Blogs and websites are published every day, and all webmasters want to know how to increase website traffic and grow their audience. Right from the start, I want to say no secret formula or general rule.
It is a combination of factors, hard work, optimization, testing, and experimentation.
Why isn’t there a secret formula?
Because everything is evolving. Even the internet. Even though some websites are new, the published content continues to change. A rule remains unchanged.
All webmasters try to keep everything as simple as possible and find a way to help the user avoid wasting time. New trends appear every year. Some of them are more successful than others.
Millions of bloggers spend hours every day creating the best content. But sometimes it’s not enough.
So, how can you increase website traffic in 2021?
The most important thing is that you learn from their mistakes and copy what others are doing right.
How to create content that can increase traffic to your website?
Every year, what we write and how we do it becomes more and more important. Statistics say that by the end of 2020, the number of blogs will exceed 500 million.
More than half of the companies participating in this study said that writing texts is a priority in marketing. Over 95% of the companies surveyed aim to increase or support the amount of content created.
You may be wondering: but why?
Well, half the number of potential customers read between 3 and 5 texts before deciding to make a purchase. Also, the content considered useful is distributed by readers in 94% of cases.
According to studies, over 90% of the links placed on websites lead to blogs. Blogging is the reason why the number of indexed sites has increased. It is also important to note that 80% of users ignore paid ads and use only organic search.
You’ve probably noticed that ideas about how to create engaging content continue to change, and all you can do is keep up with them.
It’s important not to get stuck on the secondary pages of search results for your targeted keywords. Thus, it is essential to analyze how the content has changed in recent years, draw conclusions, and write texts that meet the readers’ needs.
Content is essential if you want to increase website traffic in 2012. So, I have prepared a detailed article on creating content that does not bore your readers.
How has website content changed over the years?
Blogs and websites are published every day, and all webmasters want to know how to increase website traffic and grow their audience. Right from the start, I want to say no secret formula or general rule. Currently, writing a blog article takes an hour longer than in 2015. Not only does it have more words, but it is even more specific and requires more research.
One in five writers creates texts of over 1,500 words. It is worth mentioning that longer articles deliver better results compared to those of 500 words or less.
You should also know that the results with a good ranking in Google searches contain between 1140 and 1285 words. This explains why the more comprehensive content has 9 times more readers.
But not everything depends on the length of the text. How often you post new articles is just as important.
Websites that add content more than 3 times a week generate 4 times more traffic than those with less frequent updates.
Even so, not everyone has time to post multiple articles a week. Therefore, specialists also analyze the smaller elements and their impact.
They check many of them, for example, the title.
The most effective title contains between 6 and 13 words. An 8-word title is ideal. List titles are preferred by 36% of respondents.
Other types include:
- Addressed directly to the reader (“What do you know about content writing?“) — 21%
- How to (“How to write without boring your readers“) — 17%
- Standard (“Basic on-page optimization for beginner webmasters“) — 15%
- Question (“Why do you need a blog in 2021?“) — 11%
The most interesting thing is that odd numbers like 5 or 7 attract users’ attention by more than 20% and, by adding a semicolon or a dash, you can increase the user’s attention by another 9%.
You should also know that using words with a negative connotation, such as “never” or “worst” is 60% more effective compared to those that contain positive words such as “always” and “best“.
These small details can improve the way content is presented.
But it’s not just the text that’s important to readers.
Going the extra mile: add media content.
If you wanted to increase website traffic in 2012, you should go the extra mile. Articles that contain visual elements have 94% more visitors than those without. Almost 19% of writers also add videos to their texts. That’s why it’s important to create media files to add to your site.
Youtube converts twice as many requests as Bing. Google Images receives more monthly questions than Youtube, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and Google Maps combined!
Adding media elements in the form of images or videos is essential. A proper SEO description and file name can guarantee a good result on Google Images.
Don’t forget about your old content.
Keep in mind that over 30% of marketers believe that paid advertising is overrated. A position among the top search results should be the goal of any optimization done over the years.
Usually, the articles that have a good position in the results are more than 6 months old.
Therefore, you should not forget about old posts. Updates are always welcome. These will help the website stay fresh and receive organic traffic.
Subtitles and title optimizations will help you position yourself better by using certain keywords. This can directly influence profit since users get to a site due to a good position on the search results pages.
Beware of cannibalizing keywords.
Cannibalizing keywords is an SEO problem that occurs when multiple pages target the same keywords. Basically, several pages on the site “compete” with each other for a spot in the Google results for the same words. For this reason, the visibility of the site in the search engine will be negatively influenced.
