Do I need search engine optimisation to drive traffic to my website?

By in Driving Traffic, August 29th, 2018

These days search engines have amazing capabilities to crawl hundreds of millions of websites almost daily, looking for fresh, unique content that best matches what you are searching for and put the most relevant sites right in front of you. In our experience the only people that go to page 3 of a search engine are the people that know the website they are looking for should be there somewhere… When was the last time you went to page 3 of a Search Engine Results Page (SERP)?

What is SEO and why do you need SEO?
SEO is the process of optimising your website so that it will rank higher on the SERP for your selected keywords. SEO can help increase your brand awareness, traffic, and in turn revenue by minimising the cost per click for paid traffic. Search engines are an integral part of any online user experience, Google alone handles over 35 Million searches per minute! From these millions of queries, 55% of internet users click on the first organic link that is returned. 12% of users click on the second link and 8% of user on the third, meaning hat 75% of inquiries go to the first 3 websites listed in the results. Are you ranking top 3 for your keywords?

Simply put, you do not need to do any SEO techniques to your website and let your site rank naturally based on the search engines interpretation of your website, then you could generate traffic to your site via paid advertising, but this is cost per click or impression and if you stop paying, you will stop getting traffic. SEO involves helping search engines to interpret your page and what you do or offer, via a range of techniques that anyone can do themselves or with professional help. Whilst no-one can guarantee the top ranking in Google (if they do, I wouldn’t recommend working with them) as the algorithym is constantly changing and has many factors, there are many proven techniques that will help you identify the top search terms and get top results for those terms.

Most SEO campaigns take a minimum of 3 months to see a significant boost in traffic, but once you are running a good SEO campaign it is easy to maintain the top rankings with less ongoing work.

Where to start with your SEO campaign?
To begin any SEO campaign you must have a target or goal. If you are going to perform the SEO yourself you should start with some keyword research, alternatively if you are going to hire SEO Specialists like MyNext, they should do the keyword research for you. Keyword research is important because you want to rank for words that internet users are actually searching for, which will get your website in front of more potential visitors.

When selecting keywords you will need to think about phrases that are relevant to a potential searcher, for example very few of Google searches are single words, people tend to search for phrases, for example if you looked for “plumber”, not only are there a lot of plumbers that want to rank for that keyword, as a searcher would the results be relevant to you? Compare this to someone that searches “plumber in Sydney” or even more likely still “plumber in your actual suburb”, if you were searching by including your suburb, you know the plumber you find will be able to service your area.

Once you have selected you optimal keywords, you will then be able to start working on your SEO campaign. To fully optimise your website we suggest that you only use white hat (Search Engine Friendly) techniques to implement both on page SEO techniques and off page SEO techniques…

On page SEO techniques
To optimise your site for your keywords you will need to have access to your website. If your website is built in a CMS such as WordPress or Joomla, there are free plugins that help you optimise your website and content.

When optimising your website, focus on including your keyword in the page title, meta description, meta keywords, H1 title and in the first few words of the opening paragraph. The content needs to be readable to humans, search engines and can not be sentences stuffed with keywords that you want to rank for. Also use the keywords in your images file names, image alt tag and image title.

As you can see from how often you need to use the selected keywords, that you have to research and select the keywords that are going to generate you the most traffic, because your page title can not be 20 different versions of the same keywords, however people get around this buy building pages specifically targeting the keyword, like blog content similar to this. That way visitors will land on your site with the information relevant to what they are looking for.

Off page SEO techniques
Unique content is priceless and if you have got good content or offer a good service people will link to your site. Search Engines are constantly looking for back links “who is linking” to your website, and the better the source of these links the more they affect your SEO results.

Getting links to your website can be tricky but there are a few resources and directories that allow you to create a profile for your business and on some directories you can add your business website link, think of things like the Yellow pages or True Local. Other links can be obtained from participating in industry associations, forums or blogs where people may be discussing your potential business. People may also provide a link to your website after paid sponsorship for local community groups, sport clubs or for testimonials.

It is also recommended to support your website with social media pages. This also gives you visitors a chance to interact and share their page which can multiply the popularity of your page.

SEO performance tracking
When tracking the performance of your SEO campaign you we recommend measuring all traffic through Analytics and not by the actual ranking on the SERP. You could be ranking 1 for keywords that no one is looking for, compared to ranking on the first page for a keyword that recieves 10,000 monthly searches. Analytics is the best way to track how your SEO campaign is progressing.

Traffic should go up over time and since it is organic traffic that you are generating there will not be an instant spike, however week after week and month after month you should expect to see gradual increases. If you do need or want an instant hit you should consider using paid media advertising until your organic traffic increases.

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About the Author

Josh Tucker

Josh Tucker

I am a software engineer and digital engagement strategist, focusing on automation and boutique builds for clients that no longer need off the shelf solutions. Having spent more than 15 years developing numerous websites/platforms, integrations and audiences for a range of clients in the local and international markets, I can combine development skills with extensive digital marketing and engagement experience, providing an overall digital strategy that can be executed efficiently and cost effectively.
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