Any website, from an e-commerce store to a business blog, desires more organic search traffic. The more people that find your website on Google, the more opportunity you have to convert more leads, sales, email subscribers, social media followers, etc. — whatever your conversion goals are, more organic traffic will always help.
So, you want to increase your search traffic — that’s not the issue. To do that, though, you need to understand SEO. Online competition is getting more intense by the month now, as more companies are shifting their focus 100% online.
The global pandemic has forever changed the business landscape.
Restaurants are now focused on delivery and curbside pickups — and some are even ditching costly restaurant leases to operate out of shared kitchen spaces and ditching the in-person dining concept entirely.
Brick and mortar retail stores are now selling online, both on their websites and on third-party marketplaces like Amazon and Walmart. Traffic is the main ingredient of the business success recipe these days.
Google is the main search engine, and it’s not even close — Bing and Yahoo are such an afterthought that many businesses don’t even focus on optimizing for them — being found on Google will typically mean you’re going to be found on all of the others as well.
When it comes to SEO, time is money, and you want to see noticeable spikes in traffic as quickly as possible. What if I told you that you could experience a nice healthy uptick in Google search traffic in just 30 days by focusing on eight fairly simple search engine optimization tips — would that be something you would be interested in?
Of course you would, and it’s very possible to see a nice traffic increase in under a month when you know where to channel your time and effort.
These tips can be implemented immediately, helping you to increase your organic search traffic, which can then be converted into leads, sales, customers, clients, etc. You aren’t going to convert anyone if they don’t know you exist online — so let’s jump right in.
Increase your organic search traffic..
Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly in Terms of Actual Usability (Not Just a Passing Score)
For the past several years mobile-friendliness has been something that all SEO blogs have talked about, and they all include a link to Google’s mobile-friendly test tool found here. You would think that receiving a passing score was it — make sure your website passes and you are good to go.
Not so fast. While you want to make sure your site passes and is viewed as being mobile-friendly by Google — its algorithm considers this — you also need to make sure it’s usable on a mobile device.
What do I mean exactly?
A real human user needs to be able to navigate your website, find the information they seek, complete forms, complete orders, get directions, quickly find contact information, etc. Just because Google says your website is mobile-friendly that doesn’t mean it is in the real world.
No test or tool will give you a real-world mobile test score aside from the technical aspect. Sure, Google might tell you that it loads quickly, that text appears to be sized properly, and there is enough space between objects.
Get as much feedback from real users as possible. Create a survey and provide an incentive for your users to complete it — offer a discount or roll out a contest for your social media follower and email list. Find out what parts of your website they love on mobile and what they find to be annoying or an inconvenience.
With so much traffic stemming from mobile devices these days, you need to make sure your website provides a great user experience if you expect your traffic to convert.
Publish Content That Answers the Questions Your Users and Customers Are Asking
The previous ways of finding keywords to create content around and rank for is outdated and simply doesn’t work. Sure, it might help your traffic numbers, but if you don’t approach it correctly you’re going to attract generic visitors that have no intention of buying or converting, as they found your website via a generic search term.
Let me lay out a simple example so you understand what I am talking about. Let’s pretend you are a plumber and your business is located in Los Angeles. You service a large metro area, so you want to pull in traffic for a wide range of topics related to the plumbing services your business offers.
Targeting and ranking for the keyword “plumber” would bring you an incredible amount of traffic, but that traffic isn’t going to necessarily be looking to hire a plumber, let alone be located anywhere near Los Angeles.
Instead, a keyword like, “how to stop sink from backing up” is a question that someone is going to type into Google search when they have a problem and need a fast solution. Writing a long-form blog post about this, and optimizing it for your location, while also adding schema markup to the post, will help it be found by consumers in the local area.
So, not only will this keyword targeting approach help you pull in potential customers local to your business, but they will be seeking specific services that you offer. This type of website traffic will convert at a much higher rate than generic traffic.
You should be able to easily come up with a list of commonly asked questions about the services or products you offer, but if you are struggling, you can turn to a resource like Quora to look for question ideas.
Using Google’s autocomplete feature is also an easy way to see what kind of questions are being searched for. Get creative, and start search queries that begin along the lines of “How to … niche … problem” and see what is shown.
The great thing about the autocomplete feature as well as Quora is that all guesswork is eliminated — you know with 100% certainty that people are asking these questions. Creating content based around them will not be a waste of time or resources as there is an audience out there actively searching for this information.
Interlink Aggressively & Link Out to Authority Resources and Websites
Think of how much more traffic your website would pull in if every page on your website received an extra 20 – 50 visitors each month. This number will scale according to how large your website is, but for a blog with 500 pages, this could equate to 10,000 to 25,000 extra visitors per month.
