For more than a decade, bloggers and online marketers are still relying upon SEO to increase their traffic and sales. For years, many SEO experts used to ask this one question: “Is this site fully optimized for the search engine bots?”
They used to get massive search traffic by writing and optimizing their contents for search engines. If you are still doing that, you already know what happens. You won’t get any traffic. Sad truth!
So what’s happening? Is SEO dead?
No. But the way you think about SEO has completely changed. In other words, traditional SEO is dead.
In 2015 and beyond if you want to increase your website search traffic, here’s the perfect question you should be asking yourself: “Am I optimizing my site for humans?“
If you give top priority to the users who use your site, Google bots will help you rank your sites higher in search results.
Most people can’t answer this question – “what your blog is all about?“
Your blog should have a primary goal. For most bloggers, that is getting people to subscribe to their email lists and for others it might be making more sales.
How you reach your blogging goal largely depends on the user engagement. You need to find ways to connect and engage with your audience. Without that, no matter how many visitors you get, you will fail to make money.
Why traditional SEO is dead
Still relying on stuffing keywords to increase your traffic? Are you still using your guest posts on random sites to build links so you can increase your search traffic? Still following the same old rule “build it, they will come”?
All of these traditional SEO methods are not working like they used to.
Have you ever wondered why stuffing keywords or building too many links from random sites is not going to help you even a bit? It’s all because Google is getting smarter every single day and it’s giving highest priority to the users.
So we can easily say that, traditional SEO is dead and the strategies that worked a decade ago are not going to work anymore.
So what’s going to help you boost your organic traffic in 2015 and beyond?
User Experience Optimization (UEO)
Modern SEO goes way beyond just optimizing your blog posts or getting links from other sites. Driving tons of visitors from search engines is essential, but what’s the point if they don’t convert at all?
You need to focus on giving better user experience who browse your sites.
By focusing on better UX, you are not only serving your audience better but your rankings will go up in search results because Google rewards the sites with better UX.
User experience includes major metrics like
- The speed of your site
- Keyword usage (long tail and short tail)
- Social media metrics
- Overall navigation of your site
This is the reason why authority sites like SEOMoz, MajesticSEO, SEOBraintrust removed SEO from their brand name and started building branding around Moz, Majestic, MarketersBraintrust.
These big SEO players already know what’s happening with SEO. They knew if they are still giving too much importance to SEO, they are not going to attract traffic, leads or sales.
So what are the major factors that help you increase the user engagement?
- Increase the speed of your website: Did you know that if it takes more than 3 to 4 seconds to load, your visitors will abandon your site? Website loading speed not only frustrates your visitors but also search crawlers. Google gives best results to the sites that load really faster. Use a cache plugin, start using a CDN to boost your speed and upgrade to a faster web hosting service, minimize your image sizes to improve the overall speed.
- Carefully find the right keywords: Instead of driving thousands of worthless visitors by using the “right keywords”, you can get targeted visitors to your sites. Target audience not only increase your sales but the overall site performance. So make sure to spend quality time on keyword research.
Did you know that your website mobile-friendliness is now considered as a Google Search ranking signal?
If your website or blog is not mobile responsive yet, you are losing a lot of traffic and sales on the table. Google’s recent mobile update rolled out for a reason – to provide search visitors a better choice!
If your site is mobile responsive, not only it helps you get more visitors but also increases overall sales and subscribers count.
Here are few ideas on creating a mobile friendly website.
- Use a responsive design. If you are on WordPress, you are lucky. WordPress has hundreds of mobile responsive themes including premium frameworks such as Thesis, Genesis, Elegant themes etc. They all offer responsive designs to their customers. It means, your site can be instantly become mobile responsive by installing any of these themes.
- Hire a designer to make your site mobile-friendly. If you have budget and want a unique design for your site that is also mobile responsive, you should consider hiring a web designer to build your site from the scratch.
- Use WPTouch plugin. This is a gift for WordPress users. It’s not only free, it instantly turns any WordPress site into a responsive design that can be accessed easily from smartphones to tablets.
Note: Make sure to use opt-in forms that are mobile responsive. Most of the email marketing software are now offering responsive opt-in forms. Just make sure to consider them while using them on your blog’s sidebar, footer or above the fold.
Create research backed data
People don’t trust you if you give statements unless you are already an established authority in your niche. It takes years to build trust and gain authority. So what’s the quickest way to make people trust you as a beginner?
Use lots of screenshots, links, quotes to make your content that builds your online authority. You can use sites like Statista.com for finding various case studies and stats or you can simply Google with the keyword terms like “your topic + research”.
Creating research backed content not only helps you build your online credibility but persuades your audience to share your stuff on social media.
Here are few incredible tips on creating research backed content that attracts more shares, links and comments.
Whenever you read some random strategies online, pick few of them and apply them. If you get good results, start writing posts on how can others use the same strategies to become better. These can be also called as “case studies”, they work like a charm. The best part is, you don’t have to be an expert in your field to create them.
