When you Google something, have you ever thought about how each of your search results is ranked? Why is a certain company ranked first and another company ranked fourth?
It’s not a game of luck; there isn’t a magical SEO god who’s tossing sites into a raffle wheel. Rather, Google carries an algorithm that encompasses a multitude of ranking factors. These factors determine how much visibility your site and business deserve, which ultimately influences the amount of traffic and leads you get.
The trickiest part: the algorithm is constantly changing, which requires persistent research, experimentation, and vigilance by none other than you and your team. Simply put, you have to become an SEO (search engine optimization) marketing expert. And why wouldn’t you if it means getting all the leads and traffic that can preserve the long-term viability of your business?
So, keep reading as we flesh out the impact SEO can have on your business and how to get more traffic and leads with SEO.
The Impact of SEO: What You Need to Know
SEO is the art of promoting your services online to get organic, or unpaid, traffic from the search engine results page (SERP). If you’ve read through our 20 reasons every business needs SEO, then you know the way you rank on Google directly influences your visibility, market share, and traffic.
Right now, there are a ton of people looking for services and products just like yours. A good SEO strategy can help you identify ways to climb the Google ranks and be seen by potential customers.
After all, 68% percent of all web traffic starts with a search query. By leveraging the contents of your site with SEO, not only can you attract a ton of visitors to your site, but you can nurture them into being loyal customers.
Here’s the lowdown on SEO:
SEO helps you gain valuable real estate on Google. Showing up on the first page of search results exposes you to 71% of search traffic clicks. If you’re on the second page, you basically don’t exist—75% of users don’t go past the first page. Therefore, being on page one is crucial. Otherwise, you’re just losing clicks, leads, and sales to your competitors.
SEO helps your team win qualified leads. After all, why would SEO even matter if it doesn’t feed your bottom line? Seventy percent of marketers report seeing more traffic, leads, and sales from SEO than pay-per-click (PPC) methods. Not to mention, qualified sales leads have a higher return on investment (ROI) and a higher close rate.
SEO builds your online credibility. When people see you on the first page, they will be more apt to trust you and click through to your site. Trust is everything when it comes to driving traffic and leads. And when Google grants you a high and mighty ranking spot in its search results, you’ll become THE business in your industry people will vouch for and recognize.
SEO puts you in front of people who are actually searching for what you offer. Aka, your target audience. Because c’mon, connecting with individuals who don’t need your services is a waste of time . . . and money! You want to invest all of your time and effort into nurturing your target audience, and SEO helps with just that. It lays the groundwork for generating qualified leads.
In fact, SEO leads have a 14.6% average conversion rate, whereas outbound leads (leads who come from traditional forms of marketing like TV and radio ads) have a 1.7% average conversion rate.
7 Tips on Getting More Traffic and Leads with SEO
So how exactly do you get more traffic and leads with SEO? The key is to combine it with other digital marketing strategies.
Take a look at your competitors. What keywords are they currently ranking for? Which of these keywords are relevant to your products and services? Pick those and use them to create targeted content.
You may want to expand on some of these keywords to make them long-tail keywords. As the name implies, long-tail keywords are key phrases that are longer and generally more specific than your standard keywords. For example, instead of “buy shampoos,” you might want to target “buy safe and organic shampoos.”
The longer and more specific keywords are, the easier it is for them to rank. Not to mention, nearly 70% of search queries contain four words or more, so you want to match these searches as closely as you can.
2. Blog Regularly
Seventy-two percent of online marketerscall content creation their “most effective SEO tactic.” Search engines want high-quality pages on the SERP, or content that is worth sharing. A great way to produce content that’s helpful and shareable? Blogging.
Blogging helps boost the brand awareness that attracts people to your business. “Brands that post more blog posts each month”garner 4.5 times as many leads. Simply put,increasing your blog trafficvia high-quality content is a pivotal way of earning qualified leads.
So what exactly is “high-quality” content?
Content that is relevant to what searchers are looking for. It provides real answers to real people’s questions. Say you’re a floor removal business. During your keyword research, you notice your target audience has been looking up ways to remove wooden floors. You might want to start putting together a blog article that fleshes out the entire process.
Content that is reliable and trustworthy. Blogging is a valuable method to gain credibility. You don’t simply want to focus on the what, but the how and why. And don’t forget to cross-reference your sources to ensure you’re providing accurate and up-to-date information.
Content that makes people want to share it with their social circles. If one person finds your blog post valuable, they will want to share it with their social circles. According to ValueWak, sites that create and consistently share 15 new pieces of content across their channels earn an average of 1,200 new leads every month. That’s a lot of opportunity waiting for you simply by promoting your content on social media!
Content that houses your keywords. As mentioned earlier, keywords are a major factor in your business’ search engine rankings. When you marry SEO keywords to your content marketing efforts, you’re 13 times more likely to achieve a positive ROI. So, be sure to naturally weave in keywords throughout your content wherever possible. Avoid keyword stuffing.
Content that goes in-depth. Start creating more long-form content if you haven’t already. The average word count of a blog post on the first page of Google is 1,890 words. While word count isn’t a Google ranking factor, providing comprehensive information that simmers down your customers’ pain points is crucial in winning Google’s trust, which will then help you reel in those leads.
3. Optimize Old Blogs
Learn how to increase your blog traffic and SEO efforts through optimizing your old blog posts. Refreshing old blog posts can help keep them more relevant, ensuring that all the initial time and effort put into creating them doesn’t go to waste over time.
Updating older posts also gives you a chance to add more value. Even if the post isn’t out of date, adding more sections to provide more in-depth coverage, make it more actionable, or include current best practices is always to your readers’ advantage—the more thorough an article, the better.
