Increasing traffic to a website is hard work, and for many bloggers (particular those that blog for business), its the end goal that they are hoping to achieve.
You can capitalise on existing demand for content by taking a bit of time to research. If you are struggling for traffic or new ideas to propel your site further; a sure fire way of generating new visitors is to analyse some of the bigger sites out there and see if you can provide visitors with information which fills a gap. I’ll give you an example.
Finding the gaps.
Two sites which are doing phenomenally well in this age of social networking are Twitter and Facebook. It’s a given that these sites are generating traffic that the majority of us couldn’t dream of achieving. At the start of their rise to internet startdom, smart webmasters were thinking about how to piggyback off this growing trend by thinking about what they weren’t doing, and offering up this on a plate to users. You don’t always have to be able to spot a rising star, but it helps.
That’s not to say that there isn’t still opportunity out there. As these big name sites continue to add additional services to their offering (think Twitter lists and Google real time search) – new and exciting ‘gaps’ appear that need either people to explain how they work , or how to use them for business or whatever.
Sell the spade.
In the same way that the gold rush created a demand for spades, the same holds true for internet monoliths. Demand for added extras is created, its just a matter of researching or keeping your ears to the ground to find out what these are.
You wanna get rich? Sell the spade.
There’s a couple of ways to get a feel for these. You could take a look at some trend trackers. Forum’s also provide great insight into the mindset of users which often provide little snippets of juicy info that you can tap into. Google predictive search can also show you what people are interested in on these sites.
TwitterBackgrounds.com – is a perfect example. Facebookemoticons.com is another. Two missing offerings on two massive sites. Both of these sites have commercial intent; and theres undoubtedly enough traffic to warrant purchasing a domain and working up some content. Researching keywords which are popular, then registering a keyword domain (which is alot easier to get to number one on Google) is pretty much common practise online for people who are running multiple sites with Google Adsense on them. I’m not going to get into how to make money online here; as that is something which has been done to death online, but its easy to see how lucrative this could become.
Extend your growth
The key is to use this information within your blogging strategy to extend your growth. Find a site or service which is doing well, and provide content which compliments and extends upon it. If you can get a few high traffic keywords in the title of the post, well and good, its likely to help position you favorably in the search engines as time goes on, and if it doesn’t take off immediately may help you further down the line. Folks like Mashable do this particularly well – e.g.. their Twitter guide.
Some examples of posts which I personally think would do well?
Taking a look at the statistics, the Google keyword tool returned a shed load of results. Here’s the randomly selected two that struck me on the side of the head as great post ideas:
facebook clone – 9,900 searches last month. It’s a two word phrase, which means that its not going to be absolutely impossible to rank in the search engines for. (a single word phrase commonly has more traffic, more competition and is more difficult). The competition in the SERPS for it appears to be relatively low. The word “clone” is used once in the title of the page which ranks first rather than just “Facebook clone“. Its definitely worth a shot. Here’s what I’d write for it..
“10 of the web’s most awesome facebook clones” – Research and write the post with the social media audience in mind. Make sure and seed it, and hopefully you’ll get some relevant links back to it. Because you’ve used the words in the title of the post; it stands to reason that they will appear in the anchor text of some of the people that link back to you. This being an important ranking factor for SEO, means you stand a decent chance of ranking.
facebook application – 135,000 searches a month. You aren’t likely to outrank Facebook on this one (their www.facebook.com/apps) URL is the link most people are looking for. BUT that doesn’t mean you can’t still capitalise upon it. You dont always have to get to number one for something to be worth your while doing, and with that sort of volume searching for facebook applications it is likely to lift your site traffic significantly if you did manage to make inroads on this query space.
“25 must install facebook applications for business” – Again a bit of research is going to be required, and you are going to have to take the time to actually install them, and review them properly. This is what its all about – not about being fluffy and pulling a few out of a hat; but actually taking the time to work at your post and create something that is worthy and honest.
This sort of thing works for people outside the tech sector as well. What is hot in your industry? What is new? Who are the top dogs and what are they doing? The key is to think about how to use that existing brand popularity to facilitate growth yourself by providing guides, walkthroughs and above all adding value that doesn’t already exist.