5-Steps to Free Traffic with Powerful Keyword Clusters

Many marketers assume that SEO is simply out of reach for them. After all, how is their new website going to outcompete more established sites to rank at the top of the search engines?

Performing your own search on Google doesn’t help, either. When you type in your best keyword and there are a million results, it’s easy to get discouraged and figure that SEO is for the ‘big guys’ and not for you.

But there are ways for newer, small websites to rank at the top of the SERPS.

One is to focus on long tail keywords that don’t have a lot of competition. You search for your long tail keyword, notice that the top results aren’t focused on that keyword or they simply aren’t comprehensive enough, and you create a post that thoroughly covers the topic better than anything else out there.

Another way to rank your new website on the first page of the SERPS and perhaps the only way to rank for prime keywords that seem impossible to get, is to create content on keyword clusters.

Your goal in this case is to create a catalog of articles that form a highly organized hub of authoritative content, thus becoming a top-visited resource in your niche. You’re creating content that will answer your target audience’s questions, giving them everything they need to know when they do a search.

Here’s how to create powerful keyword clusters:

1: Identify Your Pillar Keywords

Start by identifying 3-5 broad topics that are central to your business or website. These topics should reflect the main areas of expertise or services that you offer.

2: Create Cluster Topics

Once you have identified your pillar topics, create a list of subtopics that are related to each of your pillars. Each subtopic should be a specific area of focus that can be explored in greater depth.

For example, if your pillar topic is “Digital Marketing,” your cluster topics might include “SEO,” “Content Marketing,” “Social Media Marketing,” and “Paid Advertising.”

3: Conduct Keyword Research

Conduct keyword research to identify the specific keywords and phrases that people are using to search for information related to each of your cluster topics.

You can use a keyword research tool such as Google’s Keyword Planner or SEMRush to identify the most relevant and high-volume keywords for each cluster topic.

Break down each of your keywords in Step 2 to identify specific questions being asked.

For example, under Social Media Marketing, specific questions might be, “How do I market my product using Instagram?” or “How do I build my list using Facebook?”

4: Create Content

Create content that is focused on each of your cluster topics. Each piece of content should be optimized for the specific keywords and phrases associated with that topic. Use the keywords in the title, meta description, headers, and throughout the content.

And create content for your pillar keywords as well. These articles are going to be more general and all-encompassing and will refer to the cluster topic articles for more information.

5: Interlink Your Content

Finally, link your cluster content to your pillar content and vice versa. This helps to create a clear hierarchy of information and ensures that all of your content is easily accessible to both users and search engines. Interlinking your content also helps to establish your authority and credibility on the topic.

By following these steps, you can create a powerful keyword cluster that can help to improve your SEO and attract more organic traffic to your website.

Solitaire Game

Using Solitaire to Motivate Customers

Some people will love this idea and others won’t.

If you have noticed that you get more done in less time when you’re in competition with a coworker, another affiliate or a joint venture partner, then you’ll love this.

As information marketers we have a duty not only to make products that help people and to get those products into their hands, but also to encourage them to USE the products and reap the benefits.

Something like 80% to 95% of information products are never consumed, and an even higher percentage are consumed but the information is never put to use.

If you’re wondering why it’s our responsibility to help our customers use the product once they make a purchase, it’s because…

…you’ll reduce your refunds if your customers are happy

…you’ll get more repeat business if your customers are happy with their first purchase

…you’ll get favorable coverage in social media if customers can say you deliver on your promises

…you’ll feel good knowing you’re making a real difference in people’s lives.

The other day I was playing solitaire. Yes, I was wasting time, but I play solitaire when I have a problem to mull over. It’s kind of like thinking in the shower for me.

When I won a hand, I noticed there was a ‘statistics’ section that shows the top players. But if you haven’t joined the site, your own stats won’t show up in the top 50, even if you’ve qualified.

I signed up and checked my stats and guess what? I’m in the top 50 (In the world!!) for my favorite solitaire game.

“So what?” you might ask, and here’s the rub: I had a sudden urge to pass the person just ahead of me in the rankings. They were only a few wins ahead of me, so how long could it take?

I played a game here and there over the course of the next few days and blew past them in the rankings. Now I want to overtake the next person, too, because why not?

