The Internet is the first place where people run their online businesses nowadays. The perspective of earning money online has pushed out the traditional way of merchandising. Why did it happen?
Online business is more convenient and safe.
However, it is not as easy as it seems.
The most significant challenge that people face during their online activity is website optimization. Yes, if you have never dealt with cyberspace, SEO will be a mazy thing to you. You know for sure that SEO is important for your website, but you don’t know where to start exploring it.
Well, this guide will give you a clue to search engine optimization and cover its basics. You will find out how to drive traffic to your site.
1. Pay Attention To What Your Target Audience Google
It is essential to understand what your target audience searches on the web. What inquiries people use to find the information, service or a product they need. Here is where SEO comes handy.
SEO won’t tell you what people ask Google, but it can help you to predict some inquiries.
But how to find out what the audience is looking for?
You can always scroll down the comments users leave on your website. Pay attention to what your customers request in their email pitch. In other words, note what words, terms or phrases the audience uses.
Let me give you an example of how to sort things out.
For instance, you are an owner of some hotel franchise located in Berlin. It goes without saying that the most frequently used users’ inquiry will be “hotel in Berlin.” Yes, that is right but what other variations might be used?
- “Place to stay in Berlin”
- “Accommodation in Berlin”
- “Berlin accommodation”
- “Berlin hotels”
As you can see it is not difficult to predict what inquiries your potential customer will put in Google. The next thing you will have to clarify is how your target audience discusses the topic you would like to promote in the search.
2. How Does Your Target Audience React To Your Topic?
We’ve already specified what inquires your customers would use to find your service. Now I would like you to take a look at some technical information on these keywords with the help of Ahrefs Keywords Explorer tool. The data you get will give you a better idea of how each keyword performs. I will proceed with the keyword “hotels in Berlin”:
What do we have in the screenshot above? The keyword “hotels in Berlin” has a good search volume number in Germany and not a bad one in the US and the UK. Other than that this keyword has a parent topic “hotels in East Berlin Germany” that could be an excellent fit for you as well.
If you need to get exposure to other related keywords, you can use keyword generator tool. This tool will provide you with the list of keywords that might be useful for you.
3. Search Suggestions on Google
One of the simplest ways to get more search suggestions is to see what Google offers you. The only thing you will have to do is to start typing a keyword and wait a second. There will be done by Google:
By adding the following letter, you will get some new inquiry germs:
Plus, you can always check out the related searches at the bottom of Google search page:
But you might want to get keyword insights with such metrics as keyword difficulty, search volume, cost per click value, clicks, and others. Thus, go to “search suggestion” report at Keywords Explorer tool:
4. What Can Social Media Tell You?
How to foresee what your target audience wants to read on your blog? What content is in demand?
The answer is simple – ask the representatives of your audience personally.
Unfortunately, it takes lots of your time and efforts. What’s more important, it doesn’t guarantee you any positive results.
What to do then?
Go to Content Explorer tool. This tool will be helpful.
Let’s see what is the most popular content for the keyword “Berlin travel”:
You can see that travel guides, photo collaborations, and video content catch people’s eyes. This is a signal for you. Now you know what direction to choose.
Social media channels, communities and forums can give you some ideas as well.
For instance, you can find many groups related to you search inquiries on Facebook:
You will find the insights for your content for sure!
Quora is another awesome place for your content ideas monitoring:
How does it work? See what questions people post and try to transform them into topics for your content. In this particular case I can already offer three blog post ideas:
- “Berlin VS Frankfurt or Where to Stay”
- “Berlin Travel Guide 2018”
- “Travel Across Germany Back in the 1920s”
I hope you already grasped how to handle with social media channels in terms of finding ideas for your content.
5. Keyword Intent
I would like to start with the types of searches. There are three main types:
- Transactional (the queries related to financial operations like “rent an auto in Berlin”)
- Informational (the queries related to getting some information like “museums in Berlin”)
- Navigational (the queries related to navigation throughout some place like “Berlin railway station”)
All these types of searches have a particular intent behind them. Your aim is to understand the intent based on the user behaviour. Search engine algorithms review the words and phrases people type in the search box and suggest users the results that fit the queries the best. And here are some examples that will help you understand what I am talking about:
When I type something like “stay in Berlin”, I will get a list of apartments, hotels and other places where I could stay for a night.
“Berlin guide” query provides with a list of travel sites offered by guides across Berlin.
6. Find Out How To Optimize Pages For Search
So, how can you optimize pages for search?
To optimize pages for search you will have to do a proper on-page optimization. Let’squicklyrecapeachstepofthisprocess.
