Traffic building is like an elephant in the room that everyone knows exists but they’re too uncomfortable to talk about. It’s often debated upon, rarely discussed, discussed in small bits and seldom delved into, in its entirety. This was precisely the reason I took to writing about this subject, covering all aspects, the challenges faced and how they can be resolved; thus leaving no stone unturned.
Every organization, big or small, faces this issue and most often than not, they don’t know what to do about it. Traffic is the blood that helps businesses function. While a brick and mortar outlet can get eyeballs with relative ease; when it comes to online traffic for your website, it can be quite a tough ride.
Online traffic generation can be a cumbersome task because the competition to get rankings is literally ‘cut throat’. Okay maybe not literally, but it’s definitely too high. In this race of getting rankings and visibility, small businesses and new startups often feel baffled and cheated since they big boys get away with hefty online marketing spending.
But it isn’t as bad as it looks either. There’s always a way around things and so here I am writing this guide. The scope of the subject being vast, I have decided to divide it into volumes where I will be touching upon all possible aspects in separate volumes.
Chapter I: How To Increase Organic Searches – Part I
Choose Keywords Diligently:
Choice of Keywords is the basic and the most validated consideration that a business should make. While all the frills and fancies can wait, keywords can never. They were important, are and will continue to be. But yes, the focus has shifted from the typical short highly competitive keywords to the long tailed low competitive ones. All thanks to the Hummingbird update.
What is also important in the content of keywords is the volume that you’re working on. Opting for a large number of keywords will help you gain more visibility. Moreover, if a few are taking a while to rank, you have a bunch of others where you’ve got your hand up for others to see.
Recommended Keywords Researching Tools are:
- Google Keywords Planner
- Bing Keyword Research Tool
Create an On- Page Optimization Checklist:
Use the following checklist to optimize your page. Just in case you thought you could pick and choose some and let other be, they work best when done inclusively.
- Your content is relevant, high quality, authentic and populates to a minimum of 1000 words per piece.
- The page headline of the content should include the target search phrase.
- At least one of the sub-headlines includes the target search phrase.
- Keeping in mind that the content should be reader friendly at all times, try to incorporate the target search phrase anywhere between 3-10 times within the body of the content piece. However, don’t overdo it since it may land up being spammed.
- Use of relevant images to make the target search phrase clearer and the content more presentable.
- Ensure that the “Alt and Title Tags” of the images use the target search phrase.
- Content is engaging with helpful links and resources so that people find it worthy of being shared.
- For location based optimizations based on specific countries, states, cities, regions, etc. ensure the locations are mentioned somewhere within the page or maybe the footer.
- There is no respite for poor grammar or spelling errors. You’re making yourself a joke for people to laugh and scorn at. So check and double-check and triple-check for such errors. You can use grammar checker tools for this task.
- Ensure including social media links to these pages since pages having higher activity are preferred over static ones.
Recommended ON-PAGE SEO Checklists
You could alternatively use an MS Excel or a Basecamp to keep yourself organized and stay focused, though the latter is recommended.
Content: The More, The Better
It may sound cliché but I just can’t seem to hold back saying this when we talk about content. You can never have enough content for your website nor can you ever run out of room for improvements on the existing ones. Moreover, having a good piece of content is incomplete without a strong and compelling Call to Action (CTA). It’s like you managed to bake a lip smacking apple pie and didn’t care to plate it!
Now the possible questions that could be raised are:
What should be my content strategy if I have a company providing services?
If you happen to offer services, write about your services and the related areas of your services in your company’s blog section. Doing this you are not only highlighting your offerings but also providing your readers and potential consumers valuable information on how your services can be helpful.
What if I am a blogger?
Focus on the quality and value of information you’re providing and don’t confine yourself to word limits. For bloggers, it works best when you let the thoughts flow since it’s usually your experiences and helpful guidance you’re sharing.
I have an e-commerce website, what should my content strategy be?
