The other day i was watching a video by Rand from SEOmoz.
Basically he said that you have to write quality content in order to get traffic from the search engines.
I am here today to tell you this is totally BULLSHIT for the most part.
I work in the iGaming industry and one of my websites is related to “bonuses”. Basically, i have hundreds of pages on my site targeting different terms related to the bonus each site offers.
How do i get my content? I pay people on PeoplePerHour.com to write the content for me. Most of my articles cost me £6-8 each.
They are basic, all formatted the same and contain the same basic information.
The content on my site is not amazing. It is just fit for purpose.
And as you know, my sites do excellent in the search engines.
You see, the text content on the page isn’t actually that important. You don’t need a PHD to write good content for the web.
In-fact, in the majority of cases, my readers don’t want to read 1000 word detailed reviews.
They want quick information, that is accurate, and they want a deal.
I am not here to brag, but with £6 per article content. I have a 5-minute average time on site, 4 pageviews average and a 35% bounce rate.
All of this is with average, outsourced content.
I outperform most of my competitors who either manually write content (Spend a long time crafting it) or by outsourcing longer, better articles.
How do i do this?
Site architecture is the most important thing to do with improving your sites visitor metrics. What i mean by this is:
- Web design: Simple design. Header image. Two columns. Top nav beneath header. Left column 200px wide. Contains secondary accordion nav. I use thesis on most of my site. I pay someone to make me a header.
- Navigation: I use two navigation menus. One beneath the header, another in the left sidebar. These are the two places people constantly look for it. I entice my visitors in by linking to lots of deals in the sidebar (Constantly changing). And to category pages in the nav bar. For example on my bonus site it could be (200% bonuses, 300% bonuses, no deposit bonuses etc).
- Tabbed content: This is something i am experimenting with. I have noticed some really good ranking sites (Without tonnes of links), have tabbed content. My guess is that Google is somehow tracking clicks on page, and counts these clicks on tabs as extra page views. Either way this improves my performance.
- Related posts: Display them beneath your post. Include thumbnails. I display them as “More Hot deals”.
- Internal links: Use SEO smart links or manually embed a few links within each article to other articles on your site. Good for SEO in so many ways.
- Videos and pictures: No one likes plain text posts. Increases visitor satisfactions and overall enjoyment. I just steal some shit from Youtube or Google images.
- Typography: Large font size helps. Especially when some of your audience are older.
- Formatting: Short paragraphs. Clear headings. Contrary to popular belief, most people don’t want to read 2500 word posts.
This is how my content outperforms my competitors. And i spend less money.
My site architecture is better. I make my site clickable. It’s pretty. It’s exciting. I make people want to click other links on my site.
The key takeaway here is.. how engaging the content is, often has very little to do with the contextual content itself. My site is engaging because of the way i have set it up. I could plonk the exact same text content on a site. Within poor internal structure, no engaging design, poor nav, no interlinking, no images, no videos, no strategically designed subheadings etc. And it would perform awfully.
The common factor i have seen with sites that get pandered nowadays is that they convert to well or the site is totally un-engaging.
On top of that sites are clearly getting boosted up in rankings if they perform well.
Is my text content bad? no. Its perfectly readable and it’s done by either American or British writers. That being said, it’s not like these people are industry experts and have awesome knowledge. They don’t.
What i am saying to you now is that, if you ignore these website engagement factors now, it will be to your peril Google is constantly building up a picture about your website. The better your metrics, the more safeguarded you are.
I’ve actually started putting analytics back on all my site again that perform well. I want to spoon feed Google this information.
Other Helpful Hints
Okay, i just about finished this post but thought of a few more cool things you need to know about.
Direct traffic and return visitors are important. A site that gets 90% new visitors is not a brand and i am sure Google can track this over time.
If people aren’t coming back to your site over time it will fuck you over.
Also its not good for business. Lets say if you get 6000 visitors to your site each month from Google. If you turn 25% of them in to email subscribers (I get that opt in rate from lightbox popups all day long). You can call these people back to your site whenever you want.
As time goes on you will build up a larger and larger audience. More of them will start coming back to your site. Your overall percentage of visitors coming from Google will drop if you maintain rankings, but your traffic will slowly increase month on month.
Right now i am gaining 50-100 e-mail opt-ins per day to my sites. My list is 5000+ large and growing daily. Whenever i send out an email to my list, i instantly get 500+ people back to my site.
Apart from building up an asset my competitors don’t have. These send good signals to Google. On top of that, i operate a lot on a CPA basis. Basically if my player signs up to a site i will get $x. If i can get them to sign-up to 5 sites over two years. The value to me is 5 lots of $x. If i don’t retain him and just send him out to the site, i only get 1x.
In short, email list is super value.
I also get a decent number of typins because people always come back looking for new deals. My sites don’t offer anything special in value, all other sites can offer the same promotions i offer.
I just organize the data well in a good, easy to digest manner, and provide a website experience that is good. I categorize content well, the site is a joy to navigate and i provide some short insights (I normally write 100 word opinion on the site on top of the content i get back from my writers).
On top of that i run promotions to get people to subscribe to my Facebook. I recently run a competition where my users have to like my Facebook page, leave a Facebook comment on one of my articles and link to my site on their Facebook wall. On top of this, i got a sponsor to pony up a free iPad for me to give away.
This is smart business. Its providing me real brand signals. Giving me more ways to market to my customers. And providing actual value (Giving away some free shit).
You wont read stuff like that in marketing books, or on make money online sites. It’s called being savvy, thinking outside the box and learning how to manipulate your target audience to get them to do what they want.
Honestly, most of my competitors are not building email lists as aggressively as me, or trying to build up real social accounts. The way i look at it is like this. Google traffic is not guaranteed But if you build up a real Facebook following or a large email list. This is a tangible asset.
Anyway, that’s enough insights today.
If you want some more posts, leave a comment. Have a great day folks!