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12 SEO tips for businesses that need organic traffic and leads

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The digital landscape is highly competitive, and finding the right strategy to promote your website isn’t easy. You might craft and publish high-quality content, keep your old material relevant, and consistently release new content, yet the growth in organic traffic or new customers you expect isn’t up to scratch. Why? We’ve tackled this question through our own experience.

At Epiic, we have deepened our understanding of SEO and focused on its most crucial aspects. We significantly enhanced our metrics in just six months — we saw the number of organic users on the website increase by 162%.

Now we’re ready to share the knowledge we’ve gained with you and unveil the 12 most important SEO tips for your business.

Find and fix technical issues on your website

Ensuring your website operates seamlessly involves addressing technical issues that might impede its performance. Identifying and resolving these concerns not only improves user experience but also bolsters your site’s overall functionality. Let’s delve into identifying and rectifying these technical hiccups to make your website more effective.

No robots.txt file

What it is

The robots.txt file is a text file on a web server used to provide instructions to search robots (such as search engine crawlers) about which pages or sections of a site they can or cannot index. So you can select pages that shouldn’t be displayed in search results (for example, pages with promotions) and block them using robots.txt.

Why it’s important

Improperly configured robots.txt file can not only lead to indexing issues but also completely restrict it.

We recommend checking several things.

Create a robots.txt file. In fact, many website owners forget that such a file needs to be created at all. Check if your website has a robots.txt file. You can do this using online services or try to find it yourself. Most often, this file is located at example.com/robots.txt.
Check for the absence of a prohibition on indexing the entire site. Your file should not contain a line like this:

Check for the prohibition of indexing technical pages (pages crucial for site functionality but not intended for promotion). Examples include personal account pages, authorization form pages, or cart pages. Here’s an example of prohibiting indexing the admin panel:

Include the sitemap.xml address. Adding a link to the sitemap.xml in the robots.txt file isn’t mandatory but can significantly improve your site’s indexing process by search engines.

Let’s take a closer look at this file and discuss why its presence on the site, while not mandatory, is extremely beneficial.

No sitemap

What it is

Sitemap.xml is a file containing a list of all the site’s pages that you want to be indexed, their priority compared to other pages, update frequency, and the date of the last modification. This assists search engines in optimizing the process of scanning and indexing the site, enhancing visibility in search results.

Why it’s important

Despite algorithms becoming smarter and capable of independently indexing a site, in specific situations, sitemaps remain an invaluable aid. For instance, this is relevant for multi-page and complex sites with tens of thousands of entries.

Sitemaps also help quickly track a range of issues:

  • Scanning errors for URLs
  • Pages blocked from indexing
  • Errors 404

Solution

Create a detailed sitemap.xml file. Before uploading the file to the server, ensure the following:

  • Information completeness: Confirm that your sitemap.xml includes all pages you wish to be indexed.
  • Formatting and structure: The file must adhere to XML standards and possess the correct structure, featuring each URL along with its priority, update frequency, and date of last modification.
  • File updates: Regularly update the sitemap.xml file when adding new pages or modifying the site’s structure.

For smaller websites, you can create such a file manually or utilize online generators, such as XML-Sitemaps.com, Slickplan Sitemap Builder, and WriteMaps.

Additionally, some CMS platforms (like WordPress) offer specific plugins designed to handle this task: Yoast SEO, XML Sitemaps, XML Sitemap, and Google News.

Pages with a 404 error

What it is

Error 404 occurs when the server can’t find the requested page. Typically, this happens when the page has been deleted or moved, but links to it still exist on other pages or in search results.

Why it’s important

Pages with a 404 error can pose issues for user experience and SEO.

When a user encounters a page with a 404 error, it leads to disappointment and a negative impression because users are unable to find the expected information or content they intended to access.

Broken links also negatively impact a site’s reputation, not only for users but in the eyes of search engines as well. If search robots frequently encounter 404 errors on pages, it can result in a drop in rankings on search engine results pages.

Solution

Here are several ways to address the issue of 404 pages:

  • Redirects: Create redirects from outdated URLs to current pages. Use 301 redirects (permanent redirects) to indicate to search engines the new location of the page.
  • Remove or fix outdated links: Review server logs to identify where requests for non-existent pages originate. Fix or remove outdated links on the site.
  • Custom 404 page: Develop a custom 404 page that informs users about the page not being found and that offers them the option to return to the homepage or use the site’s search function.
  • Check internal links: Ensure that internal links on the site lead to existing pages. Use site scanning tools to detect and rectify invalid links.
  • Monitoring and rectification: Regularly monitor the site for new 404 errors and promptly address them.