Here’s my idea… if you are selling a course on how to do something, why not show everyone’s progress as they get through the course and complete the tasks in each module? If you have a private forum such as a private Facebook Page, then people who have a question on, say, step #6 can see who has already accomplished it and ask them for help.

No one wants to be dead last, so it would get people moving forward and making progress in no time.

And when they complete all the steps, they are then entered into a special winner’s circle or something that gives them a title, maybe a certification or even some extra benefits.

Because a little friendly competition can be a very motivating thing!

pen and paper with check boxes

20 Free Tools for Surveys and Quizzes

pen and paper with check boxesSurveys and quizzes can be effective marketing tools for several reasons, including:

They can help you understand your target audience: Surveys and quizzes can provide valuable insights into your target audience’s preferences, behaviors, and needs. This information can help you create more effective marketing campaigns.

They can increase engagement: Surveys and quizzes are interactive and engaging, which can increase the likelihood that people will spend more time on your website or social media channels. This can also help build brand loyalty.

They can provide valuable feedback: Surveys and quizzes can provide feedback on your products, services, or marketing campaigns. This feedback can help you improve your offerings and better understand your customers’ needs.

5 tips on how to use surveys and quizzes in marketing:

1: Define your goals: Before creating a survey or quiz, define your goals. What do you want to learn from your audience? What do you want to achieve with the survey or quiz? This helps you create questions and answers that are relevant and useful.

2: Keep it short: People are often busy so keep your survey or quiz short and to the point to maximize participation.

3: Make it easy to participate: Make it mobile-friendly and easy to navigate.

4: Offer an incentive: Offer a discount code, a free product, or entry into a prize draw to increase participation and engagement.

5: Analyze the results: Once you’ve collected responses, analyze the results to gain insights into your target audience. Use this information to improve your marketing campaigns and offerings.

Overall, surveys and quizzes can be powerful marketing tools when used effectively.

20 Tools for Surveys And Quizzes

Formstack – A platform for creating online forms, surveys, and quizzes.

Google Forms – A free tool that allows you to create and share surveys and quizzes.

Kahoot! – A game-based learning platform that can be used for quizzes and surveys.

Lime Survey – A free and open-source survey platform for creating and sharing surveys.

Mentimeter – A tool for creating interactive presentations and polls.

Poll Everywhere – A real-time audience response tool that can be used for surveys and quizzes.

ProProfs Survey Maker – A tool for creating custom surveys, quizzes, and polls.

Qualtrics – A comprehensive survey platform for creating and analyzing surveys.

Question Pro – A platform for creating and distributing surveys and analyzing results.

Quizlet – A tool for creating and sharing quizzes and flashcards.

Snap Surveys – A comprehensive survey tool for creating, distributing, and analyzing surveys.

SoGoSurvey – A platform for creating and distributing surveys and analyzing results.

Survey Anyplace – A tool for creating engaging surveys and quizzes with interactive features.

Survey Gizmo – A tool for creating and distributing surveys and analyzing results.

Survey Legend – A tool for creating and sharing mobile-friendly surveys and quizzes.

SurveyMonkey – A popular online survey tool for creating and distributing surveys.

Survey Nuts – A free tool for creating and sharing online surveys.

Survey Planet – A free tool for creating and sharing surveys and quizzes.

Typeform – A user-friendly platform for creating engaging surveys, forms, and quizzes.

Zoho Survey – A platform for creating and analyzing surveys.

piecharts and graphs

15 Free Tools and 5 Reasons to Research Trends

piecharts and graphsTrend research is an essential part of online marketing because it helps businesses stay up-to-date with the latest consumer behaviors, preferences and technologies. By understanding and anticipating trends, you can create effective marketing strategies that resonate with your target audience.

Here are 5 reasons why you might want to make trend research an integral part of your online marketing efforts:

  • To stay current: Consumer behaviors and preferences are constantly evolving, and marketers need to stay current with these changes to remain relevant in their industry.
  • To identify new opportunities: By identifying emerging trends, you can spot new opportunities to grow your customer base or expand into new niches.
  • To improve engagement: Trend research can help you create more engaging and relevant marketing content that resonates with your target audience.
  • To enhance brand image: Staying on top of trends can help you position your products as innovative and forward-thinking.
  • To remain competitive: In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, if you fail to keep up with the latest trends then you risk falling behind your competitors.

15 Free Tools for Trends Research

Answer the Public – provides insights on popular questions being asked on search engines.

