Top 8 Ingredients to a Traffic-Generating, Rank-Boosting SEO Strategy
According to Safari Digital, approximately 61% of marketers believe that SEO is the key to online success, which is why modern businesses allocate an average of 41% of their marketing budget to it. In short, taking the time to outline a proper SEO strategy can revolutionize not only your online traffic but your business as well.
Looking at the way the world is now, internet usage is more than it used to be. The pandemic has led us to shop more online, stream more movies and television than usual, and attend enough Zoom meetings to last a lifetime.
SEO has been important to many organizations throughout 2020 and we expect 2021 to be the same. So, as we approach the new year, how can you create an SEO strategy that lasts with the times? Well, let’s start with the basics.
What should be in every SEO strategy
SEO is essentially the practice of using certain qualitative content principles and technical improvements to improve your online traffic and rankings on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Quantity also plays a big role.
Writing more content, using more links, and using a wider variety of keywords is a great way to rank higher over time- this is called ‘scaling’ and is quite what it sounds like.
So, there are a few things we’ve dodged there. Before we get too ahead of ourselves, let’s break down the main tools you’ll be using to build your 2021 SEO strategy:
Keywords are phrases that are commonly searched on Google, Bing, etc and they are an important part of determining the ranking of your website. Use the right amount of keywords in the right places and in time you’ll see your pages climb the leaderboards.
Keyword strategy has changed a lot over the years, it used to be as much stuff out there as possible, but then a lot of the content got spammed and sites were eventually penalized by Google’s algorithms.
These days, all you need to do is do your keyword research, use a variety of keywords, and make them fit naturally. Google gets smarter day by day, so they will hire you for it.
You can almost think of metadata as your shop window. Your meta title and meta description are the first things users see in the SERP that affects whether they click through or not.
In addition, Google uses what is known as ‘crawlers’ (imagine small robot spiders) to scan through websites and collect information that matches search queries.
By including keywords in your metadata (including image tags and title tags) Google can more quickly understand the relevance of your page.
As we move into the more technical side of things, another important factor in SEO performance is getting backlinks. This is when another website links to you in an article or blog post. Not only does this help you achieve what is known as domain authority, but it also improves the chances of people clicking on your website when it appears on other trusted domains.
You can earn organic links just by writing engaging content: the better your work and the more you match a person’s search intent, the more likely others in your industry will refer to your site.
This extensive process is known as link-building and while you can easily access other sites to trade links – several other activities can help speed up the process:
- Guest blogging.
- appreciation letter.
- Answering questions on sites like Quora.
- Creating shareable content like videos and infographics.
- Using industry contacts and sharing on social (like LinkedIn).
Moving on from this, there are many other technical issues at the back of your site that, once addressed, can make a huge difference in your overall SEO results.
At the end of the day, if the UX of your website is not smooth and accessible, it will be hard for any visitor to do anything important to your website. For context, over 50% of all online traffic is mobile, so when it comes to things like UX, technical stuff matters.
Whether it’s ensuring site speed, removing ‘toxic’ backlinks (links to websites that are deemed irrelevant or untrustworthy, etc.), or creating a clear XML sitemap with a clean URL structure, all these technical SEO tips are very useful.
May grow up when it comes to achieving those high rankings. You don’t want anything to come in the way of SEO working which is allowing people to organically search your website.
You can’t do effective SEO if you don’t know what “effective” means! You need to have a thorough understanding of SEO metrics to measure, analyze and improve your SEO strategy.
Why are organic traffic and SEO important?
If you are looking for longevity and cost-effectiveness when it comes to your digital marketing, organic search strategies powered by SEO can’t be beaten. SEO is not only cheaper as compared to paid advertising but its effects are long-lasting.
While PPC campaigns require renewing and fluctuating bidding costs, SEO tracking tools use organic data to compile lists of keywords and continue to uncover more content ideas as you dig deeper. Huh.
Of course, SEO can feel like a slow burn at first. Still, you can start seeing serious changes in your overall traffic and rankings after a few months.
Plus, the longer you stay on it, the more backlinks and site authority you’ll build, which means you can go for bigger and better keywords, and so on.
Even starting at the other end of the spectrum—targeting longer-tail keywords and more detailed variants—particularly when it comes to content and specific subtopics, makes it easy for SMBs to see results quickly and The direction of motion is a great way to build a stage.
More than a third of Google’s total search queries contain four or more words (i.e. long-tail keywords). These keywords are not only less competitive and therefore easier to rank for, but they can still drive a lot of cumulative traffic organically.
It’s not always about trying to go for the most popular search terms and hoping to be able to compete with the big fish right out of the gate.
It’s about knowing your audience and striving to provide the content, information and overall service they want/need. With that in mind, here are eight SEO tips that are as effective now in 2021 as they always have been.
You may also be interested in our epic website audit checklist (with six-tab Google Sheets) to help you with your strategy.
Write for humans first and search engines second
As already mentioned, the Google algorithm gets smarter day by day and keeps better aligning with our thinking, using constant human input. That being said, there is no clever loophole or magic formula to beat the search engine, so don’t bother trying. Write for humans first and search engines second.
Ultimately, your priority should always be to provide your audience with what they are looking for, and that only comes through writing engaging and radically natural content.