Orphan pages

What it is

Orphan pages are web pages lacking internal or external links from other pages within the site or external sources. They represent isolated pages that do not have a direct pathway from other parts of the website or from external sources.

Why it’s important

The issue with orphan pages is that they can be challenging for users and search engines to access.

If these pages lack any internal links, it signals to search engines that they are not important, resulting in less frequent scanning. This can significantly reduce organic traffic and search rankings.

Although the content on such pages might be genuinely useful for users, they simply won’t be able to reach these pages while navigating through the website. Consequently, you might miss out on potential customers, and people might miss finding a great service provider in you.

Solution

Here are some ways to address orphan pages:

  • If the page is important but has been overlooked, it’s necessary to add a link to it within the site’s structure so that users can access it through the site.
  • If the page is a duplicate of an existing one, setting up a 301 redirect to the existing page on the site is necessary.
  • If the page is no longer needed (for example, if the company no longer offers a particular service), it should be set to return a 404 response code if there are no alternatives. It’s worth noting that if the unnecessary page still receives traffic, it’s recommended to temporarily set up a 301 redirect to the most relevant page so that the remaining traffic flows to the site. Otherwise, you’ll simply lose it.

Heavy images

What it is

The term ‘heavy images’ refers to images with large file sizes that take up a lot of space on a server and require more time to load on web pages. These images may have high resolutions, be poorly optimized, or contain a lot of data, leading to slower page loading times and a deterioration in the user experience.

Why it’s important

Heavy images can significantly impact a website’s technical health due to several reasons:

  • Page loading: Large images increase page load times, especially on mobile devices with slow internet. This can deter visitors, as slow page loading can lead to poor user experience.
  • Data consumption: Heavy images increase the amount of data transmitted. This can then raise visitors’ data usage, particularly for those using mobile networks.
  • SEO metrics: Slow page loading can negatively affect a site’s ranking on search engines, as loading speed is one of the ranking factors.

Solution

To address the issue of heavy images on a website, you can take some steps:

  • Image optimization: Reduce image file sizes without compromising quality. Use image compression and smaller file formats (such as WebP), and choose appropriate resolutions for specific situations.
  • Image caching: Employ browser caching for images to make them load faster when a user revisits the page.
  • Lazy loading: Implement lazy loading for images, loading them only when they become visible on the user’s screen, reducing the initial page load.

Ready to Uncover What’s Hindering Your Lead Generation? Unlock the Potential of Your Website with our Technical SEO Audit.

  • On-Page Analysis: Detect potential enhancements within your on-page content to optimize it effectively.
  • Off-Page Examination: Obtain insights into elevating your search rankings by strategically promoting links.
  • Technical Inspection: Uncover and resolve technical elements that might affect your website’s performance.
  • Actionable Guidance: Our SEO expert delivers a checklist of actionable recommendations aimed at boosting your website organic traffic.

Start getting high-quality backlinks

If you read guides on obtaining backlinks, the first advice you’ll most likely encounter is ‘create quality content, and then other site owners will want to share it.’ Does it work in real life? Sometimes yes. But more often than not, acquiring backlinks for a site is a significant endeavor that requires not only creating quality content but also developing a detailed link-building strategy. Analysis, exploring the topic, and planning — that’s what truly works and can benefit you.

Difference between high- and low-quality links

Websites on the internet vary in quality — we’re sure you’ve encountered some strange resources lacking any useful information. On the other end, there are good sites with quality content, a reputation, and likely a long history of growth. Links from such diverse sites will differ in quality. Let’s delve a bit deeper into them:

High-quality links are from authoritative and relevant sites that typically have high trust levels with search engines. They come from respected sources and contain relevant content. Their addition to your site is seen as a positive signal for search algorithms. These links can be obtained organically, when other resources voluntarily link to your content, and their weight in search optimization is higher.

Low-quality links, on the other hand, come from less authoritative or irrelevant sites, often created specifically to increase the number of links to a site. These links may include low-quality directories, forums with poor reputations, or paid links. Search engines may view such links as an attempt to manipulate their algorithms, which can negatively impact your site’s ranking.

Ways to get high-quality links

Guest posting:

Offer high-quality articles for publication on other sites within your niche. This can enhance your visibility and assist in acquiring links to your site. To find sources willing to publish guest posts, use key phrases like “Write for us + category” or “Guest post + category.”

