7 Ways To Attract Organic Website Traffic
It’s not new information that people just like you use search engines like Google to find businesses like yours to help solve their problem. Over 90% of shoppers/consumers used a search engine to find out information about a local business in the last year alone.
But what can you be doing to help these users find you? There’s no one size fits all answer, particularly since Google becomes cleverer by the day. But with that said, there are some activities that you can reap the benefit of by being a good internet user and website owner.
We’ve picked 7 tips that you can take advantage of to help with your SEO strategy in 2021!
#1 Page Experience
We talked about Google’s latest update in our blog post here, but in a nutshell they now have the ability to pay more attention to how a user behaves on your website than ever before.
But what is Google looking for? The job of a search engine is to show the user the most appropriate website / information based on the query they typed into the search bar. So basically, you need to fulfill the users need for knowledge with valuable and unique content.
A search engine knows how quickly someone presses “back” on your website and knows how long they spend dwelling on each page. You should be thinking about creating great content that encourages people to stick around.
All in all, you need to deliver a flawless on page experience that aligns with your user’s best interests.
Remove any thoughts / emotions that you have with your website and put yourself in your customer’s shoes and really experience what they do. You can also compare your website to the likes of your competitors to see how you compare when ranking for those key terms.
#2 Schema Markup
Schema markup is the process of adding “notes” to your web page that explain what each part is about. This helps search engines find more informative results for the user. It usually makes your SERP look a little different than just a link, like this (2):
Schema tells a search engine what that data actually is, giving it a meaning that it understands. If done correctly, it can alter the results that you come up for, often being more specific to what your users are looking for when searching for what you do.
For example, if you are hosting an event that is showing the film “Avatar” and you set up information about that on your website, you can use schema markup to further explain the Google that this is an event showing a film, and not information referring to a type of profile picture (1).
It’s all about making sure that all your content like links, quotes and passages are structured properly so that it tells a rich story that Google can understand.
Remember, that well-structured content is good for both the human brain and an AI brain.
Structure your data to frame your content on your page. You can learn more about Schema Markup in our free video here.
#3 Useful Content
Useful content needs to be good quality and a decent length.
It has been shown that longer articles tend to out-perform shorter ones following a search query. This is because Google presumes that longer articles are most helpful to the user (which is usually the case).
But just because you should write a long article, doesn’t mean that you should waffle on and ramble for the sake of a word count.
You should be aiming to match your user intent by going into detail but keeping it easy for your audience to follow by removing any technical jargon. Breaking up your content and following a logical structure can all help to make it easy for a human to consume, and for a bot to crawl.
We have been almost brainwashed to think to tailor our content to bots, but in reality, you should be writing for humans! Style the page for skim readers by using headers and emphasising words. Use ‘top takeaways’ so people can learn the key messages without having to read the whole article.
#4 voice search
If you were to ask Google how many voice searches are made every month, you would get this:
And if you look further into it, it’s estimated that around 50% of all searches are made using voice searches. Google said way back in 2016 that 20% of mobile queries were voice searches and given this was such a long time ago and the age of mobile has increased tenfold, we can only assume that this has risen dramatically.
By optimising your content for voice search, you can also write to target your long-tail keywords as people don’t tend to speak the same way that they type.
As users tend to be more conversational on voice search, this means you may be able to take advantage and reflect this back at them.
You should also think about optimising your content for Google’s ‘featured snippets‘ as smart devices tend to read those out when you’re searching for something specific.
A great way to optimise for voice search and featured snippets is to make a dedicated FAQ section on your website.
#5 mobile first
Ok so back in 2015 Google announced the mobile friendly update to its algorithm. But the term “mobile-first” is different and is something that Google have adopted since 2019.
Mobile first means that they are looking at the mobile version of a website as opposed to the desktop one. This should come as no surprise given the sheer number of users searching on their mobile devices. As well as this, apps such as Google Lens is growing in popularity as it becomes more of a household name.
Things have moved on dramatically since Mobilegeddon in 2015, and it’s now not just about responsive websites. The latest algorithm update is looking at how a user experiences your website on mobile.
Make sure the experience is seamless, and elements aren’t jumping around on load, causing the user to go back a page, or get confused and leave.
NOTE: Of course, not all websites are getting all their traffic visiting via a mobile device. Some B2B businesses thrive off desktop traffic (see image below) because their end users are at work searching on a desktop computer rather than a mobile. This means it’s important to check your analytics and do what is best for your audience.
Design your website mobile first (unless you fall into the example mentioned above). You can design mobile first by thinking about what content you think is most important for someone to view on a smaller screen and work backwards.
#6 IMAGE OPTIMISATION
Often, image optimisation is an overlooked element of SEO.
Google doesn’t see your website content like we do (yet). Imagine putting a brand new object in front of a baby and expecting it to know what it is. Understanding images and objects is still something that Google is working on, so until that day arrives, how can we get past this barrier?
Basically, Google just needs a little helping hand making sense of content. So, get labelling! There is the popular alt tag (the word that tells you what is in the image) that helps this, but also the image title is important too.
Then on the other end of the image optimisation spectrum is the loading speed caused by images. Some websites (for good reason) are very image heavy, but you should still be checking things like image size, image proportions and image storage to optimise this to the best of your ability.
There are plenty of free services out there (like TinyPNG) that can help to reduce your image size before you put them on your website.
It used to be the case that authority came down to having backlinks pointing towards your website. This isn’t the case anymore.
Authority & credibility is based around the EAT principle (expertise, authority and trustworthiness) and the YMYL principle (your money, your life).
So, what the new update has done is present itself as a form of content quality control.
Let’s go back to backlinks. They aren’t completely irrelevant, however due to search intelligence becoming more clever means that they matter much less than they used to. Links are a binary metric in comparison to the 3-dimensional world that Google is learning to tailor its experience to.
You can boost your credibility in other ways by giving talks in webinar format, or even in real life. Make resources for people in your industry to link back to. Getting cited by being mentioned how good you are on industry blogs, news or other listings is a great one.
By boosting your credibility with external parties, it sounds less like you saying “we are so great” and more like someone else saying how great you are. And this is something that Google values more. It doesn’t even have to be a link, just by association can help.
Write up a bio and apply it across the web. This makes it easy for people to know who you are, and easily copy and paste it for whatever they need it for.
Too long didn’t read? Here’s what you need to know:
- Page Experience: put yourself in your customers shoes and experience your website from a different POV.
- Schema Markup: Give your content extra meaning so Google can understand the purpose and context of it better.
- Useful content: Write up good quality, lengthy articles.
- Voice Search: Make sure your content is written in a way that a voice search user would a) find your page and b) understand what you’re saying.
- Mobile first: Design your website with mobile users in mind first (unless your primary audience is desktop users).
- Image Optimisation: Tell Google what your images are by using alt tags and image titles and optimise your image sizes.
- Citations: Make it easy for people to say nice things about you on the internet.
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