For example, for the keyword phrase “SEO writing,” my sites used to show up in four places on the first page of Google, and several more on the next two pages. See?
As an aside, if I’m on the first three pages of Google, I’m happy (especially if I’m on the first two; I don’t fret about being on the first page so much because not everyone can get there).
The disappearance of my sites for some of its main keywords caused me to rethink this blog’s (my main one) marketing strategy. It’s something I’d been meaning to do for a long time to get away from relying so heavily on Google. But you know how you mean to do something but never get around to it? Well, that’s what happened to me – until Penguin hit in May of this year.
How to Stop Relying So Heavily on Google for Search Engine Traffic
Following are some steps I’m taking to recover from this latest Google update, and to balance my sources of traffic overall moving forward.
In short, I’m working towards “building a community” around my blog’s content, which is something I think every blog/website owner should do if they want to stop relying so heavily on Google for traffic. In fact, I think it’s almost a must.
The 4 Steps I Took to Revamp My Blog’s Marketing Strategy
Now that you have some background, following is how I revamped this blog’s content marketing strategy to get more traffic post-Penguin 2.0. In the conclusion below is some insight into how you can change your blog’s marketing strategy if what you’re currently doing is not working for you.
Step I: Created a New Editorial Calendar
The first thing I did was to create a brand new editorial calendar. I used to update this site once a week. Now, I do so four to six times a week. I increased the posting frequency by doing a few things, ie:
(a) Providing a list of freelance writing jobs every Monday: This gives readers something they want, and gives them a reason to come back – week after week after week.
(b) Giving a “Quick Tip for Freelance Writing Success” every Friday: I field a lot of questions from freelance writers about the profession and most of them center around marketing. So I decided to add a weekly “marketing tip.” This tip is only 100 to 250 words long – on purpose. Why?
As I dispense a lot of info on here on this blog – and it’s been around since 1999 — a lot of good information gets buried. So, I usually link back to a more in-depth post that explains the marketing tip of the week in more detail. This type of blog “intra-site linking” encourages readers to stay on the site longer.
And again, providing this tip weekly (hopefully) encourages readers to come back over and over again.
(c) Provide a snapshot of the freelance industry: Every few Sundays, I publish “The State of Freelancing” column. It discusses relevant news pertinent to the freelance industry.
The reason I do this is underscore the fact that this space is an “industry leader” when it comes to news about freelancing; freelance writing in particular. Over time, this will become a great repository of information about the growth of freelancing – because it is a growing phenomenon – worldwide.
Step II: Recruited Guest Posters
Although my blog accepts guest posts, I wanted regular guest contributors. Luckily, I was able to get two excellent freelancers to contribute two posts per month each. This not only balances out the blog by giving other voices a chance to be heard, it exposes my blog to their readers — and vice versa; a win-win for all.
Step III: Expanded Content Marketing Outreach
I started guest blogging regularly on another blog at the beginning of the year (2013), which worked wonders for bring in new traffic. So, I decided to look for other relevant, high-traffic outlets to contribute to regularly, ie, at least once every couple of weeks.
Business2Community.com is one I settled on – and I’m always on the hunt for others.
Step IV: Got More Active on Social Media
I have five social media accounts — Google, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Until recently, I was really only interactive on one (Twitter). Now, I’m active daily on four. The last one I have to incorporate into the marketing mix on a consistent basis is LinkedIn.
Blog Marketing: Still to Come
In spite of the progress I’ve made, I’m not done yet. Following is what’s on tap in the not-so-distant future.
(a) Video marketing: I have a YouTube channel but don’t contribute regularly to it. This will change.
(b) Audio marketing: Maybe podcasts or doing an online radio show; and
(c) Creating more infographics.
Getting More Blog Traffic Post-Penguin 2.0: Conclusion
Want to change your blog’s marketing strategy. It’s really as simple as asking yourself, “What do my blog’s readers want/need and what do I need to do to give it to them?“
If you don’t know the answer to this question, ask them. Reach out via your newsletter, your social media accounts, posting questions on your blog, etc.? Then, get busy implementing the feedback you get.
In conclusion, one thing the recent Penguin update made me realize more than ever is that search engine optimization (SEO) is like a child in the sense that it’s a living, breathing entity that you’re responsible for when it comes to your web properties.
For example, how you’d care for an infant is different than how you care for a toddler or a teen. Same thing with your blog; how you tend to those properties (blogs, websites) needs to grow and change as search engine guidelines do, eg, your editorial calendar, your marketing strategy, your design, etc.
Has Penguin 2.0 caused you to make changes in how you market online, eg, change your blog marketing strategy, your content marketing strategy, how often you post, etc.? Please share in the comments section below.
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