Finally! the ultimate SEO strategy to increase your search traffic. Implementing the right SEO strategy can help you attract qualified leads and grow your revenue. But let’s face it, SEO can feel a little overwhelming and demanding, especially if you’re just starting out.
The modern day’s search engines and their algorithms have become vastly sophisticated, and sticking to the old ways of doing SEO will only bring you zero clicks and visibility.
If you’re looking to get increased organic search traffic in 2021 for your product or service, then this post is for you.
In this post, you will learn 7 actionable, tried and tested ways to create and implement effective SEO strategies to drive more organic traffic to your website in 2021.
Before we dive right into that let’s briefly look at what SEO strategy means and why you need it to grow your organic traffic in 2021.
What is an SEO Strategy?
An SEO strategy or search engine optimization strategy is a plan of action that encompasses the detailed process, planning and implementation of steps designed to optimise your website for increased search engine rankings. In other words, an SEO strategy outlines the series of efforts you intend to make in order to improve your organic traffic and the process that you follow in achieving this goal.
According to reports, there are an estimated 3.5 billion searches on Google each day. While only 0.78% of Google users click on results from the second page, the top results in the first page of Google’s organic search result page get an average click through rate (CTR)of 31.7%.
Optimizing your website for search engines like Google can boost your online visibility and bring more businesses to you. When done right, SEO ensures that your pages and blog posts get organic clicks from search engines.
What Are The Top SEO Strategies To Increase Traffic In 2021?
1. Focus on Keywords
SEO is simply about optimizing your website to gain more visibility on the SERPs when people are looking for your kind of business. This is where keywords come in. In fact, everything in SEO revolves around keywords.
This is why:
Today, the SERPs have become highly sophisticated with several rich results coming from Google business listings, Featured Snippets and related questions with their answers. Sometimes, consumers can get answers to their questions without having to click a result.
According to statistics, more than 50% of searches are zero-click searches. This highlights why it’s becoming increasingly difficult for many businesses to get organic clicks.
To achieve higher ranking and improved visibility in search results, a substantial part of your SEO strategy must be focused on researching the terms that people use when looking for your product, service and brand and optimizing your content for these keywords.
So, how do you go about keyword research in 2021?
Shortly, you’ll learn some simple hacks to uncover relevant keywords with high search volumes.
Start with Google…
Google is your go-to resource, at least for basic keyword research.
Head to Google search field, and type a keyword, and it will populate a list of suggestions. These are relevant keywords for SEO because they come directly from Google, based on what people are searching for.
Most of these keywords are long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are known for their preciseness and low competition rate than short tail terms or single words.
Although long tail keywords don’t normally have much search volume as their short tail counterparts, they usually reveal search intent, helping you to rank for them faster when you optimize your content for these search phrases.
You can type a few variations of your targeted keywords into Google until you have a list of about 10 keywords. Additionally, you can use advanced keyword research tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush or Ubersuggest for more keyword ideas.
2. Focus on Search Intent
Before writing any content, start by putting yourself in the user’s shoes and asking if your website and content can truly help them solve their problems.
Google’s BERT algorithm (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) is designed to look for intent matches in indexed pages and return results that are most helpful and valuable to the searchers. The algorithm uses machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) to better understand searches and what users are actually looking for.
With Google’s latest BERT update, the search engine crawlers or bots have become much more conversational and can now interpret the intent of a search. What this means is that websites that have content-intent matches are more likely to rank higher on search results. Conversely, websites with content-intent mismatches will be negatively impacted.
Having said that, it has become extremely important to start creating content that’s an exact match to what users are searching for. Are they looking for answers to a specific question or looking for a list of options? Users bring different kinds of intent to the Google search bar, and it’s your job to ensure that your content matches their intent and provides valuable answers to their questions.
For example, if someone is searching “best web developers” as a keyword on Google that means the user probably needs the service of a web developer and looking for the right expert to hire. However, some keywords could have multi intents. An example is “web developer”. It’s possible the person searching is looking for a web design expert expert to hire or wants to be a web design expert.
To create relevant content that matches searcher’s intent, it’s advisable you take the time to research what others have written about keywords to create valuable content that doesn’t only engage but convert web visitors to leads.
3. Optimize for Core Web Vitals
By May 2021, Google will be rolling out Core Web Vitals, a new set of ranking signals. Core Web Vitals combine the existing UX-related signals such as mobile-friendliness, safe-browsing, HTTPS-security and intrusive interstitial guidelines and are poised to be dominant ranking factors that will transform how SEO is done.
