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How To Get Traffic To A New Blog – April Blitz Recap

by Johnny Bravo · 19 comments

How To Get Traffic To A New Blog - April Blitz RecapThis post has been a long time coming and deviates a bit from the norm on the Sales Pro Blog. Still, I think it will be very useful for any sales person looking to build their own professional brand.

Specifically this post will focus on the results from my April Blitz as eluded to in the very first post on the Sales Pro Blog. It will serve to give an idea of how to rank a website in the Google SERPs and how I personally got the ball rolling quickly.

I came up with the idea for The Sales Pro Blog while in Ohio, training for my current position selling property management software. It was definitely an idea I’ve been muddling over for a while.

Creating a blog that I could keep with me no matter what industry I was in. When I came to the realization that sales should be the focus I began work on what would become a huge endeavor.

If you’ve read some of my other posts you may have seen that this is not the first blog I’ve started. In the past the sites I have started were called “niche sites”. These sites were created around a specific niche or keyword term(s).

During my adventures of starting those sites I pick up a thing or two about search engine optimization (SEO) that led to the idea of the April Blitz.

How Search Works

In order to explain why I chose the method I did for the Sales Pro Blog it’s important to give a high level view of why I expected it to work.

One thing to keep in mind, I AM NOT AN SEO EXPERT. I do not claim to be, nor do I believe there is such a thing. It is an ever changing landscape where methods that worked yesterday are disastrous tomorrow.

The way search engines work is by “crawling” sites for information relevant to a search term or “keyword”.

There are many factors that search engines take into account when displaying a Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). For example, the number of times the keyword is present on the site, the relevance of the site to the keyword, if other high authority sites “link” to the site, along with supposedly over a hundred other criteria.

Because there are a large and mostly unknown number of criteria used to rank a webpage there is really only one way to be successful at search engine optimization.

Make your site searchable, make it relevant, and make legendary content. Content that is so good it can stand the test of time, and reader’s can’t help but to spread the word, link to it, and eagerly wait for your next post.

The reason for the April Blitz is because search engines love “fresh” content i.e. sites that have recently posted content.

They also “crawl” sites that are updated constantly (multiple posts a month or even week). So I figured, why not post A LOT and have Google crawl my site more often?

April Blitz Results

I won’t lie. I did not treat the April Blitz like a case study where I kept track and measured ever attribute I could.

I was so focused on my content (which I’m OK with) that the administrative stuff was secondary. But I did capture a few images and stats that will help showcase the results of the April Blitz.

The below image is from Google Webmaster Tools and displays the Search Queries from March 13th until June 2nd.

Search Queries are when a person searches for a specific keyword term and your site is one of the results.

April Blitz Search Queries

As you can see the number of search queries started to steadily increase beginning April 2nd. By that time I had already posted 3-4 post within 2 days, and 16-17 posts over all.

Now remember, my first post was on March 1st. The next week I posted twice, the next twice again, the third week three posts and during the last week of March I posted five times.

Why the build up? Well because the Sales Pro Blog was a new site. Search engines didn’t even know to crawl the site. So by gradually increasing my post cadence I was “training” the search engines to crawl my site more often.

Then when April rolled around the search engines had already found my site, already started to crawl it more often, and started liking the site more and more.

The below image is again from Google Webmaster Tools and shows the number of pages indexed by Google. As you can see there is a HUGE jump during April.

April Blitz Index Status

Obviously this is a result of the April Blitz.

This graph fits PERFECTLY with my theory that posting extremely often (for a personal blog) will cause search engines to crawl more often.

To give you some relevance I purchased the domain www.salesproblog.com on Feb. 1st, 2013. I got to work and created some of the key pages like the Welcome, Resource, and Archive pages. That is the first bump you see.

I then posted 13 posts during the month of March…the second bump.

By this time Google new to search my site regularly. And since I had started my blitz, the third…catapult…happened. As you can see Google was searching my site more often and finding more and more posts then before.

Organic Search Traffic

The last few pictures I want to showcase are the organic search traffic I received during each month (orange) compared to the previous month (blue). These graphs were pulled from Google Analytics.

March (23) vs. April (27) = 17% increase

April Blitz Organic Search March vs April

April (27) vs May (101) = 274% increase

April Blitz Organic Search April vs May

May (101) vs June (234) = 132% increase

April Blitz Organic Search May vs JuneAs you can see my organic search results have increased dramatically which is exactly what I expected and hoped for.

One thing I want to make sure is clear is that my intention for the April Blitz was not to immediately increase my organic traffic, doing that would have required “black hat” techniques which are frowned upon by the search engines.

Instead I took a long term approach and intended to entice search engines to visit my site often to re-evaluate it’s rank and search engine results.

April Blitz Review

Overall I am extremely satisfied with the results from my April Blitz. I feel the experiment yielded the exact results I had expected, planned for, and hoped for.

I am currently earning impressions for a variety of keyword terms. I’ve included some of the top ones along with the site that gains the most impressions for that keyword term.

As you can see these align perfectly with my two goals for this site.

