How can I increase my website’s traffic and search rankings?

This is the most common question I hear from potential and existing customers looking to gain an edge in search rankings and generating more qualified traffic.

And of course, no matter how I try, there is never enough time to sum up all of the SEO actions one can take to increase website traffic and search rankings.

For those who use WordPress, I simply recommend a few general settings changes and the installation of Yoast or All-In-One Webmaster plugins for starters.

Then there are those who have a static website that I recommend content marketing via blogs and articles.

And let us not be quick to forget or diminish the value of social media networks.

Out of all the thoughts previously mentioned, we are barely scratching the surface in addressing the 200+ search ranking factors.

In addition to fielding potential and existing customer SEO questions, I’ve personally had a chance to document the process for creating, developing and sustaining a few niche websites I’ve started in recent weeks.

I tried my very best to document 108 actions I’ve used and followed as my SEO guideline.

Using this exhaustive list of proven SEO actions, every small business owner (that’s you!) can execute these actions on an ongoing basis to increase website traffic and search rankings in hopes capturing qualified customers.

So if you’re ready, let’s get started!

Website Domains

1. Secure and develop keyword domains into value-add microsites that are specific to your line of business

2. Daily or weekly search expired domain auctions (i.e., NameJet, Snapnames, GoDaddy, or Flippa to name a few) for domains related to your line of business – you may find a few diamonds in the rough

3. Establish and commit to a 2 year plan to use microsites to generate more customers and revenue

Website Architecture & Management

4. Launch or migrate your website using a reputable and affordable web hosting service provider such as A2 Hosting, InMotion HostingBluehostGoDaddy, or Hostgator to name a few

5. Launch or migrate your website to use SSL now that its a ranking factor or search engines

6. Launch or migrate your website to a content management system (i.e., WordPress, Joomla, Drupal) for ease of management and greater scalability when it comes to automation

7. Launch or migrate your website to a responsive theme to ensure customers have an optimal user experience when viewing your website from mobile, tablet or desktop

8. Implement and leverage 3rd-party authentication provided by social media networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to replace your website’s native or out-of-the-box authentication

9. Plan your website architecture to be a tent pole or parent-child relationship when structuring pages and keyword links

10. If not using a content management system, develop an automated method to create an XML sitemap or RSS feed for pages of content you create

11. If you use a commenting system, be sure that you use one that allows for comments to be threaded and searchable unlike Facebook comments

12. Disable and remove trackbacks from blog commenting when using a CMS

13. Optimize your website to use rich snippets

14. If using a content management system, take full advantage of the available SEO plugins (Yoast or All-In-One-Webmaster if using WordPress) to boost search engines

15. Create a human-readable HTML sitemap file for visitors and a machine-readable XML sitemap file for search engines

16. Submit your website to search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo, to name a few

17. Remove all inline javascript and css, and deprecated HTML to tidy the codebase

18. When and where possible use server-side over client-side coding to increase performance

19. Use sprites instead of images to save on bandwidth

20. No-index,Follow pages that are irrelevant or have sparse content (i.e., contact us, terms and conditions, privacy, etc)

21 Minify javascript and css files or use Content Delivery Networks (CDN) to speed up website load time

Make use of a .htaccess or web.config file

22. To speed up website’s load time optimizing, caching or compressing files (i.e., png, jpg, zip, pdf, ppt, etc.)

23. To rewrite non search-friendly urls (i.e., products.php?id=123) to be search friendly (i.e., /blue-suede-shoes-123.php)

24. To redirect all www traffic to non-www web url to eliminate canonicalization, or the other way around; or use the canoncial meta tag

25. To block unwanted visitors, search bots or user agents that eat up your web hosting bandwidth

26. To secure directories and disable people browser directory as well as unwanted people snooping around certain web directories

27. To prohibit hackers from hacking your website with spam or taking down your website

28. To stop people from stealing or hotlinking to photos and using your website bandwidth

29. To 301 redirect or to pass the SEO juice from an old page to a new page or from an old domain to new domain

30. To create 404 redirect to customizable error page for broken or mistype urls

Content Marketing Strategy

31. Before you decide to make one post or page of content, develop an engaging and consistent content strategy and schedule that you can grow into and sustain over time

