My newest website, Adfibs.com has just celebrated it’s 90-day birthday and for about the last 60 days has been getting 400-1000 (just shy of 1k) unique visitors per day, all from organic search (mostly Google). For a long-established website, this amount of traffic would not be very exciting, but for a website that is only a few months old, I would say this is definitely “above average”.
In 2006 I created my first website, GrownUpGeek.com and it achieved similarly (actually slightly better) quick success – all other websites that I have created or been a part of since then (a few dozen or so) either take a year or more to reach this level of traffic, or they never reach it all.
Because of the similar quick growth in both of these websites I started to ask myself what I did different with Adfibs.com from all of my failed/less successful websites, and what I did the same as I did with GrownUpGeek.com in 2006.
Here are some of the broad differences/similarities that came to mind.
- When I started GrownUpGeek.com I hardly knew what SEO was so I didn’t do much of what the “experts” at the time said I needed to do. My number one goal back then was to create 1 or 2 new pages of content each day for the first 100 days.
- When I started all of my other new (mostly failed) websites I tried to do everything that the experts said I should do
- When I started AdFibs.com I decided to focus on writing as much content as I could, and ignore the experts
Here are just a few of the things that I did not do, that all/many/most of the SEO, “Marketing” and Make Money Online “experts” tell me that I must be doing if I want to have any chance of success:
Social Media Marketing:
I put very little time or effort into building a following or driving traffic via social media. I did not create a Facebook account, Pinterest account or LinkdIn account. I did create a Twitter account and auto-tweeted a few posts, but stopped that after the first few weeks. See below for what I did with Google Plus.
I don’t even know what the hell “Content Marketing” is. Do you? When did they make up this new term? Anyway, time wasted doing “content marking” = 0
What is it with these new fancy terms? I don’t know what this is either, so I didn’t do any of it.
Based on my experience with similar content on GrownUpGeek.com, I knew that the type of content that AdFibs.com would have could generate substantial traffic. It didn’t matter if the research said I could get 100 visits per day or 100,000 visits per day. The subject/niche of AdFibs.com is something that I am passionate about and I had already made up my mind to create the website. So other than seeing/knowing that the website had some potential, I did zero keyword research.
Researching High Paying Keywords:
Since 2006, I have never done this. I’m not going to start now
For a new website advertising can be a good way to get things started, but I have done no advertising for AdFibs.com
Optimizing Meta Tags and Meta Descriptions:
I have given zero thought or effort into this, not even so much as looking for WordPress Meta or OpenGraph plugins
Writing Guest Posts in Other Blogs for Backlinks:
I have written zero guest posts in other blogs or websites
Commenting on Other Blogs and Websites Leaving Backlinks:
Not a one…
Press Releases and Other Backlink Building:
I created no press releases and did no other back link building
Direct Email Contact Marketing Campaign:
Encouraging/forcing visitors to follow the RSS feed:
The website does not even have an RSS feed
Is “semantic search” another one of those new terms made up by all the ‘experts’? I don’t even know what it means
Installing Mandatory WordPress SEO Plugins:
Have not even created a Youtube channel
So what did I do?
How did Adfibs.com start getting this amount of traffic even though I have basically ignored all of the experts?
Instead of registering Adfibs.com for the cheapest, shortest amount of time possible, I registered it for 5 years.
I recall reading once, long ago, that Google sees this information and probably knows that spammers/poor quality websites always go for the shortest cheapest possible route.
Edit/Update: My dear friends Sean Murray and Rob Wagner have pointed out that Matt Cutts has publicly stated that domain registration length is not a factor in determining search quality/rankings. You can see what Matt Cutts said on the subject in 2011 here: Matt Cutts on domain registration
I created 1 to 2 new, original, quality (to the best of my ability) posts per day for the first 30 days. Each post was 300 – 1000 words in length and was moderately ‘keyword rich’ but never keyword ‘stuffed’. Every post was written for a human to read, understand and hopefully enjoy – I did not write them for a search bot.
I created a Google Plus Business page, added “Publisher” tags to the website and added my own authorship tags to my posts. I also created a related Google Plus Community with the Business Page as the “owner”. I have shared a few posts on the Google Business page and in the community – but only a few. I do not use the G+ Page and Community to spam links every day. (Edit Oct 2013:) I also reshared some posts from the G+ Business page via my Google Plus personal profile.
I created a site map and submitted it via Google Webmaster Tools, and I added Google Analytics to the website.
Basically, I have virtually ignored all of the “experts”, and spent zero time “building links” and doing most of those other things that they all say I MUST do. Instead, I spent the majority of my time creating content and making the website the best that I can so that humans find it easy to read, navigate and get value from. So far it seems to be working.
If you are creating a new website, before you blindly follow the experts, maybe you should ask them how well their new websites are doing. Are they spending their time actually doing what works and learning what does not work or are they spending their time making blog posts telling everyone else what they should do?
UPDATE: I have posted a video followup to this blog-post here: Video Followup