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How to Use Search Engine Optimization to Increase Your Website Traffic

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

Did you know that 51% of all website traffic comes from organic searches? Organic search refers to unpaid results that appear on a search engine's results page after the consumer types in a question or keyword.

Organic results are generated based on search engine optimization (SEO) factors. If you want to get quality traffic to your website, you need to have an SEO strategy.

Keep reading to learn how to use SEO to increase website traffic.

Build a Well-Designed Website

Building a well-designed website is key to increasing website traffic. If you have a relatively new site or a large one, you need to create a sitemap.

Sitemaps provide search engines with the data they need to crawl and index website assets, like video, audio, and site pages. Popular search engines like Google and Bing have sitemap generators.

To appear in search engine results, your website needs a sitemap.

Your website should encourage visitors to go through your site and share your content.

If you are selling products, it's best to spotlight a few optimized product images. If you are running a blog, link your latest posts to the homepage. These actions appeal to search engines and visitors.

A well-designed website should distill a website down to relevant keywords and the site name, as this is what appears in the search results. Choose the site name carefully to attract the right audience.

Don't underestimate the importance of an attractive website. If you aren't visually keeping the attention of visitors, they will leave and probably never return.

It's essential that your website looks professional and attractive at the same time.

Focus on a Topic

Search engines exist to point visitors to correct and authoritative results. If you're an expert on a particular topic, your website needs to reflect that.

For example, if your website focuses on cooking or sharing recipes, your content should be focused on food.

Specificity is key when you need to boost website traffic. Leaning into what you bring to the table can help your overall web presence.

A focused topic makes it easier to pick keywords for your website. Keywords are the main words that lead visitors to your site. To use keywords property, take your website's elements and summarize them into SEO-friendly terms.

Use keywords in the following places:

  • Articles

  • Images

  • Videos

  • Podcasts

  • Site URL

  • Meta descriptions

  • Header tags

You can access the backend of your website and place the terms into the keywords fields if you are using a website builder. You can also edit code by placing keywords in the HTML.

Optimize keywords to match people's searches. If your website sells car insurance, then "car" and "insurance" are basic keywords to consider. Use backup standard keywords and long-tail keywords for more specific searches.

A long-tail keyword example might be "most affordable car insurance" or "car insurance for used vehicles."

You can find potential keywords with Google's Keyword Planner tool. Don't make your keywords too obscure.

Create Quality Content Consistently

It's one thing to have content creation in your SEO strategy, but you have to be consistent with it to utilize search engine optimization.

Content quality is a huge factor in SEO. Your blog should answer questions that visitors and customers frequently have. Blogs should go in-depth with information and not just be rambles.

The major search engines prioritize websites with content that is fresh. Come up with unique ideas and don't just copy and paste content from a different website. Search engines will penalize websites that do this.

High-quality and original material goes a long way. Updating your website consistently will also boost SEO. This could be in the form of new products, articles, etc.

Visitors won't keep returning to a website with anything new to show for, they need a reason to return.

Off-site links are also necessary to establish valuable website authority. Search engines look at links to your website from other trusted sites, including links that come from social media networks.

You can't get off-site links artificially. You have to know your stuff and put that knowledge on your website. This should be fairly simple because you should know everything about your business.

If you post any information that visitors need and enjoy, your website will gain SEO traction over time.

Repurpose Old Content

Creating quality content consistently is a big ask for any website. Luckily, you can repurpose and refresh your old content to help minimize the workload.

Your existing content already has authority and might have an established readership. Instead of creating a new post, boost an existing post's performance by updating it with new information.

You don't need to do this with all of your content. The best candidates for content refreshes are posts that are time-sensitive with subjects that are constantly evolving.

You also should repurpose content that is already getting some organic traffic but has real potential to gain more. Once you have posts that fit the bill, you can use these updating strategies:

  • Rewrite the introduction and conclusion

  • Research and write more content of value to the piece

  • Delete or combine weak sections

  • Replace outdated or irrelevant images

  • Update statistics, quotes, or facts to ensure all links to sources are less than two years olds

  • Replace case studies and examples with current information

Refresh the content you have regularly to ensure everything on your website is up to date.

Creative Attractive Headlines and Page Titles

Headlines and page titles are similar in that they are both ways to name a single website page. However, page titles are keyword-centric and designed to appease search engines. Headlines please visitors that click on the page.