32. Write content for your customers first, search engines last

33. Create content that educates, informs, assists and helps, and keeps far away from self-promotion and selling a visitor

34. When writing EPIC content, build arguments based on telling a clear and concise story

35. Focus on creating evergeen content as opposed to chasing the news cycle of current events SEO

36. Once content is written, keep it up to date by content refreshing from time to time

Content Marketing Do’s

37. Do A/B test all aspects of your website and email content (i.e., subject lines, headings, images, linking, etc.)

38. Do use numbers, percentages, emotion, questions, and negative words as visitors are more likely to click to read how to solve pain over pleasure

39. Optimize your on-page content ensuring that you use the keyword once in page title, page url, page description, page sub headings, and image alt text

40. Do include a couple or few external links to reputable websites like Wikipedia, News sites, etc.

41. Keep your title less than 65 characters long and descriptions less than 160 characters

42. Aim to write page descriptions that are cliffhangers and force the user to click to ”find how or why…”

43. Use only one H1 header tag per page

44. Chunk or organize your content using header tags (i.e., H2, H3, H4, etc.) to make your content more easily read by visitors

45. Do include an opening and closing paragraph that are no longer than 5 sentences, and written in a clear manner to express what the overall content or post will/has discussed

46. Optimize images for search engines while using images to engage and entice visitors to read your content in its entirety

47. Optimize your pages with keyword variations and not the same keywords

Content Marketing Dont’s

48. Stop hiring SEO writers who do nothing more than spin articles

49. Stop stuffing and gorging content with the SAME EXACT keyword and keyword phrases

50. Stop creating and writing low-quality content and pages, and linking to/from low-quality websites to avoid search engine penalties

51. Stop believing that longer content or a specific number (i.e., 600, 1000, 1500, 2000, 3000+, etc.) is value-added content

52. Stop posting less than stellar content with gaping spelling and grammar errors

53. Don’t forget to include a simple call-to-action for the customer to act on for each content page and post on your website

54. Don’t pull the ole bait and switch move with headlines stating one thing and content being another

55. Don’t use content more than once, and remove or no-index content that is duplicate throughout your website to avoid search engine penalties

56. Stop using the keyword meta tag

Ideas for Types of Content

57. Take the 24-hour challenge to create an ebook to sell from your website

58. Create and post an EPIC list of to do items to help your customers earn more business (Hmm, sounds familiar…)

59. Create whitepapers and case studies of your customers or line of business

60. Create paid digital products that targeted for affiliate marketing use

61. Create a how-to guide or ebook to give away on your website when visitors submit their name and valid email address

62. Create and host a glossary of terms for your line of business

63. Create EPIC tutorial content and videos to host from your website for your line of business

64. Conduct interviews, posting content or podcasts of interviews online for your line of business

65. Create content that is a rebuttal to higher trafficked and visible content

66. Create weekly or monthly content round ups for your line of business

67. Create product and service review round ups for your line of business

68. Create a fully-detailed infographic that your customers can use as a how-to guide to take action on

69. Repurpose textual content into webinars, videos, or infographics to name a few

70. Offer limited guest posting and blogging for colleagues in the related business interests

71. Offer a bundled solution with partners of products and services that compliment your offering

Internal & External Linking

72. Participate in forums and blog commenting on websites with high page and domain authority WITHOUT SPAMMING

73. Include links to your website via your email, forum, blog and other digital signatures to boost traffic and search rankings where applicable

74. Optimize your internal link building to be semantic search friendly

75. Stop using site-wide footer links for city, zip and keyword phrase links

76. Create search-safe widgets, badges and banners to promote external linking to website

77. Create customized and searchable 404 error page

78. Be wise using internal and external blogroll linking – use at your own risk and discretion

79. Submit website to industry-specific directories and use general directory sparingly

80. Run far from link purchasing and exchanges of DO FOLLOW promising high PR or page rank values and/or those not related to your industry