Analyze other successful sites in your niche carefully. Figure out how they are driving more traffic, sales or anything that suits your audience needs. Then, discuss about them on your blog in a detailed way. This can again attract more buzz because you are talking about successful websites.
Use sites like “Statista” to find stats, customer survey results and industry studies from a variety of topics (more than 60,000). This is an Internet leading statistics database that helps you link to the research backed data.
Social is the new SEO
Did you know that the social shares you get on your web pages impact your search rankings?
How many of you know that Moz started to rank better on Google for the keyword “Beginner’s Guide” after Smashing Magazine tweeted about it?
If you are struggling to increase your search traffic, it might be because you are neglecting social media.
Google always rewards the sites that have more user engagement. If a visitor shares a post, that means they like the content so much so they can’t resist themselves to share it with their social networks. That’s why Google starts giving more importance to social shares.
Spend quality time on reaching out to other influencers in your niche, make connections with them and increase your social shares by asking them to tweet about your stuff. And don’t ask anyone to help you before you help them by frequently linking, tweeting and commenting on their posts.
Here are the 4 things that will help you boost your social shares (and search rankings)
- Posting at the right time: Don’t post your links on social media at random times. If you post at the best times on social media, that practice alone can get you more shares, likes and tweets.
- Include alluring images: If your tweets, Google+ notifications and Facebook shares include compelling images, most social media users would click on them. Don’t publish a blog post without using quality and relevant images. They definitely increase your social shares and click through rates.
- Craft click worthy headlines: The simplest way to grow your social media traffic and shares is to write incredible titles. Don’t be generic. Spend time on crafting really powerful headlines that make your audience click on them. You can use free tools such as Portent to generate unlimited number of powerful headline ideas for your blog posts.
- Get influencers attention: If a top blogger in your industry tweets about your stuff, what would happen? You will see instant growth in your traffic, subscribers count and overall social shares, right? That’s the power of influential marketing. Start connecting with the influential bloggers in your niche and always provide huge value to them before seeking any help.
In a nutshell, if you focus on getting more social shares, search engines give you rewarding results. So don’t neglect social media if you want to get more exposure from search engines. After all, social media is becoming the new SEO.
Final thoughts on why user experience is the king
We all know how to use Google but most of us don’t know how Google works. It’s really hard to understand Google algorithms unless you’re an SEO expert.
For the rest of us, getting traffic from Google is rocket science especially in 2015 and beyond. So make sure to focus your efforts on pleasing your website visitors, not search engine crawlers.
If you give top priority to your blog audience, Google will reward you sooner or later. But if you try to impress Google crawlers by stuffing keywords and playing smart with links, your sites might get penalized.
If you want to not only get more visitors from search engines but actually make them stick to your blog, make sure to give #1 priority to the user experience. And don’t forget that “first impression is the last impression online”. So invest some money and time on getting an appealing design for your blog to boost your conversion rates.
So what are your thoughts? Do you think user experience optimization (UEO) is going to play a big role in the future? Share your views in the comments below and I’d be glad to respond.
This post was an original contribution by Anil Agarwal of bloggerspassion.com.
5 Reasons Why Your Business Should Be Writing Blogs Right Now
Blogging is a great way to get your website noticed and generate more traffic and sales. 86% of companies use a blog on their websites, so you can’t afford to miss out.
You may think that blogs aren’t that important, or that they don’t make a lot of difference to your business. But they are a lot more effective than you may think.
Blogging can increase your lead generation by 67%. Whether you’re a new or established business, this can prove invaluable. Here are 5 reasons your business needs to start writing blogs now.
1. Generate Traffic
Blog posts add more content to your website and thus attract more people to visit your site. Creating web content means that you can direct your readers to other parts of your website.
This means you can write a post about one of your products or services and use yours as an example. When readers discover this, you have a greater chance of boosting sales.
2. Boost SEO
When it comes to marketing your business, SEO is king. SEO determines where your website ranks on search engine results. In turn, it impacts how many people find you.
There are a lot of things that affect your SEO. Things like a fully optimized website and using the right links can make a real difference. Hook Agency says that having the right SEO can double or even triple your traffic from search engines.
Once you have your website sorted, blog content is next. The more blogs you write, the better the SEO. Use popular keywords and terms that your audience would search for. This will make your posts rank higher on search engines and get customers your way.
3. Create a Brand Voice
There are a lot of company blogs out there which may be interesting, but they have no distinctive voice. When they have no voice, they all blend into one.
But if you write blogs with a specific voice, you make an impression. When people can recognise your writing style, they recognise your company.
Set featured imageTry to give your posts a personality. They are more fun to read and will keep people coming back to read for more. They make your brand more trustworthy and encourage people to choose your brand.
4. Showcase Your Services
When it comes to your business, you’re the expert. You know all about your own products and services, so use your blog to show off this knowledge!
Explain what you offer and what you can do for your customers. People want brands to know exactly what they’re selling and it makes you more reliable.
It also serves as a free way to advertise your business. You can write as much or as little as you want on the services you’re offering.
