For the purpose of this website promotion guide let’s say you’ve got a pizza restaurant ...
It’s a modest, family-run establishment with a few well-known signature pizzas and a loyal following.
Your website is tidy enough.
It says and does what most modest, family-run pizzerias say and do, and it ranks nicely because you’re the only slice in town.
But then another pizza joint pops up across town.
A big chain franchise with a big budget and even bigger marketing department behind it.
How do you compete? How do you keep on top of Google? How do you ensure that you maintain a decent slice of the pizza searching traffic?
In short: How do you turn your online website promotional skills up to 11?
With the help of two real-world website promotion case-study recipes, here’s how.
But before we tuck in ...
Whether you sell pizza, pianos or procurement, let’s be very clear that the only 2 ways to drive organic traffic to your website are:
- Backlinks: From premium quality, Google-respected sites in your niche.
- And influencer/linkerati endorsements: Social praise from the arch bloggers, critics, publications and enthusiasts in your niche.
These are the only two things that will turn your website promotion up to 11.
Everything that follows from here on in will back this up and show you how to do it.
But hey, enough of my yakking ...
How Elise Bauer Cooked up 27.2K Social Media Engagements
Elise Bauer’s food blog, Simply Recipes, was launched in 2003 and is one of the web’s most popular food blogs with millions of site visitors hungry for her ideas swinging over to it every month.
Of course, the content is the star here.
And I’m always going to assume here and elsewhere that you — or someone who works for you – will be able to knock up tasty, engaging content.
But let’s look below the surface to see how Elise — and you — can turn base ingredients into a winning content publishing and promotion feast.
Elise Bauer’s classic homemade pizza recipe generates 16.1K in organic referral traffic.
This is equivalent to over $17.4K in advertising spend.
It also ranks for 1.9K keywords.
How did Elise Bauer boost her credibility as a foodie influencer and drive such an amount of traffic to her site, Simply Recipes?
Do you think it was because Elise wrote great content for her target audience (people who cook at home who want to make the process of feeding their families less daunting and more enjoyable)?
After all, this is the standard model of blogging ...
That is, if you put out enough great content, keep up that social media punting, and eventually the big players will have to take you seriously.
But it doesn’t work.
Okay, it does, if you want to spend a very, very long time working at it and don’t lose your mind along the way.
But there is another way.
A way that Elise knew well.
Instead of pinning her marketing and ranking hopes on customer kindness and word of mouth, she marketed her site and the content to those big shot individuals and organisations that have the appetite and more importantly the backlining and social sharability power to raise her site to the top of the charts much, much faster.
Let’s look at another classic example of this approach in action.
How Jamie Oliver Gets to Have his Cake and Eat it Too
If you compare the website layout, content and marketing strategy of Jamie Oliver to his local rivals, one thing clearly stands out:
He focuses on providing great content.
Here’s the homepage (and standard approach) of Solita:
Here’s the homepage of The Alberts:
And here’s Salvis’s homepage:
They look okay.
They showcase the food or ambience of their establishments.
And as you’d expect,they tick the boxes for any restaurant site by including information on what they do, where they are, who is behind them, and of course how to book a table.
But now take a look at Jamie Oliver’s homepage:
Sure, you can get all the information you’d expect, but front and centre he is all about ‘selling’ all his experience and learning and with it — this is really important — himself as a cut-above expert in his own right.
His site is about learning and his own celebrity first, the other stuff second.
He covers practical, brand neutral food topics covered like:
- The keys to a healthier breakfast — 19.8 k shares.
- Impressive Christmas vegan recipes — 14.1k shares.
- How to grow tomatoes at home — 6.2k shares.
- How to make a beef Wellington (step by step) — 5.2 k shares.
Jamie Oliver gives you great content (as well as the promise of a great meal out).
But by you, I don’t mean you the potential customer; I mean you the backlink granting critic or social sharing food blogger, or you at Google looking for a star food site to send customers flocking to.
And what I like to call Preeminence Marketing, works wonders:
If you want to understand this as a kind of recipe, think of it this way:
- The more content you cook up, the more influencers you influence into sharing your content and the more linkerati (bloggers) will want to link to it.
- The more backlinks and shares you get, the more traffic comes your way.
