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There’s no questioning the fact that organic traffic can produce massive results and lead to the rapid growth of your business. In order to increase website traffic, you need to rank highly on the first page of results.
It only takes one high volume, highly converting keyword to make an entire business grow exponentially. Increase website traffic by publishing content that satisfies search intent and attracts backlinks.
The goal is to be number one on the first page of search results. According to Ahrefs, the first organic listing receives an average of 19-30% of organic search traffic.
As business owners, building your website might not be your first area of expertise. However, if you focus on the most important factors for optimizing a website you can increase website traffic and acquire more new clients on a regular basis.
It’s a well-known fact that content and backlinks are the major factors Google considers when ranking a website. In order to get quality backlinks, you need quality content. Great content starts with effective keyword research.
Increase website traffic: find your seed phrase
Keyword research involves a lot of digging for words and phrases to describe your product, service or information on your site. It’s a process for finding the search terms that a potential client would type in a search, but also connecting those terms to related ideas and topics the client is interested in.
Find the best search terms by running a keyword report. You can use Moz, Ahrefs, or any keyword tool of your choice. Make sure your tool produces a value for keyword difficulty, as many don’t offer this option. Enter your keyword idea and export the results to a spreadsheet.
Begin eliminating keywords by filtering out those below your target level of traffic.
Delete the terms that are unrealistic because of the level of difficulty.
You can determine the level of difficulty by comparing the page authority the top ten ranking pages have to your site.
The page authority refers to the strength of the domain plus the number of referring domains that point to the page. You can improve your page authority by getting backlinks. Make a realistic estimate for the time and effort it would take to get the number of backlinks needed to outrank a page with higher authority.
The list you have remaining should present some ideal options. Make your selection based on balancing the keyword difficulty with the relevance and commercial value of your keyword.
Make it a long-tail keyword
Give your pages the best chances to rank by targeting a long-tail keyword. Add to your seed keyword by turning it into a commonly asked question, phrase or term.
The first place you can check for ideas is Google itself. Type in your keyword and write down any phrases that appear in the autosuggest drop-down menu.
You can also write down the questions in the People Also Ask box since there is a PAA box in roughly 90% of all searches. The questions here should be of particular interest because they also represent traffic opportunities in which your site can be optimized.
Structure your content using the Inverted Pyramid Model to improve your chances for being featured. A position in a PAA box will improve your click-through rate and increase website traffic.
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Cover all possible intentions of a users search
Keyword research is not just about finding a target keyword but also finding the related terms and topics that will help satisfy user intent. Search engines will display the websites they believe have the most useful solution to a search query. Identify the possible outcomes a search query could have to demonstrate your site’s ability to satisfy search intent.
Every keyword houses a variety of subtopics that can be used to create additional content. During your keyword research, these subtopics become apparent (if they weren’t already), as they will also have some search volume and are more than likely found in your keyword report.
As you get deeper into your research, group keywords together by categorizing them according to search intent. This will identify the topics that you can use as separate articles as well as the content you will use on your main page.
Your keyword research provides the blueprint for your content creation. Establish the target phrase and related keyword topics and publish content for each of those keywords and phrases.
Content published with this structure resembles a hub and spoke format in which your central keyword is linked to and from multiple pages that branch out to explain the subtopics in more detail.
Image source: Pillar Page Best Practices
As stated before, the ability to satisfy search intent is a major criterion for search engines when ranking websites. This puts a heavy emphasis on the quality of content your website is providing and how well it satisfies what a user is looking for when typing in your keyword.
It’s not to say that every page needs to be an award-winning piece of content from a critically acclaimed author. It means that your page needs to address what your user is looking for and include related issues and questions that are associated with the topic. Keyword research results in discovering many of those issues but you can take your research another level deeper by getting first-hand feedback.
Survey your clients
Take your content to another level by having your clients take a survey. Original data is a valuable asset to have when creating unique content. The data is not only good to serve as an interesting content piece but also gives insight into the minds of your client.
Try to pinpoint the most meaningful aspects of your client’s life that your product or service reaches. Find out what is motivating them to seek out what you’re offering. Any problem that is common to your clients is an excellent topic to include in the content you create. Provide the solution to your clients’ problem and your website becomes a trusted resource.
Publishing content that solves problems is a strategy to drive traffic and results in loyalty and engagement. Get to the heart of your client’s concerns and publish the solutions that will make a difference in their lives.
Use page authority to improve your ranking
Google uses PageRank to assign authority to the pages of your website. This value is no longer made public but it has been tested to show it is primarily made up of the quality and quantity of referring domains. You can improve the authority of your page by building links from quality websites within your niche.
Most link opportunities require your website to have linkable assets. This means that there needs to be content that provides value to another website to warrant them linking to you. Since you have a good concept of keyword research and how to build quality content-this shouldn’t be a problem.
Find the “linkerati”
Start building a list of link prospects that you believe will link to your content. This would ideally be the influencers in your industry, authors who publish regularly and bloggers who will promote your content.
Reach out to these link prospects via email keeping in mind that your first priority is to build a relationship. If they are true “linkerati” they will be linking to websites far into the foreseeable future making a long-term relationship much more valuable than any single link.
There’s no one way to approach an author or website owner when asking for a link but using a few subtle strategies will increase your chances of securing the link.
When you write your email, give them the least amount of work to do in order to sway them in linking to your website. This means mentioning the page that you want the link from and giving them the exact URL and title of the article.
Be polite, friendly and nonchalant about asking them to link to your site. You can say that you think you have great content that would enhance their article and give them the URL of your page.
Offer something of value in return for a link to increase your acceptance rate. If you’re currently guest posting you can offer them a link in your future guest post articles.
Keep in mind that many of the most successful marketers have extensive networks. Helping people will also get you help where you need it-and links when you need them.
Build relationships, not just links. (~Rand Fishkin)
There’s more than one way to rank a website and when you find a system that works, rinse and repeat. No matter what your routine becomes, you can’t avoid publishing content that satisfies search intent, which in almost every case will require backlinks. Starting your campaigns off with effective research is one routine that will contribute to quality content that creates short term and long term wins to increase website traffic.
What tips and tricks do you use to publish high-quality content? Leave a comment below and share some of your best tactics to getting your content on the first page of results.
Christian Carere is an SEO consultant and Chief Editor at Digital Ducats Inc. Christian primarily works with SMB’s specializing in SEO services to improve the quality of traffic and increase the number of leads and new clients their website generates on a regular basis. You can follow him on Twitter