Is your small business enjoying the benefits of SEO?
As the eCommerce space continues to grow, optimizing your website to attract more organic traffic is becoming increasingly important. This involves taking steps to climb the search engine results pages, so you can reach a wider audience and make more sales.
In this article, I’m going to outline 9 SEO tactics you should be using so you can get more website traffic and boost your conversions. Read on to find out more.
1. Target popular keywords with your website copy
When writing copy for your website, make sure that you’re targeting relevant and popular keywords on each page. To do this, you’ll have to conduct some keyword research.
There are a lot of tools that can help you with this, but one of the most popular is Google Keyword Planner. When you type a specific keyword into the search bar, this will tell you how many people plug that term into Google each month, whether there are any related phrases you should be targeting, and how difficult it’s going to be for your site to rank for that specific keyword.
It’s also incredibly important that you consider the search intent behind a particular keyword. If you understand exactly why someone has typed a particular term into a search engine, you’ll be able to create web pages and content that better suits their needs.
For instance, you won’t want to target commercial keywords like “women’s jeans for sale” in informative guides — these will be best suited to your commercial category and product pages. Meanwhile, informational and questions keywords like “how to style women’s jeans” and “best style of jeans” should be targeted with the likes of blog posts and buying guides. If you target the right keywords on each page of your site, you’ll attract the right traffic and keep your customers happy.
Lastly, beware of keyword stuffing — Google can tell when you’re trying to spam keywords and will dock your rankings as a result. Incorporate your keywords naturally by only including them where appropriate.
2. Create shareable content people will want to link to
If you’re trying to improve your SEO, your strategy will need to have an element of link building.
When other authoritative websites in your niche link back to your website, Google takes this as a vote of confidence in your expertise and will give you a boost on the search engine results pages (SERPs). To build high-quality links, both manually and organically, you need to create high-quality content on your website that people will want to share with their own audience.
Infographics are a great place to start when it comes to creating shareable content. They’re colorful, engaging, and break down complicated information in an easily digestible way. If you have a lot of statistical- or data-heavy information on your website, consider presenting it in an infographic. More than likely, your audience will be grateful and want to share it with their own audience.
Tools and resources
Free tools and resources offer another great way to create shareable content. If you can offer a free trial, eBook, calculator, or another tool for your customers, not only will it draw people to your website, but other sites will want to share it with their own audiences if they find it helpful.
Canva is a great example of a website that offers free resources other sites will often link to. The graphic design platform offers free templates, fonts, and designs people can use free of charge. Then, if someone enjoys using the service, they might be tempted to pay for the premium version.
You can engage with your customers and convince other sites to link to you with interactive content like quizzes and calculators, too. For example, FirstLeaf, a wine subscription service, offers an interactive quiz that helps website visitors to work out what kinds of wines they will like. Interactive content like this will give your service a personalized feel and, as long as it isn’t too salesy, other sites will want to share your interactive content, which will help to develop your backlink profile and boost your SEO.
You could also put together ultimate guides that relate to your expertise and business. These should answer every question a reader might have about a particular subject. These guides can be particularly shareable and link-worthy, as other sites can use them to provide their own readerships with more in-depth information about a subject they’re covering with their content.
Make sure that your guides answer FAQs, target appropriate keywords, and are well-researched with data, examples, and case studies. People will start linking back to them in no time at all.
3. Produce content that boosts your E-A-T
E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. It comes from Google Search’s quality rater guidelines, and it’s something the search engine has been paying a lot more attention to since 2018.
Search engines like Google only want to point their users in the direction of trustworthy and accurate information. So, to boost your ranking in SERPs, you need to be creating and publishing content that shows you’re a knowledgeable source of high-quality information. This will build customer trust and show Google you know what you’re talking about!
Examples of companies that have created E-A-T-building content
Consider how Lawsuit Legal, a law firm based out of Florida, showcases their expertise across their website. They primarily do this by publishing high-quality guides to the areas of the law that they cover. Their guide to employment law is a fantastic example.
The site also has resources about personal injury claims, bankruptcy, and more. Not only will this signal to potential clients that the company is an authority in its field, but it also proves to Google that it’s knowledgeable and trustworthy. So, the search engine will be far more likely to promote the site.