- The more traffic comes your way, the more Google wants to send traffic your way.
It’s a virtuous circle
But it’s also customer lite in the sense that the true purpose of the content — though intrinsically useful to your customers — is to attract more non customers to share and link to your content.
And this approach has a cherry on top too.
Once you have a lot of solid content with a lot of primo backlinks and a website ranking sky high with lots of organic traffic, guess what?
Yes, you are now an expert in your own right.
You have the power to grant backlinks and share content from others desperate to be on your level.
And the more experts you help create, the more goodwill and kudos you accrue for yourself.
I know, it sounds like a trick, but it’s actually common sense.
And you don’t need the kind of numbers Jamie can boast for online domination either.
Even though he can boast:
- Facebook shares: 35,610
- Referring domains: 48,126
- Est monthly search volume: 2,661,270
Now contrast the one post Solita published out:
With no backlinks, 2 social shares, and very little traffic, you can quickly see that there is a lot of opportunity for you to make ground.
Quite simply, to become the next Jamie Oliver, you don’t need the cheeky grin and baggy jeans, you don’t even have to be as good a chef as he is: you just need to grasp his skill as a marketer.
A skill built around creating and giving away valuable, typically practical, usually evergreen content that customers will enjoy reading but more importantly food sites and critics will enjoy linking to and sharing.
Get it? I hope so.
I hope by now that you’re having an epiphany, an a-ha pause ...
With the realisation dawning on you that superstars — in any niche — aren’t born, they are forged by the light of other superstars.
But until you get all diva on us, you need to get cooking up the kind of content that influencers want to chow down on.
And that’s what I’m going to teach you right now.
Tufnel’s Pizza, (Our Pizza goes to 11).
To take your pizzeria to 11, you need to get the steps right. And that means following the 3Ps: Prepare, Package & Promote.
Step 1: Prepare for Influencer Greatness
Everyone hates this part, but if you follow this advice and do your prepwork you’ll reap the rewards later on:
- Uncover broad, informational keywords related to any content in your niche.
- Identify the influencers in your niche.
- Identify the Linkerati (Critics, journalists, travel guides, food & restaurant bloggers or recipe searchers) within your Industry.
- Find a topic for our first Promotion Page (Preeminence Marketing Asset).
- Uncover medium tail keywords for our Promotion Page with low SEO difficulty.
Step 2: Package up Evergreen Content
Remember what we said earlier: you’re writing to and for Linkerati (bloggers) and influencers first, customers second.
So once you know the keywords you need, go back to your influencers and Linkerati and look at the content that they link to and share.
- Is there any content that they are missing that you could produce that they would like to share and link to?
- Is there any content related to what they like to link to and share that you could create (or refashion)?
If possible you are looking to offer media rich, long-form (longer than 2,000 words if possible), practical content that influencers would be happy to stand by and promote.
Evergreen content — content that you can update and refresh periodically – also works very well because not only does it have a long shelf life, you can refresh and repackage it periodically with little effort.
In other words,
At Tufnel’s Pizzaria, if you publish ‘The Definitive Guide to Reheating Pizza’, a 5,000 word guide with step-by-step instructions and lots of good images and video to help anyone safely reheat their pie (hopefully your own), this guide is not just useful for people (influencers and Linkerati) to share and link to.
It's also something you can periodically reheat yourself if a new piece of advice might be useful.
Step 3: Promote your Content in the Right Way
Once you have your promotion page ready, it’s time for the big promotional push.
But let’s pause a second. If you want to find out a little more about Step 2 & 3 read my Preeminence Marketing Experiment, but for now, let’s focus in on Step 1.
And to do that, let’s reframe the challenges faced by our fictional pizzeria.
The Challenge: Rule Social Media and Shake up the Established Competition
Let’s say that you haven’t really done much on social media. And secondly, that you’re the new pizza place on the block, coming into an existing market dominated by established franchises.
Your two (related) challenges are now:
- Make sure anyone peckish out there on social media finds you on social.
- Usurping larger and more established nationwide businesses dominating Google’s first page results.
You already know that these 2 challenges must be overcome fast.
If you have a half-filled restaurant or if during the holiday season your takeaway orders are down by 25%, or worse yet it’s even been lost to competitive initiatives it’s all going to affect your bottom line.
