In today’s fast-paced digital marketplace, search engine optimization (SEO) is a new term that seems to be on the top of every marketer’s mind.
But, in a sea of competition, how do you attract users to your site and improve SEO results?
With any website, there are several factors involved in your search engine ranking. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate list on how to boost your SEO results in 2020.
1. Improve Your Page Loading Speed and Server Response Time
A slow website can negatively affect the way your website visitors engage with your pages.
In fact, 53% of mobile website visitors will abandon your site if a webpage doesn’t load within three seconds.
There’s also evidence to suggest that one of Google’s recent algorithm updates targeted page load speed, with slow sites seeing a decline in traffic.
If you want to increase your website traffic, one of the first steps to success is ensuring your site loads as fast as possible.
2. Create High-Quality Content
If your site includes fresh, dynamic, or newsworthy content, it will keep visitors on your page longer and improve your rankings.
Remember, content is still one of Google’s biggest ranking factors, and with recent updates focused on quality and authority, putting out highly relevant content is more important than ever.
For starters, focus on long-form, evergreen content that you can continue to update over time.
Pull in industry statistics and facts where appropriate, and link only to reputable sources. Each piece you publish should represent your authority on the given subject.
3. Publish Viral, Share-Worthy content
By publishing content that will be shared across social media platforms, your site will forge a lasting impression on your readers.
Though viral content may seem out of reach for smaller brands, anyone can produce content that reaches viral status by following a few simple steps.
Don’t believe me? I’ll show you how here.
4. Update Content Regularly
Regularly updated content is seen as one of the best indicators of a site’s relevancy, so be sure to refresh as often as possible.
You should be regularly checking your top URLs in Google Analytics or Search Console and adding fresh content to keep them up-t0-date and relevant.
Related articles you might like
- SEO Starter Guide
- Easy Ways To Get SEO Results
- How To Get Website Traffic Fast
- How To Analyze Old Content And Boost Rankings
- How To Maintain SEO Rankings
- How Long Does SEO Take
5. Add Keywords to Make Titles More Click-Worthy
Keyword research and placement is an old standby when it comes to SEO.
Though the way we use keywords has changed over time, using them strategically in your content is still considered a positive SEO practice.
Case in point: the title.
With only 65 characters allotted for your headline, you should always include your target keyword in your titles.
6. Include Contact Information
If users cannot find your business’ contact information on a website, neither can search engines.
This will also help you in terms of E-A-T (expertise, authority, trustworthiness).
As Google puts ever-more emphasis on the trustworthiness of a site, having your information readily available will help prove your site and business is legitimate.
7. Optimize for Long-tail Keywords
These keywords have a low monthly search volume, but a higher likelihood of conversion.
Google has been making moves to match its search results more closely to user intent, rather than keywords. Long-tail keywords tend to line up much better with specific intent rather than their broad counterparts.
I suggest looking through all your content and mapping out the intent behind each piece; from there, you can find long-tail keywords that best match the overall purpose of each article.
8. Include Numbers and Statistics in Titles
Having numbers in titles pulled from reputable sources can have a big impact on your content’s click-through-rate.
Simply put: posts with numbers tend to perform better in the SERPs and see significantly more traffic.
Focus on building list posts and step-by-step guides to take advantage of this.
9. Include Power Words in Titles
Power words like “effective,” “proven,” or “best” have the ability to draw users in and will boost your headline’s chances of being clicked on.
Action words and emotional triggers are also proven to work well in viral content. Anything that captures attention and elicits an emotional response will likely see more click-throughs.
Using question words is another proven way to grab the reader’s attention (think what, why, etc.).
10. Use Brackets in Titles
Here’s one you probably weren’t expecting.
According to a study conducted by HubSpot and Outbrain, titles that included brackets performed 33% better than titles without brackets.
11. Craft Keyword-Rich Meta Descriptions
Your meta description can, quite simply, make or break your click-through rates.
Crafting a readable, compelling description that features keywords can increase the click-through rate for a given webpage.
While your meta description doesn’t necessarily have a character limit, Google tends to cut them off at 155-160 characters.
And, though they’re not considered an official ranking factor, they are incredibly influential in a searcher’s decision to click, which in turn has an impact on a page’s ranking.
Make sure you write interesting, unique copy for each description, and optimize it for the keyword you’re targeting on the page.
