Blogs and Leveraging the Search Tail

We’ve already established that bloggers need SEO, and that it’s not PageRank or some other silly metric that you should be running after, it’s search referral volume.

Here’s a plug-n-play strategy for attracting (and profiting from) search engine traffic to your blog:

  1. Build a website that is trusted by the search engines in that niche.

    You need links from authoritative blogs in your niche, deep links from authoritative blogs from other niches, quality directory links (dmoz, botw, yahoo plus 3-5 top niche directories). In addition, if you’re smart with your blogging, you can linkbait the hell out of your niche in your quest to build trust into your blog.

  2. Track popular trends / news in your niche.

    This isn’t hard to do if you have a pulse on the latest news in your niche. Find upcoming events, breaking news, seasonal trends, etc, and prepare for them in advance. If you’re covering a news-related niche, this becomes very easy, otherwise you need to work hard on cracking the search tail in your niche.

  3. Be one of the first to write an article on fresh trends and news (thus focusing on 3-5 word phrases) – and taking advantage of Google’s super-fast indexing, you can be on in the top 5 results for queries within 24 hours.

    Easier said than done, but in most cases the best edge you can find is to be first with the news.

  4. Convert that traffic by giving them an incentive to return to your blog / bookmark it.

    With news items, you can improve your chances of attracting comments, links or rss subscriptions. With resource sites, you can work on rss subs and social media votes.

  5. Alternatively, you could monetize this traffic using CPM ads, AdSense or any affiliate program.

Of course, this isn’t completely plug-n-play – you’ll have to adapt your methods for each niche and type of site (‘news’ sites will work differently from ‘resource’ sites, which in turn will work differently from ‘community’ sites). However, if you want to dominate the SERPS for your niche AND you think you should milk Google for what it’s worth while building a strong, independent brand, then this is the first step.