In the first post on SEO basics, we gave a simple explanation of SEO and went over the five key factors Google uses to determine search results. (The factors are intent, relevance, quality, usability, and context.) In the second post, we gave a basic overview of setting up your website for SEO success.
Today, we will further discuss improving your site’s credibility and driving traffic to your site.
First, let’s discuss backlinks. As we described in the previous post, backlinks are links from external sites to your site. They are important because they lend credibility to your site, which can boost your results in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Here are a few important things to consider about backlinks:
Links from domains that have some age are more powerful. It is not as beneficial to have links from websites that are a year old or less, because these sites may not be seen as credible or as legitimate as sites that have been around a few years.
Links from authoritative sites (.edu or .gov or links from HUB pages) may carry more weight. The number of links from domains and pages may also have an impact on the credibility of your site.
Diversity matters. If you have too many links from a single site, it can look like spam. Having links from a variety of sources is more helpful.
Location of links is important. Links within the first 100 words of a page can help in ranking, just like links included in content rather than a sidebar can be more helpful.
Quality over quantity. This concept always holds true, but it is also true when it comes to backlinks. You want sites with well-written content linking back to your website. In fact, links from sites with no-so-well written content can actually hurt more than help.
OK, so backlinks increase credibility and site ranking, but how else can you draw traffic to your site?
There are a few ways to increase traffic:
Blog. According to Hubspot, marketers who prioritize blogging efforts are 13 times more likely to see positive return on investment (ROI). Blogging is a great first step to increasing traffic to your site. Here are a few important things to keep in mind when it comes to blogging.
Create 10x content. Look at the content that is available for your topic, then create content that is 10 times better than the highest-ranking result for a given keyword.
Focus on evergreen content. Evergreen content is always relevant and doesn’t become dated. Creating evergreen content is a great way to improve search rankings and content quality.
Don’t underestimate the value of keywords. In fact, if you can only focus on one aspect of SEO, keywords are a good start. Short tail keywords include searches with only one word, while long tail keywords include searches with four or more words. While you don’t want to keyword stuff, it’s worth integrating keywords wherever you can.
Vary your content. While you want to focus on topics that are relevant to your business, it’s important to vary the content on your blog to attract different audience segments and drive more traffic to your site.
Write great headlines. Since the headline is the first thing a website visitor sees, make sure you have a great. Be clear about your subject matter to encourage visitors to click and keep reading.
Interview industry thought leaders. Interviews are an excellent tool to build credibility and drive traffic to your site. Not only are you sharing expertise with your audience, but you can also tap into the thought leader’s audience, which can expand your own network. This is a great way to collaborate, build community, and grow your own traffic.
Utilize online directory listings. If you haven’t already, start using online directories today. Platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, LinkedIn, Bing Local, Yahoo Local, etc. are crucial to helping your audience find you. Make the most of them by taking advantage of all available features. For example, on Google My Business, you can create posts just like you would on your blog or social media pages. You can also add offers, updated your hours, define your services, view and respond to reviews, and much more. Make sure to keep directory pages updated at all times!
Start email marketing. Email marketing is a great way to communicate with your audience and regularly distribute links to posts, which will drive traffic to your site. When sending emails, keep in mind that the information included should be valuable and useful to serve your audience rather than to sell products.
Regularly post on social media. You probably know how important social media is –it is a great way to drive traffic to your site! Share your content on your channels. Use hashtags and engage with your audience. Don’t post and ghost! Make sure you spend time liking and commenting other posts and channels. And, don’t forget about LinkedIn! Many people forget about LinkedIn!
Write guest posts. Just like interviewing thought leaders can bring new traffic, writing guest posts can do the same by expanding your reach. Guest posting is a great way to network and to offer value to a different audience.
Send press releases. You have great stuff going on! Don’t forget to share it. Press releases are another great way to get the word out about your business and brand, while also bringing traffic to your website.
Consider paid advertising. While we have mostly discussed ways to drive traffic organically, it is also worth considering paid digital ads. Ads through social media, display ads on sites relevant to your business, or retargeting ads are placed in front of people who have already visited your site once and may be likely to return. A well-planned ad campaign can be a great way to increase your site’s traffic.
Now that you have a plan to increase credibility and drive traffic to your site, make sure you have a way to monitor your traffic analytics to see what’s working and what isn’t and adjust your efforts accordingly.
Be sure to check out the next post on SEO basics for more information about measuring success. If you have questions about your website, give us a call. We can help!