We all seek it and it eludes some of us while others are blessed with it – or so it seems. But do the sites that boast numbers in the hundreds of thousands or even million views per month get that traffic on accident? Well, sometimes! But most of the time it’s through diligent traffic-building campaigns, tireless networking with other sites and a lot of elbow grease. If you’re a blogger like me then you know all about the elbow grease part. You’re drafting, writing, creating, editing, re-writing and nurturing your personal blog or website. I am too! You’ve likely talked to other bloggers both in your subject area and in other topic areas as well. You’ve seen other blogs – from big blogs to small blogs and everything in between. You’ve seen blogs with lots of advertisement links and blogs with no links; blogs with lots of sponsorships and blogs with none. Blogs with high Google Page Rankings (PR) and ones with small PR rankings. Those thoughts and observations may have planted the seeds in your mind of growing your readership, increasing your website traffic and (can it be?) making money off your blog. All of these thoughts will eventually (if they haven’t already) lead you to blog SEO or search engine optimization.
Three Types of Website Traffic Sources
Referrals vs Search Engine Hits
Word of mouth (or ‘referral’) traffic is a very slow, arduous way of growing your readership, website traffic and, in turn, marketability. You slowly build relationships with other sites, creating links on your site that point to theirs, hopefully, they create a link to your site in return. The majority of
blog traffic in the beginning for most bloggers is built this way. But how do those big (presumably successful) bloggers take it to the next level? They inevitably will have to do so through blog optimization – optimizing their blog for search results. Let’s take a look at a very basic, yet real-world example of traffic statistics. Take the search term ‘mom blog’ (click the image on the right to view it full-size). According to the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, this search phrase is used 40,500 times per month, globally. Do the math, that’s 40,500 x 12 = 486,000 searches per year. The top search listing will get the majority of the clicks for this search (some estimates say north of 65%). Even if the first search ranking only got 50% in this case that’s almost 250k hits per year just on this term! Did your site get 250k hits last year?
I use this example to illustrate the traffic potential that optimizing your blog for SEO provides. Your traffic can grow exponentially if you’re able to rank your page high in the search results for keywords used in your site.
Unless you have a sizable marketing budget or lucked out on a trendy website URL, the chances of you having a bunch of direct traffic to your site is slim to none. You may get a random hit now and then, but most people don’t just sit around typing in URL’s not knowing what’s on the other end. That’s why networking (referral traffic) and search engine optimization are a must if you want visitors to find your content!
Search Engine Optimization Pricing
If you haven’t given thought to blog SEO yet you probably should. Where does your site rank in the keyword searches that you want to see it listed under? Is there even a way to tell? Those new thought processes discussed in the beginning of this article will eventually lead you to thoughts of blog SEO, or optimizing your blog settings to improve your search engine rankings as much as possible. But what if you don’t know the first thing about monetization, sponsorships, SEO, SEM (search engine marketing) or how much outsourcing SEO would set you back? Where do you even start? Optimization services (and, in turn, search engine optimization pricing and consulting) is a hot topic today. The one fact remains – SEO is not an exact science. No one but the engineers at companies like Google, Bing, Yahoo and others know the ‘secret formula’ to ranking high in search results. I’ve heard rumors and speculation that the Google algorithm for determining a pages rank in a given keyword search contains over 200 individual ranking criteria. Those are a lot of factors to consider!
For a good starting point on what blog SEO pricing could potentially cost you, take a look over at the following sites that offer optimization services:
SEO Pricing Information
Note: the above links do not assume an endorsement of these services, simply a frame of reference for information on search engine optimization pricing.
Another good blog post (although a bit dated) to read on the subject can be found here by clicking here SEO Rates on SEOMOZ.org. This is not a company offering services, merely a commentary on SEO pricing.