A keyword is the word (or words) that describe the content on your page. These can be singular keywords like “swimming” or long-tail keywords, which are combinations of words commonly searched together. For example, one of the main long-tail keywords for this article is “increase organic website traffic”.
If you’re trying to increase the organic traffic to your website, keyword research will play an important part. If you can rank on the first page of Google — and ideally in the top 3 results — for a keyword, you will bring in more targeted traffic. That is, assuming you’ve chosen relevant keywords for your target audience.
Semrush has a great article that details the different metrics you can use to determine which keywords to choose. But, essentially, you want to find keywords relevant to the service(s) you’re offering and have a keyword difficulty rating that aligns with your site’s authority. Generally speaking, the lower the keyword difficulty, the easier it is to rank higher for that keyword.
Don’t be afraid to go after low-volume keywords, as they usually signal higher buyer intent. Let’s use a fictitious Dallas, Texas-based tutoring company as an example. When searching for relevant keywords to distribute across their website, they might be tempted to go for “online tutoring” as it has a search volume of 6.7k and a traffic potential of 26k. However, this will be much harder to rank for and could bring in a lot of irrelevant website traffic from around the world. “Online tutoring in Dallas, Texas,” on the other hand, has a volume of 0-10 and a traffic potential of 250. It’s significantly lower, but you can be sure that everyone landing on your site from these keywords will be within your target customer base, making them more valuable leads.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a whole blog post in and of itself. So to keep this article from spinning out of control, we’ll keep it simple with five ways to optimize your website for SEO that will have a significant impact.
1. Add keywords throughout your site (including in URLs)
Take your list of keywords and add them to every page on your website (if they aren’t already there). Make sure to avoid keyword stuffing, though, which is the practice of inserting a large number of keywords into a piece of content to try and increase a page’s ranking. Don’t repeat words unnecessarily or force keywords into sentences.
A good tip to avoid overusing keywords is to create a list of secondary keywords that will help add detail and support your primary keyword. Going back to our fictitious tutoring company, examples of secondary keywords could be “Math lessons in Dallas” or “English tutors in Dallas.”
2. Optimize your title tags, meta descriptions, & alt tags
Title tags are HTML code tags that give a web page a title. In plain English, they’re the titles that appear in search results. Meta descriptions are the short text that appears under the title, and alt tags are the text that appears if an image fails to load or a website visitor is using a screen-reading tool. For SEO purposes, alt tags also help search engines crawl and rank your website.
In all cases, they should contain keywords related to the page theme. Title tags and alt tags are also good places to insert your service business’s name if the character count allows it. For your title tag, stick to around 60-70 characters for optimal SEO benefits.
Search engines often replace your meta description with a snippet pulled from the page’s text, but writing your own is still good practice. Keep it under 155 characters, include relevant information that connects to the page title, use an active voice, and make it actionable.
3. Increase page speed
47% of consumers expect a page to load in under 2 seconds. Anything you can do to increase page speed will help improve your SEO and increase organic website traffic for your in-home service business.
4. Optimize your website for mobile devices
60.9% of website traffic comes from mobile devices. Optimizing your website for mobile ensures you’re providing a good user experience for these visitors, which can lead to repeat visits and higher website conversions.
Most website builders have in-built mobile optimization tools that do the heavy lifting for you. Still, testing your website on several devices is a good idea to ensure the experience is consistent. A couple of things to look for include the following:
5. Build up your internal linking structure
For optimal SEO benefits, every page should link to at least one other page on your site — preferably more. For blog articles, that could mean linking to other articles within the copy (like this one) or cross-linking website pages, as we’ve done on our homepage.
Go back through your site and add relevant internal links (making sure to hyperlink words/phrases that give readers a clue where they’ll be redirected to). Once you’ve done that, make it a habit to add internal links to every new page before you hit publish going forward.
Refreshing old content on your website is a good way to increase organic traffic to your website. Why? It all comes back to SEO.
Refreshing content shows search engines that your site is up to date and, therefore, a relevant resource to display in response to search queries. On your end, it’s an excellent opportunity to ensure the keywords you’re optimized for are still relevant to your business and target audience. Depending on your website's size, you should aim to refresh content at least once a year, but a quick scan over once every six months is ideal.
Once you’ve refreshed content, remember to request a reindexing through Google Search Console so the Google algorithm can recognize your efforts!
Publishing regular blog posts is another way to update your site regularly. Blog articles are also a fantastic way to target keywords that will help drive traffic to your website.
If you’re not much of a writer or don’t have the time, consider hiring a freelancer to write content for you. Hundreds of sites out there will help you find writing talent — Linkedin’s produced a round-up of 21 of the best here.
Backlinks are links from one website to another and are a digital vote of confidence. They signal to search engines that your website is credible and should be shown to others.
You might naturally see backlinks increase as you rank higher in search results. For example, the backlink we just gave Linkedin above came about because they’re one of the top search results for the query “where to hire freelance writers.”
Another way to increase your backlinks is to reach out to relevant websites and propose a link exchange. For example, suppose our fictitious tutoring school wanted to increase backlinks. In that case, they might reach out to websites with content like “Best Tutors in Dallas” or “5 Benefits of Online Tutoring” and ask if they will add a link to their website.
As someone who receives a lot of link exchange requests, I have one piece of advice for you. Never email with a generic request to “link of my articles in one of your articles” — you’ll go straight to Trash. Instead, always include the page on your site they should link to and the article/page on their site that would make a good place for that link. Then propose a link from their site and the page you’d include it on, with the option for them to pick a different one if they prefer.
If you do the work of sourcing the link placement for the other person, all they need to do is drop it in rather than scour their website for a relevant article. In other words, it becomes a 30-second job that’s much more likely to be a quick yes, than a definite no.
While we’re on the subject of backlinks, regularly screen your site for broken backlinks that could harm your SEO. Ahrefs or Google Search Console are both good tools for finding broken links. If you find some, update them with new relevant links, and don’t forget if you ever delete a page on your site to set up redirects to the new one (or a similar page) to maintain the integrity of your internal link structure.
If you identify broken backlinks from another website to one of your pages, you can contact the website and let them know (with a new link they can replace it with), or you can redirect that broken link to one of your other pages.
Another effective way to increase organic website traffic for in-home service businesses is to create specific landing pages for each of your services. This allows you to increase the number of keyword-optimized pages on your site and help you rank for more relevant search terms.
If you look at the MarketBox website, you’ll notice that we don’t just have one page for in-home appointment and scheduling software. Instead, we have targeted pages for the industries that would benefit from the software, eg. In-home Swim School Software, Mobile Tutoring Software, In-home Veterinary Software, etc.
Schema markup (also known as structured data) is the code search engines use to read your page contents. While it’s not essential, it does improve the way search engines read and understand your website’s content, which can help you to bring in more organic traffic. It’s not impossible to do yourself, but if you have the budget, you might consider outsourcing this particular task to ensure it’s done correctly.
Lastly, if you want to increase your website's organic traffic, tell people about it! Places to include links to your website include:
Phew, that was a long one — are you still with me?
Increasing organic website traffic isn’t going to happen overnight, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see instant results. Keep chipping away at the list, and you should start to see results soon. If you’re overwhelmed with the amount of work to do, I recommend you start with keyword research and then focus on ensuring that those keywords appear on all your pages.
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