Google recently unveiled a host of new guidelines aimed at increasing traffic and how to improve SEO (search engine optimization). So if you’ve ever wondered how to get more visitors to your site, they’ve essentially given us a blueprint on how to get more hits and guide readers to our pages.

How to Improve SEO

Previously, SEO webmasters utilized a ton of techniques to increase their page ranking in Google searches. Some of these included increasing keyword densities, meta-descriptions and quality in-content links. And while these are all still very important to building an optimized (read: search & be found) website, the  the prevalence of “black hat” SEO techniques – which really just created a whole ton of spam sites, copyright issues and a bunch of junk no one wants to look at – has grown. Ultimately, these kinds of methods WILL get your site marked as spam, be banned from search engines and definitely will not increase your traffic. 

Google’s new guidelines center around what’s called the “white hat” approach. While we still want to include keywords*, rich meta-decriptions and quality links within our pages to increase traffic and improve SEO, we also want to write good content filled with the kind of stuff people actually want to read and share.

Now I know you might be thinking, “Kristy, wait! How do I know what people want to read?”. It’s easy – think about your niche – Social media? Business? Food? Paper art? Circus trained monkeys who juggle bananas? Now make sure your site offers something of value to that topic. Think about it this way: What would you be interested in reading about? What kind of services would you like to be offered? What gets you excited? Now create original content based on that. Write it yourself and develop a regular guest posting schedule. Get your name, your content and your links out there in ethical ways (aka white hat) and you’ll see a definite increase in your readership and ultimately, your sales.

WhiteHat Techniques to Improve SEO

Supporting your content by building an incredible social media strategy can go a long way to improve SEO. Research, plan, ensure your profiles are optimized and execute said strategy to engage with your audience, spread the word about your content and share others’. Make sure social sharing buttons are easily visible on your site as well as customized social media icons so people can find you.

It also pays to remember that Google isn’t the only search engine out there. What really matters is your audience. Focus on engaging them, use proven SEO white-hat techniques, and Google along with other engines (and readers!) will find you.

For a little more info on what Google’s Guide doesn’t tell you about SEO – Mitz Pantic at Social Media Today has a few insights.

*Keyword Tool, along with so many of Google’s services, is going the way of the dodo. In it’s place – Keyword Planner, a union between Keyword Tool and Adwords Traffic Estimator. It’s rolled out for some already – check out what they have to say.

Do you utilize SEO techniques to increase traffic? What are your secrets to getting people to your page? Do number of hits matter to you? Or is it more about engagement (i.e. comments, shares, etc..)? What do you wish you knew more about when it comes to SEO?

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15 Comments on Increase Traffic & Improve SEO: Unleash Great Content!

  1. gary harrington
    July 9, 2013 at 6:26 pm (4 years ago)

    Thanks for posting this. Everything is changing at a very fast pace and can be hard to keep up with it.

    • kristygardner@gmail.com
      July 10, 2013 at 5:10 pm (4 years ago)

      Absolutely Gary! I’ll be doing a much more detailed SEO post in the weeks to come 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts
    July 9, 2013 at 7:03 pm (4 years ago)

    Kristy,
    I don’t deliberately utilize SEO techniques to increase traffic, primarily because I keep meaning to learn what all these SEO techniques are and never get around to it. I did deliberately check Google Trends for when to post my Green Tomato Bacon Jam recipe (that would be in the fall, at the end of the tomato season, not at the beginning, because more searches for Green Tomato Recipes happen in October).
    So far I have learned that niche link parties, such as your Fresh Foods Link Up, are good for finding your tribe, but food porn sites are better for getting page views (though I’m still working on building content and taking better photos at this point).

    I don’t have the first clue about SEO so I need a SEO 101 course.

    • kristygardner@gmail.com
      July 10, 2013 at 5:11 pm (4 years ago)

      I agree Kirsten – food porn sites (any porn sites) can be great for increasing traffic 😉

      I’ll keep your SEO 101 course in mind and will post some basic SEO stuff soon – even “newbs” can do it 🙂

  3. Mary Slagel@Shape Daily
    July 11, 2013 at 12:23 pm (4 years ago)

    Writing great content is the perfect way to drive traffic to your site. If you aren’t writing good content that people want to read, why bother writing for an audience? You might as well just keep a journal to yourself.

    • kristygardner@gmail.com
      July 13, 2013 at 9:07 am (4 years ago)

      True that Mary! And there’s nothing wrong with a journal – but if you want traffic, it’d better be a well written one!

  4. Cassi
    July 11, 2013 at 2:46 pm (4 years ago)

    I love your SEO picture – praying to the Google gods! How did Google become the ruler of all things online anyway?

    I just don’t understand SEO. I’ve ready many posts on the subject but it’s not clicking in my head. Engagement is so much more understandable.

    • kristygardner@gmail.com
      July 13, 2013 at 9:09 am (4 years ago)

      I agree Cassi! There are so many other search engines – yet Google Gods seem to be omnipresent. With their decreasing popularity, we need to keep other search engines in mind.

      I’ll work on a user-friendly SEO post soon!

  5. Susan Cooper
    July 13, 2013 at 1:18 am (4 years ago)

    What a great post. With all the new changes from Google, it is vital that you write content for your readers and not just for SEO.

    • kristygardner@gmail.com
      July 13, 2013 at 9:14 am (4 years ago)

      Absolutely Susan. Your readers and their recommendations will sustain you in the long term – building them up, will lead to sustained success.

  6. Debra Yearwood
    July 13, 2013 at 8:44 pm (4 years ago)

    Great post Kristy and I love the SEO image, very funny. The SEO tips are useful, but you’ve also made sure to remind us that no matter how clever we are with SEO, it always comes back to content.

  7. Jeannette Paladino
    July 14, 2013 at 12:58 am (4 years ago)

    Kristy — this is a very informative post. I clicked on the “new guidelines” link and was delighted to find Google’s SEO starter guidelines – I had not seen this document before and plan to read it carefully. I’ve been blogging for four years but there is always something new to learn.

  8. Prerna Kulkarni
    August 1, 2013 at 8:15 am (4 years ago)

    Thanks for sharing these seo tips and SEO starter guidelines.

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