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4 tips to increase your website traffic – For free!

5 November 2015

Every website needs SEO. This is not an exaggeration or a sales pitch, it’s a fact. 44% of online shoppers begin by using a search engine. Even without basic optimisation, it’s easy for your website to be lost in the digital space. It sounds harsh and unbelievable, but consider that 75% of internet users never scroll past the first page of Google search results. You really need a plan to climb up the Google rankings.

Formulating a successful long-term SEO strategy is best left to a professional. If that is not a viable option right now, there are changes you can implement  yourself to get you started with your SEO journey. A plugin or module would allow you make these change, depending on how your site is set up. Let’s look at the most important factors you should consider.

Title Tags

Google wants their users to know what kind of content is contained on any web page. You specify this in each page’s title tag. This is the information you will see in the page’s entry on Google search results pages, as well as in your browser tab. The title tag is considered to be one of the most important factors of on-site SEO, Select the primary keyword for your business and use it here.

Let’s presume I have a company called Nuts About Bolts, a hardware store. You would want to look at also including a secondary keyword, and your brand name, as per this example:

Title Tag

Hardware (Primary KW) – DIY (Secondary KW) | Nuts about Bolts (Brand)

Tips:

  • Use your important keywords towards the beginning of your title tag
  • Keep it short and precise – a maximum of about 50-60 characters will appear from your title tag in Google Search results. so format your tag information for optimal visibility.

Meta Tags

In Google Search results, do you see the page description underneath the title? That information is retrieved from the page’s meta description tags.

Meta Tag

There is some dispute as to whether these tags influence search rankings (Google says it doesn’t, SEO practitioners say they do), but they do provide users with a relevant summary of the page content. For complete visibility, we would recommend that your meta description tag consists of around 150 characters (maximum 160).

* NOTE: For title tags and description tags, please use unique information for each page.

XML Sitemap

A sitemap is a layout of your site and all its web pages, and is created in XML format (extensible markup language). Search engines “crawl” these sitemaps and then know where to find relevant content when a user initiates a simple search on a search engine.

When your website has been completed, your SEO plugin should have the ability to create a sitemap. If not, there are hundreds you can choose from.

Improve Your Content

Your foundation has been set, and now you need to write better content for your site. Luckily tools like Yoast SEO (one of our favourite WordPress plugins) offers helpful advice when writing new content. You will need to:

  • Assign a “focus keyword” for your page / post
  • Insert title / meta description tags
  • Save the post / page as a draft first
  • Yoast Page Analysis details are now available

Yoast SEO - General page details

You’ll get a summary of what is helpful for SEO, as well as recommendations for improving your weak points (marked in red). The proposed improvements range from including more images (and writing tags for them), using your focus keyword more / less, including subheadings, or editing your content for ease of reading. You can see how this will improve the manner in which you write content to market your site.

Yoast - Page Analysis

Ensure that you fix most of those issues so that your page gets a green rating.

*NOTE Though it has always been available exclusively for the WordPress platform. the team at Yoast released a SEO Drupal module in late September of this year.

Closing

This was a brief explanation of the basics of optimising your site for SEO. An SEO company would go beyond this and create a detailed strategy to improve your search ranking within your specified niche. including identifying your most relevant keywords, more extensive on-site optimisation, link building and other methods to increase site traffic. Search engines are also constantly changing their algorithms to identify what content is unique and most relevant to their users, so SEO specialists have to keep up with every change before their websites get penalised.

SEO isn’t a fad , it’s an important tool to generate website traffic. You might be late to the party, but after implementing the above changes you’ll be on your way to being added to the guest list.