Irrespective of your belief, thought, experiences, and or, theories. The quality of links pointing towards your site remains one of the most important ranking signals. The more credible and relevant links to your webpages, the higher the potentials to increase organic traffic from search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
But the harsh truth is…building quality links to your site is a tough task and a long time game.
When I started this blog, I was 100% nobody in the blogosphere, nobody knows me and I, in return, knows no one.
So “earning” links was out of the question. But I still manage to rank for some target keywords and drive significant organic traffic from Google, especially.
Most of us started that way and on top of all these, getting your grip on working SEO strategies is a very tough task. I know, I have also gone through it and could tell by the overwhelming complicated SEO’s theories out there.
It is true that off-page SEO carries more weight and quality than on-page SEO. But the lack or shortage of the former does not mean you can’t rank for some relevant niche keywords.
There is ever room for a small and medium-sized blogs with little to no backlinks to compete for some industry search terms. And still rank high in Google search result pages and other search engines out there.
Today SEO’s has many levels that allow blogs of different sizes to compete for organic search engine traffic. Without having to know much or master most of the noise you read on the internet about working SEO strategies.
In today’s post, you’re going to learn the 11 tactics or ways you can use to increase organic search traffic from Google. Even if your website backlink doesn’t match up with that of your competitor’s websites.
#1. Write Useful Content.
Every other advice on the list is useless if your content sucks or don’t appeal to the right audience.
I don’t like using the much thrown around phrase “quality content”. Instead, I like using this “useful content“. This is because the word “quality” is relative here and to a greater degree, it depends on who is consuming the information. What he/she regards as quality information.
But when I say “useful content”. It doesn’t matter whether the content is quality or not, so far the consumer of such information find it “useful” for the intended purpose.
Then we can conclude that your content meets the user’s expectations and is of the quality one as far that user is concerned.
Write content that stands out from the rest of the noise we regularly see published on the net. Write something super useful your audience will find interesting. Something other writers in your niche will find extremely difficult to replicate.
When you achieve this, people will naturally link to you, and the consequences are that your referral traffic will grow substantially. Your organic traffic will start picking up too.
What is confusing is this, according to many reliable sources, on the average, Google top 10 search results pages are filled with content that is beyond 2,000-word count.
Now this has been causing the dilemma for many content marketers that don’t have much to report in a single post. Like the entertainment industry, affiliate review site, coupon site, smartphones review sites, software review sites etc.
These types of blogs don’t have much going than to report the information as it is. Especially the entertainment blog and smartphones review sites.
The reality is if your blog topic is not on evergreen subject, tutorials, how-to and things like this. You really don’t need to worry about 2,000-word count or anything that much.
Your focus should be on delivering user’s expectations and not on a certain word-count threshold.
If your blog topics can be well covered in under 1,000-word count without leaving anything out, don’t drag it to 1,500 just because you want to satisfy Google.
Remember, Google doesn’t read your blog, your site visitors do.
#2. Be The First to Report Time Sensitive Information.
Sometimes, been the first to break the news or report an event is all you need to drive truck- load of free relevant traffic from the search engines.
This is especially true if you’re in the entertainment, news and event, celebrity gossip, politics industries etc.
When an event breaks up, people want to know where, when, how, why, what, who etc. The quicker you report this information the better your chances of beating your competitors to it.
Your strategies should include massive social media sharing. Especially to Google+ and Twitter. As we’ve seen that Google search result contain content from G+ where necessary.
Also, don’t wait for the spiders to visit, instead, invite them to crawl and index your link quickly. You can do this by log in to your Google search console dashboard.
Click on Crawl from the sidebar Menu.
Next step, click on Fetch as Google from the drop-down Menu.
Now input your newly published blog post URL in the empty field that displays next and clicks on Fetch and Render. Give it few seconds and the Google spiders will crawl your newly published post for indexing within minutes.
Though this is not necessary if your website gets updated regularly, but just in case and to be sure your link is indexed.
