Getting traffic to your website is the main challenge and the main aim for any website owner. Regardless of the purpose of the website, you need more visitors to the site to meet its purpose. If you are running an online business the website acts as a shop front. With more people shopping online for basically everything, it is the first place they get to interact with you. The challenge of having a business online is the competitive environment your business will operate in. There are different direct and indirect competitors all seeking to get the attention of the customers online.
Online users do not have much patience to go searching all around the web for your site. It helps if you have a well-known brand name or if you have a wide-reaching online visibility. More importantly, appearing on the top of search engine page results will make your site easily accessible to all online users.
This is what SEO is all about.
It covers all the strategies from web development and design to bring more people on your site. In its whole scope, SEO includes a whole lot of factors. Some require professional input but a good number of SEO strategies can be easily implemented by you. While all SEO factors are important for the final success of the site, some are the cornerstone upon which everything else is built. These factors directly impact the number of traffic you get coming to your site and when implemented correctly, they get your website in front of the right audience.
Here are 5 must have SEO tricks to increase traffic on your WordPress website:
The one cliché statement in the world of SEO is “Content is King”. It is a cliché only in the sense that it is repeated often. The truth in this statement, however, remains years after SEO became a major online marketing factor. Sadly, not everyone takes the effort to produce great content which is the first and foremost important factor on a website. Regardless of what you sell, when clients come to your site they want to find information that is helpful and meets their needs. Content relevance and appropriateness is a mark of authority which the major search engines use to rank pages.
Great content also results in visitors browsing more pages and reducing the bounce rate of your site because of its relevancy and comprehensiveness.
Great content also helps you retain visitors who will keep returning to the site assuring you of regular traffic. Good content gets shared easily and you also get backlinks to your site without much effort. This increases your visibility and authority. Even more, earning you more organic traffic. Great content also results in visitors browsing more pages and reducing the bounce rate of your site because of its relevancy and comprehensiveness. Good content also has the added benefit of getting visitors further down the sales channel and even the sales content gives you more room for persuasion.
To be able to offer relevancy and comprehensiveness, you also need to consider the length of your posts. This means you should target 500 words at the very minimum in your posts to cover enough aspects of the subject you are writing on. Research has shown that the top five search results on the first results page have an average of 1,500 words. Finally, the content has to be fresh and interactive. You can repurpose content when frequent posting becomes a challenge. Make the content more engaging by use of pictures, videos, and illustrations, infographics, or charts. The important thing to have in mind is to write for humans, not the search engine. Search engines have advanced algorithms that now cater more to the natural way people search and consume information. With lots of similar content online, only the most unique and engaging content will set you apart from your competitors.
2. Keywords Strategy
Immediately after great content, the second most important aspect in SEO that directly impacts the traffic is the use of keywords. These are basically the search queries users enter to search engines. Content is majorly ranked based on its relevancy to the search engines. The better keywords you have and how they are distributed in your pages’ content, the higher you will rank. A couple of years back, it was enough to just have a high volume of the relevant keywords.
These were usually the short-tail keywords which are generic in nature. Over time, the focus has changed and it is important to match these short-tail keywords with specific long-tail keywords. Long tail keywords are more descriptive and closer to what users enter in their search engines when looking for a product or information about it.
How to use long-tail?
Search engines have turned their focus on the long tail keywords as they make considerable advances in their Artificial Intelligence systems. The long tail keywords also have an extra advantage besides just ranking. They have a higher conversion rate than short tail keywords. This is because the user is most likely to make a purchase since they are looking for a specific product. Ranking for search keywords gets you to a visitor ready to buy and if you offer content and the right product you are more likely to make sales. Create pages that cater to specific products and accompany them with product focused content. Use compelling calls to action such as urging the visitors to make purchases, call or visit you.
