Search engine optimization (SEO) is the most popular buzzword of the digital era because it makes a tremendous impact on website performance. The power of SEO is huge as it can make or break your efforts to raise awareness and approach the target audience.
But do you know what SEO really is?
By definition, it represents the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. This is very important because 93% of all traffic comes from a search engine, while nearly 80% of users completely ignore paid advertisements.
What seems to be the major benefit of SEO? Here are some of the biggest advantages:
- It makes your company discoverable because almost no one looks beyond the first page of search results.
- It helps you raise brand awareness and reach out to new audience groups in the long run.
- It is the primary source of leads as the majority of consumers conduct online searches prior to making a purchase.
- It boosts conversion rates and makes your company more profitable.
- It is cost-efficient. You don’t have to spend a dime to craft a standout SEO strategy.
- It enables businesses to grow their professional reputation and become well-known industry authorities.
- It generates long-term results. If you approach SEO cleverly, you can expect it to keep delivering the desired results year after year.
The benefits of creating an SEO strategy are obvious, but do you know how to prepare a good website optimization plan? If the answer is no, keep reading our post to learn 10 practical SEO tips that will boost your traffic in 2020.
1. Content Quality Is Key
A lot of people believe SEO is strictly a technical process, but the truth is that high-quality content was, is, and will be the main ranking factor. Modern users don’t want to read boring and irrelevant posts, so you better give them amazing articles filled with clever insights, humor, data, and alternative viewpoints.
This is the only type of content that can drive user engagement and convince search engines to give you a higher position in search results. How do you create a great piece of content?
First of all, you should come up with an attention-grabbing headline. According to the report, over 80% of users never make it past the headline, so you absolutely have to design a standout title that makes people interested in learning more about the topic.
Sometimes you’ll think of an excellent title instantly, but don’t hesitate to utilize online tools if you lack inspiration. For instance, CoSchedule Headline Analyzer can help you to assess possible titles and give you precious recommendations on how to improve. The platform showcases a broad scope of features such as:
- Headline word count because the most attractive titles contain between six and 13 words
- Sentiment analysis to identify the emotional impact of your headline
- Buzzwords and jargon that you should avoid
Besides headlines, you should focus on the sheer quality of your writing. Try to make your topic data-rich and use the style you know the audience would love to see. In order to do so, you must understand the preferences and the traits of a typical reader. This includes the following details:
- Demographic details like gender, age, and location
- Marital status
- Personal hobbies, values, and interests
- Average income and education
2. Improve Readability
High-quality content is fully readable and user-friendly. What does it mean? Well, it means that content creators must take care of the article structure to ensure easy skimming and scanning. A well-written post is divided into three sections:
- Introduction: The first section is where you briefly describe the topic and tell readers what to expect from your text. You should point out the basic statement and prepare users for further explanations.
- Body: It is the main part of each article because it gives readers an in-depth explanation of the topic. You should make use of it to present key conclusions and provide stats and facts to support your claims.
- Conclusion: The third section is where you remind readers of the most important components of your post and highlight the things they ought to remember.
This is not the only suggestion readability-wise. On the contrary, you should also divide longer parts of the pots into smaller paragraphs to let the audience slide through the article effortlessly. You can do it using many different tricks, but our favorite solutions include numbered lists and bulletins.
Why is that so?
The answer is easy – people remember numbers much easier than plain text. And if you enlarge or bold critical terms or phrases, you will help the audience to identify key points and grasp the main idea of your content almost instantly.
3. Write Longer Articles
Do you know that the average Google first page result contains 1,890 words? Website content is getting longer because users want to read better and more informative articles. This tip actually goes hand in hand with the first two because it takes a certain number of words to achieve the highest level of quality and readability.
If you want to impress them and give website traffic a brand new boost, you better indulge the audience and begin publishing long-form content. Although it takes more time, the tactic will have a major effect on your search engine ranking.
Of course, the idea is not to write nonsense only to grab the attention of Google, Yahoo, and other search engines. On the contrary, you need to make it all look meaningful and logical.
Each post should concentrate on a highly specific problem. After all, users search for valuable content online mainly because they are looking for solutions to everyday problems, so you should do your best to answer with long-form articles.
Make sure to provide audiences with a step-by-step guide on how to achieve their goals. If you need inspiration, just take a look at our post – it is over two thousand words long and it gives you a full set of instructions in a step-by-step manner.
4. Use the Best Keywords
You probably know that keywords are the basic SEO concept, so you definitely need to dedicate enough time to keyword research. Simple keyword stuffing doesn’t work anymore, which means that serious webmasters have to identify the best search terms and use them strategically throughout the posts.
There are a few ways to pinpoint the best keywords and each one should give a valuable contribution to your SEO strategy. Let’s check them out one by one here:
- Brainstorming: It all begins with a quick brainstorming session with the members of your team. All it takes is to organize a 15-minute meeting to discuss the coming topics and quickly go through the most interesting keyword options. The first ideas are usually the best, while you might even come up with some unexpected but precious solutions.
- Keyword research tools: Keyword research cannot be complete without specialized online tools and apps. Most content creators use Google Keyword Planner for two highly specific reasons. Firstly, the platform is free of charge. Secondly, it is Google’s native platform and hence it offers some of the best keyword insights you can get online.
- Competitor analysis: Every niche has one or two leaders that stand out from the crowd of rivals. You should analyze the market leaders and identify keywords that help their posts rank so highly.
