Knowing how to get more blog traffic is the first step to making money blogging. These blogging tips will help online writers build a steady steam of readers — these tips include search engine optimization info from online marketing consultant Dan Lozano of WebVisible, Inc. His SEO tips are effective and easy, so if you want to increase your blog readership, keep these tips handy!
Before the blogging tips, a quip:
“Every writer I know has trouble writing.” ~ Joseph Heller
Something tells me Heller didn’t realize how online writing or blogging makes writing even more complicated! To learn more about writing for the web, read Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works.
And, here are Lozano’s ways to get more blog traffic for both beginner and established bloggers…
How to Get More Blog Traffic – 13 Blogging Tips for Online Writers
These steps will improve the chance that surfers find your Web site or blog, which will increase the money you earn as a blogger…
1. Understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing Web site content and structure in order to improve ranking position in the organic results of search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, MSN Live and Ask.com. Generally, the higher a listing appears on the search engine results pages (SERPs), the more Internet users will see it and visit the Web site or blog. Each search engine’s algorithm is different, and SEO can be a very complex, time-consuming (and often expensive) undertaking.
2. Know – and use – relevant keywords. What types of words would someone use to describe the content on your Web site or blog? What types of words would they use to try to find your blog post? Figure out what these are, and use them in your editorial content (but don’t overdo it because search engines are on the lookout for keyword “stuffing.” Online writers need to balance good writing with getting more blog traffic).
3. Find the single most important word or key phrase. Here’s a simple exercise to help quickly and easily focus on the most valuable keywords for your particular content, product or service: What is the SINGLE WORD that would describe the content? Next, select three words to describe what someone would learn from your article or content. Try to use these words in the H1 (heading) of your Web page and in the content of the blog post. This is another tip for search engine optimization that will help you promote your blog.
4. Explore Google Sets. A cool tool to help determine a short list of related keywords from a few words is Google Sets. For Web pages, commonly misspelled words can be valuable terms for use in the Meta tags, covered below.
5. Keep your blog up-to-date. Regularly edited pages have higher relevancy than stale old pages. Search engines will visit changed pages more frequently than unchanged pages. They will cache updates faster, giving the content higher placement in the SERP. To get a steady stream of blog traffic, make time to edit your old blog posts.
6. Remove or update all outdated information on your blog. Check your site monthly for old or expired content, broken links, or tired information and replace it with updated content. Another blogging tip is to add a footer, such as “This page was last updated on <date>,” at the bottom of your content pages, or make sure a “posted date” appears on your blog. It’s important to show readers when the content was created.
7. Build content and cross link your blog posts. A continually growing page count will boost your organic (free) results, so add content to your blog regularly. Search engines also consider the amount of inbound and internal links to content relevant to the keyword the searcher uses. A regular cross-linking strategy can therefore improve your SERP results….so make friends with other online writers!
8. Socialize with other writers through Twitter, forums, Facebook, etc. Develop a relationship with companies related to your site and industry, as well as other bloggers or online writers. Encourage them to link to your content. Find resources your readers would use and link to them. Link only to sites with relevant, high-quality content.
9. Post on related forums and blogs with similar types of content, especialy if they offer links back to your site. This increases your back links, which will help you get more blog traffic. And, forum posts help the search engines understand that your site is popular and influential, which will increase search engine optimization rankings and boost traffic to your blog.
10. Learn the PageRanks of each page on your site. Read about PageRank and what it means to your site by doing a search for more information. This information is valuable to you if you are getting links from other sites, since pages with higher PageRank will provide more ‘juice’ to the pages they link to. ‘Juice’ travels from the linking site to the linked site. (Updated blogging tip: PageRank has become less influential as a way to get more traffic, so this step is low priority.)
11. Don’t ignore your blog tags. Although not as influential as they once were, Meta tags are off-page text content that help the search engines understand and rank your pages. Add Meta Title, Description, and keyword tags to all your site pages. Make sure your Meta tags are unique from page to page to match your visible content and emphasize your best converting keywords.
12. Describe your images briefly in the image Alt tags. To get more blog traffic, use your most relevant keywords in a natural way. Good online writers can insert keywords that are nearly invisible to the reader, yet highly effective. Some very nondescript pages have been known to rank consistently in the top three for organic search results using little else than this one technique. Also, use captions with your images that contain keywords.
13. Avoid splashy graphics for headlines or fancy text. Text built as graphics can look nice and splashy, but if they are keywords, they should be built as plain text…otherwise they are invisible to the search engines.
Thanks, Dan Lozano, for these blogging tips for online writers!
Fellow scribes, if you have any questions or comments about search engine optimization or getting more blog traffic, fire away below…
If you’re looking for a new theme, read Tips for Choosing WordPress Blog Themes.