For a small business, SEO may well be the most important advertising technique to drive traffic to your website. It attracts new clients and might broaden your reach by allowing you to access an engaged internet audience.
If you have not already invested in it, you are not just behind the curve; you are also passing up several possibilities to convert more clients.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential if you want people to find your website. SEO refers to the techniques that webmasters employ to improve their sites’ likelihood of ranking highly on search engines like Bing and Google.
Whether your site is hosted on a shared, VPS, or private server, you should use SEO to make sure that it shows on the first results page when someone enters a search query.
Our top SEO tactics will not absolutely guarantee the best possible results placement, but they can make a huge difference, and good SEO practices are critical for helping search engines, and people find your site.
Mastering SEO may be difficult, which is why many firms spend large sums of money employing SEO experts or agencies. However, SEO is a process, not a single action, and seeing benefits might take time. That means you could easily spend your whole marketing budget before seeing any results.
That is why you need to treat the process carefully, making small tweaks and DIY changes to boost your SEO performance rather than just blowing all your budget on SEO tools at the start.
Below, you will find some methods and suggestions that you can use to help generate traffic to your website through Google search and other search engines.
So whether you are an experienced SEO marketer or a complete novice with no idea what meta descriptions, Google Analytics or broken links are, read on below to find some fresh new digital marketing and SEO tips!
Table of Contents
- What Is SEO?
- Structure And Design Your Website For Human Users And Algorithms
- Structure Content In Clusters
- Focus Your Content
- Build A Strong Keyword Strategy
- Establish A Regular Content Schedule
- Optimize Everything: Even Images
- Increase the Speed of Your Website
- Update and Optimize Your Existing Content
- The Importance of Featured Snippets
- Don’t Forget Your URLs
- Generating Traffic To Your Website From External Links
- Local SEO
What Is SEO?
To begin, if you are new to internet marketing, you may have no idea what we mean by SEO. In its simplest form, it is the process of increasing the visibility of your website on search engine result pages (SERPs).
Because Google controls over 95% of worldwide search engine traffic, we will mostly focus on Google while teaching you how to really shine at SEO.
When a person searches on Google, Google employs a proprietary algorithm built on over 200 signals to choose which webpage to display. Google scans and keeps data from every website on the internet.
When a user types out a search query into the Google search box, Google shows the most relevant and authoritative pages in order from top to bottom to answer the user’s search query.
Search engines understand the metadata of your website in ways that human readers do not, and the process of managing content and metadata so that search engines perceive your page as packed with relevant keywords and authoritative content is the core of SEO.
A good SEO strategy will ensure that search engines rank your site highly, which will, in turn, drive traffic to your website – the main goal of any webmaster!
Structure And Design Your Website For Human Users And Algorithms
Consider generating a sitemap if your site is new, particularly large, or has a lot of multimedia content. This is a file that gives search engines the information they need to crawl and index site pages, video material, and audio files quickly.
Google provides an excellent sitemap generator. Bing does as well. In reality, in order to appear in Google News and drive all that potential traffic to your website, you need to have a sitemap.
Your website should also inspire users to explore and share your material. If you are selling products through your website, then at least a few optimized product photographs should be included on your site.
If you are running a blog, then you want people to know what your writing is like. Link to your most recent posts and standout pieces, with internal linking showing a clear structure to your site. These approaches are appealing not just to visitors but also to search engines. It demonstrates to them what you value and how your website compares to other sites.
Your website’s page title field should reduce the whole site down to its name and the most relevant keywords as the header to the backend of your site, as this field is what will appear to users in search results.
So, to attract users and crawlers, carefully select your site’s name and keywords, as well as every individual page title.
Finally, do not overlook the importance of a visually appealing website. People will quit your site if it seems like an outdated GeoCities page or a blog from 1999, never return, and go for a more professional-looking alternative – like your competitors!
