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10 Ways to Leverage Search Engine Optimization to Improve Organic Web Traffic

10 Ways to Leverage Search Engine Optimization to Improve Organic Web Traffic

Suppose you’ve been staring at your analytics dashboard, desperately hoping for a miracle spike in organic (unpaid) traffic. In that case, I’m here to tell you it’s not going to happen—at least not without a bit of search engine optimization (SEO) work on your part.

A well-optimized website is essential for driving organic traffic and attracting potential customers, and SEO is the way to improve your website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).

If you use the right strategies, you can make your website work better for you. And if you implement the following ten strategies, you will maximize your SEO and your online presence to attract more visitors to your website.

1. Be a Keyword Detective

Vintage police and detectives

Keywords unlock the doors of search engine success. Think of yourself as a detective hunting for clues you can find within your target audience. What are their busy fingers typing into search engines? Uncover what your best customer prospects are looking for, and you’ve solved the case. Tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Moz Keyword Explorer can help you discover valuable keywords with high search volumes and low competition or niche keywords with high customer intent.

2. It’s So Meta

Optimizing your on-page elements, including page titles, meta descriptions, alt-text, and URLs, is vital to search engine optimization success. They may live behind the scenes, but they’re very much front and center when it comes to visibility and user satisfaction. They allow search engine crawlers to understand what your website is about, and when crawlers understand your website, it makes it easier for search engines to match your page with the most relevant queries so the SERPs show users the best results. Make sure to include valuable keywords to rank better and improve user experience.

3. Be upwardly Mobile

In the last few years, mobile optimization went from nice-to-have to must-have. Depending on whom you want to believe, the average American looks at their phone between 96 and 150 a day or more. The fact is that mobile web traffic has surpassed desktop traffic in the last few years, so if you haven’t optimized your website for mobile, you might as well be selling buggy whips while self-driving cars become the norm. Your website must be responsive, wicked fast and offer a seamless browsing experience across different devices. Test your website’s mobile-friendliness using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.

4. Get Social with Social Media

Social women toasting

It’s a myth that social media signals directly impact search ranking; the truth is they indirectly affect it by increasing brand visibility and driving traffic to your website. When your website gets traffic, it raises your site’s cool factor with search engines; as you rank higher in search engine results pages, your website gets more traffic. As your website gets more traffic, search engines like your website better. It’s a beautiful thing.

5. Quality is Queen

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve all heard the old saw, “Content is king,” but quality is queen, and relevance is the prince or princess. Quantity is the frog in this scenario; without quality and relevance, it will never become royalty. When you educate, engage and entertain visitors; they will stay longer, share more and return more often. Try creating longer-form content, such as high-quality, 1,000+-word blog posts or comprehensive guides; they tend to perform better in search rankings.

6. Use Your Inside Voice

With the popularity of voice assistants like Siri and Alexa, voice search is becoming increasingly important for SEO. According to TechJury, 40% of all internet searches in the US are voice-based, so be sure to include conversational keywords and answers to frequently asked questions when optimizing content and refining SEO. Keep in mind that short, direct answers are more manageable for voice assistants to serve results to users.

7. Avoid the Weakest Backlinks

Backlinks are like votes in a popularity contest. The more you get, the more popular you are and the better your reputation. When reputable and authoritative sites link to your content, it improves your SEO by giving your site the seal of approval. Keep in mind, however, that links from shady sites or black-hat link farms have the opposite SEO effect: they’ll sink your site like an iceberg in front of the Titanic.

8. The Need for Speed

Vintage women race driver

Website speed is a critical factor for user experience and search engine ranking because, in an era where most people have the attention span of a goldfish, nobody wants to wait. Google says the probability of bounce almost triples if your page takes longer than three seconds to load, and if people bounce, you can kiss conversions goodbye. Ways to speed things up include compressing images, minifying CSS and JavaScript files, and utilizing caching mechanisms. Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights can help identify issues and provide tips for improving your website’s speed.

9. Google My Business, Please

Optimizing Google My Business, now known as Google Business Profile, is an essential step, no matter what you call it, especially for local SEO. Among other benefits, a Google Business Profile will help you appear in local search results. So, if you haven’t already, claim your business, fill out your profile information, upload photos, post consistently, and encourage (and respond to) customer reviews.

10. Analyze, Adjust, Rinse and Repeat

SEO is the carnival ride that never ends. You go up, and you go down, you go round and round, then you start all over again. The importance of analyzing your website results can’t be understated, so set a goal and regularly measure essential key performance indicators (KPIs) to help understand whether you are making progress toward your goal. You can use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track your organic traffic, keyword rankings, and user behavior, identify areas for improvement and adjust your strategies to improve results continually.

Implementing these ten effective SEO strategies will help you boost your website’s organic traffic and improve its visibility in search engine rankings. Remember, SEO is an ongoing process, and algorithms change, so it’s vital to stay updated with the latest trends and adapt accordingly.



To the average business person, digital marketing may sometimes seem like a mishmash of meaningless acronyms: SEO, SEM, PPC, ROI, CTR… the list goes on.

You may hear the most about three strategies when it comes to internet marketing: SEM, SEO and PPC. You may wonder, which is the most important? The answer is all of them. Here’s why:

  • Search engine marketing (SEM) refers to paid and unpaid tactics to draw traffic to your website.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the organic (unpaid) tactics to make your website stand out on search engine results pages (SERP).
  • Pay-per-Click (PPC) refers to paid ads.