#3. Target Low competitive Geo-Targeted Keywords.
As at when I wrote this particular post over here. I wasn’t that blogger with a constant mention on the blogosphere or in large circles of blogger’s friend.
My blog is not new, but not that popular also, and attract very less organic traffic.
(Updated – The link above now linked to an updated version of the same post, not exactly the one I wrote years back)
Yet, I went over to Google keyword planner, run keyword research and found a particular low competitive geo-targeted keyword. This keyword is mostly searched for by Nigerians aspiring newbie bloggers.
I wrote two version of articles around the keyword, and to be honest with you, the first version of the article remain number one post that drives organic traffic to this blog on a weekly basis.
In fact, no week pass by without having dozens of visit to this post. Because it ranks on the first pages of Google and Yahoo. And not just on the first pages, but number 1 for is target keyword since I wrote that post till date.
That post has brought in a fair significant amount of income from blog coaching to blog set up fees.
The most recent this week from a lady whom after reading and wanted to start her blog get through to me via the contact me page.
It is much easier when you target low competitive long tail keywords than fighting it out with the big established brands out there for high volume competitive search terms.
Target long tail keywords – simple.
Chances are, there are hundreds, if not thousands of low competitive locally search terms you can easily rank for. Keywords that drive in quality organic search engine traffic that will take positive actions on your blog.
Instead of targeting “search engine optimization professional“, you can go for “search engine optimization professional Chicago”. If a user is looking for a nearby search engine optimization professional in Chicago, you’re more likely to appear in SERP.
Apart from this point raised, there is something else you’ll need to understand and abide with.Though depending on your blog size and SEO strength.
In the image below, the column with the number of average monthly search volume is what you should care about and base your keyword research strategy on.
The other one with high, low or medium is not your concern. Unless you’re a Google Adwords advertiser, then the data in both columns “competition and Suggested Bid” are your concerns.
I have said this before but just in case you missed it.
Again, in the same image above, look at the figure in arrow labeled “1“. As you can see, it is just a very small search term with an approximately monthly search volume of “100k”. The other arrow labeled “2” has an outstanding search volume of “1 to 10 million“ monthly search.
The best advice I would give here if you want to rank quickly and increase organic traffic dramatically is to go for the search term in arrow labeled “1“.
It is more detailed, precise and the searcher is definitely looking for a specific information – in this case – What is a Blog?
That is a question the searcher wants an answer to.
The other search term (arrow “2“ Blogger) may look more promising and on the surface, will bring massive traffic compared to what the others will bring.
…but your chances of getting anywhere near 3, 4, 5, or even 6th page of SERP is not visible.
Such search terms like this one are called “Generic term“. They’re hard to compete for and will require greater efforts, substantial marketing budget, and an ongoing increased quality off-page SEO success to find your way through for such term.
Besides, you’re very much likely to attract an irrelevant audience with such a keyword.
What is the user looking for or want to know from typing such a single word into the search engine?
Ask yourself if you can find the answer. At this stage, we obviously don’t know what he/she is looking for.
But with a search phrase like “what is a blog”?
Is obvious what the user is asking and in an ideal world, I can tell this person is a beginner who is about going into online marketing but did not know how to get started with a blog. He wants a clear definition of what a blog is , the functions, why using a blog for online marketing etc.
The better you can provide this user with a thorough definition, functions, benefits, and why using blogs for online marketing, the more your chances of hitting top 10 results.
#4. Build Your Blog For Users
You may be wondering how will this increase organic traffic?
Recently, there is this buzz around Google revealing their secret ranking signals, do you know what many believes it to be?
CTR – It is called click-through rate.
If your article link appears in an organic search result, the user clicks on it and within a second return back to search result page to click on another result. Google, in their own discretion, believes your information does not solve that user problem.
If the percentage of such behavior by users to your web pages from organic traffic is high, then Google may put less value on your indexed pages.
If visitors to your sites interact well with your content or at least, don’t bounce back to search result pages to find alternatives, Google “may” reward you with better search ranking…which will or may result in more organic traffic.
