Are You Prepared for a Worst Case Scenario?
If you are like me, most of your mornings start off in almost exactly the same way. As soon as you wake up, you reach for your smart phone or laptop so you can check your e-mails and respond to the important ones. Once you have finished your e-mails, you probably move onto skimming off what’s in your RSS reader. After you have caught up on the latest news that happened while you were sleeping, you most likely pull up your analytics program to take a quick look and make sure everything is normal.
Now, stop for a moment and imagine your reaction if when you pulled up your analytics report, it showed that your site wasn’t receiving any visitors! Your initial thought would probably be that there was some problem with your analytics program. However, when you type your URL into Google to show yourself that it was nothing more than a temporary analytics fluke, your website is nowhere to be found!
While you may think I’m being overly dramatic, this situation has happened to a countless number of internet marketers. For one reason or another, site owners unsuspectingly wake up, only to find that their site has been heavily penalized or completely nuked from Google’s index. Because Google plays such a major role in the strategies of most SEOs, getting kicked out of their index can literally kill a once profitable website within a matter of hours.
Although I sincerely hope this is never a situation you have to deal, I think it’s important for you to be prepared in the event this happens to one of your websites. Since I highly doubt you have never thought about this scenario as a serious possibility, here are three strategies you can start focusing on today to ensure you are prepared for a worst case scenario:
Pay per click (PPC)
Although there are SEOs who understand that organic SEO and PPC can complement each other, I have talked to quite a few SEOs who are very resistant to using PPC. Their logic is that if they can drive conversions through organic SEO, why should they use PPC, which will inevitably cut into their profit margins?
I’ll save the Organic SEO vs. PPC debate for another day, but regardless of how you feel about that issue, you need to understand PPC and have a campaign ready to go in the event of a worst case scenario. While you may not normally like the idea of PPC cutting into your profit margins, if your site disappears from the organic listings, earning 60% of what you normally do starts to sound a lot more appealing than earning nothing at all!
While it’s not easy, if you can create a website that people will visit by directly typing your URL into their browser, you will be in a much better position if Google removes your site from their index. One of the best public examples of this is Shoemoney’s Google Analytics data from 2006:
As you can see, he attracted over 100,000 visits from Google. However, thanks to the strong personal brand he developed, even if he had been dropped from Google, his blog still would have received over 600,000 direct visitors!
(If you don’t know where to get started with branding, stay tuned for a post in the near future which will be dedicated to this topic)
When most SEOs talk about social media, their main focus is about how it can help their website attract more links. While this is true, social media can also generate a significant amount of traffic. Granted, social media traffic has a reputation for doing nothing more than increasing your server costs, but if you learn how to actively participate in it instead of trying to be a one-hit wonder, social media can provide a steady stream of targeted traffic. Still not convinced? Just take a look at the following graph for Mahalo:
Because Jason Calacanis is an active participant on Twitter and isn’t simply focused on creating a single piece of linkbait, Twitter is now generating over 20,000 visitors a month for his latest web venture.