One of the most important things you can do to improve your traffic in a sustainable way is to work on your SEO or search engine optimization. While there is a lot to say about SEO and some things are always changing, the basics will be enough to get you by.
It all starts with keywords. These are the words and phrases your customers type into their favorite search engine to find what they are looking for. Your goal is to optimize various pages on your website for some of those keywords. Choosing the right ones is your first task. Don’t go for board main terms like “vegetable gardening”. You don’t know what exactly this person is looking for and it will be hard to rank for a general term like this. Instead, your goal is to choose a few good long-tail keywords like “why are my tomato plant leaves curling” for example.
One of your best sources for these types of phrases is Google. Head on over to google.com and search for something you know your customers are looking for. Then look at the suggested searches at the bottom of that page. Keep trying and keep looking through those suggested searches until you find something that’s a good fit for you and your visitors.
Your next step will be to create a piece of content around this keyword phrase. Use it in the title, the url, and the meta description of your post. Sprinkle the phrase and related phrases throughout your content. Do the same with the names and alt-tags for images you use. Most importantly though, write the content and the alt tag description for your future readers, not for the search engines. In other words, create quality content that earns your audience’s trust. Working in the keyword should always be a secondary concern.
Why? Because no amount of traffic will do you much good if the people who make up that traffic don’t become your customers. Once you have your draft written, it’s time to start thinking about links. You want to link from this post to one or two older articles or blog posts on your site. It’s also a good idea to link out to a trusted source or authority site. Going back to our plant example, you could link to a university article about treating tomato diseases for example.
Take another look at everything you’ve put together. If it looks good, go ahead and hit publish. You are almost done with your basic SEO. There’s one more piece of the equation - incoming links. You want to link from a few older pages on your site to this new content. Then go out and link to it from social media posts. Create a few pins, write a couple of tweets and Facebook posts. Send some social signals to encourage the search engines to index this new content. Then sit back and wait. With a little luck, the traffic will come.