You have a website, but there aren’t enough new people visiting, buying your products, or reading your content? This struggle is shared among most site owners these days, especially with such a fierce competitive market vying for high search rank and attention.
So, how do you generate more traffic? Is there some magic algorithm that unlocks your site’s maximum earning potential? A quick fix in your site’s code that will bring swarms of new visitors to your domain?
Sadly, it’s not as easy as that. In this article, we will take a look at search engine optimization (SEO), and how applying good SEO strategies can assist in improving your site’s ability to generate traffic from search.
Search engine optimization is a blanket term given to the practice of improving a website’s potential to receive traffic generated from search engines.
If your site comes up on the first page of search results for a product you sell, problem you solve (or have the solution for), or information found in your content, then you are in much better shape than someone that shows up on page three.
Search engines are incredibly smart, and it is very difficult to fool them into giving you higher ranking for specific keywords if your site doesn’t actually earn that spot.
For the most part, search engines want to connect users with the best possible answer to their questions. If a user is searching for a home remedy for a headache, it is the search engine’s job to find web pages that provide accurate and easily read information on headache cures.
When someone types in “Headache Cure” into the search box, the search engine sorts results based on its algorithm. The factors most commonly considered include:
If someone can’t find you, then you won’t get their business. This is why search engine optimization practices are so important in the modern Web.
For many companies, hiring on a consultant, company, or internal staff member to help improve the site’s SEO is common practice.
Having someone keeping an eye out to make sure you are adding the appropriate tags to your content to make it easy for search engines to understand your pages during routine crawls, assist with optimization to ensure that your site loads at a speed and consistency that visitors expect, and watch out for bad practices that could cause your site to receive penalties to site ranking can be extremely beneficial.
A good SEO consultant won’t just focus on improving your site’s ranking in search engines, but in quality traffic generation as a whole.
After all, the more traffic your site generates, the more likely it will receive those quality backlinks and high authority points that lead to better search engine ranking.
Search engines are constantly changing their algorithms, and because of this, the tricks of the SEO trade are in a state of constant change. What worked in 2013 didn’t work in 2014, and definitely won’t work in 2015.
This can be an expensive proposition, and it is up to each business to determine whether or not the initial cost is worth the potential return a well-optimized site and content strategy can deliver.
An ongoing SEO strategy means doing a lot more than just setting your site up with the right metadata tags and writing content with the right keywords. It requires ongoing attention, especially when the site itself is vital to your company’s earnings potential.
A good SEO plan involves monitoring, analyzing, and responding to data regularly. Your site’s traffic, search trends in your industry, and even the tastes of your visitors should be taken into account. These often-changing factors are important to SEO as they can give you the leverage you need to stand out from your competition.
Google Analytics is an excellent place to start. By reviewing your site’s traffic reports, you can find out a lot about not only what pages in your site are most often frequented by your visitors, but what types of devices your visitors experience your site on, what areas of your site are underperforming, and where you can improve.
Google Webmaster Tools is another useful tool, making it possible to collect and analyze your site’s search query data, site links, content keywords, and more. Google Analytics alone can tell you about your traffic, but pairing it with Google Webmaster Tools gives you a more comprehensive view of the situation.
Not all backlinks are good for your site. A previous SEO firm might have generated backlinks through practices that violate Google’s current policies, or you may have a number of links from sites that you don’t want your site associated with by the search engine. In this case, you can disavow backlinks and have them removed from your site’s page rank consideration if requesting link removal from the offending sites doesn’t work for you.
Content management systems (CMS) can also have tools useful for SEO purposes. WordPress plugins such as Google XML Sitemaps and WordPress SEO by Yoast are exceptionally popular solutions to help you generate sitemaps and optimize your written content.
For more information on site optimization, as well as tips for improving website user experience, check out these articles: