How to Attract Target Traffic
A Non-Techie Guide to SEO
How do you feel about SEO? If you are a beginner, you may wonder if it is worth the effort. However, when you look at the fundamentals of the practice, it can help you leap ahead of the competition. By learning the basics, you will know more than what most website owners know. Therefore, read the following info, keeping this in mind.
In this post, you will find out how to determine what your customers are seeking and how to optimize your web pages with target keywords. You also want to make sure both search engines and humans can easily access your site. After all, without the search engines, you cannot achieve a coveted ranking. You will learn how to get other sites to link to your website, and you will find that knowing SEO leads to a feeling of great accomplishment and satisfaction.
The following guide will help you understand SEO without getting distracted by jargon. Once you know SEO, you can better measure the motivators that will keep your site ranking well in the SERPs.
Step One – Review Your Customers’ Searches
To optimize your site, you need to know what your customers want, or what keywords they are using to perform searches. This part is not too hard to figure out, as you just need to use a bit of reason and common sense. So, let’s say that you run a hotel in Asbury Park NJ.
Examples of Searches
Some of the searches your customers might make include the following:
- Asbury Park NJ hotels
- Places to stay in Asbury Park NJ
- Hotels in Asbury Park NJ
- Accommodations in Asbury Park NJ
- Asbury Park NJ hotel
Next, you need to figure out which terms your customers are using the most for their hotel search. Perform a Google search using the above phrases. By this simple initiative, you can quickly see what keywords hold more value for your site.
At least, by jumping in and reviewing searches, you can see more clearly see why you need to optimize your site. Here is a good point to remember. If you rank well in Google, which is the major search engine online, you can focus more on providing your customers with better products and services. When Google reviews pages, it seeks high-quality and relevant content – content that relates well to prospect and customer queries.
It does this by crawling your site for readability and keywords. It figures quality by the links of the sites coming into yours. If the sites are highly popular and trusted, your site will also gain influence in the SERPs.
Indeed, you need to add content that keeps customers engaged, as Google’s algorithm searches sites to see how people navigate your platform. Ask salient questions if you want to improve engagement. For instance, do visitors remain on your site once they land? Or do they bounce back to the search engine page so they can click onto another link? Maybe they just click through and don’t look at your site at all.
What Google Considers When Reviewing Site Value
Other things that Google considers include the following:
- How mobile-friendly is your website?
- What is your site’s load speed?
- How much content does you site feature?
- Does it have thin content?
- Has the content been duplicated?
- Search Engine Value – Reviewing Keywords
Fortunately, you do not need to be a search engine guru to rank well with Google. You just need to learn the best practices for finding keywords and targeting them to your audience. Therefore, you need to review keywords in terms of the following:
Search volume – or the number of people searching for certain keywords. If more people are searching for a specific phrase or word, the larger your audience.
Relevance – While it is nice to know that people are looking for specific keywords, they still need to be relevant terms. Although the keywords you use might draw visitors to your site, the visitors might be people who may not buy your products. Therefore, you need to make sure your keywords are directed to a specific type of consumer.
Competitors – Check your competitor’s rankings for keywords too. What are people searching when they visit your competitor’s sites?
Learning More About Your Prospects Needs and Wants
With this information in tow, you still need to define your prospects and find out what they are searching. From this information, you can learn the following:
- What types of products or services are your prospects needing?
- What problems do they have that you can resolve?
- How do your leads use certain online tools and what do they do?
- What else are prospects buying?
Once you determine this information, you can initiate a list of keywords for research and analysis. Insert keywords into Google’s keyword tool or another tool, such as Uber Suggest. Better yet, run several searches with various keyword tools. You can also use tools featured by platforms, such as SEM Rush, to see what terms are ranking for your competition.
To do all this, again, you need to review your prospects’ needs and preferences, and what they typically search for online. You also need to review what keywords are driving traffic to the competition and see which words are driving traffic to your site. Make comparisons so you can determine where to find the best channels to attract continued traffic.
What You Need to Know
To understand more about keyword terms and to get a grasp on keyword competition, you need to know the following:
- How authoritative and trusted are your competitor’s sites? In other words, how many links is the site receiving? Are those connections relevant? What other sites are competing for the same keyword?
- Does the keyword work well with the website’s content?
