The SEO Snowball Effect
For new websites, or sites that have never undertaken an SEO campaign, a common question is, “How do I know this SEO campaign is working?”
The answer is when you see an exponential increase in traffic or inbound links without expending very much current effort.
Of course your initial SEO campaign should involve a flurry of activity in research, creating content, link campaigns and so forth. To truly measure the effect of that activity, one must wait.
That’s actually the part I like the most about SEO…when you get to the point you can create terrific content without worrying about how to promote it. I’m still not “there” yet with this site, but I know I’m on the right track. Why? The SEO snowball effect.
A month ago I made the comment the site had reached the milestone of attracting 1000 unique visitors. 30 days later, meaning today, the visitor total is slightly over 4,000. That’s not just doubling, that’s exponential! For the most part all I’ve done is create content. It’s also organic. There were no paid links, except for the fee to distribute the Utah’s Top Blogger press release.
That monthly graph looks great right? All uphill. The daily and even weekly graphs aren’t as fluid. Sometimes there are drops in traffic. That’s OK because traffic is just one aspect of a successful SEO campaign.
What else is an SEO campaign supposed to do besides increase traffic? If you think SEO is only about traffic, you’re approaching the concept the wrong way. SEO is about business, increasing business. That takes a lot of forms. Increasing traffic is useless if your site doesn’t have a way to let those visitors engage you in a discussion about their needs for your business. Those ways may include an email contact form, a Twitter follow, a Facebook fan, a phone call or even a face to face meeting.
The way to measure your online influence is by the amount of inbound links you’re receiving. In that regard, I’m very pleased with how this site is growing. Two and a half months ago, I had no inbound links. Now I’ve got 550. That’s also exponential.
Where are these inbound links coming from?
A lot of them are generated automatically through Twitter and splogs, so they don’t carry much weight. They’re also very easy to get. Some of them are coming from the blog carnivals and others come from comments I make on other sites. Most of them come through pingbacks and trackbacks. I registered with Blog Buzzer to automate that process. Otherwise, WordPress only automatically pings other WordPress blogs.
The best inbound links are the ones you create just from having good, searchable content. They’re the links you earn from doing a great job writing your blog or website. I found this link to my blog on Google. I have no idea how they found me. That’s good. That’s SEO.
From an SEO perspective it’s a good link because it comes from a site with similar content to mine – social media and Internet marketing – plus they’ve got a higher page rank than mine. It’s a bad link because it’s buried along with a bunch of others in a blog roll style. Even though it won’t get me any traffic, it will help with my page rank.
A better inbound link is this one. It’s a blog post about my Facebook friends policy. The link to this site is in the body of the post, which Google loves. Plus it’s sending traffic as well as sweet Google link juice! How did I get this link? By linking over to them first. I didn’t ask for a return link, I simply linked to their story as an example from mine. A pingback shows up in their comments and they saw my site and,
I love it, and would highly encourage anyone wanting to use Facebook for professional purposes to follow this practice.
That is good SEO. It’s the kind that snowballs into traffic, inbound links and authority. Once you obtain authority (trust) you will only get more. The final step of a good SEO campaign is one I haven’t reached here yet, but I have in the past. That step is media recognition.
Some people are willing to do anything to get media attention. I know the best way to get media attention is the same way you get your customer’s attention: good content/products and the ability to be found.
When I was writing real estate blog, I got a call from a reporter at USA Today. He had found my number from my blog and was actually writing a story I didn’t know very much about regarding stocks. I even told him I wasn’t a good source, but he asked a few questions anyway. I referred him to other people to speak to about his story. At the end of the day, I was the one that got written about.
The USA Today story wasn’t a good piece for me. There was no link to my site and the reporter actually misrepresented me a little in the story. However, a story in a local trade magazine was a lot better. It put my opinion in the cover story and the magazine was distributed to people who could send me referrals. Neither story would have happened if I didn’t have excellent SEO for my site.
Determining whether your SEO campaign is working is actually pretty simple.
1. Are you getting more traffic?
2. Are you getting more inbound links?
3. Are people (not necessarily mainstream media) talking/writing about you?
If your SEO campaign has been going for 90 days and you haven’t seen any results, you need a new SEO company.