Visitors, important external connections, social media buzz, and money are all lost every time a potential visitor clicks away from your website. There is no point driving lots of traffic to your website if that traffic then immediately leaves again!
Structure Content In Clusters
Google appreciates websites that show high levels of Expertise, Authority, and Trust (E.A.T). Your web pages on a certain topic will only rank if Google considers them to be of high topical relevance to a search query.
Creating material based on content clusters is one of the most effective ways to establish topical relevance.
It is a long-form article that covers a topic in a comprehensive yet concise manner in order to establish authority and relevancy on the subject matter. Most relevant websites use this structure as part of their keyword strategy.
Cluster content, on the other hand, refers to pieces that have a tight concentration on a certain issue related to the primary keyword theme. They are brief articles, blogs, or instructions that connect back to the main page.
These accompanying blog entries should seek to target long-tail keywords that demonstrate you have thoroughly covered a topic. Putting your efforts towards long-term traffic can help you rank better in search engines.
The pillar cluster concept organizes material on your site around a particular topic and target keywords through internal linking. This allows search engines to simply scan and categorize all of your material on a specific topic, making it easier for you to rank well for that search phrase. This will eventually drive more traffic to your website simply through organic search results.
Focus Your Content
Search engines seek to direct users to the most authoritative and accurate results. So, if you are an expert in a certain field that you are going to want to write about, the information on your website should reflect that.
Do you want to share your top gardening tips with the rest of the world? The focus of your website should then be on homes and gardens. Mixing gardening content with, for example, international geopolitics or SEO tips is not a good idea.
After all, your website is unlikely to be a giant international firm or a large news agency that has to be everything to everyone.
The Importance Of Specificity
Specificity is important. Lean into what you have to offer; it will boost your web presence and make online marketing far easier. A tightly focused theme simplifies the selection of keywords for your website.
Keywords are the key phrases that direct visitors to your website. To effectively employ keywords, you summarize your website’s many elements—articles, photographs, videos, and podcasts—in SEO-friendly terms.
Keywords should also appear in your site’s URL, page header tags, all of your meta description elements, and alt text. Simply go to the backend of your website and enter the phrases in the keyword boxes or update the code.
Long-tail keywords, which are more specific search terms, should be used to supplement regular keywords. Google provides a tool called Keyword Planner that can help you locate effective keywords.
But do not go too esoteric; you do not want to employ terms that just a few people enter into search engines, as this will mean nobody except those few people will actually find your site!
Build A Strong Keyword Strategy
An effective keyword strategy focuses on attracting both consumers at the bottom of the sales funnel who are ready to purchase and customers right at the top of the sales funnel who are just starting to think about some light research.
Perform Keyword Research
Before you begin SEO methods or a blog, you should conduct keyword research to determine which keywords your company should utilize. Keep in mind that as more businesses use SEO and content marketing, search engine rankings have grown more competitive.
You definitely want to rank for relevant keywords, but you do not want to be trying to compete with every single other brand in your field. Having a niche is important.
Perform a Keyword Gap Analysis
Conducting a keyword gap analysis is another excellent technique to maximize the effectiveness of your SEO campaign. Look around and identify some of your most successful competitors – people with whom you compete online.
Use technologies like the SEMRush keyword gap research tool to uncover keywords for which your rivals rank but you do not. Create relevant material around these keywords or edit previous articles, blogs, or guides to cover those keywords.
What you are trying to do here is to ensure your competitors are not using gaps in your material to get ahead of you. By plugging those gaps, you can ensure that you are on an equal footing with your competitors when it comes to search engine results and website traffic.
Establish A Regular Content Schedule
Websites with new and updated information are prioritized by search engines. You do not want to copy and paste information from another website. In fact, search engines will punish your site as a result of this. Concentrate on high-quality, unique content.
Furthermore, whether it is fresh content, art, or items, you must update your website on a regular basis. Visitors want a good reason to come back to your site or share your information on social media. Search engine spiders, too, are eager to discover new material.