By targeting the same keywords on multiple pages of a website, you “disorient” the search engine, which no longer knows which page you want to respond to that search intent. In such cases, Google will be forced to choose the best option on its own, which may not be the page you want to promote.
The effects of keyword cannibalization.
Cannibalizing keywords has a negative impact not only on the visibility of the site in Google organic results (SEO) but also from the perspective of the user experience:
- Lowering the conversion rate: When the right page does not appear in Google for a search, even if the visitor arrives on the site, he does not have an optimal experience. The same thing can happen when for a commercial search, the site responds with a blog article.
- Diluting the link profile: An important ranking factor for Google nowadays is the quality of the link profile that a page has. Thus, if your site has several pages on the same topic, each with its own link profile, the result is poorer than when all the links would focus on the correct landing page.
- Decreasing the relevance of internal links and anchors: Trying to refer to so many different pages, but with the same topic, you will not focus on internal anchors' value to the best option.
- Low-quality content: Think about what will happen to your content’s quality when you write various articles and descriptions on the same topic repeatedly. Google rewards websites with organized, high-quality content that is useful to the target audience, and if everything is a mess, then the results will not live up to expectations.
- The decrease in organic traffic: As a result of the Google Update from June 2019, the general decrease in organic traffic is regarding the limitation of the number of different pages from the same site, which can appear simultaneously in the Google organic results.
User search intent should be a priority.
Google is constantly changing algorithms to optimize search results based on user intent, rather than focusing on content to match keywords. SEO specialists need to understand the nuance of what this means for their content and have a firm understanding of previous Google updates that lead to this trend.
We all wanted to focus on the user’s intention and better understand our customers’ journey. It has become such an important part of the industry that it has become essential for most websites' survival and growth.
If you focus on the user’s intention, you will clearly understand where you fall into that path. By providing the best answers to questions, you can capture and convert users more reliably and increase website traffic.
What does search intent mean in 2021?
Focus on how users talk about their problems and needs. Always focus on the person. Try to put yourself in the user’s shoes and find out as much as possible about how he thinks and what he wants from that search.
Too many websites forget or fail to achieve what is needed to attract and impress potential users or customers.
They want real value. As in a physical store, customers want to know that you are on their side, that they can trust you, and that you are a long-term reliable partner. They don’t want to feel like they’re there to give you their money.
Page Speed is essential.
The idea is that a decent loading speed of 4 seconds or less is enough for your site to appear in the first Google results. You don’t have to dedicate 80% of your resources to optimizing your site’s speed, but speed has become an essential factor in search ranking.
That’s why optimization techniques help you eliminate the biggest problems that affect your website’s loading time. Once you have dealt with these main aspects, you can dig deeper to optimize each code piece.
But before you start the optimization process, check the current speed of the site. This way, you can get a benchmark and see where you start the optimization process. You can use some free tools like Pingdom Tools, Web.dev, or GTMextrix. They also identify the factors that make it difficult to load the site and offer you suggestions for improvement.
For a more detailed list of techniques and ways to speed up your site, you can check out my article on improving your website’s loading speed. A faster website will help you increase website traffic and have a lower bounce rate.
Voice search is the future.
Google’s voice search feature is the new SEO trend for 2020. More and more people are starting to search using their voice on Google, either for lack of time or because it’s more comfortable.
According to Google, since 2017, voice search has looked promising for SEO. At that time, there were over 33 million devices that performed such searches on Google.
Over 20% of teenagers use this feature when searching for something on Google, and in adult circles, the technique has been adopted by about 15%. These are pretty impressive numbers. So, if so many people are already vocally searching for various things on Google, this can be a great opportunity for your site to appear among the results.
Here are 4 quick strategies to implement when it comes to voice search optimization.
83% of the results Google provides to those who search using the Voice Search technique are excerpts from a site’s articles or page content. So, to make sure you’re present in the results, always write relevant and new content for your users.
Voice searches contain conversational words and are longer than normal searches. You might think that you should adopt a strategy in which you use long-tail keywords to adapt to your searches, right?
Well, Neil Patel says this is a mistake. Compound keywords are specific and are part of the search engine’s written search. However, voice searches tend to be more focused on questions.
So how do you optimize for them?
Look at the keywords that users use in writing about your business. Then think about how they talk about your website. What questions could they use? Moreover, ask for feedback from your users. Ask them to request information about you and your products and see which question appears most often on their list.
22% of voice searches are addressed locally. So focus on local queries when optimizing for voice searches. For example, a good optimization option for your restaurant would be: “Which restaurant is open now?” But is this the best approach for local queries?
