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How I Transformed a Zero-traffic Website into an Extra $2,000 Per Month Website in 3 Months

(without spending a dollar on ads)





 No time right now?  Download the FREE pdf of this valuable blog post now!


Phase 1: Dissatisfaction – Many Hackers and Zero Traffic




Word Count: 9212

p.s., This is a really long post. It is for beginners through intermediate level digital marketers. I considered cutting it up into 3 separate posts, but it would have lost the impact of the way the concepts are presented.

1. My goal is to help you understand how you can quickly learn how to get massive traffic increases to your website.

Clue, you don’t need a ton of traffic, you need to learn how to increase traffic.

2. BONUS – We will also reveal some of the outrageous prices some of the

larger web design and maintenance companies charge!

Why am I sharing these secrets with you? Aren’t we giving all our secrets away?

No, here at our agency we already know how to use these techniques, and we are currently researching and using newer, even better digital marketing methods for our customers.  As our techniques improve, we use them on our customers’ websites, which have seen large gains in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) generated (“organic” and “free”) traffic.

A number of schools are also considering making this into a 2-semester graduate-level course called Digital Marketing #501, “The Development and Execution of Strategic Online Digital Marketing Plans and Tactics.”

Now, let’s get back to digital marketing!




Strawberry Pop-Tart Blow-Torches

Before WordPress there were HTML websites

This is what the early websites looked like.

Early HTML Website

An early software for making websites was called Hot Dog.  We used a program called Dreamweaver extensively.

Before using Dreamweaver, there were the old days when you actually had to type in the HTML like this declaration for HMTL 4:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd”> <html>

Boy, this HTML typing stuff is boring! And who can remember what words and symbols to type?

(I’ll bet you feel the same way.)  “There’s got to be a better way!” (There is.)

We will show you another quick example below that you could practice yourself to get an idea about what it took to make a website in the old days. And then give you the low-down on what to avoid and then we show you exactly step-by-step, what you need to know in order to be able to get massive traffic increases to your websites.

With credit to pmichaud.  

 


A quick lesson  in HTML

This is before WordPress. Although we’ve cobbled together a number of computer languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and MySQL to create the amazing Internet, things used to be much more difficult, slow and limited.

You had to type everything to make a web page.

Everything had to be correctly typed.

Finding errors was hard.

Imagining what the final website would look like by looking at something like this page was always hard.

Luckily, WordPress came on the scene and empowered the whole Internet with a Content Management System (CMS) that’s robust and fast.

 


How we first found out about WordPress

While running 2 small businesses in Palm Springs, California, the need and desire to advertise our products and services was constant.

As the Internet grew as a valid medium for marketing, we were able to keep up with the advances over the past 10 years.

In 2010, things were done a lot in HTML and Dreamweaver by Adobe was a godsend at the time.

FYI, one of the small businesses required getting a certification called CPO, so I attended the class.

While in the class, I asked the instructor how he made his website (since it looked great at the time).

He told me 1 word that changed my life. “WordPress.”

So I started looking into WordPress and learned what was necessary in the HTML, CSS, MySQL, JavaScript, and PHP languages.

 


Tyler Moore

This is a snippet of the web presence of Tyler Moore. This was 1 of my first exposures to WordPress websites and I’ll give Tyler a big credit for his knowledge and style.

He was 1 of my early “heroes” of WordPress, as we began to move from text-based website coding to more visual methods of making dynamic websites.

 


Hope at Last!

Now that I knew WordPress existed and that someone else had been able to make a website with it, I felt relieved.

Not too long ago, it was difficult to even maintain decent backups of a website. Further, websites were exposed to viruses, and it took a while for anti-virus software to catch up, making your website vulnerable to total destruction.

To make matter worse, it was hard to find good support at a hosting company (a hosting company holds your website files on their computer that’s available to serve up your website 24/7/365). Even today, it’s difficult to find a good hosting company. You can pay a cheap price for hosting but your website speed and SEO will suffer.

WordPress made it possible for me to make a website without it taking 3 months. It saved a ton of time and saved a ton of “heartaches.”

Further, WordPress makes it possible to build beautiful websites you and your customers will love!

This is a screen shot of the “backend” of a WordPress website from Wikipedia.

Part of the beauty of WordPress is that there are thousands of plugins (free and ones you have to buy) that can make a website even better.

It’s no surprise that for the most part, a paid for WordPress plugin (also called a premium plugin) will provide better stability and more functionality.

 


Genesis, WPMU, iThemes, xTheme, and Nexus Themes

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Look up at the top-left of the above image and you will see “Studio Press.” This is the company that makes Genesis themes.

I recall reading a couple of years ago that these Genesis themes are “good for SEO” and “sober” looking.  I don’t know about you (yet), but I am not interested in a sober theme for my website.

I want a website that rocks like a guitar virtuoso: Stunning, Beautiful, Unmistakable.

So my search for amazing websites continued.

From Internet searches, I came across the WPMUdev website company. Shown below.

What’s with the cartoon characters? I thought we were professionals here.

I was taught to put my customers in the advertisement.

My customers are not cute cartoon characters. I don’t think your customers are either.

I guess they are selling to cartoon characters, that have successful roles and marketing budgets, lol. Anyway, I don’t get it. Save the vector graphics for product logos, not the Hero Image on the Home Page.

