One of the best ways to gain long term traffic for your business is through SEO.
What’s better than a client searching for something and landing on your website to find a solution to his/ her problem?
SEO is a powerful acquisition channel, but it’s still ignored. It’s because SEO can be expensive, time-consuming and confusing.
Fear no more. The following SEO tips will boost your traffic by 200%. The great thing about these tips is that they can be utilized by businesses of all sizes.
1. Social Signals
Most SEO professionals have a contradicting opinion on whether social media shares affect rankings or not. But a thorough study by Congnitive SEO rules in favor of social signals.
The highlights of the above-mentioned research are:
- Pinterest pins and LinkedIn shares have little effect on rankings by themselves
- Facebook likes and shares did have ranking boost for micro content (1-50 words)
- Facebook likes and shares did not have any significant ranking boost for long form content
- G+ shares and +1’s did have positive ranking correlations
- All social signals combined did have a positive effect on search engine rankings
Many individual bloggers and business owners have done their own research as well. In most cases, social signals have benefited their search engine rankings.
In the simplest of words, social activity matters.
This does not mean that you should spread yourself on all social channels. Your social activity should fit into your customer acquisition strategy.
For example, if you a fashion business owner, Facebook and Pinterest would work best for you.
Think of social media as a user acquisition channel for your business. You should choose the ones that fit your business best.
Google has never confirmed, but it’s a well-known secret. Engagement on your website is a powerful and underutilized ranking factor.
When your users are engaged on your website, Google considers your website content of high quality. High-quality content is rewarded with higher rankings.
You can leverage engagement to increase your website traffic without having to invest in creating new content. You just have to optimize the existing content for more engagement.
To optimize your website for increased engagement, follow these steps.
Navigation is the way users browse your website. In the context of user engagement, it refers to how optimized your content is to keep your users engaged on your website.
If you have noticed, popular publications use a simple engagement technique. Once you have scrolled through an article on their website, the next article follows the old one automatically. It’s a powerful way to keep users engaged.
Follow these simple steps to engage users with navigation on your website:
- Generously link to other pages on your website to keep users on the site
- Add links to all related pages the bottom of your content pieces.
- Use images and image galleries to engage readers better
Believe it or not, a font can easily make or break the user experience on your website. To make the users feel better about your brand, both the actual font and font size should be optimized for readability.
Users on the web skim through content. Eye tracking studies were done by the Neilsen Norman Group show users following an F shaped pattern on web pages.
Optimize your content to take advantage of this behavior. Here are some tips to make this work:
- Always break down your content into paragraphs with 2-4 lines each
- Start your content piece with short sentences and slowly transition into paragraphs
- Use headlines to structure your content better
- If you have important highlights in your content, make sure to bold themfor easy viewing.
- Always place captions on images
- For longer content pieces, include a table of content with jump links
- Search for the topic on online course providers like comand Udemy. The courses there are structured into topics which you can use for your content as well.
Would you rather read a movie script or watch the movie?
If I guess, you would watch the movie.
The choice is simple. Video content is easy to understand, fast to consume and much more engaging in plain text.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, guess how much words a video is?
Here is how you can use video to increase engagement on your website:
- Create own videos if you can. This can be marketing videos, interviews or any other relevant content
- Embed a relevant video in your posts
3. Using other people’s research
SEO requires a lot of research. Research takes time and resources. But what if you could research done by others to increase your SEO traffic?
Here are some simple ways that you can use research done by your competition to your advantage.
Use competitor’s keyword research
Keyword research takes a lot of time and expertise. Instead of doing the research from scratch, simply take the 1st ranking page for your keyword and put it into a competitive analysis tool like SEMRush.
SEMRush will show you all the keywords your competitor’s page ranks for. Take that keyword list and add it to your own keyword list.
Use advertiser competition to prioritize keywords
Inside the AdWords keyword planner, Google shares search volume and competition for your keywords.
You should know that the competition metric represents advertiser competition not organic search competition.
There is an easy way to benefit from this data.
In any competitive industry, people conduct hundreds of tests and spend a lot of money to find the best converting keywords for their business.
This means that the most competitive keywords inside the Google Keyword planner are very valuable.
Make a list of all these valuable keywords and add them to your SEO efforts to get the highest ROI.
Use AdWords Copy to get a better CTR
Increasing your click through rate (CTR) from organic search is an easy way to capture more traffic as well increase your rankings. Google considers a better CTR as a sign that the content is better and rewards it with better rankings.
Usually, testing different titles for your posts is expensive, time-consuming and error-prone. But there is a simple way.
Ads on competitive keywords are a result of hundreds of tests. That means the copy on those ads is extensively tested and proven to get results.
Why not use all that testing to your advantage? Take note of all the ads and jot down what they have in common. Then start using the same things in your titles to guarantee better results.
4. Nudge almost ranking content
When you start getting some success in your SEO efforts, there will be a lot of useful keywords that you will still not rank for. Since more than [stat here] of searchers don’t go the second page, you might be missing a lot of potential traffic.
To capture that traffic, you have to nudge your posts ranking on the second page and push them to the first page. Here is how you do it.
- Login to your Google Search Console Account
- Go to Search Analytics -> Clicks to your website
- Sort the results based on the position tab
- Export the results and make a list of the keywords that rank on page 2 and beyond.
- Identify the pages that rank for these keywords and prioritize them based on your business goals.
After you have identified key pages, here is how to nudge them to page 1.
- See if your post contains the target keyword. If not add it along with LSI variations of the keyword
- If the keyword relates to a topic not covered in detail, add the necessary details on the page. Make sure that your content is worthy of ranking for the target keywords
- Let Google re-crawl the content or force an index from Google Search Console.
- Observe ranking changes for the next 1-2 weeks
- If the page jumps but still does not reach page 1, then point some additional internal links from other posts to this post
- Get some external links pointed to the page if you can
If your page authority is close to your competition ranking on page 1, following the above steps will definitely take your content to page 1 in Google. Use the other techniques in the post to rank even higher.
5. Evergreen Content
If you are looking for a technique that will bring you lots of targeted traffic over the long run, the evergreen content is one of the best methods to use.
Every industry has certain questions that need answering. These questions don’t change with time, but their answers change with newer methods.
For an industry like SEO, questions that are always asked are
- What is SEO?
- How does Google work?
- What factors affect rankings of a website?
and much more. These questions do not change with time but their answerers do.
To attract targeted traffic, you have to find out what these questions are for your industry.
Once you have a few questions, you have to create a piece of content that absolutely answers your reader’s query. It should be a comprehensive and user-friendly guide is absolutely amazing.
Other websites may have created similar pieces of content to attract readers as well. If that is the case, then your content should be so much better than theirs that their content doesn’t stand a chance. This is a strategy called the “Skyscraper Technique” popularized by Brian Dean of Backlinko.
Once you have your content ready, it’s time to promote it. There are many ways you can promote this content.
- You can email leading publications and ask them to link to it
- You can tweet to influences are ask them to link/share it
- You can run Facebook ads targeted to your industry interests
and much more. Here is where your creativity comes into play. With enough promotion, you should score a healthy amount of links to your content.
Depending on how competitive your keywords are, you should secure a spot in the top 10 results.
Even after achieving that, keep the content updated as new things happen in your industry. This will ensure that your rankings get even better with time.
SEO can be tough and confusing. But you don’t have to be a wizard to figure it out.
Understanding the basics is the first step to understanding SEO.
I hope that you found these tips useful. Use them and you will get better search engine ranking for your website and your business.
Abhishek Shah is the co-founder of Bee Online & Ally Digital Media. He helps companies to increase their revenue via digital sales.