I learned everything I know about successfully generating SEO traffic in Project 24 by Income School. This SEO method has helped me generate almost 500k monetizable page views to my various niche sites in less than 24 months!
What is Project 24 by Income School? Income School LLC is a company based in Idaho run by seasoned internet marketers Jim Harmer and Ricky Kesler. Their goal is to “help people provide well for their families by creating online businesses” to replace their current income with passive income in 24 months. They do so with a membership course called Project 24.
I cannot tell you the number of hours I spent testing a variety of traffic generating techniques from “SEO Gurus” on YouTube. Some worked, most failed. After many years of trial and error, I can affirm that this is the best SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy I have found and it actually works! It is easy to follow for beginners and advanced internet marketers alike. I would like to share the Project 24 methods with you here today.
There Are Two Types of Traffic
Everyone wants to be in position #1 on a SERP (Search Engine Result Page) when a potential client is searching for their products or service in a search engine like Google. We all know that most people click the top results and do not navigate to further pages of the SERP. There are many ways to improve your ranking position, but let’s start with how you can get your site to just appear in search engines like Google. There are two main ways to get traffic: Paid Traffic and “Free” Traffic.
Paid traffic is often referred to as SEM (Search Engine Marketing) or PPC (Pay Per Click). This method often consists of paying search engines like Google or Google Shopping, and social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Snapchat to display your ads so you can generate clicks or traffic to your website. Although SEM and PPC are great ways of getting traffic, it is not always the best for beginners. This is because it requires an ongoing budget, SEM skills, and can be expensive and time consuming to ensure you are generating ROI (or actually making money from your paid advertising).
On the other hand SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is often referred to as “organic” or “free” traffic. This traffic is “free” in the sense that you are not paying Search Engines or Social Media platforms per click to your website. However, it does require time and effort to build up this kind of traffic by creating the right types of content. But, using the right techniques, once you generate SEO traffic, your chances are high that it will be very sustainable.
The Big Problem With SEO
The big problem with SEO is that so many internet marketers out there are still suggesting time consuming and ineffective techniques that no longer work today. These techniques include keyword stuffing, backlink building, article spinning, building “Amazon affiliate” type niche sites and more.
Such techniques may have worked like a charm two to ten years ago, but some can have detrimental consequences on today! Google has definitely changed the way they refer traffic to websites via their search engine over the years and if you are using outdated techniques you are wasting your time, your money, or worse, destroying your site’s chances of ranking.
Also, many bloggers and internet marketers are confusing content creation with vlogging and are actually writing about their day or about things they are interested in instead of topics people are actually searching for. And so, thousands of SMB owners are trying to learn how to generate traffic (myself included back in the day) are wasting time on things that just do not work.
I hate wasting my time and not getting any ROI! You probably do too. Thank goodness that ended for me two years ago when I discovered Project 24’s SEO techniques. I am going to share their proven method with you below.
Exactly How to Generate SEO Traffic in 2021
Organic traffic is the traffic you can generate to your website by creating content like articles or videos, and this without paying per click to get the traffic to your website. Jim and Ricky, the founders of Income School use what they call the “Alphabet Soup Method” to find search terms people are actually looking up. They do so by using Google’s native Suggested Search features and running their ideas through the alphabet. And it’s free!
They then carry out Competitive Analysis to see which topics are worth writing about and in which order. Income School suggests using the Content Mix to decide which order to write your articles in. They also talk about how important E.A.T. (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust) has become for Google and how to build it up. Let’s detail exactly how to do each of these things below.
1. Carry Out Your Search Analysis
You need the right content to create a sustainable and targeted source of traffic. You may be surprised but people still read blogs (you are reading this one, right) and video is a booming means of consuming information. If you remember anything from this article it should be this: to generate traffic, you need to create content on things that people are actually searching for in search engines like Google or YouTube.
As an eCommerce merchant, you want to share information that can transform your traffic into paid customers while still being helpful. In order to do so, you can create content such as articles (a blog) and videos (YouTube channel). Google is a search engine and if you create the right blog content you can generate traffic to your site. YouTube is also a search engine, and with the right video content you can also generate traffic to your site.
