Editor’s note: Moz has shifted away from their previous difficulty score to a new tool, Keyword Explorer. It has its own difficulty metric that’s slightly different from what’s laid out here. AHREFs and SEMRush also have their own scores. Really, what tool you use is up to you/personal preference/assessment of accuracy, but there are several options for determining SERP difficulty.

There is some talk amongst SEO experts and gurus how CTR could be the biggest SEO factor of them all. That Google ranks sites high in the SERPs by which ones are clicked on the most and not by how many backlinks they have or how great their on-page SEO is. That does help but there is indeed some direct correlation in this claim as it makes sense since Google wants to rank the best, most perfect choice for a searcher and one way of knowing that, is by ranking the site that gets the most clicks highest in the SERPs.
Sending out regular newsletters and promoting offers through email is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and can also help to get traffic to your website. Provide useful information and links to pages on your website where they can learn more, such as through blog posts and offer landing pages. Just make sure that you don`t continually bombard your readers with emails or your customers will either disengage with, delete, or unsubscribe from your emails.
Google AdWords can increase traffic to websites quickly, because you are able to expand on your location targeting by either targeting specific cities or by mile-radius around places. For example, if you provide your service / product in Europe, then you can amend the settings within AdWords so that your ad appears in European countries. As your ad will be seen in many countries, it increases your chance of driving more traffic.
Creating valuable content... aka Blog Blog Blog! You want to build a blogging strategy that hones in on your prospects pain points, so you can start addressing their problems with valuable content. If you utilize some high value keywords you found in #5 above, you will start popping up in search results when your prospects are searching for those problems. 
On the flipside, if your domain authority is in the 60s or 70s, your analysis isn’t about whether or not you can rank – you instead are trying to determine what keywords you can rank for without promotion, a nice luxury to have. In the 40s, you most likely don’t have that ability – every topic will require cold outreach in order to see the first page.

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Advocacy – This phase of the marketing funnel only became apparent since the last 5 years or so. Advocacy means that your customers love you so much, they talk about you to others without you asking them. Customers who have experienced your brand in a positive manner will want to follow you on their preferred social platform. More than that, they’ll help amplify your content by sharing it – because they’re madly in love with you
It’s not enough to produce great content and hope that people find it – you have to be proactive. One of the best ways to increase traffic to your website is to use social media channels to promote your content. Twitter is ideal for short, snappy (and tempting) links, whereas Google+ promotion can help your site show up in personalized search results and seems especially effective in B2B niches. If you’re a B2C product company, you might find great traction with image-heavy social sites like Pinterest and Instagram. Here's more advice on making the most of social media marketing.

Thanks for the very, very in-depth article. I am a real estate agent in Miami, Florida and have been blogging all-original content for the past 21 months on my website and watched traffic increase over time. I have been trying to grow my readership/leads/clients exponentially and have always heard about standard SEO backlink techniques and writing for my reader, not influencers. Recently, I have had a few of my articles picked up and backlinked by 2 of the largest real estate blogs in the country, which skyrocketed visits to my site. Realizing what I wrote about, that appealed to them, and now reading your article, I am going to continue writing in a way that will leverage those influencers to help me with quality backlinks.
Brian, I’ve drunk your Kool aid! Thank you for honesty and transparency – it really gives me hope. Quick question: I am beyond passionate about a niche (UFOs, extraterrestrials, free energy) and know in my bones that an authority site is a long term opportunity. The problem today is that not many products are attached to this niche and so it becomes a subscriber / info product play. However, after 25+ years as an entrepreneur with a financial background and marketing MBA, am I Internet naive to believe that my passion and creativity will win profitability in the end? The target audience is highly passionate too. Feedback?

An e-commerce store: You can buy traffic, but think for a second. Do you really think that they will purchase an item of your’s?. Try to get a targeted country wise or age appropriate set of customer mail list in case of an e-commerce website. In order to find this, you will have to research in the dark web and deep web. It will be expensive as hell if you want to purchase this traffic. Also SEO and re-targeting and re-marketing works well.
Create a navigation menu. For easy navigation, you should create a toolbar with links that are easy to navigate and position the toolbar in an area that makes sense. Web users often look for the toolbar across the top or down the left the left hand side of the page. You shouldn't forget a link to your homepage. It’s often forgotten but very important to point your users to your homepage.
Very useful article. I like how you’ve combines videos, images, graphs, text and an infographic all in one piece Ross, very cool. I also like the KOB analysis info. I think I met you a few years ago Ross at a search love in Boston, ever present there? Also, here is an article that lists some good data on conversion optimization: http://www.oakwebworks.com/what-influences-online-consumers-most.htm
Medium is one of my go-to platforms for marketing my content and provides another authority-site domain that gives you the versatility of link-dropping the way that you normally would through any blog post on a CMS like WordPress. Leverage Medium to create intuitive content marketing posts that also link back to your primary posts on your site or blog.
RESULT: Google will serve my ad alongside content on women’s fashion/shoes with a bid increase for users that are contained in the Beauty & Fashion interest targeting. If the Beauty & Fashion interest targeting was Target and Bid, I would only reach users in that interest group. Instead, I want to reach any user reading content on women’s fashion/shoes with an increased bid for users in the Beauty & Fashion interest group because they are of higher value to my business.
Optimizing a website to increase visitors requires the right keywords and the only way to actually get them is to do research. Now, while there are several ways that you can do this, the general methods can be broken down into paid and free. Paid keyword research tools are usually very powerful and can provide customers with a lot of great options to choose from, which leads to more regular visitors.