Partnerships and collaborations:

Collaborate with other companies or influential figures in your industry. Joint projects, meetings, events, or mentions can lead to obtaining high-quality links.

Supporting bloggers and influencers:

Engage with bloggers or influential figures in your niche, potentially resulting in mentions and links to your content.

Fixing broken links on source sites:

Using specialized tools (e.g., Ahrefs), you can find broken links on pages of sites from which you’d like to acquire backlinks. If you have ready-made content to replace them, you can reach out to the site owner to consider replacing the broken link with yours.

Utilizing special platforms:

An example of such a platform is HARO (Help a Reporter Out) by Cision — a platform connecting journalists with sources who can provide expert information on current industry topics. This way, your site may have the opportunity to be cited in publications while journalists and media outlets obtain valuable material.

Make your website load faster

The quicker you provide users with the information they need, the more likely they are to stay on the site and carry out the action you want them to take. In addition, long load times not only tend to irritate users but also have a negative impact on SEO metrics.

Why page speed is important for SEO

Here’s why page loading speed is important for SEO:

User experience:

It can’t be stressed enough — fast page loading enhances user satisfaction. Visitors expect immediate access to information. And, if a site loads quickly, it creates a positive impression and increases the likelihood of users staying and exploring the content.

User retention:

A slow-loading page can cause users to leave your site before it fully loads. This increases bounce rate and negatively impacts SEO rankings.

Mobile optimization:

Loading speed is particularly important among users of mobile devices, as their networks might be less stable. Their devices might also have performance limitations.

Popular solutions

Updating images and making them lighter

To make images ‘lighter’ means reducing their size while preserving quality. This speeds up page loading times, positively impacting user experience. To achieve this, you can use plugins for CMS or consult a professional programmer — they can effectively address this issue. Additionally, if there are just a few problematic images on the site, you can replace them independently using online services for optimization and size reduction.

Optimizing the mobile version of your site

Optimize page loading speed for mobile devices. This includes compressing images, minimizing CSS and JavaScript files, as well as utilizing caching for faster loading.

Using lazy loading

The main idea behind lazy loading as a way to optimize page loading speed is to delay the loading of specific resources (such as images, scripts, and videos) until they are needed for display on the user’s screen. This approach is particularly useful for websites with lots of media content — not only does it enhance user experience by speeding up loading times, but it also reduces server load.

Structure page content and make it easy to read

Building an effective structure for web pages is like constructing a strong foundation for a castle of content. Well-structured headers serve as the key to readability, aiding users in easy navigation, facilitating their search for information, and fostering engagement with the content.

Role of H1, H2, and H3 in SEO

The header tags H1, H2, and H3 play a significant role in search engine optimization (SEO), aiding not only in organizing content on a page but also in enhancing its visibility for search engines and users.

  • H1 is used for the main title of the page and contains key phrases reflecting its primary content. Search engines pay attention to the H1 as a crucial element of the page, so it’s essential to use informative and unique text in it.
  • H2 is used to break down content into smaller sections or subsections. In H2 headers, it’s also necessary to include keywords and phrases reflecting the page’s theme. However, it’s important to ensure that they are used appropriately and naturally. It’s not mandatory to add key phrases to every H2 header. Do so when it’s genuinely necessary and helpful for readers.
  • H3 is usually used for more detailed sub-sectioning within H2. These headers help create a deeper hierarchy within sections, improving the page structure for search engines and readability for users.

If a stronger level of structuring is needed, H4 and H5 headers can be used. They are often required when preparing extensive materials containing a wealth of information. For instance, right in this article you are reading, you can find examples of their usage.

Here’s a quick reference that will help you understand the hierarchy of H1 to H5 headings:

Best practices for using headings to improve user experience

Crafting headlines and achieving the perfect structure for content can take time and practice. However, here are some tips to help expedite your journey toward excellence.

Hierarchy of headings

Follow a logical hierarchy from H1 to H5. Use H1 for the primary page title, accompanied by H2 for sections, H3 for subsections, and so forth. This aids in organizing content and makes it more accessible for users.

Conciseness and informativeness

Use keywords that best describe the section’s content, and avoid lengthy headings. Users should quickly grasp the section’s topic.

Analyzing how competitors present their content

To excel, it helps to have something to benchmark against, right? Look at how your competitors format their pages, and strive to do it better! Pick pages from the top 3 to top 5 search results for your desired query and try to analyze them. What structure do their materials have, and is there anything similar among them that’s worth considering?

