The Path to Free Traffic: SEO [4 steps to free traffic]
There are two ways to be noticed on Google: paid ads and search engine optimization (SEO). Paid ads are straight forward, you have to pay for every click you receive, but every click you get through SEO is 100% free.
Search engine optimization is the process of making your website very likable to Google, so attractive that Google will give you free ads. Google wants to catalog all of the information in the world within its servers, so if you have some excellent information to offer (your website), it is not too hard to convince Google to display it to the world for free.
SEO has three critical steps: keyword research, on-page optimization, and off-page optimization. These three steps will add up to a successful SEO campaign that will result in a considerable amount of free traffic to your website daily. But, if SEO is so easy, why doesn’t everybody do it?
Well, the process of optimizing your webpages onto Google is tedious and lengthy, even though it is quite easy to perform. Many people skip to the step of paying for ads on Google because they are not willing to invest the necessary time to gain free traffic.
If you are still reading this article, you are probably interested in getting free traffic to your website, so let’s begin!
Go to ads.google.com and sign-in to your Google account. We use Google Ads to do a lot of SEO work, but do not worry, we will not pay for anything! Once you have signed-in, insert all of the required info to get started (this may take a while if you have not signed-in to Google Ads before).
After all of that, you need to call the Google offices and request to make your account the “professional version” where you can do your keyword research, and such. If you do not do this, you will be stuck on the beginner version of Google Ads, where it will walk you through every part and not help you research or get a good deal on anything.
Once all of that is over, click the wrench icon on the top right and click on “planning,” then, “keyword planner,” and finally, click on “find new keywords.”
Finally! You are now starting the process of keyword research. Keywords are the words or phrases that people enter into search engines such as Google to find what they are searching for.
For example, if I was a consumer looking for a new pair of shoes. I might go to Google and type in “running shoes” or something like that. The phrase, “running shoes,” are the keywords for my search. You need to figure out what keywords your potential customers/clients are searching so that you can place your ads right where they are looking.
In the box in front of you, do the following. Type in as many ideas as you wish that are related to whatever you are selling. If I were searching for keywords relating to shoes, I would type in “shoes, new shoes, cheap shoes, shoes on sale,” etc. then click Get Started.
Google will now show you the estimated traffic for the keywords you submitted, plus a large list of related keywords that you should look into using. You need to pick at least ten keywords (either words or phrases) that you think your potential customers/clients are looking up, based on the data provided by Google for each keyword.
Keywords all have a different amount of traffic and competition for them. So if you are a small company, do not chase after high traffic keywords (starting out, at least) because the big dogs such as Nike and Adidas probably already have that keyword, which you probably will not be able to take from them, at least for a while.
Also, do not go after keywords that only have ten clicks per month, as that will most likely not help your business whatsoever. You need to take a good look at your company and decide what competition it can take on.
Search engine optimization is a never-ending battle. That is why there is such a high demand for search engine optimizers. If you stop finding better keywords, stop optimizing your website, or stop getting quality backlinks, the keywords you have fought to obtain on Google will be handed over to someone else, someone that has a full-time search engine optimization team. This is probably why many people quit trying to perform SEO to their website and start paying for Google ad campaigns.
Once you have a list of 10 perfect keywords, write them down and do not lose them, as they are critical for the second step: on-page optimization.
On-page optimization is all about making your website easy to read by Google. Google sends out its “spiders” (a Google program) that run around the internet looking for websites to add to its list. These spiders will “crawl” sites and determine if it is a high-quality website or if it is a spammy website that should be blacklisted. Do not try to trick Google; it really will ban you!
Here is a list of some of the many things you need to do to your website so that Google’s spiders can properly crawl your site and deem it as high quality:
- Avoid lengthy URLs (example: http://www.yourwebsite.com/lnq4r98a7goina;4ot8hngta3g3)
- Start your title tags with one of your keywords. This is one of the most critical SEO factors. The closer your keyword is to the beginning of your title tag, the better response you will get from Google.
- Put your titles in the <h1> tag.
- Use high-quality media such as photos and videos to lower the bounce rate of the website. (Google hates high bounce rates!)
- Put all subheadings in <h2> tags.
- Put your best keyword within the first 100 words of your website.
- Use outbound links in your copy that are related to your website. (For example: if you have a website about selling shoes, you can put an external like to a popular blog that writes about the kind of shoes that you sell).
- Add 2-3 internal links to every single post. Internal links are links that direct the potential customer to another page within your website.
- Boost your site speed. You can do this by signing up with a high-speed website host. Google does not like slow websites.
- Use LSI keywords in your posts. LSI keywords are keywords that are synonymous with the list of 10 keywords you have. (For example: if my main keywords are “cheap shoes for sale,” I would choose LSI keywords such as “hiking” or “comfortable footwear.” LSI keywords are synonymous, NOT the same. Google likes to see that your website is talking about your keywords in a big way, not just trying to trick its spiders.
- Optimize your images. Write a short paragraph describing your images within the code of the image so that the visually impaired can understand what the image is. Google likes this!
- Use social media sharing buttons,
- post-long-styled content such as blogs and listicles.
This is considered to be the most crucial aspect of gaining massive amounts of free traffic from Google. It would be best if you had high-quality and credible websites within close relation of your niche to put links on their website to yours.
These backlinks show Google that your website is so amazingly reliable that even large sites related to yours are posting links on their website that travel directly to yours. Google’s spiders will see these links as they endlessly crawl other websites and boost your search rankings as a result.
There are only so many ways to get a website to post a link on their pages that go directly to your site; you can ask them nicely or pay them. If you are lucky, they will give you a backlink without you even asking, but that is very rare, especially for small businesses. Getting backlinks requires people skills. You have to either talk to companies and request a backlink or contact them and pay for a permanent link.
Be warned, do not make a “link for link,” deal. Google can see where websites are linking to, and Google will penalize any website that has inbound and outbound links to/from the same site. Even if you try to triangulate your links (example: Website “A” links to website “B,” website “B” links to website “C,” and website “C” links to website “A”).
Off-page optimization is only valid when links from other websites were created without any strings attached. Even though I said you could pay people to give you links to your website, Google will penalize your site if they figure it out. But Google will most likely not figure this out, as long as you do not tell them. I am not promoting the idea of paying for links; I am merely telling you about the possible benefits and disadvantages of paying for backlinks.
Once you have done your keyword research, on-page optimization, and off-page optimization, you need to create an.XML sitemap and submit it to the google console. An.XML sitemap is a map of your website that includes the pages that you want Google to display and which pages you do not wish Google to display. Google will put this.XML sitemap in its queue and eventually send its spiders to crawl your website and rank it according to its credibility and usefulness. It may take up to 30 days for Google (or any search engine) to send out its spiders. So in the meantime, continue to get other websites to link to your site. Keep looking for the most profitable and realistic keywords to apply to your website.
Lastly, remember that SEO is a never-ending process. It is a fight that requires you to keep fighting, or else your competitors will win over the keywords that you have fought for, therefore getting higher search rankings for the same keywords.
I hope you enjoyed this free introduction to search engine optimization! SEO is always changing, so never stop studying SEO and never stop optimizing.
Need Help with SEO?
www.vizinow.com offers SEO services for any business. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog.