There are several things you can do to get more traffic from search engines to your website. There’s page optimization, keyword research, and building backlinks, just to name a few.
Where you rank in the search results for a search query determines your opportunity for traffic to your website. Even though the search engine algorithms which determine rankings change often, there are still tried and true SEO methods that are proven to help you rise higher in the rankings throughout these changes.
Here are the 10 best practices for SEO success resulting in Website Traffic:
1. Ensure that your website is secure.
Most people today are concerned with the privacy and security of the websites that they visit. A security certificate will ensure that your content is delivered by SSL (secure socket layer).
With SSL, your website will start with an “HTTPS://” instead of “HTTP://” and the little lock icon will show up next to the web address in many browsers. Some web hosts will provide you with an SSL certificate as part of your hosting package. You can also buy a certificate from a third party and connect it to your website. I buy my SSLs from Namecheap.
2. Add your main topic aka keywords, early into the content.
Including your keyword early on lets the search engines know what your content is about. This will tell the search engines that this term is important, which will help you rank well for this term. This is also important for a good user experience. When a user searches Google for an answer to their question, they like to know up front that the link they clicked will provide that answer. If the beginning of your webpage does not make it clear to the reader that it will provide the answer, your visitor will leave.
3. Use unique titles, descriptions, and content.
This lets the search engines know that your content is original material and can add further knowledge to the other information that can already be found on the internet about your topic.
4. Optimize your title tag for SEO.
Always include your main keyword in the title of the webpage.
People are usually searching for How-Tos or Ways To Do Something. It will be beneficial for your webpage if the title can incorporate those phrases (or similar) along with your keywords. But please, only do so if the intent of the webpage can provide what the title offers.
5. Ensure that your website loads quickly.
It’s important that you make your website load as quickly as possible. Especially with the advent of smartphones, loading time is an important ranking factor in search engines.
You can accomplish this by compressing the size of images, removing any unneeded code, and considering using a content delivery network (CDN). If you use a CDN, your website will be able to serve images and other media from servers that are close to your audience, thus cutting down on the loading time.
Many web hosts now use CDNs to deliver content for their clients’ websites. Talk with your web host or your web manager about this priority.
If you have a WordPress site, there are many plugins that help you speed up the loading time for your website.
6. Optimize any images.
You can do this by giving the filenames descriptive names. Using image alt text is also recommended so that the search engines can understand what images are present on your website. The alt text aka alt tag, should include your keyword. If the photo is under a subheading of your content, the alt tag should be similar to that subheading. Properly optimized images can boost your website rank.
7. Use internal linking.
The key here is to link to a main page on your site that has a topic related to the page you’re linking from. So, any smaller pages can link to a larger, authoritative piece. This will help to increase the rank of the more important page.
8. Write high-quality content that answers questions that your readers might have about your topic.
If you can answer a question in less than 1,000 words, that is fine. However, it’s worth noting that it’s important to be thorough with any answer, so you may want to write considerably more than this amount. Creating a rough outline of the content can help. List your title and then the subheadings you can write on.
Many of the highest-ranking pages include a thorough answer to a question. For example, if you were to Google search “how to tie a shoelace” you’ll find that the content is quite short yet offer multiple methods.
9. Build backlinks to your website.
Despite what you may have read online that backlinks are no longer important, please note that backlinks, when done properly, are still very important. They show the search engines that your content is valuable enough for other webmasters to link to.
When you first start your website, you may want to go slow when building backlinks. After a few months you’ll be able to ramp up your efforts.
With this strategy, you want to obtain links from other important websites in this field. Links from low-quality websites that accept advertising from anyone to any website are likely to hurt your search engine rankings.
Investing in a sponsored post should only be done so with a credible, authoritative website that has content that compliments yours or if the author of the site can write an article that is as normal as their usual writing but can also incorporate your business or product naturally.
Those with e-commerce sites should consider buying listings on online directories. Be sure to pick a directory that lists businesses similar to yours (geographical or product/service-wise) and check the quality of the directory.
10. Look at the user experience.
If you find that visitors are struggling to navigate your website or that you have a high bounce rate, which is when people leave your website after just a short time, take a close look at your user experience.
Perhaps your visitors aren’t finding the answers that they’re looking for, or maybe your website is broken in some way. See what you can do to improve the overall experience of your visitors.
Following these 10 best practices for website traffic will enable you to build a strong foundation for higher rankings in the search engines. The higher you rank, the more traffic you should be able to achieve.