5 Essential SEO Strategies to Boost Your Website Traffic (Why Your Blog isn't Ranking Part 3)

The reality is search IS evolving, but many of the core SEO strategies continue to stand the test of time. This post is part of a three-part series to help you improve your search rankings:

Part 1 | Simple issues with your branding & content which are easy-to-fix
Part 2 | Search is evolving, don’t get left behind!
Part 3 | Core SEO fundamentals you shouldn’t neglect

In Part 1, I shared the 1st reason your blog isn’t ranking and my top 8 (simple) tips to avoid rookie mistakes, develop your content strategy, improve brand awareness and increase your engagement – catch up here.

In Part 2, I helped you understand how search is evolving with four major new search trends and how you can use them to your advantage – catch up here.

Today I’ll guide you through the most important SEO fundamentals you need to be aware of and the actions you must take to improve your search engine rankings.

From qualifying traffic for more quality leads, to user experience and persuasive Calls-To-Action (CTAs), having a user-centric approach to SEO is just as important as it is to your other business operations.

I’ll also share 3 client stories with their real-life experiences of how using SEO impacted their businesses.

Boost Your Traffic With These 5 Essential SEO Strategies

Part 3 | Core SEO fundamentals you shouldn’t neglect

Neglecting core SEO is the 3rd reason your blog isn’t ranking. Find out below the vital SEO strategies which are standing the test of time and how you can use them to improve your ranking.

Neglect these SEO foundations at your peril!

1 | Qualify your traffic to gain more ideal clients

As your business grows, you’ll refine ways to qualify your clients. “Qualifying your clients” means making sure you’re the perfect match for your client and they’re the right match for you.

The earlier in your customer’s journey that you start qualifying your leads, the more ideal clients you’ll end up working with.

For many, the first point of contact is in search engine results (more on how to persuade them to click through coming up later in this post).

So how, exactly, can you use search engines to help qualify your traffic?

To target your ideal clients specifically, use long-tail keywords.

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Search engines can help you qualify your ideal clients when you use long-tail keywords. #SEOMadeSimple

When you only target short-tail keywords, not only is the competition higher, there’s a wider range of potential leads, some of whom will not be ideal.

For example, if I’m looking for a yoga retreat, but I’ve been practicing Iyengar yoga for several years, the short-tail keyword “yoga retreat” will cast too wide a net, showing me classes, beginner training, etc.

I’m likely to use Google auto-complete and type longer keywords, like: “Iyengar yoga retreats California”, “Iyengar yoga retreats [year]”, “best advanced Iyengar yoga retreat in California”, and so on.

By planning your content around long-tail keywords, you’re:

  • refining your audience targeting

  • reducing the keyword competition

  • qualifying your leads

  • figuring out blog topics

  • and ultimately, increasing the number of ideal clients reaching your website through organic search.

This means, as an Iyengar yoga center, you can cater to a range of ideal clients for each of your offerings, from beginner yoga classes to advanced retreats.

Pretty awesome, right?

  • Discover the REAL goal of your SEO – so more ideal clients find you online.

  • Free tools for keyword research & how to get the most out of them

  • How to write click-worthy headlines – for more click throughs & higher conversions.

  • Downloadable worksheets & cheat sheets

  • Short assignments so you’re taking real action

  • + much more! - all yours, FREE!

2 | Make sure your website doesn’t take longer than 5 seconds to load (and try to reduce it to less than 2 seconds)

Search engines rank faster-loading sites higher because a slow-loading site gives a poorer user experience. Getting pages to load in under 2 seconds is the industry’s desired goal.

Compression, caching, and coding recommendations tend to fall under advanced SEO, but there are simple actions you can take to improve your page speed.

Try this:

  • Remove or reduce the outbound links with PPC adverts – they also take your readers elsewhere and away from your business.

  • Optimizing your images is often the quickest way to speed up your page loading times (see below).

You can use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to check how your site is doing.

Why your images are slowing down your site

When you upload large image files, they have a negative impact your page loading time.

If you resize them within your CMS (content management system – WordPress, Squarespace, Wix etc.), this still slows your site down because the full-size images still have to load before your website coding resizes it.

Optimizing your images does mean a few extra steps in the blog preparation process, but the dramatic speed improvement (and extra traffic) is worth it!

3 | Get strategic with how you plan your blog content

It’s time to start looking at the bigger picture of where your traffic comes from, where you want it to come from, and the role your blog plays with SEO.

Have you realized just how integral your blog is to your web traffic?

Your website is available to potential clients around the globe 24/7 and the content you provide on your blog helps skimmers become readers and subscribers and, in turn, move from potential clients to paying customers.

Not only that, Google loves fresh content, but only if it’s relevant.

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The key to relevant content is choosing what serves your ideal clients, not what you think is best for them.

I mentioned this is one of my favorite tips in Part 1 of this series – when you write with your audience in mind your posts become value-packed.

Then you can start building lists of topic ideas and categories, researching keywords and developing your editorial calendar.

4 | Stop annoying mobile users!

Don’t infuriate your ideal clients (or get penalized by search engines), simply because your site isn’t optimized for mobile.

Check if your site’s already mobile-friendly with Google’s site-check – if not, you may need to invest time &/or money adapting it.