Further, I don’t get the RECURRING MONTHLY FEES that they at WPMUdev hit you with. Once you’re with them, you have no control.

This is a similar problem to using Wix and SquareSpace.

You’re locked in with those companies. They will continually raise prices and you end up paying huge monthly fees.

NO CONTROL and worse

THESE WEBSITES MAKE YOU LOOK LIKE AN AMATEUR.

WordPress is well-suited for many different users. Some of the early users have retained their original look, and are in need of an update. This kind of look and name (“i” this and “i” that, like “iPhone”)  was popular in the early 1990’s, so it’s time to move on and upward to a better WordPress website. And website building is so slow with iThemes a website would take 6 months to make.

I originally thought I’d found the ability to achieve my dream of Internet Marketing on the Internet with iThemes, but after I became more versed in WordPress development, I quickly moved to another theme maker. They even have an eBook titled “How to Write Good.” Which, as you know, should read “How to Write Well.”

Their TOOLKIT was a huge time suck.

The BackupBuddy software (which looks like it was made in 1996 and barely updated), caused me to lose websites, and to spend hours upon hours trying to get it to work.

When we had problems with the software, they said, “Just call iThemes technical support.”

I WANT SOFTWARE THAT WORKS, NOT TO HAVE TO CALL THEM FOR SUPPORT (and then have to renew for more support year after year).

So our internet marketing agency lost a ton of time being kept ignorant by iThemes, but we kept looking for something better. There had to be something better.

X the Theme (shown above) was a darling of mine for several months. I loved the full-page layout and it was organized into about 5 basic themes or “stacks” I think they called them.

The stacks were like separate websites that you could then tweak to make a unique website.

Nice try, and it looked nice, but it required learning a new interface, AND we were still locked into someone else’s “theme.”

Once I saw a certain video I will tell you about, I fell in love with another theme I’d been “dating.”

 


The original “zero-traffic” website in this case study was by Nexus Themes, Holland

First, consider these questions:

How do you find a good website and maintenance plan?

How do you find someone on the Internet you can trust?

And lastly,

How do you find someone competent since everyone online says they are the best?

Many times, it feels hopeless to search and search. Night after night.

And to add to the hopelessness, is your loneliness.

Not that you don’t know people, but you are the only 1 that really knows what to do to move the needle forward on your business operations.

You’re busy already, and now this Internet has grown like crazy. Some, like me, are calling it the next Gold Rush because the opportunities are so great.

Don’t worry, we have expert advice that will save you years of time by showing you what works in online marketing and digital marketing.

So, next, I discover Nexus Themes. From Holland.

Nexus Themes Advantages:

As a small business owner, I thought, “I see a couple of themes here that, with a little changing of the text and photos, could be really good for the business.”

Here’s a screenshot of some of the small business layouts they offer.

I went for it (bought the website theme). I was happy with the results, although at the time my expectations were not that high.

During that time, maybe after 2010, I was happy with a website that didn’t take hours upon hours of coding to make. We show you the coding below, for a set of “radio buttons” (the little buttons that look like pushbuttons, only 1 of which can be selected at a time).

<form action=”/action_page.php”>
<label for=”male”>Male</label>
<input type=”radio” name=”gender” id=”male” value=”male”><br>
<label for=”female”>Female</label>
<input type=”radio” name=”gender” id=”female” value=”female”><br>
<label for=”other”>Other</label>
<input type=”radio” name=”gender” id=”other” value=”other”><br><br>
<input type=”submit” value=”Submit”>
</form>

Again, I was ecstatic about the shorter time it took to make the site since the need for some of the coding was removed.

They sell the pictures in their demo websites for an extra fee. I bought the photo pack. To me, it was totally worth the extra money, maybe $35 for the photos.

Another reason I purchased the photo pack was that without the photos, I would be looking at grayed out boxes with the suggested image size in pixels. And that again led me back to my realization that I do not like being forced into someone’s framework.

I kept searching, and I found the theme/framework/builder of my dreams as you will read about later.

I added some of my pictures, and here’s what the front page of the final website look like.

Our flagship website, Excalibur Websites, does not put a telephone number on the website anywhere. That’s for a consulting website, where people can schedule an appointment if they are interested.

However, for a swimming pool repair service Palm Desert Pool Repair,  it was an obvious choice to enable this website for e-mail appointments, and the request a quote, and the telephone number that a customer can call.

That’s the website above. Everyone liked the website. So why am I writing this article about to Get 4 Times the Traffic in 3 Months?

  1. Because this website was continually getting hit by hacker attempts. We use anti-virus and WordPress website security software to protect our websites. The website security report that is set up to automatically be emailed to us, showed about 1 hack attempt per day.

  2. Because it was getting absolutely no visitors to the website. And no traffic means no sales.

 


Nexus Themes Disadvantages:

If one doesn’t buy the photo pack from Nexus Themes, then one is faced with dealing with making images fit into pre-made slots.

Further, do you see those icons located at the top right of the image above?

In order to modify this theme, you must understand what these icons do. This requires learning which was for me, a whole new interface.

As I look at the icons now I really can’t tell you what they mean.

However, I can tell you that using Nexus Themes would have kept me locked into their interface forever. I would have been worrying night and day about how to figure out how to fit our designs into the exact mold of the limited number of small business layouts they provided.

In the end, our style is to be able to create a design to meet the FUNCTION of the website first.

