Use SEO to increase website traffic

1. Interview/survey current or potential customers to figure out what keywords they use when looking for services or products like yours.

Start by asking your customers about their process to find you. What did they search for? Where did they search? Look for people who would fit your customer profile online, using in social media groups or chatrooms and ask for their participation in your survey. You may need to provide a small incentive such as a gift card for incentive. Aim to get at least 15 responses, as this will typically give you enough information to identify search patterns. Do not look at individual keywords. How they are searching (instead of what they are searching) will give you the right combination of keywords, modifiers, websites used, etc. Example: People tend to use best when they don’t know any brands yet to get a list. If you learn in your research that best CRO courses was a common keyword, you can then create curated lists in your content and include some of your competitors to appear in search results.

2. Use a keyword search tool like WordStream or Google related searches to generate new keywords.

Enter the keywords you gathered into keyword search tools to find keywords with high search volume and low competition. Enter in your keywords into Google Search and check the autocomplete suggestions and top results for how those keywords appear in content. Scroll down to Searches related to and note the related terms and keywords which appear more often.

3. Use a keyword tracker to organize and select top keywords for your content that match what your target audience would be searching for online.

Store all of the keywords from your search in a table or spreadsheet and plan your website content so that each page only uses one focus keyword. Use keywords in a natural, grammatically correct way. Avoid overstuffing keywords on the page or in the section, as this will negatively affect your SEO.

4. Place your primary keywords in your site's metadata by adding them to the page titles and meta descriptions.

Keywords should appear in the page title, meta description, headings, body text, page slugs, image title or alt text, and link anchor text. Make sure the meta description accurately summarizes the content and entices the reader to click your link. Your meta description will show up on the SERP and offers your readers additional context about your content. Website title names are often automatically added by Google in search results. Some companies choose to only keep this on their branded or main pages, like home page or about us page, while others put it everywhere.

5. Install an SEO checker like Yoast SEO to monitor the effectiveness of your changes.

These tools check your website pages as you edit them to ensure that you’re using your keywords correctly. For example, Yoast SEO will give you a green light on a page that is correctly optimized, an orange light if some changes should be considered, and a red light if it’s not good. Note that these tools do not guarantee a high ranking in search engines; only that you’ve employed effective SEO tactics on your pages.

6. Prevent Google's bot from crawling (and indexing) every page on your site.

Not every page deserves to be in the index. In fact, the more you have, the higher your crawl budget will be. It’s not good to increase this over time. No-indexing comes first at the page level, then once the pages are out of Google’s index, you can block them from being crawled in the robots.txt file. This helps keep users directed to key content that is desirable.

7. Build your internal and external link structure by hyperlinking your content to other content on your website and to third party websites.

Avoid using click here or similar phrases as the anchor text for links, especially internal links. The anchor text should be the name of the destination page or a relevant keyword. This makes it easier for readers to know whether to click on a link, and it gives website crawlers more context with anchor-rich keywords. Ensure that links don’t look like spam and have a clear differentiation between one another.

8. Update your website to keep content fresh and relevant.

Search engines prefer new content and content that is useful, which is indicated to them by multiple visits, clicks, and other metrics in their algorithm. Regular updates will help with what Google classifies as QDF or Query Deserves Freshness. This is more important for some sites and topics over others, like news sites or medical topics that update frequently. However, always make sure that you update any information that has changed or no longer applies.

9. Promote your content on other channels, including social media and third party sites.

Use opportunities for guest postings, reputable partnerships, and web directories to post content that links back to your site. Set up a blog to maintain an ongoing stream of content, focusing on the keywords in your Keyword Tracker table. Social media has an indirect impact on SEO. Leverage this by using keywords in your posts and in your profiles.

10. Set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor your website's SEO.