Other resources you can use to get relevant keywords include the Google analytics tool. While they have encrypted the keywords getting traffic to your site, you can check the content getting most visitors to your site and use the keywords there in a mix with other keywords. A more effective resource is your higher ranking competitors whose content you can review to identify the most relevant keywords. Where you use the keywords is also important in not only ranking you higher but also making it easy for the user to click to your site instead of the others. The major locations are; the title tag, Page URL, Images file names and the Alternative texts, and Meta description within the content. The keyword density is important and should make up 5-7% of your content.
3. Local Presence
It is very easy to overlook the role of location information and local SEO in driving relevant traffic to your website and getting the conversions you need. In July of 2014 Google released an update aptly named ‘Pigeon’ which places more emphasis on local business. Location relevant content is especially important for mobile users since over 50% of the searches on mobile are done with the hope of getting local results. Even in advertisements, over 60% of the consumers have looked for the local information.
To effectively execute this trick, you have to start with the basics. For instance, provide the location and address of your business on all the pages not just the about page. You should also evenly distribute keywords containing your specific location across the site. Create content that is personalized to the audience seeking your products or service in the location. You should not stop here though, but also get to the social media profiles and ensure you have them all showing your correct address and location. Then target listings in the local directories, reviews, and forums to further boost your website’s relevancy to location specific searches. This allows you to take advantage of the locals looking for the product you are offering.
4. Mobile Optimisation
It is easy to wonder what all the craze about mobile optimisation is, but the following figures provide a clear insight: 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop. Over 1.3 billion people globally use their smartphones to access the web. Mobile traffic accounts for 60% and more of all the internet traffic and it has been projected to increase every year.
With more people using their smartphones and tablets to access the internet, search engines such as Google are taking the lead and rolling out mobile-first indexing. They have decided to push for mobile friendly websites. The mobile responsiveness of your site is now an important factor on where you rank and can be the decisive factor when all other aspects are held constant. This is because as search engines catering to the growing number of mobile users have made it easier to find mobile optimised sites. Adopting a mobile friendly design is now going to be the new norm.
Responsive web pages
Previously, the alternative was to have two sites, one for the mobile users and the main site. This option has a number of shortcomings. First, it means you have to create different content for different sites which is taking time. The content also has to be shared differently on the various platforms. The other challenge is if a mobile user or a desktop user clicks on the wrong link intended for a different website version. Finally, it limits the effectiveness of the mobile site as an effective source of information since a lot of data, features, and support are left out.
Everything from the content and colors, to fonts as well as the logo of your business, needs to respond to any desktop or mobile device used to access your site. If there are large differences in the appearance on mobile devices, you will need to carry out changes. Along with mobile websites, mobile apps are another handy resource to boost traffic to your site.
5. Social Media Presence and Strategy
As far as getting more traffic to your website goes, no platform comes close to what social media offers. In the past, social media used to be a separate entity and even the strategies to use there were not so keenly followed as far as SEO was concerned. However, the moment social media profiles and content began getting ranked on the major search engines, everything changed. It is becoming very difficult to differentiate SEO strategies for the ‘main’ web and social media platforms.
Social media offers a wide reach that is more effective than the website when it comes to interactions and personal appeal. The sharing of content and information is far much easier on social media and the ability to go viral is also greater. The other advantage social media offer is the chance to get higher rankings even with lower page and domain authority on your sites. With more likes, reads, and shares, the post ranks higher on Google as well. You get the double effect of organic traffic from the platforms. Social media offers a wide reach that is more effective than the website when it comes to interactions and personal appeal.
Social media also offers you a chance to get to the targeted audience much easier. You can focus on the platform they are most likely to be found and apply multimedia rich content. You can also use it as a source for feedback and even conducting surveys for what content the audience wants and what they are looking for online.
The strategy for social media is identifying the relevant content for the audience and making it as engaging as possible. Use a number of mixes and tailor the content to suit the strengths of each social media platform. Consistency, relevance, and presentation are the key to success in any social media strategy.
BONUS: Is SEO Dead? Well, depends on who you ask.