Simple Techniques to Improve Website Traffic
I’ve written this article today to help create a simple action plan for your business website that (if followed consistently) will bring results. I’m going to teach you how to better optimise your current pages and then help give inspiration of how you can shout about what you do.
It’s important to say that the techniques discussed can be used by any business, regardless of size or industry. It’s known that even the world’s leading SEO consultancies still follow these basic steps for industry leading brands across the world. The place where the majority of sites seem to fall short of (in my opinion) is consistency and focus. It could be argued that this is down to not having an action plan?
So I’m hoping that this article will give you the energy to put the wheels in motion and make improvements to your website marketing and start driving more natural traffic
Step 1 = Relevancy
Step 2 = Authority
Step 3 = Growth
1. Keyword Research
For most markets, there are endless amounts of opportunities out there. Before you start writing your content you should do this activity because it will dictate your tone and the angle you come in at. When choosing keywords, you must be logical in many ways;
i. Can you write great content around this keyword that brings value to the reader?
ii. Is it (what I call) a “natural” keyword or a “artificial” keyword
a. A natural keyword is one that can seamlessly be worked into your content as it is. For example; “accountants in Lincoln” is easy to make a page relevant for. You can work it naturally into your content and not worry about splitting the work up.
b. An artificial keyword is one that simply doesn’t make sense on its own. For example; “accountant Lincoln” is pretty hard to naturally work into content without inserting a joining word, and by doing this you decrease the relevancy of the page ever so slightly.
iii. Do you think everyone will be targeting it?
Using Google’s free
Keyword Tool, (Note: Keyword Tool has now been replaced by the Keyword Planner) you can quickly get an idea of what people are searching for within your niche and with their “related search terms” section you can get a good idea on other opportunities and pages it may be worth writing for.
What you’re looking for (in my opinion) are the search terms that are less competitive but have respectable search volumes. You don’t have to always target the most popular search terms. Would you rather be seen for your efforts, or not be seen at all?
Take your time with Keyword research – it’s a vital part of website planning and something that should not be rushed.
2. Stay Focused
By now you’ll have a list of search terms that are worth targeting for each of your websites main pages.
Now, choose one or two focus keyword(s), but no more than that! Bear in mind that this exercise is strictly about focus to make it absolutely clear to both the search engine and the reader what your page is about.
The reason why I’m so strong tonged on this bit it because I still see this time and time again. People try to make a single page relevant for a range of keywords and quite honestly, you can’t! If you do then you risk your page looking very poor indeed and your content sounding shoddy.
When you have your two keywords identified and you’re confident you can naturally work them into your page, then dive into your content management system and work on the following areas;
- Meta Page Titles: This is your page title and seen within the search engine results page as the blue text and link. Keep this less than 65 characters and try work in your focus keyword along with your business name
- Meta Page description: this is your page description and if written correctly it will be what is displayed within the search results pages. Keep these less than 160 characters and make it punchy to entice people to visit your site
- Content Headers: Rather than just making your headers bold paragraph text with an increased font size, use Header tags (H1) and make sure your focus keyword is there.
- Content text: This is the content you choose to have on your page. I’d advise to mention the keyword naturally about 4 times, so it may be worth writing 200 words to allow this to happen
- Images: For any images you use on your page, it’s strongly advised to include an ALT Tag. Like the other elements, it helps the page relevancy for the search engines.
3. Speak Up! Draw Attention to Yourself
By the time you’re ready for this stage, your website will be ready to go. It will have a great design but also have some brilliant content that clearly defines your business and can help your customers or any other reader.
The next goal is to get it seen, and we do this for two main reasons;
- As it takes time for the search engines to bring you traffic, we need to go back to traditional and more manual methods to draw attention to your site and brand
- We need people to be aware of what you have to say to hopefully earn a link back by being referenced on someone else’s site.
There’s a few ways that you can do this from within your own business. Whilst on my travels I have found the following to be the most effective and helped build a handful of quality (but natural!) links that bring authority to your overall domain. The search engines then measure this authority against the relevance of your page and thus decide on your ranking.
- Connect to social! Content management systems like WordPress have extensions that automatically publish your content to your social networks to make sure your audience are kept up to date with your latest releases. It’s also worth reaching out to people and talk to those who are tweeting (for example) about your topic. You could even refer them back to some content you’ve published to bring even more value and an even better solution.
- Emails and newsletters can still be effective, mainly if you have a captive audience who have opted in to receive mail from you. Even with this, you need to be creative and informative. If you have recently written some self help articles then you can always send a notification to a selected number of your readers who may be interested in that topic. Alternatively, you could send it to everyone – but you may not get the best results and click through’s. You could use a self service like that of Mailchimp to send some emails and take advantage of their great reporting tools to monitor the results.
- If you have something worth shouting about then press releases (if done correctly) are often a great way to gain some attention. As an example; you may have just launched a new product, or you may have supported a local charity, or you may be holding a great event. All of these arte great things to talk and tell the world about. To start, make a full account of the event on your blog then send a carefully targeted, unique and summarised press release out so that bloggers and journalists from within your market see it. You could give this a go by using someone like PRWeb.
- Another cool trick is comment marketing. It’s a similar concept to listening out for tweets but I believe a lot more transparent. You want to keep an eye on popular blogs and in particular the ones that draw engagement from the audience. The, if you feel you can add value to the discussion leave a comment. You could even (like the social example) refer people back to a post you published on your own blog to raise awareness. Environments like UK Business Forums or LinkedIn discussion groups are a good place to start.
The goal today is to help you firstly increase the relevancy of all of your pages and then focus on building your brand through various online channels. By doing this, you’re looking to earn links by means of people referencing your content within their own website to help add value to what they have to say.
Building these types of links will increase your websites authority. The search engines should then start to trust you more and thus place you better within their results pages. This in turn brings more website traffic and this will only increase with consistency and doing more than your competitors.
I hope you found this article useful.