You might have heard that content plays a crucial role in gaining traffic to your website. However, not every content is able to bring you traffic. That’s why you must produce high-quality engegable content only. Talking about content length I advise you to write posts of 2, 000+ words count.
Any URL must reflect the main idea of the information a certain page contains. Furthermore, don’t forget to add a target keyword you want to rank for. Let’s say, a travel guide across Berlin would have the URL ‘domain.com/brelin-guide.’
3. Meta properties
In order to help search engines identify the pages on your site, you should add a few features to them. The features I am talking about are called ‘meta title’ and ‘meta description’. Both of these features should include a target keyword you want the pages to rank for. Remember that a ‘title tag’ encourages users to click on it and go to the page with the relevant content. By the way, I should say that Google highlights the keywords you’ve pointed out in your search query.
Why do we need to separate our content with headers and subheaders?
This helps search engines understand a site’s structure. But what do these H1 and H2 elements mean?
H1 is the main title that represents a piece of content and it should include a target keyword you would like to rank for.
H2 title (subtitle) must be used for other paragraphs of a post. I recommend you to add long-tail keywords throughout these H2 subtitles.
Here is how the structure of headers should look like:
- H1: A Step-By-Step Guide to Berlin
- H2: What to See in Berlin
2.1 H3: Brandenburg Gate
2.2 H3: Reichstag building
2.3 H3: Fernsehturm
- H2: Where to Stay
3.1 H3: Hotel 1
3.2 H3: Hotel 2
3.3 H3: Hotel 3
- H2: Where to Eat
4.1 H3: Restaurant 1
4.2 H3: Bar 1
4.3 H3: Restaurant 2
4.4 H3: Bar 2
- H2: Conclusion
Following this structure you will help your target audience navigate through the post easier and search engines will be able to categorize your content.
7. Find Out How To Make Your Site Accessible To People And Search Engines
We can always predict human behaviour but it is almost impossible in case with search engine crawlers. Nevertheless, SEO is all about that.
You can surely hire a SEO expert who will help you with technical aspects of optimization. However, you have to learn some of these technical elements on your own.
Let’s consider them:
SiteMap And Robots.Txt File
It is extremely important to make a navigation throughout your site convenient even for search engine crawlers. Sitemap helps crawlers find all pages located on your site and index them.
Robots.txt file aims to direct crawlers to those pages that should (should not) be indexed on your site.
Loading Speed Of The Website
I am sure that nobody likes to wait too long while a certain website will be downloaded. And the statistics shows that up to 40% of the users leave websites if it takes more than 3 seconds for site to load.
Thus, you should optimize a website’s loading speed for sure. I recommend you to use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool for the purpose. This tool shows a current site’s speed and gives pieces of advice on its optimization.
8. Build More Links
Since the purpose of this post is to show you the ways of growing traffic, I can’t ignore another important side of SEO. It’s link-building.
Frankly speaking, there are many different link-building strategies that you can apply. Everything depends on the niche you are in. But I would like to introduce you two strategies that work like a charm regardless of the niche.
What is email outreach?
Email outreach is the strategy that helps people build business relationships that are based on a mutual benefit. Other than that it is an awesome way to build links.
I want to give you a brief step-by-step guide on how to do outreach correctly.
To perform outreach you will need something to introduce or offer your target audience. It should be some piece of content in most cases. The next step is to find website you could get backlinks from.
Go to Google and type your target inquiry. I want to continue with “Berlin guide” keyword:
You can see the list of posts that might be useful for your outreach. Now you should find backlinks the particular article has. Site Explorer will help you with this:
8.31K backlinks for that URL – what an impressive result! I advise you to filter the results by date to get the freshest backlinks for your outreach:
I decided to see how many opportunities I would get for the past year – 742 backlinks that is pretty good number.
The rest of the information you will need for outreach is personal email addresses and personalized email templates.
I think publishing guest posts is the most actionable and resultative way to gain backlinks. It works on win-win basis. You offer high-quality relative content to some blog and get a backlink as a reward. However, keepinmind a fewrules:
- Offerhigh-qualityengageable content
- Send your pitches to relative blogs only
- Target authoritative websites that generate lots of traffic
- Don’t forget to include links to other relative sources
I can assure you that if you follow the rules enumerated above, your chances to publish a blog post will be pretty high.
Over To You
I hope that you have got a clear idea of what SEO is and how it impacts the traffic growth. Don’t believe your first impression about SEO. No, it is not as difficult as you thought.
I am sure you will succeed in website’s optimization one day. But now I recommend you to follow these few principles:
- Optimize pages for specific keywords
- Do keyword research paying attention to keyword difficulty, search intent, search volume and other metrics
- Take care of site’s loading speed and its structure
That’s it. Now you are ready to optimize your own website. Good luck!
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