But, how do you know what to write about? Everyone is using keyword tools to find topics to write about. Keyword tools tell you how much traffic you can get for PPC advertising, rather than the actual traffic via SEO. Jim and Ricky suggest using what they call the ‘Alphabet Soup Method’ to find keywords by using Google Suggested Search features and running through the alphabet.
2. Use The Alphabet Soup Method
The Alphabet Soup Method is a term coined by Income School and consists in using Google’s Suggested Search terms to get ideas of what people are actually searching for.
Let’s say your eCommerce store sells electric scooters. What you would do is type “Your Keyword Idea ‘A’” in Google (without hitting enter) and have a look at the suggestions that come out. Here is what that looks like for our example:
This gives you an idea of the type of topics people are actually searching for in the search engine. In the example above, you may notice people are looking for “Adult” electric scooters. If you sell these products you may want to cover that topic on your blog. Or even “Accessories” which are items you may sell in your online store.
The goal is to run through the entire alphabet and note down your ideas. So “Electric Scooter B, C, D…” You can also add questions like ‘How to’ to see the type of questions people are asking online to help write articles for your blog. You can add a star (*) before or after your search so Google can suggest other terms. Also look at the suggested questions at the top of the page and suggested searches at the bottom of the search peage for more ideas.
Other ways to find topics are on forums like Quora, Reddit to see what people are saying or searching for in your niche. You can also head over to answerthepublic.com where you can find tons of topics to write about for your blog. Here is what Answer The Public suggests for our example:
3. Carry Out Competitive Analysis
Once you have your topic ideas, it’s time to decide if they are worth writing about. Ricky and Jim call this Competitive Analysis. Some topic ideas you have found via the Alphabet Soup Method may be too competitive, others may be low hanging fruit! You should then evaluate your topic on Google to see whether there is a lot of competition surrounding it or not.
Carry out Competitive Analysis by typing your topic ideas in Google and looking at the results. If you find a lot of high quality, relevant, long-form articles (over 3000 words) from credible or top sources in your industry, chances are that your topic is well covered and highly competitive. For example, if the topic is already covered by authority or popular sites, government websites, or sites with high traffic, it may be best to leave that topic alone for now. This is because as a new site, it will be difficult for you to rank high on Google on such a competitive term.
However, if you find little or no relevant information about your topic, if you see forums in the search results, pdf documents, or other low-quality, short content (less than 1000 words), this may be an excellent topic to write about! This includes topics with little, outdated, irrelevant, or unreliable information. These topics will be the best to start out with to help you rank faster and drive traffic quicker from Google to your site.
4. Be Sure to Follow The Content Mix
Income School’s Content Mix is a suggested order in which to write your blog posts that can truly help your content rank faster by planting an initial “Seed”. You do not want to start with competitive topics because Google will not rank your content right away in their search engine. Jim and Ricky emphasize the need to start with short, less competitive topics and to move towards more competitive ones in the future.
What is The Content Mix?
Here is Project 24’s suggested content mix and the order in which to write your content:
- Start with 10x Response posts: Answer a question in about 1,350 words
- Next write 10x Staples Posts: About 2,200 words, list-type posts
- Then write 10x Pillar Posts: Between 3,500 to 5,000 words depending on the level of competition
They suggest you start with Response Posts that should be about 1,350 words long and cover question-like topics with low-competition. Staple Posts are longer posts (2,200+ words) on medium competitive topics. They are more detailed and usually composed of list posts, or things that are easily shareable on social media. Pillar Posts are much longer articles (3,500+ words) on highly competitive topics. They should provide long-form, detailed, well-researched, original content.
Project 24 contains a 60 step blogging method that brings you through the process of writing these first 30 articles on your blog from start to finish. It’s the best place to get started, step-by-step, to help you create that initial “Seed” of content.
Create High Quality Content
You have probably heard this a million times, but it is still worth repeating: Content is King! People visit websites because they want quality, relevant information that answers their specific question. Similarly, your website needs to offer quality, helpful, relevant information to your visitors. Of course, the higher you rank on Google, the more traffic you will get. But how can you write “quality content” that will rank?
