How to Increase Your Organic Search Engine Optimization Efforts: It can be extremely valuable to drive traffic to your website by having your pages rank well in Google’s organic search results for key keywords. While Google is always improving their search engine algorithm and there are many fundamental strategies that can help you improve your organic search engine rankings.
How to Increase Your Organic Search Engine Optimization Efforts
A great online presence requires more than high-quality products or services. It also requires technical skills, qualitative research and a lot of effort. It is important to increase your organic traffic as it will improve conversion rates and rank higher on search engines.
SEO professionals in Los Angeles have outlined six ways to increase organic traffic to your website.
1. Create a Great Website
Your website’s technical aspects are crucial. Look and performance are key. Your website must look professional so your visitors can find the information they need. It also needs to be easy to navigate so that your visitors don’t have to click through many pages.
Think back to the last time you visited a website with too little text. You probably didn’t stay long. We’re sure that everyone has experienced frustration at websites’ slow loading speeds or broken links.
Your search engine rankings can also be affected by poor website design. Google, for instance, is very concerned about page loading speeds and mobile optimization. They will not rank websites whose pages are slower than the others.
2. Define a Keyword list
It is unrealistic to expect that you will rank first in Google for all keywords related to your industry. It would help if you aimed to get high organic rankings for the most desirable keywords. This will require both marketing and management. Consider how people search for your products or services. Make a list of keywords and then check the traffic and competition using a tool such as Ahrefs. Keywords that have high volumes and low competition are more attractive as they are easy to rank for. With AI-powered conversation analytics tools such as Signal Discovery, you can learn what customers talk about your products.
3. Conduct thorough keyword research
Keyword research is something that almost everyone who knows SEO will be familiar with. This is how websites get ranked first. If your website contains certain keywords or phrases that are frequently searched, you have a better chance of being found by search engines.
Proper keyword research doesn’t mean stuffing your website full of keywords. This is known as keyword stuffing, and it will get you banned by Google. Instead, you should be focusing on having a large number of keywords that are input here and there based on the content of the page.
These keywords should be relevant to you business (thereby relevant to customers), broad (e.g. deep tissue massage techniques) and specific to your location (so customers in your area can find you). Semrush’s Keyword Generator can help you.
4. Use Target Keywords that Match Your Intent
After you have identified the top keywords, it is time to match them to your search intent. According to Google, there are three main types of search intent:
- Informational: These queries indicate that the searcher is looking for information, guidance or how-to content on a particular topic. A good example of an informational question is “How do I change my tire?”
- Transactional This type of query indicates that the user is looking to purchase something. A transactional query could be “buy new tires”.
- Navigational This type of query indicates that the user is looking to find a particular vendor or site. A navigational query could be “Monro tires”.
It is important to determine the type of intent that each keyword is intended for and then create content that meets their needs. If someone searches “how to change tires”, you will create an article that includes images and instructions. You would also create a product page for someone searching “buy new tires”. This would include product details, reviews, and an online shopping cart.
5. Optimize blogs for search engines
It’s not just about using the right keywords to blog! Writing a blog is more than just adding keywords. It’s about using the right language and tone, organizing data logically and making it entertaining for your readers. You need to think about your readers when you post something. Is this something that you would enjoy reading?
Blogs are a great way to keep your website updated. Your website should never be neglected. This is a bad thing for business owners. Regular updates are essential to keep your readers coming back for more.
But, don’t just post blogs to make a buck. Your blogs should be relevant to your content as well as meaty. You don’t want to write 1000 words about something that you can answer in three seconds.
6. Add Featured Snippets
Featured snippets appear at the top of the search engine result page. Instead of meta descriptions, which only briefly describe the content of the page you are about to click on, featured snippets contain blocks of text that are taken directly from your page. This allows searchers to find what they are looking for without having to click any links.
We know exactly what you are thinking. Why do we discourage your customers clicking on your links?
Being on a featured Snippet is extremely beneficial because it puts you right at the top search engine results like this:
You can see that featured snippets do not have to be the #1 search. This will give you an advantage over your competitors.
Post informative blogs answering questions such as “why” or “how” to get featured in a featured snippet. So that searchers are still encouraged to visit your site, you should give a brief summary of the answer in the first paragraph. Then elaborate on the following ones.
It takes a lot of trial-and-error to create featured snippets, but it is well worth it.
7. Enhance old and outmoded content
Many people are so focused on creating new content for their websites, that they forget to create the ones they have already created. Los Angeles SEO experts suggest that you review your existing content every once in a while to refresh it. But why?
