Search engine optimization is often regarded as a black box of metrics that website builders need to get just right in order to have their site rank. SEO is important to nail because at the end of the day it’s one of the most effective tactics a digital marketer can use to turn their leads into customers.
(Screenshot: Asecend2.com research data)
According to data published by Ascend2, SEO falls just behind social media as a leading tactic when it comes to building a relationship for lead conversion. Luckily we’ve compiled a list that gives you a glimpse into that black box with five of the most effective SEO tips to increase your search traffic.
- Build Effective Backlinks
Backlinks are links within your content that direct you to a different site. The reason why search engine algorithms favor backlinks is that they prove that you’re trusted enough by another site for them to send their traffic your way.
Now, not all backlinks are created equal. The better the site is that is linking to your content, the better the quality of your links are, which in turn means your SEO will improve. You are essentially piggybacking on the credibility of the site that trusts you.
There are many effective link building tactics that still work. You can simply reach out to sites that are looking for experts to contribute to their articles. Sites like Haro.com or Help a Reporter Out offer a list of prompts to which you can submit a quote for a chance to be featured in the article a reporter may be working on. In exchange, if your quote is selected that site will link back to your website.
Another way you can build links successfully is through manual outreach. Sites often need a ton of new content and don’t have the bandwidth to write it themselves. Reach out to a site or blog in your vertical and pitch a few ideas you have for an article for them. Be sure to mention you’d be happy to write it for them in exchange for a link to your site.
- Emphasize Topical Authority
Search engines make profits by pairing the best answers to people’s queries. They want users to have a good experience and to find the most factually correct information out there. This means they reward websites with traffic that are experts in their field or topic. In order to gain topical authority, you need to pick a niche to be an expert in. Often, sites try to go too wide with their content and end up not reading proficiently at anything.
For example, if you have a site that is simply about sports the algorithm can’t be sure of what your site is about. Is this a site that teaches sports? Is it for sports fans? Or is it a site that is for teams? This category is too wide. In order to increase your site traffic and improve your SEO, you’ve got to narrow down your niche. Pick a specific sport to be the authority on.
To further improve your topical authority make sure there is depth to your content. A 500-word article on a topic does not make you read as an authority. Write high-quality content that is detailed and long in length. Use graphics to further help your reader understand. Make sure that your reader walks away with information that is valuable to them.
- Have a Keyword Strategy
Google bases the content it serves and the advertisements it shows based on the keywords in an article or that someone is searching. You need to be intentional about exactly what keywords your article is targeting so that the search engine knows what search terms to match your content with. If you’ve written an amazing article but your keywords weren’t strategically used you can be sure you won’t be receiving as much traffic as you should have.
Using a tool like SurferSEO helps you target your keywords, know exactly how many times those words need to appear in your article, and holds your article to the standards of your competitors. A tool like this will pull out keywords you need to pay attention to and in real-time mark off your use of them so that you are left with a perfectly optimized article.
- Optimize for Featured Snippets
You may have realized lately that when you Google something you are often met with a list of results right on the SERP page. As a website, you might be concerned that this little snippet of information will deter people from coming to your site as they may have just been given the answer to what they were looking for but it’s the contrary.
Don’t worry, you will receive more traffic and be ranked higher on the SERP page by making it easy for the algorithm to pull out answers. Plus, snippets are just a few lines of information so people will be forced to come to your site to learn more. As your reward for making that information easily accessible, Google often gives your site a featured snippet placement.
Look at what content your site is already ranking for and pull out answers that your article solves. For example, if your site is a cooking site, simply list the steps that someone needs to make your dish without any other details. In the body of your article you can go into all the details but at the top just give short answers that easily answer a question.
- Optimize for Mobile Experience
Every year we see more and more search traffic moving from desktop to mobile. With all the answers we could need in the palm of our hand, this makes perfect sense. One of the best ways to increase your search traffic is to make sure your site is optimized with mobile in mind.
In fact, in 2019 Google announced it would evaluate your mobile experience before any other version of your site.
In order to have a mobile-optimized site, you’re going to want to build a responsive site. This means that no matter what device it is pulled up on your site will configure its layout and information to best fit.
You’re not going to want to scale back any of the information you’re providing your reader with but make it easier to absorb on mobile. This might mean more images in between and a shorter sentence structure.
When thinking about how to drive the maximum amount of traffic to your site you need to realize there are certain optimizations you can make. Build a site for mobile that has in-depth content that’s related to your targeted niche. Make sure your content is optimized and utilizes featured snippets. Make your authority in your domain known by building strong backlinks and providing useful knowledge in your field. If you follow these tips, you should see improvement in no time.