Historical refreshes of content is a good thing, especially if some of your content has expired. Note, this does not mean re-doing your content; simply refreshing it to bring it current if it isn't already evergreen content. Look at ways you can update outdated content on your site to drive more traffic through visibility on search engines like Google.

Tyler is an award-winning marketer, SEO expert, successful blogger, and keynote speaker. He has composed content for some of the world's top publications and has over a decade of experience building businesses in the digital space. Tyler is the current Head of Marketing at Ezoic and serves as an SEO and marketing expert for start-up competitions across the U.S.


Brian, I recently found your blog by following OKDork.com. Just want to say you’re really amazing with the content you put out here. It’s so helpful, especially for someone like me who is just starting out. I’m currently writing posts for a blog I plan to launch later this year. I think my niche is a little too broad and I have to figure out how to narrow it down. I essentially want to write about my current journey of overcoming my fears to start accomplishing the dreams i have for blogging, business, and travel. In doing so, I will share the best tips, tools, and tactics I can find, as well as what worked, what didn’t and why.
The most basic and straightforward way is to use Google Analytics. And I'm not just talking about installing Google Analytics. I'm talking about using the UTM (short for Urchin Tracking Module, which relates to the old Urchin analytics system that Google acquired to create its tracking tool) variables that exist in Google's Analytics to ensure that you know where they're coming from.
Text-based content is all well and good, but video can be a valuable asset in both attracting new visitors and making your site more engaging. Data shows that information retention is significantly higher for visual material than it is for text, meaning that video marketing is an excellent way to grab – and hold – your audience’s attention, and boost traffic to your website at the same time.
The website traffic checker Alexa helps with competitive research. In other words, if you want to know what your competitors’ traffic sources are, this is the tool you can use. Plus, it’s free. I use this website traffic checker when building new stores to see what the main traffic sources of my competitors are. You can also use it to monitor the competition’s popularity – is the traffic trending upward, stable, or declining. You’ll even see the website’s global or national rank.
Building a database of customers and potential customers is the single most important thing a business needs to do from day 1. When I say database, I mean email list. Email is still king. Once you get someone into your email list you get to build a relationship with him/her which can eventually lead to profit. Buying traffic can dramatically boost your list building effort. The same way you calculated the ‘sales’ volume in the previous tip, you can use the exact same method to work out what’s required for building your list.
Use social networks to expand your reach. Social networking is hugely important, and ensuring that you have a solid presence will have a large impact on your views. Post compelling content and you’ll soon build a loyal following. Follow and share with other users, who may reciprocate and follow you. There are a variety of ways that you can use social networks to extend your online presence, depending on the needs of your site.[3]
Okay, this may not exactly be new, but it certainly is more important for your company's SEO than ever before. Google has made it clear they are now taking user experience on websites into stronger consideration in terms of how your website ranks on their search engine. Because of this, measurements like average length of website visit, bounce rate, whether or not your site is mobile-friendly, click-through rates on your content and more will be more critical to SEO success than ever before. 

Yep and sometimes it’s just being a little creative. I’ve started a little blog on seo/wordpress just for fun actually… no great content on it like here though… but because the competition is so tough in these niches I decided to take another approach. I created a few WordPress plugins that users can download for free from wordpress.org… and of course these link to my site so this gets me visitors each day.


Well, the age of print media is coming to a close. But there’s no reason why some enterprising blogger couldn’t use the same tactic to get new subscribers. Let’s say you have a lifestyle blog targetting people in San Francisco. You could promote the giveaway through local media, posters, and many other tactics (we’ll get into these methods shortly).
Finally, there’s the matter of the domain that your bought traffic will be directed to. You should always remember that when you buy traffic to your site, the nature of the site will determine what the response rate could be. In most cases, you can only use one domain per package, so you will have to buy multiple traffic packages for multiple sites.
For one thing, not everybody is going to go straight from chatting with you to looking at your website. It’s usually not a good idea to send people directly to your site unless they have a clear idea “what’s in for them” and don’t have to spend much time looking around. On the other hand, going to your brand’s Facebook Page is a small win you can build on.
If your campaign spans several days, experiment by changing the landing page, and comparing results. On the right, please see the places that people clicked, in order of popularity. At one point we noticed that the average pageviews were very low, meaning that nobody was reaching our target page (the sign-up page). We changed the landing page and directed the visitors directly to the ‘create a free trial’ page. This led to an even further drop in the average number of pages viewed. People did not respond well to being landed directly on a sign-up page. There is a lot of literature on this subject. The challenge is to offer a well-built page which is to the point, invites exploration, and leads visitors to complete a desired action. In this case a text-link produced the best results (see diagram).

However, the more organized you are, and the better you've presented your offer at the outset, the more likely you'll be to succeed with any one of these traffic methods or strategies. So, how do you track all of your efforts to ensure that you're doing the best to understand where your visitors are coming from when it comes driving traffic to your website?
Consider outsourcing article writing. If you hate the thought of generating content yourself, or your team is not writing-savvy, consider outsourcing this end of the task. Depending on the length, content, specialization and quality required, prices can start as low as US$5 per article. However, don't neglect attempting to write your own work - who better than you knows your own business, hobby or club and can express precisely what needs to be said?
When you enter your advertising requirements and buy website traffic on our order page our platform scans our network in real time and will then only display your website to visitors who fall under the correct conditions you select, this ensures the highest chance of success for our clients. Unlike many other traffic providers traffic masters does not charge extra for targeting, we offer a fixed CPM for all traffic options.
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