In the days before Panda and Penguin updates, creating a website that targeted a specific set of niche keywords, and getting that site to rank high in Google results, was relatively easy. For less than $100, you could create a space on the web that would bear fiscal fruit in less than six months. Streamline the process and let the passive income roll in. Of course, that strategy is dust at our feet thanks to the previously mentioned fuzzy animals. These days, it’s all about your website’s (and your own) authority within your niche. Know how to build authority within your vertical? Here’s a couple tips to get you started.

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Quality Content and Earned Links Increase Traffic

Paying a cadre of foreign writers $1 to bang on a keyboard until your site is populated with keyword-heavy content won’t work anymore. You need quality content that’s well sourced, engaging and encourages readers to share it through social channels and other (high value) sites. Dropping links to your content on forums and article directories will only get you a manual penalty from the Google Web Spam Team — don’t do it.

Start blogging about issues, events and problems in your niche. Offer solutions, be funny, provide tips for other businesses and insights to consumers. Don’t shortchange the process by thinking someone who isn’t familiar with your brand can embody your voice.

Get Your Rel=Author Set Up

Enabling rel=author for your own blog helps build your authorship and increase your web presence every time you publish. Sharing your posts becomes easier and having your lovely image attached to your work in search results can actually increase clicks. The entire process takes less than five minutes. If you operate a site that uses WordPress as its content management system, authorship creation takes a couple clicks on a downloadable plug-in.

All you need is a Google+ profile and a website/blog. Here’s a tutorial direct from Google.

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Diversify Your Web Traffic and Marketing Strategies

You’re no longer dependent on organic web traffic as the sole mechanism to drive users to your site and products. Set up your social media profiles, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pintrest, to reach users interested in your niche in the most direct fashion possible.

Tweet about your sales and updates, drop Instagram photos of what you’re up to around the office. Develop that personal connection with your audience that makes you and your business seem real and vibrant. Doing is will increase consumer trust in you as a thought leader and spread your brand across a much wider area of the web than is possible with just your branded domain.

Fast Results are for Amateurs

Quick turnaround and easy dollars don’t happen in the authority-building game. Developing your brand and yourself as a leader within your microniche takes time and dedicated effort across multiple channels. Taking your foot off the pedal, even for a month, can set you back half a year in terms of user engagement and brand awareness. You need to stay relevant, continually produce the most engaging content possible, and remain patient as the pace slowly builds towards its critical mass.

 

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