12. Use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)
LSI is the process search engines use to locate related keywords, as well as your main keywords.
When ranking a page, Google looks for contextual evidence on the page that supports your topic, and helps it return the most relevant search results to its users. This includes synonyms and semantic keywords.
For example, if your keyword is “Washington Memorial,” your semantic keywords would be ones that are related, such as “Washington D.C.,” “famous monuments,” etc.
Using these throughout you copy will help Google better understand your topic and intent.
13. Avoid Using Stock Images
If you want your photos to pop on your site, don’t fill your website with stock imagery.
Not only does it impact your SEO, but you’ll appear unoriginal.
Instead, create original graphics or take screenshots or specific processes and steps.
14. Use Original, High-Quality Images
The more original images you have, the better the experience users will have when visiting your site.
Poor image quality or broken images can contribute to bounce rate, which certainly isn’t ideal for SEO.
15. Select the Right File Format For Your Images
After you have chosen the right image for your page, you need to decide which file format is optimal for your needs. The three most commonly used raster image formats include GIF, PNG, and JPEG.
A JPEG format is often recommended for photos, while GIFs and PNGs are better designed graphics.
16. Avoid Relying on Third-Party Image Hosting
With image hosting services, your images may be removed or blocked when the hosting services experience higher amounts of traffic.
17. Name Your Images in Plain Language
Search engines crawl the text on your webpage in addition to your image file names. That’s why creating descriptive file names that include keywords is crucial for SEO.
This will also help ensure that your site and content stay ADA Compliant.
18. Optimize Your Alt Attributes Carefully
Alt attributes (also known as alt tags or alt descriptions) can be defined as the text alternative to images when a browser cannot properly render them.
Google and other search engines can’t interpret actual images and rely on alt attributes to provide context for the image. Because it’s read as text, it plays a part in how well a page ranks.
That’s why proper optimization is so important. Be sure to include your target keyword in all of your alt descriptions.
19. Choose Image Dimensions and File Size Wisely
When it comes to product images, it’s key to include multiple angles. Potential searchers are more likely to land on your website when you add descriptions to your base alt attribute.
You’ll also want to make sure your images are the right file size.
If an image is too large, it can contribute to a slow page load speed. And generally speaking, the higher the resolution, the larger the file size. Don’t sacrifice quality, but do make sure you’re not using a size larger than you need for a given image.
20. Optimize Your Thumbnails
Thumbnails are typically presented at critical points during the shopping process.
Again, making the file sizes smaller will ensure that it won’t impact your page load time, but it’s the focal point of the page, it may warrant full-size treatment.
Keep in mind, these images could be pulled into the search results, so make sure they accurately reflect the page they’re representing and the alt tags and descriptions are optimized with the appropriate keywords.
21. Create Infographics
Every solid piece of content can be pushed to the next level with the right infographic that’s both educational and visually appealing.
Infographics are also great for content promotion, especially on social media. If you create an infographic that gets shared and acquires a decent amount of links, that will signal to Google that you’ve created a solid piece of content.
Remember, the more high-quality links you can acquire, the better you look—and rank—with Google.
22. Use Image Sitemaps
In order to inform crawlers about unidentified images, you must log their location in an image sitemap.
23. Test Your Images
Find out what converts more customers by testing how many product images should be included per page and the number of product listings you should have on category pages.
24. Learn to Detect Unnecessary Code
If your site has additional code, it will take longer for search engines to crawl your site, which means your page will have a slower load time, and thus, worse SEO.
There are plenty of tools out there to help you detect any dead or unnecessary code that may live on your site.
25. Dig Into Your Market Research to Connect With Customers
Market research allows you to better understand the wants and needs of your customers so you’re able to address them.
The more you know about your market, the better you’ll be able to make key business decisions, from product pricing to customer pain points.
A deep understanding of the market you’re trying to reach will help you create content that will resonate with your audience. And the more relevant your content is, the higher your site will rank.
27. Conduct a Competitor Analysis
Taking a closer look at content keywords and presenting engine rankings of competitors can help you determine an effective SEO positioning strategy.
There are plenty of tools to help you keep tabs on your competitors (SEMRush is a favorite of mine). Look for things like top keywords, websites linking to their content, rankings over time, etc.
