Search Engine Optimization is actually not as complicated as it may seem, and it is quite a straightforward process to increase website traffic with SEO.
We see a lot of hullabaloo online about what you should/shouldn’t do with SEO – it’s enough to make the most stable mind spin.
But you cannot discount the impact search engines have on your website traffic.
The fact that people tend to ‘Google’ just about anything that’s on their mind is an indication of how useful it can be for a business website.
If you can get your site to rank high in search results for keywords related to your niche, there’s a good chance that you’ll get a consistent influx of new visitors to your website.
Let’s look at some ways you can slowly, but surely, get your website to the top of the search results.
30% of your search engine rankings depends on on-page factors – how search engine friendly your website really is. Here are the on-page factors you’ll have to consider when undertaking SEO activities on your website.
Identifying keywords is crucial to any activity that revolves around search engine optimization. Therefore, keyword research must be the first thing you do before going ahead with any other SEO techniques.
Once you have a list of keyword, map out some content ideas that can be expanded on and published on your website, either as a web page, or as an article.
When fleshing out the content, ensure that you include the corresponding keywords in the following places:
- Article/page title
- First paragraph of content
- As a sub-heading within the content
- In the meta description
- Image name
- Image URL
- Image title
- Alt text of image
I suggest using an SEO plugin such as WordPress SEO by Yoast to ensure that you don’t miss out any of the places where you keyword should be present.
While mapping out content ideas that revolve around your keywords, you’ll have to make sure the content is relevant to your target audience. If the content you share is not quite relevant, people might not even click on the search engine results or stay long on your site.
Also keep in mind that your content must not be too brief. Longer articles tend to bode well with search engines. But in order for the audience to remain engaged with your content, make sure you add sufficient images and break up the text with sub headings, bullet points and bold/italic formatting.
If you want your website to come up in search engines, the content on your site needs to be indexed by search engine bots. That’s why HTML sites are recommended over Flash websites for search engine optimization.
If you are using a lot of images in your site, make sure the images are optimized with relevant keywords in their titles and alt tags.
You also need to make sure that the site structure is search engine friendly. All internal links need to have proper URLs and should not be a random assortment of alphanumeric characters.
Off-page factors are external elements that impact your site’s search engine rankings. Here are some methods you can use to boost your site’s chances of getting to the top of the search engine results.
If you can get external websites to link back to your site, it will improve your visibility on online search engines. In order to do that, you first need to perform a competition analysis and identify websites that are considered authorities in your niche.
You can look for competitors on your own, or use an online tool such as Moz to identify them. This will help you narrow down some link building prospects – websites that you can seek links from.
Some ways you can get authority backlinks include:
1. Guest Posts
Reach out to some of the authority websites and check if they allow guest posts. You can email them with some relevant content titles that would jive with their audience.
If they approve, you can write quality content and add one or two links back to your website as applicable. When the post is published, the linkbacks to your website will be registered by search engines and make sure it’s visible on search results.
2. Authority Directories
3. Niche Specific Directories
There are tons of niche specific directories available for various industries like travel, fashion, lifestyle, food, etc. Look for websites that host such directories and add your website to their listings.
4. Event Sponsorship
If you have a bit of capital to invest, you can sponsor an online event. The event organizers will include links to your website on their event pages, emails and sometimes provide shout outs on social media.
5. Linkable Assets
A linkable asset is a piece of content that is considered so good that other sites want to link back to it. If you can create such quality content on a regular basis, you can use it to reach out to authority sites and get them to share it with their audience.
- Resource Pages
Try to get as many authority backlines as possible, and you’ll be sure to hike up your search engine rankings over time.
A social signal refers to how well a particular page on your website is performing on social media.
- Number of likes, shares and comments on a Facebook link to your website
- Number of times your content has been repinned on Pinterest
- Number of likes or retweets a tweet mentioning your site has received on Twitter
The key to increasing your social signals is to ensure you create share-worthy content on your website. Such content would be relevant, useful, inspirational and something readers would want to share with their own social circles.
The usability of a website plays a major role in how it’s ranked on search engines. Usability, in this case, refers to how easy it is for visitors to use your website and their behavior on the site.
1. Time Spent on Site
The amount time of time a visitor spends on your site is indicative of the quality of content you provide. The more engaging your content is, the longer people spend on your site, and that gives your search engine rankings a boost.
2. Bounce Rate
The bounce rate refers to the number of people who exit your site from a particular page. Try to keep visitors on the site longer by interlinking other interesting content within your page.
3. Pages per Visit
This refers to the number of pages a visitor surfs on your website before they leave. The more pages they visit, the better it is with respect to SEO. Encourage visitors to browse through other related content on your site so they visit more pages.
4. Page Load Time
If you have a slow website, it will adversely affect your search engine rankings. Check your page load time and make it faster by uninstalling unnecessary plugins and displaying cached content.
5. Mobile Readiness
With more people using the internet on their mobile devices, it’s become crucial for websites to be mobile friendly. If your site is rendered well on mobiles, search engines may rank it higher. You may have to change your site theme or opt for a redesign altogether in order to make your website mobile friendly.
I know that’s a lot of information to take in, but when you start chipping away at your SEO to-do list, you’ll start seeing your traffic picking up too.
Over time, you’ll find that your efforts are paying off. You’ll get a steady influx of site visitors and your efforts will be rewarded.
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