There was a time when using SEO to drive traffic to your website was the only way to be seen online. While online marketing strategies have evolved with new technology, almost all online marketers still believe that if you can master search engine optimization (SEO), you truly have the Aladdin’s lamp as far as making money online goes.
The problem is that this is a very technical process and the rules keep changing. Because of this, you can never truly get a lay of the land. Google keeps changing their algorithms, coming out with updates, giving slaps and penalties, etc. Even the top SEO companies that charge their clients a lot of money often find it a very challenging process just to keep up with Google.
Yes, you want your website to be visible to the search engines and using SEO to drive traffic to your website does, indeed, work. But it’s not something you should completely depend on. Many marketers have seen their incomes dry up overnight because of a Google update that wiped all their sites off the rankings.
3 Tips to Using SEO to Drive Traffic to Your Website
If you have a WordPress site, install the usual helpful SEO plugins such as the Google XML sitemap, the Yoast SEO plugin, or the All In One SEO plugin. Ensure that your titles, meta description, tags, etc. are optimized.
If you use images, make sure the keywords are in the alt tags; make sure you actually fill in the alt tags. Google doesn’t look kindly on images that don’t have any kind of description and a good SEO plugin will remind you to do so.
Quality Content First and Foremost
There was a time when marketers would aim for some magical keyword density and hope for the best. In the past few years, Google has made a point of informing webmasters and marketers that they favor websites with content created for visitors, not the search engines.
Truth be told, this is how it should be. You must create content for your visitors. If you do that, your blog or website will have a higher visitor retention rate. Google will pick up on this and rank your site higher.
I can’t stress this enough: it’s your job to create awesome and useful content for your visitors, not search engine bots. This may seem counter-intuitive but it works. In fact, that’s how Google and the other major search engines want it when using SEO to drive traffic to your website.
Do keyword research using a keyword tool such as Keyword Titan, Long Tail Pro, or Market Samurai and target keywords that have a low keyword competition score. Your chances of ranking well for these keywords will be much higher.
Too many marketers focus on keywords with intense competition and they fail miserably. They scoff at the keywords that have about 200 searches a month. Just keep in mind that the keywords you use must be relevant to your website or blog; and most certainly must be relevant to the posts you publish.
If you are a beginner online marketer, by focusing on 50 keywords with only 200 searches per month, you are looking at about 10,000 visitors a month. That is a sizeable amount.
You should also look for long tail keywords you can incorporate into your content.
Use Backlinks Properly in Your SEO Strategy
No article about SEO would be complete without talking about backlinks. Yes, backlinks are still crucial; high quality and related backlinks. Marketers often think that linking to a bunch of websites, regardless of their relevancy to their own, will boost their own site’s ranking. Just the opposite is true. In most cases, Google just ends up penalizing the site and you’ve only wasted your time.
It’s the quality that counts, not the quantity; quality begets quality.
Some savvy marketers even set up link wheels and private blog networks (PBN) to try and game the system. Sooner or later Google always catches up and that never ends well.
If you’re using SEO and backlinks, stick to a few proven tips.
Aim for 100% unique content that is good.
Never use duplicate content on your sites.
Do not overdo the keyword optimization; keep it natural.
Use a variety of different link anchor text. Don’t only use your keyword.
Your backlinks should come from niche related sites.
Make YouTube videos and link those to your sites.
These are just some of the SEO tips out there. There is more you can do to improve your SEO efforts.
The best tip for using SEO to drive traffic to your website or product is to do what you need to do in order to be SEO compliant and create excellent content. That’s more than enough. Then you can take the time yourself to learn the ins and outs of SEO. Or, if you have the resources, leave it to the experts. Regardless of how you do it, always remember that SEO matters.
Build your backlinks slowly and use other traffic generation methods such as guest posting and social media to help with traffic generation. With time, your site may rank for many less popular keywords and you will see increased traffic.
Your mantra as far as SEO goes is that you will do your best to comply but don’t spend all your time or money on it. Just do what needs to be done as best you can. The more you learn about SEO, the more tweaks you can make to your website and posts. This will come over time so you need to be patient. Slow, steady, and consistent wins the day when playing the SEO game.