Anyone can spot keywords that have shoehorned in and the stuffing is even more obvious, so fit them where it makes sense and uses the driving keywords to elevate your already informative and valuable content. allows for.
Use targeted keywords in all the right places
While motivation should always be human first, search engines second, keywords are the basis of this whole process. Separating common search terms not only gets to the heart of what visitors and Google are looking for, but SEO also drives 1000%+ more traffic than organic social media, which accounts for more than half of all online traffic. dominates. So, if keywords are at the heart of SEO, they should also be at the center of everything you do.
However, once again, it’s not just about dodging them left, right and center. It all starts with keyword research. Use SEO tools like Google Ads, Ahrefs, and even the simple on-site search bar to identify broad search intent and your “seed” keywords.
Then dig deeper to find more long-tail variants, study competitors to find keyword gaps, and don’t forget to include them in your metadata as well as the anchor text of your link. Finally, remember not to stuff keywords. Make them fit naturally so that the readability of your copy is not hampered.
Focus on User Experience (UX)
There’s nothing worse than navigating to a site you can barely use. In fact, after more than a few seconds of frustration, most people don’t bother and Google will struggle to make the best of it. Things like dead links, error pages, and messy site structure will affect what people snatch from your website.
Not only do users value a good experience and easy navigation, but this ease also helps Google’s crawlers scan your content and determine your SERP rankings.
Use headings and short, easy-to-read paragraphs, organize your sub-folders and optimize for mobile. All of these things will help reduce your bounce rate, improve your ranking, and generate better conversions overall.
And now that core web vitals have become a ranking factor through page experience updates, you should be optimizing page speed more than ever.
Focus on Building Relevant Links
As mentioned, another important aspect in building domain reputation/site authority is link-building. We have already explained why outbound/external links are important: You not only increase the information you are providing but you can get reciprocal backlinks through outreach etc.
In addition, links are a major ranking factor. Bots/crawlers discover content by following links to subsequent pages and determining how relevant they are to the search query.
The same goes for internal linking, so don’t be afraid to link to other useful pages on your site where necessary and where it feels natural. 51% of marketers see an impact after one to three months of implementing a link-building strategy.
Format Content for Featured Snippets
Featured snippets pretty much rule the SERPs these days. It’s likely that you’re familiar with them, even if you haven’t heard the term before. They are the highlighted answer boxes that appear at the top of pages for most search queries. If you manage to earn a featured snippet, you’re doing something right.
There are certain formatting and stylistic choices you can make for a featured snippet’s chances of landing: bullet points, numbered lists, infographics, and directly answering question-based searches, to name a few.
While there is data that shows that snippets don’t always result in direct clicks, as search queries are answered in Google Preview itself, snippets and count are displayed in over 19% of SERPs. They are great for increasing brand awareness and getting your name out there. Therefore, the clicks will still come.
Remove Anything That Slows Down Your Site
Once again, it cannot be overstated how easy it is to get the technical stuff right for your website and the specific content to speak for itself.
Whether you’re writing an informative blog, selling a product/service, or simply pointing someone in the right direction, your site needs to be quick, accessible, and easy to use. These days, people expect instant information and instant results. If your site takes an age to load, they will easily outgrow them.
There are several ways you can improve site speed and the overall smoothness of your UX: remove old/inactive plugins, clean up your code, optimize and compress your images, make sure your sub-folders flow Make more sense, and use tools like Google Page Speed Insights or GTmetrix to continue monitoring in the future.
Pay attention to Google algorithm updates
We have already talked about this briefly, but Google gets smarter and more intuitive day by day. Basic updates and changes to algorithms are frequent and often unpredictable, with sites either benefiting or being penalized for how closely they follow the most recent updates.
Rankings and penalties are determined by several factors: reach, speed, excessive advertising or spammy content, etc. While it can’t always be avoided, there are some easy steps you can take to stay in touch distance.
Firstly, subscribe to industry websites and forums to keep track of recent/imminent updates. Google’s Search Console community is a good start – and make sure you closely track your traffic using the services
Improve existing content and add missing subtopics
Lastly, you have to remember that there is no real finish line when it comes to your SEO strategy. Constant updates and battling your competitor’s means there’s always work to do, not to mention that you can still improve on what you’ve already done.
If you’re not already using SEO properly, going back and updating content with keywords, backlinks, and better readability is a great way to get started. You can also ensure that better-performing pages keep up with traffic growth or build on that standard by updating them regularly.
Turning to your keyword research, this is a great opportunity to use these phrases and competitive analysis as the basis for a long-term content plan. Each keyword should branch out to a plethora of others and with that comes more views for the content.
Instead of writing an excerpt from a specific topic, make it a ‘cornerstone’ article from which many other specific articles emerge. A proper content audit can be done using tools like SEMrush and Yoast; Linking and updating old content can double your traffic—just try to make it as evergreen as possible and be sure to use the internal and external linking we talked about.
This post only scratches the surface regarding SEO. It is a discipline that gets more complex and nuanced by the day, but by giving you some tried and true tips that have stood the test of time in this field, you will get whatever 2021 throws at us. Should be well prepared to handle it.
To get more information and examples of SEO for beginners, intermediates, and experts of all kinds, we have a wealth of resources at your disposal. The SEO landscape is constantly changing, so don’t miss it anymore!