How To Increase Your Site Traffic (9 Tips for Beginners)

August 3, 2018 by sergey-aliokhin

Modern business has found a new place for developing and growing sales. This place is called the internet. And the only way to push your business forward is to create a website and try to make it rank high in Google.

When newbies get into the game, they know nothing about growing traffic for the websites. But these amateurs have already heard about SEO. They know that SEO is something that is very complicated, yet very effective.

Inexperienced entrepreneurs prefer to keep away from SEO. They would rather hire some SEO professional to do proper website optimization. However, everyone who has online business must have the fundamental knowledge of SEO to drive organic traffic and rank well in Google.

Thus, I am going to show you how to utilize SEO techniques to boost your website in Google and get more traffic.

Shall we begin?

What Does Your Target Audience Search for on Google?

It is a warped judgment that SEO is technical stuff only. No, SEO can help you understand what your potential target audience might search for on the web.

SEO is a bunch of methods that work to make your website meet your audience’s needs. It helps you see what people say about your brand or service via comments. You can explore email messages from your customers that can tell you a lot of useful information regarding your product.

You should be focused on the words, phrases, and terms your target audience uses. It will give you a bright idea of what your potential customers want.

I would like to feature an example that will help you understand what I’m talking about.

Let’s say that I need to SEO optimize a website offering booking hotels in Moscow. Your target audience will use the following inquiries:

  • ‘Accommodation in Moscow’
  • ‘Hotels in Moscow’
  • ‘Place to stay in Moscow’
  • ‘Moscow hotels’
  • ‘Moscow accommodation’
  • Etc.

The next step you should take is to see how people discuss this topic.

How Does Your Target Audience Discuss Your Topic?

The queries that I listed above might be used by the representatives of your target audience. Now I need to get detailed information about these keywords. Keywords Explorer tool will help with this. Let’s start with ‘Place to stay in Moscow.

The keyword has a good search volume number in the USA. You can also see other stats across different counties. A ‘Parent topic’ looks like it has a substantial search volume as well.

You can find more related keyword ideas using a keyword generator tool.

Check out What Search Suggestions You Can Find on Google

One of the easiest ways to find out what search queries people put into Google’s search bar, you can ‘play’ with the search engine a bit. Go to Google and start typing your search query. Right after you insert a particular letter related to your inquiry, wait and see what Google shows you.

You can also find more search suggestions with the help of Ahrefs. Keywords Explorer will offer you this option along with the metrics, like keyword difficulty estimation, cost per click value, the number of searchers, etc.

Don’t Forget About Related Searches

I am sure you have reached the bottom of the search results page. What do we see there?

Google gives you other possible search queries that are related to your search request. Go ahead and use them either.

How and Where to Find What People Say About Your Topic?

It goes without saying that “crawling” the web to see what your target audience talks about within your niche is the right way. But it takes lots of your time, and the result is less effective. Would you like to know how to organize this process more efficiently?

Content Explorer tool is here for this purpose.

Let’s see what content is highly sought for ‘travel in moscow’ query.

Due to the World Cup Championship across the Russian Federation and some political events, these topics are popular for the past month. Hence, it makes sense to use these content opportunities for your strategy.

Do you need more places to find more information related to your niche? Search on social media channels, forums, and communities

Check out what you will get putting a query “hotels moscow” on Facebook.

You can see that some groups have lots of members. Thus, you can make in-depth research of what strategy each group implements to find out some cool things for yourself.

Quora is a source of information as well. Just put your query and see what questions people have on this topic.

Taking note of the questions people ask on Quora you can write a piece of content about “the best and the worst hotels tourists can stay at Moscow.”

What’s more important you can find dozens of forums and communities where people discuss your topic. Ask Google, and it will help you.

A Few Words About Keyword Intent

First of all, I would like to draw your attention to the existing types of searches:

  • Navigational (when a user searches for a particular website, like “Moscow train station”)
  • Transactional (when a user searches for a website to buy or rent something, like “rent a motorcycle in Moscow”)
  • Informational (when a user needs to find some information, like “museums in Moscow”)

Yes, it is useful information that you should know. But if you don’t see the intent behind the search queries people use, you won’t be able to predict a user’s behavior. If you analyze how the algorithm of search engines operates, you will understand that it takes into account the words a user uses searching the web. According to these words, the algorithm suggests the results that tend to satisfy user’s needs.

For example, I put an inquiry “moscow guide,” and Google suggested me pieces of content that describe different guides around Moscow from a number of websites.

But if I change my search request to “hotels in moscow,” the search engine will list websites where I can choose a hotel to stay during my trip.

Don’t Forget to Optimize Pages for Search

Now I am going to cover a few core SEO improvements that you will need to do to optimize pages for search. And the first aspect I want to start with is an on-page SEO elements.

  • URL

Each URL of your web-resource must represent the main idea of the information that a specific page contains. Furthermore, you should add a target keyword you want the page to rank for. Here is an example of how the URL of the page should look like ‘domain.com/hotels-in-moscow.’

