It’s absolutely possible to grow a small, single-person blog to $1 million in revenue, and get hundreds of thousands of visits per month in organic traffic through basic SEO.
We’ve included 13 tips below. Some of them are pretty basic. Others will surprise you.
Let’s dive in:
1) Organic traffic is the best kind of traffic you can get.
However, the conversion rates aren’t as high as paid traffic.
Paid ads are especially important for e-commerce. (Until you become Amazon and your own Google search engine of the e-commerce world.)
Most e-commerce stores don’t do any SEO (i.e., don’t even have a blog), believing it’s slow, competitive, and captures top-of-the-funnel traffic that isn’t ready to convert compared with social that can be sent directly to a sales page or landing page.
2) Work on increasing your website authority from the very beginning.
The higher your website authority, the greater chance you have of ranking higher.
3) Guest posts are the best way to increase your website authority.
Set up a process to research opportunities, automate outreach, create outlines, and creating content.
4) Establish authority in a particular niche.
Once you rank a few pages for a topic, chances are that Google will favor the rest of your content over other websites for that topic.
But if you’re writing on way too many topics, Google will become confused as to what your true authority is.
Just like in real life, you establish authority in a specific field. Once you go outside of something you haven’t proven yourself in, there’s less trust.
Follow Google’s E-A-T guidelines.
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
E-A-T comes from Google’s Search Quality Rater guidelines. It became well known after the Medic Update in August 2018.
E-A-T is one factor that Google uses to evaluate the overall quality of a web page to help determine how to rank it.
5) Content creators like to link to data and analysis.
Create data-based content to get links organically.
Content that’s high in data and numbers is great for getting links because it’s something people can use to make their argument.
6) Internal linking is one of the best ways to improve ranking.
Get SEO juice from top pages to trickle down to other pages.
Internal linking is easy to do and one of the most underrated aspects of SEO.
7) Don’t have orphan links.
Make sure that each page has at least one internal link.
For example, if you have a good page on building links, spread some juice to your link building page.
Tying relevant pages together is good for user experience and also helps Google understand your site.
8) Do regular website SEO audits and fix errors.
Errors can harm your website.
Some are minor. Some are more major (such as not caching).
9) When you find the right keywords…
…half your job is done.
But you’ll still need quality content AND site authority to rank well and get the traffic for those queries.
10) Update and optimize old posts.
Avoid being outranked by competitors just because you didn’t update your content.
Google loves fresh content and many types of content essentially require freshness to be ranked highly.
For example, Google isn’t going to rank a piece of news on Apple from 2019 very highly for “aapl stock”; it’s going to compile the latest stories in its news feed.
11) The easiest way to get more traffic…
…is to optimize pages that are already ranking in one country for other countries.
Translating pages into other languages can be helpful. This is especially true as the internet spreads into other countries.
For example, if you’re an English blog (as a big fraction of the internet is) and Brazil (nearly 3 percent of the world population) could be a target audience, consider translating pages into Portuguese.
12) Never use sub-domains.
Google treats them as separate websites, so they don’t carry authority. Use sub-folders.
For example, instead of blog.tme.net, just use tme.net/blog
13) Do not rely entirely on SEO.
Diversify your traffic sources.
Other organic channels are social media, such as:
Are there specialty social media sites for your niche?
StockTwits is great if you have a financial blog.
Instagram is great for lifestyle.
Pinterest with many types of female audiences and can be great for lifestyle and other visual elements.
Also, don’t underestimate YouTube.
It’s the second-most used search engine after Google and is an easier search engine to master just because it’s not as saturated.
It entails creating video, which is a totally different type of content format and production can be time-consuming.
But the type of traffic you can get from YouTube can make an entire business.