The Real FX, a real estate company based out of Austin, Texas, uses this tactic well, too. Again, there are a whole host of helpful guides on the website, primarily relating to what it’s like to buy a home and what you need to consider throughout the process. For instance, their site offers a guide to how student loans can affect your ability to buy a home. This is a common concern among first-time homebuyers, so it’s sure to send a lot of qualified traffic to the site. Plus, it signals to search engines like Google that the company is an expert in its industry, which can do wonders for a site’s SEO.
Finally, StitchFix offers a subscription service that provides their customers with personalized picks for their wardrobes each month, depending on their senses of style. To boost their authority and show both search engines and prospective customers that they’re great at what they do, the company has a blog where it publishes fashion tips, outfit ideas, styling guides, and more. For instance, they have a particularly timely guide to styling face masks and using them as a fashion statement.
This topic is incredibly relevant to the company’s focus and its customer base, so it helps to boost its credibility. Not only will this give customers more of a reason to visit their site, but search engines like Google will also see content like this as proof of the business’ E-A-T.
4. Make sure your website offers a great UX
Ever stumble upon a website that’s messy, complicated, or just plain hard to use? You definitely don’t want someone feeling that way about your website. Improving the user experience is one of the many ways you can boost your SEO and keep customers happy.
Search engines know that a positive user experience is good for business, so they tend to push websites with a good UX. A simple site structure and navigation system can help with this! Additionally, Google recently announced that they would be launching new Core Web Vitals in May, which will take UX more into consideration when ranking the SERPs. By preparing for these changes ahead of time, you can give your website a boost.
You want to make sure your website has a decent loading speed — ideally, this should be less than three seconds, and you can check it using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. It should also work well on different operating systems, have easy-to-use navigation, and be accessible on both desktop and mobile.
Consider tracking the time people spend on your site using Google Analytics, having customers fill out forms or surveys, and using Google Search Console to assess the rankability of your website. You can also reach out to your customer service team and ask if they’ve gotten any website feedback, then make tweaks accordingly.
5. Promote your content on social media
When you create content, be sure to share it on all of your social media channels! The more eyes you can get on your content, the more shares and links you’ll receive. Plus, while it isn’t an official ranking factor, there is evidence that suggests content that receives a lot of social shares also tends to perform better in SERPs. Search engines like when you have popular content and will reward you accordingly.
You can help boost your engagement on social media by timing your posts right, utilizing your most popular networks, commenting and liking other relevant businesses’ posts, batch scheduling tweets, and giving your website visitors the option of sharing your content directly from the webpage they’re on.
Fortunately, if you need guidance, there are a lot of social media analytics tools out there that will help you monitor your success so you can adjust your strategies where necessary. Different platforms attract different types of customers, so you might even need to take a different approach with each.
As well as potentially boosting your search engine rankings with social media, you can gain new leads, get customer contact information, spread awareness of your business, increase your appointment bookings, and so much more.
6. Create content that answers the questions your target customers are asking
If your customers are frequently asking questions about something relevant to your business, you want to rank well in the SERPs for that query. To do this, you need to create content that answers common customer questions.
One way you can do this is by conducting keyword research. Answer the Public provides a variety of questions based on a keyword you plugin, for instance. Otherwise, check-in with your customer service team to see the types of questions they tend to get and check out forums that are relevant to your niche. If you create content based on a frequent inquiry, you can boost your SEO, build trust with your audience, and showcase your authority.
Google’s People Also Ask boxes, which show up on the SERPs, can also provide you with plenty of content inspiration. Search a term that’s relevant to your website and see which questions are highlighted — if you want to drive more relevant traffic to your site, you’ll want to answer these queries in your content where appropriate.
Examples of businesses making high quality content
Let’s take a look at some businesses that are already creating high-quality content that anticipates and answers FAQs from their target customers.
For instance, FreshBooks is an online accounting software provider that is trying to reach freelancers and small business owners with its content. As a result, they’ve created a guide called “Should I hire an account for my small business?”. This outlines what an accountant can do, how much they cost, and if it’s possible to do your own accounting, and more.
This addresses a common concern among business owners and freelancers, which means this guide is ideal for targeting FreshBooks’ ideal audience and providing them with helpful information. People who come across this guide might then be more likely to pay for the company’s services down the line.
