9 SEO Tips For Boosting Traffic in 2021

Rukham Khan

Rukham Khan

Published on

March 16, 2021

Every business wants to be on the first page of search engine results. It is a coveted place to be, which is why you will find companies pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars for the first-page real estate on the internet.

If you are a digital marketer who can get any client of yours on the first page of Google, you can command any price. Unfortunately, it is not that easy to make it happen and there are so many factors that should align for that to happen.

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It is 2021 and search engine optimization is still one of the most powerful aspects in making a business rank high in the search engine results. From optimizing images to making your website mobile-first, there are so many things that you need to do without fail to be SEO-ready.

In this article, we look at nine SEO tips for boosting traffic to your website in 2021.

1. User Experience

UX design is all about appealing to the emotions of website visitors. In short, it involves making people happy and influencing their behavior positively.

The obvious question — how is SEO related to UI/UX though?

When a visitor lands on your website because of your SEO efforts, having a good user experience is what will drive them to stay longer on the site, and ultimately take the next step, i.e. conversion.

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People who are familiar with your industry including your target customers will choose unique styles and wording to describe your services and products. This is where a combined UX — SEO strategy will work wonders. The UX designer has to ensure that the flow and content of the website are perfectly planned for the user. UX and SEO together work as a strategy when you keep finding improvements in it.

Neal Taparia, who runs the brain training platform SolitaireBrain, suggests finding metrics to measure UX. “Keeping users on your site is an increasingly important SEO signal. Search engines want to know they’re surfacing sites that people want. We measure and optimize bounce rate for our solitaire games religiously because not only is it good for engagement, but it improves our search discovery.”

2. Featured Snippets

The short snippets of text that you see on top of Google’s search results are called Featured Snippets. They are special because of where they appear in your search results. Any marketer worth his or her salt would want to have their content appear as a featured snippet.

The featured snippet could be in the form of definitions, tables, lists or steps. Also referred to as “Position #0”, it is placed even above the number 1 result on Google’s search results.

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In the above picture, you can see the featured snippet when someone Googled ‘how to build a business.’

For a website visitor, featured snippets are great because they get a glimpse of the information without having to check out all the other search results.

For the business whose site is featured, it will give them a lot of exposure, make them look credible — all of this without spending a single penny on ads.

Here’s what you can do within your power to give yourself a chance of appearing in the featured snippets:

  1. Use a tool like SEMRush and Ahref to find out the featured snippets of your competitors
  2. Know that the three major types of featured snippets are Paragraphs, Lists & Tables
  3. Use keywords that visitors search for the most
  4. Answer questions relevant to your industry
  5. Use headers, images and videos
  6. Create an entire section of “how-to” guides and tutorials

3. Competitor Analysis

The reason behind doing competitor analysis is to reverse engineer the best things that your competitors are doing in their search engine optimization strategy. It involves researching links, content, and keywords to see what is already working for them.

Find out who your competitors are, for 10-20 of your most popular keywords. Track all of this and observe the websites that keep appearing for most keywords. They are your true SEO competitors.

Identify valuable keywords that your competitors rank highly for, but you don’t. Find out where you rank for these keywords and analyze how your competitors to rank for them. Also, discover your competitor’s top content and the methods that they use to distribute it.

4. Focus On User Intent With Right Targeted Keywords

When you target keywords, the usual tendency is to go for those which have the highest search volumes, but it is more important to find the intent behind a search. Based on research by the University of Hong Kong, search intent can be segmented into two:

  1. People looking to find information relating to the keyword used
  2. A user looking for more general information about a topic

A specific search will have a narrow intent and they are not looking for anything else while a general search will have the user looking at other related topics as well.

By leveraging keyword intent for intent-driven marketing, businesses can drive more sales, attract more traffic, drive more sales and generate more leads.

5. Constant Content Updation

When your website gets frequently updated, fresh content and new sources of information are available for search engines. Because of this, the search engine’s web crawler will discover and access the updated content. This will improve your website’s indexability which means that you are in a position to achieve higher rankings with fresh content.

Every time you make an update to your website with new content or regurgitating old content, search engines take note of this and keep rearranging your site’s ranking. Do remember that the key here is not to keep making more content, but to make high-quality ones.

