NOTE: This is a guest post by Troy Broussard. If you signup for his webinar below, I do NOT receive any commission or compensation. Enjoy the article…
One the biggest problems with Internet Marketing is that there are things that sell well and then there are things that are helpful to your business – and they’re not always the same. In fact, many times, the best sellers are some of the worst products.
The reason is very simple, what “sells” is “easy” and so you get hammered with short sited tactic after tactic and are left chasing what you think is a solution only to later learn that it was yesterday’s news and perhaps even hurting your quest to improve your business.
So what’s the difference between a tactic and a strategy?
A strategy is a longterm vision for your business that is solid and is not based upon “here today gone tomorrow approaches” to business growth. Tactics, however, are short term in nature. They may be very effective NOW but they may stop working at any time or lose their effectiveness over time.
Let’s give an example to bring home the point.
When it comes to picking a domain name, many people will use a “tactical” approach selecting a domain name that has their keywords in it since Google has, in the past, allowed EMD’s (exact match domains) a preference in ranking. So, if your primary target keyword was, “low resistance workout” you might ideally try to buy LowResistanceWorkout.com – a logical choice.
The thinking is that this will make it easier for you to rank for your primary keyword and so it’s a wise choice. And, from a tactical standpoint, that is true. However, EMD’s have already begun to lose a lot of their traction and this will likely continue as Google continually refines their algorithm. So, is it really wise to build your business around a “tactic”? (Hint: the correct answer is “no”)
A better choice would be a to pick a name for your site that represents your brand. While in the short-term it might be a tad more difficult to rank for your keywords, the long term strategic benefits for your brand are much more important. Your brand is something you have control over and can continue to build up over time.
By the way, for those of you honor roll types out there, yes, you can do the best of both worlds. In other words, you can build up your main strategic authority site as a branded domain and then, in time, add additional “tactical” feeder websites that are EMD’s targeting your main keywords. That, however, is a bit advanced and is not recommended until you’re making good money with your main authority site and just trying to expand with more traffic. It will cost a bit more to support these multiple sites and build them out, so definitely do NOT go this route until you’re rock solid on your main site first (you’ve been warned).
The Death of Mini-Sites
Another big “tactical” solution in the Internet Marketing space is this notion of creating a 100 mini-sites each making you $20 a month or even just creating 20 niche websites each making you $500 a month. This “mini-site model” has been immensely popular for years, but does it work?
Well, the sub-title kind of gives it away, but “hell no” is the answer and we’re really tired of seeing people fall for this sales pitch, so we want to take this opportunity to officially proclaim the “death” of the mini-site model. As readers of Ryan, we know you like it straight to the point, so that’s what we want to give you!
This model has is still being sold because it paints such an alluring “dream” that people fall for it. The concept is simple. Create a bunch of sites, throw some automated content and special “secret sauce” tools on them and “boom” you’ve got a formula for success you can just stamp out copy after copy of. Yeah, ok.
But here’s the problem. Google HATES these sites, HATES duplicate and spun content and is actively doing everything they can to take down not only these sites and tools but also the SEO tactics that prop them up.
So, what to do instead?
Enter the Age of the Authority Site
Now again, I know you like it straight to the point, so here’s the deal, it’s time to accept the facts that Google is shoving down everyone’s throat. Today it’s all about AUTHORITY.
The top sites in Google in most every niche and sub-niche are AUTHORITY sites. Gone by the wayside are all of these mini-sites and those that are left are on life support.
Google has been gradually shifting it’s favor towards authority sites for the past couple of years, but this year they really have made a pronounced and determined shift and the trend is only going to continue. Becoming an authority in your niche, however, is not as hard as it seems.
What does it mean to be an authority site?
Well, that’s really a bit of a tough question because the fact is there is no “definition” of authority from Google’s standpoint, nor is there some numeric value for authority like there is with PageRank – and that is exactly why it’s going to become even more and more important.
You see when Google.com was first launched, they based their search ranking algorithm around their PageRank formula. If you’re not familiar with PageRank, well, don’t worry, it’s really not that important anymore. But suffice it to say it’s a number from 0 to 10 that denotes the popularity and authority of an individual page on the Internet. You may have heard about a site being a “PR5” site, for example.
If you want to see an example of PageRank goto http://prchecker.info and put in RyanLee.com and you’ll see (at the time of the writing of this post) it is a PR4 site.
So the problem is that because Google publicly disclosed PageRank values and a way to check them, smart SEO gurus figured out a way to manipulate site rankings by using PageRank to their advantage. Google has now done everything they can to reverse that trend and don’t expect them to ever come out with a numeric value to express a site’s AUTHORITY – they’ve seen where that road leads.