  • Meta properties

If you want the search engines to easily identify your website, you should use so-called ‘meta properties.’ There are two types of meta properties you must apply – ‘meta title’ and ‘meta description.’ The only piece of advice here is to include a target keyword in both ‘meta title’ and ‘meta description.’

  • Content

Every page of your website contains some content that people skim through to get the information they need. Moreover, content should be optimized in a proper way just like other elements of your website. Talking about the content length, I should admit that it must be neither too long, nor too short. You should create content following “the golden mean” rule. In other words, 2, 000+ words is a good range.

  • Headers + subheaders  

Use HTML format to help search engines “read” the website pages

There are a few core HTML formats:

H1 is a title of the content that should include a target keyword you rank for. Remember that there must be only H1 per page.

H2 is used mainly for all sections of the page. Don’t forget to add the keywords you want to rank for and apply long-tail keywords if it makes sense.

Here is an approximate structure of the headers:

  1. H1: A Tripadvisor To Moscow
  2. H2: What to See
    2.1 H3: The Kremlin
    2.2 H3: Red Square
    2.3 H3: Saint Basil’s Cathedral
    2.4: Lenin Mausoleum
  3. H2: Where to Stay
    3.1 H3: Hotel 1
    3.2 H3: Hotel 2
    3.3 H3: Hotel 3
  4. 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: To End Up

Take this structure into account and help the users to navigate through your piece of content. Furthermore, it will help search engines to categorize your content.

  • Images

Visual elements on your website will likely attract more users. But what about search engines? Do they “read” images in a proper way? It is impossible for them without your help. It is necessary to include alt tags within each image code you’re going to add on your website. And don’t forget to add a target keyword within alt tag description.

  • Internal Linking

Internal linking helps to improve the speed of crawling the site. Moreover, it allows users jump over pages on your web-resource. For example, create a page that targets “What to see in Moscow” and add the links to separate pages, like “Saint Basil’s Cathedral” or “Red Square.”

Your Website Must Be Accessible Both to People and Search Engines

I think that one of the primary goals of SEO is to make any website friendly both to users and search engines. Likely, we can predict human behavior but what about crawlers?  

I can say that it is quite challenging to understand crawlers behavior without the help of a professional technical SEO expert. However, there are a few technical SEO elements that you must know and take care of by yourself.

  • Site speed

Nobody likes to wait too long. It is unacceptable when we talk about the website’s loading speed. Up to 40% of users abandon websites that download longer than 3 seconds.

Thus, it won’t be hard to guess that you must keep an eye on this side of the website’s optimization. Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool is the thing that you need to use to control your site’s speed.

  • Sitemap and robots.txt file

If you didn’t know, a sitemap is a file that helps search engine crawlers to run across the pages on your website and see how they are connected. The primary goal of this file is to search for new pages on the website and index them.

Robots.txt file helps crawlers to understand which pages on your website should be indexed and which should not. What’s more critical, robots.txt is responsible for a crawl budget (how many pages could be visited per day by the search engine crawlers.)

More on Link-Building

One of the most prominent attributes of any SEO campaign is link-building. Link-building includes a wide range of tactics that have a single purpose – to generate more qualitative links to your content.

Your competitors don’t shy away from using this strategy. So, you must analyze the techniques your competitors apply and ‘borrow’ the best ones.

BTW, here are two tactics that have proved their efficiency:

  • Guest posting  

I believe guest posting to be the most legitimate way of building links. The reason why it works flawlessly is that guest posting is based on a win-win basis. You offer high-quality content and get a backlink in return.

However, if you want to succeed in this strategy, I advise you to keep in mind these three rules:

  1. Make high-authority websites your priority
  2. Offer only top-rate content
  3. Include links to other relevant resources within your content

If you follow these simple rules, you will see that guest posting works for you!

  • Outreach

Any online business requires some communication between people. And the process of getting involved into a “business talk” is called outreach.  

Email outreach is a perfect ‘tool’ to build links as well. But it demands certain skills that will help you reach out to any target and get the link you need.

If you want to get a step-by-step guide on how to do email outreach correctly, I recommend you to read this detailed article. Make sure you read it from A to Z. Afterwards, your outreach skills will be on the up-and-up.

To End Up

SEO seems to be the only solution when you need to boost your traffic. I don’t deny the fact that SEO is a complicated thing. Though, there is nothing impossible in our life.

And to make your SEO journey a bit easier, here are four rules I recommend you to keep in mind:

  • Do proper keyword research paying attention to keyword intent, search volume, and keyword difficulty
  • Keep website’s loading speed and the website’s structure under control Link-building is a must
  • Don’t forget to optimize pages to rank for target keywords

Good luck with getting more traffic using SEO strategies I covered in this post.

Sergey Aliokhin is a Marketing Manager at Ahrefs. Apart from working at Ahrefs he likes spending his time with family, studying martial arts and plucking fat bass guitar strings.