Once that is done, we would devise a layout that would efficiently help us reach our website sales goals. Obviously, the final would be different for every person we made websites for.

To reiterate, that’s the website above. Everyone liked the website.

So why am I writing this article about to Get 4 Times the Traffic in 3 Months?

  1. Because this website was continually getting hit by hacker attempts. We use anti-virus and WordPress website security software to protect our websites. The website security report that is set up to automatically be emailed to us, showed about 1 hack attempt per day.

  2. Because it was getting absolutely no visitors to the website. And no traffic means no sales.

In the end, using these Nexus Themes websites would extremely limit our ability to help you get 4x your traffic and more in a relatively short time.

So the search for digital marketing mastery continued.

 




Phase 2: Redesigned for Maximum Sales




Problem:  Many Hackers and No Traffic

Below is an example showing a hacker trying to look for pages on the website that don’t exist, and was blocked.

Do you see the part that says, “too many attempts to access a file that does not exist?”

This Nexus Themes website was getting hit by hackers more than any of my other websites had.

Secondly, remember the website got zero traffic. No visitors would definitely mean no sales.

So, the new website was prettier than ever before and still had some major shortcomings.

Another thing that concerned me was that the look of the website was dated. Take a look at the Lobster font that was popular a few years ago. I will admit I liked the lobster font myself at one time.

Times have changed, and the Lobster font has fallen out of favor with me and with many other designers.

In order to bring our products up to their very best, more work was needed. Technology was advancing, and soon web sites would be easier to make, give the user a better experience, and look dazzlingly beautiful!

Keep reading to find out about the powerful software that will help propel your profits to even greater heights.

 


Goal – Increase Traffic to the Website

The Google Trends chart above shows an interest in social media over time growing at large rate. That is the blue line.

The red line shows social marketing searches over time.

I recognize it is a hypothesis, but to me it appears there’s a very large gap in people’s usage of social media compared to the amount of advertising on social media.

But the small business pool repair website was going nowhere, and even getting hit by hackers on a somewhat regular basis. I was worried.

Nothing I’d tried so far worked. That means:

EVERYTHING ABOVE I HAVE EVALUATED AND RULED OUT AS SOMETHING YOU, AS A MASTER INTERNET MARKETER, WOULD WANT TO USE AS A TOOL.

 


Elegant Themes – Love at Divi 2.0

Then one day in about late 2014, I found elegantthemes.com

Initially, I was attracted to the design of the many websites Elegant Themes offered.

But there were too many themes!

I was back in the thought mode of having to select a theme and then fit into it. As an SEO and Digital Marketing, and eCommerce Agency, we were not willing to have to fit into a theme anymore.

Once I understood, Divi, what really drew me to Divi was Divi’s ability to create just about any design imaginable.

Here’s the video of Divi 2.0.

Please view it. This video was the 2nd experience that gave us hope and showed us what was possible with websites.

When I saw Divi, instantly I had hope our business would succeed.

I saw beauty and I saw joy.

I saw business being transacted and people helped.

WordPress = Peace

Divi = Freedom.

Thank you forever, Nick, Mitch, and Kenny.

Like first hearing the word WordPress and seeing its power,

seeing what could be achieved with Divi opened up a whole new universe of possibilities for us on the Web.

Divi will continue to evolve to meet the needs of SEO consultants and digital marketers alike for a long time to come.

We use only the Divi Theme (and its sister theme Extra) as part of all our digital marketing campaigns.

 


Design

     

To reiterate, the design possibilities for Divi are endless. And I will insert an image showing most of the modules that can be used to build a functioning website with Divi.

Here at our WordPress website design agency, we have 2 additional jpegs.

  1. One jpeg shows all the Divi modules.
  2. The other jpeg shows a different way to think about the Divi modules.  Notice above how they are organized as “Structural Elements,” and “Content Elements?”
  3. There is another, different, (even better) way to think about the modules (not shown here). Perhaps that can be part of another blog post, if it would please the readers.

Next, we introduce some new features of the Divi theme including some of the plugins also made by Elegant Themes.

 


Section Style Manager

This is a plugin called Divi Section Style Manger. There are many plugins for Divi, and only a few are worth their salt.

This one is an order of magnitude above another software maker’s Section Style Manager.

This is by Bolt Themes, and they have improved the plugin substantially, with further improvements on the way.

Below, I applied a slant on the top and a slant on the bottom to the “Strategic Plans” section. Looks neat! (See image below.)

 

However, be careful to not spend too much time on these kinds of customizations, we need to get to email marketing, and talking to clients.

 


Using a Child Theme – If you’re a pro, you must use one

It doesn’t look like much, but a Child Theme does some important things. If you want a professional website, you need a child theme.

This one was made by the fantastic people at elegantmarketplace.com

Why use a Child Theme?

1. If you don’t have a child theme, whenever Elegant Themes updates the Divi theme, the footer anchor text will revert back to a backlink for Elegant Themes, not you.

2. If you like a website that has many customizations and looks “cool,” then a child theme allows you to make style changes to your site without affecting the underlying code.

This means you have separated the updating of the “machinery” from the updating of the “look.” You can now update the code without messing up the styling.

And you can change the styling with much more safety and confidence the website will continue to operate along with the new styling changes.

Using a child theme is relatively easy. First install and activate the Divi theme on your WordPress website, then install and activate the Child Theme.