That means that one of the best ways to obtain more website traffic is just to post regularly. A new blog post every week would be a good start, for example. You just need to create content on a regular basis, so there is always something new to attract organic traffic and boost your position in the SERPs.
Optimize Everything: Even Images
Images are how we make things stand out on the web; bright, crisp graphics make a website welcoming. Aside from that, images show off the goods or services you wish to sell to prospective customers and break up long text blocks to keep readers interested. Because images are so important, you should take the time and effort required to optimize them properly.
The first step in online image optimization is to reduce the size of your photographs to a manageable level. Try to ensure that each image comes in at under a megabyte in size, much lower if your website is image-heavy.
Resizing photos to a maximum quality of 1920 by 1080 pixels and ensuring that they are all saved in JPG or WEBP formats will help your websites load faster. Slow-loading websites are disliked by search engines and users alike.
Make sure your photos have suitable Alt properties as well. Google, for example, cannot view the photographs you post to your site, but Alt attributes help the search engine algorithms in categorizing your photos.
The alt text for each image should be a brief description of the picture. Aim for a maximum of 125 characters. Meta descriptions and alt text may not be visible to human users, but they make a huge difference to search engine spiders.
Increase the Speed of Your Website
Page speed is a very important part of maintaining a popular website with a high user base. Have you ever waited thirty seconds for a webpage to load? You probably just clicked away to somewhere else, just like anyone else would.
If your site takes an eternity to load, your bounce rate will be quite high; there is no point in working to drive traffic to your site if they then leave again immediately! With the page experience improvement, speed has become even more of a ranking consideration.
Make sure your pages are as technically optimized as you can, including picture file sizes, page layout, and third-party plugin functioning. The more quickly your site loads, the better.
There are a number of SEO tools that can help with this. For example, Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool will offer you a score for your site’s speed as well as recommendations for improving your Core Web Vitals and other factors. Site speed is very important, so it can be worth paying for a tool that can help you speed up your entire site.
Don’t Forget Smartphone Optimization!
Today, mobile traffic outnumbers desktop traffic, so forcing users to drag, scroll, and pinch their way across your site is essentially encouraging them to go elsewhere. Even if you have a simple website, you have to make sure that it is accessible and comfortable to browse on a variety of devices, including tiny budget smartphones with small screens.
Update and Optimize Your Existing Content
When it comes to developing top-ranking content, you do not always have to start from scratch. Optimizing old material can sometimes produce greater results than developing entirely new work.
However, not every outdated piece of content warrants an update. Only through optimizing your site’s top-performing pages will you realize big gains. Go to the Google search console and choose Behavior Site Content pages from the left side panel.
Examine the content performance and select those that are performing well with high volume page visits or have great potential but are still on page two of Google SERPs. Go to your content optimization tool of choice to determine where each article falls short.
To address all content gaps, improve the material by adding new subjects or expanding on current ones. Improve the content quality by including new photos, keywords, and internal links.
The Importance of Featured Snippets
You are leaving a lot on the table if you do not prioritize featured snippets. Ranking for featured snippets (position zero on Google SERPS) might boost your website traffic by 30%. Ranking for featured snippets enhances your brand authority and click-through rates in addition to online traffic.
To begin, the featured snippet is an extract from devoted material that appears at the top of Google SERPs. It gives the searcher a brief response to a search query and can include text or video information.
Remember that a featured snippet might be in one of four different formats: listicle, table, video, or text. Use these forms naturally inside your articles as you write. To increase your chances, keep each one to 40-50 words.
Don’t Forget Your URLs
SEO strategies must also be applied to URLs. Search engines examine keywords in your site’s URL in the same way that they consider keywords on a page.
Is your website using dynamic URLs or addresses that rely on page numbers? If this is the case, replace them with static URLs. The number at the end of a numerical URL denotes that individual post; however, it is unhelpful.
