Wanna increase your website traffic?
If you have a website, you may have heard the term SEO, (Search Engine Optimization).
But what is actually SEO? When I typed in “What is SEO” on Google, the first site on the search result page was https://www.redevolution.com. I actually like the way they explained SEO so here it is… (and SEO is also the reason that they ranked No. 1!)
“Search Engine Optimisation is the name given to activity that attempts to improve search engine rankings.” Source: https://www.redevolution.com
I was a blogger before I started my current coaching business, so I was already familiar with SEO and the importance of implementing SEO for my website. However, I know it can sound very complicated if you are unfamiliar with SEO. And let me guess…you are probably more excited about having your website perfectly designed and on having a strong brand rather than worrying about SEO? I don’t blame you, I love the creative stuff too!
But I have to tell you… In my opinion, SEO should come before perfecting the design and layout of your website. Because no matter how pretty your website is, if it is not optimized for SEO, you’ll have zero traffic.
Therefore you have no audience. It’s like Beyoncé perfecting the most amazing show, hiring a massive stadium but not selling any tickets!
So why is SEO so important?
There are different ways you can drive traffic to your website such as paid advertising, adding links to your social media posts or in your profile section, guest posting and podcast interviews. But implementing SEO on your website will benefit your business long-term because it helps to build organic traffic to your site.
I thought SEO was dead?
Well yes and no! My friend had a successful SEO business that virtually went bust overnight when Google changed its search algorithm. In the past they could effectively manipulate Google to rank their clients sites higher and it worked. Then Google caught on and many of the techniques they used were close to useless or even potentially damaging!
There are however some techniques that still do the business, just not in a ‘miracle cure’ that SEO could deliver in the past. So….
LET’S DO THIS!
STEP 1: SET UP GOOGLE ANALYTICS
First thing first, if you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to set up Google Analytics account.
Google Analytics is a free service provided by Google that tracks and reports your website performance. It’s a really useful tool to find out which of your blog posts is performing well and where the traffic is coming from. Follow the instruction by Google to set up Google Analytics account.
STEP 3: UPLOAD SITEMAP TO GOOGLE WEBMASTER TOOLS
This get a bit techy – but it’s pretty simple really. Don’t be scared and give it a go!
Once you’ve verified your site ownership, you can then upload your sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools. A sitemap is an XML file that contains the URLs of your website and helps ‘crawlers’ to find all of the URLs of your website. Adding your sitemap will help Google index your site property and as a result, it will improve your SEO ranking. Follow the instruction by Google and add your sitemap to Google Webmaster tools. You will want to type in sitemap.xml after your domain when adding your sitemap. For example....
URL - A Uniform Resource Locator (better known as a web address!). Look at this blog posts's URL for example... www.risakawamoto.com/blog/increase-website-traffic
Crawler – A tool search engines use to copy & index web pages, allowing them search them efficiently.
XML file – Just another file format (trust me – you don’t need to know!)
Phew, that’s the complicated (or the boring) bit out the way! Now we can move onto implementing SEO on your website.
STEP 4: ADD KEYWORDS TO YOUR WEBSITE TITLE/TAGLINE
Your website title is what you see on a little tab at the top of your web browser. For example, my website title is...
“Risa Kawamoto: Start Online Business, Make Money Online,”
I recommend choosing 2-3 main keywords that clearly explains what your business is all about.
The best tool for this is Google Keyword Planner. You’ll want to make sure that those keywords are what people are searching for on Google. Test several keywords and select top 3 keywords you can use for your website title.
As a general rule, you website title should look like this:
[Your Brand Name] [Keyword 1], [Keyword 2], [Keyword 3]
For your tagline, I recommend selecting around 5 keywords that explain your business and enter those keywords under “tagline”, separating with comma.
STEP 4: ADD KEYWORDS TO YOUR WEBSITE DESCRIPTION
Your website description is what people see in search engine results. This should be a short sentence using your keywords that will clearly explain what your business is all about. You don’t want to make it too spammy so try to make your sentence flow nicely.
Below is my website description.
"One-on-one business & mindset coaching and e-courses for aspiring online entrepreneurs seeking to start or grow their own online business."
As you can see, it’s a short sentence and explains my business. Make sure your description is no longer than 160 characters as search engines will cut off your description if it’s longer than 160 characters.
STEP 5: NAME YOUR IMAGE FILES
Although your image file names are not visible to your website visitors, they are visible to Google!
When you upload your image, make sure you change your image file name to include your keywords. See below screenshot on how to name your image file name on Squarespace.
STEP 6: ALTERNATIVE TEXT / CAPTION
You will also want to add keywords to “alt text” (Wordpress) and “caption” (Squarespace) of your image. Here, you can enter a shorter sentence with keywords. Again this is not visible to your website visitors.
If you are a Squarespace user, make sure you select “Do not display caption” option. See below screenshot.
STEP 7: ADDING INTERNAL & EXTERNAL LINKS
Linking out to other website (external links) and linking to other pages on your website (internal links) are useful for both your audience and search engines as it shows your post is valuable, relevant and high quality. Make sure that these links are valuable and relevant to the topic of your blog post.
You’ll also want to make sure you add at least one keyword in the anchor text. Anchor text is a pointer of that link. For example, “optimize your blog post for SEO” is the anchor text.
Learn more about how you can optimize your blog post for SEO.
Instead of writing “Click here to read more about XYZ”, you can add keywords in the anchor text that are relevant for your website or your blog post.
STEP 8: AIM FOR BACKLINKS!
Backlinks are incoming links from other websites that link to your website (also known as inbound links). These are very useful for SEO as it shows a search engine that your website is popular, especially when you have backlinks from popular websites huge audiences. It means a direct link is provided from their website to yours
Guest postings and participating in popular podcasts are great way to get backlinks. I would highly recommend collaborating with influencers in your niche to get backlinks.
If you can get your backlink on a popular website – do it. It should ideally relate to your business. You can learn more about backlinks to boost your SEO here.
STEP 9: HAVE RELEVANT AWESOME, CONTENT!
Let’s face it, all of the above SEO methods are still trying to manipulate Google in some way, just a bit more subtlety than in the past.
Follow the steps above, as they work with as opposed against Google (72,053 employees versus you!), but most importantly make sure you offer relevant, awesome content that people want to read!
Are you ready to boost your website traffic even more? Start blogging! Learn how to write a successful blog for your business.
Do you have any questions? Share your questions in the comments below!
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