However, if you already use self-hosted platforms like WordPress.org and Squarespace, the vast majority of new themes and templates are mobile-friendly these days.

5 | Start persuading your ideal clients to click-through to your website

Getting into the search engine results is one thing, persuading browsers to click-through is another.

This is a crucial step often missed out by time-starved solopreneurs. But this 5-minute task can make the difference between a waiting list of ideal clients and crickets!

When you use your meta data and title tags strategically, then you can control how your content is displayed in search results.

Writing persuasive headlines may take some effort, but the sooner you start practicing, the quicker you’ll improve.

Editing the meta data and title tags of pages and posts gives you more opportunities to tap into your ideal client’s needs and desires while helping them discover the immense value you offer.

Real Life SEO Stories

Here are some real-life stories my clients have experienced with improved SEO.

As you’ll see below, organic SEO results typically take 3 – 6 months, not days. Organic search engine results show up immediately below the top three paid ads and in, or under, local pack and directory listings.

FYI When I mention my SEO Jump Start, it’s a customized service which covers the very basics of optimizing your main webpages – I teach these same techniques in my DIY program, SEO For Solopreneurs {new version available soon}.

Maintaining the #1 Position – Dr. Danielle Dowling

Dr. Danielle Dowling is a Los Angeles-based Certified Life Coach and Psychologist. She helps people live richer, more joyful lives and gain the financial, spiritual and lifestyle abundance they’re struggling to find.

Danielle initially hired me for a short SEO Jump Start in 2014. Since then, we work together a few hours each month on SEO, content maintenance and digital marketing strategy, to keep her business optimized.

I’m thrilled that Danielle continues to maintain a #1 organic position for more than 46 keywords and ranks on page one for over 130 phrases.

(Organic listings appear below the paid adverts, local pack and in this case, directory listings.)


$35,000 made from staying on top of my SEO

“Danielle is my SEO secret weapon – she’s hands down one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made for my business. I earned at least $35,000 during 2016 from organic search.

She is highly responsive, detail oriented, innovative and reliable. Not to mention she single-handedly helped to triple my overall website traffic in just under 3 months!”


Here are a couple of details and a screenshot of Danielle’s SEO statistics – in reality, that means Danielle has:

  • 2000+ more organic visits in May 2017 compared to May 2013

  • At least three to four highly-qualified leads reaching out to her every month

Results after the first 6 months: Overall traffic +317% and organic traffic +48%


Organic SEO May 2013 vs May 2017: +95%

While I don't want to give out the exact details of how much traffic my clients get, we're talking thousands of new visitors.

SEO for lifestyle (& corporate) wellness entrepreneurs – Katie Bressack

Women’s Nutrition and Wellness Coach, Katie Bressack, takes the struggle out of being healthy by providing 1-to-1 health and nutrition counseling and corporate wellness programs, workshops, and classes. She’s partnered with Fortune 500 companies in New York City and Los Angeles including Mattel, Digitas, Karl Storz, Publicis Modem and Prodege, as well as small and medium-sized businesses to bring health and wellness into the workplace.

Katie approached me to help optimize her website. After the initial 3-hour Jump Start service, I updated, cleaned up and refocused her SEO for this current year.

Double website traffic in ONE month

“Danielle is so amazing to work with. I’m so grateful for her assistance in getting my site searchable again! I reached out to Danielle for help with SEO. She did a Jump Start for my site and within a month my site traffic doubled and my organic site traffic was up too. I had more clients finding me through search and I finally feel like my site is working for me. I will continue working with Danielle and can’t recommend her enough!”

katie bressack health coach


Within one month, the initial results of the SEO Jump Start in May 2015: overall traffic +101% and organic search +1100%


Organic SEO 2017 vs 2016 results: organic search is up by +104%

Not showing up in search and you don’t know why – Tsitaliya Mircheva, Mums in Heels

Brand Storyteller, Tsitaliya Mircheva, founded Mums in Heels to provide a creative space for fashion, lifestyle and beauty adventures. Based in Switzerland, Tsitaliya has grown Mums in Heels to include expert guest contributors and a European team of editors, videographers, and stylists who help businesses tell their brand’s story.

While working with Tsitaliya, I quickly discovered that search engines were unable to index her website. Once this was remedied, I carried out a basic Jump Start to put the SEO foundations in place and developed her location targeting.

Within one month, organic search results increased by +778%.


So, there you have it.

The 5 core SEO strategies you need in place to start boosting your ranking and traffic:

  1. Qualify your traffic to gain more ideal clients

  2. Make sure your website doesn’t take longer than 5 seconds to load (and try to reduce it to less than 2 seconds)

  3. Get strategic with how you plan your blog content

  4. Stop annoying mobile users!

  5. Start persuading your ideal clients to click-through to your website

+ REAL results from my clients.

Remember, it can take up to 3-6 months for your SEO efforts to kick in – so the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll see results.

What changes are you going to make to help your search engine rankings? Tell me in the comments.

5 essential seo strategies to boost your website traffic


Danielle Zeigler

I'm Danielle, an SEO and Digital Marketing Strategist on a mission to help creatives and entrepreneurs harness their strengths, personality, and energy to easily + authentically market their work to exactly the people who need it.
I specialize in SEO and content marketing as ways to attract clients TO you. I'm extremely introverted, so I'm allll about the inbound marketing!