SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is one of those ‘buzzwords’ which, if you have anything at all to do with online marketing, you surely can’t have missed. But SEO isn’t simply a dying trend; far from it. It’s actually a genuine strategy for boosting traffic to your website naturally – i.e. without using PPC (Pay Per Click) solutions or other paid link services. You’ll no doubt have seen the hoards of websites making promises such as ‘100% guaranteed results’ or ‘triple your visitor-ship in no time’, but as with anything in life, they’re best taken with a pinch of salt. So before you whip out your wallet and prepare to take a hit for the sake of your website’s future, why not try one of the following five strategies for boosting your SEO (and your traffic) without spending a single penny…
5. Harness the power of article directories
You may have heard of websites such as Ezine or Articlesbase; you might even have landed on one of them via a Google search. Sites such as these are chock full of articles written by a host of writers from across the world. So how can they help your SEO? Well, by populating your account with relevant, well-written articles which link back to your site via niche keywords, you should find a steady channel of natural traffic. And the great thing about it is that they’ve chosen to visit you, so they should stay for a while. If you do choose to go this route, remember that SEO takes time… a long time. Your writing will pay off, but you will need to be patient.
4. Optimise your ‘off-page’ content
What do I mean by ‘off-page’ content? I’m talking about the nuts ‘n’ bolts of your website. All sites include various data in their ‘source code’ which gives Google and other search engines relevant info about you. If you’re not the technical type, simply ask your techy guys to double-check your meta keywords, meta description, and page titles. They all need to feature your chosen keywords and describe your site succinctly.
3. Reach out for backlinks
You probably already know the concept here: the more sites link to you, the better you’ll rank in search results. That means that you’ll need to cultivate link relationships with other websites, especially ones that are relevant to what you do. Link exchanges happen all the time, so make sure you get in there and reap the SEO rewards!
2. Optimise your ‘on-page’ content
So we’ve discussed off-page content, now’s the time to talk about the on-page stuff. Here I’m referring to all of the text on your website. Every word makes a difference to SEO, so you need to make the most of them. As a rule, pages should have no more than 300-400 words on them, with a keyword ‘density’ of around 3-5% (the density refers to how often your keywords appear). If you aren’t confident rewriting the whole site, just be sure that your existing content uses the appropriate keywords that your site targets. For example, if you sell golf shoes, make sure you mention them a few times!
1. Find your niche!
This really goes hand-in-hand with everything in the list. Search engines are a competitive environment, so you need to find your niche. Try to discover those keywords that are relevant but not well-targeted by other sites. This might sound tricky, but tools like the Google Keyword Tool can be a big help in identifying those keywords, providing you as it does with an indication of search competition.
SEO doesn’t need to be difficult, or expensive. With a little thought and effort, you can quickly and easily bring your website closer to the cream of the crop. It will take time, that’s for sure, but the rewards will make it very much worth your efforts… without opening your wallet!