Search engine optimization is a popular term in marketing, but not enough companies use it in practice. Believe it or not, 70% of businesses still don't have an SEO strategy, which means they're missing out on a lot of benefits.
Part of the reason for this is that businesses don't understand how search engines work, and they may put in some time and not see any results. However, if you know what you're doing, the benefits of SEO will last for years with minimal upkeep. Let's talk about some ways that actually work for increasing traffic organically!
1. Don't Create Content For Google
Our first and most important tip is to create content for users, not for search engines. Google's algorithm is looking for user experience, not how well it's indexed. Yes, follow search engine guidelines and principles, but remember who you're creating the content for.
If you create fully optimized content that's lacking in substance for users, Google will eventually catch on and penalize you for it. Always ask yourself if what you're uploading offers value to users and if it doesn't, either change it or don't publish it at all.
2. Optimize Your Website
The age of DIY websites is over. Like it or not, the majority of users spend their online time on major websites like Facebook or YouTube, and they set the standards for the internet. You're not competing with them, but you still don't want to stick out like a sore thumb.
Your website acts as the foundation of your entire SEO and digital marketing strategy. Without an optimized website, you're building a house on a broken foundation, which means you won't get very far.
If you want Google to index your site, you need to have a strong XML sitemap and a clean navigation system. For your users, you'll need fast loading times, an easy-to-read page structure, and your site will need to be optimized for every device. Google will not promote low-quality websites to its users, as this would reflect poorly on its service.
Moreover, proper web design will also help build backlinks in the future. Other sites don't want to link to a site that doesn't live up to the standards of the time. Your website affects every aspect of your SEO strategy.
3. Keep It Original
Of course, using the same templates across your site is fine, but try not to repeat too much substance throughout your website. Footers, contact information, navigation menus, and title tags are okay, but everything in the body needs to be original across every page. Google is very good at spotting duplicate content, so be aware.
4. Research the Competition
If you aren't conducting competitor research, then you're giving your competitors an edge for no reason. Competitor research is one of the easiest parts of an SEO strategy, and it has some of the highest payoffs. View their content, check their keywords, and create something similar but better.
You want to know exactly what you're up against. If you're missing out on some keywords, topics, or website features, then you're handing them a pass to rank ahead of you. Searching through their content can help you generate new ideas and topics, expand your keyword list, and understand where you need improvement.
5. Build Authority
Google's algorithm is impressive, but it isn't all-knowing. They can't instantly fact-check every piece of information on the internet and verify who is telling the truth and who isn't. For that reason, they rely on other websites to establish a website's authority on a given topic.
A backlink acts as a vote in your favor. You don't have to worry too much about these in the early days of your SEO strategy, but they are important later on. Building backlinks organically comes down to building a website with a quality content strategy.
You can list your website on various directories, share your content on social media, and spread the word, but there's no guarantee that anyone will link to you. From there, you can reach out to other sites linking to your competitors and ask for a link to your better content instead. This is a good way to boost your strategy.
6. Track Metrics
As diligently as possible, stay up to date with your latest analytics reports and see what needs improvement. Tools like Google Analytics act as a free ticket for major improvements to your SEO strategy.
For example, if you notice that you have high bounce rates, meaning you aren't retaining website traffic, this will tell you that you need to improve loading times or fix your navigation system. Once these are fixed, you'll notice a substantial improvement in user retention, which will help your SEO strategy.
Of course, this is only one example. There are thousands of potential bugs and issues with every website, and without using analytics tools, you're trying to run an obstacle course in the dark.
Start Increasing Traffic Today
Now that you know some helpful tips on increasing traffic, put them to use right away. SEO is a long-term strategy, so the sooner you start, the sooner you'll start generating leads that convert. Once you do, the benefits can last for years to come without additional expenses.
Stay up to date with our latest digital marketing news and feel free to contact us with any questions or for help with your SEO strategy!