- How many links are showing for each page in the SERPs?
- What is the trust and relevancy for the linking sites?
Advanced SEO Tools
You can dive into SEO keyword research to a great degree if you check keyword difficulty scores with tools, such as, or similar upgrades. If you take this approach and make good use of the tools, you can create an action plan for determining competitive keywords, and your site’s chances for ranking for a specific keyword.
If you need to dive deeper into the topic of keyword research, you should check out a guide, such as the one . While you can use several methods to rank high in the search engines, your primary source of support will come from the analysis of search terms. Without this knowledge, you will lose your grip in the SERPs.
Step 2 – Perform On-page Optimization
Once you compile that all-important keyword list, you need to incorporate the keywords into the content on your site. Each page should be displaying a primary term and several related terms. To further drive traffic to your platform, you need to add title tags. They need to be used correctly to drive traffic to your site.
One of the best ways to use your primary keyword and related terms is to place a keyword, preferably the primary term, into a title tag. A title tag is not a page’s main headline. The headline is represented by an H1 or H2 HTML designation. The title tag appears at the top of the browser and is supported by a page’s source code, found in the meta tag. Here is an example of a title tag inside code:
According to the publication, , the title tag should be no more than 60 characters and not less than 55. The title tag is usually what a searcher sees in the SERPs for a web page. The title tag serves as a headline in the organic search results. Therefore, you need to recognize the tag’s click-through benefit when you add it.
Step 3 – Add Meta Descriptions
While the title tag serves as a headline in the search engine, you need to add a meta description that you can update in your website’s HTTP code. Consider the meta tag as the additional promotional copy for your site. Google may or may not show your meta description online.
That is why you need to make sure your meta copy represents the type of content that people want to click. By carefully thinking about how to phrase your meta tag, you can substantially increase traffic to your site. While it is nice to show up in the SERPs, your SEO efforts should not stop there. You still need to attract visitors to your site. It appears beneath a site’s title, as follows:
Step 4 – Draft and Add Content
The content on your page must contain keywords and be informative. It also must be voluminous and unique. Keep adding content to attract traffic. Otherwise, it won’t be of much use to you if it isn’t dense or lacks authority. That is why you need to get into the habit of adding content regularly.
You need to engage the people visiting your site. Make sure the content you present answers to their questions, especially the questions they typically ask.
The pages should load quickly and be clear and easy to read. Get rid of any distracting ads that increase a site’s bounce rate.
Step 5 – Make the Content Shareable
Again, you don’t want your content to be thin. You need it to be substantial so it can also be shared and linked. Think about who might share your pages. After all, it does you little good to produce a lot of content that does not get shared. Shareability is indeed important, as it does not look good to Google when people skip this activity.
Step 6 – Include Alt Attributes and Give Your Images a Description
You also need to include alt attributes for your website’s images. Alt attributes serve as descriptions for pictures, graphs, and similar likenesses. Besides content, you need to add image descriptions so the search engines can better decipher the reason for your site.
Alt attributes are important, as they give Google and readers a more precise description of any images. You should not keyword stuff. Therefore, you don’t have to add keywords for images. Write the alt attribute so it is clear and descriptive. People who read the description should be able to envision the image if it can’t be seen.
Write naturally. You don’t want it to look like you are trying to get a higher ranking for your main keyword. You should use modified long-tail variances of the core topic of your content. Remember, when it comes to the allocation of keywords, less is more.
Long-tail keywords represent search phrases with a longer word count. When you add these phrases, your keyword search becomes more precise. Any phrase that is shorter than four words is a short-tail keyword.
Step 7 – Add the URL
Your site’s URL is important from the standpoints of credibility, linking, and shareability. Make sure your URL is shorter as well as descriptive. A shorter URL is easier to cut and paste. It also will not get cut off as often. Just like alt attributes, you don’t want to keyword stuff. The idea is to be concise and descriptive.
Don’t try to change your URL structure to be more SEO friendly. If you think the link has not done any harm to your business or website, keep things as they are. If you do change the structure, don’t forget to add a 301-permanent redirect in your website design. It’s just one of those technical formalities that will improve your site’s users. According to the, this redirect (301-permanent) is the best redirect to employ.
