by Theodore Nwangene
Most bloggers and website owners dream of ranking in Google’s top 10 for their chosen keywords.
But only a few makes that dream a reality.
Worst of all, a lot of them are on the verge of quitting, because they’re sick and tired of not appearing even in the top 100 position in the SERPs even when they’ve done everything they could.
Tell me if this sounds familiar:
You think you’re doing everything right, yet, you’ve never gathered up to 1,000 unique per month, and only a few, or none of your posts are getting search traffic.
Here’s the thing…
…If none of your posts are getting anywhere from a little to a couple thousand search visits per month; then you’re absolutely doing something wrong.
The landscape of SEO has transformed dramatically in the last couple of years. Even as it transforms, a lot remains the same. So far, it has been quite challenging to see a lot of colleagues and friends approach me with their search engine optimization frustrations. Everyone keeps complaining about the same thing…
- I have a good looking blog
- I update my blog frequently
- I conduct keyword research before writing each post
- I add relevant images to my posts
- I added my primary keyword in the articles H1 tag
- blah blah blah.
After all these things, I don’t know why my content is never showing up in the search engines.
Unfortunately, this frustration often results in many people giving up on their quest to make money from the internet. The public sentiment of search engine optimization is never very positive. Everyone needs search traffic, but only a few understand how it works.
Now, if you’re among the people often complaining about not getting search traffic, bring your seat closer because I’ve got something interesting and helpful to share with you today. After reading this post, you’ll understand why your search traffic tanks, and what to do about it immediately to turn things around for the better.
If you’re ready…
…I’m ready too.
- You’re Not Targeting Low Competition, Long Tail Keywords
Search engines are certainly not the only source of targeted traffic, but they’re the best type of traffic anyone can get, and efficiently targeting low competition, long tail keywords in your content can tremendously increase your monthly search visitors.
What are long tail keywords?
According to WordStream, “Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to a point-of-purchase or when they’re using voice search. They’re a little bit counter-intuitive, at first, but they can be hugely valuable if you know how to use them.”
To further drive the point home, Neil Patel was able to generate over 173,000 qualified visitors from long-tail keywords in the past year, leading to a 91% increase in his traffic.
Even though your long-tail keywords may not rank on the first page of Google, and it’s true that 60 percent of all organic clicks go to the top 3 results in the SERPs, but that still leaves you with 40% of the organic clicks to leverage.
To me, any keyword that’s four words and above is long tail. Sometimes, 3-words keywords also fall into the same category.
You already know how fierce the competition is out there. If you’re just an average marketer with little to no money to throw on expensive backlinks, you’ll not be anywhere close to Google’s top 10 for your main keywords, that’s why a lot of people often get their hands burnt while trying to compete with the big guns.
So what should you do in this case?
…Target low competition keywords. These are the keywords that most of your competitors never knew existed. I understand that many people often ignore those keywords with 70, 50…..5 monthly search volumes, but believe me, that’s where the traffic is.
Imagine when you’re ranking for multiple numbers of such keywords; that’ll give you more traffic than you can ever handle.
So, how do you get this type of keywords?
It’s simple. Just visit your best keyword research tool and type in your target keyword. For example, I typed the keyword “survival life” into the popular keywordtool.io tool and below is what I got:
As you can see, I have lots of long tail keywords here that I can work. The next thing I’ll do now is to figure out their search volume. Unfortunately, I guess that the free version of keywordtool.io no longer show search volumes.
However, you can easily get that with the free version of Semrush or Moz Pro. Interestingly, these long tail keywords usually have low search volume, therefore, while carrying out your keyword research, pay attention to those “low-search volume,” low competition, long tail keywords. They’re golden.
- You’re Not Creating In-depth, Share-Worthy Content
Do you still remember the days when content quality and length didn’t matter much in the world of content strategy and SEO?
While you may hunger for those days of easier content creation, they are gone forever. Today, in-depth, high-quality, long-form content is critical to boosting rankings, attracting search engine traffic, and encouraging a healthy conversion rate.
However, with people’s attention span always reducing, and multitasking being the norm recently, inbound marketers have long agreed that short-form content is the best way to provide information to people without wasting their time.
Furthermore, people are always busy these days, and you’ve got to be brief to retain their interest – but when it comes to getting organic traffic and search engine ranking, this assumption is a total BS, long-form content works like magic.
As blogs have become widely-accepted as a good source of information, the competition for audience’s attention has skyrocketed as well. As a result of this, ranking higher on the SERPs is one of the simplest ways to get in front of your audience’s, which brings us back to long-form content.
What is Long-Form Content?
Typically, content that’s between 1,200 to 2,000 words is considered long-form. However, those numbers are dramatically increasing with 5,000 to 10,000 words becoming the current standard.
That’s far more than the traditional 300 to 700 words that we believed was the best practice back in 2013. Some years ago when inbound marketing was still new and not as widely-trusted as an excellent form of marketing, this practice was useful, but not anymore.
According to Pandu Nayak who’s technical staff member at Google, “Users often turn to Google to answer a quick question, but research suggests that up to 10% of users’ daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic. That’s why today we’re introducing new search results to help users find in-depth articles.”