Here is an article put together by WordSream on how to improve your CTR in organic search result pages.
#5. Improve Your Page Speed.
Apart from the quality of links pointing towards your pages, page speed is another factor Google have confirmed that affect ranking in search engine.
In the above-mentioned point, we discuss building your blog for users – Page speed is part of it – the last time you waited for 2 minutes for a web page to load what did you do?
If I would guess…you closed the page, open another tab, type in another blog URL and that is!
You never care to wait that long for a single web page to load.
Same thing will happen to you if your blog visitors had to wait that long for your pages to load either on their desktop computer or smartphones.
Here is the page speed loading time for CyberNaira.com at the time of writing this post.
In today’s SEO and online marketing, it is important to optimize your pages for both desktop and mobile users, so as not to miss out. In fact, Google now made it as part of their ranking criteria that your blog must be optimized for mobile users if you’re targeting both devices.
And I don’t see any reason you shouldn’t target mobile users in our world of today.
IF you’re a WordPress user, blogging on a premium theme from StudioPress, then you have nothing to worry about optimizing your blog for mobile users.
All StudioPress premium themes are mobile responsive-ready and easily adapt to the device your blog is view with.
#6. Share Your Content On Google Plus.
Facebook and Twitter are great for sharing your content and driving referral traffic. Google Plus is an ideal option if you’re looking to drive organic traffic to your website even if your blog as little backlinks pointing towards it.
If you have written good stuff that worth sharing, don’t hesitate to let your circles on Google+ knows about it.
Content shared on Google+ have greater chances of appearing in an organic search result than anyone shared in any other social networking sites.
And the beauty of this is…if you’re in a large circle of friends. Friends are most likely to click on links from people they know and have in their circle than one from strangers.
Take advantage of this by sharing always your latest post on Google+, and join the discussion over there.
#7. Update Regularly.
Regular updating your blog doesn’t directly affect or guarantee search ranking, but it does help increase your chances to rank for some keywords.
The trick is, the more pages you create, the more you’re writing on different keywords related to your industry. This increases your chances of getting found in search engine.
More pages may also increase your chances of acquiring links.
Since the more you write on different blog topics, the more you write on a different level of competitive and low-level keywords. And the more other bloggers in your niche see your works and may likely link to it as a reference.
Web pages that stop over time to acquire more links, or stop indefinitely to add fresh content to their sites will soon fall out of favor in Google search.
And as if this is not enough, once you stop updating your blog as expected. It will certainly affect your reader’s community and your blog bounced rate could skyrocket at any time.
#8. On-Page Optimization.
You have to put your first foot on the right track of search engines traffic. On-page SEO – is highly important if you want to increase your chances of ranking for your targeted search queries.
Your other foot lies in your off-page SEO. A big part of it is beyond your control, at least for every average blogger or internet marketers.
The good news is this. Lots of SEO tools are available today to help in this regard, especially if you’re a WordPress user. The most popular ones include but not limited to WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast.
This plugin is straight out of the box. While writing your content, pay attention to it and make sure all required fields give the green light before you hit publish. This might not be the case with all your published post as you see in the image below.
Don’t sweat over such thing as keyword density in not as important for ranking as it was some years ago. In fact, you might get penalized for keyword stuffing if you go crazy on the number of times your focus keyword appears in your content.
The focus keyword does not appear at the beginning of your headline. Yes! that’s true and a valid SEO ranking factor but remember you’re writing for human and not search ROBOT.
If the focus keyword will read awkward to your blog readers if it appears at the beginning of the content headline, please don’t drag it in there all because you want to satisfy the search spiders.
Also, ensure your site is properly indexed and crawl-able. Make sure your pages are linking to each other correctly. Google specifies that from a static link on your blog homepage, all other internal pages should be reachable.
Inter-linking your published articles to each other is very important for so many reasons:
- It helps reduce bounce rate.