5. You Stay Ahead of the Curve
When you give your website a blog, you’re also future proofing your business. Those who don’t have blogs are lagging behind and missing out on a lot of great opportunities.
It gives you the chance to be creative and boost your business in a whole new way. You can also add other media like videos and photos to your posts to boost your SEO even further.
Chances are, you’ll find blogging very fun. Regular content on your site gives your business a firm presence and will keep you on the SEO map for longer.
Your Business Needs to Start Writing Blogs Now
Now that you know how important it is to start writing blogs for your business, it’s time to get started. It’s a fun creative challenge which can lead to more traffic and more sales.
Want to start a blog on your website? Check out our services and see how we can help you set it up.
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Quick and Effective Tips to Maximize Speed of your Website or Blog
Few things are worse than when you click over to a new website or blog, and then it’s loading slow as anything. With everyone having an extremely short attention span, and so many options for other websites and entertainment online, a fast loading website is a must for every blogger, brand, or business on the internet.
There are also many benefits associated with a fast loading site, beyond just user experience. Google is now penalizing sites that take too long to load, and boosting up other sites that a mobile-optimized and running super fast.
Depending on how technical your design or WordPress skills might be, the process of speeding up your site and maximizing it’s optimization might vary. To help with this process, I’ve listed a few of the best working methods below.
Optimize your Homepage to Load Quickly
With the homepage being one of the most vital parts of your website or blog, you should be doing everything possible to make sure it loads quickly. Different things can be done to speed up your homepage such as lowering the number of posts on the main page, minimizing applications and widgets from third-party sites, and also optimizing your images so they are either loading as a smaller sized file or through a CDN service. It’s also a good idea to use an SEO friendly theme or template, as these are more often cleaner with their coding and already optimized right out of the box.
Use an Effective Caching Plugin
If you are using a CMS like WordPress or blogger, then using an effective cashing plugin can contribute nicely in the process of making sure your site is loading as fast as possible. Since caching is an apparatus for a temporary storage of web pages to diminish bandwidth and to improve page loading performance as well, it saves the server’s time to make web pages load faster. Caching plugins are easy to install and use. All you need to do is perform some research online to see which plugin is best for your site, then click a few buttons to have it installed right within WordPress. Once this is done, it’s usually just a matter of copying the account number of your CDN and letting the hosting provider and WordPress plugin do its work.
Use CDN (content delivery network)
We’ve already referenced content delivery networks or CDNs, a few times now. The way these solutions work is that they host a version of your site on their server, and then loads the content from another server that is closest to that individual’s location. More and more site owners and bloggers are using CDNs not only to improve page load speed but to provide users with a great experience to make them stay longer on the website. Also mentioned earlier, this can help with how well a site ranks in Google, while also moving your site above the competition. Moreover, if one of your server locations is overloaded due to huge traffic and visitors, then users can automatically be switched to a new server location to enjoy fast loading website experience.
Improve Your Hosting Plan
If you have a slow loading website or blog, it’s likely due to your hosting plan. If you are pushing a lot of traffic through your site and making money in the process, you should definitely upgrade from a shared server. Shared hosting is often fine for new site owners and bloggers, but as your site gains more attention, backlinks, and traffic, it will also likely be using more server resource. On a shared server, your site is also sharing the server resources with many other sites — sometimes hundreds, or even thousands! Upgrading your hosting plan to a VPS or dedicated hosting package can greatly improve the performance of your site as well. So, if you are still using a cheap web hosting plan with an average price below $5/mo and receiving massive traffic from search engines, then it would be the right time for you to upgrade your hosting plan with a better one to speed up your website loading speed.
Use Optimized Images
Big images take up a lot of space and resources when it comes to loading data from your site. This is especially true with very high-quality images. While these images are going to play a big role in the beauty and engagement on your site, there are still ways to optimize such large images so they load faster and put less stress on your server. There are many plugins are available that can drastically reduce the file size of an image without reducing the quality. Image optimization will not only help you boost website load time but will also save disk space for more files and media. If you really don’t want to overload your website with plugins, then you can also use online image reducer apps and software to optimize image before uploading to the media library of the site.
Minimize HTTP Redirects Requests
How and where content is being loaded on your site can also affect its overall performance. You may need to use redirect requests to redirect the web browser from one URL to another. There are a variety of reasons as to why you might want to do this, such as to specify a new URL location, to track visits and clicks on the site or to connect different elements of the website with each other. Since redirects might be necessary to enhance overall UX of the website, you should only be using the redirect requests that are most important because excessive redirect requests can have an ultimate impact on the loading speed of your website/blog.
Don’t Leave Your Audience Hanging
When browsing the internet, few things are more annoying than accessing a slow loading website. It’s hard enough to get someone to visit your site, let alone stay for a few seconds. Don’t give them a reason to leave right away because your site isn’t loading as fast as it should be.
Follow each of the simple and effective site speed optimization tips above to make sure your site loads as fast as possible, ranks higher than the competition and also doesn’t disappoint your audience when they hit your site.
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