Once you’ve done that, start building the website as usual. You do this once and can breathe a sigh of relief you’re using a Child Theme each time Elegant Themes updates the Divi Theme.

 


Speed (Google likes fast websites)

In my tests, Divi can be in the mid-70s range for overall speed, which is OK.

As SEO Consultants, we have an undisclosed number of secrets to increase page speed and rankings.  We apply these tweaks to Divi, and it sings!  93% – 97% grades from Google are our norm with Divi.

If asked for, an upcoming blog post could reveal some of our speed tricks that can increase Google Page Rank.

Moving on,

With Divi, try to not use a Fullwidth Slider with a bunch of slides, as it can slow your website.

That being said, sometimes we USE A FULLWIDTH SLIDER WITH 1 SLIDE ONLY.

I’ll take a little speed hit for the JavasScript to load, and it’s worth it. Why?

Because it’s usually best to begin with an image.

With Divi you can use an Image Module, a Fullwidth Header Module, or a Fullwidth Slider Module (I know there are other options, but these are the main 3).

1. You can use the Fullwidth Header.

The Fullwidth Header gives you 2 Buttons, if you need 2 Buttons. You will need to add some code into the CSS to make the Fullwidth Header high enough, since they are usually not tall enough.

Pro Tip: It’s OK to use the Fullwidth Header, but mostly in divisions between Sections.

2. I prefer the Fullwidth Slider, even though it has 1 Button vs 2 Buttons with the Fullwidth Header.

The FullWidth Slider has a Background Image plus it can load an image on the left side, with text on the right side. These are more engaging, and you have more control with the FullWidth Slider.

 


Responsive

THE WEBSITE MUST BE RESPONSIVE

Is your current website mobile responsive?

Go to https://search.google.com/search-console/mobile-friendly to find out.

Put your website URL into the box above to test your website’s responsiveness.

Google now has a separate mobile index, and has indicated that it will give websites in the mobile index higher ranking in the search results.

FYI, 97% of searches for products begin with an online search. About 65% of inquiries for the repair company came from mobile search.

To submit to Google, click the “SUBMIT TO GOOGLE” button shown above.

Then you get this below, indicating Google received your request to ADD YOUR PAGE TO THE MOBILE INDEX.

 


Caching Programs

W3 Total Cache is one of the more popular WordPress plugins for caching. Highly recommended.

Oftentimes the caching software will be able to minify CSS, and tweak a few other things to speed up your websites.

A caching plugin will help solve some, if not most, of the code-related things slowing down your website.

Use one today.

With a few techniques, the website below was transformed from a load time of 19 seconds down to a load time of 1 second!

A shameless plug to purchase it is here at this link 

 


Image Size Reduction

The picture kinda freaks me out, but maybe it motivates us here to get those images under control? https://wordpress.org/plugins/imsanity/

BTW, “Imsanity” stands for “Image sanity,” as in getting image sizes under control (smaller).

This is the only image resizer you will ever need. It takes almost zero time to understand and use, and it helps your website load way faster!

1. YOU MUST USE THIS PLUGIN (Imsanity)

How many images are in your MEDIA LIBRARY that aren’t even used? Get rid of ‘em.

For Divi, I’ll dig up the image sizes for you now. Hold on.

First, here’s a screenshot of what to use for Hero image sizes, and what size image to use if you’re putting it into a 1 column, 2-column, 3 columns spread, or 4-columns.

The image below is from https://www.elegantthemes.com/blog/theme-sneak-peeks/divi-theme-process-update, which is a blog post explaining why Divi 3.0 was taking so long.

Personally, I would never say that “things are taking too long” over at Elegant Themes, as they are software “gods” to me, and I’m grateful for their amazing work!

I’d like you to look at the image below; it shows the amount of thought that went into the backend design and development of Divi.

 


Monetize

Save yourself some time and use WooCommerce. Don’t waste time with other shopping carts right now. You can come back to them later, but when you’re successful online, you won’t need to learn anything other than WooCommerce.

WooCommerce is free and you can get it at the WordPress repository. Follow this link for WooCommerce.


Next, let’s cover some ways your customers can pay you. The easier it is for clients to pay, the happier they will be.

The first example is PayPal. PayPal has worked well for us for years and “everyone” has heard of it, so PayPal turns out to be a good choice in about 45% of our applications.


Stripe provides a great merchant paying processing service, too. Stripe’s code is known to be newer and cleaner, which is good.

Stripe also integrates (works with) a lot of different software, so Stripe’s a strong contender. Check it out. We use either Stripe or PayPal, just depends. Both are good.


The image below is to provide you with a glimpse into the workings of the backend of a WordPress website.

These days, the plugins of WordPress cause problems fairly frequently. It’s one thing to download a bunch of plugins and start using them vs. developing an effective, fast combination of plugins that is stable. You can download tons of plugins in 1 hour, but to run a smashing website takes years of experience.

Here’s another peek into the Products of a WooCommerce eCommerce website.

People are looking online more and more for your products and services, and WooCommerce is a workhorse that can always come through for you.


On-Page Optimization Plugins

Bloom – to get those valuable customer emails!

Bloom  is a plugin that is included with the Divi theme from elegantthemes.com

You can create a few different kinds of pop-ups that catch your websites visitors’ attention. You can then offer a free checklist or eBook, and they have to input their email to get the checklist.