Buzzsumo – allows you to see the most shared content across various social media platforms.

Exploding Topics – helps you discover new and trending topics in your industry.

Facebook Insights – provides insights on audience engagement with your Facebook page.

Google Alerts – notifies you whenever specific keywords or phrases are mentioned online.

Google Analytics – provides detailed information on website traffic and user behavior.

Google Trends – allows you to see how often specific search terms are entered into Google.

LinkedIn Insights – provides insights on audience engagement with your LinkedIn page.

Quora – a platform where you can find answers to questions on a variety of topics.

Reddit – a platform where you can find discussions on various topics and see what people are talking about.

SEMrush – provides insights on your website’s search engine rankings and traffic.

Similar Web – provides insights on website traffic, audience demographics, and competitor analysis.

Social Mention – monitors social media platforms for mentions of your brand or industry keywords.

Statista – provides market research and statistics on various industries and topics.

Twitter Analytics – provides insights on audience engagement with your Twitter profile.

Stepping stones to success

Barbara Corcoran’s Insider Tips for Succeeding Against All Odds

Stepping stones to successShe’s 73 years old, an icon of entrepreneurship and a regular on Shark Tank.

Beginning as a real estate maven in New York City, she spent 23 years building her real estate business from an initial $1000 investment into a $66 million dollar payday when she sold it in 2001.

Now she advises companies she’s invested in, manages her own personal brand, hosts a podcast and is best known as a Shark on Shark Tank.

What’s her best advice to new business founders and marketers?

1: Fall down a lot

Raised with 9 siblings, Barbara’s mother didn’t have time to help the kids so she learned to fail at everything before figuring it out. She learned that failure is simply a part of the process, and confidence is what gets you back on your feet each time you fall. Keep trying, take failure in stride and you’ll figure out how to succeed.

“I am a great failure. All of my successes come on the heels of failure. Great sales people are great at empathy and great at failure.”

Takeaway: To reach success, fail fast and fail often.

2: Don’t give up

Shark Tank almost passed Barbara up. She was initially offered a seat, but then received notice that her spot had been given to another woman. Barbara was distraught but not willing to give up.

She contacted Mark Burnett, the man who owns the TV studio where Shark Tank is filmed, and sold herself to him. Impressed that she refused to give up, Mark gave Barbara the job.

Takeaway: Never, ever, ever give up.

3: Put in the time

When Barbara was 55, she sold her real estate business to go into media. She wanted to talk real estate in front of a camera, but what she didn’t realize is that she was totally unprepared for this new career.

She was now working twice as hard just to make a start. She found out her contacts were no good, she had no influence and she felt like a loser.

This is where most people would have quit, but she dug in and pursued her new passion until she got to where she wanted to go.

Takeaway: Dedicate a certain portion of every single day to reaching your goal.

4: Start now

Wherever you might be in life – college, starting a career, midlife or retired, now is the time to start on your new business or building your dream. You will likely never have the energy and enthusiasm that you have now.

Delay will cost you in so many ways, while getting started now will reward you with more and faster success. ‘Ready, fire and aim’ can overcome numerous obstacles that otherwise might seem insurmountable.

“If you stand back and analyze the best way to do something, you’ll be standing there forever. You’re always smarter under fire than you are standing on the outside assessing a situation. You can’t study to be an entrepreneur. Sometimes you just have to jump.”

Takeaway: Start now. Right now. Right NOW.

5: Start low and work up

Barbara was the second oldest of 10 kids and money was tight, which is how she learned early on to pull her own weight and find ways to make money.

By the time she was 23, she’d worked in over 20 jobs. She credits her time working as a waitress because learning to serve others was good training for becoming an entrepreneur.

Takeaway: Don’t be afraid to start at the beginning or at the bottom.

6: Haters are motivation

Barbara users her naysayers as motivation for her success.

Perhaps her best known example of this is when her real estate partner and boyfriend Ramon Simone left her for her secretary. His parting words were, “You’ll never succeed without me.”

The burning desire to prove him wrong resulted in her building the number 1 real estate company in New York City, eventually selling it for $66 million.

Takeaway: Be thankful for people who say you can’t do it, because you’re going to use their negative comments to fuel your success further and faster than any motivational speaker could do for you.

7: Look successful to become successful

Barbara wanted to present herself as already being successful.

She knew that having a celebrity client would be good for business, so she set her eyes on Madonna. But since Madonna wouldn’t return her calls, Barbara put out a report listing the things she thought Madonna would want in a home, projecting herself as being a broker to the stars.

This new image brought in business and eventually led to working with Richard Gere and others.

When Barbara got her first paycheck, she headed straight to Bergdorf Goodman to buy an expensive coat. “If I looked like I was able, then I was able. Perception creates reality.”

Takeaway: There is truth in, “Fake it ‘til you make it.”

8: Expand as soon as possible

Barbara admits she’s not good at saving money, but she is good at investing in her own business and expanding that business as quickly as possible.

Even now she invests in others’ businesses and encourages them to grow, with the thought that if your business isn’t expanding into new products, new niches and new markets, then it’s shrinking.

Takeaway – What products and services can you add to your business? Can you outsource some of your work so that you can focus on expansion? And how can you leverage the assets you already have to grow your business bigger?

9: Leverage the media

Perception can be everything. Barbara once had six of her employees on the New York Time’s top 10 brokers’ list.

What most people don’t know is that none of her staff deserved their position because none of them were even in the top 20.

Barbara had taken out an ad in the New York Times showing photos of some of her employees with the title, “Power Brokers”, thereby cementing her company’s status in the minds of journalists and clients alike.

“Perception creates reality. If you want to be successful in real estate you have to look bigger, better, stronger than your competition.”

Takeaway – How can you leverage the media to your benefit? One of the easiest ways I’ve seen marketers do this is to advertise on well-known websites and then include an, “As seen on___” banner on all of their sales pages.

10: Get your price

When Barbara decided she wanted to sell her company in 2001, she called someone she thought might be interested in purchasing it. He offered her $22 million dollars. Not a bad payday, but Barbara insisted she wouldn’t sell for less than $66 million.

With each consecutive offer, Barbara held strong and eventually she got her asking price.

Takeaway – You’re worth more than others would have you believe, and you might be charging too little for your best products and services. Test out higher prices to find the sweet spot where you make the most money.

11: Drop dead weight

This one sounds harsh but it worked. Every six months Barbara would evaluate her brokers and fire the lowest performing employees. Her view is she works too had to let others bring her or her business down.

“If someone doesn’t fit in your company, you have an obligation to get rid of them, because you’re holding them back from excelling elsewhere.”

Takeaway – Are some of your products selling far better than others? Either revamp or relaunch the lowest performers or sell them off.

12: Stay in the game

She once blew an entire year’s profit making videotape tours of her listings, but no one wanted to give them out. By luck, her husband came back from South Korea and told her about this new thing called the internet.

She immediately registered her domain name, posted the listings and had two sales within the week. Next, she registered all of her competitors’ domain names, too.

Takeaway: Stay on top of new trends and technologies and don’t hesitate to immediately put them to use.

13: Create the illusion of popularity

When she was struggling to meet her sales goals, she remembered that, “Everyone wants what everyone else wants.”

She set up a secret sale and asked her brokers to invite their best customers at a specific time when the properties would be revealed. More than 200 people showed up for 88 properties.

“They took worse apartments because they saw 100 other people behind them who wanted them, too.”

Takeaway: Position yourself as someone who chooses your clients, rather than someone who begs for business. Position your products as exclusive, highly desired and without peers.

14: Find your opposite.

Barbara’s business partner was great at everything she was bad at. As soon as you can, hire the person who can do all the things you cannot do. Of the hundred or so businesses she’s invested in, every successful one is a partnership of two opposites with mutual respect. Make it crystal clear from the beginning about what your jobs are.

Takeaway: Find someone – partner or assistant – to fill in the skills you lack and help propel you to the top.

15: Steal. A lot.

While she’s gotten a lot of credit for being an innovator, Barbara says it was all thievery. She noticed billboards that had faces, so she started putting her face on billboards.

She saw a color-coded announcement board in an Italian airport and started color-coding her listings. She says she doesn’t think she’s had an original idea in her life.

“If you have an idea, immediately move on it. To start that fire and get it burning immediately…it’s everything.”

Takeaway: Watch what is working for others and find ways to adapt those techniques to your own business.

16: Follow your intuition.

Your head knows some stuff, but your gut has access to a lot more information that you’re not consciously aware of.

