One of the most common questions I get from clients is how to get more traffic to their websites and blogs. As a long time blogger myself, I’ve struggled with this very issue. Between the SEO and the KEI and the SERP and the PPC and SEM, we can often be left wondering WTF? I just wanna blog, man!

SEO (search engine optimization) is an effective way to get more traffic to your site and it doesn’t have to be this convoluted; anyone who tells you it does is taking you for a ride (and not in a good way). It is more complicated than 1 plus 1, but less so than Justin Beiber’s social issues. And with Google’s new SEO guidelines, the SEO people are making it even easier for you to drive traffic to your website and increase your audience, followers and sales.

How to Get More Traffic

There are a few things you can do right now (well, preferably after you finish reading this article) to up your SEO ante and get your site site seen quicker and by more people. Depending on which platform you use – Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress, etc. – the tools you use to implement the below listed SEO techniques will vary. While I won’t go into it here, WordPress.org is far superior to other websites with respect to SEO. If you’re serious about gaining more traffic, I suggest getting on WordPress or paying someone to get your site there for you.

For the purposes of this post, I’m utilizing an infographic I made on SEO from a YOAST (WordPress plugin) screenshot, however the principals and methods are the same across the board. Continue reading through to the end of the post to find out how to get your FREE SEO Printable!

Guideline Rule #1: Write great content.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – everything you write, be it on a traditional website or a more evolving blog based one, should be written with your audience in mind. Be professional if you so desire, but write it as though you are writing for a human, not a bot. Google’s new policies on SEO now state that if you keyword stuff your posts (aka writing for crawlers and bots), you will be marked as spam. Now I don’t know about you, but the last time I ingested spam, I didn’t feel so good afterwards. And never went back for more. The same will happen with your (potential) followers – if they can even find your site. Be unique, say something different and reinforce already known (but valuable) knowledge in your field. One more time for kicks: Write. Great. Content.

Guideline #2: Use SEO best practices.

Utilizing 5 basic SEO tactics in your pages and blog posts to increase where your site shows up in Google, making it easier for potential sales and followers to find you.

SEO Infographic Printable

These 5 essential elements are:

  1. Focus Keyword. Let’s say we want to look up “Breaking Bad TV Show”. I type that into my search engine and it pops up results. See all those bolded words in each of the titles and descriptions? That’s my focus keyword. Essentially, when Google pulls up results, it’s looking for that word. The more relevant and popular it is, the higher it shows up on the page. Choose only one or you run the risk we discussed before of “keyword stuffing”. Now, how do you figure out how to select the best keyword for your post? Wait for it….
  2. SEO Title. This is the title people will see when the search engine displays it’s search results. Be clear, concise and think about what you’d want to see when doing a search for a particular topic. In fact, Google what’s already out there. Again, using my “Breaking Bad TV Show” example, I can see which titles and sources are putting out similar content and what they’re saying. You want to compete with that. Again, this is based on your keyword. It’s coming…
  3. Meta-Description. This is the description people see when they search for something. It’s just as – if not more – important to see what similar sites are out there and what their descriptions say. Does yours measure up? How can you portray what’s in your post or page and at the same time, reel people in to read it? Ensure your keyword appears at least once in the description, preferably near the beginning.
  4. Image Names & Alt-Tags or Text. While this isn’t in the infographic, it’s worth mentioning. When uploading images to your site, give them titles! Use a dash-instead-of-spaces and it will force search engines to find them. Alt-tags or Alt-Text (while not the same thing but often used interchangeably) are similar but make sure they’re short – less than 150 characters. You should also use space instead of dashes, ensure the tags are accurate with respect to the content on your page, and remember to use your selected keyword. Code It Pretty lays all this out very clearly – check her out.
  5. Outbound links. While this isn’t mentioned in the infographic, it’s worth mentioning. Linking to other sites and posts with quality content within your copy provides your audience with both the opportunity to see other posts you’ve written, as well as directs them to other influencers in your topic. This establishes your site as a reputable one and as a source for quality information.

Guideline #3: Choose Simple, Intuitive Keywords.

Selecting a keyword can take a bit of research. I know we’re all busy and sometimes blasting out a blog post or website in the quickest time possible is essential. That being said, if you spend 5 or 10 minutes looking up words to find the best possible one, SEO quality increases and your traffic and bank account will thank you.

Let’s say I want to look up “How To Get More Traffic”. I go to Google AdWords (you have to sign up for this but it’s free), choose the Keyword Planner under Tools and Analysis and type a few different ideas about what I think would be the best topic keywords for my page or post into Enter of Upload Keywords to See How They Perform. Think about what you would type into Google when searching for your given topic. Now select Get Search Volume.

At the most basic levels, you will see a hyperlinked “Ad Group Idea”. Click that and it will drop down a list of the words you searched along with the average monthly searches for that word (the higher the better) and the level of competition on those words (the lower the better). From here you can revise your search terms or select which word or phrase you want to use for your page or post. Ta-da! Keyword usage!

Google Keywords

Note: You can also use a few other keywords within your copy, but make sure it’s written in a clear and audience-focused manner. Keep it simple, write quality content and make sure it says something smart and unique. Remember guideline Rule #1!

Make sure all your posts or pages have these 5 things, be consistent and thoughtful, and you’ll find your website increasing in search engine ranking as well as followers and ultimately profits!

How do you get more traffic to your site? What has proved particularly effective or ineffective? What are your SEO habits? Does this sound like something you can do? What are your further SEO questions? How can I help you?

