7 SEO Techniques to boost traffic

Written By Fraser McCulloch

Traditional marketer specialising in keyword research, SEO content plans, and content briefs. Has-been Scottish golfer. 

If you want to drive more traffic to your website, this is the one for you.

In this guide, you will learn about the 7 different types of SEO and how you can use them to boost your organic search traffic.

What are SEO techniques?

Seo techniques are ways to optimise your site so it ranks higher on search engines like Google.

These techniques include things like keyword research, content creation, link building, and page speed optimisation.

SEO Content

Search engines need content from websites like yours that contain users’ desired results and answers.

SEO content is content written to get more traffic from search engines. This content includes informational content such as how-to, best, list, comparison, review articles and commercial content such as product and service pages.

So content is, without doubt, a major SEO strategy.

Keyword Research

The starting point in the content creation process is to use keyword research to identify what users are searching for.

Keyword research is the process of finding keywords and phrases that people type into search engines when they are looking for information about your products or services. 

Or you could be like 90% of indexed web pages that earn no search visitors, and guess what people are searching for.

I’d go deeper, research and identify not only what the search volume of a query is but what the estimated clicks to the top pages are.

It is reassuring to know the content you are going to create has the potential to attract visitors.

Keyword and topic strategy

Nowadays, you don’t just pick keywords to target; you choose topics before creating a piece of content.

For example, I have a guide about local advertising.

It ranks for :

  • how to promote your business locally
  • local business advertising
  • advertise locally
  • and another 1000 similar queries

It makes no sense to create a new post for every search phrase.

Instead, write about the topic; local advertising.

Target the long-tail keywords of a parent topic.

In this example, I targeted the long tail keyword, how to advertise locally, and wrote content addressing that question.

Over time I eventually ranked for the head term or parent; local advertising.

Other types of content; written and visual

The written word isn’t the only type of content.

An image or video may be a more helpful result for the user.

If I search for black jeans or my favourite black converse trainers, I don’t want to see a written answer.

I want to see what those jeans or shoes look like.

I want to know what they look like on a person, whether they are in stock and do they have my size.

If I’m searching to improve my golf swing, perhaps a YouTube result appearing in the search results is a better answer.

If I’m looking for statistics on the number of businesses in the UK, then a graphic summarising the number of large, medium and small businesses is a better answer.

On-Page SEO

On-page optimisation refers to optimising web pages so they can be found by search engines and users alike. 

So these on-page elements include :

  • URL
  • Title Tag
  • Description
  • Headings
  • First sentence
  • Image tags
  • Internal links
  • Words and phrases

You can read my on-page SEO checklist, along with some illustrated examples.

Making basic changes to your title or description will have a minimal positive impact on your rankings.

This study shows that off-page factors are around 10 times more powerful than on-page factors.

You need a complete on-page improvement system.

Use Google Search Console or Google Analytics to improve your page rankings and visits.

  • 1. Go into Google Analytics and write down your goals; pick a new, higher goal, e.g., x leads, y transactions
  • Find pages that already rank, say in position 10 to 20
  • Check the page has addressed user intent – e.g., a person searching “freelance SEO expert” wants to hire, not have a guide to becoming an expert.
  • Make sure your page has the correct format, e.g., it’s tough to rank a single product when Google show product category pages.
  • Place the main query at the start of your page title.
  • Don’t bother writing a meta description; Google will write them for you
  • Check the user experience – can read the title, header, first sentence and a benefit on a page before scrolling below the fold on a mobile device
  • Information gain – make sure your page offers something extra that the top pages don’t offer
  • Use subheadings because people skim read, and Google will rank relevant content passages from pages.
  • Republish your updated page content on the existing URL
  • Add internal links tells the search crawlers you place importance upon the page
  • Check your page loads fast

Off-Page SEO (link building)

Off-page SEO refers to activities and techniques that don’t involve on-site optimisation. These include link building, content promotion, social media marketing, press releases, etc.

The number one ranking factor is earning links or backlinks from relevant, authoritative websites.

This study from Ahrefs shows the relationship between the number of unique referring domains and organic traffic.

