This article is prompted by a nice gesture by Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents . Lately, I've published a few of blog posts that I really wanted to rank well. I added 2 different blog posts on here (maybe a month or so apart), highlighting them on here, and linking to them.
Unprompted, Elizabeth went to the articles (on my own blog and commented). Wow. Yay! Here is one of them. Note: she commented on my wordpress site...not for points, but to HELP me! I was so thrilled because I had spent a TON of time on this article, and I'm hoping it does well, so it meant a lot to me.
So, what did I do? I went to her blog, and I left a couple of comments on 2 of her blog posts. One of them was on a topic and near to my heart - can hardwood flooring increase the value of your Sacramento home? I also noticed that Debe Maxwell, CRS had left her a comment as well. (Debe knows what she's doing, too!)
So here are a few quick tips for you...if you want to help others out
1. Leave comments on other people's blog...on their OWN sites (not just AR articles)
Google loves interaction, and it tends to rank articles that have comments (as well as social shares) better. The comment is even more valuable than the social share...because it is more difficult to receive (and harder to fake). It shows that someone read the article...and they cared enough to leave a comment! Most people don't get many comments on their blogs. So when you get one, it's really special...and then you should reply back...yes, more interaction on your blog...again better for google ranking.
I'm lucky that I do get a bunch of comments...often in the form of questions...on my blog posts. It looks like I have over 3,000 comments on my blog. Now probably half of those are me responding back, so probably just 1,500 comments from other people.
I have 1 article about Coretec Plus (a luxury vinyl product) that is fairly new to the market and has been growing in popularity over the last 3 years. I wrote this article 10 months ago, and it already has 241 comments! I seem to get a few each week. It's incredible! The article usually gets 6,000-7,000 clicks a month, and it shot up in the rankings and clicks very quickly...I think after around 2 months, it was already up to 5,000 clicks, and I believe there are 2 reasons: 1) it's long form epic content and 2) all the comments...see the next tip to see what I believe what started the slew of comments.
2. Look for forums and/or Q&A places to answer a few questions with links back to your site
So, what led to all these comments? I had an idea. I knew that people had a lot of questions on this topic. So, I went to 2 places: Houzz and Quora and I did a search for the topic. I found a few question strings (w/ a lot of interaction) and then I put in my 2 cents (in a non spammy way) and mentioned that I wrote an in depth article on this topic and linked to it.
I think for this topic, it was the Houzz that really drove the traffic (but other times I've gotten traffic from Quora). I believe both are "no follow" links, meaning they don't pass along google juice. But, I wasn't doing it for the google juice. I was doing this to help customers and drive them to my site.
And, it worked! I think within a few hours, I got 3 or 4 questions on that blog post! (And by the way, while it was a bit extra traffic, it was not (at the time) a big bump in traffic. The article was still very new. And, then some more a few days later. I should have written down the dates for all this, but I kept noticing more and more questions.
And what happened next? Well after a few weeks, the article started to rank better and get more and more traffic. You see, people had lots of questions on the topic, so they read the whole article...and stayed on the page for 5 or 6 minutes on average. And, then they commented. And, many in fact commented about how there were so many questions and answers and appreciated that someone actually answered and gave them advice.
Soooooo....search out forums and when you have a key article or topic that people tend to ask about, try to give answers. Try quora, houzz and other real estate forums. I've now found a few flooring and contractor forums and have done the same thing.
Actually, the best thing you can do is google your topic...and see who ranks ahead of you. And, if you find a forum on the first page, go there, sign up and leave a comment. I've found sometimes that Z or T or other home improvement sites rank ahead of me for these questions. And, often the "answers" are not very complete, not answered by experts and are just opinions...and some are wrong. This gets under my skin a bit. But, then I bring myself back and tell myself that this is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate my expertise and then tactfully link back to my site.
I'm now trying another site...for DIY crafts and home decor. It's called HomeTalk.com. I'm not sure yet if it will really drive traffic yet. But, I hope to report some good news in a couple of months.
3. Guest post (and/or allow others to guest post on your site)
This is one of the best ways to network and build traffic/traction for your website. (I should be doing more of this). Basically, you want to use the golden rule here. Do unto others....
Kevin Vitali did a great job of explaining this. You can read it here: Are you the life of the party or a party pooper?
He learned this approach from blogger extraordinaire Bill Gassett . Bill is a master at this. He writes amazing content, and he shares the love by linking out to other talented bloggers in his articles. And, in turn, they do the same for him.
This helps everyone out. And, then everyone involved also shares and promotes the article on social media. A true win win.
Another person who does this incredibly well is Anita Clark . In fact, she just wrote an article about rustic and country kitchens and today she linked to my recent blog post on choosing a farmhouse sink. How did I know? Because Anita tagged me on her facebook page.
So, what did I do? I shared it on my FB personal page and business page, and pinned it to 3 pinterest groups. And, did you see what else I did? I just linked to her article above. That helps her post do a bit better. And, it also helps by farmhouse post do a bit better.
This "quick" post turned out a little longer than I expected. But really, there are just 3 tips here. You can do 1 or all 3, pending on how well you want your blog to do.
1) Comment on other people's blogs (their own sites...not just AR). Most will return the favor and that will help you.
2) Look into some of the forum/Q&A sites and answer 2-3 questions. Write a helpful, not spammy, answer and link back to a relevant post. Only do a couple at a time, so it's quick (and also so you don't look like a spammer. Just spend 5 minutes.
3) Guest post and/or link to other people's blog posts to help them. Again, many will return the favor.
OH, AND A SIMPLE REQUEST
I'm trying to do some more guest blogging over the next 3 months. If have your own website, and you are interested in me doing a guest post for you, let me know.
Oh, and if you don't have your own website yet (and you know you should!), then getting going on this. If money is the issue, don't let it be the issue. Check out this article on my site...you can actually start your own wordpress site for just $4/month. How to start you own website for less than $4/month.