This is 1 of the ways you can build your list of potential customers. Once you have a customers’ email, Bloom will send it automatically to a bulk email service like aWeber, or MailChimp.

The designs are eye-catching, with tons of options for colors and behavior (meaning where do you want it to pop-up, when, for how many times should it pop-up, etc.

Bloom does not have an “exit-popup.” Personally, I’m Ok with the decision to not have an exit popup because

  1. I have never filled out an exit pop-up, since I’ve already made a decision to leave the subject websites.

  2. I find them the most offensive type of pop-up, a bit insulting, to ask me for an email after I’ve decided I’m leaving. They seem to question my decision to leave,

  3. We prefer to use a “welcome mat” and side pop-ups as better options.

Elegant themes did originally have an exit pop-up with Bloom, but discontinued it, which is fine, since we don’t use exit pop-ups.


Monarch – make it easy for people to follow and share you!

Monarch also comes included with Elegant Themes products (a smart move). With Monarch, it’s easy for website visitors to share and/or follow you on Social Media.

These days Social Media is huge and “everyone” has a Facebook account. Sharing helps people initially find out about your business. Further, social media helps provide “social proof” that others like your products and services and find them valuable.

 


Google Analytics

Another amazing product that is considered essential is called Google Analytics.

If you go this URL at Flickr, you will see the image above.

With Google Analytics set up, you can get real-time and data that goes all the way back till when you signed up.

Tons of useful data is made available free by Google. This data includes things like how many people visited your website, how many pages did they look at? How long were they on the website? And much more.

This kind of data was not available before. Take advantage of this data to make better decisions for your website and watch your competitors explode while you soar to new heights.

 


Yoast SEO Plugin – great plugin, some problems

Another plugin is the Yoast SEO plugin shown below. It works well overall, but is not without its problems.

For example, we have had repeated difficulty with Yoast Plugin Updates breaking websites.

It can do things that no other plugin can do. For example, it can optimize your internal links for SEO!

That’s something that would take a team a geniuses months to do, and you can get your website up to speed in seconds with this plugin.

For beginners, there is an initial setup screen that gets the user off to a pretty good start.

To really get the full potential from Yoast SEO, we recommend about 10 hours of training on it.

Really, it’s better to have SEO consultants do the SEO, since even if you can use the Yoast tools, they have to be used in the context of yesterday’s and today’s web, in conjunction with what Google’s doing, and what Internet users want.

WARNING: You can cause your website to totally miss the boat AND BE UNFINDABLE if you use this plugin in the wrong way.

 


Competitor Analysis 1 of 3:

SERanking

Some people use SERanking for Search Engine Optimization.

For webmasters and small agencies, they currently show a $9 per month fee.

It’s a low-cost way to get some good data. Some of the other guys just raised their prices from $79/month to $99/month.

However, some find the above software of limited use, and if that’s you, too, there are options that provide more functionality.

For more robust data we prefer SEMrush. A screenshot is shown below.


SEMrush

SEMrush is particularly good at helping you find competitors.

Why do you want to find competitors?

You want to find competitors because:

1. You can exactly copy their techniques that work, and

2. Almost every other SEO software says “put in your competitors,” but don’t help you find competitors. SEMrush does.

 


Monitor Backlinks

NOW, you can go to https://monitorbacklinks.com/seo-tools/free-backlink-checker

This will bring you to screen where you can input any URL and find out about backlinks to that domain. I input www.elegantthemes.com and got the following backlink information about Elegant Themes.

 


Majestic Backlinks

Majestic backlinks is one of the best free tools out there for finding backlinks. Remember, backlinks are like votes for your website.

We want to determine who your competitors are, and then find who links to them. Then we will contact those webmasters and ask them to put a link from their website to our website!

 


SpyFu

Last but not least is SpyFu. The free stuff is limited to inputting a URL and getting the following:

I haven’t used them because there is not free trial like most other SEO software. SpyFu wants your credit card number up front, and you have 14 days before they start charging your credit card, then they charge you monthly after that.

Anyway, they have some cool data.

With so many other services offering free trials, I don’t see how SpyFu is going to make it.

 


Competitor Analysis 2 of 3:

MOZ Open Site Explorer

Moz Open Site is a good (free) tool for getting data on your websites and on competitors’ websites as well.

During this process you should be collecting KEYWORDS and KEYWORD PHRASES to use later on. We use an Excel Spreadsheet to keep our keywords together.

Does this sound pre-historic, this use of Excel? I hope not because Excel is super-powerful and not to be laughed at.

The first things we put on our PCs at the Agency at Excalibur Websites, Inc. is Adobe Master Collection CS6 and Microsoft Office (which has Excel).

So yes, Excel is very important and serves us well in many ways. Sure there’s Google Sheets, but Excel on Desktop blows it away.

To recap, check out MOZ Open Site Explorer, MOZ has paid plans, too. If you give them a try, let me know, I’ve heard good things about MOZ.

 


MOAT

Moat software will show you what advertisements other websites (a.k.a. your competitors) are running.

Obviously, if you can find what’s working for a larger competitor, try it on a small scale in your operation.

Even a small thing like “what colors are my successful competitors using?” could lead to insights about how to reach your customer.

FOR EXAMPLE, judging by the colors Elegant Themes is using above, I’d bet the majority of Elegant Themes’ clients are female. Just a hypothesis for now, but I’m a guy and I don’t like purple and dull pink.

