this article I look at a very simple method that can get you tons of website or blog visitors. This will not happen overnight and you can’t post something today and have it go viral with a million views tomorrow. That almost never happens, not unless you spend a lot of time and money on marketing.
The technique used here builds traffic steadily over time and it lasts a long time. Sometimes years. It is great to see evergreen articles written months or years ago still pulling in readers. Let’s see how this traffic building technique works with an easy-to-follow guide
To cut a long story short, it is all about keywords and competition.
There are many keyword research tools on the web and some are free and some require payment. You can easily end up spending hundreds or thousands of dollars a year on keyword research tools. For example, the top account at Ahrefs costs over $100,000 a year!
You can also spend hours or even days using these tools trying to find the right keyword for the next post on your website. It can be very time consuming to research keywords and there can be a lot of technical data, which some may find confusing.
Free keyword research tools:
- Ubersuggest’s Free Keyword Research Tool
- WordStream Free Keyword Tool
- SEMrush Keyword Magic
- Free Keyword Research Tool from Wordtracker
- Keyword Tool
Do you need a keyword research tool? There are some people that say yes, absolutely. However, there are others that say no and even some SEO experts don’t use them.
While it may feel like you are doing a good thing by spending hours researching keywords for your next post, there is a quicker and simpler alternative that some people prefer. Instead of spending hours analysing data, you can sometimes find your keywords in minutes.
More than keywords
When people talk about keywords, what they really mean is what you type into Google (or Bing) to find stuff. People may simply type in two words like ‘Paris restaurants’, but often a short phrase is typed, like ‘best restaurants in Paris’ or even ‘what are the best restaurants in Paris?’ We tend to say longer phrases when speaking a search into our phone.
No-one types a single keyword and short phrases are usually entered into Google. This is sometimes referred to as long tail keywords.
1 Choose a topic
This is the easy part and you just need to think of a topic you have not covered before. Something different to previous articles, but related. So if you have a travel site, you could choose a new place to write about. If you have already written about a place, you could approach it from a different angle and do places to eat in X, places to visit in X, great walks around X, art galleries in X, beaches within 10 miles of X, and so on.
There are endless variations on topics that you can write about. Whatever you choose, make it useful to readers. It should answer a question, solve a problem, provide information, be a guide and so on.
2 Use search suggestions
Now that you have a topic to cover in your post, open a web browser like Chrome, go to the Google homepage and start typing slowly to see search suggestions appear as a list below the search box. Type one letter at a time and see what comes up.
Search suggestions are the most popular search queries that people type into Google. If you think about it, Google would not suggest an obscure phrase that no-one ever types in, would they? If there is a search suggestion, you can bet that Google sees a significant number of searches.
This is best carried out in an incognito browser window because it has no personal information like previous searches. You don’t want your own personal search history to skew the results.
Suppose you search for ‘swimming with‘, Google makes several suggestions such as sharks, dolphins, a cold, men, and even pigs. Swimming with pigs? Is that really a thing? It seems so.
These are all great search suggestions and you should make a note of them for possible inclusion in your article.
Select ‘swimming with pigs‘ and look at the search results. This is not the only thing people search for and just a little way down from the top of the search results page is People also ask:
This is another collection of useful search terms that people commonly type into Google, so make a note of them.
Down at the bottom of the page are even more search suggestions around this topic.
We now have 20+ possible keywords (search phrases) that are popular on Google, but we can get even more. Try these searches, add a single letter to the end and see what else is suggested. Type each letter of the alphabet to see a new list of search suggestions.
By playing around with search suggestions you can quickly find dozens of popular keywords. Keyword research tools do this kind of thing and they find dozens of variations of the keywords you enter. You don’t need to pay for a tool to find them, Google shows them to you for free!
What you should do is to start with a broad topic and then niche down. Just a little, not too much. You don’t want to niche down to the point where only 10 people a month search for something. It must be a common search phrase, so use your common sense.
3 Pick your battles
You have the topic for the post and lots of search suggestions. Now you need to see the search results they produce. Type in or select those search terms.
Each time you try a search suggestion, look at the first two pages of search results and ask yourself whether you can beat them.
You have to pick your battles and this means avoiding search terms where the first two pages of results are filled with top-quality sites that are run by big companies with lots of money to spend on their site. Don’t take on the big guys with a very common search term because you will lose every time!
Look for search results you can beat.
This is where it helps to find a niche search term. Ask your self if you could you write an article that is more comprehensive and more informative than some of those on page one or two or the search results?
Are some of the search results slightly off-topic? Are some results not completely dedicated to the topic? Are some search results lightweight, forum comments and so on?
When you find a set of search results that you can beat, then that is your keyword phrase and topic.
1 + 2 + 3 = Success!
Some topics are extremely well covered by top websites and it does not make sense to battle them for top spot in search results. Extend the search phrase, add more words, try to find a niche that has poor search results, or at least results you have a chance at beating.
Even if you can’t get the top spot in search, just being on page one is a huge help when it comes to getting traffic. Many people check page two of search results and even if you can’t get onto page one, being in the top half of page two can still be good.
Sometimes you just can’t find the right search suggestion and the competition, shown by the search results, is just too great. Try a different topic or niche down a bit further by adding more words to the search phrase. Type ‘a’ and see the search suggestions, type ‘b’ and see the suggestions, type ‘c and so on.
To sum up: Find popular niche search suggestions with search results you can beat.