5 Proven ways to improve traffic to your website
By no means is the content in this guide meant to be exhaustive. That said, focusing on these 5 areas of your digital journey is a sure shot way to improve traffic and ranking in search.
Some of these you may aleady know about, so feel free to skip ahead to any point. If you're looking to brush up, each point comes with detailed guides on how to optimize:
- Have a content and keyword strategy
- Implement SEO best practices
- Improve link structure and image delivery
- Build quality backlinks
- Create and optimize your business profiles
1. Have a content and keyword strategy
This may be a no-brainer, but the quality of your content plays a big role in your general visibility in search and areas where your audiences are likely to look.
Having great content is ultimately what sets you apart from all the other businesses that are competing for attention from the same prospects
For starters, you need to understand what kind of search terms are being used to find the kind of services or products you provide. A great free tool is Google Trends.
Pro Tip: Check out the autocomplete options offered by Google search.This is a great place to get content ideas because algorithms are updated in real-time and give you a sense of trends relating to your keywords.
Pro Tip #2: If you are looking for inspiration, answerthepublic is a great tool to find trending topics relating to your industry.
Pro Tip #3: If your budget allows it, there are premium tools like Ahrefs that provide advanced research tools. For example, you can learn what keywords your competitors are ranking for, search volumes, right down to how competitive a certain keyword is and what kind of ads budget you should plan around specific keywords.
Bottom-line, having good content that is regularly refreshed on your website, social media profiles and blogs is a great way to establish confidence, both with your audiences and search engines.
2. Implement SEO best practices
There is so much information on this topic from a wide variety of experts. From bloggers to uncles, aunts, nieces, and nephews, seemingly anyone that’s built a website will have advice on the subject. Despite all the noise, there are some basics that are absolutely necessary and most experts will agree.
To understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO), we need to understand that search engines aren’t able to determine if our website is of high quality just by looking at it (like humans would). Instead, they need “behind-the-scenes”, technical directions.
Luckily, you don't need to be a programmer to implement best practices
Some factors to consider when planning your SEO strategy:
- Meta tags and descriptions
- On-page SEO, including HTML tags like Headings
- Link structure and redirects
- Load and response times
This is by no means an exhaustive list. In fact, it barely scratches the surface but these are generally the biggest culprits when it comes to dropped ranking and diminished visitor experience.
Pro Tip: The best way to learn SEO practice is to understand what matters and why? Google has a comprehensive guide that goes over the basics of SEO and for those already familiar, they have an advanced section for in-depth knowledge
Once you're ready, check out this guide from Ahrefs. It wonderfully summarizes first steps to success with SEO.
3. Improve link structure and image delivery
This is a two-part point. Link structure is not as important as content delivery optimzation. Both can mean the difference between ranking vs. a competitor.
Quick points on URL structure:
- Keep your links short and simple - 35 to 45 characters
- The link should be clear enough for your visitors to know where they are headed
- Include a well-researched keyword
- Align URL to page title and other elements
Content delivery optimization on the other hand, is essential to a good user experience and can help with ranking as well
Points to consider for optimal content delivery:
- Make sure your media content like images are optimized for web. The larger the media file size the longer it will take to load and negatively impact both user experience and your rank in search. Check out this awesome guide on optimizing your images for web
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to optimize the displaying of images. Essentially, a CDN is a network that serves static content to users based on their location. Get an in-depth understanding here
- Content delivery matters because it impacts load times of your website. Longer load times = bad user experience AND lower search engine rank
4. Build Quality Backlinks
A backlink is bascially a link from an external source linking back to a resource on your page. Google treats this as a sign of authority, thus ranking your website higher.
Quick points on Backlinks:
- Make sure you employ only whitehat tactics
- The backlinks should add context to the resources being linked to. In other words, ensure they are relevant to your content.
- Reaching out to websites directly is often a great way to get quality backlinks
- Hubspot has a fantastic guide on amassing your own backlinks
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5. Create your business profiles
If you haven’t already, set up your Google My business, Bing and Apple maps profiles ASAP!
These 3 directories are where the vast majority of desktop and mobile users go to look for businesses to work with, so it makes sense to get listed.
Beyond getting listed however, you should look to optimize your profiles for maximum discovery that leads to goal conversions.
Optimize your profiles using the following guides:
- Complete guide on optimizing your Google my business (GMB) profile
- Bing links to your Google profile so its a good idea to start with GMB first
- Complete guide on optimizing your Apple maps listing.
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