Simple but efficient marketing strategy that could make or break your online business.
You may be asking yourself, why should I put in extra effort to drive traffic to my site? So long as my site looks good and my product is great, I will eventually be found. Being findable on google means nothing unless you rank well. Remember to use our free SEO Checker when in doubt!
According to SEO industry leader SEMRush, (we love the product, this is an affiliate link):
“71.33 % of searches result in a page one organic click. Page two and three get only 5.59 % of the clicks. On the first page alone, the first 5 results account for 67.6 % of all the clicks and the results from 6 to 10 account for only 3.73 %.”
If a site launches but you’re not taking steps to make sure it ranks well, it doesn’t matter what you’re selling; you’ve failed as a marketer. And as new businesses know, time is money, and there is no better time than today to make every single online marketing effort you make count.
Whether you are managing your own site or delegating these tasks to an SEO services company, these tips are infallible!
1- Give Your Audience What They Want (with Content Marketing)
Easier said than done! It is not easy to create text that makes sense to both man and machine but this is in essence what SEO is, and is pivotal to your content strategy. Long gone are the days when it was enough to cram your site with keywords and let search engines do their thing.
Google’s hummingbird algorithm has completely revolutionized the way we think of search engine optimization. Danny Sullivan (Chief Content Officer at Third Door Media, and co-founder of Search Engine Land) says of Hummingbird’s semantic search:
"Google said that Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query—the whole sentence or conversation or meaning—is taken into account."
In short, engines are getting closer and closer to reading our websites less like bots and more like humans, understanding nuance and intent.
This means that the best way to please the search engines is to please your audience. This is both a blessing and a curse, as the old tricks that were efficient as little as 5 years ago are now obsolete. So is everyone right, is SEO dead? Far from it!
- Craft your content to read naturally and with your audience in mind by making sure you’re answering a question that is being asked by them, such as “How do I launch a website that will rank well on google” and take it from there.
- Remember to be specific; no one is going to stay on your site to learn something they can find anywhere else. Make sure your content is deep and comprehensive, not vague. Content should be answering a question that your target audience is asking. “How to, What is, How do, How does, Why do, Why does, What did” etc.
- Be specific, give examples, but most of all be empathetic to your audience and user concerns. If you write content with your audience in mind, with a few technical tweaks, SEO will follow organically. And google will know ;)
- Most websites will benefit from a blog. It is easier to be found online if you have fresh content that is relevant to your product or services.
- Important: Before writing text on your website or blog posts, make sure to understand how and what people search for. For your website you should undergo a professional keyword research and analysis.
2- Optimize to Make Your Content Crawlable - Give your Google Ranking a Boost!
Google is getting closer and closer to thinking like a human (scary, isn’t it?) but that doesn’t mean the technology is quite there yet. To please search engines and help them understand our content, we have to give them a little help.
Take the time to find the best focus keyword for your post. Make sure it’s specific to your topic, and consider going for a lower competition keyword.
And use long tail keywords! Google’s “searches related to” function is helpful in finding these words.
Do not forget to keep in mind search engines prefer sites whose pages have at least 2k words, there is plenty of data to back this up. It makes for a more interesting user experience and also provides Google and Co with more data to understand what it is you represent.
Consider that search engines may be able to read your text, but they cannot sense tone. Think of your headers as your voice. When you tag a text as a header, google knows you’re raising your voice and saying something is important.
Check all your title tags:
H1: Use only one, describing the topic and answering user intent, in 20-70 characters with one focused long tail keyword (see explanation below). The H1 should be short and give the user a clear idea of what the article is about. Use the same titles for your title tag and h1.
H2 & H3: Include Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords. LSI keywords are words relating to the subject of the article. They are closely related to your main keywords. They work like synonyms!
Your focus keyword should be on several places (H1, some of H2 and running text), but you can use long tail keywords or phrase match keyword for one or the other. This is a great way to naturally rank better for long-tail keywords.
Important! Do not perform keyword stuffing, your keyword strategy should not be artificial nor hinder the readability of the text :)
What are Long Tail Keywords?
Long tail keywords are phrases made up of various words that are, in combination, more specific than traditional one word keywords. Because they are more specific, long-tail keywords get less traffic but it is more targeted, higher-value traffic. Yoast does a fantastic job of explaining the value of keyword competitiveness in this article. All of this not only helps your audience digest your content more eagerly and readily but it also helps Google, Yahoo, Bing et al to understand the structure and nature of your content. It’s a win-win! Make sure to get a professional keyword research and analysis before you start.
3- Keep Website User Experience (UX) in Mind
Be sure that your website ux is not just designed with the look and feel of the emotions you want to convey to your audience, but also make it super intuitive to navigate.
