SEO for engineers: 5 ways to increase website traffic
Has traffic to your engineering website become stagnant? Or perhaps visits have always been poor? There are many ways you can increase traffic to your website, however, some can be costlier than others. SEO is a cost effective long-term solution that when done right, will drive more quality traffic to your engineering business website.
In this post, our engineering SEO specialists will outline 5 ways engineers can use SEO to increase website traffic…
1. Keywords based on your services / products
Incorporating keywords into your content is a must. It’s important to find the words and phrases users are typing into Google when they are searching before they make their way to your website. So how do you tackle this keyword research?
Here are 3 ways to effectively perform effective keyword research:
- Start by reviewing your analytics to discover which keywords are already driving traffic to your website. This data will help you find related keywords or will prompt you to build additional content based on these terms.
- Use keyword research tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner to find search terms that yield decent monthly searches without being highly competitive. Read our blog on the top 5 free keyword research tools to find out which one is best for you.
- Examine your competitors’ top-ranking pages to find out the keywords they’re focusing on.
Ensure long tail keywords are used as part of your keyword strategy to bring in more targeted visitors to your website.
2. OnSite SEO for your Engineering website
You should consider all onsite SEO factors for your website including page speed of your web pages and resolving technical issues that can affect the ranking of your website. By optimising the user experience on your website, you are more likely to convert your visitors and increase your rankings on search engines like Google.
Making sure your keywords appear naturally within content is most important- included them in your page title, headers, sub-headings and also within the introduction and conclusion paragraphs are key onsite factors for ranking.
3. Correct Use of meta data
Meta tags, including the page title and meta description, are fundamental for SEO. They act as a summary for the page content, giving users an idea as to what to expect if they click through to your page. It also gives you additional opportunities to include your keywords. The better and more relevant the meta title and descriptions, the higher the click-through rate you should have.
Ignore meta keywords- Google has made it clear that they don’t give any SEO weight to these so don’t waste your time.
TIP: Meta titles should be kept to 70 characters, while meta descriptions 160 characters (including spaces).
4. Good use of images
Image optimisation can go a long way in increasing traffic to your website, as well as making pages and blog posts more attractive and interesting to look at. Here are 3 ways you can optimise images for SEO:
- Image file name – Include your keywords in the name of the image and avoid default names such as IMAGE001.jpg; Keyword rich file names will help search engines determine the relevancy of the image. Search engines are text based, therefore if you upload an image of electrical switchgear but call it ‘image’, Google will not know to show your image in the results for electrical switchgear.
- ALT tag- Standing for ‘alternative’, the ALT tag of an image tells search engines that an image is present and also acts as a guide for the image’s content. The ALT tag will display when an image cannot be shown or it’s taking a long time to load. ALT tags should be descriptive but also short. Similar to image file name, keywords in the ALT tag will help make the page it’s featured on more targeted.
- Image size - After Google’s Panda update, image size has become more important than ever; page loading time has become an important factor within their ranking algorithm and large images will slow down your page speed, hindering your organic ranking. Before uploading an image, try compressing it to reduce the size as much as you can without affecting the visual quality.
5. Link Building
Link building is highly influential when it comes to SEO and it is an aspect that is always evolving. The importance of having high quality backlinks to your website is at an all-time high as search engines such as Google rank high authority websites higher on SERPS.
Here we’ll outline how you can build links in two ways, via linking internal content and using external sources:
▸ Content interlinking
Good practice is to link related pages and blog posts within your website. Interlinking should entice your readers to spend more time on your site and should, therefore, help page rank and send more traffic to those pages. For example, if you have a blog post where you talk about the effects of data centre downtime, you may want to link it to another blog on how to increase data centre uptime.
Remember it’s about quality not quantity- it’s not the number of links that’s important, it’s how the content is structured and how well the user is guided through the information to ensure they stay on the page.
TIP: use keyword rich anchor text when creating internal links- this will help these pages perform better in search engines for the anchor text keywords.
▸ Gaining backlinks
If you create excellent and engaging content on your blog which ranks highly, you have a good chance of gaining backlinks from other websites who may quote your content or back up their own opinion using your content.
For engineering websites, it is essential that you get linked by accredited associations that you are a member of as they are considered as high quality links.
Online engineering directories and engineering blogs are also good for getting backlinks to your website.
When building links to your website, remember to keep them relevant, so for engineering companies, the majority of backlinks from your website should come from engineering related sources.
▸ External linking
Including trusted outbound links on your site not only helps search engines decipher your category, but it helps the authority if your site which plays a vital role improving your SEO.
External linking to trusted sites will also help your readers see you as a credible source of information. Try to link to reliable sites that fall into the same category as you, like for exam theengineer.co.uk or engineering.com.
TIP: If you’re unsure about the authority of a website you’re linking to, use a ‘nofollow’ tag so you don’t pass your page and search engine rankings onto them.
Things to avoid?
▸ Don’t keyword stuff
Have you ever come across a page that looks super spammy? Perhaps something like:
“Joe’s cheap broadband is the best cheap broadband you can get. Contact us now for cheap broadband.”
Overusing, or keyword stuffing not only irritates readers but it also upsets search engines too. Google Panda will pick it up in no time and you’ll tumble down the rankings at lightening speed. Google is looking for a fluent text that’s well structured and nicely written.
TIP: Instead of repeating your keyword numerous times, use synonyms when possible. Google is now smart enough to recognise them.
▸ Don’t buy links
Paying for backlinks, link schemes and hiding links are actively penalised by search engines, and they put a lot of resources into detecting them. If you’re caught carrying out either of these practices, your ranking will plummet so far that your website might as well not exist.
Although SEO is a cost effective solution to your website traffic issues, remember that it’s a long-term one. You won’t see results overnight- it’s a slow burn. Be patient and quality traffic will in time, come.