E-commerce implies multiple products to focus on and to ensure traffic the best strategy to adopt is to have unique descriptions and content for each product. Remember; never use the product description provided by the manufacturer or the supplier because it has been used by many and it clearly makes no sense repeating it.
However, you could add value to your product pages by hiring professional writers to write descriptions and reviews for the products and encourage customers and visitors to add their reviews too, by offering them free giveaways.
What content strategy can my local business have?
It’s advisable here to focus on your services and develop content around it, explaining them in details, the benefits of using the, other aspects related to your business. For instance, if you have a boutique then you could be talking about the fashion industry, the textile industry, women, fashion trends, local markets etc.
Link Building: You Path to Getting Rankings
A lot of the link building hype is actually a hoax. Link building is an established process that helps create networks and therefore roots a business’ presence and validity.
There are always a few in a crowd of people whose presence creates a fuss but that doesn’t mean you can look onto all of them with the same glasses. Similarly, link building was under the screen because of the approach that a few people wanted to take a shortcut o success, which isn’t possible.
So long as activities undertaken by a business, justify the norms of link building, they can never be wrong; in fact they have a big pay off. I suggest businesses use ahrefs.com to evaluate their competitor links and devise a plan for how they would go about building their links. Here’s what you need to look at to plan your links:
- Type of TLDs
- Do Follow/No Follow – %wise
- Country Wise
- Site Wide or Not Site Wide
You can get the above information for free from ahrefs.com and it should be enough to help you understand how many links you needs to target. This information will also help you gauge how much competition you need to wade through and beat your competitors to reach beyond them.
To help you build an action plan for link building, I have listed a few considerations that you may want to make:
- Focus on the Relevant Sites only. You already have enough to break your head over so only concentrate on the sites that matter the most. Don’t waste your resources on non-thematic sites. Remember Penguin?
- Anchor variations are done on page level and are required to be optimized so that the links look natural. Variations are necessary however any of the anchors overdone implies you’re inviting trouble for yourself. That ink might just be spammed.
- Page variations are done on the domain level and specially need to be looked at by small businesses that always look at promoting their homepage and forget working on the others. This is often the reason that their site end up being spammed because only one of their pages is promoted.
- Invest time in planning activities and moves on social media since it’s a powerful catalyst for link building. Businesses active in social media have an upper hand as compared to those who don’t.
- Bonus: Attribute time in improving your page quality. No matter how good your links are, if you don’t have a good page quality, you’ll have a low CTR and high Bounce rate and this is bound to affect your rankings negatively.
Link Sources: How to Build Links?
Link building requires careful and meticulous planning taking into account the nature of the business, its target audience and the goals that need to be achieved through the activities. It does get cumbersome and time consuming, but spending a little time on strategizing link building pays.
Now, there are numerous places to get your backlinks from, like content curation sites and social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, You Tube, etc. You can also take the help of query generator tools by GuestPostLabs and BuzzStream to search high relevant websites for building links.
Jon Cooper has provided a comprehensive list of link building tactics in his blog “Link Building Tactics –The Complete List.
Quality content is a time-tested way to get links. Using high quality relevant images, videos and informative infographics can help you create the “Push” Effect in achieving links. For instance, Techmagnate has had a few posts with infographics that went viral on Facebook, Google+ and ScoopIt, like:
But it’s not infographics only, which do the magic; informative blogs that add value or provide more insight into an issue can also get you viral and land you back links. For instance, some of Techmagnate’s non-infographic content that went viral on Social Media were:
So there is no formula in being successful with link building. It’s a mix of activities like posts, graphics, infographics, videos, presentations, etc. that need to be undertaken to get it right, keeping quality the topmost priority throughout.
The above factors mentioned are all equally significant and none can be compromised. When done well, these factors together help you achieve rankings and most importantly organic traffic.
With that we come to the end of the first part of Organic Searches. Do let us know your takes and opinions. If you have experiences to share or queries; nothing like it. We’d love to get some more thoughts to add to this piece.