TL;DR: Search Engine Optimization improvements can be achieved from valid document structure + excellent content + relevant keywords (in particular, long-tail keywords) + fast page load time (note that backlinks are not covered in this article)..
This post on Quora entitled "Which are the best SEO strategies?" is a pretty good example of some of the search engine optimization strategies one can execute in order to help drive traffic to a website. I've added some of my own thoughts below.
Of the 16 bullet points listed eight focus on document structure to some degree and this is very important -- develop a web page with a funky or broken structure and no matter how good it might look, it likely won't rank well and that means very few visitors for you :-(
What's interesting also is that the content not only needs to be well written but additionally keyword(s) specific to the page or post need to be present in certain places -- for example in the title, in the description, and in the first paragraph.
Long-tail keywords are search terms which entail three or more keywords and which are particularly important as they're both specific and highly relevant. A simple strategy for finding these is to just use Google, as demonstrated below -- anything with three or more keywords is considered to be a long-tail keyword; other ideas for long-tail keywords can be found by applying the same strategy to Bing and YouTube. Ahrefs and the Moz Keyword Explorer are two other options worth looking into.
See also the article entitled "Long‐Tail Keywords: The ‘Secret’ to Getting TONS of Search Traffic".
The trouble with SEO is that improvements never seem to come fast enough so for people who are new to this it's difficult to know if changes are working. One hint that you're on the right track is that you should see an upward trend in the number of impressions for the website changes being applied to in the Google Search Console.
Page Load Time
Finally, website performance load time is mentioned and I wrote about assessing this in under ten minutes in this article. The faster the better so if you're dumping money into a website to make it look beautiful but the content sucks and it loads slowly, the results will be predicable and, in this case, disappointing.
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- "Which are the best SEO strategies?", by Janja Jovanovic
- "Assess Your Website Performance in under Ten Minutes", by Thomas P. Fuller
- SEO Cheat Sheet #2: Page Speed & Image Optimization
- SEO Cheat Sheet #3: Long-Tail Keyword Crash Course
- SEO Cheat Sheet #4: Several Examples of Low-Hanging SEO Fruit
- SEO Cheat Sheet #5: Delay, Delay, Delay
- SEO Cheat Sheet #6: Linux and Apache Web Server Configurations for High Performance WordPress Websites
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