Since both Google and users typically prioritize “fresh” and “new” content that’s most likely to be up to date, you can give them that newness while also utilizing the strong authority that comes with an established page and its longevity. Content optimization is a winning combination that can help you rank higher, offer more value, get more shares, and drive more traffic.
Here are some tactics on how to optimize your blog the right way:
Select the right blog posts: Look at your analytics and identify the past blog posts with the best history of driving traffic to your site, the highest number of social shares, and the strongest performance with conversions. Other indicators like low bounce rate or higher average time spent on the page can also tell you what content your audience was most happy to see. Google Analytics can help with this.
Update the keywords: Keywords can go in and out of popularity just like everything else in the world. So, go through and update an old post for newer, more high-volume keywords. Do some research and see what will work for you.You can do this to appeal to waves in keyword trends, but you can also adjust keywords as your domain authority increases. Maybe you start with lower-volume keywords because they have lower competition, giving you a chance to rank, but as your site establishes more authority, you’ve got more options.
Update internal links:Find related pages on your website and add internal links to your newly refreshed content. This helps search engines see that this page is important, and also improves user experience on your site. For example, you can:
Add your newly refreshed content to a “featured content” section of your website if you have one, or add a link to the content on your homepage or important category pages.
Create a “roundup” post. If you have multiple pieces about the same topic, build a “roundup” post that lists and links to all of them. You can make a special note for any that have been recently updated.
Repurpose into other content formats: If you’ve got a blog post that received pretty decent traffic and engagement, try adding a punch to it by repurposing it into another content format like a video or podcast. These formats can serve as great additional opportunities for your audience to engage with your brand. And the results can be pretty darn great! For example, when Big Leap supplemented Nu Skin’s blog posts with podcasts, our client won over 5,000 organic sessions a month and 500 backlinks.
4. Be Active on Social Media
Though social media does not directly impact SEO rankings, the links you share across your social platforms boost your brand exposure. And this exposure influences your SEO for the better in the following ways:
Provides opportunities for substantial content distribution
Extends the lifespan of your blog posts
Enhances your brand awareness and reputation
Improves your online visibility and traffic
Therefore, social media has an indirect influence on your SEO. To bolster your social media in a way that nurtures this connection, start by:
Optimizing your social media profile:Include some keywords with your page name and profile. This can make it easier for users to find your brand and content. Also, ensure that your site’s web address is in your bio and your “About” sections on each of your channels, so customers can easily learn more about you and establish credible backlinks to your site.
Sharing (and re-sharing) your blog content: Social media is the perfect way to resurrect old content or share newly optimized content. As noted earlier, sites that create and consistently share 15 new pieces of content across their channels earn an average of 1,200 new leads every month.
Designing your content to be shareable: 41 percent of people measure the success of a blog post by how many times it was shared. Higher share numbers increase your domain authority and boost your search engine rankings. Make your content easy for your followers to share by installing social media plugins that allow users to quickly share your posts with their followers. The easier you make sharing, the more likely it is that users will follow through.
5. Clean Up Your Site
Let’s be real, people are shallow creatures. When they see a messy, unattractive, slow site, they’re going to want to bail immediately. And before you know it, your bounce rates will skyrocket, and your traffic rates will plummet.
Make sure it’s mobile-friendly: So you’ve got a clean and pretty website that’s easy to navigate through. Great! But how’s it looking on mobile? If your site isn’t adapted for mobile, you’re missing out on 52.5% of website traffic worldwide and numerous potential leads. As our rapidly evolving digital world relies more on mobile devices, it’s crucial to keep up with these changes.
Build a good structure: If your site is easy to navigate, leading users to the right places, you’re creating a positive user experience. And a stellar experience is appealing to search engines. Google’s algorithm looks into searchers to rank your site. A high click-through rate and dwell time will help you rank well in the SERP. So, perform a site audit to ensure that your navigation is seamless.
Improve site speed: A slow site is frustrating:40% of users will leave a site that takes “more than three seconds to load.” So on top of being easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing, make sure your site is quick.
6. Build High-Quality Links
What would the web be without links? Links play an important role in spreading awareness of your brand and boosting your site’s authority. Not to mention, they’re crucial when it comes to conversion rate optimization—creating on-site experiences that encourage conversions.
Internal links: Once you’ve built a decent catalog of content, you can link your blogs to relevant content on your website and vice versa. This will help make the on-site experience smooth and seamless and encourage your visitors to take the actions you want them to take.
Backlinks: Ask your clients, members, and partners to link to your site. When these backlinks, or incoming links, come from other trustworthy sites, your site becomes more authoritative. And the greater authority you have, the more likely search engines will begin eyeing your website.
7. Optimize for Your Readers—Not Search Engines
You need to understand your buyer persona. What are some characteristics of your best potential customers? By crafting educational content that provides value to your target audience, you’ll naturally improve your SEO, traffic rates, and leads.
Optimizing for search engines alone is pointless. You’ll just end up having content that’s stuffed with keywords and unnatural language that will have your audience scratching their heads. So whenever you’re making changes to your site and brand, think back to your customers. Will these updates be of value to them?
Become a Lead-Generating Machine with Big Leap
With numerous businesses vying for the attention of your target market, it’s crucial to stay current and relevant in the online landscape. Big Leap can help you leverage the right digital marketing tools to help your business stay ahead of the game. So reach out to us to see how you can get started.
And if you’re on the fence about SEO, talk to us. We’re happy to answer your questions and get to know your business.
Julie Snow is a marketing content writer at Big Leap. Since she's curious about everything, you'll always find her reading about and observing the wondrous world around her (and the incredible people in it).
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