8 effective SEO techniques to drive website traffic
Search engines have changed the way we look for, interact with, and process information forever. It’s no wonder search engine optimization or SEO in short, is such an invaluable marketing tactic.
SEO is integral to your website’s ranking and visibility in search results. In an age where competition is fierce and resources are plentiful, SEO can make a huge difference in staying ahead of the game.
But how do you “do” SEO? And more importantly, how do you get it right? Before I spill my secrets, let’s take a look at what SEO is exactly.
SEO in a nutshell
SEO is the process of optimizing your website to increase the quality and quantity of traffic from search results. It’s about creating relevant content and ensuring that content reaches the right audience.
SEO involves everything from your website’s loading speed to its design and the content you’re putting out there: every aspect of your site can and should be optimized for search engines.
Search engines use automated bots, also known as spiders or crawlers, to scan the content of billions of web pages. The discovered web pages are then stored in what’s called an index. When someone performs a search, these bots retrieve, rank, and display results deemed relevant to the search query.
To rank well in search results, search engine bots need to understand the content on your site and match it to relevant queries. The easier this is for the bots, the more likely you are to show up in relevant searches.
Why SEO is the way to go
Staying ahead of the competition isn’t easy when you’re up against the masses. Search engines crawl and index billions of web pages to determine their rank in search results.
Simply creating content won’t cut it. Your content needs to be visible and easily accessible. You need to show up on that first page of search results.
Just ask Waterstoring.nl, one of our Dutch clients. Waterstoring.nl is a platform displaying water disruptions and maintenance plans for multiple Dutch water providers. They wanted to be the go-to platform for customers experiencing water-related hiccups, but their platform needed to attract more traffic.
Our solution? A new front end focused on improving the site’s user experience (UX) and content optimization for search engines. The nationwide platform now attracts thousands of visits in the event of water disruptions and ranks first in search results.
8 tactics to add to your SEO strategy
Building a solid SEO strategy isn’t easy, but it is important. Follow these eight tips to ensure you’re on the right track:
1. Combine your SEO and content marketing efforts
SEO and content marketing go together like bread and butter.
Content marketing is all about creating relevant content that informs, educates, and attracts the right audience. SEO is how you get that content in front of the right people. Combining both strategies will help you create high-quality content that’s bound to boost your ranking and drive more traffic to your website.
That being said, don’t forget who you’re creating content for: people first, search engines second. At the end of the day, it’s key to offer substance to your readers.
2. Add relevant keywords to your content
Keywords are the bridge between the information your target audience is searching for and the content you’re creating. Including relevant keywords makes it easier for the right people to find your content in their search queries.
Your keywords also determine the quality of traffic drawn to your website. It’s important to decide what keywords are right for your audience. Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner can come in handy here.
3. Steer clear from duplicate content
Duplicate content is content that appears online on more than one web page. Having duplicate content can hurt your SEO performance and confuse search engines. That’s because it’s difficult for search engines to determine which version of your content to index and show in search results.
Setting up a 301 redirect can help with that. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect of one web page location to another. A 301 indicates to website visitors and bots that the content can be found at the new URL.
A more straightforward solution is making sure your content is unique - from your title tags to meta descriptions and everything in between.
4. Reduce your page load speed
Page speed is a major ranking factor for Google search. You already risk your search position if your web pages take longer than three seconds to load.
Along with boosting your ranking, a fast loading speed also increases conversions. To improve your loading speed, you can use tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
5. Optimize your UX
Improving your UX means ensuring your website is fast and user-friendly. In addition to reducing your load speed, you can polish your UX by optimizing it for mobile and having a responsive design.
A great UX has always been crucial to the success of your website, but it’s even more important now. This May, Google is adding page experience to their search algorithm. This means that your UX will also start to affect your ranking position. If your website has a poor UX, now is the time to optimize.
Google’s Search Console is a free tool that monitors your website’s performance. With this data, you can see how your website is performing and in what areas you need to improve.
6. Keep your URL simple
An easy-to-understand URL can do wonders for SEO. Your URL should give site visitors an idea of what they can expect to find on your page. Optimizing your URL for search engines boils down to keeping it concise, descriptive, and comprehensible.
7. Build backlinks to your website
Backlinks are links that direct you from one website to another. They play a significant role in driving traffic to your site. See them as a signal of trust: they prove that your website is credible and worth linking to.
There are tons of ways to build backlinks. For starters, you can include them in your social media profiles. You can also write guest articles for other websites in exchange for backlinks. Just make sure that your backlinks come from credible, trustworthy sources - quality over quantity.
8. Stay abreast of Google’s updates
Google is constantly updating its search algorithm. Being informed about these changes is essential to staying relevant. Unfortunately, Google doesn’t announce every update. You need to continuously improve and monitor the performance of your website on your own. And of course, keep creating engaging content that pleases both visitors and bots.
There isn’t an easy way out when it comes to SEO: it’s an investment for the long run that requires time, effort, and expertise. That’s why it’s important to have a well-grounded performance marketing strategy in place. In the end, your efforts will work in your favor. All you have to do is follow these tips and reap the benefits!