The search engines not only seem to inherently love long content, but you’ll find an extra SEO benefit by writing a couple of thousand words with more backlinks. Of course, those extra backlinks will help you rank well in the SERPs, as well.
Interestingly, however, long-form content not only helps in the aspects of SEO but it also helps in boosting a sites conversion rate. For example, by writing actionable, long-form content, Crazy Egg increased their conversion rate by over 30%.
How did they achieve this?
They added about 20% extra content to their initial home page and boom! Conversion skyrocketed.
Below is the original homepage they called “control,” and the challenging homepage:
And here’s an excerpt from the post:
Apart from SEO and boosting conversion rate, well-written long-form content will also generate lots of social media shares.
The chart below says it all:
That’s from interesting content Buzzsumo posted on the OkDork blog. The content went viral immediately it went live, and it did not only generate lots of shares across various social media platforms, but it also received more than 1000 backlinks.
That’s the type of result you can get with an in-depth, long-form content.
However, before you hurry back to your content management system with your newfound strategy, thinking with all certainty that if you dish out 3,018 words of content about how to grow a long, healthy hair in four weeks, you’re going to appear on the first page of Google. Bear in mind that it’s never guaranteed that you’ll rank well just by writing long-form content.
Here’s the point: Search engine algorithms take note of different factors before ranking a web page. Of course, I could go on and list all the factors here, but that is not exactly what this post is about.
But, you have to also focus on quality. If you spend 10 hours writing mediocre 5000-words content because you read on the Mostly Blogging blog that long-form content will boost your ranking, you’ll end up shooting yourself in the foot, because your ranking will be worse than it was.
Furthermore, while writing this type of content, ensure your blog is well designed, and your pages are rightly formatted for conversion. This is because having neat and attractive web pages will equally boost your website’s user-experience, which of cause is one of Google’s ranking factors.
Talking about a well-formatted content, take a look at this post from the Home Products HQ blog, see how beautiful it is? That’s what I’m talking about. Now, if you browse through the site, you’ll notice that almost all of their blog posts are also beautiful.
Finally, high-quality, long-form content will increase the likelihood of your website ranking for relevant terms. And that’s the most important thing.
- Your Content Is Not Well Organized
When you first created your blog, it’s easy to overlook “small issues” like information architecture. But when you grow the blog from 10 to 10,000 pages and more, the need for organization becomes a bit more critical.
Your content’s organization will often define how good your site’s internal linking is, and how easily accessible it is when other websites referenced it.
Another aspect that search engine optimization experts often have a hard time talking about is the concept of a “shallow architecture” vs. a “deep architecture”. Your information architecture consists primarily of the internal linking structure of your site (or how the pages link together) and your blog’s URL, and the organization of categories and subcategories in that URL.
Everyone has his own opinion here as usual, but most people will agree with me that organizing and describing your blog posts effectively is among the top SEO priorities.
So what should you do about this?
Simply ensure your pages are properly structured and organized so that search engine robots will be able to easily understand what each page is talking about. This can be achieved by adding each content to relevant category, and subcategories.
- You’re Not Properly Optimizing Your Images
This one is pretty easy.
A lot of people think that by just adding lots of rich media to their blog posts, it will boost their search ranking as stated by the experts. While it is highly advisable always to add images to your content, they won’t do you much good “search ranking wise” if you didn’t optimize them for the search engines.
Optimizing your images properly will affect your search engine rankings in two ways:
- You’ll most likely generate traffic via Google’s image search
- It’s a great way to tell Google what your primary keyword is
Below are the only three ways you can optimize your images:
- Add alt text as [keyword phrase]
- Before you upload your image to your site, save it as [keyword-phrase.png]
- Add title tag as [keyword phrase]
That’s about it.
- Your Site’s Loading Speed Sucks
Downtime is expensive, but a slow loading website is sometimes even worse because the problem can go unidentified much longer. There is nothing more aggravating to a large marketing campaign than a slow loading website.
A fast loading blog is often the foundation for powerful online marketing. It’s no secret that people want things done faster these days, or that a slow loading site increases bounce rates, which also affects search engine ranking.
Apart from frustrating users and sending poor engagement signals to Google about your website, a slow loading site will also hinder Google from discovering important pages, and equally impact how well your site is crawled.
Unfortunately, these can cause crawl path problems and have sections or pages of a website drop intermittently from the search index. These drops can be demoralizing after many months of positive engagement metrics and proper indexation to reach a top position.
What you should do?
Regularly test your site loading speed, and monitor downtime with tools that will minimize these issues. When you’ve worked so hard to attract people to your site with all your organic marketing efforts – don’t keep them waiting, they’ll just go to the next site and tell Google that you’re not worthy of ranking.
If you’re still finding it hard to get search engine traffic on your website, pay close attention to all the reasons I mentioned here, and you may be able to figure out why your site is performing poorly on the search engines, and how to fix it.
Author Bio: Theodore Nwangene is a marketer, Freelance Writer, and a publisher. I’ve created lots of successful blogs for the past 8 years. Right now, I just created a new one called IM Views. On this blog, I will share with you all the things I’ve learned about making money from the internet for the past 8 years. It’s going to be like something you’ve never seen before. So, please stop by and say HI to me.
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