“How do I increase traffic to my website?”

This is the golden question, and the answer boils down to SEO.

What is SEO?

It stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s all the rage these days (and has been for a while), and for good reason: It can significantly boost a website’s visibility. It’s a pretty multifaceted term, so let’s take a look at the Oxford Dictionary’s definition:

“[Search engine optimization is] the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.”

When you search for a term on Google — known as a keyword — the results that show up at the top of the first page have achieved SEO greatness. They’ve made their content easy to find by using optimized keywords, linking to reputable sites and hosting high-quality information.

Who determines what ranks highest on a search page?

Google has little bots that “crawl” websites to determine what kind of content it is. These take lots of factors into account, but their ultimate goal is to show consumers results that are user-friendly and most relevant to what they’re searching for. So tailoring your website and content to satisfy Google’s bots — by making it user-friendly, readable and high-quality — is important. 

SEO is segmented into both on- and off-page factions, though. The former is stuff you can go change on your website right now, while the latter is more abstract. Here are some examples of both.

On-page SEO: 

  1. Page titles are an incredibly important part of on-page SEO. Make sure you have your relevant keywords in there. Try to word things as you’d predict someone would type them into Google.
  2. Meta descriptions show up underneath the headline/link on Google. Definitely include your keywords here, too.
  1. Your website should be well-organized, with smart sectioning of categories. This affects the URL and helps those crawling bots find and digest the keywords that you want to rank for on Google. The structure of a basic page should be (http://)(www.website.com)(/section)(/page-name)
  2. Any headings you have can turn into headings on Google with the right search, so make sure to fill those with keywords, too.
    1. Headings can take the form of H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 or H6, and Google ranks them in that same order of importance, too.The lower the number, the larger the font. These sizes come from HTML, a programming language used for displaying web pages.
  3. Keyword density is how many keywords you have per 100 words. Put enough for Google to think it’s relevant, but it’s important not to overdo it too. 
  4. Internal linking is when you link to other blog posts of yours within your blog. This will help both of them rank higher. You should have a link every 100 words. 

Can’t I just make a page filled with keywords?

No. This is called keyword stuffing, and Google’s bots are smart enough to know when you include piles and piles keywords just to game the SEO system. This is also known as a high keyword density. Because this is a negative experience for readers, Google ranks your site lower. If the text is unnaturally repetitive, take note. Focus rather on creating useful information that includes keywords strategically and naturally. 

Off-page SEO

This entails things you can perform outside of the actual words and links on your website. This includes promotion of your site in a process known as link building. Link building is the process of using other websites or pages to link to yours. The more your page is linked to, the more credible it seems to Google’s algorithm. This is one of the reasons why internal linking is important; it’s not just to increase circulation. You can also share the link in a comment on social media as an off-page SEO technique.

Check out Search Engine Land’s Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors to learn more: 

Source: https://searchengineland.com/figz/wp-content/seloads/2017/06/2017-SEO_Periodic_Table_1920x1080.png

This list emphasizes running a functional, well-researched, easy-to-follow website. You want your links to lead to existent, reputable websites. Watch out for spam, excessive ads and keyword stuffing. Having a site that has mobile functionality, meaningful titles and sub-heads is of utmost importance to Google’s algorithms. 

The easiest SEO hack: Google My Business page

SEO is an important and necessary technique to increase traffic to your website, but there’s a smart hack that’ll make your site stand out even more. Claiming your Google business profile ensures you show up on the search behemoth’s front pages in Search, Maps and other organic rankings. For real estate agents, this is a vital piece of brand marketing, as the site processes 1.2 trillion searches per year.

When you have a Google business profile, your business shows up in an even more prominent spot than other results, both paid and organic. Eye-catching photos, buttons and posts make your business profile the first thing people see when they search for you.

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