Testing and optimization

Conduct headline testing to see how they impact user behavior and SEO. After publishing content, track user and search engine reactions. If the results are unsatisfactory, consider making minor changes (e.g., adding more keywords or making the headings more concise). Gradually, you’ll find your ideal structure through this process.

Consider local SEO

Local SEO refers to the process of optimizing a business’s online presence to attract more local customers. It focuses on improving a brand’s visibility in local search results when users are looking for products or services in their vicinity. This is crucial for businesses with physical locations or those catering to specific geographic areas.

The importance of local SEO lies in its ability to connect businesses with nearby customers actively seeking their offerings. Here’s why it’s crucial.

Increased visibility:

Local SEO strategies enhance a business’s visibility in local searches, ensuring it appears prominently when users search for relevant products or services nearby.

Target audience reach:

It enables the targeting of specific demographics within a defined geographic region, connecting with potential customers who are more likely to convert.

Enhanced trust and credibility:

Local SEO efforts, like getting listed on local directories and receiving positive reviews, build trust and credibility among local customers, leading to increased organic foot traffic and conversions.

Mobile search optimization:

With the rise in mobile searches for local information, optimizing for local SEO ensures businesses are easily found by users on the go.

Competitive edge:

A strong local SEO strategy can help smaller businesses compete effectively against larger competitors by focusing on local markets and delivering personalized experiences.

Overall, local SEO plays a pivotal role in driving targeted traffic, boosting customer engagement, and increasing conversions for businesses operating within specific geographic areas.

Find local keywords

When it comes to finding local keywords for local SEO, focusing on queries potential customers might use to find products or services in your region is crucial. Here are some ways to discover suitable keywords:

Competitor research:

Explore keywords competitors use on their websites, social media pages, or local advertisements. This provides insights into popular queries in your area.

Local modifications in queries:

Utilize modifications related to your location, such as city names, districts, streets, and other local landmarks, combined with keywords relevant to your niche.

Keyword research tools:

Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and others to identify keywords associated with your niche and location.

Customer reviews:

Analyze customer reviews on your website, social media, or review platforms where they discuss your business. They may use keywords or phrases related to your local business.

Local directories and forums:

Browse local online directories, forums, or classified ad sites to discover frequently used keywords or phrases when searching for local services or products.

Create local landing pages

Creating local landing pages can significantly boost your local SEO efforts and help attract more customers from specific geographic areas. Here are the steps to creating effective local landing pages:

Identify locations:

Determine the specific locations or regions you want to target. This could be cities, neighborhoods, or any geographic area relevant to your business.

Conduct keyword research:

Conduct keyword research focusing on local modifiers (e.g., city names, neighborhoods) paired with your primary keywords. This helps tailor content to local search queries.

Create content:

Craft unique and valuable content for each local landing page. Include information about your products/services, tailored to the needs and interests of the local audience. Highlight local benefits, events, or testimonials relevant to the area.

Optimize on-page elements:

Ensure each landing page has optimized on-page elements:

  • Include the location in the page title, meta description, headers, and URL.
  • Embed a Google Map displaying your business location(s).
  • Include a clear call to action (CTA) directing visitors to take the desired action (e.g., contact, visit, make a purchase).
Pay attention to mobile optimization:

Ensure the local landing pages are mobile-friendly, as many users search for local information on their mobile devices.

Work on link building:

Create links from other relevant pages on your site to these local landing pages. This internal linking boosts their visibility and authority within your website.

Update localized content:

Regularly update content with local news, events, promotions, or changes related to the specific area to keep the page relevant and fresh.

Track and analyze performance:

Monitor the performance of your local landing pages using analytics tools. Track organic traffic, engagement, and conversions to assess the effectiveness of your local SEO efforts.

Remember, the goal of local landing pages is to provide value to local audiences and improve your visibility in local searches. By tailoring content to specific regions, you increase the chances of attracting and converting local customers.

Get noticed on listings and maps

Enhancing the discoverability of local businesses on listings and maps is essential for achieving success in local SEO. Here are some ways to boost visibility:

Google Business Profile

Claim and optimize your Google Business Profile listing. Provide accurate business information, including name, address, phone number (NAP), website URL, hours of operation, and categories. Regularly update your Google Business Profile with posts, photos, and customer reviews.

Other listings and ways to find them

Search engine queries:

Use search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo and try queries like “best [your industry] directories in [your city/region]” or “[your industry] listings in [your location].” This can uncover industry-specific or local directories.

Competitor research:

Look at where your competitors are listed. Search for their business names and see which directories and platforms appear in the search results.

