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Sunday Morning SEO: Breaking Through Traffic Plateaus

Sunday Morning SEO: Breaking Through Traffic Plateaus

traffic-plateau-graphOne of the exciting times for any blogger is when he breaks through a traffic plateau and reaches new levels of pageviews and visitors. Fortunately, I’ve seen my blog overcome a couple plateaus. In this post, I talk about the steps I took to reach new traffic levels.

50 Daily Visitors

When I first started the blog, I wrote 2-3 posts every week. I did keyword research beforehand and included the keywords in the post titles. This tactic helped me rank for long-tail non-competitive keywords.

I linked to the blog from my other blogs. Also, I asked a couple friends to add the blog on their blogroll. These links got my blog indexed on the search engines and gave it a little bit of link authority.

After a couple days, I was averaging about 50 visitors per day.

250 Daily Visitors

After a couple weeks, I had enough data to analyze my keyword logs and discover ranking opportunities. Certain types of keywords were sending the bulk of the traffic, so I focused on those search terms.

I did some research to find out the top blogs in my niche and then I linked out liberally to them. I sent one of the blogs a good amount of traffic. The blogger repaid the favor by writing a post about my blog. Also, he added me to his blogroll. These links improved my rankings and sent me some traffic.

Also, I published a couple longer, feature pieces. I emailed bloggers and asked them to link to the content if they liked it. A couple blogs linked.

These steps helped my blog reach a new milestone, 250 daily visitors.

500 Daily Visitors

To reach my next milestone of 500 daily visitors, I stepped up my marketing efforts.

First, I did a comprehensive link exchange campaign. I contacted many related sites and asked them if they were interested in trading links. I got some links, which send a couple hundred visitors every month. Also, the links increased my PageRank and rankings.

Second, I submitted my blog’s RSS feed to all the automated news sites in my niche. Most of the sites liked my blog, so they added my feed.

Third, I promoted on forums. I found a very active forum that allows members to post links to their site as long as they don’t overdo it. In the beginning, I spent a couple days building a good reputation by creating quality forum threads. Then, I left links to relevant posts on my blog on the high traffic section of the forum.

The forum marketing sent a lot of traffic including many repeat visitors. Currently, 40% of my traffic is repeat visitors. I believe the forum marketing had a lot do with this.

Fourth, I blogged about an event in my niche in a strategic manner. This resulted in a big traffic spike and many of the new visitors became regular visitors.

Finally, I became more active in link building. I submitted more articles to and published guest posts on a couple top blogs.

1000 Daily Visitors

This milestone has only been reached in the last two weeks. Two weeks ago, I covered the biggest event in my niche in real time. The event was a four day gaming tournament and I wrote seven posts about the tournament totaling 7,000 words. The topics for the posts were carefully chosen based on keywords related to the event.

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The posts quickly reached top rankings during the event and I got a lot of traffic as buzz from the event spread online. Many people are still interested in the results of the event so I didn’t receive the big drop off that typically occurs after a traffic spike.

You can read an in-depth post about my experience here.

What I’ve Learned

If you want to reach new levels of traffic, my advice would be the following:

Use trial and error. Do what works but stop doing the ineffective tactics. For example, I’ve realized that covering events works very well but Twitter is not very popular (yet) in my niche.

Be patient. It usually takes time to build search traffic. One of the reasons for this is that Google likes older sites and older links.

Increase your effort. If you work harder, you’ll see an increase in traffic. Try writing more guest posts and publishing more posts per month.

Stick with the SEO fundamentals. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Focus on keyword research and building quality links.

Over to You

How have you broken through your traffic plateaus?

View Comments (11)
  • I really like what you’ve said here, especially about sticking with the SEO fundamentals. I’ve found social media promotion to be highly valuable, but still find that SEO fulfills another need entirely – two separate kinds of traffic.

  • Brandon, social media marketing (SMM) is definitely valuable and it even provides some SEO benefits. I’m looking to improve my SMM skills since as you say, it reaches a different audience.

  • Congrats – but what you’re basically saying is that a HUGE amount of effort is needed to be successful. Oh well – that’s life I guess!

  • Dee, Thank you so much for sharing your experience. You break the process down into straight forward and unintimidating steps that take the mystery out of increasing blog traffic!

  • Maggie, thanks for the positive feedback! Writing the post helped motivate me to continue improving my blog since I was able to see clearly the different traffic milestones I had achieved.

  • Dee, this is an excellent overview of your strategy and very valuable to newbies and established bloggers alike. It’s good to set yourself targets and I think this post makes it clear how you can go about targeting the next big number of visitors.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • I started my blog almost 8 months ago and now I am receiving more than 2.5K hits per day. I used same strategy as is used by you… almost the same and still finding it increasing my traffic.
    Based on my experience, I would say – keyword research ie use of targetted keywords sets the ball rolling for you. Currently, I receive more than 90% of my traffic from Google alone thanks to keyword research.

  • Congrats, Rajesh! Keyword research is definitely a useful marketing skill. I too have a high percentage of visitors from Google. Currently, it’s around 81%.

  • I find there is a huge difference in the traffic between the top and bottom of page one in Google, that’s why position three or higher is so important to me :)

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