The Latest SEO Strategies for Increasing Site Traffic
SEO is always changing and might seem like it’s always getting harder. One thing’s for sure: It takes constant work and improvement to stay on top of the Google results pages. And that’s a great way to get traffic on your site. After all, 75 percent of searchers don’t even look past the first results page.
In this article, we’re diving into a few of the latest SEO strategies for increased site traffic including an SEO audit of your entire site, evaluating your link profile, and optimizing for one of the latest Google algorithms, RankBrain. Take a look at our tips and let us know in the comments below if you’ve found something we missed. Let’s get started.
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Complete an SEO Audit
Auditing your website will show you where something might have gone wrong and is consequently keeping your site from showing up on Google search pages where your customers can find you. A comprehensive SEO audit might show you that you’re on the right track but there could be room for improvement.
Even if you don’t find any major issues, SEO takes constant work and refinement, and an audit will show you where your time is best spent. Here are our tips for completing an SEO audit on your own site:
- Determine the accessibility and indexability of your site by manually checking for restrictions on any important sections of your site through your robot.txt files and meta tags.
- Check for broken 404 error URLS and use a 301 redirect to send visitors to a relevant page on your site.
- Update the XML Sitemap with any new pages you have recently added to your site.
- Evaluate your site speed and eliminate any variables that are slowing things down.
- Check all content pages to make sure:
- They offer original, engaging, and valuable information.
- They are properly formatted with H2 tags, short paragraphs, and have moderate use of bold, italics, and bullet points.
- They contain relevant internal links and authoritative external links for citations and sources.
- They are optimized for SEO keywords without keyword stuffing.
- Duplicate content is eliminated.
- Ensure all images have ALT tags with keywords.
- Add title tags and meta descriptions to all your site’s pages.
- Optimize all URLs for search engines. For example; URLs should look like this: www.yoursiteexampleurl.com/blog-post-title, instead of this: www.yoursiteexampleurl.com/blog/2016/post-1458
- Evaluate your site’s security level and upgrade to SSL encryption.
Find Link Building Opportunities
Along with conducting your site’s SEO audit, you should check your link profile. Your site’s link profile will include outbound links and backlinks. Outbound or external links are when you link to another authoritative site to back up something you’ve said or to source some bit of information. Backlinks are when another site trusts one of your pages enough to link to it from their own site.
Link building is essential to getting your site on the first search engine results page (SERP) and increasing your site traffic. When you link to authoritative sites and high-quality sites link back to your pages, you increase your credibility in Google’s eyes because you’re showing that your content is trustworthy and valuable to readers.
The hard part is getting trusted and authoritative sites to link back to you. Keep in mind, gaining a ton of links in a short period of time is a big red flag as that is nearly impossible to accomplish organically. Never purchase links and don’t use quick methods to gain multiple links from the same domain. Here are the best link building tactics to grow your link profile, increase your placement on the SERPs, and improve your site traffic:
- First, evaluate your link profile and eliminate any on spammy websites that have linked to you.
- Fix any broken links in your profile or links that don’t direct to a relevant page.
- Create high-value resources and top-funnel content such as:
- Ebooks and tutorials
- Engaging visuals and infographics
- Interactive pages like calculators, quizzes, and tools
- Long-form blog posts
- Original research and case studies
- Promote your content on social or through outreach efforts to relevant sites.
- Earn links by the promotion of your brand through events, exclusive offers, imagery and logos, or interviews.
- Find unlinked brand mentions and ask the site owner to add your link. Potential examples include:
- Company mascots and logos
- Company-sponsored events
- Mentions of your CEO or other employees
- Old or misspelled brand name mentions
- Proprietary research and publications
- Unique product and service mentions
- Contribute useful content to high-authority websites. This can be done in many forms, including:
- A guest blog post
- Contributing a quote or answering a question
- Participating in an interview
- Scan Wikipedia for dead links or citations and claim yours.
Optimize for RankBrain
Last but not least, an important SEO strategy to increase your site traffic is optimizing your site for RankBrain. Google’s latest algorithm update and ranking factor, RankBrain, is an artificial intelligence system. It uses algorithmic machine learning to learn how users phrase their searches and to update its algorithm automatically. Machine learning is likely going to dominate SEO trends from now on.
RankBrain learns what your site’s pages are about and how they relate to the terms people are actually searching on Google. Its goal is to ensure every SERP fully satisfies the user’s query. Ideally, it makes your content easier for users to find without having to stuff your pages with specific keyphrases. Although the strategic use of backlinks and keywords are still important, intent and the experience you provide the user is now more important than ever. So how do you optimize for RankBrain? Here are our tips:
- Improve your organic click-through-rate by perfecting your title tags and meta descriptions.
- Don’t stuff keywords into your content.
- Write copy that flows naturally.
- Decrease your bounce rate by improving load times and writing valuable content that fully satisfies the user’s query.
- Write compelling introductions that hook readers into your story.
- Get to the point and don’t write fluffy content.
- Break up large paragraphs and use H2 tags to make your content easily scannable.
- Ensure your site is mobile friendly.
These SEO strategies are certainly not the only tactics you should consider to increase your site traffic. You’ll also find that some tactics won’t result in an immediate traffic bump, but will pay off over time. Just keep refining and working at it, because as we all know too well, SEO is a never-ending story.