Marketing is a numbers game, and one of the most important numbers is the amount of traffic to your website. If you don’t have visitors, then you won’t have prospects. So the question is, how do you increase traffic?

Some companies turn to search engine optimization (SEO) professionals. These very smart, successful companies earn their living managing comprehensive SEO programs for clients. Using a complex process, they create a steady stream of content and links to improve the visibility of their clients sites on key search engines.

But what if you are a small business with little or no budget to pay an outside firm to manage your SEO. Can you still compete for search rankings? Absolutely! While you may not dominate nationally, for every keyword, there are a number of simple tactics you can apply which will significantly improve your rankings.

  1. Blog, Blog, Blog – The steady stream of fresh, keyword rich content provides Google and other search engines new reasons to come back and index your site regularly.  It will attract links, and reasons for human visitors to return again and again.
  2.  Create titles and tags for humans and search engines
    Short, catchy title tags, which pique the curiosity of the potential reader in the RSS feed or on social media are essential. However, search engines will also look for the title to include key words. I keep a list of key words near my computer, to remind me to include terms like “Indianapolis social media” in each blog post  (OK, so that was shameless). You can also use tools like Scribe,  OvertureWordTracker & KeywordDiscovery to see help you adjust your titles and posts
  3. Share the Limelight with Guest Bloggers –  By offering spaces on your  blog for others to share their content, you win in several ways. First, everyone has their own friends, fans and followers. When they write a guest post, they will bring an audience of people who may not be familiar with your site.  Second, the mix of voices and content creates a more interesting experience for visitors.
  4. Add Multimedia – Add pictures, video and audio clips to your site. The mix of media will appeal to different audiences. Interesting pictures, charts and graphs will often draw a reader in to a post. If you use images, be sure to take the time to label pictures correctly so they show up in search as well as your text.
  5. Use Tags and Categories Wisely –  Consistently using the same tags and keywords to organize content will make it easier for search engines and humans to find what they are looking for. The more often the keywords appear (not all on one page), the more authority you begin to develop around that topic

Battling your way to the top of page one requires consistent effort. You won’t land there with one great post, but you can create a path to your business with a series of good ones.

Roundpeg is an Indianapolis marketing firm.