Looking Beyond Link Building to Increase Your Online Traffic
Link building is no child’s play but keep in mind that you can still profit from Google’s search results without being dependent on it. There are a number of people who have always found SEO intimidating at the outset. The fact is that you need a killer instinct to get it right, which can be a deterrent for many. Sure, we recognize that off-page factors such as links hold more value that any on-page efforts you might be putting into building your online presence.
But it is also true that current-day SEO’s have numerous avenues, apart from just link building, that will help them attract the traffic they want. Experienced SEO’s know exactly how they navigate these waters but even sites that have been very strongly optimized can get an edge in at least some of these areas:
1. Well-Researched Articles– Currently, around 6 percent of Google’s search results have in-depth articles. Though this might not seem like an impressive figure, the articles which actually do make an impact get a good flow of traffic. Certain sites have reported a rise of up to 10% in traffic to their sites, after including such articles.
2. User Satisfaction – It is important for you to focus on upping the satisfaction quotient for your online users. We all know that the Panda algorithm on Google cracks the whip on “low-quality” websites. But its also a known fact that Google might me measuring satisfaction based on the number of user clicks on the search results.
The “long click” is a definite indication of how satisfied users are. It means that users are on that site for a longer period of time. Unfortunately, not many SEO’s leverage the potential of this technique which is referred to as ”pogosticking”
3. Rich Snippets – Google in constantly in expand-mode when it comes to the types of snippets that are shown in the search results. This includes breadcrumbs, songs, videos and events. Video Optimization and Google Authorship are two aspects that have a very strong influence on the way your SEO strategy will work
4. Video Optimization – Video snippets are able to attract much more search results compared to other kinds of rich snippets, and it also exceeds authorship photos. Studies have shown that users tend to look at these before they look at anything else. A definite plus is that it’s easier to display video snippets and you are not required to connect a Google Account
5. Social Media– This is the year of social signals, Many feel that having a social profile is enough. Social media is more than buying likes and running a campaign. Today social is measured by activity and engagement, about giving constant value to those who need your expertise. Likes are not the goal it is more about shares and comments things that require true activity. You will need to get active this year and engage your audience. Reaching the hearts of social influencer will bring you more than built link for 2016. Stay active and deliver value to your audience is key.
6. Site Speed– Ensure that your site has good speed. This improves customer satisfaction, but it might also have a positive impact on search rankings. As a matter of fact, this is one aspect that Google has confirmed as a ranking factor.
Another fact to keep in mind is that the TTFB or Time to First Byte (the amount of time taken by a server to respond to a request), is far more important than the actual page loading speed. Today, it is all important to optimize page load-speed for smartphones
7. Smartphone SEO- In addition to the speed factor, your website also has to be configured correctly for smartphones. Failing to do so, might just lower your Google search results for queries that come via mobile devices. Configuration is as important as speed and Google has also confirmed that smartphone errors can result in lowering your mobile rankings.
Mobile errors can include visitors getting redirected to the incorrect mobile URL. Some videos embedded on your site might not play on a certain phone or there may be pop-ups that don’t get easily closed on a mobile etc
8. Expanding your Global Audience– If your business caters to global clientele, you have a much better chance of appearing in the international search results, versus staying within home borders. At times, you might find that the competition levels are also much lower
9. Social Annotations– Whenever you share any content on social media like Twitter and Facebook, your network will be able to see it only when they are on these specific sites. Contrastingly, when you share any content via Google+, your network will have visibility of it, every time they search for anything via Google. Focus on expanding your Google+ network and be consistent with sharing relevant and high-quality content
10. Optimizing Snippets– This is related to title tag–optimization and standard meta tags, but is something that will benefit you. Over the last 2 years, Google has altered the maximum length criteria for title tags.
Now, its not the characters that count, but the actual number of pixels you use (it should typically be about 500 pixels in length). Since it is a little difficult to determine how many pixels you have used, it’s a good idea to stick to 60-80 characters. Avoid duplication in meta tag descriptions
11. Updating New Content – Any site that does not earn new links will eventually fall out of favor on Google. Additionally, sites that have stale content will also be relegated into the shadows. Though adding fresh content is not necessarily a rankings-booster, it helps with certain kinds of queries
12. Consistent on-page SEO – The things that have been mentioned here are only the tip of the SEO iceberg. Aspects like keyword research, crawling, internal linking, indexing, image optimization etc can have a great impact on rankings too
Creating an Impact
With each passing year, the job of any Technical SEO increases in complexity. But the opportunities that are presented to us, are now greater than ever. It’s easy to overlook all that has changed in SEO and try to take the easy path and believe that Google will shine the spotlight on our sites, but that would only be wishful thinking. The truth is that making an effort and putting in some hard work, is the only way of moving out of stagnation on the internet.