25 Jan 7 tested and proven SEO hacks to generate more website traffic
You may have thought you’ve already found the simple things, the “low-hanging fruit,” as it were: strong keywords for your niche, optimised titles and body copy, an XML sitemap. However, it does not appear like you will get through your competitors in the Google SERPs for your most common keywords.
You do not have the time or money right now to do a costly site upgrade or to contribute to SEO on a long-term basis. You may only want a couple quick adjustments to help pass the needle.
Well, go no farther than that. You’re fortunate, so you’re not going to require years of SEO experience for the following hacks. And these hacks won’t cost you a lot of time or resources to achieve it. You’re not really going to need to alter major portions of the site.
- Distribute your home page’s link authority to your most important pages
You’ve probably also made sure that your most relevant group pages are found in the top nav. But how about adding links to your most valuable brands (or those that you like to rank most) in your home page body? If you don’t have product pages, you’ll see stuff like posts and landing pages in your body. Links in the body of a page would usually have more link authority than navigation links, particularly footer links. Creating straightforward, popular links is often helpful from the point of view of user experience, since it means that users can instantly discover the best products quickly.
- Stop using such huge images
At least half of the sites I audit have issues with very large images on the home page. Often, designers or content creators don’t consider the file size or resolution of an image before adding it to a page. They won’t reduce an image to the maximum size needed on the page, nor will they save it at an appropriate resolution.
A 600 dpi image that was “resized” to be tiny using the width and height attributes in an IMG tag isn’t merely lazy, it’s an affront to website visitors. A huge image (I’ve seen single images as large as 6 MB on a home page) can substantially slow down the time it takes for the page to load, hurting both your rankings and the user experience (and consequently, the site’s conversion rate).
It is incredibly easy to optimize that image to a more reasonable size and then re-upload it. This is probably the number one “quick hack” for improving your site speed.
- Check that people aren’t linking to pages that 404
Look for URLs that are returning a 404 on your site and have external links pointed at them. Google Search Console gives you the ability to check the 404 pages on your site and see whether they are being linked to (and from where). If you have an externally linked page which returns a 404, prioritize fixing it ASAP, as you are squandering link authority every minute that remains unfixed. Recovering that link equity and/or traffic is a very easy “quick win.”
To do this in Google Search Console, go to Crawl > Crawl Errors > Not Found and click on each URL returning a 404. Google will usually sort the errors by the most to least important and the most important include the ones with external links. After clicking on a URL, select the “Linked From” tab and it will show you the URLs linking to the page in question. Make sure these 404 URLs are 301 redirected to the next most relevant URL on your site.
- Leverage that microsite, article or video that’s not on your main site
Videos, articles and microsites can be a fantastic way to garner brand awareness and attention. However, if you’re hosting the content on others’ domains, then you may be wasting the SEO opportunity. Once the buzz has subsided, the content is hopefully left with great links. If those links are pointing somewhere other than to your main site, you’re not getting much SEO benefit.
The best option, however, from an SEO perspective, is to host that content on your own site. And even then, try to find ways to direct traffic and authority from that content to your most important landing pages and products.
- Use forums and social hubs to uncover valuable keywords and topics before your competitors
Seize a valuable keyword even before your competitors take notice by monitoring conversations in social media and in forums within your niche. Notice a recurring mention or a recurring question? Find a way to work it into your site’s content or blog.
It will not only help you rank for that question or phrase, but it will also seat you in a position of authority by knowing the answers to the questions everyone has. Having that content first, before your competitors, can give you an advantage, not only in thought leadership, but in ranking and traffic as well. If the topic is only tangentially related but is being searched on by your exact target market, consider including it in your content strategy.
- Increase the visibility of your SERP listing with rich snippets
Rich snippets are among my favorite SEO tactics. Coupled with a great, enticing meta description and title tag, they make your snippet stand out from the crowd. In this case, if you’re looking for the best slackline to give to your outdoorsy significant other, you are going to want to look for the listing that looks like it is an awesome product from a quality supplier.
Each rich snippet added to the SERP is an opportunity. The rating shows the searcher that this product is high-quality, as evidenced by pleased past buyers. The price and the “in stock” markers tell searchers what they need to know to invest in your quality product. The extra product information and review stars naturally draw the user’s eye to your listing and increase your click-through rate. Rich snippets won’t increase your rankings, but for the rankings you already have, they will drive more visitors to your site.
- Use link analysis tools to mine for your competitors’ best links
It is common knowledge that authoritative links are crucial to strong Google rankings. Acquiring those links is where citizens get confused. One easy thing you can do is to locate hubs that link to several competitors. A portal is a site that links to big players inside a niche. It may be a SEO journal, a review site, a blog or a forum. Identify those hubs with a tool such as Majestic’s “Clique Hunter” or SEOprofiler. Hubs are still connecting to similar sites, so it’s obviously not going to be a big jump for them to link to you as well.
Search for sites that link to your competitors, review them and see which one could link to you (not everyone would make sense to contact them), and reach out to them. This is perhaps the best link building you can do, since your competitors have already worked hard not just to locate the sites, but to qualify them as one that can link to sites like yours.
Start off your SEO strategy with local SEO basics – do some keyword testing, build a Google My Market list, do a competitor analysis, and then start preparing a few targeted landing pages. Begin tiny and target the SEO to concentrate first on the most relevant local rating signals. There’s plenty of time for you to delve into more complex SEO after you’ve learned these seven hacks.