Search engine optimization, or SEO, has become a huge priority for marketers over the last few years. It’s easy to see why — higher search engine rankings result in more traffic, more leads, and higher sales and conversions. But how, exactly, does it work? How does adding keywords to various site elements improve your chances of ranking well in search engines?

In the early days of the web, site owners could rank high in search engines by adding lots of search terms to web pages, whether they were relevant to the website or not. Search engines caught on and, over time, have redefined and as well refined their algorithms to favor high-quality content and sites. This means that SEO is now more complex than just adding the right words to your copy.

One of the most basic aspects of SEO is including keywords in your title and header tags, meta descriptions, and body copy. These keywords are what tell search engines what your site and pages are about, and show them that your page is relevant when users search for those keywords.

What is SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your online content so that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword. In other words, it is the magic you have to work on your article in order to make Google very likely to include your post as one of the top results whenever someone searches for that keyword.

Now that you know what SEO is, let’s consider how to drive traffic to your website using this tool.

HOW TO GET TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE VIA SEO

Optimise for your Readers, not Search Engines

First and foremost, write your buyer personas so you know to whom you’re addressing your content. By creating quality educational content that resonates with your ideal buyers, you’ll naturally improve your SEO. This means tapping into the main issues of your personas and the keywords they use in search queries. Optimizing for search engines alone is useless; all you’ll have is keyword-riddled nonsense.

So, your best shot is to please your buyer personas, and you’ll automatically please the search engines.

Blog or Post an Article Regularly

Blogging is perhaps the most effective way to increase your organic site traffic. It lets you go into more depth than your website allows and creates a large catalogue of helpful, persona-optimized content centred on your market niche. However, poorly-written, spammy or cheap content can do more harm than good. So, avoid it.

The truth is, search engines prefer sites that are “fresh,” or regularly updated. This means that you can’t just create a bunch of pages and then let them sit for months at a time, hoping that your site traffic will improve. Of course, if you are happy with the content on those pages, there’s no need to change them just for SEO purposes. Instead, consider starting a blog. Even if you only post once a week, this will show search engines that your site is being maintained and updated regularly.

Use Long-tail Keywords:

Don’t just go with the most popular keywords in your market. Use keywords that are more specific to your product or service. In time, Google and other search engines will identify your website or blog as a destination for that particular subject, which in turn will boost your content in search rankings and help your ideal customers find you. Remember, ranking on Google is about owning a sphere of influence for a specific niche topic. By focusing on longer keywords, you have a better chance of ranking well, and also attracting more qualified traffic.

Get Your Meta Down

The meta title, URL and description are the three key ingredients for an optimized web page or blog post. It’s simple but effective. In fact, all on-page SEO factors are important to get right, but meta descriptions and meta data means you can tell Google exactly what you’re talking about. But it’s not enough to just ‘install a plugin’, you have to work on each page in turn.

Use Social Media

Build a presence on social media networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook etc. All of these activities help to get your name and website address out on the internet. Add share buttons to your site to make it easy for people to share your content. And write content worthy of sharing. Until you’re perceived to be trustworthy via your contents, it would be hard for you to get more traffic to your website. So, ensure your content is value driven and top-notch.

Use Data and Metrics to Optimise Results

Use something like Google Analytics to track visitors to your site and blog. Being able to see where they come from and what keywords they searched for allows you to fine-tune your content. Ultimately, to increase organic site traffic, you need to give your customers what they want – quality advice, information and insight.

Encourage Incoming Links

Google prioritizes sites that have a lot of incoming links, especially from other trustworthy sites. Encourage clients, friends, family members, partners, suppliers, industry mavens and friendly fellow bloggers to link to your site. The more incoming links you have, the higher your site will rank because, quite simply, the more authoritative it becomes in the eyes of search engines.

Also, considering the fact that your site probably only spans one or two industries or interests, there’s a good chance that some of your pages, articles, and blog posts are related to other company’s blog posts or websites. So, you can link your content and theirs together.

Most importantly, make sure your site is readable. Keep your audience in mind when you’re writing content on your website. If you want people to visit your site and spend time there, speak in terms they can understand. Hence, the need to write your content in a way the majority of people can understand.

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