Industry associations and forums:

Explore forums, discussion boards, or industry-related associations. Often, they recommend or share information about reputable directories or platforms for businesses in your niche.

Local business groups:

Join local business groups on social media or networking platforms. Members often exchange information about beneficial directories or platforms for local businesses.

Other maps

Google Maps isn’t the only mapping service available. While it’s widely used, several other mapping platforms offer similar functionalities and can be beneficial for businesses. Here are a few.

Apple Maps:

Pre-installed on Apple devices, Apple Maps is a popular mapping service that provides directions, local business information, and navigation for iOS users.

Bing Maps:

Microsoft’s mapping service offers directions, traffic information, and local business listings. It’s integrated with Bing’s search engine, providing users with location-based results.

MapQuest:

This mapping service offers driving directions, local business searches, and travel-related information. It’s known for its user-friendly interface and customizable maps.

Waze:

Waze is a community-driven mapping app that provides real-time traffic updates, navigation, and information about road hazards. Users can contribute by reporting road conditions.

Conduct keyword research

This is perhaps one of the most important SEO tips. To properly optimize the content on your pages for search engines and make it useful for users, it’s necessary to conduct keyword research and understand how people search for the information you offer on your website. Here are a few points to consider when selecting keywords effectively.

Identify your target keywords

Define the main topics or concepts related to your product. Identify words or phrases that accurately describe its essence and compile them into a separate file. Later, during detailed research, you can refer to this list.
Learn more about your target audience. Imagine your potential reader: their age, gender, education, and the questions or issues that concern them. This will help determine the queries they might use when searching for content.
Conduct a competitive analysis. Examine the keywords your competitors use. This can provide insight into which queries drive organic traffic to their sites and assist you in formulating a strategy for your own content.

Popular tools for keyword research

For quality research, quality tools are necessary. Here are some of them that we use ourselves:

Google Keyword Planner

This is a tool by Google designed for researching keywords and their potential for advertising campaigns in Google Ads. It’s useful for beginners and those working with Google Ads advertising. It provides basic information about keywords and their popularity, and can assist in planning advertising campaigns.

SEMrush

It’s a paid marketing tool that includes competitor website analysis, keyword research, position tracking in search results, and more. It provides information about keyword popularity, search volumes, and competition. It also analyzes competitors’ strategies and helps identify optimal keywords for your content.

Ahrefs

It’s another paid tool that provides extensive information about site backlink profiles, keyword research, traffic tracking, and more. It suits those focusing on search visibility optimization and backlink analysis.

Which of these services is better? That’s for you to decide! Your choice depends on the specific aspects of marketing or SEO that are most important to you. Some may find the basic information provided by Google Keyword Planner sufficient, while others may find SEMrush or Ahrefs more useful for deeper analysis and comprehensive strategies. If possible, trial versions or test periods can help determine which tool best fits your needs.

Keyword difficulty and search volume

Is it enough to just find keywords and start optimizing content for them? Unfortunately, no. To build a successful promotion strategy, it’s essential to consider a couple of important factors: keyword difficulty and volume.

Keyword difficulty

This metric evaluates how tough it is to rank well in search engine results for a certain keyword or phrase. It considers factors like the number and quality of competing pages, site authority using that keyword, and other SEO parameters. Knowing the keyword difficulty assists in selecting keywords that strike a balance — competitive enough to drive organic traffic but not overwhelmingly challenging to rank for.

Search volume

Search volume is the count of searches users conduct on search engines within a defined timeframe, usually per month, associated with a specific keyword or phrase. It showcases a keyword’s popularity and user demand by revealing its typical search frequency. Understanding the search volume assists in estimating the potential traffic that specific keywords can attract.

Both these metrics are crucial for a successful search engine optimization strategy. Low keyword difficulty and high search volume keywords often make good candidates for inclusion in your content strategy, striking a balance between potential traffic and the feasibility of achieving high search engine rankings.

Find your ideal balance of difficulty and volume for ranking

Ensure accurate self-assessment of strengths when choosing keywords for search engine competition. Consider factors like required backlinks, content quality, and top-ranking page types. If a keyword’s difficulty surpasses your capacity to compete for the top 10 spots, pivot strategies. Targeting lower difficulty keywords with lesser search volumes ensures attainable ranking and consistent traffic, which is beneficial for growing sites or those cautious about extensive backlink investments.

