How LinkedIn Passed Google As My Top Traffic Source

During the month of July, LinkedIn sent more traffic to my site than any other referral source.

I probably spend about 30 minutes a month worrying about SEO. I don’t worry about bots or spiders too much. But someone recently pointed out to me that there are some distinct disadvantages to being so negligent.

With so many other copywriters with online presence, there’s a good chance that potential clients will never stumble across my website while browsing for the type of services that I offer.

Time for a Change
I use is Google Analytics to keep track of my stats. Direct traffic is always my biggest traffic source, making up close to half of my total visits. Google comes in second, right around 30%, with the balance made up by all my other referrers.

But last month was different. As of the end of the month, LinkedIn holds the top spot, with to 27.64% of my total traffic. Direct traffic trailed slightly at 26.13%. Google dropped to third place with 22.11%.

LinkedIn also had the highest time on site figure at an incredible 8 minutes and 18 seconds. Direct traffic came in at 5:03. The site average was 2:46.

This took place during the busiest month my website has ever seen.

The Turning Point
What made the difference? How did LinkedIn gain such a big share of traffic, especially in a period when nearly twice as many people visited my site than usual? Satanic Sales Pitches. It turns out that the headline was very compelling, arousing enough curiosity to get a ton of clicks. (More proof that strong headlines are incredibly important to getting readership.)

I really don’t spend that much time on LinkedIn. About an hour a week. That didn’t change over the past month. My time was just being used more strategically.

Here’s a few tips:

1) The biggest single biggest traffic-driving factor was one particular blog post –

I pasted the link to this post in my Updates, and shared it in several of the groups I actively participate in. I didn’t post to every group I’m a member of, just where it was relevant. Copywriting, marketing and sales groups.

2) I checked for feedback and engaged commenters in conversation.

3) This is a bit of a cheap trick, but once the discussion died down topic died down, then I “Liked” the discussion. This puts the thread back at the top of Group Updates, to ensure it’s as visible as possible.

Corny, but I wanted to see if it would work. Apparently it does.

4) I optimized my LinkedIn profile for search.

Choose a search term that you’d like to rank at the top of search results for. If you’re a dog groomer for Hollywood movie stars, your keywords might be “dog groomer Hollywood.” In my case, I chose “direct response copywriter Chicago.”

Next, find a way to work those keywords into your Linkedin profile. Your headline, current position and previous experience are areas that have the biggest impact on LI’s search engine results.

The changes I made immediately placed my profile in the #1 position in search inquiries for my keywords, as well as a few related keywords. It also led to two interactions with potential clients and a few new connections.

Not too complicated, right? But the results where profound. How valuable would it be for your profile to be the top result when prospects search for your product or service?

Here’s a test: go to LinkedIn right now and do a search for the keywords you’d like to rank for. Where does your profile show up?

If you’re like me, my name didn’t show up on the first 5 pages for any of the keywords I’d like to be associated with. Optimizing my profile changed that right away.

Believe me, if I can triple the amount of traffic my website got from LinkedIn, you can do it too. If you have specific questions, feel free to contact me.


People Versus Spiders

Denny Hatch wrote another brilliant article this week.

Search Engine Optimization is the current rage—grabbing the attention of spiders and crawlers in the hopes that the message will surface all over the Internet.

Yet it’s flesh-and-blood people that want information, spend money on goodies and give to charity—not emotionless, pre-programmed electronic robots.

Go ahead, fascinate robots. But if your message is a bore, you are a mouse click away from oblivion.

Call me Luddite or troglodyte, but I will continue to write headlines and copy for people, not robots.

And I’ll study the work of the great copywriters, such as Mel Martin.

Hatch then goes on to talk about the “greatest copywriter you’ve never heard of.” He describes Martin’s career, successes and genius, along with a few evidences that he was a mere mortal just like the rest of us.

Go read “Are You Writing for Spiders? Meet Mel Martin, Master of Fascinations.” This is the kind of stuff copywriters like me just can’t get enough of.