What Are Core Web Vitals?
Core web vitals are a subset of Google’s overall evaluation of Page Experience which seek to measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page.
By this update, Google is improving their algorithm to ensure that only sites with user-friendly interface and structure are ranked on the top spots of search result pages. The Core Web Vitals include the site’s load speed, interactivity and visual stability.
The three metrics Google seeks to measure with this update include:
Largest Contentful Paint: LCP refers to the time it takes the main content on a webpage to load. Google recommends that the LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds or faster.
First Input Delay: FID refers to the time it takes for a web page to become interactive. To provide good user experience, your web page is expected to have a FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
Cumulative Layout Shift: CLS refers to the amount of unexpected layout shift of a page’s visual content. To provide a good user experience, a page should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.
How do you optimise for Google’s Core Web Vitals?
Before taking any action, start by looking at your Google Search Console account to check your website’s Core Web Vital report. You can also use tools like PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse to help you spot and fix any issue on your website.
To fix slow loading speed, try the following:
- Reduce the dimensions of background images
- Implement lazy loading for each of your web pages
- Remove large page elements such as large video files or bulky CSS
To address issue of slow web interactivity, try the following:
- Use browser cache to improve UX by loading JS faster
- Remove nonessential third-party scripts such as Google Analytics and heatmaps
To fix issue of unstable web content (CLS), try the following:
- Make sure ads elements have a reserved space on the page
- Always use size attribute for images, videos and other embedded items
4. Build More Backlinks to your website
Nothing much has changed when it comes to backlinks, Google still associates having a great backlink profile to a site’s authority and trustworthiness.
What is a backlink?
A backlink is a link created when another website links to your website. Backlinks are also referred to as “inbound links” or “incoming links.” These links are important to SEO and can immensely benefit your website especially when they come from authority and relevant sites. They send signals to Google that your website is credible.
Here are some of the ways you can build backlinks to your website:
Guest posting: Guest posting is the longest standing backlinking strategy. This means that you get backlinks by publishing your content on another website. Depending on the contract existing between you and the publishing platform, you can either get a do-follow or no-follow links. Either ways, backlinks or even linkless mentions coming from reputable sites can significantly improve your site’s traffic.
Press Release: Businesses write press releases to communicate with their customers, stakeholders and the general public. By getting your PR published on a reputable news outlet, you not only get a medium for communicating with your target audience but also receive backlinks from the site.
Broken links: Over time, links on web pages could become broken for many reasons. If you spot such an opportunity, you can decide to write to the author, bring their attention to the broken link and propose a replacement. It’s a win-win deal: the publisher has a richer, better-researched resource added to their site while you get a backlink in return.
5. Competitor Analysis
The best businesses are always looking to improve their operation as well as their marketing approach. If you’re looking to achieve better results in your SEO in 2021, you might consider what’s already working in your industry by spying into your competitors’ SEO strategies. This gives you an idea of what they’re doing right that you can learn from.
You can start by looking for websites that are ranking higher than you for the same keywords you’re targeting. After that, embark independent research on each of the websites, focusing on their keyword list, backlink profile, referring domains and technical details, including site structure.
You can use the Link Insect feature on Ahrefs to look for the common referring domains to your competitors. This gives you an idea of where to shift your attention to for more links to your website.
6. Improve and Update Your Content
Over time, trends, statistics and approaches change. When this happens, it’s a signal that it’s time to improve and update your existing content. Bulking up your old content provides an opportunity for you to add fresh perspective to your approach and refine hastily written content.
Updating old content allows you to cover more grounds while improving your content for search. However, this should be done with caution. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, it’s not recommended to make random changes on your top ranking pages. The most suitable candidate for content update are pages that are struggling to rank.
7. Optimize For Featured Snippets
Featured snippets, also known as Position Zero, appear at the top of SERP in a rectangular box.
A Featured Snippet provides a shortcut to the top of SERP. But these snippets are not just useful for the searchers, but also beneficial for websites. However, you don’t have power over which content is shown in the Featured Snippets for any search; it’s the Google algorithm that does the job.
While the exact method of getting your web pages in the Featured Snippet isn’t clear, SEO experts use a few strategies that might be helpful. For example, you need to answer a specific question or group of questions. Answering questions in bullet points can also increase your chances of earning Featured Snippets for a keyword you’re already ranking for.
Learning to do SEO right and implementing the right SEO strategy can be a game-changer for your business in 2021. By implementing the best SEO strategies discussed in this post, you’re on the right path to higher organic clicks and sales.