From there, you can identify gaps in keywords and content, and adapt what’s working for them into your strategy.
27. Track Your Competitors Keywords and Set Up Alerts
Monitor your competitor’s keywords to keep tabs on their content strategy and find new opportunities for your own.
A tool like SpyFu is especially useful here. It will let you know which keywords your competitors are targeting in both paid and organic search.
You can also use iSpionage, which will send you monthly competitor reports. Included in those reports are any new paid and organic keywords they’re targeting.
Use those to plan your own content strategy – and create content better than what the competition’s putting out.
28. Perform a Website Analysis
Find out how well you’re positioned for search engines by analyzing your site’s keywords, visible text, and code.
It’s always a good idea to keep tabs on you rankings and top URLs. If you notice anything off on any of your top pages, you’ll know it’s time to dig a little deeper.
There could be a bug in Google Analytics, Google could have released one of its notorious algorithm updates, or it could be a problem with site itself.
For more on how to perform a proper website analysis, read my full article here.
29. Build an Email List
Email is still a major player in the marketing mix. And a good strategy that includes linking back to content on your website can be a great way to get significant traffic.
To start building your email list from scratch, include a personalized call-to-action for each blog or landing page. You can even create a relevant pop-up or slide-in for each page of your site.
30. Make Content Easily Digestible
Solid, error-free writing is a given when it comes to content.
But for web content, in particular, creating a piece that’s easy to read and conversational is crucial to reader engagement. Users aren’t sitting down to read a novel here; they’re more than likely skimming your articles to find the information they need.
The best way to keep your readers from being overwhelmed with content is to break up your paragraphs with subheadings and actionable images. Keep your text blocks short and your language easy to understand.
Following these steps will help reduce your bounce rate, which in turn will help you rank higher in the SERPs.
31. Include Case Studies
A simple way to differentiate your product or service includes using actual data and examples to build trust and showcase your expertise.
For a step-by-step guide on how to build your own case study, check out my guide here.
32. Include Guest Posts on Blog
Guest blogging not only positions you as a thought leader within your industry but allows you to deliver your message directly to your intended audience.
Look for sites that target your industry or niche and reach out to them with a relevant pitch. Doing so will build up your reputation with your audience, and likely send traffic back to your own site.
And remember, when possible include links from your guest posts back to your own sites. Links from reputable sites will look to Google and help improve your website ranking.
33. Publish Quote Roundups
Roundup posts can get you tons of website traffic, as well as plenty of amplification on social channels.
Use your industry connections to identify the right people for a topic you’re writing on and ask them to submit a quote. Having a well-known name in your content will help with promotion, and will likely encourage more links to your content.
34. Utilize Natural Link Building
When it comes to offsite SEO, link building is one of the most important things you can do as a marketer.
Essentially, the more links you have, the more likely you will be to rank well when someone searches for keywords related to your website.
35. Link Out When Necessary
Linking out to trusted, authoritative, and topically related sources can help build connections with other site owners in your niche.
It also shows Google that you’re gathering and using trusted information sources and helps back up any points you make in your content. In a time when E-A-T reigns supreme, this is a critical element in search engine success.
36. Fix Broken Links
Not only do broken links devalue your SEO efforts, but it can make for a bad user experience.
To avoid these potential pitfalls, be sure to periodically check for broken links on your site. You can find broken links using Google Analytics or a tool like Ahrefs, which offers a free broken link checker.
37. Interview Thought Leaders
Once you publish the interview on your website, the leaders will likely share the content with their audience, which will help boost your rankings.
38. Form Content Partnerships With Like-Minded Bloggers and Brands
Always be on the lookout for other bloggers or brands who have a large following and can add value to your business and vice versa.
Having a partnership in place can help secure guest posts for your site, and lead to content collaborations, such as industry studies.
39. Score a Publication Column
To drive more traffic to your site, find a publication with an already established reader base. Once your column is published, the partnership will unlock new networking possibilities for your brand.
Separate from guest posting, a regular column on a site is something you can build a loyal following for.
40. Make Your Site a Multimedia Experience
Adding multimedia elements like images, videos, slideshows, or audio to your site can help improve the overall user experience.
Not only will this make your site more engaging and help break up text, but studies show this is exactly what users want to see. According to Oberlo, the majority of consumers( 54%) want to see more videos from brands they support, and video marketers report that they get 66% more qualified leads in a year.
