You’ve started a website, but you need more site visitors to know about your brand/business. Ranking high on search engines is tricky business. Here’s a quick crash course to help ease your way into this tricky world of SEO, where we share our tried-and-tested SEO tips to boost organic traffic to your website.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, refers to the steps taken to increase website traffic through non-paid (or organic) search engine results. SEO is one of the best ways to improve your ranking in search engine results pages, so that you can more easily be found online.
Think about how you are instinctively attracted to click the first few links when you are on Google. These websites are ranked higher on search engines, which provides them with greater visibility and reach online. More site traffic provides you with greater opportunities to convert leads into customers. Understanding SEO strategies and knowing how to implement them can help bring your target audience towards your brand.
Thus, identifying and understanding your target audience is the first step towards improving your website’s organic traffic. SEO is as much about understanding human behaviour as it is about search engines themselves. It is about knowing what answers people are seeking online, the keywords they are using and the type of content they wish to consume. SEO is about having knowledge of answers to these questions. This will allow you to build a bridge for the people who are searching for the solutions your brand offers online. (This is also why having a strong presence online is important for your business growth! Read our blog post to understand more.)
So…how does SEO grow my business?
SEO is one of the top Return on Investment (ROI) platform you can invest in to generate more earnings and growth. (Wait…another acronym?!)
SEO ROI measures the return or gain of increased leads and sales from your website as a result of an organic increase in site traffic from ranking improvements on search engines. SEO is a key component of inbound sales strategy, where new customers or sales come to you. The greater the thought and care you invest into your website and its contents, the higher the chances of returns you can obtain through increased brand interest and conversions.
Drop the strategies! How do I increase organic website traffic?
If you are a small business owner or someone who is looking to grow your brand organically, try some of these tried and tested SEO strategies to boost your site ranking. As a small web design and development company in the sea of bigger agencies in Singapore, we prioritise the use of SEO to help give us the opportunities to be noticed.
Here are some of the best practices you can apply for your website:
Create high quality content (and do it often)
To do so, we HIGHLY recommend for you to have a blog on your website. No matter what your niche is whether it is in fashion e-commerce or in the food-industry, having a blog can help direct traffic to your business organically. A blog is one of the easiest ways to create a regular stream of SEO content. In general, blog posts are more engaging and more likely to attract links than product pages, so they can be a great way to build some authority for your site.
To some of you, creating quality content might be an obvious strategy. Why would anyone drop their worst or mediocre content for people to see? When it comes to your website content, we do not recommend you to post content if you do not have anything of value to add or say. But who defines what the quality of content is?
The answer is: the search engine algorithm does.
This is where you start to think like Google. What does Google consider as quality? As mentioned above, search engines rank your website based on your site’s ability to have what people are searching for. The key to quality content is to create one that provides value to searchers. Thus, the first step is to find out what your target audience wants to know.
What does Google consider as quality content?
a) Content is well-written and demonstrates your expertise.
- As a web design and development company, our website contents, specifically blog posts focuses on our niche – our knowledge of the web and how it works.
- This is what is called authority content. Display your niche or knowledge in your field through your delivery of content, rather than just claiming how good you are in your business
b) Content that is unique
- Offer insights that is offered less elsewhere on the internet.
- This might be a tricky task, but find an angle that you or your business is good in and prioritise what YOUR target audience and consumers are interested in to give you an edge.
- Targeted content not only helps to bring you closer to your audience, it might just be the unique answer that searchers are looking for
c) Content that is relevant
- Produce content that is connected to what you do or offer (again, demonstrate your expertise!)
Why post content that has little connections to your business, which in turn deters your audience as it is not what they are interested in?
In addition, it is also important to post good content regularly. Google sees that your website is active because new information is added. Adding content will increase your findability and visits, and thus improve site rankings.
Thus, SEO is not just about knowing what are the attractive keywords to use for your website. Whilst it is still important, consistently offering valuable, well-written content that displays your expertise in your field is much more important.
Apply optimisation techniques
Here is where SEO gets technical. This is where we demonstrate how SEO is NOT just about using the right keywords, but involves a combination of several strategies. For our blog, we utilise Yoast SEO, a search-optimization plug-in for WordPress. With a good understanding of SEO and how to use a plugin such as Yoast, you will have a much better chance to rank your site. The real benefit to using Yoast is the ability to quickly edit your WordPress site’s titles and meta description. In addition, Yoast will also check the readability of the page.
Here are some SEO techniques you can apply to improve your site’s ranking without / on-top-of Yoast:
Get your meta down
Meta title and descriptions are a way for you to tell Google exactly what you’re talking about.
- A meta title shows the name of a web page. The title is displayed by the browser, usually at the top of your computer screen, and tells the reader what page they are on. Include primary/secondary keyword and brand name in your meta-title and have it at around 50 to 60 characters in length.
- Meta-description is a short text you can add to your post or page, sometimes shown in the snippet of your page in Google’s search results. A good and compelling meta description summarizes what the page is about and triggers people to visit your page. A meta description that is too short is less than 120 characters, and is too long when it is more than 156 characters. This small piece of copy can entice people to click your page in the search results. A good meta description convinces people that your page offers the best result to their query. Try to understand your audience’s search intent. Are they looking for an answer to a question?