First, SEO. One of the most important things to remember is that people searching the internet are not interested in putting a ton of effort into their searches and are easily distracted. A study has shown that people’s average attention span is eight seconds, less than that of a goldfish. And some 97% of searchers don’t go beyond the first page of search results. You want people to find you fast – or better yet, first – when they do a web search.

Goldfish in a bowl

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s all about getting your website to rank high organically (free) in search engine results pages. The way to do that is to make your pages as Google-friendly and discoverable as possible by including keywords and phrases (long-tail keywords) that people frequently search for.

Now, in the old days (actually just a few years ago, which is a lifetime on the internet), there were a lot of SEO experts who knew how to game the system to get pages to rank higher in search results. The emphasis was on quantity – lots of low-quality content stuffed with as many keywords as possible that would trick people into going to a site. So, people ended up on web pages irrelevant to what they searched. It seemed great for businesses: Look how many people visit our website!

The problem was it wasn’t good for consumers – it just made them mad – and in the end, it wasn’t great if you wanted quality prospects. Why draw a bunch of unqualified leads to your site if they aren’t your target audience and they probably won’t buy from you? It’s a waste of your time and theirs. A lot of traffic doesn’t equal conversions and sales if the traffic is from unqualified prospects.

These “black hat” SEO practices – tactics that focus on gaming search engines and not on finding humans in your target market – caused Google to make many changes to its algorithm, the formulas used to determine what a searcher will see on search engine results pages in response to a query.

The Google Algorithm

No one (except Google) knows precisely what goes into the algorithm; hundreds of signals factor into the end result. We do know that current algorithms favor quality over quantity, relevance over randomness, and reputation over repetition. It’s become challenging to fool these algorithms – and you may be penalized by Google if you try.

A few of the most important signals Google looks at:

    • Does the site have quality, relevant content?
    • Do other reputable websites link to your site?
    • Is your site optimized for a mobile experience?
    • Do your pages load quickly?
    • Is the traffic to your site legitimate?

In other words, the better your site is for the user, the more people visit it, and the better your chance of ranking higher in search engine results.

Here’s the thing: SEO is the long game. It can take several months or longer to see any real results in organic search.


Paid ads – via Google, Microsoft Ads, or another search engine – get results more quickly than SEO. The way paid ads work is that you target search words relevant to your product and audience. There are simple one-word keywords and long-tail keywords: Long-tail keywords comprise a string of words that make up a search term, but they’re more precise, and as search terms become more specific, the competition becomes less.

Long-term keywords may get fewer searches, but the searchers are looking for a solution to their current problem, so their conversion intent is higher.

Longtail keyword graphic

Here’s the thing: Paying for ads isn’t enough to get you to the first page, especially if you’re in a very competitive industry. In an auction, Google determines your Ad Rank -whether the ad will show and, if so, in which position on a SERP.

Ad Rank changes in each auction depending on competition, user search context, and ad quality. Google calculates ad quality based on the following:

  • Expected clickthrough rate
  • Ad relevance
  • Landing page experience
  • CPC bid

Notice that one factor is the relevance of your landing page. That goes back to SEO. SEO and PPC work best together, like peanut butter and jelly. The better the landing page experience, the better the quality score. The better the quality score, the better the ad rank.

So, polish up your website SEO to get the most out of your PPC efforts.


So, back to SEM, which we learned earlier, is simply attracting web traffic (and ultimately customers) via SEO and PPC. There are two ways to do this: By yourself or by hiring someone else.

Have someone else do it.

SEM takes a lot of time – even after the initial learning curve. If you’re tackling SEO and PPC yourself, that’s time that takes you away from running your business – your most important task. If you have the staff to do it, that’s great, but you might benefit by hiring a contractor or an agency to do the work for you. They will set up, monitor and do the reporting for your campaigns and have the training to see opportunities and challenges for which they can make changes on the fly.

Do it yourself.

I won’t try to tell you that SEM is rocket science. It’s not. But it requires a strong understanding of search, marketing, and keywords. In addition, Google makes small changes every day and broad changes several times a year. Keeping up with algorithm changes is almost a job in itself.

Occasionally the changes are significant, and if Google makes a major change to its algorithm, your rank could take a hit that could take a while to come back from. Someone needs to keep up with current algorithms and be ready to make adjustments if an algorithm affects your page rank.

Do you really want to do that yourself? If so, there are plenty of good resources available. Books tend to be out of date before they’re published, but websites such as Search Engine Land and Wordstream have free information that’s updated regularly. And, of course, there’s Google itself, which has tutorials and certifications.

How much does it cost?

Google AdWords costs as much as you want to pay. Depending on what you want to accomplish and how much you have for a budget, you can spend $10 a day or $100. Or $1,000. In addition, if you hire someone to handle your SEM, they will charge a fee for managing your account, making necessary changes, and reporting results. A freelancer may charge an hourly fee, while an agency may charge a flat monthly fee.

The bottom line is that concentrating on PPC over SEO will bring you traffic and leads more quickly. But there are two things to keep in mind:

  1. As soon as you stop paying for ads, you no longer appear on SERPs. So, PPC works quickly but disappears just as fast.
  2. Organic takes longer but is more long-lasting. If you achieve a high SERP rank, it’s hard to get knocked back down unless there’s a swift increase in competition or you don’t keep up with your SEO.

Your website is your lead magnet, and PPC and SEO are the two strategies that help it work.