Google has been offering free advertising for a very long time but we're not sure if all our clients know how to get it, so let's dive into how to get free website traffic from Google.
As you know, Google has programs like Google Ads (formerly called Google AdWords) where you can create your own ads - either text or image, and have them point to landing pages on your website. This is a great way to get some instant traffic to your website - no doubt but you have to pay for it, of course. There are some special techniques you can use to ensure you get the best ad rates possible and Webstix can help with that.
But to get free advertising on Google, I'm not talking about Google Ads, I'm talking about their organic results!
Think about it... Google wants (needs) to give the best results possible. That means they need really good web pages to send people to. About 25% of searches put into Google are search phrases they've never seen before and, in an instant, Google needs to ascertain the intent of the search and send people to the correct list of websites with the best result at the top. The minute Google starts listing terrible results, people will switch to other search engines, so they need to stay on top of their game - that's important.
And that's where your website comes in. You need pages that are ready for Google to list. It's important to understand what a good result looks like to Google and this is the key to getting that virtually free traffic.
When we're talking to new clients about their website project, we're often asked if it's fine to just copy content or descriptions of products from other websites - like the websites of manufacturers. The answer is no... that's not the way to go. When you do that, you're doing exactly what dozens or even hundreds of other websites have done, so why would Google rank your website above those? They have no reason to.
You ALWAYS need original content.
It's not difficult to take a description or page and rewrite it, sentence by sentence and paragraph by paragraph. It just takes time and not a lot of thinking or research. That's one way to do it for sure.
Better yet, come up with your own content or hire a copywriter. If you hire a copywriter, yes you'll essentially be paying for your high ranking on Google but it's work that you do once that keeps paying you back with traffic. We've seen this happen over and over again.
This starts with good keyword research. You're looking for good keywords that are getting traffic but where there's low competition. Or the competition might be medium to high but if you can be a better result than other websites, you can rank higher. You're best off not starting with the absolute best keyword as your target but more "long tail" type keywords that have more words in them and each get much less traffic. The cool thing is, when you combine all the traffic you get from these kinds of keywords, you'll end up getting more traffic than the keyword you think is the best (which is the one with the most competition). Start with easier keywords and work your way to the harder ones. That's the strategy you want.
Another question we get asked is, how many words an article needs to have. Well, that depends on what your competition is doing but it's generally around 2000 words on a page (again... 100% original content). But you need to look at what your competition is doing, so if they have a great page of 2800 words, you better write 3500 words. You can get by with 1200 words on a page usually but shoot for 2000 for sure.
Articles / pages need to be engaging and keep people on them for a while. The writing can't be boring. It needs to be full of great information. You need to keep people hanging on, so as you go, mention that you'll be handing out more great secrets or tips later in the article.
Next, add in appropriate images (that look good) and videos (either your own videos or related videos from YouTube that are not your competition). Add links to high authority websites to help your website visitors.
Spend time on formatting. Create headings, bulleted lists, bold text, and so on. Make the page look easy to read and scannable so people can find what they're looking for. Going with a heading and bulleted list is something Google really loves (hint, hint).
After this, re-read your content and make some changes. You want to add in a few more, good keywords in your headings, image alt text, and meta description. Make the page title different from the heading 1 text. Add in more content that might be missing (related topics people might be wondering about). Remember, you want this page to be the authority on this topic. Ask others to review your article before you post it and ask for feedback/suggestions to make it better.
Another good tip is to look up your topic in WIkipedia. Look at the unique keywords on that page and then make sure those words (that are relevant, of course) are in your article/post. Google seems to use Wikipedia as a guide for ranking, so doing this is definitely worth the time.
Use a tool like Pingler to ping your post. Post your article on your social media accounts after you first go check to make sure it looks good (go here and paste in the article's URL). Ask your employees to like and share the article. Share the article again on Twitter each day at different times for the next week. Use good hastags.
Next, re-purpose that content by making a video and posting it on YouTube. Link to your article. Promote that video on social media and ask others to share it.
After you've done all this, you'll want to check your Google Search Console and Analytics accounts to see what keywords are being used for this article and start optimizing the article. Do this every week for the next, few weeks.
Does this sound like a lot of work?
Is getting all that work done free?
But, as I said, get that content ranking high and you'll see good traffic coming to your website and it's ranking you didn't pay Google for. They gave it to you for your hard work. That part is free.