Gaining traffic from organic search can be a valuable part of your business strategy.
In fact, organic search traffic is a major part of how I’ve built up Kindlepreneur over the years, not to mention my other niche websites. I truly believe in the approach because I’ve seen it work time and time again for both myself and others.
In a nutshell, you can drive traffic to your platform in a number of ways. These include paid traffic, such as through PPC advertising, social traffic, such as that generated by content shared on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and organic traffic, such as that generated by ranking in Google.
Organic traffic has a major advantage over other types. Why? It’s free.
Sure, you have to create great content, and that is time-consuming, but you need to create great content regardless. The difference is that getting traction for your content on Facebook is costly. You have to pay to void getting lost amidst the noise. PPC is costly too. Organic, on the other hand, is not.
Today, I’d like to share with you my top tips on optimizing your onpage content to get better results from organic traffic.
Let’s get to it!
Optimization – The Essential Principles
Everyone reading this will have a different level of familiarity with search engine optimization. The way you feel and think about it will depend a lot upon how and when you encountered it. Years ago, SEO was something of a spammy practice, and many people still frown upon it as a result. Thankfully, things have changed.
The basic paradigm of optimization has gone from ‘gaming the system with Google’ to ‘ensuring content is as discoverable and useful for users as possible’. This change has come thanks to a number of updates to the way Google functions, having the impact of stemming spammy practices, and rewarding people who do things the right way.
Given that optimization has changed so much, what are the current essential principles to keep in mind?
- Avoid spam. Google has a ton of systems in place, both manual and automated, to catch manipulative practices. We’ll delve deeper into these later in the article, but the general rule of thumb is avoid anything that is manipulative or deceptive.
- Satisfy searcher intent. One of the key shifts in the world of optimization has seen Google move away from prioritizing the exact words users search for, and instead seeking to understand the deeper meaning of the searcher’s intent. In essence, this means you won’t be rewarded so much for having the right keywords on a page. Instead, you’ll be rewarded in terms of higher Google rankings for satisfying the people that come to your page.
- Stay current. SEO is an ever-changing world. In order to ensure you experience the maximum benefit possible from it, it’s vital to keep your finger on the pulse. As Google evolves, and as people gain a greater understanding of what does and doesn’t work, best practices change. Don’t assume what used to work will still work.
Now that you have an oversight of the backdrop to optimization, and the guiding principles to keep in mind, let’s delve deeper into the practical side of onpage optimization.
Where To Optimize Onpage
In case you’re new to this, onpage optimization refers to the things you do within your web content to help them rank higher in Google. This contrasts with offpage optimization, such as building backlinks and social signals.
The core concept of optimization is having a solid keyword to optimize around. There are excellent, specialist guides to keyword research out there, so I won’t cover that at this time.
Instead, let’s consider how to use your keywords to the best effect to rank higher on Google and gain more organic search traffic.
- H2s. Google gives extra priority to your header tags when figuring out what a page is all about. You should aim to include your keyword, and variations of it, in your header tags. Try and be natural about this. If it’s a good, natural fit, use it. Don’t squeeze it in if it doesn’t belong though.
- Images and Links. When you place an image on a piece of web content, you have the chance to give it an alt tag. When Google examines a page, they don’t see the image as such, they just see its alt tag. Therefore, make the most of alt tags as an extra way of giving your content a Google boost.
- URL & Description. The URL of your post should probably not be its full title. For example, let’s imagine you are writing a post titled ‘How To Grow Your Email List At A Rapid Pace’. You are basing this around the keyword ‘grow email list’. You should consider making the part of the URL that comes after the / something like ‘how-grow-email-list’. You also want to manually write a meta description for your post, to save Google from automating it. Using the Yoast plugin makes these things much easier. You can see this principle in action in a recent post of mine about the best self-publishing companies.
Notice that I didn’t once mention keyword density. In the past, people tried hard to hit a certain percentage for their keyword in the content. SEO best practice no longer advises this. Instead, use variations of your keyword naturally, focusing on the searcher’s intent.
Mistakes To Avoid With Onpage Optimization
Now that we’ve considered the overall theory behind onpage optimization, and looked at some best practices for optimizing onpage, let’s check out some mistakes to avoid.
It’s usually better to focus on what to do, as opposed to what not to do, but optimization is definitely an exception. Why? Doing the wrong things can land you on Google’s naughty list, and this can seriously harm your traffic and business as a result.
- Over-optimization. Google seeks out and punishes what they consider to be manipulative or over-optimized content. For example, if you used your exact main keyword in every H2, that would be manipulative. If you didn’t use natural variations of the keyword one would expect to find as a result of genuine writing, that would be seen as manipulative. If you avoid trying to game the system, you will be fine.
- Dead ends. One thing that Google likes to see is people clicking on a link within your content, rather than going back to Google. Why? If people return to Google to keep searching, it is a sign your content didn’t satisfy them. If people click onwards, it’s a sign you helped them onto the next stage of their journey. Include lots of useful and relevant links.
- No media. Failing to include images and even video in your content is a mistake to avoid. By including relevant media, you are likely to keep traffic on page longer, something Google desires. Also, you are more likely to provide better value to the searcher, provided the media you include is useful to their intent.
One of the golden rules I’ve learned over my years as an online entrepreneur is, to quote Aesop, ‘slow and steady wins the race’. Spammy and manipulative things might work in the short term, but they almost always stop working.
It’s better to build something slowly the right way, as you know the foundations are solid, allowing you to enjoy a sustainable online business.One of the golden rules I’ve learned is ‘slow and steady wins the race’. It’s better to build something slowly the right way, as you know the foundations are solid, allowing you to enjoy a sustainable online business. #Youpreneur Click To Tweet
Don’t Leave Traffic On The Table
Thank you so much for taking the time to check out my onpage optimization ideas.
I truly hope that you find something here you can use to improve your own content, and that you experience more traffic as a result.
Often, we work so hard to produce great content. We, therefore, owe it to ourselves, and our businesses, to make this content as effective in possible in serving our larger goals.
Onpage optimization is a proven way to do exactly that. I wish you luck and success!
Dave Chesson is a digital marketer, book marketing Jedi, and Tennessee family man. His passion is serving the author community through Kindlepreneur.com. His specialty is in-depth, unbiased information, such as his recent Guide to Grammarly. When he’s not constantly improving KDP Rocket, Dave can be found learning EDM production from DeadMau5.