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Keepers and Sneezers: Two signals of branding success

The power of branding

bigsneeze.jpgI talked about defensible traffic in my previous post, but ultimately all your traffic sources can disappear, leaving you only with the visitors that remember your site, the ones that do not need to follow a link or click on a Google Ad. For me, those visitors are an excellent measure of the true success of my sites. Those visitors represent the strength of my brand.

There are two clear signals that tell me how strong a brand is: direct traffic and brand searches. Direct traffic visitors are visitors that simply type the URL or domain name in their browser. These visitors know the site. Brand search visitors are usually visitors that are not Web-savvy and go everywhere by searching. At least they remember the name of the site, but they don't remember the domain extension.

Both are indications that the site name is on the mind of the visitor. They are keepers: if every other traffic method disappeared, you will still get those visitors. Read more

Digg this: How to use social networking sites properly to boost traffic

diggthis.pngWe all know that building solid, natural and authoritative links to your site or blog is the best way to obtain unshakable rankings. There has been a lot of chatter lately about using social networking sites to help build traffic and eventually links. Those links are hard to get, unless of course you have a power user account at a popular site like Digg. Unfortunately, getting a power user account involves a lot of work that most bloggers are not willing to put in.

Power users carry more weight than regular ones, the main benefit being that you need far less votes to make it to the Digg homepage. One hundred power users account for around 50% of the stories that make it there. The traffic you would get by being linked to the Digg homepage is not itself profitable, but many of those eyes glaring at the screen are the linkerati – influencers that will link and blog about your story, giving you a lot of very valuable natural and authoritative links.

The basic ingredients for success at Digg are: diggable posts/articles, a power user submitting your article, and a digg-friendly landing page. Most stories make it to the home page if they get over 50 votes in less than 24 hours. To help you achieve such numbers, I've seen many blogs directly or indirectly promoting a service called Subvert and Profit (S&P), designed to get all the votes needed to land on the Digg homepage. You basically pay $1 per vote and they pay $.50 cents to the Diggers. This means that if you create a diggable post and a digg-friendly landing page, you only need to invest around fifty bucks to make it to the Digg homepage. And if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. Right. Read more