First, it is content that you already own. If your pages are not getting much traffic, you can repost them with no problems to increase exposure. You can make this content more interesting if you feel it has something to offer.
Your old content may be outdated, particularly if it is related to changing fields like medicine and information technology. Your SEO will suffer if your information is not useful anymore.
8. Link Building
Both internal and external links are critical to increase your organic traffic. Both are confirmed ranking factors in SEO.
These links lead to other pages of your website as internal links. These links help users navigate your website (e.g. menu, breadcrumb trails) and also suggest pages that might be of interest to them. To drive them down your marketing funnel, you can also use internal links.
External links can increase your credibility, especially when they link to authoritative sites. To get traffic from other websites’ websites, you should always try to get a backlink from them. This can be done in many ways. You could guest post on other people’s blogs, or form partnerships with relevant websites.
9. For a boost, refresh old content
Google considers the relevancy of your content to be one of its primary ranking factors. Your pages will have a better chance of appearing at the top of the SERP if they are up-to-date.
Check if old content is losing its value. Google Search Console can be used to determine which pages have lost clicks, impressions or rankings. Next, you can prioritize which posts are losing traffic and then start updating them.
Google won’t allow you to simply update old content by adding a date later. To ensure it remains relevant, you need to make substantial changes to the copy. It’s also possible to do a quick audit on competitors and find out which points they are covering. This will allow you to add value to your content.
10. Do not be afraid of low- or zero-volume keywords
Many content marketers put too much emphasis on keyword volume. They tend to target the most competitive and high-volume queries.
While high volume keywords are valuable for SEO strategies, your team should also consider low volume and even no volume keywords. These keywords are more likely to be searched for than others, but they also have a higher probability of being found in the sales funnel.
The search volume for “How do I change a tire” is much higher than that for “Best price snow tires.” But, because this is a transactional keyword, they are likely to be further down the funnel. Because the query is so specific, you will likely have fewer competitors to rank high in the SERP.
Google is also putting more emphasis on thought leadership. If your site is targeting the same keywords as everyone else it will be flagged by the algorithm. Google will give your site more weight in search results if you develop niche content. This is because you are acting as a thought-leader.
11. Organic Rankings will be dominated by good content
Before diving into the technical aspects of SEO ranking, remember that high-quality content is essential. It must be interesting and compelling enough to encourage visitors to share and link back to your content. Google considers viral content to be the best content. This is why Google heavily rewards viral content in its ranking algorithm. Google requires that you invest in high-quality writers and back your content up with authoritative sources (sites with high domain authority) so you can ensure that you are meeting their standards.
12. A Hub-and-Spoke Content Strategy will help you build topical authority
Google favors websites that are true to their expertise, and create content around relevant topics rather than targeting many different keywords. Google authority can be achieved by creating clusters of content about main topics. For example, our call tracking solution is targeted at marketers so we frequently write blogs about best practices in marketing. These blog posts on marketing strategies are called “spoke content”. After creating your spoke content, link it all to a central page that can serve as the “hub.” This is the case for marketing content linking to the call tracking product pages. Google can see the relationship between your content, and Google can visualize your site in terms subtopics.
13. Consolidate pages with similar content
Duplicate content is when you have pages that are similar in topic and use the same keywords. Duplicate content can lead to two major problems. Search engines like Google won’t be able to determine which page is the best. They will show only one and each page will rank for fewer keywords because they are competing with each other. You might end up with less backlinks to one page if both pages show up in the SERPs. You should instead review both pages and consolidate content to create one page that is strong enough to enjoy many quality backlinks and keyword rankings. To avoid this problem, you should review your pages and blog library regularly. A tool such as SEMRush can be used to detect keyword cannibalization, which can indicate a problem with duplicate content.
14. Follow the Google E-A-T Guidelines
According Google EAT is one the most important factors in determining page quality. Let’s take a look at what this acronym actually means.
Expertise Google is looking for websites that demonstrate expertise in your field. This is particularly relevant for the legal, medical, and financial industries. Expertise can be established by providing accurate and clear information, as well as citing reliable sources.
Authoritativeness Show off your authority. You can demonstrate this by displaying credentials, positive reviews and customer testimonials. This information can be highlighted throughout your website.
Trustworthiness Make sure your users feel secure on your website. An SSL certificate and HTTPS site are essential, especially if you take monetary transactions online. Google ranks SSL certificate sites and domains with SSL certificates higher in search results. 75% first-page Google search results contain an SSL certificate.