To correct this, go into your site’s backend and activate static URLs, which will allow you to add crucial keywords to your site’s address. Static URLs allow you to change that number with something more informative.
This more descriptive URL syntax is preferred by search engines.
Remember that brevity is important, so avoid making the URL a keyword-packed phrase. Focus on your target keyword or maybe a couple of secondary keywords at most.
The number and quality of links to your website are two of the most important Google ranking variables. The more connections you have from reliable sites with high Domain Authority, the higher your own Domain Authority will rise.
The greater your DA, the better you rank and the more traffic you receive—not to mention any traffic you receive from the link itself. On the flip side, though, attracting a large number of spammy links can lead to serious penalties.
There are several different ways to gain links from other websites. Let’s take a quick look at a few of the most effective ones and share a few tips.
Writing guest articles might help you drive traffic to your website. Guest posting demonstrates your involvement in your community while also referring users back to your website. Referral traffic through guest posts can be very important.
A guest post is simply a piece that you have written for another website that contains a link back to your own site. This is a very efficient way to build backlinks and boost your site in the eyes of the Google algorithm while also getting your name out in front of a wider audience organically. This provides helpful link juice and can also increase traffic through those links.
Find a site that might be a good fit for your organization, prepare a blog article, and then make a pitch to the webmaster. Make sure you do your research properly and identify keywords that are relevant to both your site and the site you are targeting.
You can also benefit from hosting guest posts on your own site. Guest authors can not only broaden your themes and viewpoints, but they will also want to share the piece with their network and link to it on their site, thus bringing new readers to yours.
Just make sure you only share high-quality, unique content. A set of standard guest posting standards can help with this and keep your work on brand.
Social media platforms are built for rapidly sharing material across huge numbers of people. So if you can get someone to post a link to your website, and then that link gets shared around a lot… that is going to boost traffic to your site significantly more than just taking out Google ads.
This means you need to ensure that you make quality content that people want to share – just posting stuff that nobody is interested in might be a good way to fix broken links and dominate algorithmic results, but if nobody wants to share it with their friends, it is not going to take off on social media.
In practice, this means that as well as posting high-quality content in every blog post, you will need to ensure you are active on social media.
Set things up so every blog post you make is automatically shared to places like Facebook and Twitter (although Twitter is rapidly getting less useful for any kind of content marketing). These can increase traffic significantly just by putting your content in front of more eyes.
Ensure your meta description is fully functional and your links are set up so that when shared on social media, users will see page titles and engaging website images as part of the link card.
Nobody is going to share a plain URL without clear page titles, so considering the aesthetics of your content is an important part of link building.
Video content often tends to be very shareable too, but making good video material is a very different skill set from most SEO strategies.
If you provide a service and have a physical location for your business, it is worth including that location in your meta title and description. Local customers will be searching for services “near me,” and being fully geotagged can make you very visible in local search results.
This will not drive global traffic, but it can drive traffic with a very high conversion rate, which is vital.
Focusing your meta description entirely on local SEO will not be particularly helpful, but including location-specific terms in your blog post, page title, and meta description as part of your arsenal will help to drive the most relevant traffic to your website. This will make a huge difference to organic search traffic from relevant searches!
These SEO tips are just a starting point that you can use to help drive more site visitors to your website. There is no single most important ranking factor: SEO is an unending process that requires constant updates and improvements in order to drive web traffic.
More traffic means more visitors, which means more potential sales, so it is always worth doing what you can so you will rise up in the search results and increase traffic to your page!
Scott Calland is a highly regarded content specialist with an English Degree. He has a passion for creating compelling content as a UK journalist that engages, informs, and entertains readers. With over 10 years of experience in creating news publications as a reporter, Scott has developed a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of how to craft content that resonates with audiences. Working closely with data analysts Scott’s research on topics is unrivalled for latest news updates.
Scott is also an investor in Searcharoo.