The worst thing about SEO is it constantly changes.
The SEO techniques that worked a decade ago won’t work now and those which are working now might not work a year from now. However, there are a few SEO techniques that are consistent and don’t change. By mastering those strategies, you can bring more search traffic to your sites.
This article will explain how can you use those strategies to grow your search engine traffic and sales and how you will know where to start if you're just beginning to dive into SEO with a minimal budget.
1. Long Tail Keyword Research
70% of search engine traffic comes from long tail keywords.
I’ve been blogging consistently for over 6 years and I know SEO is not easy. Getting quick results is a joke especially if you are trying to get long term rewards in terms of traffic and sales. I get a lot of SEO service related pitches to my inbox frequently. If someone claims that I can get #1 search results for any keyword on Google within a month, I laugh at them.
If you need to take away ONE tip, I'll stress this - use long tail keywords. (For example, “SEO tips for small businesses” is a five-word long tail keyword.) Long tail keywords are your best bet to rank, and they tend to send you more search traffic and sales.
Long tail keywords are a must-have in your content creation strategy!
- Analyze what keywords your competitors are using. Find out the keywords that are generating huge traffic to your competitor's sites. That way it will be easier for you to come up with a lot of great keyword ideas.
- Create a list of all the questions that your target audience might have. Type them on Google one by one to know how many articles had been published on the web. Create the best content with answers their pain points or questions.
- Focus on finding and using the long tail keywords with the monthly search volume below 2000. That way it becomes easier for you to rank quickly without spending more time on link building.
2. On-page Optimization
On-page optimization is a powerful SEO technique and you shouldn’t ignore it if you want to bring massive visitors from search engines to your sites.
On-page optimization doesn’t have to be hard. The first step to on-page SEO success is finding the right keywords that are proven to increase your traffic. As I said above, keyword research is essential and once you come up with your primary keyword, you can then optimize your pages accordingly.
Here are few of the most crucial elements that affect your on-page SEO.
That being said, here are few proven on-page SEO strategies you can use to boost your search engine traffic.
Make sure to come up with a primary keyword before writing your posts. Use that primary keyword in your title and Meta description. For your convenience, start using Yoast SEO plugin (free) to easily optimize your blog posts for specific keywords.
- Use your primary keyword in your introduction of the post or page. It’s better to use it within the first 100 words to rank better.
- Use images all over your content. Make sure to add alt tags on all of them and also include your primary keywords in any one of them.
- Link to relevant sources in your industry. Make sure to email the people whom you are linking to. And ask them to give a shout out to their audience. They will gladly do so if they like your content.
- Use your primary keyword in your heading, sub headings like h2 and h3 tags, URL and throughout your body (but don’t do keyword stuffing).
3. Long Form of Content
Did you know that over 2 million blog posts are published every single day? That’s a lot, right?
So how can you surpass all those articles and get first page results for your targeted keywords?
It’s impossible to get first page results by creating mediocre content. By mediocre content, I mean short articles that are less than 500 words. You are not Seth Godin, a man able to get increasingly high numbers of social shares, links and comments by posting short articles.
If you want to boost your search traffic - produce long form of content. I can't stress enough the importance of long form content. Search a topic and you will find that commonly, the first 5 results have an average word count of 2000 words with detailed, valuable content.
As a rule of thumb, make sure to create articles with over 1500 words. That way you can bring massive search results. Here is a few tips:
- Research the topic first. Don’t write even a word before doing a proper research around the topics you are going to cover. Make notes from the first page results. Find out what’s missing in them and try to cover them in your articles. That way you can write detailed content.
- Read more. Seriously, reading the best blogs in your industry or books around your favorite topics help you write more. The more you read the more value you can add to your content. It’s as simple as that.
- It takes some time to create detailed content. Try to spend at least 3-5 hours to create a 1500 words post. When you practice writing more and more detailed articles it becomes really easier for you in the long run.
- Outline your post after doing research. Use sub headings. Fill them with great content. This post is almost 2000 words and I wrote it the same way!
4. Competitor Research
Do you know what your competitors are doing? Competitor research is a must if you want to get more traffic from Google. The simple reason is competitor's research is the surefire and fastest way to increase your search traffic and sales. It gives you a better idea about the topics and products you promote.
Competitor analysis provides the following benefits:
- Helps you find the best content ideas
- Helps you boost your sales
- Helps you find unlimited backlink opportunities
- Helps you increase your traffic and social shares
It would be in your best interest to spend a little money for the competitor research stage to improve your website's SEO. Completing an in-depth competitor analysis is not a big deal when you have access to the right competitor analytics tools like SEMrush.
Pro tip: Find out your competitor's best-performing keywords. Use SEMrush to find their top keywords. Figure out ways to use those keywords to boost yours search traffic!
Competitive analytics tools provide features which will help you thoroughly analyze your competitor’s sites along with the important data like backlinks, traffic sources, best performing keywords etc.
Want to analyze your competitors properly?
What topics your competitors are posting regularly on their blogs? Study their content length, social media metrics and backlinks.
Make a list of all the products they create and promote on these channels and how they are educating their audience to boost their products sales. You can gain a lot of insight on what works and doesn't work when attempting to target the audience you want to attract.
Find out your competitors broken links and email them about the issues. You can always provide a reference to your relevant posts to replace their dead links with yours. You can use tools like SEMrush to easily do a backlink analysis of any site to help you find those broken links.
5. Website Optimization with SEO Audits
Last but not least make sure to do a complete website audit to find and fix all your site issues.
If you are struggling to increase your traffic even if you are creating contents regularly, it might be mainly because of the SEO related issues that your site might have. So find and fix them to grow your search rankings.
Here are few website optimization tips you need to implement right away to bring more traffic:
- Do a site audit of your website. If you have already grabbed SEMrush, they have a tool that provides a list of all the recommendations to boost your site rankings on Google.
- Make sure to find your website speed. Use Pingdom tools or Google page insights to know how fast your site is loading. They also give you site recommendations so you can improve them to boost your site’s speed.
- Check if your site is mobile responsive or not. Use WPTouch (free plugin) to make your site mobile friendly.
- Move to a better web hosting service. Get a reliable, faster and secured hosting to run your sites. Your website speed depends a lot on your hosting service. So don’t pick a cheap one and hate yourself later.
- Constantly check your site for dead or broken links. You can use broken link checker tool to find and fix your dead links. 404 error pages are not good for your site in terms of SEO.
SEO is a huge ocean. Improving your site’s search engine traffic is not easy. Instead of using thousands of SEO strategies, find and stick to just a few key strategies like content marketing, on-page optimization, site audit etc. It can help you a lot in the long run.
Don’t think about getting quick results with SEO. Instead, focus on getting consistent and long term results. If you implement all the key SEO techniques mentioned in this guide, you will surely notice a big traffic spike.
What other SEO techniques have you used and got results? Share your thoughts in the comments.