All websites need visitor traffic to succeed.  Organic traffic is the traffic for which you don’t need to pay.  Organic traffic mostly comes from Google search results.  The higher you rank in Google search results for the keywords you’re after, the more organic traffic you receive.  You don’t have to pay for a website visitor to find you via Google… or do you?

In this post, I discuss how to perform Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on a blog post to improve its Google search ranking for a keyword.  I also explain the other half of the ranking equation; namely, accumulating backlinks to your website to improve its domain authority.

Google Keyword Ranking Equation

Readers search for websites on Google by entering keywords associated with the information they want to view.  How high your web page ranks in Google search results is determined by a simple equation:

Your Search Ranking = On-page Keyword SEO + Domain Authority

Google ranks every web page being considered for a search result display according to two factors.  On-page keyword SEO determines how well a page has been associated with the keyword for which the user is searching.  If you’ve formed a strong association by performing SEO on your blog post, it will appear higher in search results.  Domain authority is a measure of how many websites are linking to your website.  It’s a collective vote of confidence from all the websites on the Internet declaring your site an authority.

To increase organic search traffic, improve your on-page SEO and your domain authority.

On-page Keyword SEO

Performing on-page keyword SEO involves inserting keywords into your post so that it will rank form them.  Actually, there’s a whole raft of things you can do to make the Google indexing bot happy about your page.

I offer a WordPress blog.  I’ve installed a plugin on my website to help me with on-page SEO named Yoast SEO.  This plugin prompts me to do all the things that Google likes to my blog posts to improve their search ranking.  Thinks include insuring the post is at least 300 words long, that the keyword I’m trying to rank for appears at the beginning of the post title, in H2 headings and enough times in the blog text.

Long-tail Keywords

It’s easier to rank for longer, multi-word keyword phrases than for a single popular keyword.  The theory is that you should attempt to rank for many less popular long-tail keywords rather than a single popular keyword.  The traffic resulting from ranking for many long-tailed keywords should be the same as the traffic for a single popular keyword.

Use Yoast SEO to perform on-page SEO on your blog posts to rank for less popular long-tailed keywords.

Domain Authority and Backlinks

Domain authority, represented by how many websites link to yours, is the other half of the Google ranking equation.  You can get other websites to link to yours through such things as guest blog posts and articles that you post on other sites and that link back to your blog.  The other alternative is to buy backlinks, but this can backfire on you if Google detects the practice.  So, don’t do it!

Organic Traffic Alternative — Buying Traffic

Note that performing on-page SEO for a keyword and building backlinks costs money… and time.  And time is money.  Additionally, it can take multiple months to build your domain authority to where it begins to influence your Google search result ranking.

The alternative is to simply buy your traffic.  In my case, I do both.  I buy traffic and use Yoast SEO to perform on-page SEO on all my blog posts.  I don’t invest in building backlinks.  I recommend you do the same.

I’ll see you in the classroom,