You don’t have to beat the super-big companies. That is not what it is about.

It’s about serving the customer’s needs through a superior product and superior marketing.

 


WHAT RUNS WHERE

What a great name!

This software will, for a fee, help you find advertising that’s working. You can learn where your competitors are placing their ads. You can find out what ads they are using, who they are buying them from, and more. Not free.

 


iSpionage

iSpionage will, for free, let you analyze a domain to uncover the main keywords a competitor is using.

You don’t have to use it just for competitors. If you are launching an eBook, for example, you could input the domains of the top-selling books to get an idea of their strategy.

 


Competitor Analysis 3 of 3 Advanced email address required

QUANTCAST

Quantcast is an amazing source of information about your customers.

As you can see from the image below, this example for StackOverflow shows the kinds of cars, incomes, demographics, and more for people who like StackOverflow.

You can even click on other tabs like preferences for Apparel and get a deeper insight into how to better segment your audience to market to them.

Quantcast is one of our favorites for understanding the customer/buyer at a deeper level.

 


SPYONWEB

SpyOnWeb will reveal the traffic sources of any URL you input into the search box. The data show the Google Analytics ID, the sources of the traffic to the site, a Global rank and a Country rank for the websites you chose to analyze.

Using SpyOnWeb takes you to SimilarWeb, apparently their main company.

This data shows you what domains (websites) your customers are coming from.  Then it shows you where they go after they leave your website. I find the Top Destination Sites interesting because one could assume they did not find what they wanted, and the next website seemed to a better choice. Of course, that’s only an assumption.

They could have found what they wanted on your small business website, and the next step could be to find something to complement or use what they bought from you.

 


Similar Sites

Similar Sites does exactly what it says – helps you find similar sites.

As you learn to think laterally, and vertically, once you get the hang of it, you may be able to uncover some new opportunities for products, and find out how to reach more new customers in different segments who very much want your services.

With Similar Sites, you can get similar websites, and the check them in Quantcast to get detailed information about a similar website.

Amazing.

Can you use any other of the tools given so far if you have a list of similar websites to use?

 


ONTOLO

This is a paid service, but if you have the means, this can totally bring you smashing results. Ontolo helps with content marketing, social media, keeping track of advertising, and more.

Unless the website has over 1,000 in traffic per month, Ontolo is probably not worth it.

A good SEO consultant can help you grow organically, bypassing the need to even use more expensive tools like these altogether.

What I want to say is this: With a good product and by following the basics, Internet businesses can scale fast and intensify bottom line profits beyond your wildest expectations.


MENTION

If you want to go free, you can use Google Alerts to set alerts. This means Google will send you can email whenever the name or words you ask Google to track are used online!

Mention is similar, and has more features. To me, Mention is easier to use than Google Alerts.

We may use both Google Alerts and Mention for our top-tier clients.

Who doesn’t like to know when they are being talked about?

Mention is also good for finding out about complaints toward your own name or your business name, so you can handle them quickly.

 




Phase 3: Increasing Traffic 4x with These Secrets




MAINTENANCE MODE

Every website needs a maintenance mode plugin.

WordPress websites require constant maintenance, as you are now understanding, and it is considered best practice to put successful websites into maintenance mode as needed.

If needed, notify those involved that the website may be offline for a few minutes.

The plugin used here is called Easy Maintenance Mode and we found it at the WordPress Plugin Repository https://wordpress.org/plugins/easy-maintenance-mode-coming-soon/

Here’s what the main page of the plugin looks like:

Maintenance Mode Plugin image

The upshot is, grab a Maintenance Mode plugin from the repository and use it as needed.

A visitor to your websites should never see anything ugly or encounter a broken site. Maintenance Mode plugins keep up your online image by not revealing maintenance work, and enable you to keep your website in top shape.

 


GOOGLE MY BUSINESS

Excalibur Websites, Monterey, CA business page

Sometimes we love Google (like that nice guy Cutts that does the SEO videos for Google), sometimes not.

1. The main frustration with using Google products is their lack of assistance with their products. I can’t recall ever talking to a real person at Google.

Except for The AdWords people at Google.

They actually told me that by advertising I’d increase my Google Page Rank on my website!

To the contrary, I believe Google goes to great length to separate organic results from paid results as far as ranking goes. Don’t trust Google Adwords people, they are salespeople.

2. The second frustration for us is the time it takes to Verify Your Business. For example, you order your postcard to verify your business with Google and by the time you get your postcard to verify, you’ve been waiting a few days, wondering if they really sent it to you, so you go back into Google My Business and request another verification postcard. Then when you get a postcard in the mail, it may be the 1st postcard, but you’ve already requested a 2nd postcard. Sound confusing?! It is!

If you can, let a webmaster sign you up for Google My Business, it is essential to getting found online.

I have been trying to verify since January 1st, and as you can see in the image above, I requested a postcard on March 1st and it’s already March 12th, and I haven’t seen the postcard yet. If I don’t get it soon, time to verify will run out, since they give you 30 days to verify your business once you request the postcard. This has been an ongoing pain, so be patient with Google if needed.

 


GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE

This used to be called Webmaster Tools, a much more fitting name. They changed it to Search Console years ago and it was hard to get used to the new name. To confuse things further, Google has changed the icon from Google Search Console to a new icon called Google Webmaster tools.