Keyword research is essential for online success, influencing your visibility in search engine results. However, it’s an intricate and time-intensive task, demanding a deep understanding of user intent, competition, and search trends. Delegating this to professionals ensures a meticulous approach, saving your time and ensuring an effective strategy. This, in turn, allows you to focus on other core aspects of your business.

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Optimize meta tags on your website

What are meta tags

Meta tags are small pieces of information that describe a webpage for search engines and visitors. They include titles, brief descriptions, and other details that explain what the webpage is about.

Meta tags cannot be seen on the page, but you can view them using special extensions or by inspecting the website’s pages in search engine results. Here’s an example snippet with meta tags for one of our pages:

Meta titles

Meta titles are HTML elements that specify the title of a webpage. They appear as clickable headlines in search engine results. Crafting concise and descriptive titles is crucial for attracting users and improving search engine visibility.

Meta descriptions

Meta descriptions are brief summaries that provide context about a webpage’s content. While they don’t directly impact rankings, compelling descriptions can entice users to click through to your site from search results.

What is the ideal length of meta titles

The ideal length for meta titles varies. But generally, keeping them within 50-60 characters ensures they display properly in search results without being cut off.

Characteristics of effective meta tags

Effective meta tags share several characteristics:

  • Relevance: They accurately represent the content of the page.
  • Engagement: Compelling titles and descriptions encourage clicks.
  • Keyword optimization: Strategically include target keywords, but make sure they are being used naturally.

Tips for engaging meta titles

  • Be descriptive: Clearly convey what the page is about.
  • Include keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords for SEO.
  • Ensure they’re unique and compelling: Stand out from competitors with unique titles.

Tips for engaging meta descriptions

  • Clarity and relevance: Summarize the page content concisely.
  • Call to action: Encourage users to take action or learn more.
  • Use keywords naturally: Include keywords, but avoid keyword stuffing.

Create a logical website structure

Check your header and footer navigation

What should be in a header

The header should feature essential navigation elements like the menu bar, providing easy access to key sections of your website, such as home, products/services, about us, and contact. Additionally, consider including search functionality and contact information for enhanced user experience.

What should be in a footer

The footer should contain secondary navigation, contact details, social media links, legal information (terms of use, privacy policy), and links to important pages like FAQs, sitemap, or support. It acts as a navigational anchor for users exploring your site.

Consider logical flow between pages

The importance of interlinking

Interlinking involves connecting related pages on your site through hyperlinks. This practice enhances user experience, encourages further exploration, and spreads link equity, aiding in SEO.

Breadcrumbs navigation for better UX

Breadcrumbs provide users with a hierarchical trail that indicates their location within the site’s structure. This helps with navigation — users can easily trace their path back to previous pages, enhancing usability and reducing bounce rates.

Start an expert blog in your niche

Use your target audience’s pains as topics

Understanding your audience’s challenges and pain points provides a goldmine of topics for your blog. Addressing these concerns showcases your expertise and offers valuable solutions, resonating deeply with your readers.

There are many blogs that can be considered excellent examples of quality content. These include:

  • HubSpot: A platform for marketing, sales, and CRM, and known for its blog offering valuable advice and strategies on various aspects of digital marketing. It contains extensive resources, industry research, and guides that help businesses grow and attract customers.
  • Slack: A platform where the company shares insights about workplace processes, marketing, team management, and various aspects of business. They provide advice on improving work efficiency and navigating team dynamics.
  • Ahrefs: A valuable resource for marketers and SEO specialists. It features tool reviews, insightful articles on search engine optimization, website analytics, and content marketing strategies. Ahrefs offers valuable advice and analytical data to enhance website visibility in search engines.

Analyze what your competitors do

Researching competitor blogs can provide insights into successful content strategies within your niche. Identify their popular topics, engagement tactics, and unique approaches. Use this analysis as inspiration to create your own distinct content.

Keyword research

Conduct an analysis of keywords associated with your niche. Utilize tools such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Ubersuggest to search for key terms. This will help identify the terms users are using to seek information within your domain.

Don’t forget to explore long-tail keywords. Some queries can be longer and more specific. These longer key phrases are often less competitive and can attract a more targeted audience — for instance, “how to choose a dress for a special occasion” instead of just “choosing dresses”.

Make a content plan

Define the topics and key phrases you’d like to cover. This could be a series of articles detailing the core aspects of your niche or analyzing current trends.

Draft preliminary article headlines or short descriptions of ideas you’d like to explore.
Plan articles related to seasonal or current events within your niche.
Assess the time required for article preparation and schedule publication dates.
Once the content plan is established, periodically evaluate its effectiveness. Make adjustments based on audience feedback and changes within the niche.

