- Creating traffic-generating Facebook posts
- Creating an ecosystem of traffic sources
- Why Anne doesn’t care about EEAT
This episode’s guest doesn’t believe in EEAT, doesn’t do any link building, uses AI to help in her content creation, makes most of her money from ads, and lost quite a bit of traffic in the recent round of Google updates.
And yet her profits are actually the same now as they were before AI and the recent updates. In this episode, Gael sits down with Anne Moss – the archetype of niche site builder that Google has been going after – to discuss exactly how she managed to do this, so you can too.
A special thanks to our sponsors for this episode, Digital PR Agency Search Intelligence.
Updating The Strategy
Initially, Anne banked on long-tail content and consciously stayed away from link building, a strategy that worked well for 2-3 years.
But then she felt that relying only on Google traffic was not sustainable and decided to move out of the long-tail game. Over a few months, she transitioned slowly and steadily from doing 1,000 posts per month to around 200-300 per month, and decided to focus on Facebook, Pinterest and mailing lists.
While Facebook is way more predictable than Google and it’s constantly changing algorithms, it does have it’s own risks, like a page becoming redundant or being banned completely.
The Ecosystem Idea
Anne emphasised the increasing need to diversify traffic sources beyond Google to ensure stability, sustainability and growth in the ever-changing landscape of SEO. Building an ecosystem for your site, including traffic sources like Pinterest and YouTube, is an good way to mitigate the risks that come from Google’s constant updates.
According to Anne, “Google is not the audience” – it’s just a massive pipe for your traffic to come through. Sure, Google needs to like your content enough to make it visible to the user, and you as the publisher need to make your content appealing. But, Anne says, even though Google is so impressive and immense, it’s not the only way to go.
You can, and should, promote your content on multiple platforms, rather than rely solely on Google for traffic.
Anne’s aim is to create engaging content that precisely targets her audience. She creates intriguing, emotion-triggering posts that are relevant to the viewer and enticing enough for them to click through the post.
She does this by using an image that contains something to point out to the viewer. The image needs to be relevant enough to the viewer that they will look at it, and can insinuate that the viewer has a problem that the post can solve.
The idea is not to create clickbait – she wants to re-engage that viewer in the future. So she’ll tell the viewer what the post is about, but pull them in with mystery or fear.
And instead of posting link previews, she’ll post images in her Facebook posts to increase reach and audience engagement.
While Anne says it’s very easy to get engagement on social media, there’s no point to it unless you redirect people to your actual site.
Her initial boost in likes on her Facebook pages was achieved through paid ads, but organic engagement and shares were key to driving traffic to her sites.
For a Facebook page with 50,000+ likes, she is able to generate an average of 100,000 – 200,000 monthly visits.
Content Creation with AI
Anne’s opinion is that AI is great for some purposes if you can use it correctly.
She feels that you get the best results from AI if you treat it like a human being. AI tries to replicate responses that it’s seen in humans, and humans collaborate when they’re nicer to one another or are firm in their instructions. So that’s the approach Anne takes when using AI.
For Anne, the key is to build the skills needed to effectively create and refine AI generated content to be the exact first draft that you want. Once she has the first draft, she’ll redo the introductions entirely and remove the classic ‘ChatGPT language’.
Anne feels that most people don’t need the bells and whistles, they just need to have a good user experience. According to her, the content doesn’t have to be stellar, it just has to be good enough to satisfy the user.
She warns that what publishers see as good, helpful content is often very different to what the average user would see as good content.
Anne’s opinion is that Google says one thing and then does another.
To her, it’s more about the user experience and whether the page delivers what the user is looking for. She says that EEAT costs a lot of money, and doesn’t help the user enough for it to be worth it. Plus, she purposefully avoids niches that require a lot of experience and expertise, so she finds that users generally come to her sites for information and then move on – very few click actually on the About page.
She sees herself first and foremost as a publisher whose job is to provide users with the best answer in an easy-to-read online format.
Social Traffic Referrals
Despite acknowledging a decrease in social traffic referrals from platforms like Facebook and Twitter, this is something currently not impacting Anne’s business strategy.
She said she’s not looking further ahead than a few years because the landscape is way too unpredictable, anyway.
But she does feel that having multiple monetization strategies, including selling products, can create a more stable business model and help protect sites against the unpredictable nature of Google traffic.