There is no denying that the internet has changed the world. The realm of business, in particular, is feeling the influence of the net more and more. Trading is no longer a matter of looking into the eyes of a consumer, gaining their trust, and sealing a deal with a handshake. Vital first impressions are now forged online, with a website often acting as a business representative. Today we are going to go over 8 SEO tips that will drive more traffic to your site.
Naturally, this means that any business needs a successful website – and in online terms, traffic is one of the fundamental measuring sticks of success. After all, nobody can become a client, customer, or consumer if they remain unaware of your business or brand. This is where search engine optimization, or SEO, becomes critical.
Why Does SEO Matter For A Business?
SEO is equal parts arts and science. The purpose of the activity is to gain organic visits to your website, thus racking up viewings. These statistics will impress Google (and other search engines, though Google undeniably boasts the largest market share), pushing your site ever closer to the top of the first page of search results.
From here, the cycle continues. More traffic means that your site will stay at the top of the rankings, continually maximizing your business’s opportunities to generate income. If your website operates an eCommerce model, you’ll be keen to top the pages of any relevant search. If your competitors rank higher than you, consumers are likelier to shop with them. Equally, if advertising funds your website, you’ll need visitors to generate revenue from ads.
SEO is a complicated topic, though. The stat that 90% of websites receive no traffic from Google is a testament to this. Once upon a time, in the infancy of the web, SEO was simple. Businesses could simply spam their website copy with as many references to a keyword as possible. These sites would then soar to the top of the Google search results pages. These days, however, Google employs increasingly complex and intelligent algorithms to prevent such tactics.
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Taking shortcuts to gain traffic, including keyword-stuffing, paying for inauthentic traffic, and much more is known as Black Hat SEO. If your site is deemed to be embracing these shortcuts, Google will drastically reduce your page ranking and send your website plummeting from page one. A steep fall in traffic will follow. The opposite approach, which we will discuss now, is known as White Hat SEO.
How To Use SEO To Earn More Website Traffic
We should address the elephant in the room before we go any further. White Hat SEO is not a get-rich-quick scheme and may take some time to see the results that you’d hope for. This playing of the long game is indispensable, though. It ensures that traffic gained and enjoyed by your website is genuine and sustainable traffic.
Let’s review eight SEO tactics that will attract more visitors to your website – with all the benefits these clicks entail – and will not see your online presence flagged and penalized by a Google algorithm update.
1. Serve Your Audience, Not Google
You’d be forgiven for accusing us of mixed messages here. After all, we have just spent some time discussing Google’s algorithms and the need to remain on the right side of them. Attempting to second-guess what Google may like and dislike from one day to the next is a fool’s errand, though. Always focus on pleasing your target audience.
The heart of this is providing a superior user experience for your website visitors. If people are responding to your site, Google will notice this and reward you appropriately. Ways to achieve an outstanding UX that also impresses our search engine overlords include:
- Keep Loading Speeds High – slow websites hemorrhage traffic.
- Ensure your website is easy to negotiate and clearly laid out.
- Avoid unwelcome and intrusive banner adverts or auto-playing videos.
- Write copy in a conversational tone that will appeal to users.
Ultimately, people will always return to a website that meets their needs. A site that offers a technical masterclass based on Google’s preferences but leaves human visitors cold is destined to fail. Keep a simple rule in mind – Google is a business tool, and its business model involves giving people what they want.
2. Embrace Content Marketing
One of the best ways to build organic traffic is to embrace content marketing. This means creating and uploading a copy to a website that does not directly look to make sales. A regular blog is arguably the most effective form of content marketing.
Your business will build trust by offering regular insights without giving the hard sell to consumers. You’ll be seen as a reliable resource of advice and information. If your blogs can also entertain and amuse readers, so much the better.
Over some time (and this will take a while, so do not expect overnight success), your blog will gain a following. Share your blog posts on social media, too, as this makes it easier for your content to spread. As more and more people discover your brand, you’ll be in their hearts and minds when they decide to make a purchase.
3. Create Keyword-Heavy Headings, Sub-Headings, And Meta Tags
A famous adage claims that we only have one chance to make a first impression. When it comes to SEO, that first impression comes from your headline and meta tag. This is what people will see when reviewing results on a search engine page.
Your title should be eye-catching and include at least one relevant keyword to the search. Your meta tag, meanwhile, should be a short (around 160 characters) summary of what your site will offer – and, again, include keywords.
If your website is text-heavy, you should also include sub-headings. Substantial blocks of unbroken prose can look intimidating to visitors. Include a sub-heading, and ideally an image, at least every 300 words.
4. Maximize Copy For Featured Snippets
Most Google users do not progress beyond the first page of search results. Some do not even get a third of the way down this first page. If your website has a featured snippet in the boxout at the top of the page, you’re much likelier to attract attention.
Now, the catch is that it’s impossible to guarantee status as a featured snippet. Google makes this decision. You can bolster your chances by creating direct, relevant content, ideally using simple language and bullet points that are neatly and efficiently summarised.
5. Refresh And Renew Your Copy
Some website content is evergreen, remaining as accurate and relevant in ten years as the day you posted it. It’s more likely, though, that your site’s copy will need a periodic spring clean.
Review the content of your site, editing it from time to time. Google will notice these efforts, and your SEO will enjoy a boost as a result. In addition, you can repurpose and recycle older content once it’s received a fresh lick of paint.
6. Think Mobile
This is a vital but straightforward rule. More than 90% of internet users use mobile devices to get online in 2021. Smartphones are the obvious consideration here, but tablets and even smartwatches need to be taken under advisement. Any website must be considered mobile-friendly for SEO to be successful.
Offer mobile users the same features and opportunities as static browsers. What’s more, consider the differences in formats – remember that many mobile users prefer to search the web by voice command rather than simply typing.
If your website is not designed to be used on mobile devices, traffic will plummet like a stone. This is partly because Google penalizes sites that are not mobile-centric, but also because visitors will simply find your website unappealing.
7. Earn And Embrace High-Authority Backlinks
The internet is also known as the information superhighway. Imagine the web as a topographic map akin to a road atlas, and you’ll see that countless sites can be connected. Hyperlinking to external sources is part of the online experience. If other websites have a link to your site, this can help your SEO a lot. Just be aware that not all links are created equal.
Your on-site links are important too. As a rule of thumb, try to include around two or three external websites for every thousand words of copy. Just ensure you are linking to respected, high-authority sites. Good examples of a high-authority website include Forbes, Entrepreneur, and peer-reviewed journals.
By linking to high-authority sites, you are hitching your wagon to theirs. This will help Google understand that you value expertise. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll also stand a better chance of building a relationship with the domain. If you earn a backlink from one of these domains, your SEO strategy will reap substantial rewards. The process of working to gain backlinks should be a core part of your marketing activities.
8. Analyze SEO Performance
Finally, all the elements discussed above must be reviewed regularly. As we touched upon at the beginning of this guide, SEO is a complicated field. What yields impressive results today may be considered archaic by tomorrow, especially following a Google algorithm update.
Keep a constant eye on the diagnostics of your website, ensuring that it continues to see results. If this is no longer the case, you may need to review your approach. That may involve changing tack and switching your focus to or from steps 1 through 7 above, or bringing in professional assistance from a third-party SEO specialist.
We hope that these 8 SEO tips that will drive more traffic to your site will help you with your SEO. If you have any questions or concerns or would like a professional SEO agency to help you, be sure to contact Matchbox Design Group.