Post regularly

Consistency is key to building a loyal readership. Regularly publishing fresh, insightful content not only keeps your audience engaged but also signals search engines about your site’s activity and relevance. Aim for a consistent posting schedule to maintain reader interest and improve SEO.

The frequency of publications depends on your audience, content type, and your ability to maintain a specific schedule. For instance, news websites publish new material every day, but in niches requiring meticulous fact-checking and in-depth research, content might be released once every few months.

We recommend releasing approximately 4 posts per month — one post per week. It’s not too frequent, yet not too rare, and it’s suitable for most websites.

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Implement content clusters

What is a cluster

Topic clusters, also known as content clusters, are sets of webpages aimed at establishing expertise in a specific subject, especially to gain recognition from search engines.

Within each topic cluster, there exists a main pillar page offering a comprehensive overview of the subject.

This pillar page acts as a central hub, linking to and being linked from cluster pages that delve into related subtopics.

For example, you might have a website dedicated to health. The pillar page could offer a detailed overview of the key aspects of a healthy lifestyle: proper nutrition, physical activity, and psychological well-being. Meanwhile, cluster pages would delve into specific subtopics related to a healthy lifestyle and focus solely on them. All cluster pages would link back to the main page and interlink with each other, creating a web structure that helps search engines understand that all this information is interconnected under one theme — health.

Why clusters are important

Developing a robust strategy centered around topic clusters can significantly benefit your SEO efforts. Why is this the case? Because as you generate high-quality content focused on a specific subject, you increase the range of keywords for which you can rank. Consequently, this builds up your authority on that topic.

This holds significance because Google prioritizes sites that exhibit Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T). Furthermore, establishing yourself as an expert in your field can draw in and captivate users. Constructing SEO topic clusters also aids in organizing related content within your website effectively.

Through linking to and from a pillar page, you assist users and Google in navigating related content and comprehending the semantic connections between various pieces.

All these elements collectively contribute to increased engagement and improved search engine rankings.

How clusters help drive traffic

SEO amplification:

By interlinking related content within a cluster, you create a network that search engines can easily crawl and understand. This boosts your site’s visibility for a range of keywords associated with that topic, potentially leading to higher search engine rankings.

Enhanced user experience:

Clusters organize content in a logical, user-friendly manner. When visitors find valuable information interconnected within a cluster, they tend to stay longer on your site, reducing bounce rates and signaling to search engines that your content is relevant and engaging.

Targeted audience engagement:

Clusters allow you to cover a topic comprehensively, catering to various aspects or subtopics that interest your audience. This depth of coverage increases the chances of capturing the attention of users who are looking for specific information within that topic niche.

Authority building:

As you consistently publish quality content on a specific subject, you establish authority and credibility in that domain. This expertise attracts more traffic, as users perceive your site as a reliable source of information.

Semantic search alignment:

Search engines, like Google, increasingly focus on understanding the context and relationships between content pieces. Topic clusters, when well-structured and interconnected, help search engines recognize the thematic relevance and semantic connections between your content, improving its visibility in search results.

How to build a cluster model

Identify the pillar topic:

Select a broad, core topic that aligns with your audience’s interests and your expertise. This topic serves as the main pillar for your cluster. For instance, if your pillar topic is “Digital Marketing,” the cluster might include subtopics like “SEO,” “Content Marketing,” “Social Media Marketing,” etc.

Keyword research:

Conduct thorough keyword research to understand related search terms and phrases associated with your pillar topic. Tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs can help identify relevant keywords with decent search volume and lower competition.

Create pillar content:

Develop comprehensive, in-depth content on the pillar topic. This content acts as the cornerstone and covers the overarching theme broadly. It should provide an overview and link to the subsequent cluster content pieces.

Identify cluster topics:

Based on your keyword research, identify subtopics or clusters related to the pillar content. These should delve deeper into specific aspects of the pillar topic. For example, under “Digital Marketing,” a cluster could be “SEO Strategies,” “Content Creation Tips,” “Social Media Advertising Techniques,” etc.

Develop cluster content:

Create high-quality content for each identified cluster or subtopic. Each piece should cover the subtopic extensively, providing valuable insights, tips, examples, and possibly linking back to the pillar content.

Internal linking strategy:

Strategically link your cluster content to the corresponding pillar content and vice versa. This interlinking establishes a strong connection between the main pillar and its supporting clusters, aiding search engine crawlers in understanding the relationships between your content pieces.

