If you’re a publisher, blogger, or a 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 need to be cognizant of how web traffic affects the success of your online business. One way to drive tons of free google traffic to your website is through employing SEO tactics.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process of optimizing/tweaking web text, images and videos in order to get traffic from “free”, “organic”, “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines.
Why is it important?
Web traffic comes from many sources such as social media, paid advertising, direct traffic, other websites, and search engines. Out of these online marketing channels, the best way to generate a plethora of ‘free, unpaid traffic’ to your website or landing page is by optimizing your webpages for search. In a study conducted by a content marketing firm BridgeEdge, they found that organic search drives more than 50 percent of all website traffic.
Optimizing the content of your website affects how search engines algorithms view your website and the position they place it on their index. The more visible your content is to these algorithms, the higher your website ranks on Search Engine Results Page(SERPs). The higher a page or content ranks, the more traffic it receives.
What are the factors that Google use to rank websites?
According to Brian Dean, one of the most world’s sought-after SEO expert, Google uses over 200 factors in ranking websites. Three factorsworth noting here are on-page factors (e.g. use of keyword, quality of content, content length, internal links and outbound links), off-page factors (e.g. no. of domains linking back to your site, social mentions, domain trustworthiness) and site-wide factors (site map, mobile friendliness, page speed, webmaster tool integration).
STRATEGIES AND TACTICS TO OPTIMIZE GOOGLE RANKING USING SEO
Getting to know who your target audience are is incredibly important. Knowing about the specific characteristics of your ideal customers including geographic, demographic and psychographic variables can help you come up with a good digital marketing strategy. Knowing their interest, values, influencers can make it easier for you to come up with an accurate list of topics and keywords for your target audience.
Keywords are the terms you input in the search bar when hunting down information on the cyberspace. When you prime your content around words and phrases that people search for, your website can rank higher for those terms. Keyword research starts with brainstorming which basically entails coming up with a rough draft of relevant, popular and frequently used keywords in your niche. From there you can go and run your keywords at AdWords Keyword Tool, Moz’ Keyword Explorer, SEMRush, SimilarWeb, Keywordtool.io, Google Suggest and/or Urban Suggest. Once you have your keyword list, the next step is analyzing which keywords are worth the content and optimization effort. Lastly, conducting competitor analysis is also essential in order to avoid duplication and see what’s missing from there in order to create a better content than those in the SERPs.
The best way to build trust among your target audience is by creating well-researched, highly helpful content that answers user’s queries. Google places a lot of value on providing users with relevant and helpful results; something reflected on their mission statement: “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Moreover, another way to optimize your content is creating compelling title for people to click through. When it comes to keyword density, it’s not as strong factor as it used to be and according to the founder of CopybloggerBrian Clark, a keyword density greater than 5.5% could find you guilty of keyword stuffing in which keywords are excessively shoved to the web page’s meta tags, visible content, or backlink anchor text in an attempt to gain an unfair rank advantage in search engines. This is considered webspamor spamdexing and Google could penalize your page.
- Sitemap: A sitemap is a list of pages of a website. It’s a simple, yet effective way to let Google know of the number of pages on your website. This makes it easier for Google to index your site.
- Mobile Optimization: Since more and more people access the world wide web through their mobile devices, Google made mobile friendliness one of their ranking factors. Today, having, or failure to have a mobile friendly site is surely bound to affect a website’s rank.
- Page Speed: How slow or fast your pages load have a great impact on whether users skedaddle, or stay on your website. If your server location is further away from a user, pages will load slower causing a greater bounce rate. To avoid this, you can use a Content Delivery Network.
- Webmaster Tool Integration: Augmenting your site with the webmaster tool, i.e. submitting your sitemap, verifying your site, and using the webmaster tool to monitor your site and implement tips tailor made for your website can alsosignificantly affect your page rank position.
Link building is the aspect of getting other pages (preferably quality and relevant sites) to link back to your website content or pages. Google 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’s mission statement.
Although at first glance SEO might seem overly complicated and you may feel like optimizing your google ranking might require the services of a highly paid SEO expert, I hope that this article made you realize that you no longer have to buy into that misconception. Best of luck in your ranking quest!
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