According to the SEO Industry Report 2017 by Gusture Research, $65.26 billion was spent on search engine optimization in 2016 in the U.S. alone. By 2020, these numbers are expected to reach $79.27 billion.
So the SEO industry is rising and it’s nowhere near its failure. Webmasters and marketing experts continuously discover new techniques that help them reach higher traffic rates through search engine optimization. It’s all about convincing the search engine that your website deserves a good position in the results.
Google is the most advanced artificial intelligence system, which you cannot trick easily. In fact, why would you like to play tricks on Google and get penalized later? If you play nice with your SEO strategy, Google will pay you back.
We’ll list seven main SEO principles that will boost your website traffic without causing you any trouble.
7 Traffic-Boosting SEO Principles that Work
#1. Offer High-Quality Content
Content development is the most important principle of SEO. When people search Google, what are they looking for? – Content. When someone searches for “F07 error on the oven,” they want content that tells them what that error means and how they can fix it.
The search engine wants to provide them with content that answers their questions and provides solutions. So that’s what you should focus on.
Use keyword research tools, such as Google’s Keyword Planner, Google Correlate, Ubersuggest, or Keyword Explorer. Locate relevant keywords that you’d like to rank on, and start developing high-quality content that delivers solutions.
#2. Develop Long-Form Content
The key to success is to focus on creating great content. Here’s a hint you’ll appreciate: long-form content performs better than short articles. When you search for “F07 error on the oven,” for example, you’ll want an explanation for the error and step-by-step instructions. You won’t be happy with a website that solely offers an explanation. That’s why such a page won’t rank well in Google’s results. The search engine will try to deliver elaborate articles and solutions.
If developing long-form content on a regular basis is too much for you, there’s no reason to give up on that SEO goal. You can still stick to your schedule if you rely on writers from services like AssignmentGeek.com.au.
#3. Deliver What Your Audience Wants
When you deliver what your audience wants, Google will definitely feature your website in its results. To deliver what your audience wants, you have to understand your target customer and develop content that attracts them at your site.
To do that, you must research the competition. Check what solutions they deliver. When developing your content, you want to make it better than theirs. You want to offer such quality that your target customer always prefers.
You must also listen to what your audience says. When they comment on your social media pages, listen. Accept their ideas for improvement. When they ask questions, answer! Write a short answer on social media and include a link to your website, which offers more detailed solutions that are still relevant. Oh; and don’t limit the communication with your audience to social media. Leave the comment sections on your blog posts open and invite everyone to share their impressions.
There are a few other ways to find out what your audience wants. First of all, you can conduct a research on Quora. Check what questions people ask and offer your answers. Again, you’ll include a link to your website for everyone who wants more details.
You should also check what your most popular posts are. Google Analytics gives you such information. That’s what your audience likes, so you should keep delivering it.
#4. Work on Your Meta Tags
The search engine checks your meta tags to see how relevant your content is. If these tags are good and they include proper keywords, you’ll take your SEO strategy on the right track. These are the most important meta tags to keep an eye on:
- The title tag, which is displayed in the browser’s tab. The search engine uses it to determine the subject of your page, so it’s best to place the important keyword at the beginning.
- Header tags. They should also include keywords but don’t exaggerate because Google will think your content is spam.
- Meta description, which explains what your content is about. This tag is crucial for encouraging your target audience to click your link when they see it in Google’s results.
#5. Add ALT Attributes to Your Images
When you’re looking for ideas on living room decorations, you find an awesome picture that shows all the right colors and details. That’s how you see it, but it’s not how the search engine sees it. Google does not see images; it reads its ALT attributes.
These are descriptions of the images at a website. When you see such an image after looking for “living room with crimson details,” it means that the webmaster added an ALT attribute that includes those keywords.
Make the image ALT attributes as descriptive and as accurate as possible. That’s how you’ll get the images of your content into Google’s results.
#6. Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile-Optimized
Google’s algorithm prefers mobile-friendly websites since that’s where most of its traffic comes from.
The mobile-friendly design is no longer a preference. It’s the golden standard in SEO, so you absolutely have to keep up with it. To make sure you’re doing things well, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
#7. Make the Website User-Friendly
When organizing your site’s data and content, you must think of usability as your priority.
Google pays attention to user engagement metrics, linking patterns, and machine learning to rank your site. UX design has an indirect effect on the actual search engine ranking, but it has the direct influence on the measurable data that Google tracks.
It’s not easy to develop a successful SEO strategy. It takes a lot of time and continuous efforts. Whatever you do, don’t try to trick Google. It’s smarter than you think!
Author bio: Mary Whitman is a writer and editor based in Adelaide, South Australia. In her spare time, she likes to talk about art and sustainable development. Follow Mary on Twitter.