Step 8 – Add the Schema and Mark-up
Once you have included on-page elements, you can continue your quest to help Google understand your page. This you can be done with schema markup. Add schema markup to improve click-through rates. Schema markup makes it possible to get found in the SERPs and therefore is one method you don’t want to overlook.
While this method will not cause your site or pages to rank higher, it does give your site added visibility. If your competitors don’t use this method, you will realize much higher click-through rates. Also called structured data, the schema markup is known as the language that search engines understand.
The code uses a semantic vocabulary to provide details to search engines. When this code is used, web visitors obtain more precise information in the rich snippets of copy shown below the page title. If you don’t add it yourself, or consider yourself technologically illiterate, ask a web designer or developer to include the markup for your site.
Step 9 – Organize Your Website with Information Architecture
To organize your web pages, you need to follow the rules set out by information architecture. This means that you should link internal pages to support the value of the content added to your site. Using this approach can impact interlinking between pages and how certain content ranks on your site. Linking, in general, causes the search engines to see the links as “votes of confidence” for your site. These votes, in turn, show the importance and authoritativeness of a site’s text.
Search engines also view the text that is used to link pages. This text is called anchor text – a small descriptive phrase that tells Google what the linking site is about. Again, don’t keyword stuff, or cram keywords into anchor text.
Tips for Organizing Your Information Architecture
Below are tips that will assist you in establishing your Information Architecture for your site:
To properly manage your information architecture, you need to maintain the most important search engine pages, or the pages used to target the most valuable keyword phrases, high up in the architectural framework. This means you need to link to them frequently in navigational elements and connect to them, when possible, from your most linked-to pages.
Use a flat information architecture for your website. Any pages that you want to rank in the search engines should be set up so they are only one or two clicks away from the home page, or most linked-to pages.
Even if you have a web developer perform some of these steps for you, it is important to know about this information so you can discuss your SEO needs and receive the best results.
Step 10 – Use PageRank
If you internally link to various pages on your site, it shows the search engines that a specific page provides important information that is authoritative or relevant. Incoming links and internal linking relate to the concept of PageRank, which is used differently today than it was historically.
Below are the takeaways when using this element.
The site provides more details about the concept of PageRank. PageRank depends on the link structure of the Internet to rank sites. For example, Google considers linking from page A to page B as a vote of confidence by page A for the linked page B.
Google does not just count the number of votes for pages, it also reviews pages casting votes or linking to other pages. Votes provided by pages that are considered important also mean that the pages they link to are more important. By using PageRank, Google can determine the relative importance of pages. Therefore, outside and internal linking plays heavily on how your site is ranked and regarded by Google.
If you are not a web developer or designer, using PageRank can prove to be a complicated subject, especially if you create a larger website. To understand the most linked-to pages on your site, you need to use a tool, such as or to review “top pages” reports.
Step 10 – Create Content that Gives You Organic Links
You do not want to jeopardize your site by thinking up aggressive ways of attracting links to your site. The algorithm used by Google can spot these tactics, which can negatively impact your site. The best way to obtain links is to create content that is shareable and link-worthy.
What to Consider When Developing Backlinks
To leverage backlinking tools, such as BuzzSumo, you need to identify the thought leaders for your space and understand why they will share links. What are the problems the influencers are trying to solve and what types of content do they usually share? That will help you focus on creating content that your website visitors will find useful and well worth mentioning.
As you think about what site visitors may need, ask certain questions. For example – How can you help them with their projects? Can you create an offer that they can share with others? Do you possess information or knowledge that can benefit them and the people with whom they share data?
Taking things step-by-step will make it easier to optimize linking so you can enjoy ongoing traffic to your site.
Use the above information to form your basis for analyzing keywords and building links to your web pages and content. Make sure you follow each of the ten steps so you have all the elements in place that will engage your readership and help you establish organic links and shareable information.
You really cannot bypass any of the steps or only place emphasis on one or two of the activities. SEO is a slow but ongoing process – one that is worth nurturing if you want to build credibility online.
You don’t have to perform all the steps yourself. You can use the knowledge and expertise of others. However, you do need to know and understand what SEO involves so you can communicate what you need. While you can build a website for your business online, you still need to know how to attract ongoing website traffic. Knowing the basic steps of SEO will prove to be valuable in attracting customers and increasing your bottom line.