  1. Share my knowledge as a professional sales person.Β 
  2. Provide visibility as a property management software sales representative.

As I finish this post I am fascinated by the gains I have made with this site in such a short period of time. And moving forward I may provide additional updates on my organic search results, ranked keyword terms, and search query gains.

Until then I hope you will have found the information contained here helpful. Especially if you endeavor to start your own niche site to help with your own professional brand development.

~ Johnny Bravo

Image courtesy of Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

ash f @ madlemmings July 9, 2013 at 9:07 am

Hi Johnny, haven’t been on your site in a while but looks like things are going great guns!! Congrats! I have also been seeing some steady increases in traffic, but I think for me it is due to getting the word out more on social media as well as Google Search. As you said, it comes with time and I have also been posting more of late which helps and keeps people coming back.
Keep it up!
ashley

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Johnny Bravo July 11, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Hi Ash, thanks for the congrats! There are so many ways to generate solid traffic so I’m not surprised that social media is working well for you. That’s great and means you’re probably building a strong community. Hope to see you around again soon.

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Mary Slagel@Shape Daily July 9, 2013 at 9:31 am

I won’t lie, I am not too familiar with this way of building traffic. I am familiar with groups such as BHB and commenting on blogs I like, but I wouldn’t have thought that the more I post, the more I will be seen. I knew that posting often was a good way to gain and keep readers, but I didn’t know how much it could help me over all. Great post.

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Johnny Bravo July 11, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Thanks Mary. Yes posting often will definitely help with search results. Google LOVES fresh content so the more you post the more it’s bots will crawl your site and the higher you will rank in SERPs.

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Diana July 9, 2013 at 9:35 am

Nice reading, Johnny – and well done on starting the site and achieving such growth so quickly.

And while the percentages are impressive, the numbers aren’t (normal, it’s a new blog!) and i gotta tell you – things progress much faster when the site is brand new than when you have a somewhat established and yet new site… I would love to see a similar post say 3 or 6 months from now – are you in? πŸ˜€

Keep up the good writing!

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Johnny Bravo July 11, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Hi Diana, I know it’s funny for me to be so excited about only a few visitors a day but you have to start somewhere. I am definitely in for an update in a few months, great idea!

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Diana July 16, 2013 at 12:59 pm

oh, no, it’s not funny, i am the same πŸ™‚

I think my comment has come off wrong… What i meant is that the bump (in percentages) may be not only because of the factors you monitored but because it was brand new. If you continue following the same strategy, now that your blog is somewhat established (but still new), the growth ratio may change as a result of no longer being “brand” new. And i would love to read the follow up post in a few months πŸ˜‰

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Johnny Bravo July 16, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Diana, you’re absolutely right. Even if I continue to grow at the same pace in terms of visitors, the percentage increase will steadily decrease. I’m hoping that as my site starts to rank for more and more terms, the visitor increases will pick up the pace. πŸ™‚

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Susan Cooper July 9, 2013 at 8:58 pm

Congratulations on your increased traffic. I agree with the other comments that part of my increase is my social media involvement. I believe reaching out and touching as many social media sites as possible πŸ™‚

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Johnny Bravo July 11, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Thanks Susan, and I agree with you completely. Spreading your message to as many sites as possible is an effective strategy for building growth.

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Jeri July 10, 2013 at 3:40 pm

I’ve read how posting more often can increase traffic like your graphs illustrate, but I just don’t think I have it in me. When I first started blogging, I did five posts a week, but never again. Now I’m down to just two.

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Johnny Bravo July 11, 2013 at 2:49 pm

I know how you feel Jeri. It takes a LOT of effort to post that often when you are the only writer. I am content with 2 posts a week. I think Google is now as well.

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Suzanne Fluhr (Just One Boomer) July 11, 2013 at 12:59 pm

I’m drawn to these posts about SEO and increasing blog traffic like a moth to a flame, but I admit that I don’t exactly “get” SEO. I have been cranking up my social media presence and trying to think about social media groups that might be related to or relatable to my travel themed site. My page views increased by about 1,000 in the past month which I attribute to trying to increase engagement via social media.
(Found you on BHB).

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Johnny Bravo July 11, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Hi Suzanne, thanks for stopping by. I am the same as you. I love reading about SEO and how to increase traffic. Don’t be worried if you don’t “get” SEO. It changes so often I sometimes doubt people who say they do or are “experts”. Besides a sites focus should be on providing great content, the traffic will follow.

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Catarina July 12, 2013 at 3:23 am

Congratulations Johnny!!

Catch is Google also look for broken links. Comments left years ago by people who then had a website they no longer use is held against you. And so are generic comments. If someone simply writes that your suggestions are great and they will try them out, the comment will be held against you by Google. This is a new phenomena that unfortunately makes it more complicated to get high up in SERPs.

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Debra Yearwood July 13, 2013 at 8:19 pm

What a neat project. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on your results! It will be helpful to see progress over the next few months. What I think matters most is that you’ve kept your eye and focus on the content.

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Leora July 14, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Good job, both on increasing the traffic and reporting back to us via this post. I like your drive, energy and willingness to share your knowledge.

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