Ricky and Jim suggest creating an outline of your article, filling it with unique research, making sure to have an Answer Target at the beginning, and related questions at the end. Answer Targets allow you to succinctly and directly answer the question the searcher is looking for. It may also allow you to get a Rich Snippet of content in Google search results. These featured bits of an article can allow you to rank in position 0, before any other content. They can be in the form of text, video, tables or images. There is a full Snippet Optimization course in Project 24.
Also avoid writing article reviews or “10 Best Products For…” type articles since these are harder and harder to rank for and are often not very helpful for readers. A better approach would be to purchase or actually test all the products you would like to suggest to your audience in a video and actually tell them which is the best one in your opinion.
Gone are the days of link building! If you provide unique research and true value through your content, other sites will gladly link to your content, and help keep visitors trickling in years after you first uploaded it. Be well-informed, well read, and honest about the topics you explore in your blog, and provide your audience as much value as possible.
Create Timeless (“Evergreen”) Content
Be very selective about the kind of content you create, so that it can offer value to your site visitors several years from now. If you write about the latest cell phones for example, the chances that your article is still relevant in 10 years from now is very low.
If you focus on providing your audience with helpful information that may still be relevant in five or ten years from now, then you will have content that is more “evergreen” and will not need to be updated too often. Keep in mind that if you write about topics that are not evergreen, you will have to update your content every couple months or years.
Keep Customer Intent in Mind
Customer Intent is not covered in Project 24 per se, but it is super important in our eCommerce context. As an eCommerce merchant, your goal for generating traffic is probably to increase sales. That is why it’s important to keep your customer in mind when deciding what to write about.
Be sure that the topics you chose to write about can also be used as lead magnets to get your traffic to take action in some way, may that be to sign up to your email funnel or buy a product. Always be as helpful as possible first before trying to make a sale. And make your Call to Action (CTA) buttons or links very clear in your articles so as to direct your traffic where you would like them to go.
I like to use ZotaBox, a plugin that is easy to use with Ecwid eCommerce to add CTAs to my website. I provide an in-depth review of ZotaBox’s marketing tools in the video above and in this article on my blog.
Stay Strong Through The “Ghost Town” Phase
One other thing that Jim and Ricky teach is what they call the “Ghost Town Phase”. This is the phase where you will not have any traffic on your website – and it can last up to 35 weeks after you plant your “Seed” of content. Yes, 35 weeks. That’s why Income School’s course is a 24 month project.
Many internet marketers give up or sell their blogs during this phase. However, Income School emphasizes the importance of being patient, persistent, and not giving up during this period. Because with the Project 24 methods, you really can generate 175,000+ monetizable pageviews per month in 24 months!
5. Build Your E.A.T. (Expertise, Authoritativeness & Trust)
Demonstrating your Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust (E.A.T.) are extremely important for your blog’s success. This is because Google wants to ensure it suggests information from people who are authoritative on the topic. This is especially true for YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) industries like health, finance, legal, technical, news, politics and eCommerce.
Google is putting more and more focus on “E.A.T.” (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) due to legal and deontologic reasons. For example, you will probably trust a blog offering medical advice that was written by a qualified MD, rather than a poorly written post by someone who does not work in the medical field. Google views such articles the same way, and is currently lowering the rankings of sites that lack E.A.T.
Project 24 includes a full E.A.T. course teaching how to build your expertise, authoritativeness and trust in the eyes of Google. This includes a step-by-step process to prove to Google that you are an authoritative, trustworthy expert in your niche. The video above provides a number of things from creating a strong About page for the content creator and organisation, to having all necessary legal pages, building credibility and more.
6. Consider YouTube As A Strong Source of Traffic
YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google – and, it belongs to Google! I have been a YouTuber for quite a few years now teaching eCommerce for small and medium-sized businesses and it is my favourite way to reach my audience. But too many SMBs still consider YouTube a “vlogger’s” game and are missing out on a huge opportunity to generate traffic, build E.A.T. and ultimately increase sales.
Create a YouTube channel to share your knowledge. Google will also consider your blog more of an authority if you have your own YouTube videos linking to your content. The video below is an example of how I use YouTube to reach my audience, provide them value, and also suggest my Ecwid eCommerce Course for SMBs looking to create their online store faster, better and cheaper than working with a third party.