81. Do buy NO FOLLOW links as they will not hurt your website’s search rankings and link building profile when not from low-quality sources

82. Stop buying links and content from network farms promising to boost search rankings

83. Stop buying commenting and linking services on Fiverr, UpWork, or Elance to name a few

84. Try organizing and hosting online and offline events that lend themselves to online registration as a way to build and increase your website’s link profile

85. Target linking to and from .edu websites by hosting or sponsoring events

86. Create web profiles for your business using Epinions, Yelp, CitySearch, or MerchantCircle to name a few, and encourage customers to leave reviews for each web profile

87. If an ecommerce website, implement a self-hosted daily deals section like Woot, BabyEarth, or The Unique Closet to name a few

88. Use press releases sparingly from,, PRNewswire,,,,, or to name a few

89. Submit or share content, links or tips to Slideshare, Help-A-Report-Out (HARO),,, Alltop, StumbleUpon, Newsvine, or industry-specific news sites

Social Media

90. Do cross promote between the various social media networks that you build and develop your profile upon

91. Use social media interaction sparsely throughout your website for pay-to-view-content or gating-content

92. Using Flare, AddThis, ShareThis or Sociable to name a few, add social media buttons to website inviting visitors to share your content with the masses

93. Only add Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Email option for social media buttons on website as too many options will cause less shares to take place

94. Link build by posting images and links to your content when posting on Social Media networks

95. Automate the process of posting content to social media networks (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.)

96. When using YouTube or Vimeo, be sure to add links to your website in the description of each video

97. Use services like Buffer, Hootsuite and SocialOomph to establish an automated posting and reposting of content

98. Host a contest or quiz on your website and use social media interaction to drive traffic and greater exposure to both your social media profiles and website

Research, Reporting & Analytics

99. Sign up for a web analytics account to measure website metrics and overall user experience using Google Analytics, Tend, CrazyEgg, Webtrends, or Clicky to name a few

100. Sign up for a webmaster tools account with Bing or Google to measure vital website health metrics in their entirety

101. Use and check webmaster tools for 404 errors, Malware or hacked website errors, and search penalties

102. Use keyword tools (i.e., Market Samurai, Long Tail Pro, HitTail, WordStream, Google Trends or WordTracker to name a few) to develop and identify keyword strategies for your content marketing plan

Marketing Automation

103. Implement a RSS to email plugin or service that will email newsletter mailing list when you post new content

104. Create a drip or automated email marketing system using Infusionsoft, GetResponse, ActiveCampaign, Aweber, Pardot, Marketo, or Eloqua to name a few

105. Implement self-hosted search functionality, tracking keywords and the number of times each is entered, to guide your content marketing and SEO effort

106. Sign up for Aweber, Mailchimp or Constant Contact and implement a opt-in form popup on your website to begin to build a newsletter mailing list

107. If you website has a sidebar or announcement bar in header or footer, implement and promote an opt-in form to build a newsletter mailing list

108. Promote the Refer-A-Friend or Tell-A-Friend feature, and social media networks via your newsletter


Whew! I’ve typed until I just can’t type anymore.

At least we all have a starting point to reference from time to time for sending those of us who dare to venture into do-it-yourself SEO, or those of us who simply want to specific and new ideas to execute.

I’m sure there are many more thoughts and ideas to be shared, so please don’t be shy or hesitant to comment below.

And by all means, please do take time to share with others you know who are struggling with their own SEO effort, or business owners or other internet marketeers venturing into SEO.

Until my next post, I’m going to ice my fingers and hands down, and pop an Aleve. I’m signing off…

Enjoy reading and referencing, and best of luck in increasing your website’s traffic and search rankings on you way to more customers and revenue.

Written by Alvin Brown
He's an experienced and passionate serial entrepreneur, founder and publisher of Kickstart Commerce. Alvin possesses a great love for startups dominating their market using profitable digital strategies for greater commerce.