These best practices will help you ensure compliance with the EAT.
- If you have a blog, include author bios and mention any credentials that prove the author’s competence.
- Do not seek spammy backlinks, but instead focus on high-quality links
- Check that your website contains accurate information on the About, Contact, or Customer Service pages.
- You must ensure that any content directly relating to your visitors’ money and life (e.g. financial advice, medical information) are written by qualified professionals
- Reduce or edit low-quality content
15. You can remove pages that don’t add value to your site or audience
Your website’s quality is more important than its quantity. Your rankings could be affected if you have too many pages that don’t provide value to your audience. Too many pages can slow down your site’s speed, which is a crucial ranking factor for Google. These pages can also reduce rankings of more valuable pages, if they have the same subject matter.
You may be wondering which pages are worth removing. These are some ways to tell if a particular page is a dead weight on your site.
- This page does not have any backlinks
- Poor keyword rankings for keywords or ranks for keywords not relevant to your audience
- The page is in decline or has low sessions
- This page has a high bounce-rate
- This page is outdated and does not relate to your audience anymore.
After identifying the low-value pages on your website, you can decide if you want to delete or redirect the content. You can redirect low-performing content to a page with a similar topic matter if there is one. You can also send it to the scrap heap if you don’t have any.
16. Use your Target Keywords and Keyword Variations throughout the Content
The best way to rank high for a keyword is by using it. It is important to include key keywords in page titles, headlines and body text. This can signal relevance. Your focus keywords should be used frequently in your copy, but not at the expense or quality of your writing. Google’s algorithm is adept at identifying “keyword stuffing”. It penalizes pages who use keywords in a way that makes it difficult to read. To avoid being penalized for keyword stuffing, it is a good idea to read your copy aloud. If your keyword usage sounds unnatural, you might be flagged as such. This can be corrected by replacing your focus keyword with secondary keywords that you want the blog rank for.
Secondary keywords are extremely important as they allow you to cast a wider metaphorical net in the search engine sea. Secondary keywords should be related to your main keyword and have the exact same intent. If we wanted to write an article on “healthy dog treats”, our secondary keywords would be “low-calorie pet treats”, organic dog treats, and “best dog treats for weight control”. These keywords provide depth and support the main keyword. We’ll now have an optimized page that can be used by anyone searching for these keywords.
17. You can A/B test your pages
SEO is not a one-and-done process. You must optimize your website regularly to ensure top rankings. You can improve your site’s performance by A/B testing elements.
You can, for example, test different meta titles, descriptions, try out different H1s, modify your headline structures, show more content on the page, add photographs, and many other things. Google Optimize, a tool that tracks performance can help you see what’s working well and what’s not. Then you can apply your best practices to your entire website and reap the rewards.
18. Optimize your page titles
The HTML tag is a description of a web page’s contents and defines its title. It is the first line hyperlinked text Google displays when they search for a page.This is a key element of on-page SEO according to Google’s algorithm.Your page titles should not exceed 70 characters. Any text longer than that will be removed from Google’s organic results. Your key keywords should be included in your title, and preferably at the beginning. To increase brand awareness, you might consider adding your company to the end if you have more space.
19. Header tags can be used to structure your content and send signals to crawlers
A strong headline structure is essential for ranking well. It is a good idea to include a relevant H1 at the top of each page. This will help you understand what the content is all about. Then, you should divide the subtopics using H2s and H3s. This will make it easy to scan and makes it clear how the content is organized. This structure creates a strong information hierarchy that search engine crawlers can use to understand your page’s content.
20. Write meta descriptions that drive clicks
The HTML tag is meant to be a concise explanation of a web page’s content. Google displays your meta description beneath the page title in their organic results. Meta descriptions aren’t nearly as important to Google’s ranking algorithm as page titles — rather, their function is to drive clicks from users. People read descriptions as a preview of your page and use it to determine if your content is worth visiting. Therefore, you need to provide a clear value proposition about what they’ll gain by visiting your page and reading your content. Consider using words that inspire action like “learn more,” “find out,” or “get…” Below are a few examples of meta descriptions that drive clicks:
You should keep your meta descriptions to 160 characters or less since Google won’t display text beyond that. You should also include target keywords in your text, since any words matching a user’s search query will be displayed in bold.