“I don’t listen to my head. Left-brain logic gets in the way. In the earlier years of Shark Tank, I used my head all the time. Now I’m really just sizing up individuals on the basis of my gut reaction.”

Takeaway: Listen not just to your head, but also to your heart and your gut.

17: Be of service.

Whether it’s your employees, your outsourcers or your customers, you work for them. Being a great leader and provider of products and services starts by loving the people you are serving and helping them to be the best they can be.

“The minute you start thinking people work for you, you’re not a good boss. If you focus on building others’ success, they reward you with loyalty and extra work – and they drag you up the ladder with them.”

Takeaway: Treat your outsources, virtual assistants and employees as you would like to be treated, or better.

18: Get out of your own way.

Like many people, Barbara had to overcome the voices in her head and in her life that told her she couldn’t do it.

“Your biggest enemy in business is not your competitor. It’s the negative tapes you have in your head from some other era, some injury, some insecurity. It took me, gosh, probably 20 years to replace those negative tapes. It’s key! People get held back by themselves.”

Takeaway: Monitor your own thoughts as though your success depends on it, because it does.

19: Embrace your fears.

One of Barbara’s most memorable failures was when she lost her voice while giving her first presentation.

Mortified that others now knew she was terrified of public speaking, she realized, “I had two choices: I could stay in the rabbit hole and be ashamed and embarrassed or I could learn how to do it.”

She figured that getting in front of a small group of students was the best next step and volunteered to teach a real estate night course at NYU.

Not only did she overcome her fear of public speaking, but she also found one of her best salespeople in that class and recruited her into her own business.

“It’s when you’re uncomfortable that you learn and grow the most.”

Takeaway: Feel the fear and do it anyway.

19: Know when to let it go.

She let go of her first business with her ex-boyfriend when he ran off with her secretary.

Maybe she could have continued to work with him, but instead she let go of it and founded her own business.

Later, she let go of that business and since then her net worth and visibility have increased a further tenfold.

Takeaway: Build your business with an eye to selling it one day. When you do, you’ll not only have a big payday, but also the ability to start another adventure even grander than the one before.

20: Be thankful

It would be easy for Barbara to focus on the long hours she has spent working as well as all the things she sacrificed to get to where she is today. Instead, she realizes that few people get to be in her position. Rather than complaining, she is thankful to have come so far and built so much.

“I like to wake up and just feel gratitude. Gratitude for waking up, for my health, for my kids, for my family. A lot of times in the evening, I’ll write down what my goals are for the next day; When I wake up, I look at that list again. I meditate.”

Takeaway: Start a gratitude journal where you write down what you are grateful for every day. Commit to doing this for just 30 days and see how it transforms your life.

21: Know that you deserve success

When she was a tiny fish in a very big pond of real estate, Barbara would tell herself, “I have a right to be here.” This assertion gave her confidence whenever she felt out of place or overpowered.

“That singular belief created my success. I cheerlead myself. I think, ‘You have just as much right as that guy to be here, you have the right to be as rich as he is, this isn’t a frat boys club.’ I get arrogant in my head – hopefully I don’t act arrogant on the outside, but that arrogance pushes me forward.”

Takeaway: Each morning, look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you love yourself, you are enough and you deserve success.

21.5 Become an irrational optimist.

If you’re going to be an entrepreneur, you need to become optimistic to the point that exceeds logic.

“You have to see everything as half-full even though everyone is saying you have nothing in your glass.” Rational analysis can be dangerous for a budding entrepreneur. Starting out, “You almost need to have a low IQ,” says Barbara.

Optimism can be more important than intelligence.

I’m reminded of the story of two little boys playing on a frozen stream. When one falls through the ice and drifts away from the hole, a neighbor calls the emergency number to get rescue personnel there. But the other little boy sees his friend trapped under the ice, grabs a small tree branch and starts hammering at the ice with all his strength. He breaks through and pulls his friend to safety.

When the firefighters get there, they attend to the boys and send them to the hospital by ambulance. Two firemen then survey the scene and wonder how the little boy rescued his friend.

They take turns trying to break through the ice with that same little tree branch. These are big guys using all their strength and they can’t do it.

One of them turns to their fire chief and asks, “Boss, how did the child break through when we can’t do it?” And the fire chief replies, “He broke through because there was no one here to tell him he couldn’t do it.”

Takeaway: People will give you a hundred good reasons why it won’t work. Whether or not you choose to believe them is up to you.