Let’s face it – generating traffic from search engines is hard work. It is much easier to buy traffic.
But we all know that organic traffic converts better so this is usually the primary goal for online marketers.
So, naturally, everybody’s question is: how to improve SEO ranking for your website?
I’ve put together 7 helpful tips to do exactly that, let’s take a look at them one by one.
The Ultimate Guide to Organic Traffic for Small Business
1. Create SEO optimized content
Nothing works better than a well-written, original and SEO optimized piece of content for your readers.
Write content that search engines can understand. The key factor is to create content based on a string of keywords that people are searching for.
But it is not so easy to make SEO optimized content as it includes many steps: keyword research, making content related to your top keywords and content promotion.
Keyword research is an especially significant process for SEO optimization as it can show you the most-searched queries people are using on Google. Whenever you create an article or a compelling piece of copy for your website, you must always figure out the most used keywords. Don’t use just short keywords, long-tail terms can also be valuable for your search rankings and help users find you.
Time to do the research
One of the best ways to review keywords is still with the Google Keyword tool. It’s free and gives you an overview about keywords with the most impressions. Reviewing what is “hot” also helps you understand better your target audience, what they want, and how to cater to their needs.
But there is one negative side of using the Google Keyword planner. It is a good tool at the early stages of a website’s SEO. However, as you go into more detailed keyword research, you should use one of the advanced tools.
I personally use SE Ranking keyword suggestion tool. Using this tool I select both short and long-tail keywords, comparing search volumes to figure out which search terms are searched more often and go deep on detailed statistics on the chosen keywords.
Plus, the tool can automatically analyze the Top 10 results and group keywords that match the same website’s URL.
As soon as you create a list of keywords, you should use them wisely throughout your content. Keywords must be placed in the most important parts of your page such as the main heading, subheadings, highlights and meta descriptions.
Note: Don’t use a lot of keywords in content as it may look unnatural and spammy.
Before posting content on your website, check your spelling and improve the writing with Grammarly.
2. Publish content on a regular basis
A few decades ago, Bill Gates announced that content is a king. I guess that you’ve heard that a lot.
Today good content is not enough anymore. It should be outstanding and much better than the content of your competitors.
You don’t need to create useless articles for the purpose of publishing something new. Quality and unique content will naturally catch new backlinks, social media shares and increase user engagement.
All articles should be related to your niche and targeted keywords.
Here are useful tips to consider when creating awesome content:
- Be original. Uniqueness and originality are always the winners. Be in constant search of new ideas and integrate them into your content.
- Pay attention to details and be specific. Make your articles easy for users to understand by providing valid information, resources and examples. Always respect the interests of your readers.
- Be relevant. Focus on your niche and create posts related to your niche. Be an expert at something as search engines love such mastery. Provide clear and accurate answers to questions in a proper way.
- Be logical. Always keep your site updated with fresh content that can attract people. If you are out of ideas, here are some great tips of where to get inspiration from. By the way, you can analyze your title quality and rate with the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer.
Stick to this strategy and you will be surprised how much traffic you can harvest.
3. Encourage quality links
Google always prioritizes websites with quality links and hates unnatural links. Try to encourage your users, friends, clients, partners and bloggers to provide links to your site. The more quality incoming links you get, the higher site rankings you will have.
Avoid buying backlinks for the sake of getting a top ranking result in Google as it can lead to Google penalties and negatively affect website positions in search. Getting natural backlinks can gain more organic traffic.
There are a lot of effective ways to get quality links to your website:
- Guest posting. Reach out to relevant websites in your niche and suggest quality content to them. You can include just a few links to your site or products without any hint of self-promotion.
- Build up a strong social media presence. Get more followers by sharing relevant and quality content and interact with your readers consistently. Update your social profiles with professionally designed pictures and cover photos.
- Find influencers in your niche. Figure out who are the influencers in your niche and what they are passionate about, create quality content relevant to their interests (case studies, infographics, interviews, etc) and aprroach the influential people in your niche with these materials.
- Offer. People love different discounts and good gifts, and in exchange you can ask them for a little favor – a link to your site.