We often see beautiful websites that do an amazing job of the first point and then create veritable headaches to the user when she or he is trying to find a specific product or piece of information.
Understand what your audience is looking for when they come to your site and give it to them as quickly and as easily as possible.
It may sound obvious but if you beta test before officially launching (which we highly recommend you do), you’ll be surprised by tester feedback. It is easy to overlook the simplest things!
Reading on a screen is not the same as reading a book!
Be very wary of writing long blocks of content; break down every article into its smallest parts.
Use lots of media (e.g., infographics, screenshots, videos, etc.) with simple, visual-driven content. MailChimp is a stellar example that demonstrates a fantastic double whammy of emotionally driven design (who is not completely enamoured by the cheeky monkey mascot?) and user based usability. Everything is intuitively where you would look for it.
Think of trying to make something as easy as scrambled eggs in a buddy’s kitchen; you will be hard pressed to find all the utensils necessary for the task.
Your job is your website manager is to make sure your users intuitively know where to find everything and can scramble those virtual eggs as effortlessly as possible!
And please remember that what’s good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander. Cramming all the information sitting on your website onto your mobile site is reckless; it is extremely different to navigate on a smaller, more limited screen. Your site must be optimized for search engines in terms of gadgets, from most used PCs to mobile phones and tablets.
4- Boost Traffic and Encourage Clicks (by Making your "Meta Descriptions & Titles" Compelling)
Meta descriptions and meta titles are what your audience reads first when they find you in search results; it is the snippet of text that shows under websites’ title and URL in Google’s search engine results.
Meta descriptions are important. Even if they’re not a true ranking factor from an algorithmic perspective, keep in mind that the more accurate this description is, the better a potential visitor will be able to gauge if your site is relevant to his or her needs, so it is vital to keep this keyword-focused as well.
Remember that there is no point in driving traffic to your site just to have visitors immediately leave, raising your bounce rate
If people don’t know exactly what they’re clicking on when they read your meta description, chances are they’ll quickly keep searching elsewhere.
Each page on your site should have its own meta description describing exactly what it contains, and each description should read naturally - no keyword stuffing here… nor anywhere!
Google Meta Description Update 2018
After Google told us to make our meta descriptions longer just some months ago, they've now changed their mind... again! The ideal length is back to between 150 and 170 characters. If you have a site with a lot of pages like product pages or blog posts, we won't advise you to go back and rewrite all the meta descriptions. But for the most high traffic / high converting pages, we suggest you do! Check this article out from Yoast for some really interesting further insights!
5- Spread the Word!
Now that you’ve taken the time to research, outline and put together your website’s text to be SEO friendly, don’t forget to spread the word!
Social Media marketing is your friend! Remember that the best way to drive traffic towards your website is to share your links as far and wide as possible (but not on dubious websites :). Your social media followers crave information relevant to your brand!
To spread the word, this means that you should:
Be sharing your content on the usual suspects such as facebook and twitter, but...
Don’t overlook other social medias that may be more specific to your industry. Instagram and pinterest are killer mediums for design and fashion businesses, but B2B models will greatly benefit from having a regular linkedin presence.
And don’t forget one of onlineKarma’s useful tips: share on google+ and Google MyBusiness! Despite the fact that it may not seem like the sexiest social media platform, Google will always prioritize its own products before others, and will show your google+ posts almost immediately after you hit publish. Don’t believe us? Give it a crack and be amazed!
Remember that if you're delegating these tasks, it's important to work with a white hat SEO agency.
Another great strategy is to contact influencers about posting a link to your site. If you’re writing valuable content, get in touch with bloggers whose blogs cover your topics.
Don’t be pushy but certainly don’t be shy here; the wait and see approach will not get you very far in building links. Often, just a couple of links to your site will have a tremendous effect on your site’s ranking.
6- Analyze and optimize your Content
What good is pouring your heart and soul into building and maintaining the perfect site if you do not know which of your online marketing efforts to ditch and which to nurture?
Keeping tabs on your analytics is a must, and you must be prepared to accept that some of your best ideas may not be the most prolific. See which of your pages receive more visits, and how long these visits last.
Find out what your target audience looks like, from a demographics perspective. What do people search for when they find your site? And see where most of your traffic is coming from: you may find that you’re spending most of your time posting on social media but most of your traffic is referred from influencers, or vice versa. Remember that:
Digital marketing is an ongoing project that can change drastically within a short period of time, so it’s important to keep an open mind and tweak whenever necessary.
Checking google analytics is vital to understanding your users’ experiences.
There is no point in posting on social media without first seeing when your target audience is online.
Any questions, anything we missed? We are always excited to read your comments and we answer every questions.
Want to get professional online marketing help to improve your search engine ranking and generate more relevant klicks? onlineKarma is your Swiss SEO Services provider since 2009.