41. Integrate Social Media
The best way to integrate your images into social media platforms is through adding social media sharing buttons to your website.
In your posts, encourage people to share, or have them ask questions through a Facebook Messenger integration on your site.
42. Share Images on Pinterest
Make sure you’re active on Pinterest and connecting with others in your niche.
Though it’s often overlooked in favor of platforms like Facebook and Instagram, Pinterest can be a powerful marketing tool, especially for retail or ecommerce brands.
Try this on for size: Shopify found that Pinterest was the #2 source of all referral traffic to their site and that 93% of users were using it to plan their purchases. All-in-all, the average resulting order value was $50 (higher than any other social media source).
Pinterest also found that it drove more traffic than other social platforms. And more referral traffic can lead to higher rankings.
43. Share Long-Form Posts on LinkedIn
While native video has skyrocketed in popularity on LinkedIn, long-form text posts with a clever hook tend to perform extremely well.
For B2Bs especially, LinkedIn is the placed to shine. Post longer articles on the site, and link back to your own site for more information.
44. Be Proactive on Facebook and Leverage Groups
You can use Facebook to drive traffic to your website by building and leveraging groups that mainly include your ideal readers.
Need help growing a group? Check out my article here.
45. Stand Out on Instagram Through Influencer Marketing
Instagram is your opportunity to share high-quality images and develop relationships with influencers.
For some brands, utilizing influencer marketing is a great way to increase traffic. If you can land your product on a influential Instagrammer’s page, you open your brand up to a much wider audience.
Chances are, you can capture some of that audience and drive traffic back to your site.
46. Use Twitter to Create a Community of Loyal Followers
With tools like Quuu Promote, you can choose how many posts to promote through their network of users every month on Twitter, and there’s no limit to the amount of people who can click and share your content.
47. Engage on Reddit and Other Online Forums
Reddit allows you to connect with your community and build a rapport with dedicated commenters. Once you solidify your reputation, you can start publishing posts that ask for feedback on your content.
Similarly, A strong presence on Yahoo! Answers gives you a chance to be easily found online and is a great way to build your web presence without being too self-promoting.
And, keep an eye out for questions that have been asked multiple times on Quora. This suggests that there’s currently no good answer available on Google.
48. Join Facebook Groups
With Facebook, it’s important to be strategic and find groups that are topically relevant to your niche.
Only join the ones that have a sizable number of engaged members who you consider to be part of your target audience.
As you engage and become an active member of the group, others will start looking to your and your site as an information resource.
49. Be active in Niche-Focused Online Groups
Unlike Facebook and Reddit, self-promotion within online niche communities tends to be more universally accepted, which makes it a little easier to successfully drive traffic to your website.
50. Get Interviewed on Podcasts
Start the process by doing a quick Google search for a keyword phrase you’ve written about and add the word “podcast.” Consider reaching out to the hosts of those shows that turned up in the results and ask if they’d be interested in featuring you on their podcast.
This is especially useful if you have a new product, service, or project to promote.
51. Upload Videos on Your YouTube Channel
If you can deliver informative, engaging videos in a specific niche, then this is a must for learning how to drive traffic to your website.
Make sure to focus on topics where there’s already proven demand in terms of people looking for answers on YouTube.
52. Host Webinars
Webinars serve as great cost-effective alternatives to hosting an in-person event.
Plus, it allows you to educate your audience, generate new leads, and drive traffic to your blog all at the same time. By establishing yourself as an authority in your space, you’ll add to your credentials with Google. That’s good for your website ranking.
For a starter guide on creating your own webinar (and determining if they’re right for you, take a look at this article.
53. Promote eBooks
By compiling enough information to make an in-depth eBook, you’ve already delivered value by streamlining plenty of useful information for your readers.
To help build your email list, give your eBook away as an incentive to people who sign up for your newsletter. We call this gated content, and it can be a great way to collect more contacts.
As always, make sure your eBook is highly relevant to your niche or industry, and create an enticing landing page to go with it.
54. Give Away Free Resources
Easily turn your website visitors into subscribers by offering free eBooks, audiobooks, newsletters, or other pieces of content that your readers are interested in.
But it doesn’t stop there. Your goal should always be to add value, whether its through social media captions, long-form articles on your blog, or comments left on forums or Facebook Groups.