It gets worse:
Also, you know — or should by now — that website backlinks and social engagement are the key ingredients to helping your business compete: if no one is talking about you or linking to you, Google won’t bite.
So where do you start?
Step 1: Uncover Informational Keywords (keywords that people use to find you)
The first place to start is to look at what Google is showing for a simple search for pizza in your area, as this is probably the default search term used by any of your customers.
Here’s an example of a local search for “pizza greenwich”.
If you’re doing this for yourself, just swap ‘pizza’ for your goods or service and ‘greenwich’ for your location.
I know, it’s not rocket science (not yet!) but you’d be surprised how few businesses are aware of who ranks where for the most basic search terms used by their customers.
The next step is to look at some popular customer search queries.
To do that, head over to Soolve — Soolve is a free tool that pulls auto-complete suggestions from a handful of different sources - and enter a seed-keyword like: “pizza”.
You’re looking specifically for keywords that someone would use to find helpful content about your site’s niche (in our case pizza).
As soon as you start typing, you’ll see some instant suggestions from companies like Google, Amazon, Wikipedia and YouTube.
Just hit the space bar after you've entered your first word.
The great thing about Soolve is that you’ll be presented with a list of options from a variety of sources.
A few popular topics could be:
- pizza dough
- pizza recipe
- pizza dough recipe
- pizza sauce
Finding out what people really want to know
We’re all guilty of going with our gut when it comes to intuiting our target audience but it is possible to uncover topics you can use that are related to what other people are also searching for.
The trick is to research into some common questions: the ‘what,’ ‘where’, ‘why’ and ‘how.’
Another helpful tool is, Answer The Public, a keyword research and analysis tool bringing hundreds of Google and Bing autosuggest results.
Again, enter your keyword and you'll find lots of questions and popular prepositions.
The suggestions are powered by the aggregation of all the data from searchers just like you.
After entering one of our keywords (pizza sauce) I was quickly able to note:
- pizza sauce recipe
- pizza sauce for cauliflower pizza
- how make pizza sauce at home
- how make pizza sauce from scratch
- pizza sauce gluten free recipe
- pizza sauce without sugar
Step 2: Influence your Influencers (brand evangelists)
What type of visitors will most likely scream and shout about your brand?
The answer of course is not your customers – they don’t have the power or very often the will to do this for you.
The answer is super loyal, avid fans.
Brand evangelists with the will and the blogging means to spread the word further and wider than you ever could (at least to begin with).
Now, most brands know who these people are.
If not, a simple search will uncover those people blogging or active on social media who regularly praise what you do, who share your blogs or promos and who have the platform to do this more systematically.
But don’t stop there.
You also need to identify the influencers in your niche who don’t know anything about you at all.
Bloggers and writers who are sharing content about your industry — but who are sadly unaware of you.
Your job with the latter is to get on their radar.
To introduce yourself and make friends with them.
Start looking here on Google.
The top results in Google are high-quality websites which influencers contribute to, (which is why they’re on the first page in the first place!), so it's time to start searching for them using our informational keywords.
- pizza sauce recipe
- pizza sauce for cauliflower pizza
- how make pizza sauce at home
- how make pizza sauce from scratch
- pizza sauce gluten free recipe
- pizza sauce without sugar
Enter any of these generic keywords into Google and you'll see lots of helpful content and some possible ideas for your new material too.
Notice that instead of seeing a vast list of competitors you’re seeing lots of high-quality lifestyle sites or blogs written by people clearly demonstrating that they have a passion for articles about Restaurants, Good Food or All things Pizza!
Make a list of about 10—20 high-quality helpful articles about your topic.
After you’ve finished with one keyword, try another.
Now, draw up an influencer list and cook up a strategy for making them aware of who you are, what you do – and more importantly how and why you can influence them into influencing their followers and readers into checking you out.
But always remember that an influencer is an individual who has the power to affect the purchase decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position or relationship with an audience.
They may like you.
They may love your backstory and love your pizza.
But if your content is weak, they won’t share it.
They have high standards.
You have to reach them.
Now it’s time to look for the Linkerati, people that “link to” the high-quality sites or articles we’ve just discovered.
