Jump starting a blog takes both creativity and commitment. You have to make sure to dedicate time to generating material that people not only enjoy but also find value in, especially for your subject of choice. Call it “pretty privilege”, but good quality is sure to help you secure attention from a potential loyal audience.
Armed with your words and the want to be seen—you now would like to brave the expanse that is the internet, hoping that the gods of search engines smile upon you and put you on the first page of Google. We hear you, we know it’s why you’re here, and we’ll get to that. Much like your average house plant and the average narcissist, a blogging website thrives on visibility and receiving constant attention.
Before you worry about your site being seen, however, it’s important to make sure that your blog content is high quality, and here’s why.
Related: How to Start a Blog and Get Paid
Content Is King: Why you should focus on high-quality content
There are three important factors in digital marketing: visibility, engagement, and conversion. These three go hand-in-hand, and digital marketing works best when these three synergize. You want to get attention, keep the attention you get, and make sure that attention is converted to achieving a certain goal, wherein a visitor completes a desired action.
It’s no different from running a blog or a website. While generating traffic is important, quality material is of equal priority. But quality is more than just about being pleasant to look at, nor is it just about blog posts with immaculate prose. Quality is found in something that visitors can engage with; blog posts that pique their interests and keep their attention.
In order to keep a reader absorbed, content should be made with the reader in mind first and foremost. New content should be written with the express purpose of giving really helpful tips, solving problems, answering questions, and providing actionable information.
Excellent content use can help make sure your website stays alive, but remember—it isn’t the end all be all. Once you’ve got your new blog up and running, you are also going to have to increase blog traffic on your site along with keeping content up to par.
After all: what’s the use of high-quality content on your blog posts if you can’t give it visibility?
So what do you need to make sure your blog posts attract visitors? Three words: Search Engine Optimization.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is essentially optimizing your written work to make it easy for people to find them using search engines like Google. Think of it as a fashionable set of clothes—while your blog can be attractive on its own, some good dressing can help make it more noticeable. In this case, a blog post with good SEO can rank higher on a search engine results page.
It’s doable to optimize your blog on your own, but using tools is always a good idea for bloggers and can help Google notice your work better.
Invest in SEO tools that make the most out of your content
Getting on the first page of Google Search results isn’t a question of luck. The only virtual deity that you need to appease is the search engine’s algorithm itself, and you aren’t required to have a sacrifice.
So if a blogger such as you want their site to increase blog traffic and visibility, take a page out of our book: use an SEO tool.
Why use an SEO tool?
Well, for starters, Google takes into account a variety of factors that the average blogger should keep in mind: keywords, quality, link building, site speed and performance, meta information, and others that we will touch on later. Taking these into consideration at all times is doable, if not a little time-consuming; however, this may not be the case for long.
SEO as a method of digital marketing is constantly evolving. It has a lot of rules that are still subject to change. As an example, keyword stuffing, or the repeated use of keywords in a single page to the point of a decrease in quality, was a common method of gaming search engine results. Algorithms have since become sophisticated enough to differentiate quality work from ones propped up by repetitive keywords.
Using an SEO tool can help you keep up with said evolving rules, allowing you to focus on managing your site and making quality blog posts with good on-page SEO.
So if you’re looking for SEO tips, one of the most important is to get yourself one of these bad boys:
There are many more to choose from, and it’s up to you to see which one can help you optimize your blog posts.
Now that we know there are things you can relegate to a good SEO tool, it’s time to see what you can do to spruce up your page.
SEO Best Practices: How to increase the visibility of your blog by doing SEO
Spending cash is an option to get a search engine to favor you, but not every blogger is looking to spend. Even if you are, those funds are better relegated elsewhere.
When you’re writing up a blog post, here are a few SEO tips to help get your site on the first page of organic search results so that the internet can see you even without additional expenses on your part.
We’ve brushed up on optimizing content use and quality. Now let’s dive in deeper on other SEO best practices that you can use.
1. Have a content strategy in place.
Before writing down your blog post, you should think about what to write, why you’re writing it, and how to write it. This helps you build a solid foundation for your site and ensures that your content will flow smoothly.
The first thing to keep in mind is to have content pillars. This refers to the categories of topics or themes that formulate the base of your content strategy.
Pillars represent relevant topics for your target audiences, which you can then dissect into smaller pieces of topics, each to use as a subject of a different post, helping you generate more content. A specific content pillar can include different content types outside of blog posts, like videos, infographics, and even social media updates.
As an example, imagine creating a site with the aim to attract the nerd/hobbyist demographic. Your content pillars can be any of the following: collectibles, video games, print media, shows and films, and events. These pillars themselves can be divided even further for more specific topics that your page visitors can enjoy.
Once you’ve chosen your demographic and content pillars, the next thing to add to your strategy is keeping your content “evergreen”.
What is evergreen content?