Like I said, Google doesn’t make it easy. Here’s a screen shot and this is the closes t you can get to Google directly telling you how to improve your website.

Do what Google says.

Google webmaster tools image

GOOGLE ANALYTICS

logo for Google Analytics

Example Dashboard from Google Analytics

To keep it short, sign up for Google Analytics and find out how to get more customers — FREE information from Google!

 


Contracts Are Good!

HEY EVERYONE, START LOVING CONTRACTS!

Website Design and copywriting contract

The screenshot above was taken while compiling contract for the Website Design Agency and SEO Consultants at Excalibur Websites, Inc.

These are not made by an attorney, although they contain all the necessary legal jargon, they are made by a businessman.

They don’t’ need to be reviewed by an attorney, but you’re welcome to waste the money on attorneys. They’re paid to find fault.

We’ve covered everything imaginable to cover you legally.

FYI, There are available at the Excalibur Websites’ store if you want to find out more.  We put together a short YouTube video on the main website designer/developer contract set, too.

This is an easy-to-use, fully-developed contract set customized to you, but because of the complexity, we will probably make more YouTube videos to explain them in greater detail.

Several contracts for websites

This is what we use at Excalibur Websites, Inc.

Some of the benefits to you are:

  1. There’s a Client Welcome Document that lays out the way YOU work, so you don’t get “run over” by a client who wants everything yesterday.

  2. All the prices are in 1 place. This makes it super-simple to keep track of, and change your prices.

  3. Further, imagine meeting with a new client and having the confidence you’re covered legally as you have contracts in your company name for copy writing, website design, website maintenance, and even contracts for Social Media Marketing services!

  4. The contracts are in your name, and in your venue (location), giving you the complete upper hand in court if needed. Usually, a great contract like this will discourage any problems, and keep you in smooth sailing.

  5. They have your watermark and logo; no one else can use them. These are YOUR contracts.

  6. A big reason these contracts help make more money is because the client only has to sign in 1 place. The individual contract for “copy writing,” for example, mention that the Client agrees to the Master Agreement and the Pricing.  The customer signs one time, and you have a solid contract.

Clue, you don’t have to perform all these tasks yourself. Once you have a signed contract with a client, you can subcontract “copy writing” to a copywriter.

Getting back to the next section:

 


Email Techniques

tag cloud of Digital Marketing

At Excalibur Websites, Inc., we use MailChimp as our email provider.

You might consider InfusionSoft, but I hear it’s terribly complicated, actually requiring you to pay someone to train you how to use it!

Forget InfusionSoft!

I’ve checked out many of the others already, like aWeber and others.

Except for MailChimp they all had shortcomings of one kind or another.

Make it easy on yourself and get results with MailChimp.

email provider mailchimp

Once a customer gives you his/her email, treat the customer and their email like gold.

Send emails to your existing and potential customers to keep the relationship going.

Have you ever received a monthly newsletter from a website designer?

That’s the basic idea – send helpful information that also positions you as the person to go to for information about the subject.

I wish there was time to go into greater detail about email newsletters, and email sales letters, but it would require another blog post.

Here’s an 11-email series we recently put together.

11 email series for ecommerce

It uses NLP hypnotic language to aid in persuading the customer to buy.

These powerful email series are only created by Excalibur Websites, Inc. for our internal use.

These are customer email series that get results. Start by writing 1 email and go from there. Look professional and use MailChimp for lead generation, customer retention, and everything in between.

 


Daily Antivirus Scans

This section is about: Basic Security for Your Website

We generally run 2 anti-virus, anti-hacker programs on our VIP websites.

Some other people don’t, and then get into trouble – as Harvard did.

Do not let this happen to you. Don’t use companies that use overseas people, or that use 21-year-olds when you need master-level, quality security and anti-virus support.

Harvard University Hacked by hackers USA

Also, note that a big company called Valet.io shows it maintains Harvard’s website. If you look closely at the grayish image on the left, you will see in the top left, the “valet” icon.

Further, looking 2/3 of the way down, and in the center of the left picture, you will see a HARVARD LOGO just above the yellow line as evidence that valet.io maintains Harvard’s website.

These companies charge $$$$/month, and have a 22 year old just out of school maintaining your site.

One particular “valet” WordPress Maintenance company personally told us they use overseas people; they send money overseas to non-US employees and/or subcontractors.

To put it shortly, these companies train people by using your website as a training ground. This exposes your website to hackers and they create a security threat. Your website is at risk with these larger WordPress maintenance companies.

Review this famous Forbes letter about hackers.

wordpress website maintenance and support anti-virus

I checked out WPValet’s (a.k.a “valet.io”) prices. You’d be paying $250 PER MONTH for basic maintenance and $850 PER MONTH for basic SEO.

That means as a small business, at a minimum you’d be paying valet.io $1,100 PER MONTH for maintenance and basic SEO.

I recommend avoiding these large companies. They often use overseas people, sending US dollars to other countries.

WE AT EXCALIBUR WEBSITES, INC. DO NOT USE WORKERS OUTSIDE OF THE USA.

We charge less than half that and you get better security.

FYI, they changed their name recently from wpvalet.com to valet.io

I wonder why they changed their name?

STEP 1.