21. Track the Visitors and Leads Your SEO Is Driving
It’s only half of the battle to secure top organic search engine rankings. It’s crucial to determine the effectiveness of your efforts in web site traffic and lead/sales generation. This will help you prove your worth and optimize your results. Google Search Console will give you valuable insight into the site’s functionality and help you identify any potential issues that need to be corrected. Google Analytics can be used to track visitors’ interactions with your site and measure changes in search traffic. Google Analytics reporting can be set up to track how your organic traffic converts to customers, leads, or subscribers.
Marketers often track online conversions that organic search drives, but many don’t track calls. They aren’t getting credit for all of the revenue that their optimizations have generated. Call tracking can link leads and sales back the the web pages that drove them. This allows you to track all conversions that your top SEO pages drive, online and by phone.
22. For internal linking, use keyword variations as anchor text
Anchor text refers to the visible words or characters hyperlinks use when linking to another webpage. Google can determine the content of a page linked to by using descriptive and relevant anchor text. Use internal links, which are links on pages that point to pages on the same website, as anchor text. Instead of using phrases like “click here” and “download here”, you should use close variations of your target keywords. Avoid overusing exact match keywords. Close variations can help improve your organic Google rankings.
23. Optimize ALT tags, especially for images
ALT tags are HTML elements that are used to indicate alternative text to be displayed when the element being applied (such as images), can’t render. Google uses ALT tags to signal their ranking algorithm. If you have images or other elements on your pages, make sure you use an ALT tag that is descriptive and contains targeted keywords.
24. Use concise, yet descriptive URLs
URLs that can be read by humans are preferred by search engines. Keep your URLs simple and relevant to the page. Avoid special characters and blocks of numbers. Google ranks shorter URLs higher in search results than those with more characters. This is something you should keep in mind as you design your website. Keywords should be included in URL names. Try to locate them closer to your domain.
25. Optimize your site for mobile
Google announced in 2015 that mobile friendliness would be a ranking signal. The infamous “Mobilegeddon” was triggered by brands scrambling to optimize their mobile sites. Google has gradually increased the importance of mobile friendliness within its rankings since then. In 2020, Google moved to a mobile-first model which means that its algorithm now places mobile performance higher than desktop performance.
Here are some tips for optimizing your website to work on mobile devices:
- Google’s mobile friendly tool allows you to test your website.
- Design for touch — Fingers come in all sizes, so it is easy to make mistakes with taps
- Mobile users can now access your CTA buttons
- Redesign your pop-ups for mobile devices
- Allow Accelerated Mobile Pages to (AMP)
- Use caching
- Reduce the size of your images to speed up loading
- To understand how mobile users use your website, you can use heat maps and mouse tracking tools. Then optimize accordingly
26. Black Hat Techniques? Say No!
Black hat SEO is the art of tricking search engines to give you higher rankings through unethical methods, such as buying hyperlinks. This is a very dangerous risk. Even if your site receives a temporary increase in ranking due to black-hat tactics, this will likely be short-lived. Google is becoming more adept at spotting black hat tactics and any progress made will soon be lost. Or worse, your site may be removed entirely from the index.
27. Leverage Broken Backlinks
Broken backlinks can affect SEO indirectly by affecting bounce rate and time on site as well as how you pass link juice. Broken backlinks can also negatively impact SEO rankings, sending signals to Google that your website has become outdated. You can ensure that broken links don’t damage your website by regularly using tools like Google Search Console and ScreamingFrog. They are then checked for errors and fixed.
You can also leverage broken backlinks from other websites to improve your backlinking strategy. If a trusted website has a broken backlink to an article of your competitor’s, you can reach out to them and offer a link to one your articles to correct it. This outreach strategy can be very successful as it’s mutually beneficial. The other site can fix a broken link that is damaging their site, while you are able acquire more link juice for yourself.
28. Employ a Link Building Strategy
Link building can be described as the process of acquiring links from other domains to your website. Guest blogging, asking webmasters to link to your pages from authoritative websites relevant to your business are all great ways to get links. Your ranking will rise the higher your domain authority is on the sites you get backlinks. This is because these sites pass authority from their site onto yours via those backlinks. This phenomenon is often called “link juice” by SEOs. You can use a domain authority tester to determine which sites have the highest authority to your site.
Relevant keywords should be used as anchor text in your backlinks. This will send signals to Google that the pages are relevant for these terms.
29. Keep good technical health
Sites with poor technical health will rank lower than sites with good health. What makes a site “unhealthy?” Site health can be affected by many factors, including broken links, slow page speeds, poor mobile performance and improper indexing.
These technical issues can be identified at scale using tools like ScreamingFrog or Semrush’s Site Auditor. After you have fixed the issues, it is important to continue auditing and crawling your site regularly.