opinion

Using Content as a Customer Magnet

Stephen Yagielowicz

Adult site owners have faced a perennial debate over which is more important, content or traffic — but it is no longer about which commodity is most valuable, but about using content to generate traffic.

While adult webmasters rely on myriad ways to increase the number of visitors to their websites, such as link building, pay per click and contextual search advertising, affiliate promotions and more, there are many benefits to leveraging content as a traffic generation tool — especially textual content.

SEO strategies and techniques are among the best ways to achieve increased traffic results, [so] the content on your website should include well researched keywords. -Rick Hanson

But before you exclaim that porn is about pictures and videos, not words, realize that on-page items ranging from image “alt” to element and page title tags, robust descriptions (including video transcripts) as well as the latest discovery-friendly HTML 5 tags, are all “content,” and each plays a vital role in traffic building today.

According to Internet marketer Rick Hanson, a website’s revenue is dependent on its traffic flow, with a site’s content considered to be one of the key factors involved in generating that site’s traffic — especially since Google’s infamous Panda, Penguin and other updates, which focused on quality content.

“Content can increase traffic to your website even without increasing your [site’s search] ranking,” Hanson reports. “Therefore, focusing on creating content and regular updates of your website is one of the best ways to increase website traffic in 2014.”

It isn’t just a matter of consistent updates, but of informing your site’s visitors of what the update will be and when it will occur, using a content calendar, which capitalizes on major events and holidays, so that you can post content targeting them.

“If you want to increase website traffic in 2014, don’t rely only on written text when you create content on your website,” Hanson advises. “It is better to vary different types of content [such as infographics, images, and videos] in order to attract more visitors.”

By offering a wide variety of content types, your website can cater to every type of web visitor.

“Infographics can be used to explain complex information, while videos are useful for in-depth illustrations, introductory information, or trailers. Podcasts can be useful for reviews and discussions,” Hanson offers. “You need to [ensure] you create content for all stages of customers in the buying cycle.”

He also suggests adding authority and credibility to your content by mentioning influencers in your industry and by using long tail keywords.

Hanson says that websites such as Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube are widely used for marketing website content and that this trend will continue into the future. It is a process with multiple benefits, since not only are prospects exposed to your offer directly through your social media posts, but through the sharing of these posts and their indexing in search engines, where this content becomes exposed to an even wider audience.

“SEO strategies and techniques are among the best ways to achieve increased traffic results, [so] the content on your website should include well researched keywords,” Hanson explains. “It is important to have interesting content for your readers while at the same time it’s as important to help your readers find that content by using keywords, which will make your web pages rank higher in the search results.”

As a result, one recommended technique is to use Google’s Keyword Planner to search for keywords that are relevant to your content, but which receive less competition from other marketers.

“You need to use keywords with low competition that are searched at least 60-90 times a month,” Hanson advises, adding that your content’s keyword density should be at an optimal rate of 2-4 percent.

Finally, Hanson says that one of the best web traffic strategies for 2014 is to have presence as a guest blogger — a process that could be extended to all user generated content accompanied by links back to the submitter’s site — such as video clips posted to a tube site.

“Make it a habit to post valuable content in other sites that are related to your industry,” Hanson concludes. “By doing this, you will be able to generate more traffic by reaching frequent visitors of the website you are [posting] on.”

As with everything in online marketing, however, things can change rather quickly, with Google now warning against the use of spurious “guest posts,” and any comments intended to game search results.

Internet marketer Lewis Crutch recently discussed the growing threat from Google, citing two cases in which the search giant made public slap-downs of firms that it said were publishing content that was “unrelated” to the overall topic of the sites that these items had appeared on, but Crutch notes that the good news is that despite how scary, troubling, possibly arbitrary, or justified, one simple fact remains: guest blog posts aren’t dead.

“People are still trading links for content. That game isn’t going to go anywhere anytime soon [as] this is still one of the most popular ways for people to build links and get content,” Crutch explains. “What has changed is how public people are going to be regarding guest posts. Expect more publishers and bloggers to wipe out or ban the phrase ‘guest post’ from their online properties.”

According to Google’s Matt Cutts, the company experimented with ranking signals that did not include back-links, but the results were not satisfactory, so Google still relies on back-links for ranking.

“As a result, Google is tied to the hip, for now, to links as ranking signals. This means, in no uncertain terms, that Google isn’t going to leave back-links behind anytime soon,” Crutch says. “Where back-links are counted, you can bet money that people will try to build links to game results.”

Crutch offers several best practices for staying in Google’s good graces despite doing something it has prohibited, including not posting “expert” guest posts without an introduction process, and unless the guest post offers truly expert information.

Crutch advises marketers to focus on their expertise to make their content the best possible content for the topic they’re covering, saying, “Otherwise, don’t publish or write it. That’s the bottom line.”

Other advice includes being discreet with marketing and content acquisition efforts, because being obvious about offering links in exchange for content paints a target on your site.

Your links must also be relevant and fit the flow and focus of the site.

“It goes without saying that the anchor text must ‘naturally’ flow from the content of the post,” Crutch concludes. “Google knows if a host site and a target site are in the same niche or not, [so] be careful about linking to a completely unrelated site.”

It’s all a matter of degrees, but relevance and quality are as royal today as content and traffic when attempting to determine which is “King” — and all should be crafted to work well together.

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