Will you get more website traffic because you have an awesome website with all the important SEO elements or because of your own efforts with targeted social media and other marketing campaigns?
On the one hand, you need SEO because, well, Google. (If you’re unsure of what SEO is, check out our post last spring.) So let’s talk about SEO. In order to capitalize on SEO, you’ve got to take care of several important details. First, you offer a unique, top-notch product. Next, you make sure your website is attractive, your content stellar. And then you’re a social media rock star, actively participating on the big three platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), and you’re reaching out to influencers and sharing other peoples’ content. To top it off, you’re writing incredible content. All of this is being done in an effort to drive more traffic to your website.
So why does it sometimes feel like the traffic heading to your site is coming at a snail’s pace or that the traffic that does come doesn’t stay long, click on any links, or opt-in with your awesome freebies?
Two Types of Traffic
Generally speaking, there are two ways traffic comes to your site. There are those who land on your page because your site shows up in a search, but these searchers may quickly leave if they realize your site isn’t exactly what they need. This type of traffic is generally higher in number than the other type, which is targeted visitors—those who’ve been specifically sought out as would-be customers of the product you’re offering.
The first type of traffic: quantity. The second type: quality. Although thousands may visit your site in a day, the numbers won’t matter if visitors don’t click on your links, opt-in, or buy your product. But if only a hundred quality visitors come to your site, chances are they’ll do one or all of these things—and at the very least, they’ll come back when they see you’re exactly what they’re looking for. The ROI on quality traffic far exceeds the ROI (if there is any) on quantity traffic.
Using SEO to Drive Quality Traffic
Perhaps the best way to determine how to get those high-quality visitors is to review basic SEO practices and make sure they’re doing their job.
Know Your Keywords
Keywords are the words a user types in when Googling. For example, if a person is looking for a place to buy a book, they’ll probably type in “bookstore.” But if they’re looking for a specific book, they may type in the name of that book. These are the keywords Google recognizes, and if you’re the bookstore owner and want the search engine to find your site, you need to make sure your site has the keywords a prospective customer is likely to use.
Another consideration when using keywords is to include long-tail keywords, or phrases that more accurately describe what the person is searching for. Using the bookstore example above, if a searcher types in just “bookstore,” they’ll get all kinds of bookstores, but what if they’re looking for vintage books? A long-tail keyword could be “secondhand bookstores.” Using this long-tail keyword is an example of targeting your audience, because your ideal customer isn’t looking for new releases but rare, first-edition, old books.
So where do you put these keywords? In your website title and header, meta descriptions, and in the copy of your posts. This is what tells the search engines what your site offers and that your site is relevant to a searcher’s query.
That Content Bit Again
What’s a website without great content? It’s a business without a product. It’s nothing, I tell you! Content is key when you’re trying to reach not only more customers but an audience looking for your product (and even those who don’t realize they need your product until they find your site!). Let’s not leave keywords behind just yet. You can create content based on a keyword, but if you have content that’s already on your site, you need to determine how you’re going to make it match the keywords. You can do that by creating a content keyword map, as illustrated by Moz.
Also, be aware that your homepage keywords should be targeted to a broader audience that is looking for your types of products, but, as with the various products and services you offer, each subpage’s keywords will get more specific based on that page’s feature.
And now to the meat of your content: naturally, it should be relevant to what your company offers, but it also needs to be appropriate in length, updated regularly, and pertinent to what’s new and trending in your industry.
So Just How Long Should My Content Be?
As with the traffic you want coming to your site, it’s quality over quantity here in the content arena. Different kinds of content may be suitable to different lengths—for example, a blurb is short and sweet (but impactful and comprehensive), while blog posts and informational articles should be longer and offer the reader a more in-depth experience.
(We have an upcoming article that will teach you more about the appropriate length of different types of content, so check back soon!)
What Should I Post?
Ideas for content are everywhere! (Check our blog for our articles on what to post.) However, one thing that’s a must for SEO is that your content is new. “Fresh” content means you’re updating your site and blog with new posts and articles. You don’t have to update your site all the time, especially if the information you have on it is still accurate, but your blog is an ever-evolving content producer—at least it should be. When you post on your blog on a regular basis, search engines recognize that your site is active and maintained.
Should I Be Linking?
Yes! When you have content that relates to or adds to other content you already have on your site, link it so your traffic visits even more areas of your (awesome) site.
Backlinking, on the other hand, is a bit more involved. A backlink is a “vote of confidence” in off-site SEO where one site links to another. In other words, a backlink tells a search engine your site has quality content. Link building or link earning is how you gain a backlink, and that is done in a variety of ways, including building relationships with sites relevant to your industry or related to your products and services.
Should I Be Sharing?
Absolutely! Remember at the beginning of this post how we asked whether you should be concentrating on beefing up those SEO elements or being involved on social media to get traffic to your site? Yes and yes. You should be doing both because traffic comes from all directions. Just remember that more traffic doesn’t mean as much as traffic that actually stops.
Got any tips for our readers on how to get more traffic to their sites and blogs? We’d love for you to share them with us. The comments box is below!