You’ve tried everything. You write three blogs per week (with SEO keyword research), you take care of the technical stuff (meta and alt tags, URL optimisation, page speed etc.) and you’ve even got some of your pages into the top 10 on Google. So why aren’t you seeing the traffic boost you were promised?
Google is constantly updating its algorithm. If you were an absolute SEO guru 5 years ago, but you didn’t keep up with any emerging trends, (not very likely, I know) you’d be completely left behind today.
With 34% of all the world’s website traffic coming from search engines, it pays to know this stuff!
So what are you missing?
You Aren’t Using Google Search Features
Google has a number of search features. That information box under the search bar is called a Featured Snippet. Google started using these in 2014 to streamline the process of answers faster, with one less click and one less load time. This is great for the user, but a little more of a problem for publishers.
Because searchers can find the answers they’re looking for at the top of the page, it reduces the number of hits on the second, third, fourth etc. results. However, if you look at the image above, you’ll notice that the featured snippet isn’t the no.1 result.
Landing a featured snippet is a little different to landing a no.1 search result. Instead of focusing on keyword density and optimising your content, the focus here is actual value.
Google wants to see an in-depth, straightforward answer to the question. You can achieve this by creating content on your blog or on an FAQ/Help page that clearly and thoroughly presents information to answer the snippet you’re aiming for.
TIP: Research snippets that answer the question you’re aiming for. If you play around with different wording, you might find a snippet that you can ‘beat’ more easily.
You Aren’t Exploiting Direct Traffic
Direct traffic accounts for 40% of all website traffic on the internet, yet it still remains an untapped source for many marketers. The key here is offline advertising. Advertising that that will make your customers type in your website’s address instead of searching it on Google.
This is quite a tricky area to exploit, but if done correctly, you should see see some decent traffic gains!
Be careful not to create ads that encourage web searches, unless you’re on the number 1 spot! Otherwise you’re doing your competitors’ advertising for them. Instead give your direct website address.
Tip: Ensure your offline ads are written by a copywriter who knows exactly what you want. Choice of words is crucial when you need a specific outcome from your advertisements.
You Haven’t Written Any Guest Blogs
Guest blogs are crucial for bringing in traffic and building links. You effectively piggyback on another site’s traffic by writing a relevant and valuable blog post for a site that has similar or related products/services to you.
You’ll get a link from your engaging blog post back to your own site, so your new fans can find you! This helps build your blog followers with high quality followers that are already interested in the same topic as your blog.
You’ll also benefit from the ‘link juice’ of sites with high Domain Authority (DA).
A DA is calculated based on a number of factors including the number of links a site has, the DA of the sites it links to and the site’s search rankings. The higher the DA the more ‘Link Juice’
Link Juice is a term that is used to describe the link power a site has from the links that lead to it. Therefore, when you get a backlink from a site with good Link Juice, you’re effectively ‘plugging in’ your site and letting it’s link juice flow to your pages.
TIP: Be sure to research blogs and websites that you intend to write guest posts for. Websites with a low DA won’t give you any link juice (and may decrease your SEO) and sites with low traffic won’t give you anything. So research. research. research.
You Have A Weak Social Presence
3.773 billion people use the internet. Amazingly, 2.789 billion of those people have active social media accounts.
If you’re neglecting your social media because you “don’t have time” or “have other priorities”, then you’re missing out on literally billions in potential traffic.
Whilst it’s true that organic social is on the decline (thanks Facebook!) and that businesses on Facebook are seeing less and less growth without the help of paid social, it’s still possible to thrive on other platforms.
If you’ve done your market research, you already know what platforms your customers are frequenting. Once you’ve set up your account/s make sure your brand is consistent across platforms so as to eliminate any customer confusion.
Using your style guide (if you have one) and by judging the general tone of the platform you’re posting on (Professional for Linkedin, witty for Twitter, relaxed for Instagram and more conversational for Facebook) formulate a style and tone and stick to it, in posts and replies.
Make a posting schedule and stick to it. Find best practices for each platform and create quality content that people will actually want to share.
Many businesses make the mistake of churning ads out on their social channels but nobody want’s to see ads on their newsfeed unless they’re relevant. Keep the promotion to a minimum and focus on giving your followers something they want.
Remember to make use of DMs too. It’s a chance to have rare 1 on 1 contact with your online audience. Make the most of it!
TIP: Too many accounts, too little time? Get a social media scheduler like Hootsuite, Buffer or SproutSocial to help you keep on top of those pesky posts!
You’re Not Engaging!
The internet is a big place. There’s a lot going on.
Answer sites like Yahoo Answers, Quora and other specialised forums are the perfect place to promote your site and engage with potential customers. It’s a great way of directing relevant traffic to your site, using groups and pages already devoted to your site’s topic.
If you’re answering questions and providing the site with valuable information that’s even better! You can show off your level of expertise whilst harvesting traffic!
But be careful.
Many sites have ‘anti-spam’ filters that detect promotional material and delete it if they aren’t relevant or fair. Ensure you provide enough info in your answers and that you don’t link back to your site in every answer you post.
TIP: Answer a diverse set of questions that you know about. This gives your profile a better reputation. Then when you do find questions that can be answered by your site, you’re less likely to be booted for unacceptable behaviour.