I have been making unsuccessful websites for years. These were hobbies used only as a creative outlet. However today, I believe that all people need a professional looking online space that is their own. A place you can own, develop and promote in your own vision.
However, in order to generate visitors to your website you must understand SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). This is the only constant in the world of digital marketing. Therefore with more people creating websites and more people becoming SEO savvy, it has become more difficult than ever to generate traffic.
Here I am sharing some of the tips and strategies I have learned over the past year and found to be highly effective.
Tip.1: Get Creating
You must have interesting content that will act like your fishnet and capture your audience. Therefore whatever your idea for a website, you should have a blog section. You will see that most websites do. A study from HubSpot shows that on average, businesses that blog will get 55 per cent more website visitors than those that don’t have a blog.
Your content must be high quality and valuable, so include images, video, podcasts etc. websites that are frequently updated tend to be ranked higher by search engines, and this, coupled with all the benefits above, should translate to an increase in traffic.
Tip.2: Use Backlinks
Backlinks are hughely important to your websites ranking, and better ranking means that people searching for information are more likely to find your website.
A Moz study analyzed Google’s top 50 results for nearly 15,000 keywords. The results showed that over 99 per cent of these sites had at least one backlink.
Don’t use dirty tactics however. Take time and review Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, especially the section on hidden links and link schemes. Violating the guidelines could actually be detrimental to your ranking.
If you are offering high value content people will want to share it on social media and other blogs using your backlinks.
Tip 3: Use Citations
More citations in more places means higher likelihood of people and business of finding you and boosting your traffic.
Importantly your websites ranking is influenced by the overall number of citations, how accurate they are the domain of the websites they are listed on.
With a better ranking, your website is made more visible by search engines. This will increase your traffic.
A survey from BrightLocal found that 90 per cent of local search experts believe accurate citations are important to your local search ranking. When your citations are consistent, and listed on high authority sites, the search engines will consider you more trustworthy, which should boost your ranking.
Tip 4: Make it mobile friendly
A high proportion of online traffic takes place on mobile devices. So if your website doesn’t function properly or loads slowly on these devices you will lose out on a lot of traffic!
Data from Google shows that 53 per cent of mobile website visitors will leave your page if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
If your website is clunky, has poor flow and presentation on mobile devices, people will get fed up and move on. Google will then recognize that your website is not performing well on mobile devices, your bounce rate will increase, and your dwell time will go down. These will have negative effects on your websites ranking and your traffic.
Therefore your website needs to be responsive with a design that adapts to any device. It should work as well on mobile devices as it does on a desktop.
Tip5: Optimize keywords
Keyword research is one of the most important factors in SEO. No matter how good your content is, if you do not get this right, your traffic is going to suffer and therefore so will your sales.
First things first: chose your target audience. Then you need to research the words and phrases your audience searches for that relates to the products and services your business offers.
However you need to be as specific as possible with your keywords, but not choose keywords that are too difficult to rank for. For example you are a new shoe retailer in London and you use keyword “Shoes”, it is not likely to make much difference for you.
That word would be way to competitive to rank highly for as an unknown retailer. Also most people searching “shoes” may just be looking and not necessarily looking to buy anything.
However, for example using “winter boots in London” may be more specific to your business and would be easier to rank for. People searching may be looking for where to buy boots in London. Don’t forget if you want to rank for a certain phrase or keyword you need to create content based on that term.
There are plenty of tools to help you with keyword research, and while these tools provide a wealth of knowledge, such as how difficult it’ll be to rank for each keyword, they’re going to cost you.
However, if you’re just trying to find some related keywords, the easiest way to do it is to do a Google search for a relevant keyword phrase, scroll down to the bottom and look at the related searches.