- Keeps visitors longer on the blog.
- It aids website navigation.
- If define the architecture and hierarchy of your website.
- Passes SEO juice to other pages on the website etc.
You’ll need to avoid duplicate content too – this could come in many forms, such as tags and category pages.
The best way to deal with this is to instruct spiders not to index these pages in their algorithm. You can take advantage of SEO Power Suite free version to find errors that need to be fixed on your blog.
The SEO tools take better care of many SEO signals that could cause your website low ranking position. Or the entire lack of search visibility altogether. If you find it useful and worth the money, then consider upgrading to a premium version later on.
With this SEO software, you can detect if your blog 404 error page is correctly set up. According to Google:
A 404 error page should return the appropriate 404 not found status code or syntax.
This SEO tool also helps in finding duplicate content, link building opportunity, broken links, keyword research tool, and lots more
#9. Your Article Headline.
Nothing guarantees higher click-through rate from search result pages to your websites than your search listing headline.
It will be a total waste of time, energy and resources if your pages appear in SERP only for your article headline to mean nothing to the user. That is a waste of an opportunity to convert a blog tourist to a loyal reader.
A little tweak or changing words in your headline message can surprisingly lead to a 40% response rate if you get it right.
But here is the truth, only a few marketers have mastered the art of writing article headline that just gets people clicking. And here is why. Many content marketers believe you need to be a “guru” in copy-writing to have mastered the secret to great article headline.
This is far from the truth.
You too can write article headline that will go viral. The type that just gets people clicking through to your webpages.
Not too long ago, I wrote a guest post for the NinjaOutReach blog on the subject of article headline. I discussed the 10 headline formulas that will always get your readers reading your content.
In that post, I explained why borrowing expert credibility is vital to the success of your article headline. Especially if you’re yet that influencer figure people talked about. Though this is not something you do or apply always in your headline copy, but where and when necessary.
#10. Write In-depth Articles.
This may not apply to all blog topics. As we’ve seen in some blog niche that they do not require more details to express their thought, opinion and whatever. Like in the entertainment industry, news and event etc.
But if your concern is to increase organic traffic from search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Considers publishing long-form in-depth articles free from fluff, jargon, and unnecessary words just for the lengthy sake.
The better approach I have found that works best to make your articles long, and still keep readers glue to your content reading till the last alphabet is to give all you can deliver on the subject.
Don’t leave anything out – and don’t start repeating yourself also.
Long form content also helps greatly in achieving better on-page SEO results. And could even increase your chances of getting natural backlinks from other bloggers around.
The more the content, the more you can fuse in your focus keyword and other related search terms. Longer articles will also help you to avoid keyword stuffing which is now against Google keyword usage guidelines.
But according to a post I read on QuickSprout – there is this WordPress plugin that helps in this regard. It is called Virante In-depth Articles Generator.
However, your articles need to be somewhere around 2,500 words or more to qualify for inclusion into Google In-depth article search. And you should also know that Google gives more weight to some well-established news site in this category.
#11. Target One Topic – Focus Keyword.
All points listed above may not yield the expected results. They’ll give less value and won’t increase organic search traffic if your blog posts are not addressing or focus on a single topic.
Don’t write on multiple industry topics in a single post just because you want to touch on every area in your industry and demonstrate you’re an expert. It won’t do you and your readers any good.
Pick a subject, either through keyword research or by finding out from your readers what they want to read. Then focus on that subject and write all you know concerning the topic.
Give everything out and don’t hold back anything while you stay on track.
This will make it easy and possible for both search engine spiders and your human visitors to quickly understand what you’re saying. It also provides spiders with more accurate data to indexed your pages in the right category.
Getting organic traffic from Google is not going to happen overnight. You’ll need to put in lots of work, research, consistency, trials, and errors, etc…before you can start reaping the reward.
The long time hidden strategy to increase organic traffic is finding low and medium competitive long tail keywords. And the good news is…thousands of new long tail keywords are being created every day by users themselves.