Step 3: Link up with the Linkerati (critics, journalists, travel guides, food & restaurant bloggers or recipe searchers)
To discover the Linkerati, you’ll need to use a backlink service.
Unfortunately, there are no free options; all of these require a monthly subscription.
For this demo I’ve recently discovered a quick alternative that lets you try out a few tests in an easy-to-view manner that will do the trick.
SEMrush is a powerful and versatile competitive intelligence suite for online marketing, from SEO and PPC to social media and video advertising research.
Enter any of the URLs we've previously collected in the above search bar. (Try both the full article URL and the domain.)
In our example we’re using http://allrecipes.co.uk, which has over 2000 backinks from unique domains.
In the navigation, click the Backlinks tab.
Then view all the sites that link out to that article or site.
You’re looking to expand your list of enthusiasts or bloggers that cover your niche, and as you’ve seen have a proven track record of linking to or engaging with influencers.
Finally, note 20 or so of the best blogger type candidates that seem to be a good fit.
Uncovering similar interest sites to expand your research (Optional)
To expand this research even further try ConnectExplore. It's an automated, SMART research tool and uncovers similar content, blogs, interests via Facebook.
In the app:
- Click the ‘Audience Search‘
- Enter your target influencer (for example Jamie Oliver) and you'll be presented with a closely related interest list.
- Checkbox all the relevant results, then click the ‘Pink Icon’ (top left)
- Then click ‘Show Suggestions.‘
- You'll be presented with a very closely related list filtered by Audience Size.
Now it's just a case of checking out any similar websites and reviewing who's linking to them too.
The additional bonus here is that ConnectExplore can sync into your Facebook Ad account, so you can target the audience of all these influencer results and promote your content via Facebook Ads.
Step 4: Find a topic for your Promotion Page (Preeminence Marketing Asset)
Once you’ve accrued a useful list of Influencer and Linkerati sites you now need to think of an exceptional way to create some content — and present it to them.
If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.Isaac Newton · Share on Twitter
Your silver bullet!
This is your silver bullet behind a successful content publishing strategy, as you’re discovering content that’s already proven to attract links and get social engagement.
First, review all the blogger (Linkerati) type results you previously found and make a note of the main topics or common themes that they tend to cover.
Then, analyse what content performs best on Social Media
Crucially, it returns live performance statistics about how well each piece of content performs on Social as well as see the individuals who share it.
After logging in click on the “Content Prospecting” tab, exclude “Company” and enter any of your seed keywords, prepositions or topic questions you identified earlier.
In our example we’d search for “How to make Homemade Pizza” and filtered by “Facebook Shares”. Here we can see Jamie Oliver’s guide tops the list on Social Media.
The results returned the best performing articles from each blog.
And the best part:
Looking at the most engaged content, Jamie Olivers post on “How to make pizza from scratch” has received over 44k Facebook shares.
Now it's your turn to shine:
- Can your wordy new post be converted into a cool word-lite infographic?
- Can you take a large series of related posts and turn them into a shiny ebook or a guide, or a box set style series?
- Can you answer a question with some exceptional information?
Make that strategy happen by making the right approach.
- Empathise with them as experts looking for expert content to share.
- Have content that is relevant & readily shareable
Step 5: Uncover medium tail keywords for your Promotion Page with low SEO difficulty.
Keyword research and analysis is like detective work.
Words and phrases — especially technical terms — can make or break your website’s ranking.
So find out your market's keyword demand, learn which terms and phrases to target with SEO.
- Is this or that keyword relevant to our website's content?
- Will customers find what they’re looking for on our site when they search using these keywords?
- Will this result in dollars and cents financial rewards or help us achieve other organisational goals?
Whether you’re a budding startup or a big brand looking to leverage its authority in a new way, with the latest marketing intelligence software like ConnectExplore, KWFinder, SEMrush and Answer The Public you can uncover great content ideas and find profitable keywords which will leave your competition scrambling.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.Abraham Lincoln · Share on Twitter
Preeminence Marketing Experiment
Backed by a real-world case study, I’ll take you on a deep dive into my most recent website promotion experiment called Preeminence Marketing.
I’ll breakdown the digital marketing strategy step-by-step and show you all the tools I used to achieve an increase of 218,450% in referral traffic.