On top of having a 60 step SEO course, Project 24 also contains a 60-step YouTubing course showing how to use the platform to successfully build E.A.T, generate traffic to your website and increase sales. Check out the video above for an example of how I use YouTube to share my eCommerce experience, build EAT and provide my audience value. I don’t have hundreds of thousands of subscribers, but it is very targeted to my audience of small and medium-sized businesses owners.
This eCommerce Merchant Makes $10,000/Month Thanks to Project 24 SEO Strategies
Income School has a number of success stories, but this one will probably interest you the most as an eCommerce merchant. Rick, the owner of ThinkEngraved.com spent over $20,000 by trying to outsource his traffic generation to “SEO experts” but got no return on investment.
Then he discovered Project 24, increased his sales to over $10k/month and stopped wasting his time and money. He managed to effectively boost the traffic and sales on his eCommerce website following the Project 24 method. Watch the video above to learn more about his business and success.
Why I Recommend Project 24 For eCommerce SEO
I recommend Project 24 for eCommerce SEO because it works. As a Project 24 student for over 2 years now, I can say that this course highly exceeded my expectations and has paid for itself time and again.
A Project 24 membership includes over 20 courses on internet marketing including a blogging (SEO) course, YouTube course, Podcasting Course, and a Photography course and includes a weekly podcast, a number of marketing tools, access to a community of members and more! In the video above, I talk to Anna, an employee at Income School LLC. We discuss generating traffic for eCommerce merchants following the Project 24 method.
Contrary to most “SEO Gurus”, the Income School team is constantly running up-to-date tests and sharing their actual blog links with their audience. Ricky and Jim are authentic. I appreciate their approach and of course, their methods actually work. I have a course about Ecwid eCommerce for SMBs, and always recommend students head over to Project 24 to learn about SEO and generating traffic once their store is ready to launch.
I hope this information saves you hours of research and time testing outdated SEO methods! I know that I would have loved to have this information five years ago… But, I am very grateful to have it now and to be able to share it with you today 🙂 Definitely consider joining Project 24 if you are serious about generating sustainable, highly targeted traffic to your eCommerce website.
What is ecommerce SEO? Ecommerce SEO (Search Engine Optimization) consists in organically making your online store more visible in search results by creating quality, helpful, relevant content. Some of the most effective ways to create content to build SEO on an eCommerce site are by writing articles (blog), or creating videos (YouTube channel).
Is SEO important for ecommerce? SEO is crucial for eCommerce success. Many eCommerce merchants rely on paid advertising strategies but no longer generate any traffic once they run out of their budget or turn off their ads. However, well-done SEO can increase organic search traffic, naturally boost SERP rankings, and become a highly sustainable source of “free” traffic in the long term.
How do ecommerce sites do SEO? eCommerce sites can carry out SEO following the Project 24 methodology by starting with an “Alphabet Soup” search analysis on their topic, and then carrying out “Competitive Analysis.” eCommerce sites should also use the “Content Mix” to decide which order to write their articles in, and build E.A.T. (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust).
Is Ecwid good for SEO? Ecwid is an excellent eCommerce platform for SEO. Ecwid has built in SEO features from a site map to the ability to enter custom SERP titles and meta descriptions. Ecwid is also SSL protected, built for speed and excellent user experience. However, it is best to have a paid plan to benefit from all the advanced SEO features Ecwid can offer.
What is a Google search result that can be found in position zero? Position zero in Google, (P0) or “Rich snippets” are rich content results that appear before any other organic result on the SERP. They directly answer the searcher’s question in the form of text, a table, images or a video. Being in position 0 can greatly increase a site’s chance of getting clicks.
What is an effective SEO strategy to increase traffic? The Project 24 method by Income School that consists in an “Alphabet Soup” search analysis, carrying out “Competitive Analysis.”, using the “Content Mix” and building E.A.T. (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trust), is a highly effective SEO strategy to increase traffic. This strategy could help successful internet marketers gain 175,000 pageviews in 24 months.
Is it better to pay for SEO services or to do it myself? There is no magic SEO formula to rank #1 in SERPS and generate high traffic. Many merchants expect their sites to magically rank higher by throwing money at their “SEO problem,” and some companies promise SEO ROI for $10,000 to $100,00+ but never deliver. Be cautious when paying for SEO services and find a winning content strategy within your own organization before outsourcing.