The essence of any website is to get people to read it and take action on whatever you want them to do. If you have a website then you already know the importance of web traffic. Web traffic is to Internet marketing as location is to real estate. It’s the only thing that really matters. If you cannot generate targeted visitors to your site, you will not make any sales.
There are two ways to get traffic to a website. Free or Paid ways. Website traffic is driven by pay-per-click ads, social media, search engines, links on other websites and other traffic methods.
The best way to get free natural traffic to your website is to get your website on the first pages of the search engines. Millions of websites are competing to get attention on the same topic and the only way to outrank the competition is to optimize your website to get ranked.
Search engines look for different variables in order to rank websites. Search engines look at content, performance, authority, user experience amidst other variables. Top internet marketers use something called Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to make sure their websites have what the search engines are looking for.
So search engine optimization or SEO is a process of telling the search engines that your website or blog is relevant enough to be ranked at the top in their search. So the objective of SEO is to get natural traffic from the search engines.
No body knows exactly the full variables the search engines are looking for. Only the search engine staffs do. This is kept a secret or else everyone will be playing dirty tricks just to outrank the one another.
But its a known fact that the search engines are looking for real unique content that is relevant to the search keyword a user is looking for. Search engines use the main topic of a page amongst other things to determine if the description is relevant to the search.
Search engines uses bots or crawlers to search database based on the keyword a user is looking for and then look for the most relevant page for the search term. They have algorithm they use for ranking pages.
Many SEO experts divided the SEO analysis into 5 main segments and they are domain segment, link structure, page segment, diagnostic segment and traffic segments.
The main things we should care about are:
1. Unique Content
This is the most important part of SEO. Remember that the reason why their is search engines is to make it easier for people to look for information. Search engines want to give users the best available content for their search.
So in short they are looking for expert on that topic. So your content must be original and unique. Having duplicate content on your website only means that you are copycat. It means you copies from someone else and then you don’t deserve to be an expert in that field.
Your content must also be of high quality. Apart from duplicate content, low quality content is also bad for your website. Make sure you you have quality content across your entire website.
Google’s been very specific about this, that duplicate, low quality content in one area can harm you across your entire site. Be mindful of that.
2. Meta Descriptions
Meta description tag serves the function of advertising copy. It does not actually have an impact on the rankings of a web page algorithmically but it draws readers to a website from the SERPs and so, is an extremely important part of SEO.
Meta descriptions also increased click through rates in the search. Google can display up to a maximum of 160 characters, and this is a good opportunity to tell prospective visitors what your pages are about.
When people are looking for information in the search engines, they type a word or phrase and then they get results based on that search. That is called keyword or keyword phrase. A keyword, in the context of search engine optimization, is a particular word or phrase that describes the contents of a Web page.
Using keywords correctly throughout a page and a website can be critical when you are trying to improve search engine ranking as part of your Internet marketing strategy. Your keywords should be placed strategically in Meta Tags, headings, anchor text, alt attributes, and within the page content.
As much as you want to use these keywords, it is extremely important to remember that keywords can be overused and become detrimental to search engine ranking. Overusing keywords is an indicator of spam techniques and it should be avoided.
However, before you start putting together content for your website, you should do keyword research. Google’s AdWords Keyword tool is a common starting point for SEO keyword research. It not only suggests keywords and provides estimated search volume.
Website page performance is also one factor the search engines take into consideration. There are many things that make up page performance but most times when we talk of performance, we mean page load speed. Google for example also take notice of first byte (TTFB) and critical render path.
Time To First Byte (TTFB) is an absolute measure of the performance of your server architecture (or any overlaying CDN) under load. Measures how long after the client page request is made the first byte of data takes to return. That is time it takes a page to load when a query is made.
If a user click a link and the page is too slow to load, he simply hit the back button and returns to the SERP and click the next result he thinks is most relevant. Google can see that as the session is still exposed through the referral URL. It also knows the time the last referral URL was passed, revealing the order of, and time between, clicks.
For a slow-loading website page, this behaviour will scale across all results for which it has prominent listings and affects the website in the search. The website individual results will be demoted. The domain itself scores badly for “quality” and incurs another poor performance filter.
So page load speed is also important for SEO. One tool for measuring page load speed is the Google Page Speed tool.
5. User Experience
The time a user spends on that page and how many other pages on the site he visits tell how satisfied he is of the results. When a search engine delivers a page of results to someone, they can measure their success by observing how he engages with those results. If he hit the first search result, then immediately hit the back button to try the second link, this indicates that he is not satisfied with the first search result.
So Google and other search engines collect data like this and use this to judge the quality of their results.
6. Inbound Links
Inbound links quality and quantity is also one important factor in ranking websites. This is one variable Google use to determine the page rank of a website page or the entire website. Page rank also has an influence on the position of a page in the SERPS.
Inbound links are defined as links found elsewhere on the internet that direct users to your site only. It is the opposite of outbound links which start from your site and lead to an external site. Inbound links can be text and graphic based links. Inbound links contains a relevant keyword to your website. When a link incorporates a keyword into the text of the hyperlink, we call this anchor text.
Search engines calculate the relevance of a site to a keyword, they not only consider the number of backlinks to that site but also their quality. If backlinks are found on sites with unrelated content, they are considered less relevant. The higher the relevance of backlinks, the greater their quality.
So having relevant links from a quality high page ranked site using relevant keywords to your site really helps your site a lot. Places to build quality links are from directories, press release sites, industry related blogs. Most experts also suggest links from .gov, .org and .edu domains.
7. Content Freshness
The last but not least is page freshness. It is important that you keep your content relevant and up to date. Publish new pages regularly. Whether these are blog entries, full length articles, case studies, how-to guides, infographics or something else, you get credit for having a certain amount of relevant and high quality posts that is brand new.
Search engines especially Google measures all of your documents for freshness, then scores each page according to the type of search query. While some search queries need fresh content, Google still uses old content for other queries though. But the internet and the world changes everyday and so should be your content in relation to whatever your site is all about.
How to sign up on Fiverr in V1 is different from how to do it in V2. Imagine if someone landed on your page and saw the old sign up process. He would simply hit the back button. So keep content fresh and relevant. Update older pages. Older pages that get updated are also considered to be quite as fresh as brand new pages.
SEO is complex, but you can easily understand the basics. Even a small amount of knowledge and application can make a big difference. For the most part, SEO education is free and available on the web, including guides like this.
Combine this with a little practice and you are well on your way to ranking your websites in the search and making sales without spending much on advertisement.