7 Killer Tips for Becoming An Authority
- Be an authority. Ok, ok, I know that seems like a BS answer, but it’s not. If you want to be an authority site, well you have to act like one. That means having some real content and providing some real value – you can’t do that with 20 posts on your site.
- Focus on large quality content. Sorry guys, SIZE MATTERS when it comes to content. LOL – I couldn’t resist! Quit the “minimalist marketing” approach (doing the bare minimum to try and achieve success) and instead do what 85% of your competition is unwilling to do. Create in-depth and quality articles for your site that are engaging and authoritative. Blogger Steven Pavlina is famous for it and we have built a 7 figure business around it as well, frequently writing 3000 word and bigger articles that are engaging and thought provoking. BTW, this article is around 2000 words to give you an idea. Why does matter? Well it shows Google you have something meaningful to say and it attracts tons of great rankings via long tail keyword phrases as well as other seo benefits such as keeping your readers on your site for a long time and giving you lots of content and cross-linking opportunities (all good things).
- Publish content frequently. If you want to be seen as an AUTHORITY well then you’ve got to have something to say! If you don’t publish content frequently then it just tells Google (and your readers) that you really don’t have much to contribute and that is the kiss of death. Your readers want to see relevance and expertise and they want to know that they can trust you. That trust is earned and built upon your content, so get in the habit of posting at least a couple times a week. While you don’t have to publish daily or anything, you need to be consistent and not let your site go stale.
- Find ways to creatively engage. This is not necessarily the easiest thing to do and you may want to spend some time finding your “angle” but get creative and really engage your readers. Ryan has talked about this before about how you need to entertain your readers – this is what keeps them coming back. Now I’m a former programmer (kind of like saying you’re a “recovering alcoholic” – once a programmer, always a programmer) and a former Nuclear Engineer. So obviously being “creative” is not one of my strong points, but I’ve found that the more I let my readers get to know me and have a little fun, the stronger those bonds become. Recently we introduced a caricature based “brain dump” feature on our site where Mike (my business partner) and I just post short little blurbs about cool stuff we find on the Net – sort of a way for people to get to know us a bit and the response has been very strong, so don’t be afraid to get creative.
- Be prolific. This means get your message out on as many channels as possible. This means intelligently repurposing your content and leveraging it. If you do this right, it’s not only easy but can get you 10x the exposure with very little additional time or effort. You can take content in one form (video for example) and then transfer it into various other formats and syndicate it out to numerous platforms for additional branding and lead generation.
- Diversify your traffic. Don’t just depend on Google traffic. Diversify your traffic from other sources such as forum traffic, blog commenting, JV partnerships, Facebook traffic, paid traffic sources and don’t forget offline traffic sources like industry events, speaking engagements, magazine articles and ads, and other sources.
- Go where your readers are. Now, I’m totally cheating on this one. This is straight out of Ryan’s book for success and he talks about this frequently, but I think it is absolutely critical, so I’m “borrowing” (after all, it’s his site, so not really stealing it – LOL). Find out where your ideal customer is and GO THERE. If that means going offline, then go offline. If it means participating in three big popular forums and establishing your leadership there, then GO THERE. The bottom line is find out where your readers are and get in front of them. Exposure leads to authority.
Wrapping it all up…
Okay, so we’ve talked about “tactics” and “strategy” and differentiated the two – you should be getting on the right path now. Building your authority online is not hard to do, in fact it is easier today than ever as there are more and more channels to market yourself today than there were 5 or 7 years ago.
Now the “pink elephant” in the room has you probably thinking that building an AUTHORITY presence online is “hard” and “will take time”. Well I’m here to tell you that yes, it will take some time, but anything worth achieving will – believing anything else is simply the same as buying fool’s gold. It is not, however, hard to become an authority. You do, however, need a solid blueprint to follow.
Recently Mike and I went back through our first 22 months online when we were able to launch a new business in 2010 and take it to a seven figure business in those first 22 months. We analyzed everything we did – the good, the bad and the ugly (oh yeah, trust me, there was some “ugly” as well). And what came out of that analysis and self-reflection was our flagship product, Building Authority Sites. We’d like to invite you to join us on a special webinar for Ryan Lee’s guests only so that we can present you with that AUTHORITY BLUEPRINT because no matter what your business monetization strategy or niche is, AUTHORITY is where it’s at.
Register for the Building Authority Sites Webinar Here
We will be giving away some cool stuff and even an opportunity for 3 lucky people to attend Ryan’s DCX (where Troy will be speaking) for FREE! So don’t miss this one…
Option #1 – 9/25/2012 @ 3pm EST
Option #2 – 9/25/2012 @ 8pm EST
You can also learn more about Troy at his site TopMarketingStrategies.com