Don’t be afraid of over-sharing or giving too much away; the only way to really solidify your reputation is to prove your expertise.
The more value you give, the more users will come to rely on you as a resource and seek you or your brand out. Once you’re seen as an authority, Google will take notice.
55. Host a Virtual Summit or Online Event
Virtual summits require a lot of work, but plenty of payoff. You’ll need the help of thought leaders, influencers, teams, businesses, bloggers, and anyone else who already has a clearly defined audience.
If that’s completely out of the question, then reign it in a bit.
For example, last year we launched our inaugural Ignite 100, a comprehensive list of the best marketing software available.
Entries were collected and voted on by the public, and to honor our awardees we streamed a Live event on Facebook.
While this may not directly affect your rank, it will increase your reach and brand awareness. And the more people are talking about you across the web, the more likely Google is to take notice.
56. Teach Online Courses
Find out what problems your audience is having and offer solutions via online courses.
This will help drive traffic to your blog and position you as an industry expert. You can make these free or charge for the classes.
The great thing about online courses is that it’s taking something you have extensive knowledge in and mapping it out from beginning to end. Each major component or stage gets its own class, and in the end, you’ll have a full course to promote.
But to make it successful, you must to be very clear about its value and the benefit it will bring to your audience.
This isn’t something you can slap together, but if you’re willing to put in the time, it is a tactic that can solidify your expertise and authority.
57. Launch a Creative Side Project
There’s nothing better than a quirky, out-there idea that morphs into something bigger, helping to generate some much-needed buzz and drive traffic to your site.
But don’t get too hung up on the “creative” aspect. Any related project that helps supports your business can be valuable.
For example, I run my own blog, JohnLincoln.marketing. Doing so helps me build buzz and authority in conjunction with Ignite Visibility.
58. Set up a Google Business page
As the owner of the page, you can verify contact information, add or remove images, monitor reviews, and much more.
If you’re a local business, this one is non-negotiable. It’s a critical part of local SEO, and will have a significant impact on your search rankings.
59. Use Google Discover
Google Discover is a fairly new feature that supplies relevant, newsworthy content to users of Google’s Chrome browser application.
However, instead of following each other, users can follow different categories of interests.
Keep in mind, optimizing for Discover will be different than traditional search. Because there are no actual search queries used, tactics like keyword targeting won’t be your best bet for target.
But optimizing your content for Discover will prove an important tactic going forward, as Google invest more and more into the new feature.
You can read more about Google Discover and how to optimize for it in this article.
60. Speak at a Conference
Landing a speaking opportunity at the right conference can drive traffic to your blog in a way that online networking cannot.
If there’s a conference taking place that’s closely related to your niche, do everything in your power to be a guest speaker.
61. Get on Local Television
This is one of the most unique ways you can drive traffic to your website and can lead to numerous media opportunities in the future once you land your first television gig.
However, you’ll need to focus heavily on those relationships beforehand–networking with key media personnel and connecting with journalists.
62. Utilize Paid Search and Social Advertising
The great thing about PPC ads is that they bring immediate traffic to your site from the search engines, and they’re an ideal complementary tactic that can help support your organic SEO efforts.
While you’ll still need to work on your SEO to see long term ranking results, paid media is a great way to get a quick boost and bump your listing to the top of the page.
Outside of search, paid ads on social networks like Facebook is a great way to increase brand awareness and target new viewers.
Make sure you take full advantage of each platform’s targeting methods and experiment with different ad formats to find the best fit for your brand.
63. Optimize Your Site For All Devices
Your website should be functional across a wide range of devices, screen sizes, and operating systems.
The last thing you want is for someone to find your site on a mobile device, only to be taken to a site that clearly wasn’t made for a mobile screen.
Chances are, they won’t be revisiting your site on a desktop. They’ll simply move on to the next result.
Make sure this doesn’t happen by running it through Google’s Mobile Friendly test.
Also, keep in mind that Google has officially switched to mobile-first indexing. So, if you want your site to rank, a mobile presence is a must.
There you have it! We covered quite a bit here, so congratulations for making it all the way through this massive list of the best ways to drive traffic and increase your website rankings.
While it may be tough to keep up with the pace of change these days, it’s up to you to decide whether you’ll keep up, adapt, and seize new opportunities that come your way.