Use, not abuse, relevant keyword phrase
The focus keyword – or keyphrase – is the search term that you want your page to rank for most. When people search for that phrase, they should find you. At the end of the day, keywords are just topics. If the topic is being searched a lot and already has strong content in search results, it’s probably competitive.
Don’t just go with the most popular keywords in your market. Use keywords that are more specific to your product or service. In time, Google and other search engines will identify your website or blog as a destination for that particular subject, which in turn will boost your content in search rankings and help your ideal customers find you.
Remember, ranking on Google is about owning a sphere of influence for a specific niche topic. Take some time to research keywords and then intertwine them into the pages you are creating.
Do not produce multiple pages with the same content
Google rewards uniqueness and adds value to your content. Do note that Google filters duplicate content, which means that posting the same content over and over again will not likely improve your ranking.
On-page SEO audit thru audit reports
SEO audits are designed to help identify underperformance on your site. Audits also helps to manage, consolidate and improve your website by meeting Google’s guidelines in order to get more traffic from Google.
Use Google Search Console to find errors
“Search Console tools and reports help you measure your site’s Search traffic and performance, fix issues, and make your site shine in Google Search results.”
Aim to have site visitors view at least 2 pages per session
Do your site viewers only view one page and then leave? Does your website pull people in to peruse all of your content?
Pages per session on Google Analytics can give you some answers. It combines both pageviews and sessions from each visit to your site.
If you find that your pages per session are low, there are several options:
- Make sure your site wows users. Your visitors will form an impression of you and your business with a quick glance at your homepage.
- Consider improving the calls-to-action (CTA) on your homepage, especially if you have a new site, but you don’t see many pages viewed. CTAs should inspire action and can be improved by changing size, verbiage, and even color. Powerful CTAs may include a no-obligation statement (like “Try us”), encouragement to act immediately (like “Download your offer now”), or giving them instructions for what to do next (like “Click Play”).
- New fresh content on your homepage, in your blog, or about your team will motivate patients to look through what’s new on your site even if they’ve been there before.
- Use internal links. Once you’ve built up a decent back catalogue of content, you can link to it in blogs and on your website, guiding visitors to more relevant content. This can keep visitors on your website for longer, which helps boost your search rankings.
Tackle any errors
The lesser the errors the better. Do regularly check if there are any 404 errors, broken links or redirect errors to address.
Only use white-hat SEO strategies
White-hat SEO refers to the usage of website optimisation strategies, techniques and tactics that is approved by Google. The focus here is on providing users with the best search engine results.
White-hat strategies include creating quality content that encourages people to want to actively read and share. It also includes creating a website that stands out from others in your niche (for the right reasons!). In sum, you play by Google’s rules in optimising your website to drive more traffic.
White-hat SEO is antithetical to its black-hat counterpart. Black-hat SEO are unethical techniques that focuses on finding and exploiting algorithmic loopholes are utilised to boost site rankings. Black-hat loopholes are tactics such as hacking into websites to inject backlinks. Adding white text on white background and utilising link farms are also black-hat techniques to exploit search engines’ algorithmic loopholes.
The benefits of SEO don’t happen overnight. How do I know if SEO is working?
We may say that higher organic traffic is the ultimate goal of the search engine optimization. Thus, it is good to regularly track its progress in order to determine if your SEO efforts are successful.
There are specific factors that can give you insight into whether your SEO efforts are paying off. These KPIs, or key performance indicators, reflect the overall success of your SEO campaigns. To see your KPIs by the number, you can use programs like Google Analytics.
When your website traffic increases, your time on page increases, your bounce rate decreases, and your conversions increase, you can bet that SEO is doing its job.
- Rise in website traffic: Website traffic doesn’t directly affect ranking, but click through rate does. Without adequate traffic, it’s unlikely that you’ll have a high click through rate.
- Fall in bounce rate: Bounce rate refers to the percentage of people that leave your site after viewing just one page. This usually means that the user didn’t find what they were looking for on your website, and went back to Google search results to find it.
- Rise in conversions: One of the main goals of SEO is to increase conversions or sales, so if you see that your conversions are increasing, SEO is functioning correctly.
- Conversion rate increase is the product of the many SEO strategies working together to help your website increase traffic, increase the time on page, and decrease bounce rate so that site visitors are more satisfied, and ultimately end up making a purchase on your site.
I’ve utilised most of these techniques. How long will it take to see my website ranking improve?
It depends! It usually takes around 3 to 6 months to see results, so don’t expect instant ranking boosts!
When it comes to SEO, everyone wants quick results. Many website owners have unrealistic expectations about SEO efforts, imagining instant results as soon as they start working on their SEO strategy, but it takes time and a lot of effort. And that effort never really truly ends. SEO is not a one-time deal. It’s an investment that requires maintenance and ongoing attention to see any sustainable results. There is a lot that plays into how long the SEO time to success so let’s not waste another moment.
It takes time, planning, and careful readjustment to achieve and maintain rankings, ROI, and traffic.
There are many factors at play in growing your website and in turn, your brand’s online presence. We can’t stress enough how important it is to take some time to look into SEO for your website. Having a website is important. However, it is also critical that your website is sustained with quality content that is strategically optimised to help you attract your targeted audience.
We hope that you have found our SEO tips to boost organic traffic to your website helpful. Do check out our other resources to learn a thing or two on how we navigate the world wide web and our business. Read our last blog posts where we share our branding process and how psychology plays a big part in web design.