- Comment on relevant forums and blogs. Create a list of forums and blogs related to your niche, add your thoughts and comments to discussions. Try to write useful and interesting comments with a link to your site to let people visit your platform.
4. Blow your own trumpet
It is important to create and share content in different communities as it is a good way to build your authority, increase your reach in these communities, engage with other leaders and get additional traffic.
Share your new articles via Twitter, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn. This lets users follow the new content you’re developing and figure out what your brand is all about.
Facebook, Google + and Twitter pages can increase your search rankings as it is a good indicator of your digital presence. You can also find enough targeted traffic in LinkedIn groups, as many people are searching for interesting content to share on their websites.
Quora and Reddit are huge online forums that contain a bunch of useful studies, articles, blog posts, discussions and other content. They are a great place to source content ideas and post interesting things for sharing.
Find relevant topics and subreddits in your niche and share your products or content. Avoid posting too many links to your site, as these sources hate self-promotion and can ban your profile.
There are also a lot of online communities similar to Reddit and Quora to read and share blog posts or information. Inbound, GrowthHackers and Triberr are awesome sources of insider information and channels for promoting your content.
The content in these communities is of high quality and well-filtered. Don’t be spammy and share only worthy posts. Websites like Inbound and Reddit are famous for sniffing out businesses who come there to promote. As soon as you share quality content to these communities, everything will be good.
5. Speed up your website
I can give several reasons as to why you need to speed up your website. The most known is for getting higher rankings in search, reducing bounce rates and increasing your conversion rates.
Users always want to get a fast page response. A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. Find a professional web developer to increase your website’s loading time.
Here is a list of things to make your site ran faster:
- Check your site loading speed with Google’s PageSpeed tool that will show how to fix issues.
- Compress website images using the right types such as JPEG, PNG and GIF.
- Optimize images before uploading. Crop images to the correct size using Photoshop or Fireworks.
- Minimize JS or CSS file. Online JS ad CSS compressor can help you minify your JS, CSS and HTML.
- Use browser caching. This will store your page in a cache or in a temporary storage, so it will load the page faster for the next visitor.
- Select a safe host as in most cases your website’s speed can depend on where you’re hosted.
- Decrease the number of plugins on your website. A large number of plugins can hamper your page loading time and cause security and technical issues.
- Reduce redirects. As you know redirects use additional HTTP requests and affect the loading time.
If you need some help and want to dig deeper into content related to website speed, you can check out useful information at Google Developers.
6. Setup a custom 404 page
A 404 error page tells users and search engines that your page doesn’t exist. This happens because you’ve made some URLs changes or removed a few pages.
The larger your site, the more 404 errors you will get. Create an entertaining 404 error page that may look something like this:
Of course, you don’t need to put this page on the sitemap. But don’t forget to include a link to your homepage from the 404, the contact form and the search box.
7. Use Google Places for Business
If you own a product, service or business, you can add it to Google Places for Business. That will enhance your presence on Google so people can find you in maps and other devices.
This service is free and allows businesses to improve search engine rankings and advertise to your potential customers in a given locality.
Here are a few tips on how to make the most use of Google Places:
- Put relevant keywords and a product description to attract more customers. Avoid keyword stuffing as it can impact your search rankings drastically.
- Add images and videos. Google Places for Business allows you to add 10 images and 5 videos for free. That makes it easier for clients to find you.
- Ask your clients to write good reviews. The higher you rank, the more clients you can get. Try to get as many good reviews as possible from pleased customers and avoid too many ones just for rankings.
Setting up your awesome page for Google Places is the first step in local search optimization that should be a high priority for all online businesses.
So, do you have any thoughts or questions about these tactics for getting more traffic from search engines?
Would you like to add more insider tips?
Please, leave a comment below.
Guest Author: Irina Weber is a blogger and marketing manager of SE Ranking. She creates and develops new marketing campaigns, writes articles about online marketing, social media, conversion optimization on popular websites like Jeff Bullas, WordTracker, Onblastblog and other authoritative websites. If you have any questions, you can reach her on Twitter.