You’re not gonna believe this…
After interviewing ten top travel bloggers I discovered something incredible.
I discovered that – on average – each blogger gets between 50 – 70% of their total traffic from the search engines.
Which – as someone with years of SEO experience – was encouraging.
But what if you don’t know much about SEO?
What if you just want a simple blueprint to help
improve your rankings…
…without fighting through countless SEO books, blogs and forums to find the answers?
Fear not, because…
The Travel Blogger’s “Secret Weapon” To SEO…
Is not so secret.
In fact, it’s pretty simple when you think about it.
Let me explain: SEO can be distilled into two elements. The first is to create targeted content for your audience on a regular basis (how you define “regular” is up to you). If want to post weekly, post weekly. Wanna post daily? Then post daily.
But whatever you do, make sure it’s on a consistent basis.
The second step is getting other sites to link to you. Obviously, the more influential the site, the more valuable the link.
If You Want High Rankings (and the Traffic That Comes With Them) You Need Three Things…
- the keywords people are searching for online (e.g. “things to do in South America”)
- high-quality content targeted towards those keywords
- links from authoritative sites
That’s it, really.
Let’s look at each in greater detail…
Step #1. Find the right keywords.
To find the right keywords you’ll need to use the Google Keyword Planner (formerly the Google Keyword Tool). This wonderful (and free) planner lets you quickly see WHAT people are typing into Google and HOW OFTEN they type them in.
For example, let’s say your blog is about South America. Hopefully it’s a hybrid blog, but if not, that’s cool too.
Fire up the Google Keyword Planner and log in:
- Click “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas”
- Type “South America”
- Click “Get Ideas”…
- Select the “Keyword ideas” tab (it defaults to the “Ad group” tab; make sure to change this!)
Now, let’s look at what the Google Keyword tool dishes up:
With just a few seconds work we’ve got a solid layout of phrases people are actually SEARCHING FOR in Google.
See those numbers on the right hand side? Those are how many times people search for those phrases each month around the world.
Pretty cool, huh?
There’s no guessing. No shooting in the dark. We literally see the DEMAND for each phrase. An endless stream of market research at our very fingertips!
But hold on, buckaroo.
We need to be realistic, here. After all, just because a BAZILLION people search for “South America” doesn’t mean we’re gonna get on the first page of Google, right?
So we gotta lower our expectations. Instead of going after these huge phrases – and compete with the likes of Wikipedia, Lonely Planet and other beasts of the online age – we’ll focus on keywords with less than 3,000 searches.
Please don’t treat this number as Gospel. Because it isn’t.
Some smaller phrases are EXTREMELY competitive (while other, larger search terms aren’t) – but I want to give you a benchmark to work with.
Also, please keep in mind…
If you use the Google Keyword Tool and there is a column marked “Competition” – ignore it. That competition refers to the paid advertisers (called Google Adwords) and not the SEO competition.
Step #2. Write an optimized post around that keyword.
Now that you’ve chosen a keyword that you’d like to write about, be sure to include those keywords in your article.
I know. Shocking, right?
But it’s not just in your article. You’ll need to add it in your Title tag, meta description and your URL.
Save yourself the trouble and just install the Yoast SEO for WordPress plugin. In addition to a whole gaggle of other goodness, it automatically reviews your post to ensure you’re doing all this.
Just type in your “Focus Keyword”, hit “Save” and… voila!… an instant, automatic checklist for SEO sweetness!
But we’re just getting warmed up.
In fact, up until this point we’ve done only the basics. Now it’s time to take this strategy into…
Are you excited yet? I am.
And here’s why: there about a zillion posts on keyword research (this one is especially good) but none really “give you the goods” on how to do the most important step which is…
Step #3. Build links to your post.
Aha! This is where many travel bloggers get stuck.
But fear not: the answer is quite simple, and will drastically improve your blog’s SEO.
Better still, it will help each new post rank for these keywords, sending you more free traffic while helping your old posts rise higher in Google as well!
Surely this solution is illegal, right? Or at least quasi-unethical?
The answer is quite simple:
Introducing The 4×1 Technique: A Simple SEO Technique for Travel Bloggers
And it all starts with guest posting.
Many bloggers think they should post every day. Which is fine… but if you haven’t built up an audience you are shouting into the wind.
So why write every day when no one’s listening?
Or – put another way – why write every day where no one is listening? Why not write every day and post it where other people will read it, react to it and reach out to your blog for more of your killer content?
So here’s what I propose:
For every one post you write on your blog, write four guest posts and link back – using variations of your keyword – to that EXACT post in your bio.
Don’t just link to your homepage. Link to the last post you wrote on your own blog.
And notice I say “variations of your keyword”. With the Google gods getting finicky, it’s best to make your links look as natural as possible. So if your keyword is “South American road trip” you can use links like “South American trips” and “South American road trips” to help mix things up a bit.
But why do this strategy at all?
There are three tremendous benefits to the 4×1 strategy…
You’re not simply posting and hoping someone will mention it -you proactively go out and make it happen!
Second, you are building “deep links” to your site.
Most links go to your homepage (which is totally fine) but links to pages “deep” within your site (e.g. blog posts) show your site is valuable throughout. This is huge for ranking that specific page for your keyword!
And thirdly, you are improving your overall Domain Authority (see my guide to guest posting for details on this).
As your Domain Authority grows, so will your rankings for thousands of terms you’re not even trying to rank for!
I’m not exaggerating.
In fact, if you have some traffic already, check your analytics. Chances are, you’re already getting traffic from hundreds (maybe thousands) of phrases people type into Google every day.
Now you’ve got the blueprint for getting thousands more 😉
So here’s what you need to do next:
- Leave a comment below explaining how you’ll use this strategy.
- Share it on Twitter or Facebook.
- Use the Google Keyword tool to find a relevant keyword with less than 3,000 exact searches.
- Write an extremely good, juicy post about it.
- Use the Yoast plugin to ensure your page is optimized.
- Write five guest posts linking to your post.
- Rinse and repeat.
OK, numbers one and two are optional (but highly appreciated!).
Will you use this strategy? Why or why not?