In This Episode…
In this first episode of a two-part series, Tim mines the expertise of three of our best SEO experts to find tips and tricks for increasing your website’s organic traffic. Each tip can be implemented by anyone without the need for complex SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) skills.
Tim is joined by:
- Ritu Goel. SEO Ninja
- Dale Davies. Digital Marketing Manager
- Andy Tuxford. Head of SEO
Tip 1 — Make Your Website Mobile-friendly
Even if your website isn’t visited by 100% mobile traffic, your website needs to be mobile-friendly.
Since 2015, Google has been advising website owners to make their websites easier to browse on mobile devices. Millions more people use their mobile phones to browse the internet every year, so websites need to be easy to navigate and read on them. And in 2020/21, Google is changing their algorithm to be “mobile-first“. This means that every website will be ranked accordingly to how well their website performs on mobile devices.
To make your website more likely to rank at the top of Google, ensure that it is mobile-friendly, even if 99% of your traffic is visiting on a desktop device. It’s been evaluated on mobile performance so it’s important that your mobile performs well, is responsive to different screen sizes, and loads quickly.
Tip 2 — Create Solution-focused Content
People don’t buy boilers. They buy access to hot water when they need it.
People don’t buy cars. They buy personal transport that comfortably and safely gets their kids to school on time.
People don’t pay for accountants. They pay for the panic-reducing feeling that they’re paying their tax properly and on time.
People pay for solutions. But before they do that, they search for them.
Your content needs to be solution-based.
Before searching for a new boiler, people search for the solution to the problem they have. It may be that no hot water is coming through the tap or that their radiators are not heating up. Their immediate search isn’t for “new boiler installation”. No, it’s for “boiler no hot water”.
They have a problem and they want a solution. They want to know why their boiler isn’t working. The solution is a helpful guide which explains the most common reasons boilers stop working and a troubleshooting guide on how to fix them.
After they’ve tried to self-diagnose the problem and fix it, only to realise that the boiler is beyond repair, they then start to search for “best boiler models 2020” or “new boiler installation”.
This “search before the search” is for solution-focused content which should be on your website. When people are self-diagnosing or trying to learn more about a problem they have, it should be your website they find that content on.
Think about the problems your customers have and how your business solves them. Write about these solutions and post them on your website.
Tip 3 — Create Content to Cover Every Problem
Every problem has a solution. It’s important that you’re covering all of those problems on your website.
That content doesn’t have to be just blog posts on your website (although they’re the best places to start).
Your service or category pages also need to be written with problem-solving in mind. Help pages or “Knowledge Base” areas are also brilliant for problem-solving content too.
To know where to create content on your website first, think about your customer’s most common problems. In their shoes, where on your website would you want to find this content? If it’s not there, start by writing content for those pages first and keep writing until every problem is solved.
Tip 4 — Find and Improve Your “Page 2” Content
Not all of your content will be at the top of Google. Some will be on the second page, the third page, and beyond. This second-page (“Page 2”) is only a fraction away from being on the first page of Google, but in Google’s eye’s, isn’t quite good enough — yet.
One of the easiest ways to increase your organic traffic is to improve the ranking of your existing content, starting with your “Page 2” content.
Using Google’s free Search Console tool, you can see which of your pages are ranking on the second page and the search queries people are using to find them. Inspect these pages and the pages ranking on the first page. See which features or information the highest-ranking content has that your content does not. Improve your content so that it matches, but add more useful content to the page before you finish updating it.
You don’t need to add thousands of words to your content. Just enough that it’s better than the pages you’re competing against. It needs to earn the right to rank at the top of Google (which we wrote a bestselling book about) and only the best content will do so.
Tip 5 — Do a Content Audit
Not all of your content is going to be a winner. Sometimes, your content will flop.
We’re not exempt. Sometimes our content flops too. Fortunately, we do content audits and turn our flops into first-place winners.
Reviewing and improving your content is an easy and quick way to increase your organic traffic without having to invest a lot of time into researching and writing new content. The content is already there. It’s just missing something that’s holding it back from performing well.
Reviewing your content and comparing it against content which is performing well, like those ranking at the top of Google, should give you an immediate insight into what your content is missing.
- Does the first-place content include information your piece is missing?
- Is your content missing images and videos the first-place page has?
- Are top-ranking pages easier to read than yours?
- Is your content as easy to browse on a mobile device as your competitors?
You should also compare your weakest content against your best performing content by using Google Analytics. See which pieces have high engagement (low bounce rate, high time on page, etc), spot the differences between these the pages at both ends of the performance scale, and start making improvements.
Tip 6 — Write for Humans, Not Robots
Once upon a time, you could help a page to rank at the top of Google by using the keywords you were targeting repeatedly within your content. SEOs focused on “Keyword Density” would repeat the keyword phrases they were targeting two-dozen times to trick Google’s Googlebot web crawler (or “robot”) into ranking their content at the top of Google.
People were writing for robots, not people.
Google continues to update its algorithm to stamp out this and similar practices.
Google wants to deliver the solutions people are searching for. They want to provide the best user experience possible and spammy robot-focused content isn’t going to do that.
To help people, write to people. Identify with them, understand their problems and their needs, then speak directly to them as you would a friend. Your content will be easier to connect with, and in the eyes of Google, will be written for people and not robots.
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