If Google is your only traffic source, it can be wiped out in a matter of seconds as the result of any algorithmic change. As such, it could invalidate years of effort and SEO overnight. Maybe it’s not completely disastrous, but it is a huge risk for many businesses.
Instead of relying solely on Google for your traffic, it makes sense to strengthen your foundation of traffic sources and diversify them just in case you get hit with a manual action randomly. After all, there are reports of people being hit with manual actions even though they haven’t done any kind of manual link building in the past 5 years.
Take a look at these seven sources of organic traffic that don’t rely on Google to help you have a back-up plan.
Video Content on YouTube
Producing video content means that you are creating highly engaging content that has the ability to drive significant traffic to your website. YouTube, owned by Google, should never be ignored as a source of traffic because it has 1 billion users. Even if you suffer a manual action or some sort of algorithmic downgrade on Google, it should not affect any YouTube traffic that’s coming to your site.
Changing your focus from your website’s text content to producing video content or producing both can create another traffic stream while you work on addressing the manual action.
You can also promote the video content with press releases because it can drive other traffic to your site in the meantime.
If you have an email list, you can send out promotional emails every time you publish a video to help drive traffic to your website too.
Traffic from Other Search Engines
Even though Google is the most popular search engine in the world, that doesn’t mean you can’t get traffic from Bing and Yahoo. Because of all of the focus on Google, the search market results are highly competitive. And many SEOs have written Bing off on the basis that if you rank well in Google you also ranked well in Bing. The problem with that is that the algorithms are incredibly different.
Because Yahoo search is powered by Bing, working on improving your Bing ranking will enable you to gain a competitive advantage on Yahoo as well. Creating foundations with other search engines only means that Google will not destroy all of your traffic.
Some Bing ranking factors to consider are:
- Content and keyword density
- Site structure and on-site optimization
- User engagement
- Social signals
- Page Authority
- Inbound anchor text
- Bing authorship
- Keyword in domain
Commenting on High Traffic Sites Within Your Niche
No, I’m not talking about the old school, spammy technique of trying to game Google and leaving crappy, generic comments on thousands of blogs in an attempt to generate backlinks. Instead, I’m talking about taking the time to add meaningful and high quality comments on sites in your niche. Aim to start or continue a conversation that’s already going on on the blog – and contribute regularly to build relationships with the authors and their readers. Focus less on self-promotion and more on building relationships because that’s where the value is.
Participate in Forum Discussions
Like with commenting on high traffic sites in your niche, aim to become an active participant in forums where your target audience is already active. Don’t spam links in every exact match keyword anchor text occurrence.
Take time to do forum discussions right and use branded anchor text, naked URLs, and natural non keyword targeted anchors as you participate naturally in contextually relevant discussions.
Nobody likes a spammer, so you shouldn’t just randomly begin posting on forums in an attempt to increase your traffic. Abide by the forum rules and posting etiquette because this can go a long way toward establishing yourself as a reliable forum member. Just like you do with commenting on high traffic websites, focus on creating connections and building relationships first.
Start a Podcast or Guest Star in Popular Ones
Podcasts are a great way to boost traffic. They have low competition. They offer a mobile-friendly option that is engaging and convenient for listeners. Podcasts are continually growing in popularity and their audiences tend to be passionate and loyal.
Interactive options are available and they help you to establish thought leadership in your industry. You have the opportunity to grow a loyal traffic base by publishing podcast content on a consistent basis.
If you’re not quite ready to commit to starting a podcast of your own, there are plenty of other options out there. Podcasters are often looking for guests to create their own content so you can find other podcasters to reach out to about guest starring in a future episode.
Booking generate traffic and build publicity for a podcast of your own in the future.
Leverage Any Traffic Source with User-Generated Content
User-generated content takes many forms. I’ve already talked about a few of them such as blog commenting and forum discussions. In addition to these, you can use review sites such as Google My Business, Amazon, Trip Advisor, and Yelp to help increase the value of your reputation through user-generated content.
As you increase your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness through reviews and high quality content implementation of user-generated content, you can expect to see more traffic from these sources.
Build an Email List
If you’re not already, capture visitors email addresses as they land on your site. Anytime you create a brand new piece of content and promote it, if you have an email list, you could send it out to drive traffic to your site.
Though it isn’t exactly organic traffic, it is direct traffic and this will show in your Google analytics which leads to an increase in your overall draft pick.
It serves as another foundation you can take advantage of to build direct traffic sources if Google ever goes south.
Google will continue to update its core algorithm and there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it. Before those algorithmic updates, there wasn’t as much competition and it was easier to increase your organic traffic. It is almost guaranteed that you will at some point experience the algorithm update. This is especially the case if you are using any kind of black hat or grey hat SEO practices to artificially inflate your ranking
The good news is, however, there are legitimate ways to create multiple foundations that will make it easier for you to survive any overnight traffic loss that happens when Google finally hits your site. As long as you build the foundations, you won’t have to worry about what will happen when Google penalizes your site.
Diversifying your strategy and building multiple traffic sources is a smart move to make in a risky SEO climate, even if you have been following Google SEO guidelines the entire time.