Now imagine you are a search engine.

There are 3 million web pages about one subject.

You need a way to determine the most relevant and most page results.

Looking at most of the top pages for a search query, you will typically see a well-known brand ranking on page 1.

Google trusts those companies and ranks them.

But other companies with many links to their page may rank on page 1.

Off-Page SEO techniques include :

  • Data-driven content and studies
  • Industry studies such as salary guides
  • Statistics and quotes
  • Surveys
  • Visual elements such as graphs, charts, infographics
  • Sponsorship
  • Guest Posting Tactics

But off-page SEO is more than just link building.

I was on a zoom chat with the marketing director of the software I used.

He interviewed me, wrote up a case study on his website and included a link back to my website.

I got a great mention of my brand, and the link was a bonus.

Other off-page activities I do.

I post screenshots on my Twitter account (which contains my website address) and occasional links to my articles.

I post on LinkedIn and Facebook (both contain my website address in my profile).

And on the odd occasion, I upload something I’ve filmed to my YouTube account (that contains my website address in my profile).

Does this off-page activity impact my search rankings?

I’ve honestly no idea, but it can’t help to remain visible and relevant in front of followers.

Black Hat Techniques

I’m not going to give black hat tactics any attention because I don’t pursue these tactics, and you don’t want your website penalised or deindexed.

Paying for links and using personal blog networks are a couple of risky strategies.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is the stuff your developer or web host does to ensure your pages can be crawled and found quickly.

As Google now uses the mobile version of your page content for indexing and ranking purposes, these pages need to be fast loading, relevant and have a good user experience.

Technical SEO starts at the web server level.

If your website’s server is slow to respond to requests, that will impact your rankings.

If your page is loaded with large images, this will slow your page down.

If you design and structure your mobile pages and the user can’t read the page’s title upon arrival and a benefit before scrolling, you’ll lose the visitor quickly.

If you’re not using schema markup that tells crawlers what’s on your page, it will be difficult for search engine crawlers to understand your page.

Local SEO

Local SEO is an interesting type of SEO.

Local SEO is the process of optimising your business listing on Google Maps and other local directories.

This includes adding reviews, photos, and information about your location and hours.

Whilst statistics will inform you that 46% of all searches seek local information, the reality is different.

Every client I’ve dealt with who serves a local market struggles to grow organically.

I don’t live in a large country; Scotland has a population of around 5.4 million.

The city of Houston in Texas is around 2.3 million.

Local to me is my county with a population of 366,000, so I have to target nationally and globally to reach my prospects.

So “local” can mean different things to different businesses.

And local is still highly competitive.

I have a laundry client who has very little competition.

I have some accountancy clients operating in much more competitive markets.

However, with local SEO, you still need to correct the fundamentals to give your company the best ranking opportunities.

Name, Address Postcode (NAP)

Ensure you submit your company name, address and postcode information to citational sources that Google trust.

Ensure you register your business with GMB and proactively use this tool to communicate information such as your type of business, opening hours, reviews, photographs, offers and business updates.

Embed a location map of your business on your contact page.

Form relationships with local businesses, write about them, sponsor them, and get links from them.

YouTube SEO

Research said that by 2021 about 82% of all consumer traffic would be video.

That’s not surprising when you see the growth of videos posted on social media channels.

However, I’m more interested in earning visibility from channels such as YouTube.

And did you know that 35% of search results in the UK contain a YouTube video?

I am crap at YouTube, so I occasionally film my blog post and upload them to YouTube.

  That way, I give myself the chance to rank an article and a video when prospects search.

YouTube optimisation bears a resemblance to optimising a web page.

  • Target a keyphrase
  • Say that phrase in the first 15 seconds of the video
  • Use the PPP technique – start with a preview of what the video is about, give proof, and preview again.
  • Write a compelling page title and use brackets or parenthesis
  • Use thumbnails that stand out
  • Use a description that’s an extension of your title.
  • Use related tags
  • Use engagement signals such as adding a comment
  • Use a tool like VidIQ to help with research and optimisation.
Categories SEO