*To get your FREE PRINTABLE SEO Infographic, right click on the “How to Get More Traffic: SEO 101” Infographic above and save. Then print!

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15 Comments on SEO 101: Get More Traffic (PRINTABLE INFOGRAPHIC)

  1. April @ The 21st Century Housewife
    July 23, 2013 at 12:02 pm (4 years ago)

    This is such a great post – and I really need lots of advice from an SEO point of view. It’s Alt Text that confuses me the most – but I’m getting there slowly. I’m sharing this post everywhere I can because I think it’s brilliant!!

    • kristygardner@gmail.com
      July 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you so much April! I’ll be sure to write a post on Alt-Text soon. I know I struggled with that when I started off into SEO too.

  2. Kirsten
    July 23, 2013 at 11:10 pm (4 years ago)

    Thanks, Kristy!
    I’m on Blogger, I am not interested in packing up stakes to WP at this time, but I’ll poke around for some Blogger-specific thingamajiggies like this TYoast thing I keep hearing about.
    I must say it seems like much ado to change my “great content” (quotes on my end, not on yours, I’m not comfortable saying my own content is great) into something more searchable. If I think it’s a good (recipe title) just because it’s not searchable according to The Man, why does that mean it’s not still a good recipe title? (How many people are making sushi with their CSA farm share anyway? And speaking of that, I <3 Spam, thanks.)

    I know that once a post goes live it is a Good Thing to add the permalink to the image properties–I should give them all names also?

    I appreciate you sharing your knowledge!

    • kristygardner@gmail.com
      July 25, 2013 at 2:56 pm (4 years ago)

      Hi Kirsten! If you find something on Blogger that functions like (or as well as) Yoast, please let me know!

      You should always name your pictures. I do it before I even upload them, as I re-size them which makes it seem not so cumbersome.

      p.s. You DO write GREAT content!! Believe in that and so will others. Also, you’re absolutely right. Sometimes the best recipe title is the one that’s awesome – not necessarily the one that Google wants to find.

  3. Ash @ madlemmings
    July 31, 2013 at 8:18 am (4 years ago)

    Hi Kristy, like your writing style. Very good summary on SEO for people to get their teeth into. Yoast is something I use too – makes it easy to target all the key areas of SEO and check some keywords at the same time. I don’t let it rule my life, but it has gotten me some traffic. Sometimes when I see posts coming up again and again in Google Analytics searches I see what keywords people find me via and re-tune my seo a little
    Love the clean layout of the blog too, nice work
    ashley

    • kristygardner@gmail.com
      July 31, 2013 at 8:36 am (4 years ago)

      Thanks Ash!

      That’s a brilliant strategy. SEO is important but it shouldn’t rule our posts. Our audience should. Therefore, it’s smart that you look at what people are searching to find you – I think a lot of SEOers miss this. Horray for analytics!

  4. Becc
    August 4, 2013 at 9:19 pm (4 years ago)

    I do find it hard to balance a decent story with SEO requirements. I know what I should be doing with keywords and headings, but sometimes it seem to go against how I wish to write.
    As I use Yoast and it tells me that I have got most of it covered I am content with that, but maybe I really need to spend more time going through your links in this article to see if indeed I am doing OK.

    • kristygardner@gmail.com
      August 23, 2013 at 7:42 am (4 years ago)

      Hi Becc!

      If you’re using Yoast and following the guidelines I’ve laid out here, you’re off to a good start. SEO is important, but content is king, as they say. Write good stories for your audience; write passionately – they’ll follow, find you and refer as well.

      p.s. yes please! If you like any of the links in particular, let me know. I’d be glad to invite those authors to guest post here 🙂

  5. Themba
    September 3, 2013 at 2:10 am (4 years ago)

    Hi great writing. I was just told I have the worst site, parroted they called it How do I get a good site if I am such a bad writer?

    • kristygardner@gmail.com
      September 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm (4 years ago)

      Who would say such a thing Themba??

  6. Rich
    October 31, 2013 at 1:20 pm (3 years ago)

    You have heard this before, but great SEO tips..your site has a good rating so I am not going to keep my image alt tags on the back burner any longer….

    Thanx

    • kristygardner@gmail.com
      November 8, 2013 at 4:41 pm (3 years ago)

      I appreciate it Rich! Thanks so much!

      I think that’s a good idea for sure. There’s a really good post on this that a guest writer did for me if you need any help:

      http://ohksocial.com/alt-tags-image-titles-file-names/

      Good luck!

      • Rich
        November 8, 2013 at 5:25 pm (3 years ago)

        Image Alt tags are done, my world wide rating doubled…:)

        Good posts and INFO!!!!

  7. Conor Walsh
    January 11, 2014 at 4:30 am (3 years ago)

    Hi Kirsty,

    This is a great guide. Thanks. I’ve just started blogging and my site is in a VERY early stage. I hadn’t even heard of Adwords til i read this or thought about image alt tags and titles.

    I’ll definitley be focusing on both from now on.

    Cheers,

    Conor

    • kristygardner@gmail.com
      January 12, 2014 at 11:09 am (3 years ago)

      That’s awesome Conor!! I’m glad I could assist! Good luck with your new blog – have you grabbed my free e-package? It could definitely help guide you through the initial process:

      http://ohksocial.com/blogging-secrets-ebook/

      I also just finished a blog post checklist which guides you from A to Z:

      http://ohksocial.com/free-blog-post-checklist/

      Good luck with your blogging efforts! If I can be more specific about anything, please let me know!