Write content for the reader and not around your keywords. Do add meta tags, title tags, and descriptions, but do not forget to sound natural.

David Cacik, Head of Marketing at CloudTalk says — “Use non-standard opportunities to promote your content. Of course, the content should be optimized and prepared for SEO, but you shouldn't forget about its distribution. There are many channels that, when used properly, can bring you a lot of valuable traffic. Quora or GrowthHackers are examples of platforms that should be added to your content distribution plan to generate additional entries to your website and, consequently, the possibility of conversion. Because that's what we all mean, right?

6. Build Contextual Links

There was a time when backlinks were the go-to thing for SEO. Thankfully, things have changed and Google has started placing more importance on contextual links. Links that are embedded within your content and point to contextual text and information are valued. It will give you more traffic, visibility, credibility and authority.

You can earn more contextual links by doing the following:

  1. Guest blogging, a powerful link building strategy
  2. Getting links from high authority sites that focus on your niche
  3. Attaining editorial links from well-respected magazines like Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc Magazine
  4. Getting your leadership team interviewed by relevant magazines
  5. Finding broken links on high-quality websites and replacing broken ones with your contextual links

7. Mobile-First Approach

Google uses a mobile version of your content for indexing and ranking. If you do not have a mobile-first approach, in some cases your website might not even be crawled by search engines.

Here are things you can do to achieve mobile-first indexing:

  1. Make sure your mobile version has high-quality content, images, and videos
  2. Include the same structured data markup on both mobile and desktop version
  3. Ensure that the titles and meta descriptions are equivalent on both the versions
  4. Do have your social metadata included on the mobile version as well
  5. The UX of the mobile site is important if you want search engines to index it
  6. From mobile menus to design patterns, keep an eye on user-friendliness

8. Image Optimization

Pictures speak louder than words — it brings the text to life. This is why you need to add relevant images wherever possible when writing a blog post or any piece of content. The images should add value to your content and make readers attracted to it.

The images used should be well optimized and used in the right context. The file size, as well as length and breadth, should be as per the design and layout of the website.

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Here are 5 ways in which you can optimize images for SEO:

  1. Pick the right file format. Use JPEG for images that have lots of color and PNG for simple images.
  2. Use the following WordPress plug-ins for image optimization: Yoast SEO, ShortPixel, ImageRecycle, Optimus Image Optimizer, and TinyPNG.
  3. Check your website’s page loading times after you’ve optimized images using the following tools: GTMetrix, WebWait, Pingdom, and WebPageTest.
  4. Use alt tags, optimize the image title, include captions, and use unique images.
  5. Add structured data to your images as it helps search engines display your images as rich results.

9. Local Search — Don’t Miss The Low Hanging Fruit

Being available online is now almost vital to businesses. Local businesses want a piece of the pie too. You will find local businesses trying to rank on search results, thus making local search mainstream. A business that has a brick-and-mortar location or is servicing in a specific geographical area, will find local SEO beneficial.

If you look at the above example, searching for “packers and movers in San Diego” you will find pages ranking at the top which are optimized for local search. The beauty of local search is that the competition is relatively less as compared to broad search.

Here are a few things that a business can do to appear in local searches:

  1. Select the correct category for your business and include keywords in the description and content
  2. Create relevant content for your business
  3. Use title tags and meta descriptions
  4. Get contextual links from local and industry-relevant websites
  5. Build up mentions of your business in local magazines or on government sites
  6. Create landing pages for specific keywords and phrases
  7. Leverage Google My Business and each of its features
  8. Get citations for your local business

Conclusion

If you want to take your business to the next level, search engine optimization is going to be an important factor in making that happen. When you are looking at increasing your website’s organic reach, some of the above steps we have mentioned are good to start with. But once you have found a footing with your SEO results, you might want to dive deeper to maximally benefit your business.

Remember — SEO is not a one-time thing to ‘do and forget’’. Rather it's an ongoing process that gives the highest return on investment compared to any other marketing strategy.

Author Bio

Rukham Khan

Rukham is the Content Lead at Mailmunch. He believes trust should be the basis for all marketing communications.

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