Wouldn’t it be better to go to the next sentence? “Which restaurant is open now in zone X?” I think that this query will deliver better results for local searches.
Positioning on Google Maps
Users want fast results. 43% of them want to call directly when looking for something vocal. So a Google My Business profile with a visible phone number will lead you to great results. Also, 38% of users seek guidance for the location. So, positioning on Google Maps is also extremely important.
Quality link building.
Links were the first factor used by Google’s creators to establish the authority of a page. Based on the reason that “the more valuable a page is, the more other sites on the Internet will link to it naturally.” Because of this, they gave this element a significant weight in the ranking algorithm.
Over time, as technology has evolved and allowed more data to be processed, Google’s algorithms have been constantly refined, reaching hundreds of criteria today to determine a page’s relevance. Although challenged by many voices, links have remained a crucial ranking factor for Google. It is challenging to get and maintain good visibility in Google results without a quality link profile.
Brian Dean from Backlinko has an excellent video with 9 tips to help you build better links for your website. You can check it out below.
Focus on mobile devices too.
More and more users are accessing websites from mobile devices. According to statistics, over 50% of daily accesses come from mobile devices. For this reason, Google has decided that indexing should be on a mobile-first basis.
What does this thing mean?
It’s simple. The first indexed version of the website will be the one intended for mobile devices. So, it is essential that your site is optimized and designed for mobile devices.
How will Mobile-First be indexed?
Google bot will first analyze the version of the website for mobile devices.
Because most users access Google from their mobile phone, the first indexed content will be for mobile devices, and then for desktop.
If your website has separate URLs for mobile and desktop, mobile platforms users will see mobile content, while the rest will see desktop content.
The mobile version’s content will determine the general position in the SERP and the pages’ indexing.
If you do not have a mobile version of the site, Google will continue to analyze the desktop version in its absence. But, the place in the SERP will not be the desired one.
As websites begin to be indexed mobile-first, administrators will be notified via the Google Search Console.
Choose the right keywords.
A keyword analysis is one of the most important steps to take when doing SEO for a website.
Why? Because SEO revolves around keywords. Without them, search engines would not exist either. The process is simple: Users enter a keyword, and Google gives them relevant results.
Those relevant results are always pages on websites well optimized for those keywords. So, without such an analysis, you can’t actually do SEO and increase website traffic.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is the process of discovering and analyzing the terms searched by users on search engines, with as much volume as possible, but which have both relevance to a particular topic and appropriate competition.
So, it is not enough to find the terms with the highest search volume. They need to be relevant to your page and have adequate competition. Otherwise, the optimization process will be more difficult, and the results will be more difficult to obtain and will be unsatisfactory.
Keyword research is a complex topic and requires a separate in-depth article. You can subscribe to my newsletter, and you will be notified once I publish the keywords research article.
Analyze the competition, copy what is good, and avoid their mistakes.
A typical mistake in competition analysis starts right from the choice of competitors. You can go wrong by choosing either standard site for an industry that cannot be easily overcome. An example of such a competitor is a local news site vs. an international news site.
To avoid this mistake and to correctly identify the competing sites from which you can learn, the following steps apply:
- Assuming that a set of keywords has been chosen for which the site will be optimized, we will extract the first 10 of them in the search volume order.
- For each word, the first 20 results are extracted. This can be easily done manually or by using various online tools.
- After the procedure is repeated for each word, the results are stored in a table, and the sites that are repeated for more than 3 words are extracted.
- The large, generic sites (Facebook, Wikipedia, YouTube, Quora) are removed from the resulting sites, and the remaining ones are sorted by the number of occurrences for the selected words.
You will need to identify those competitors that are similar to your site. The evaluation criterion for this is the number of indexed pages. Following the analysis, you will have to keep 3 sites that are the most relevant.
Once the competition is established, you can move on to the next stage, which consists of extracting the specific SEO optimization techniques. You will need to analyze the design, UX, titles and subtitles, media files, meta tags, keyword usage, formatting, etc.
Optimization is a time-consuming process that requires constant tweaks and fixes. It is a process based on trial and error testing.
Final thoughts on how to increase website traffic in 2021.
After reading this article, you do not need to use all the suggestions recommended here. Try to remember to focus on readers and their needs, not necessarily algorithms.
One thing is sure if you want to increase website traffic. If you don’t focus on visitors, they will feel it and leave the site. Analyze what worked before and what doesn’t work now. This can be a good basis for optimization.
And remember that in SEO, things are constantly changing, and you have to adapt every day.