Do you want to know how to use SEO to get FREE traffic to your website?
If your answer is a frustrated, emphatic “you betcha!” this article is for you.
We know how to use SEO to get more FREE traffic to your website than ever before. And we are going to share our knowledge with you right now.
Why should you learn how to use SEO for your business?
Even if you have a working knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), there are probably dozens of responsibilities on your calendar that demand your attention. Getting educated on and implementing high-performing SEO into your marketing plan is worth it because:
You want FREE traffic!
SEO doesn’t actually cost anything, unlike pricey traditional modes of advertising and other paid online ads. Carefully planning content and distributing information might take some time to create, but there won’t be an initial outlay of cash to get in the game. In addition, when your SEO plan gets off the ground, you can take the money spent on other advertising and funnel it into more efficient, productive avenues for the company’s long-term growth.
You want QUALITY traffic!
Getting the attention from more high-quality prospects is one of the main reasons to learn how to use SEO. Effectively drive traffic to your website and then create a satisfying, simplified experience once buyers are there. You will end up growing your business faster than with other advertising methods. Better leads means more sales.
You want SALES!
Show us a company that doesn’t like sales, and we’ll show you a company that won’t be in business for long! Every company needs to make money. That’s why they buy advertising, hire sales people, and invest in marketing campaigns.
SEO directly impacts the ability to increase sales. By reaching people who are interested in your product or service, and doing so early in the sales cycle, your company is more likely to be the one they choose to purchase from. SEO makes this all possible.
Why is SEO an important marketing initiative?
If your company trots along, enjoying moderate success, and you see ROI from current advertising investments, you may think “why should I rock the boat with SEO?”. There are several benefits it will bring your company. Here are half a dozen reasons to give it a hard look.
SEO builds credibility
Consumers crave reliability and authenticity in their vendors. Using SEO consistently helps them get to know your brand and what you are all about. A blog that piques a prospect’s interest may lead them to your website, for example, and then they can check out your other blogs and product offerings.
Over time and through various channels that prospect will feel comfortable enough to make a purchase.
SEO establishes new selling path
Getting SEO processes down pat opens a new door to selling. It’s like having a sales person that works 24/7! If your SEO gets you highly ranked, a buyer can find you any time of day or night. SEO never gets sick or takes vacation. It works all the time, sharing your branding message, creating interest, and driving leads to your website. The resulting new business from using SEO can be the difference in a flat year or a terrifically successful one.
SEO is more effective than paid advertising
We all want to get the most out of our money, and learning how to use SEO effectively helps do that. SEO leads have a 14% close rate, while outbound leads like print ads or direct mail have a 1.7% close rate.
Reducing the cost-per-lead while simultaneously attracting higher-quality leads makes SEO marketing one of the most productive ways to drive consumers to your website and turn them into customers.
Other paid advertising options might create interest or familiarize the audience with your message, but it rarely entices them to take the next step through the sales funnel.
SEO increases brand awareness
The more widely known your brand is, the more comfortable buyers are with choosing you at the end of their purchasing process. SEO is instrumental in you being able to get your blogs or other content in front of people who are ready to buy.
SEO expands customer base
Companies that have typically only functioned in small geographic areas have opened themselves to entirely new sets of customers by learning how to use SEO. This is one of the most exciting consequences of this type of marketing. Through search engines, buyers from across the country, or even the world, can find your product or service, and buy it through your website. Such increased visibility is practically immeasurable in value.
Steps to Use SEO to Get Free Website Traffic
Hopefully you are excited and committed to learning how to use SEO marketing to drive traffic to your website and increase sales.
First things first.
Lay some groundwork before you jump into your SEO strategy.
Everything is ready for you to begin building a powerful SEO strategy. There are eight components to your plan.
1. Website audit.
The first step in how to use SEO to grow your business is to audit your website. If your website is irrelevant or difficult to navigate, all your efforts will be for nothing.
Test out all of your website’s links to make sure there aren’t any unsavory “404 Page Not Found”. Which, in the internet world, is the toilet paper stuck to your shoe.
Check all the photos on your site for tags on all pages. There are some free website scanner tools you can use if you want to employ those.
Ensure all of your information is relevant to the keywords you are using. Otherwise visitors will feel duped.
Is your website secure? It will turn many users off if it’s not, and discourage them from sharing their personal information. Obtain a security clearance so visitors feel safe entering information on your website.
2. Website optimization.
The second step in how to use SEO to grow your business is to optimize your website. Your website must be laid out so it is easy for both humans and bots to navigate effectively.
First, make sure your website is speedy. Sluggish websites make users impatient and causes them to click away. There are tools that can measure your site’s speed.