5. Write About Trendy Topics
Another useful tip is to write about trendy topics if you want readers to pay attention to your website. The idea is simple – you should seize the opportunity to discuss popular topics and inspire people to visit your website.
For instance, let’s say you are running a basketball-oriented website. In this case, your goal is to get ready for major events in this sport such as the NBA Finals, All-Star games, Olympics, and similar. Of course, the list of basketball topics and important events is much longer, but this should be enough to help you figure out our suggestions.
However, some fields of work are not so exciting and full of popular events. In such circumstances, you will have to dig deeper in order to find the hottest themes. Once again, there is a simple tool that will help you to do it quickly.
All it takes is to use a platform like Google Trends to figure out the hottest themes. You can search for news by topics, periods, and locations to find a perfect match for the target group. Combining trendy topics with evergreen posts, you will form a comprehensive content plan with the highest SEO potential.
6. Encourage Engagement
Google and other search engines strongly appreciate websites that inspire visitors to post comments and questions. What makes this little detail such an important ranking factor? Well, user engagement proves that you are running a highly professional website that really inspires the audience to discuss your articles.
That way, the likes of Bing and Google know that your content creation efforts are not useless. As a result, you can expect them to reward you with a higher ranking over time.
This is exactly why you should try to boost engagement by asking questions and answering users’ comments. Such a tactic will help you to build relationships with the audience and also give search engines a signal that your website is relevant.
Social networks also play a big role here. Although there is no direct evidence that Facebook and other platforms impact SEO, the fact is that social engagement can help users to discover your website and pay it a visit sometime soon.
7. Make Use of Local SEO
If you haven’t used local SEO so far, you should definitely start doing it in 2020. The tactic is focused on local businesses with physical stores or branches. What makes local SEO such an important concept?
Here is the answer – more than 80% of smartphone shoppers conduct ‘near me’ searches. Before visiting the actual store, buyers want to know where it is located and compare different offers online. If your competitors show up in “near me” searches and you don’t, you cannot expect the target audience to visit your store and buy your products.
Your job is to take advantage of this fact and create an account on Google My Business. It’s a specialized platform supported by Google that helps the largest search engine to identify local businesses and collect data about their work.
Google My Business is a user-friendly platform that will guide you through the signup process quickly and effortlessly. All you have to do is enter the latest information about your company, including physical addresses, opening and closing hours, phone numbers, email addresses, etc. It will make the business visible in location-based searches and help nearby prospects to find your stores quickly.
8. Create User-Friendly URLs
Way too many content creators neglect URLs and use default solutions, but they obviously don’t know that it hurts webpage ranking. Search engine algorithms use the same logic as human beings – they see webpage links and try to guess the content of the page based on the URL alone.
If your links look ugly and meaningless, search engines will have to work harder to index your content. At the same time, website visitors will also have to work harder to discover the purpose of your post.
Take a look at these two links:
You don’t have to be an SEO master to notice that the latter solution is much more appropriate because it reveals that the article is dedicated to SEO tips. Therefore, you should customize each URL to help search engines and users to figure out the content of your webpage.
9. Exploit Internal Linking
Inbound links prove the authority of your website, but you should not forget to utilize the internal linking strategy as well. After all, the easiest way to drive additional traffic is to recommend visitors to read other articles on your website.
The goal is to add a relevant call to action and help the audience to switch from one post to another without any additional effort whatsoever. The only thing you need to worry about is finding relevant posts that can augment user experience naturally.
We understand that internal linking can be a troublesome process if you do it manually, but there are many tools that can automate the process. The vast majority of websites now run on WordPress, so we recommend you to check out some of their internal linking plugins. Here are our favorites:
- Internal Link Juicer: This plugin uses keyword identification as the foundation for internal linking. With it, you can redirect users to closely related content and improve the overall SEO performance of your website.
- Internal Link Building: If you want to use large keyword datasets, then Internal Link Building is the right way to go.
- Internal Links Manager: The third plugin on our list adds the targeted link wherever it identifies a given keyword or search phrase.
Each of the three tools we mentioned above is highly intuitive and easy to use, so feel free to test them all and make the decision based on your personal preferences.
10. Improve Page Load Speed
The vast majority of users will abandon your website if it takes more than two or three seconds to load. In such circumstances, you must improve page load speed to satisfy the expectations of content consumers. Luckily enough, the process is quick and simple – use a tool such as Pingdom to analyze performance and use those insights to make the site faster.
The test takes only a few seconds as you ought to copy the website URL and paste it to the Pingdom search bar. You can choose a location from which you want to test page load speed: Europe, North America, South America, Australia, or Asia. Pingdom gives you a list of parameters:
- The overall performance grade
- Load time
- Page size
- Number of requests
Besides that, the platform also displays a list of errors that are slowing down your website. You can take advantage of it to eliminate shortcomings and optimize the website so as to make it faster and more efficient.
SEO is a quintessential concept of the 21st-century business, but too many webmasters still don’t know how to design a good strategy and drive more traffic to their sites. In this article, we showed you the top 10 SEO tips that could help you to increase website traffic in 2020. Keep our tips in mind and write a comment if you have other interesting suggestions or questions – we would love to see it!
John Trogdon is a digital marketer and content creator in the essay writing service UK. John is a search engine optimization expert, but he also writes about social media, email marketing, and display advertising. Besides that, John is the father of two lovely kids and a passionate long-distance runner.