When search engines started to dominate the internet, it became imperative for websites to attract as much traffic to their sites as possible. Though paid advertising promises to attract viewers, it can become costly for many organizations.
The focus has shifted towards creating content that informs or advises the viewer and is easily found online. This is the basis of search engine optimization (SEO) — the optimizing of content — so it shows up in the search engine results pages (SERPs) when a user types in a set of keywords that contextually match the keywords found in the content created on your website. The practice of optimizing your content began in the early 2000s and is proven to positively impact a company’s website and boost organic traffic.
In 2010, Google launched Google Instant, which displayed results within seconds and removed irrelevant results while enhancing the user experience (UX). Both Bing and Google started to link social media and by 2015, SEO became an integral part for organizations.
The core objective of SEO is to make the website appear at the top in the SERPs. Whether it’s an eCommerce website or a company website, your site should gather traffic and grow your online audience. Increased traffic is an important part of increasing your company’s customer base. Furthermore, its cost-effectiveness and saves you a large amount of money otherwise spent on notoriously expensive traditional marketing tactics. According to Junto, 57 percent of business-to-business (B2B) marketers stated that SEO generates more leads than any other marketing initiative.
SEO makes your website visible in the SERPs and, if implemented correctly, it will boost your website to the top spot of the search engines. SEO is aimed explicitly at gaining user traffic and if successful, your website will become more visible to users searching for information, services or products within your niche. The popular search engine platforms on which you want your website to appear are Google, Yahoo, Bing.
SEO is often understood in comparison with pay-per-click (PPC) or paid search. While SEO is about putting consistent effort into improving your website’s ranking organically, paid search involves websites paying a fee to the search engines each time their ad (displayed at the top of search engine results) gets clicked.
Here are important tips to follow if you want to improve your search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your website:
The world of SEO is constantly evolving. Steps taken today to improve the rankings may work immediately, but tomorrow there could be an algorithm change and you will need to change your strategy. Search engines keep on improving their algorithms, and have become more intelligent, only showing the results that truly answer users’ search intent. Whenever Google or any other search engine updates its algorithm, your website rankings are bound to fluctuate. It is the responsibility of SEO specialists to track what is affecting the drop in rankings or impressions and take the necessary steps.
Here are 10 important SEO tips to increase website traffic:
A few years ago, the slow loading of the website was prevalent. Though most websites have successfully improved load time, it is still a problem with few sites. Research shows that people don’t trust these kinds of websites and they never open that site again. According to eConsultancy, 40 percent of people abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. So, it is important to remove all the possible obstacles that slow down your website, namely: too many ads, unoptimized images and high-resolution images or GIFs.
Linking important content on your website can increase the number of viewers. However, many believe that external linking may cause viewers to move traffic to other websites. On the flip side, if you put valuable content on your site, it can motivate viewers to open your website regularly and read it. By adding appropriate content to your pages you’re saving the user time offering them the convenience of answering all their questions via your page.
Often SEO content creators write content to meet the needs of search engines. But there can be too many technical terms that users are not very aware of or don’t understand. The key is to write content for your user that informs and advises. Creating content that easily engages the human user often means including fewer keywords in the strategy. However, using the right keywords means your user will find your content quickly and it will be the right content.
While creating content, SEO should invest its money and time in excellent keyword research and the creation of high-quality content. This is how you grab the attention of other associated websites. External websites that recognize your brand as an authority in the marketplace will be encouraged to link to your site in their aligned content. This not only markets your content, but also encourages other businesses and brands to trust your brand’s authority. In the long run, it becomes beneficial for similar websites or companies in complementary fields to build mutually beneficial relationships
Web analytics tools will help you determine whether your content marketing strategy is performing. This software helps to track down all the activities of your users in different terms. A popular web analytics software is Google Analytics. It serves as an important part in the decision making of most marketing executives, especially when considering marketing spend. So, the SEO must use analytics from the beginning to ensure the data is accurately tracked and measured. It will help you know what is working and what has failed.
A meta description is a small part of the content that search engines show in the search results. This must get your users’ attention as it’s the first thing that they read, and it helps them determine if your content is the answer to their search query. So, try to make your meta descriptions more informative and highlight the most important points in your content. Superfluous content in the meta description can also result in lower ranks in search engine results. SEOs must also create a URL that is easy to read and understand. The complex URLs confuse both your users and the search engines. Remember, the search algorithms are built from the point of view of your user only. Some of the strategies for URL are:
• URLs are case-sensitive
• Using hyphens instead of underscores makes the URL easier to understand
• Put your top content in the root folder because of URL structures that signal the content at the top
• Remove the links of untrustworthy sites from your website and block them
Use bullet points to denote the various parts of information. It helps your user to absorb the key takeaways from your piece quickly and is best practice for all website copy. It makes the message clearer to understand. If your user can’t derive value from your content immediately, you run the risk of them being distracted by your competitors’ websites.
One of the important strategies regarding SEO is posting content on social media. Social shares across social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can catch your target audience’s attention. It is a proven way to boost your website’s rankings in search results. Some important points to consider while social media shares are:
• Make your content worthy enough to share across social media platforms
• Your website posts should offer the reader an option to share
• Motivate people to share
• Build a network with social media influencers
Make sure to always associate the right keyword with your website images by using optimized copy in your alt text. Both your user and the search engines will find you via your optimized images as quickly as they would via your optimized copy.
It’s not only the quality of the content that is important but the consistency as well. The key is to engage people with relevant content so that they keep on visiting your website. Posting high-quality content regularly is ideal and proves authority and relevance. The reader eventually becomes an avid follower and eagerly awaits your next piece of content. Unique content helps in improving rankings in search engine results.
It is observed that with the help of digital marketing, companies generate more leads than if they implement only traditional marketing strategies. Proportionately, SEO has also become a critical tactic for businesses with a digital presence. In fact, research indicates that SEO as a career grew by 9.8 percent in the period starting from December 2017 to December 2018.
If you feel you have the ability to become a top-notch SEO, why not take up an SEO online test and verify your skills. If you love writing, then learn how to craft the best performing content by completing a course in SEO and using your new skill set to get your content to the top of the results pages.