Then, focus on content. Is your content closely tied to page titles? Does it all flow together well? Bots and humans both think negatively of being duped by a good headline, only to arrive at a piece of content that fails to deliver. Or worse, tries to sell them something.
Get the most out of the available tags. Create URLs that are relevant to your topic. Create descriptive, enticing meta descriptions and tags for each page. These boost search engine click-through rates.
Finally, lay out your site sensibly. Users should be able to find what they need with minimum clicks. Think of yourself as the visitor tour guide. Use clear CTAs and concise landing pages to guide them through the information.
3. Evaluate website performance.
The third step in how to use SEO is to evaluate website performance. Use the metrics you already have to see how your website is currently performing. How much traffic does it get now? What is the average time on site? If you are seeing lots of traffic, but the time on site is only a few seconds, it’s time to beef up your content and simplify the experience.
Is your bounce rate high? If so, then your home page needs to be retooled.
Hashing out these metrics give you an idea of what you are doing well and what specifically needs work.
4. Keyword research.
The fourth step in how to use SEO is to perform keyword research. Good keywords are worth their weight in gold. Once you know your targeted buyer, think about how they would have found you. What type of words and phrases would they have searched?
Once you have a list of these, look into how competitive and popular the keywords are. Whittle your list to several that explain and embrace exactly what your customer needs or wants. Use short phrases, or long-tail keywords, instead of a single word whenever possible.
Keep in mind that you want to drive high quality traffic to your website, not just everyone. By consistently using the long-tail keywords in your content and throughout your website, you will be able to reach specific segments of buyers that you want, and weed out those that are not a fit.
Once you build a kick-butt list of relevant keywords, get to…
The fifth step in how to use SEO is to start blogging. One of the best ways to reach new audiences and expand your branding message is by blogging regularly. Sometimes this seems intimidating, since it’s ongoing. It’s not a set-it-and-forget-it task.
Don’t let that stop you from creating a powerful blog.
Remember all those keywords you listed? Use them to see how many blog topics you can brainstorm. Popular layouts are the top XXX mistakes, Do’s and Don’ts, and How-to’s. Using these formats along with those you think of on your own, you should be able to scribble out enough titles for at least 3-6 months.
Once you have these, set them up on a blogging calendar. Write the blogs and publish them on the date you scheduled. Make sure they are helpful and informative, and plenty of your keywords are present in the content.
People who read your posts may or may not be potential prospects. Strategically place calls-to-action (CTA) throughout the posts. “Download this eBook” or “Register for a Webinar” gives you a chance to see if they are just casual readers, or if they are interested in what else you have to say.
Blogs are vital SEO tools for dramatically increasing website traffic. So put them to good use for your bottom line.
The sixth step in how to use SEO is to increase backlinks. It pays to have friends. Think of backlinks as good buddies who are vouching for your good name.
Backlinks are when others add a link on their website to yours. Basically they are saying “these people write some good stuff that would be helpful to you. Check them out.”
Search engines love (well, they would if they had feelings) to see backlinks. The more backlinks to your website, the higher it will rank. Guest blog posting on other websites, for example, is a great way to get backlinks. Certain vendors will add a link to your website, as will associations and groups your company is associated with. It definitely pays to ask them!
How do you know if your site has backlinks?
There are various tools you can employ to see how many backlinks your website has and what sites have them.
7. Social shares.
The seventh step in how to use SEO is to increase social shares. Reaching a wide audience of prospects is a great way to increase traffic to your website.
This is where your clever social media branding is going to come in handy. Once you begin developing keyword-rich content that is relevant to your product or service, share it far and wide! Distribute it on Face Book and Twitter. Post it on LinkedIn. Offer it as a guest blog on websites that complement your industry.
The better you are at developing content that hits the mark, the more likes, comments, and shares it will receive, the more your website traffic will increase, and the stronger your SEO rankings will grow.
8. Finally, keep your finger on the pulse of your results.
Social media is NOT the end of the cycle. You must close the loop!
Study your performance. Is your website traffic growing? If so, which of your actions is contributing to it? Does one keyword seem to garner more interest than others? Are there some pieces of content that don’t perform well?
By being aware of what works great and what doesn’t deliver, you can tweak your strategy. Write more blogs about the topics you know your prospects like. Focus more of your time on the social media channels that bring you the most traffic. Dump low-performing keywords, keep using the successful ones, and test other ones out.
How to use SEO means you edit and review your process at intervals. You can become better and better at targeting and engaging the high-quality prospects for your business.
Traffic to your website isn’t going to explode overnight, with no effort on your part. Learning how to use SEO will, however, empower you to strategically and organically grow your branding message’s reach and eventually build an online-developed customer base.
Develop an SEO strategy now. And do it right! Because, chances are, your biggest competition already is.