Optimize for user experience:

Ensure a seamless user experience by organizing your cluster content logically. Use clear navigation, breadcrumbs, and relevant calls to action to guide users through the content structure.

Update and expand:

Regularly update and expand your cluster model with fresh and relevant content. This demonstrates your commitment to staying current within your niche and encourages return visits from your audience.

Master long-form content for your target keywords

Why long-form content has higher chances in SEO

Long-form content allows for comprehensive coverage of a topic, satisfying user intent for in-depth information. Search engines prioritize content depth and relevance. Longer pieces often encompass more relevant information, increasing the likelihood of ranking for various related keywords.

Creating long-form content involves several steps:

Keyword research:
  • Use keyword analysis tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush or Ahrefs to identify popular queries.
  • Choose keywords with high search volume and low competition (if possible) to make them attractive for your content.
Content outline creation:
  • Determine the structure of the long-form content based on the chosen keywords.
  • Break down the content into sections to ensure a logical flow and reader convenience.
Writing high-quality content:
  • Use keywords naturally to keep the content informative and readable.
  • Add details, examples, illustrations, or links to authoritative sources to substantiate information.
SEO:
  • Incorporate keywords into headings, subheadings, meta descriptions, URLs, and the body of the article.
  • Create unique, informative meta titles, descriptions, and headlines to enhance visibility in search results.
Editing and formatting:
  • Proofread the text, correct errors, improve structure, and ensure clarity of expression.
  • Break the text into paragraphs, and use lists, headings, and text formatting to enhance readability.

Examples of long reads can be found on various online platforms and publications such as journals, blogs, news websites, or specialized platforms for lengthy texts. For instance:

  • Medium: A platform where authors publish articles on different topics, including long reads.
  • The New Yorker: A publication known for its lengthy and in-depth articles covering diverse subjects from politics to culture.
  • The Atlantic: Another publication that frequently publishes long, meticulously researched articles.

How to naturally integrate keywords into text

  • Contextual relevance: Embed keywords naturally within the content, ensuring they fit seamlessly without disrupting readability.
  • Variety and density: Utilize variations of your target keywords organically throughout the text. Avoid overstuffing; maintain a natural keyword density that flows naturally within the narrative.

Why it’s important to add lists and outlines

Enhanced readability

Lists and outlines break down complex information into digestible chunks, improving comprehension and user experience.

Structural organization

They provide a clear structure, making it easier for both users and search engines to navigate and understand the content. This improves dwell time and engagement metrics.

Long-form content, when optimized effectively, serves as a powerful SEO tool. It not only increases the visibility of your target keywords but also enhances user experience by offering comprehensive and well-structured information. Integrating keywords naturally and employing lists and outlines contribute to both SEO success and user satisfaction.

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Turn your website traffic into leads

Add popups with value for visitors

Discounts and special offers

Offering exclusive discounts or limited-time offers through popups can incentivize visitors to engage with your site and can convert them into leads.

Wheel of fortune

Interactive elements like a spin-the-wheel game offering discounts or freebies upon signup can captivate visitors’ attention and encourage lead generation.

Newsletter subscriptions

Encourage visitors to subscribe to your newsletter for regular updates, valuable content, and exclusive offers, fostering a long-term relationship with potential leads.

Integrate a chat widget

Ensure availability

Implementing a responsive chat widget ensures timely resolution of visitors’ queries, improving their experience and significantly boosting lead generation potential. This enhancement positively influences traffic-to-lead conversion on the website, fostering a positive user experience and encouraging visitor engagement, ultimately driving successful lead generation.

Fast response time

Aim to promptly respond to inquiries, offering real-time assistance to build trust and reliability. This approach contributes to increasing traffic conversion on your website into leads, as swift and accurate responses create a positive user experience, encouraging further interaction and promoting trust in your company.

Create a lead magnet

What is a lead magnet

A lead magnet is a valuable incentive offered in exchange for contact information, such as ebooks, guides, templates, or exclusive content.

Choosing a topic

Select topics aligned with your audience’s needs or pain points. Addressing specific problems or offering solutions enhances the magnet’s appeal.

Implementing strategies like enticing popups, responsive chat widgets, and valuable lead magnets can effectively convert website traffic into potential leads. These tactics engage visitors, offer value, and encourage interaction, ultimately boosting lead generation and nurturing a customer base.

Dec 08, 2023

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Rachel

I’m an online marketing professional with over 10 years of experience. I have a background in web development and SEO, which I leverage to provide high-quality content strategy and content creation for businesses.

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