Pages and headlines can have the same titles. You might have to experiment with your niche to see what works best for you.

Pro tip: Always make sure your page title and headline describe what the page is about. The content needs to reflect these components.

If content doesn't reflect the headline or page title that you've chosen, search engines will rank you lower because you'll be seen as a non-authoritative and untrustworthy website.

Optimize Images

Websites with bright, clean images make a website more inviting. Images can highlight the products you want to sell, keep readers engaged, and break up large blocks of text.

Images are an important piece to your website, which is why you need to take the time to optimize them.

To optimize images, you'll likely need to size them down. Keep images under a megabyte in size or smaller if the page is image-heavy already. Making images the right size will help your pages load faster.

If your website is slow to load, you'll not only lose out on website visitors, but search engines won't like it either.

Images also need proper Alt attributes. Search engines can't see the images you place on your site, but the Alt attribute will help Google categorize your images.

Write an Alt attribute for each image that describes what's in the picture. You'll only get a maximum of 125 characters.

You can use this image specification cheat sheet to help you choose the right sizing.

Reduce Website Load Time

Another way to get more website traffic with search engine optimization is by reducing your website's load time. Audiences leave sites within seconds if they don't load.

Think of it this way, if your website isn't loading in about three seconds, a visitor will move on to one of your competitors.

There are a lot of online tools that can test the speed of your website. For instance, Google offers Google's Test My Site or Google PageSpeed Insights to analyze site speed.

With these tools, you'll receive detailed information on how to improve load time. You might have blogs, images, or other website elements that are taking too long to load and causing an overall slow website.

Write Informative Meta Descriptions

A meta description, or snippet, is a small paragraph in your page's HTML code. Meta descriptions are important because they appear in search engine results underneath page titles.

A meta description is there to explain a page's purpose in-depth. You can write longer descriptions that won't fit into a page title. You'll have about 150 characters to work with.

This might seem like a good chance to throw in all of your keywords and reach more customers, but don't do this. Overusing keywords is known as keyword stuffing, and search engines penalize sites that do this.

It's best to write a meta description in simple language and include the main keyword you are trying to rank for.

Work on Your URLs

Your SEO strategy to increase website traffic needs to include URLs too. Search engines will consider the keywords placed in a page's URL as equally as they consider the keywords on a page.

If your website uses URLs that rely on numbered pages, replace them. You'll be better off using static URLs that are descriptive.

You can fix URLs through your website's backend by adding important keywords to the site's address. Search engines utilize informative URLs to rank your website.

Be as brief as possible and use hyphens to break up words in the URL rather than placing them all together.

Utilize Internal Linking

When other websites link to your website, you gain search engine authority, especially if the external websites are popular and trustworthy. These are referred to as backlinks, and you don't always have control over them.

In contrast, you have control over internal linking. You can link related posts to drive visitors deeper into your website. Link an anchor text to words that visitors click to move them from one page of your website to a different one.

Use internal links sparingly for the best results. They should be natural and not forced into your content. Don't place multiple links in one paragraph, otherwise, search engines dismiss it.

Before internally linking, make sure the link you are using works. Broken links make it seem as if you ignore website maintenance which will result in a penalty from search engines.

Create Videos

Adding videos to your website is a great way to catch user attention. In fact, 79% of people would rather watch a video than read about a product or service.

Creating videos that are optimized for SEO can increase website visitor engagement and increase organic traffic.

Google recently started ranking videos from any website. Before, Google only ranked YouTube videos from the Suggested Clips section.

To help increase your visitor numbers even further, you can use the videos you create to launch a YouTube channel for your business. YouTube is a popular video site on the internet and is a great social media platform to utilize.

To drive organic traffic to your website from your YouTube channel, optimize videos for both Google and YouTube. Much like you do with other aspects of your website, you need to use relevant keywords in your video:

  • Title

  • Description

  • Meta tags

Include transcripts of your videos on your website to help search engines index your video content. This makes it easier for consumers to find your videos in search results.

Boost Website Traffic Now!

If you've seen a decrease in website visitors lately, utilizing search engine optimization tactics can help boost website traffic. SEO takes time to bring in results, but organic traffic is essential to the success of any website.

If all of this seems like a lot to you, don't worry! You can hire a professional agency that offers the SEO services that you need.

Contact us at Karben Marketing for help with a website SEO strategy!

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