Search engines are one of the most important sources of traffic to websites, whether you’re running a business website or just a personal blog. If you are serious about making your website or blog a success, you need to make the most of the search traffic opportunity. How can you generate free traffic of highly targeted customers and visitors without spending a bomb?
Why Search Traffic
Search traffic is vital for success of any website. It is potentially hard and expensive for websites or businesses to ignore search engines as a traffic source. Here are the main reasons why search engine visitor traffic matters.
- It’s a free source of website traffic
- Search is one of the starting points for most users
- In-market customers are looking for products or services
- Ability to capture a larger pie of the potential visitors/customers
How to Make the Most of Search Traffic
Everyone knows that search engines can be one of the most valuable, as well as free, sources of targeted traffic bringing new business and customers. However, to get the most out of search engine traffic, you need to rank high in search engines such as Google, Bing & Yahoo. Unless you are on the first page of search results for targeted keywords, you are unlikely to get much traffic from search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) of your website or blog will help you rank higher.
For the uninitiated, it is important to know that SEO primarily comprises of two components: a) On-page SEO, and b) Off-page SEO. On-page SEO is basically making your website and content more search engine friendly so that the search engine bots can find and index your website, articles and business information such as name, address and timings easily. Off-page SEO is basically the backlinks/hyperlinks to your website from other websites and social media buzz.
Contrary to the common misconception, it is fairly easy to optimize your website for search engines. All that you have to do is pay attention to details when creating and updating your website or blog. Here are simple steps to get your website listed in search engines and start ranking for your desired keywords and search phrases. As Google is the undisputed leader among search engines, our tips are primarily focused for the search giant. However, these tips are also equally applicable for all other search engines, including Bing and Yahoo.
1. Get Your Website Indexed by Search Engines [Free]
For any website, the first step to SEO is getting listed in search engines. Unless search engines know about your website, there’s no way for you to rank. If you have an old website, you can check if the website is indexed by Google by searching for your website URL and also using the search phrase “site:yourwebsite.com“.
Some SEO services charge a neat sum ($$) to just get a website indexed in Google. You don’t have to pay a single penny for this. If your website is not indexed by Google, you can submit your website directly using http://www.google.com/addurl.
A better way to help search engines discover and index your website is adding a link to your website on any website already indexed by Google. When Google search bots revisit the website, they will notice the link and crawl your website.
If you don’t have the option of adding your link to any established website, just share your website link on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. You should always share your website URL on social media as these are updated and indexed by search engines almost instantly.
2. SEO-Friendly Website Platform
When developing your website, choose for platforms that are known to be SEO-friendly. For self-hosted websites, WordPress is one of the most recommended website platforms. Not much of a web developer? If you need a zero-hassle website builder tool that allows you to easily create and maintain a website or blog without technical hassles, explore Wix.com.
Wix SEO tools are great for building search-friendly websites and optimizing them for best results. Wix allows you to easily create SEO-optimized websites using SEO tools and features. You can easily implement all the tips mentioned in this article without any effort when using the Wix website builder tool. It offers your SEO optimization options in the Editor, which you can add unique SEO titles and descriptions to every page of your website. You can optimize your images with Alt Text in the Wix Editor. In addition, you can benefit from SEO Wizard to for a step-by-step guide to improve your SEO. That’s not all. You can also make use of SEO apps to further optimize your website for better search rankings.
3. Optimize Website for Fast Loading
Lately, website speed has become one of the factors determining website search rankings. If your website takes too long to load, the visitor gets annoyed and leaves the website. It’s a matter of bad user experience. To ensure that you retain your website visitor and improve your search rankings, host your website on fast and reliable servers. Optimize your website platform scripts/codes to load your website faster.
Also, make use of website caching for dynamic websites. This improves the website speed as the users are served static files without the server having to collect information from database servers or compute anything. Get your entire website pre-cached so that even search bots are served webpages faster.
4. Know Your Target Keywords
Don’t shoot in the dark. For effective SEO, you must know what are the keywords that are being searched for by your target audience. Think of keyword research like marketing survey to understand your customers. Make sure that you have a list of targeted keywords relevant to your business as the first step of your website SEO.
You can find authentic data on search keywords/phrases your potential customers type in Google using Google Adwords Keyword Planner tool. You don’t need to actually run any advertisement. Just log in to Adwords with your Google account and use the keyword tool to discover the exact keywords your potential audience are typing in search.
5. Mind Your Website Content
Irrespective of what others say, your website is the best tool for SEO. Create your content with SEO factors in mind and you will be leaps ahead of your competitors.
Add the Right Title & Descriptions: The title and description of your webpage is what people see in Google search results. Make sure to optimize your title and description with the keywords that your customers/visitors search for. Your webpage title should be no more than 60 characters (including spaces). Next comes the site/webpage description, which is the short introductory text in search results. Within 155 characters, create a description with your primary keyword and add variants if possible. Make sure not to stuff keywords. Your title and description must be human-friendly.
Original & Informative Content: Your website must have the content that users are looking for. It should be created for by real humans and not for search engine bots. Make sure that your content is unique (not copied from anywhere else), easy to read, informative and rich with your target keywords and its variants. Do not randomly stuff keywords, but weave them into the article so as to retain the natural flow of the content. When creating content for your website, include your objectives, products and services accurately.
Add Images, Videos & Media: Make use of images, videos, and other supportive media in your articles. Always include at least one image in your article. Make sure that your image file has a descriptive file name with words separated by hyphens. Also, add descriptive image meta such as “Alt Text” and “Title”. Adding videos to your articles will enhance its quality. You can upload your video on video-sharing website such as YouTube and embed it on your website.
Search Rich Snippets & Schema Meta: Get to know about Schema.org meta tags. Adding rich snippets such as business name, address, review ratings, price, etc will help you get additional traction from search engines.
6. Keep Your Website Fresh
One of the least used methods of SEO by businesses is keeping their websites updated with fresh content. Don’t ignore the power of regularly updating your website. Make sure that you modify your website homepage content as often as possible. One of the methods of keeping your website fresh is to add a blog that is updated as often as possible. You can add informative articles on your website or business blog hosted on your website yourself, which means only time needs to be invested. Alternatively, you can hire a freelance write at a reasonable cost.
7. Informative Content Beyond Your Product/Services
Don’t just have a website that lists your products and services. Provide informative articles and resources on your website. It will help you draw search traffic for other related keywords. Another objective should be to add rich, informative content, visuals and infographics that get shared and linked to by other websites and individuals. Try to create a social buzz with such content.
8. Stay Active on Social Platforms & Online Communities
Never ignore social media. Post informative content and share resource links on social media to garner additional SEO support to your website. Try to get content and infographics that get shared by social media users. Staying active on forums and niche platforms related to your website will also add impetus to your SEO efforts.
In addition to social media, try to connect with bloggers and journalists related to your niche. You can offer guest articles and share news pitches/stories with bloggers and journalists. It will help you create a buzz about your website and often get you natural links.