USE ON-SITE SECURITY TO STOP HACKERS

WordFence anti-virus and security for WordPress websites

Don’t use a security program call “iThemes Security” or anything made by iThemes. Maybe it sounds “not nice,” but you need to know these things. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting weeks and months on things that don’t work.

We received early basic WordPress training from them, and THE TRAINING WAS THE ONLY GOOD THING I CAN SAY ABOUT iThemes.

Use WordFence for on-site security.

STEP 2. As we manage your websites, we periodically run scans to check for and eliminate nasty hackers and viruses.

Below is an example of that kind of security, update, and anti-virus support.

Excalibur WordPress anti virus scan

So, a 2-pronged approach makes your websites safer, and more profitable.

As needed at the design agency, a 3-pronged approach with even higher reliability may be used.

 


ECOMMERCE – SELLING YOUR STUFF ONLINE

This is a screenshot of an older eCommerce shop.

For starters, notice the sidebar on the right. These lead to affiliate links, where you can make even more money with your website.

The best way, however, is to productize your services, so they are a pre-determined, non-negotiable prices.

This method will save you tons of time because you don’t have to go back and forth with proposals.

The customer is shown what’s available and they can choose to buy if they want the benefits your products provides.

Here is an example of an eCommerce Shop on a website:

eCommerce website called Excalibur Websites, Inc./ Shop

Another technique is to put your own shop onto your Facebook page.

Take advantage of using Facebook to sell your stuff, Facebook doesn’t care about you, so make the most of Facebook while Facebook lasts.

You don’t naively think Facebook is going to be around forever, do you?

Remember, YOU DON’T CONTROL FACEBOOK, YOU CONTROL YOUR WEBSITE.

This is a Facebook Page. Look at the left sidebar, below Excalibur Websites, Inc.

Do you see the links called “Store” and 7 Profitable SEO Products for You?”

Put your ecommerce store on Facebook

Further, both “STORE” and “7 profitable SEO Products for YOU” will take you off Facebook and onto our real website so customers can buy!

The image below gives you a closer look at the left sidebar with links that lead to our eCommerce Store.

Also see the link called “GET MORE TRAFFIC” that sends people over to your real website, and gets them off Facebook and into your online store.

Get people off Facebook, and onto your Store.

Facebook store

Use Facebook as a tool for more profits today.

 


INSTAGRAM

Instagram for Excalibur Websites, Inc.

Facebook owns Instagram and it’s become a good way for retailers to sell their goods.

IF YOU ARE A RETAILER, CHECK OUT INSTAGRAM.

As this success tutorial is aimed for more online/virtual businesses, we leave further Instagram investigation up to you.

 


Social Media Accounts – Grab Them

Grab the major social media accounts for your business name.

Go to “NameChk.com” (there is no “e” in “namechk”)

As you can see, simply input your business name, and see what’s available.

Name check for social media account available

Knowem is a favorite for finding out if your business name is available on social media. As far as strategic planning goes, this search is paramount.

In the beginning, you need a create a consistent Brand.

If your business name’s taken, you’re SOL, and had better find a better name to use.

 


 CAUTION!!!

The following 15 items in Phase 3 are locked to casual readers.  

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Uncover over 15 more advanced-level secrets to:

  • Instantly get started as a respected Blogger and get more traffic.

  • The 1 proven method that will get you 80% of your new business.

  • The 1 thing every blogger must have.

  • Easily make money by running advertisements.

  • Little-known paid advertising methods that work.

  • Boost your SEO by gaining backlinks (votes) for your website.

  • Several methods to become a “Thought Leader” in your niche, and permanently crush the competition.

  • Introducing new customer service technologies that will save you time, keep the customers coming back, and turbo-boost your profits.

 

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HOTJAR

Heat Map software was all the rage a short while ago. It’s limited in that it shows you where someone’s mouse was, but heat maps can’t tell you what the visitor to your website was thinking (that’s why it’s good to enter into a verbal conversation early on to actually talk to the customer). See Help Desk Software below.

Hotjar heat map visitor tracking

 

 


HELP DESK SOFTWARE

for SEO use HelpScout as a consultant in Monterey, California

This is one example of software that will help you keep track of customer service requests.

I know, sounds like a bunch of extra work right?

Admittedly, this is yet another software to learn. However, it will leverage your time like never before.

Customer has a problem, you solve problem. The software holds it together, remembers facts you don’t need to remember, so you can focus on the person asking for help.

Yes, handle customer requests as efficiently as possible. Efficiency includes fair profits for your business. Handle service requests with the final intent of making a better bond with the customer.

This is one example of software that will help you keep track of customer service requests.

I know, sounds like a bunch of extra work right?

Admittedly, this is yet another software to learn. However, it will leverage your time like never before.

Customer has a problem, you solve problem. The software holds it together, remembers facts you don’t need to remember, so you can focus on the person asking for help.

Yes, handle customer requests as efficiently as possible. Efficiency includes fair profits for your business. Handle service requests with the final intent of making a better bond with the customer.

 




Conclusion:




Hey, I know this is a lot to digest.  

However, this is what worked for us.


Get a FREE pdf of this entire article. Enter your best email below and click Unlock Content

We invite you to give these techniques a try.

Start at the top and work your way down the list.

Success with digital marketing is here at last.

Digital Marketing has come of age.

Cash in on the new Gold Rush of the Century.

Get started today.

Thx.  Jeff

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