How to Increase Search Traffic to Your Website or Blog (Best SEO Practices)
Are you looking for some useful practices to improve your pages ranking in the search results? If your answer is yes, the first thing you should know about is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – a process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the search results.
You may think that SEO is very complicated and confusing, but the basics of SEO are quite easy to understand. Today we would like to discuss about some useful SEO practices that will not only help your pages get higher ranking in search results but also drive more traffic to your site. So don’t miss the opportunity to give yourself a good foundation in learning search engine optimization!
Keyword research is an important search engine optimization practice to find and research actual search terms people enter into the search engines when conducting a search. If you want to achieve better rankings in your desired keywords, you have to take some time to brainstorm and write down as many words and phrases as you can think of that relate to the content of your site. For example, if your website is about web design, you might figure out some keywords such as professional web designer, web design software, custom web design, web design tutorials, etc.
Other than brainstorming, you can also check out our comprehensive list of keyword research tools and trends analysis services assisting you to develop a list of keywords to target. Some of the effective web tools to get you started are Google Adwords Keyword Tool, Keyword Discovery, and Wordtracker Keyword Tool.
Search Engine Friendly Web Development
Avoid Duplicated Contents
You should make sure that every page on your site has unique content and try not to publish the same content through multiple URLs. This is because most of the search engines would not present the exact same page multiple times for the same query. You can avoid unnecessary URLs being indexed through robots.txt file, or through the use of meta robots tag or use 301 (permanent) redirection to point the duplicated URLs to the one you prefer.
Search Engine Friendly URLs
Which of the following URLs tell you more about the page content and better for search engine optimization?
The first URL tells you almost nothing about the page content, but the second one clearly tells you the content will be a page providing tutorial about web design which is more usable to real people. The latter also provides keywords to search engines assisting them to identify what the page is about, and makes them easier to crawl. If you are WordPress user, check out our tutorial to create the best URL structure and permalinks both SEO friendly and user friendly.
Create HTML Sitemap and XML Sitemap
You are strongly recommended to create both HTML sitemap and XML sitemap assisting search engines to access your pages. A good place to add a link to sitemap would be the secondary navigation at the footer. Following are our tutorials to create both HTML sitemap and XML sitemap for your website:-
- How to Create a HTML Sitemap for Website or WordPress Blog
- How to Create a XML Sitemap for Google Search Engine
Other Tips About Search Engine Friendly Web Development
- Check and improve your page loading speed.
- Create more links to your site.
- Fix or remove any broken links you find.
- Use breadcrumbs to help both people and search engines understand the architecture of your site.
Generating links to your site has always been considered as one of the most effective ways to increase your pages rank. Generally links can be categorized as “external” and “internal” depending on perspective. A link to a page outside the same domain is considered external, whereas one in the same domain is considered internal.
Let’s start talking about external link. Most of the search engines especially Google consider incoming link as a vote or recommendation by one page to another. So if you managed to get more links from other websites, your pages are tend to get higher ranking in search results. However links generated from different websites will bring different value to your site.
Consider the following scenario, if you are blogging about web design, and there are 2 incoming links for you to choose. The first link come from Wikipedia.org carrying a lot of general authority whereas the second is Mashable.com which has topical authority around web design and web development. Now ask yourself, which link would have more value for your site?
In fact, there are many factors that determine the quality of links such as the anchor text of the links, links with nofollow attribute applied, as well as the diversity of where those links come from. You may need to study Google’s PageRank (PR) to get more ideas.
As compared to external links, internal links are much easier to generate. However what other says about you means more than what you say about yourself. Meaning to say that external links are better than internal links, but internal links do count.
Having analytics set up is the last but not the least practice of SEO. You need to understand what’s happing on your site, what is and isn’t working, so that you can improve your site. There are many real time analytics services available on the web such as Google Analytics, Sitemeter, Clicky, etc. Most of them are free, easy-to-use, and provide some excellent statistics helping you understand what’s happening on your site. You would be able to know what keywords are bringing most traffic, which content on your site does best, which sites are sending the best traffic, who visits your site and more.
Finally, we hope that you will find the above mentioned SEO practices useful. If you know any other practices which are worth to share, please let us know in the comment section below for discussion.