Are you struggling to get more search engine traffic?
It’s no secret that natural, organic search is the best way to go. In fact, organic search makes up 94% of the total clicks from search engines like Google.
Yes, you read that correctly—no matter what your budget, you can only buy 6% of traffic. The rest must come from your SEO efforts.
Your SEO determines how much money you make from your site. It’s that important.
But the good news is that SEO isn’t difficult—if you have a system. In this article, you’ll learn that exact 7-part checklist, step-by-step.
Let’s jump in!
1. Trim the fat that’s pushing Google away
Years ago, you could stuff your website full of irrelevant pages. The more pages, the merrier. Wouldn’t that just bring in more organic search traffic?
But those days are long gone. According to Google’s Gary Illyes, you must erase pages that don’t have value.
Google won’t catalog those pages, which means your strategy will backfire. If you have dead pages cluttering your site your SEO efforts will do poorly.
To improve rankings, you’ll need to eliminate ruthlessly.
Find and delete any page you aren’t using anymore, or that doesn’t provide value to the reader. These might include:
- Outdated landing pages
- “Coming soon” pages (either finish the content or delete it)
- Old product pages
You might also combine information. For example, if you have a “contact us” page with an email address, you could add it to your “about us” page.
That will make your “about us” page more valuable, and cut another piece of dead weight.
2. Write addicting content
Google rewards sites that hold readers’ attention.
To skyrocket your organic search traffic, you must keep readers interested.
Two factors determine this: time on site and bounce rate.
Time on site is how long readers spend on your site. Bounce rate is the percentage of viewers who click away after only seeing one page.
Three techniques will improve this right away.
When a reader first clicks to your article, do they see what they’re looking for—immediately?
If not, you need to get more content above the fold. The term “fold” comes from newspaper days when the best headlines would be in the top half of the front page.
The concept still applies today.
When a reader clicks through, greet him or her with your best content—not a distracting header, overwhelming menus, or a large featured image. These can drive away potential readers and buyers.
Instead, remove or shrink anything other than the content your reader wants.
For even better results, include a few internal links in your opening paragraphs. This will encourage readers to read other pieces on your site—and slash your bounce rates.
3. Engage your readers
The most powerful properties online today are social networking behemoths—sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
These sites get traffic because they allow people to connect with each other—and you can do the same on your site.
One of the organic search ranking factors is social engagement.
An easy way to improve this social engagement is to add a comment box or plugin to your website.
If you use Wordpress (and 25% of the internet does these days), you’re in luck. Most templates enable comments by default, and if they aren’t, you can add them.
For other types of websites, you can add a plugin like Disqus or Facebook comments.
But that’s not all. You can also tap into the powerhouses of viral social engagement with a few clicks—add a social sharing plugin.
These come in a variety of styles and designs, so choose one that fits the theme of your site.
Be sure to include it on every page. The best kind either move with the user or stay in the same place while the user scrolls. This allows users to share whenever they want to, instead of needing to scroll up or down.
4. Draw in organic search traffic like a magnet
Few site owners use metadata to its true potential.
Metadata—information you provide to search engines—won’t directly boost organic search placings. But it will get more people to click on your site, which will teach Google to rank it better in the future.
Remember—this isn’t just a link. It’s a miniature ad for your content. Make it as compelling as possible, and you’ll draw in readers.
For your title, ensure it’s 60 characters or less. If it’s much longer, Google will truncate your content with ugly ellipses.
If you can’t fit your headline into this space, use the meta tag to define a new title. This will only show up in Google’s results and won’t be visible to your readers.
But another important part of meta tags is creating a description. Most website owners leave this blank, and Google has to figure it out.
If you’ve seen Google results with incomprehensible snippets in the description box, you know what I mean.
We’re not going to do that.
Instead, write a custom description for your page. It’ll garner interest, build readers, and make a huge difference in your organic search rankings.
Again, this is an ad for your website. Since so few people use this to its full effect, you can draw in readers with a well-worded description.
5. Make your site work flawlessly
Have you ever stumbled across a page that loaded so slowly it crashed your browser?
Has a huge pop-up ambushed you while browsing the web on your smartphone?
Google has recently started to crack down on these frustrating annoyances. Fast load time and mobile design are two of the few ranking factors Google has confirmed.
This means search engines penalize slow-loading sites. They will struggle with minimal traffic from organic search—if any.
To avoid problems, make these two changes.
First, improve your site’s loading speed. Google offers a calculator that will help you fix problems that cause your site to load slowly.
Second, ensure your site is mobile-friendly. The most successful sites use responsive design. This is a style of web design that changes based on the dimensions of the browser’s screen.
If you don’t have a responsive site yet (and you might—look up your site on a phone or tablet and see), make it a top priority.
6. Create awesome content for your readers
Search engines have one job: provide users what they’re looking for.
Every day, Google, Bing, and other search engines get better at finding excellent content. They also get better at driving subpar sites further down the organic search results.
If you’re writing flimsy, fluffy content, this is bad news. Every new version of Google’s algorithm will make it harder to rank for organic search.
But there’s good news. If you’re focused on high-quality content, your organic search traffic will only increase—especially if you’ve baked authority into your site.
So, how can you write amazing content?
First, focus on length. Research indicates that Google’s top-performing results are long pieces of content, usually over 1,000 words long.
Second, make sure your grammar is top-notch. Though a few spelling errors might slip past your eyes, search engines aren’t so forgiving. Poor, unprofessional writing will hurt you in organic search.
Finally, improve your headlines. While computers can’t determine what makes a great headline (yet), readers can.
Great headlines will draw your readers in and keep them on the site longer, which tells the search engines you’re doing something right. Not to mention—the more excited a reader is, the more likely he or she is to buy your affiliate products.
7. Build pages designed for search engines
Wait—didn’t I say to focus on readers? Yes, readers should always be your top priority.
But you can’t ignore search engines. The reason is simple—you’ll get readers through organic search.
To deliver amazing content to your readers, you have to find them in the first place.
The single most important part of this is using keywords effectively. Choose something a bit competitive but within reach.
Research shows that the top three organic search results on Google get 61.5% of traffic, so choose a keyword where you can hit one of those top three spots.
Include your keyword in these critical places:
- Alt tags in image
- Image file name
- In first 100 words of the article
To nail your keyword usage, include it a few times in your article. It’s easy to make this seem forced and awkward, so only include your keyword when it seems appropriate.
Using these strategies will make your article stand out and attract readers.
Use this checklist and get more organic search traffic
You now know the 7-step process that will skyrocket your place on Google’s results.
Writing effective SEO content will improve how much organic traffic you receive.
And of course, the link is simple: the more traffic you get, the more sales you can generate, and the more money you can make.
Which of these strategies have helped your SEO efforts?