The purpose of SEO is to get people to see your listing and visit your site. Once they’re on your webpages, your business can turn views into conversions. To increase conversions and boost your Google ranking, learn what you can do to drive more traffic to your website without paying a dime.
Optimize Your Website for SEO
One of the best ways to start driving online traffic is to optimize your website. Good local SEO tactics—like page-specific keyword optimization, schema markup, and attractive, mobile-friendly landing pages—are big factors when Google determines which websites to suggest to consumers.
Do Simple Keyword Research
Though SEO professionals use paid keyword research tools, you can do meaningful keyword research for free through Google.
Start by googling something relevant to your business. For example, if you’re a local plumber, try simple searches like “plumber near me.”
Pay attention to the titles your competitors are using. You’ll start to get an idea of the variety of terms you should put on your website.
Another great place to get keyword and optimization ideas are in Google’s related searches. In the example below, searches for “cheap plumbers,” “emergency plumbers,” and “plumbers in nearby towns” all present optimization opportunities.
So, in the example where “emergency plumbing” appears in related searches, you should mention on your website if you offer this service—you might even consider creating a full webpage for customers to learn more about your emergency plumbing services.
Similarly, if you serve surrounding towns that are being searched for, make sure you mention them on your site! To improve both your SEO and website’s user experience, it could even be worth creating a service area page.
Let’s take this a step further and click the “emergency plumbers near me” option in the related searches.
By clicking to expand the related search, we can now see how competitors optimize and rank for this phrase, too. Along with “emergency plumbers,” you’ll notice variations like “24-hour plumbers” and “24/7 plumbers” that you can also use to better optimize your website.
Keep an eye out for Google’s “People also ask” section. It can help you identify questions your audience needs answered—which you can add as FAQs to your website.
In this example, after searching “car wraps,” you get a good idea of important topics for SEO and the audience looking for this service.
Update SEO Titles
Once your keyword research is complete, you can start making quick and easy updates to SEO titles across your webpages.
SEO titles play two big roles:
- They are a strong ranking factor
- They tell your customer what they need to know about you
With small updates to SEO titles, you can earn more visibility and improve your website’s click-through rate.
Be sure your SEO titles include:
- Locations you serve
- Offered products/services
- Competitive advantage or something important to your audience
Though the competition is mainly national, let’s take a look at titles for vacation rental sites. Since this is a competitive industry, there are great examples of well-optimized SEO titles.
In this example, the business optimizes for its location (Omaha) and the product/service (vacation rentals). The company also adds a unique element that’s important to searchers (the pricing details).
Like our previous business, this example also optimizes for the market and the service, while also calling out their competitive advantage (their large selection).
Update Website Content
Once you get people to your website you have to win your customer over. One of the biggest mistakes a small business website can make is only having one page for all of their services or products instead of using multiple web pages.
When someone searches for a product or service you offer you want to have a dedicated page where someone can find all the information they need on that product or service. You should still utilize a product or service page that has an overview of all of your products for people who are navigating through your website, but be sure to link to specific product pages from the general page.
Be sure to identify which keywords are often associated with those products or services and implement them into the corresponding pages to give yourself a better chance of appearing in related searches.
Look into what questions people ask when looking into the products or services you offer and answer them directly on the corresponding page. Not only does this help your visitors make informed decisions about your product or services, but it also gives you a chance to rank in searches when the search query involves the question.
Complete Your Google Business Profile
As a basic step, completing your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) as much as possible is considered one of the higher-priority ranking factors for Google. So take time to fill out everything you can—from your business description to your business categories.
Aspects of your profile that could require continual attention include:
- Your business category
- Your business address
- High-quality photos
- Branded keywords in your reviews
- Number of reviews you receive
- How you respond to reviews
Another component of your Google Business Profile (GBP) that could be a difference maker for service-area businesses are Google Posts. These short form blog style posts are great opportunities to share your expertise and use links to drive more traffic to your website.
Publish Blog Content Frequently
Try consistently publishing engaging content to pull people who wouldn’t normally visit your site but might still need something you offer. The best place to start is on your blog with topics related to your business. Be sure to optimize your posts for SEO—including keyword and schema optimization—to increase the chances of being found on Google searches.
Social media is also a great place to publish consistent content. Promotional posts frequently give your followers new things to explore on your website. To update your GBP listing, be sure to repurpose content on social media to Google Posts. This isn’t only a great way to get your posts to more people, it’s also a big trust signal for Google when determining search rankings.
