If you are the proud owner of an online business, be that business an ecommerce site, an informational website, or a niche site that affiliates to products and earns you a revenue, you are cognizant of how web traffic influences the success of your online business.
You are probably aware of this fact: web traffic comes from many sources such as social platforms, direct traffic, other websites, and search engines.
The best way to drive tons of free, unpaid traffic to your website or landing page is by optimizing your web-pages for search. You do this by paying attention to ranking factors that search engines use to rank web-pages.
White hat SEO tactics can be used to ensure your website places in the top 1-3 positions of SERP (search engine results page) for your preferred topic or search query.
There is a lot of redundant Search Engine Optimization information out there, as any SEO Expert for their opinion. To optimize your website, content, and pages for search, land on the first page of Google, if not the first 3 spots, and drive tons of traffic to your website, all you need to do is pay attention to specific aspects of your website. Optimizing your website content, i.e. optimizing your text, video, and image content affects how search engine spiders (not actual spiders but a generic term used to refer to search engines algorithms (called web crawlers) that periodically crawl, and index web-pages in order of relevance to search queries) view your website and the position they place it on their index.
The more visible your content is to these spiders, the higher your website ranks on SERPs. As any SEO Consultant worth their salt will confirm, the higher a page or content ranks, the more traffic it receives. Search engine optimization takes into account what users search for (the keywords they type into their search boxes), how search engines index websites and the content therein, and most recently, how relevant and user-friendly content is to users and user queries. In general, SEO involves optimizing your website design by making it easier for users to interact with content on various devices, using relevant keywords, creating links between your website and other relevant, high quality sites on the same topic, and as of May 2015, the mobile friendliness of your site. We shall touch on each of these factors and look at how to optimize them for search.
The World Wide WebThe World Wide Web is a vast information forest. Naturally, in a forest, it is easy to get lost: enter search engines. Using the forest as an example, search engines serve two major functionalities: create an index of all trees in the information forest, and provide forest visitors with a detailed path to the tree species they want. This sounds oddly technical so let us simplify it as follows: Search engines use web crawler algorithms to craw all information placed on the internet and create an index. Then, when users use search engines to search for information, search engine spiders take the keyword, match it to information on their index, and return the most relevant information within a matter of seconds.
KeywordsKeywords are the search queries that users type into their search engine boxes when looking for information. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that Google would use keywords as an important ranking factor. While we shall take an in-depth look at keyword research and the subsequent use of keywords on different areas of your website for better ranking, you want to make sure you use relevant keywords in the title meta tag because the meta tag gives Google an accurate description of your webpage or content.
ContentGoogle places a lot of emphasis on providing users with relevant and helpful results; something reflected on their mission statement: “Focus on the user and all else will follow.” The better SEO services respect these wishes. According to a research study by serpIQ that analyzed content length by domain age, name, new and old blogs, etc. longer content generally ranks higher than shorter content. The idea behind this ranking factor is simple: longer content= detailed content=equal to better answers for users, which as we saw, Google places a lot of emphasis on. According to a leading SEO Consultancy, Google considers longer content more authoritative and informative. Thus, the longer your content is, meaning well-researched and user driven (there is no way you can write say a 5k word article for the hell of it or to rank, you write longer to provide web visitors sufficient answers), the higher your chances of ranking well.
LinksGoogle considers links as votes of confidence: when different, high quality sites link back to your website, it tells Google that other webmasters/users find your content helpful. Thus, it boosts your ranking because being helpful is an integral part of Google mission statement. Internal links are links that point back to a page or piece of content on your website. While their ranking power is debatable, interlinking pages can increase your ranking. Outbound links are links pointing to external sites. If you include links pointing to authoritative sites, Google takes this to mean your aim is to provide users with more information about a subject and uses this as a trust signal.
Although SEO may at first glance seem complicated, and ranking your website first on Google may seem like something requiring the services of a highly paid Freelance SEO, you need not buy into that misconception. Pay special attention to keyword research because it is an integral part of SEO and use LSI, long tail, and exact match keywords on your web copy and pages. Aim to create amazing, highly sharable, keyword-optimized, helpful content, and Google will love your website. Get your on-page SEO right by optimizing all the relevant areas. When creating your backlink strategy, remember that creating too many links within a short period may appear spammy. Instead, aim to create natural, high quality backlinks (the keyword here is natural), and pay attention to your social shares and social presence. Put in as much effort in social site content as you do your site content. Eliminate all site-wide hindrances and diligently perform your site wide optimization.