That is a game-changing amount of traffic, and when you see how simple this strategy is to implement you are going to kick yourself for not doing it sooner. Run all of your pages through Moz’s Page Authority checker and see if any specific pages have a significantly high PA score.
These are great pages to link out to pages you want to push up higher in the SERPs, as they will pass some of that authority and boost those pages. Interlinking is something you want to do regardless, as the same principle applies — helping to pass a little bit of authority.
In some instances, a few internal links can make a big difference and move the respective page(s) up a few positions. The impact is greater the closer to the top, and the traffic difference between position five and position three can be ten-fold.
You also want to make sure to link out to an external authority website at least once per page/post. Google likes to see this and it also helps the algorithm determine what your website should be ranking for.
Rule of thumb: only link out to websites that you would love to receive a link from in return. Avoid spammy, questionable, and overall low-quality websites.#
Conduct an On-Page SEO Audit
This carries over from the previous point — pointing some extra internal link juice at your pages can help them rise in the SERPs, and quickly, but only if your on-page SEO is perfect. There is absolutely no reason that your on-page optimization shouldn’t be 100%.
But, most websites slack when it comes to this because they don’t feel it matters and they don’t want to take the time to do the little things. When you are spending the time and money to publish content you need to give it the best shot at ranking.
Even if the on-page optimization only accounts for 5% of the total picture, that is still 5% that you can be sure to have in the bag. Also, since many websites are lazy it can give you a big advantage and position you on top of other businesses. Take advantage of their laziness.
If you have a large website this may seem very overwhelming, but the sooner you get the backlog clear the easier it will be moving forward. Once you do the audit once you can make sure the on-page SEO is perfect before even hitting the “Publish” button on future content.
You can use tools like Screaming Frog if you have a massive site, or simply manually audit all of your posts and pages on a smaller blog using a free plugin like Yoast. There aren’t deep dark secrets when it comes to on-page SEO — it’s fundamental and very transparent.
Monitor Google Search Console to Help Guide Your Link Building Effort
I see a lot of link orders, as my agency’s specialty is link building — from à la carte authority links from the biggest publishers to guest post campaigns, we build links for businesses in every niche imaginable.
One mistake I see often is buying links and only pointing them at the homepage, or even worse, pages that aren’t optimized for a particular keyword and pages that serve zero purposes in terms of lead generation, sales, or any other measurable conversion goal.
Your link building effort needs to be strategically mapped out and designed to push specific pages, each optimized for a specific search term, up in the SERPs. While you can do your research and find keywords to target, sometimes lucrative opportunities exist and you don’t even know it.
By constantly monitoring your Google Search Console data you can see what search queries are responsible for showing your website, and more specifically what pages on your site, in the organic search results.
Look for pages that are showing up on pages two and three, as well as the bottom of page one, and then build some links containing those search phrases. You never want to go too heavy on exact match anchor text, but one or two links won’t hurt and can push those results to the top quickly. When you replicate this strategy at scale it will explode your organic traffic.
Again, you know with certainty that the terms are triggering your website to be shown in the SERPs and in what position because Google is telling you. This isn’t third-party software “guessing” — this is factual information that you can act upon for huge traffic gains.
Replicate Competitors’ PPC Titles and Copy in Your Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
A very common misconception is that ranking in the top few spots organically will automatically mean increased traffic. Yes, you will see an increase to some degree, but you still have to focus on attracting that click — you’re not the only option each potential visitor encounters.
Even if they don’t scroll below the fold, and you are in the top few positions there are still other visible options. How can you attract more attention, and therefore more clicks? Your page times and meta descriptions need to make a statement or provide an answer to a question that the individual is attempting to answer.
Look at the pay-per-click results for the keyword you are trying to rank for and see what ads are ranking on top. Monitor this over a week and if the same advertiser is still on top that means their ad is performing well enough to support the bids and cost-per-click for that top spot.
Then optimize your page title and meta description based on that PPC ad. This is a way to benefit from copy that has more than likely been tested without having to spend the time or money yourself.
Think of this at scale. If you have 100 blog posts and optimize all of your titles and meta descriptions using this strategy and each post now receives an additional 50 visitors a month it translates into 5,000 monthly visitors in total. Little changes and improvements at scale make a huge difference.
There is one key takeaway from these tips that should stick out — none of these tips require you to spend a single penny. Yes, they can all be done for free, costing you no more than your time and a little effort.
While things like link building require a healthy budget to compete, these tips are just as important, if not more, as they are the backbone of any SEO campaign. A business can buy links all day long, but if the above-mentioned tips are ignored their results in the SERPs will be marginal at best.
When you address everything I outlined, and then mix in authority links, you attract more traffic volume, and as long as your offer is aligned and attractive, you will see increased conversions as well.