Service-related blogs are posts that speak to what you offer your customers or clients. These blog posts can take a variety of shapes—from product posts to new location announcements.
Coming up with compelling topics can be difficult. Do competitive research to see what businesses like yours talk about. Often the most compelling service-related content is a detailed guide about one of your products or services. For example, if you are an electrician, you could have blog content that details how the electrical systems of different buildings work.
In-depth context about your services not only exemplifies your expertise, but it’s also a good way to show all the detail that goes into what you do for a client that they never get to see—which can help you win potential clients and provide great opportunities to rank in searches.
Audience-related content tailors topics to the interests of people who visit your site outside of what you offer. This content often requires the writer to do more outside research instead of leaning on their own expertise.
The main reason you’d want to do this to drive web traffic is because it gives you the opportunity to show up in a wider variety of searches. While this type of content may not inspire as many sales as service-related posts, it’s still a good way to get people onto your site and aware of your brand.
For example, if you run a storage facility, you might write blogs about home organization because people in need of additional storage could also be interested in this tangentially-related topic. Not everyone who reads your home organization tips will want to rent a storage unit, but at least they visited your site. And if they’re looking to rent a storage unit some point down the road, they’ll already be familiar with your brand!
Leverage Social Media
Social media can be a tricky place to compete, but it can also be one of the biggest tools for driving people to your website. Social media helps local businesses online by potentially creating interest in your products, connecting with your audience, and offering consistent content to new and returning customers or clients. Link promotional social media posts to your website to drive more people to your landing page or product pages.
While you should consistently build out unique content, it can be beneficial to use someone else’s channels to get your business in front of new people. Guest blogging often shows your expertise to people who are interested in the topic but may not already know of your business. And the backlinks that you earn from a different domain help strengthen your website’s ranking performance.
To get your blog onto other people’s sites, see if you can publish occasional posts on your clients’ blogs, submit your posts to guest-hosting sites, or unite with a non-competitive business that has similar growth interests.
A realtor and a moving company is an example a good partnership where guest blogging could be beneficial. The realtor could write blogs about different neighborhoods in their service area that can be seen on the moving companies website. The moving company could do a service related blog post about why professional movers are beneficial that would be published on the realtors site. This gives both the realtor and the moving company exposure to customers who need what they are offering that they might not get anywhere else.
A backlink is when another website links to your website in its content. You want as many backlinks to your site as you can obtain naturally in order to rise in search rankings.
While building backlinks is a difficult tactic to drive traffic to your website, it is also one of the most rewarding. To obtain these links, you can write guest blogs, partner with another business, find high-quality referral sources, or produce comprehensive and engaging content that serves as a linkable resource for someone writing about a similar topic.
Google doesn’t trust backlinks from websites with weaker domains, so it’s better to earn them from strong websites. You should also avoid buying backlinks, especially because it’s a violation of Google’s ranking guidelines.
Email Your List
Email marketing is one of the most effective strategies for driving consistent traffic to your website. After growing your email subscriber list, you can share information with the people who have proven they’re interested in your business. Emails can bring them back to your website and lead to conversions. Here is how to leverage email to drive more website traffic.
Share New Content
If someone subscribed to your email list, they likely did so in order to hear more about your company. In the best-case scenario, they love your business’ content and want to see more of it.
A successful click-through rate for email marketing campaigns is 2.5%—a percentage that seems small but could yield significant web traffic if you have a larger subscriber base. In your emails, include links to blog posts so subscribers can easily visit your site. Your links should be accompanied by a short blurb that sparks the reader’s curiosity and gives context to the content on the other side of the link.
A strong subscriber base is full of individuals who have enjoyed your business’ past offerings. That’s why they’re perfect for your business’ retargeting efforts—encourage them to use your company again with promotions.
Unlike new content, you shouldn’t save the most impactful information about your promotion for your website because you want the reader to be excited and engaged enough to click the link. Instead, include what the promotion is and how it is beneficial to the reader in the content of your email. But, make sure the user has to visit your website in order to use the promotion.
It needs to be easy for customers to redeem their email promotions, so your email links should open convenient landing pages where the user can quickly input the information and take advantage of your offer.
Want help driving traffic to your website? Local Search Fuel by Hurrdat is designed to help small businesses grow with small business websites and Google Business Profile optimization services. Get started today!