SEO Traffic 101: How to Generate Traffic by Optimizing Your Website
To “optimize” your website we use SEO, or search engine optimization. Not sure what website optimization is? Optimizely defines it as “the process of using controlled experimentation to improve a website’s ability to drive business goals.“
The content you create should be done with your ideal audience in mind, while also focusing on SEO.
For your SEO to be effective
- know your audience
- understand the competition
- be able to describe your target audience’s problems that you can help them solve
- know your value
… all the while using the terms (keywords) that your audience will use to find you.
There are two kinds of SEO: On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO.
On-Page Search Engine Optimization
On Page SEO includes anything on your page that helps improve search engines’ and your audience’s ability to find you. On-Page SEO includes
This is basically your page title. Whether a sales page, blog post, or any page on your website. We use the H1 tag on the page title to let the search engines know that this is an important part of what the content is about.
Headings & Subheadings Affect SEO Traffic
Headings and subheadings also use H1, H2, H3 formatting. This is what shows the search engines what is important in your content. Since it defines the way the heading or subheading appears to the user it also helps break up the white space and text for easier reading.
When creating page or blog post titles for your website include keywords that your audience will relate to and that search engines will recognize.
For instance, if you create a post called “On-Page SEO: Tricks & Tips to Get It Right” the URL should be oursite.com/onpageseotips but not the whole title.
You want your page URLs to have keywords, look good, and be short. Neil Patel suggests url length to be between 50 and 60 characters.
When choosing your website images the trick for SEO is to use the keyword in the name of the image. So, if you use an infographic for your blog post about SEO you’d want to name the image SEOkeywordinfographic.png or something relevant to your article. This will help search engines as they comb all the information from your page to know that the info relates.
The keyword you want to rank for should be included in the first 100 words of the body text, preferably in the first sentence or paragraph.
If your website or web page doesn’t work on any device you’re missing out on customers. Besides that, all of the search engines penalize sites that aren’t responsive.
Outbound links to credible sources for the information you are sharing with your audience indicates that you’re more than likely a quality site with good information. You don’t want to overdo it but linking to valuable sources helps your ranking.
A good internal linking strategy for your website can impact how much of your site the search engines crawl. It indicates to search engines that your content is relevant, high-quality and can help keep your readers on your website longer.
Your website needs to load very fast. I know I don’t wait when a site won’t load, even if it says “loading, please wait”. Optimize your site so that it loads very fast so search engines rank it higher and your readers will enjoy it more.
Be careful to not overstuff each page with one keyword. For example, if you want your post to rank for a word that word should be in the title, headers, and body text. But, the keyword can be no more than two percent density. That’s where keyword synonyms come in. You can use them within the content too.
Include social media icons and social sharing buttons. This way people can quickly share anything on your site that they enjoy. And, they can find you on social media and like, follow, and friend you. Allowing comments on your blog posts can attract user-generated content, which can also help with your ranking.
Long Form Content
Include long form content on your website in addition to short form. Some people may call it authoritative content, epic content, or long form content. Long form content is very in-depth. It may start with short blog posts in a series but can be turned into very long content that explains an important aspect of your niche to your audience.
Off-Page SEO includes social media marketing and link building. In fact, Radio Ads, television ads, Google Ads, Facebook Ads and so forth can also be considered off-page SEO. Essentially, any activities that create traffic that does not start on your website or blog is considered Off-page SEO. It is another way to show search engines that your site is authoritative and has good content and information for your audience.
Doing SEO correctly helps you get more traffic. Sometimes the traffic comes with the right keywords that your audience uses search engines to find. And sometimes it means creating links to your site through guest posting, directory listings, and social media.
Using good search engine practices is one of the best evergreen sources of SEO traffic that you’ll ever find and should not be overlooked.