Keeping your content evergreen is making sure your posts are as timeless as possible. While not every topic and keyword can remain relevant forever, there are ways to write a blog post that will attract traffic even after some time. Types of posts that can be evergreen include those that:
- Answer common questions
- List or rank particular items in given categories or topics
- Can be used as a guide for a particular activity
- Can function as useful tips
- Case studies
Not only does Google love these sorts of posts, but also it helps establish you as an authority on your chosen subject and could lead to your post being shared far and wide across the internet into your target audience’s social media page.
2. Conduct keyword research.
Whether you like it or not, keywords are an important part of SEO. So making sure you’ve got the right ones at the right amount is important.
This means you’re going to have to busy yourself with keyword research. This helps you find your target keywords to use when writing a post about a particular subject, helping you boost your keyword rankings and making it more noticeable to potential visitors.
We’ve briefly discussed keyword stuffing and why it isn’t up to search engine standards, so it’s understandable to have some aversion to tips such as this. But there’s no need to worry: Google recognizes quality, so as long as you regulate your keyword use properly to the point that it sounds natural, you’re not only in the clear, you’re more likely to get increased traffic.
So remember: do your keyword research, use a liberal amount of said keywords on your page, but not to the point that it bogs down your material.
3. Write for your readers, not search engines.
We’ve been telling you how important search engine optimization is for a bit now, but always remember that search engines are not your target audience.
As mentioned earlier, readers should be your priority as great material helps establish your page and engage the people who come to you. So yes, traffic is important, but making readable and comprehensive content can ensure that you can retain the attention you get.
Bonus points if your post can get shared. Consider adding a call-to-action at the end of your post to encourage your audience to spread it around.
4. Craft strong, attention-grabbing headlines.
Blog post titles play a bigger role than you may think. Though you don’t want to be clickbait-y when it comes to your title, making sure that it commands attention enough to lure in visitors to your page is essential.
Titles are the most visible part of your content, so be sure to include the right keywords to enrich SEO. Make sure your titles let visitors know what they’re getting into.
5. On-page SEO: Optimize on-page.
On-page SEO refers to optimizing both your content and HTML source code of your page. Aside from creating quality content, optimizing on-page refers to utilizing the following things:
- Title Tag. Tells a search engine what your page is about and that it is relevant for the given keyword.
- Meta Description. Much like titles, can utilize keywords, but functions more as a teaser of the content of a page, helping entice readers.
- Headings. The main header serves as the page’s subject line and also affects how a search engine ranks your page. More headers can help divide your post into sections.
- URL & Structural Data. Keywords in your URL and page structure are also computed by search engines.
6. Optimize your images (alt-text and file name optimization)
Believe it or not, even your images can contribute to your visibility. Every image has an alt-text and file name, so adding keywords here can contribute to being favored by search engines.
As an added note, alt-text contributes to accessibility, as people who use screen readers can hear what is in the image.
7. Invest time in internal linking.
Internal linking refers to a link on a page that directs to another page within the same site. This helps boost those keywords internally for those pages, allowing a user and a search engine to navigate your site.
8. Build backlinks to your posts.
Backlinks are links from one website to a page on another website. Search engines consider these as votes or badges of honor and can help increase your search engine ranking.
If you have other sites, like a social media page, link back to your blog to add extra credit to your SEO.
This is another reason why you should improve your blogging—great content makes your blog article more likely to be shared. The more your post gets around on the internet, the better your page looks on paper.
9. Update old articles with fresh content.
Part of keeping your content evergreen is routinely updating it. Just like us humans, a blog’s freshness depreciates, and this affects your quality score.
So updating your old content has the added boost of keeping it relevant with new information, allowing you to replace broken links with new ones, and also tells search engines that your content is new.
10. Encourage comments and discussions.
Again, engagement is important. You get added SEO points for having posts with multiple comments, as it shows that people spend time on your pages.
Outside of engaging material, encourage comments by using simple call-to-action phrases at the end of your articles.
11. Optimize for speed and mobile.
More and more people use their mobile devices to view content, and your blog is not going to be an exception. Optimize your site for mobile to appease the average cellphone user. Failing to do so may cause you to lose readership, as slow speeds can turn away visitors.
12. Promote your content.
There is a big chance that your chosen demographic is a regular social media user. Find where they are, and promote your content with a companion page. Regular posts can keep your readership updated, giving you more potential traffic with the added benefit of backlinking to your site.
13. Start a newsletter.
Starting a newsletter lets your loyal readership know you have new content, which helps you yield more traffic.
Encourage them to subscribe with call-to-action phrases, so they can easily tune in to your blogging.
Many factors can affect your search engine rankings, and being in the know of how to navigate them well to tilt the odds in your favor is tantamount to success.
Remember: quality and visibility go together, so make sure to be at the top of your blogging game when creating material. At the same time, use SEO and the tools at your disposal to tease the internet into looking at your blog more intently and more often.
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