Similarly, MyCanadaPayday is a loan provider that creates financial guides that answer common questions their customers might have. For instance, they have an article called “Should I declare bankruptcy?”, which is a great example.
This covers everything someone might need to know about the topic and is likely to lead the right people to the site. People who are thinking about declaring bankruptcy are probably in need of some financial help, and the company can provide this if needed.
Finally, Utires is an online tires retailer, which answers common customer questions in articles like their guide to rotating and balancing tires. Again, this gives the site the opportunity to rank well on the SERPs for common questions related to buying and maintaining tires. Plus, it will send high-quality traffic to the company — if people are looking for this information, it won’t be long before they need tires. So, not only can this kind of content help to boost the site’s SEO, but it can lead to more sales too.
Look at what your target customers are typing into search engines and asking your customer service team, then create content that addresses the most common queries. This will give you more opportunities to rank well on relevant SERPs and secure more sales.
7. Use Schema Markup to help search engines understand your content
A lot of businesses choose to not utilize Schema Markup, but it can give search engines more context about your content and boost your rankings! Schema Markup is a form of code that tells search engines how to better display your results. Take a look at this example:
In this case, Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel used Schema Markup to tell Google about upcoming hotel events — useful, right?
You can use code to let search engines know if you’ve published new event information like this, a recipe, FAQs, and more. The more information you give search engines, the better they’ll be able to promote your content. Of course, not every type of Schema Markup will be relevant to your website. You only need to use the ones that truly make sense for your content to ensure your website shows up on the most relevant SERPs.
Check out Neil Patel’s guide to Schema Markup if you would like to learn more about using this very helpful and valuable tool.
8. Allow keyword research to inform your product development
Don’t let your keyword research stop at informing your content — it can also help you to carry out some market analysis and determine if there’s a gap in your product offering. For instance, if people are consistently looking for a color of shirt you don’t stock, consider creating them to satisfy this demand.
Crescent Canna used this strategy and has seen a lot of success as a result. When they were creating their products, they knew that they would struggle to rank for ultra-competitive search terms like “CBS products” and “CBD oil”, but they were able to identify a gap in the market for high-strength products.
They developed their product line with this in mind, and now consistently rank at the top of the SERPs for more specific terms like “extra-strength CBD oil” and “strongest CBD oil”. Through keyword research, they noticed that a lot of people were searching for these items, but companies weren’t yet catering to the demand. So they created products that would and are reaping the benefits.
So, when you’re conducting your keyword research, look out for popular search terms that indicate people are looking for products you don’t yet offer. Better yet, if you can find a demand for items that just aren’t available yet, create them and you could dominate the space.
9. Regularly assess and refresh your existing content
It’s also worth updating and assessing your existing content regularly to climb the SERPs. In general, this is a good practice; improving your content’s accuracy, revising grammatical errors, and fixing broken links are good ways to ensure you have an up-to-date and professional website. But, in addition to this, Google just loves having fresh content! They’ll be more likely to promote it, and it will increase how often Google indexes your site without having to create entirely new content.
You shouldn’t do this too often, as it can take a while for the true benefits of a specific piece of content to become apparent. But checking whether a piece of content needs to be updated every six months or so can help to ensure your articles and resources are always as accurate and helpful as possible.
There are lots of ways to give your content an upgrade — stay on top of SEO news and see if there will be any algorithm changes that might impact how your work is viewed. If something major has changed regarding an article you posted, put together an update! If you write a blog article and something news-worthy comes up about your topic, you can update your post with that news in mind, as well.
Find the right SEO mix for your business
Search engines are getting more and more sophisticated by the day. So, stay up to date with what algorithm changes are happening to ensure your marketing process is effective.
To stay ahead of the SERPs, you need to be using keyword research in a range of ways, like to help you develop your content and create new products. You should also make sure that your site is up-to-date and offers a high-quality UX.
Finally, make sure you’re consistently proving that you’re an expert in your field by creating informative content that answers your ideal customers’ questions before they even have the chance to ask them. It won’t be long before you’re ranking well for a whole host of relevant queries, so you can reach a wide audience and make a lot more sales.