If you have a blog or an interest in starting one, you likely agree that you want to reach as many people as possible. The great news is that there are many ways to optimize your blog for search engine ratings. Even better, many of these techniques are easy and natural to implement.
Decide what you want to write about first. The topic you choose should reflect your opinions, interests, or subject of expertise. To make sure that your blog is a really great read, determine what you will write about that will keep your readers – and yourself – engaged. The goal is to steadily attract and maintain traffic, which can be accomplished with informative, fun, and helpful posts.
If you are having trouble with choosing between a couple of areas of interest, compare keyword popularity for the subjects. Google Adwords Keyword Planner is a useful tool for determining which topics rank higher. Your research can either point you in a direction to one of your keywords or spark an idea for how to merge your interests to reach a target keyword audience.
Google Adwords Keyword Planner again proves to be helpful in conducting your keyword optimization research. From here you can view the time, date, location, and frequency of keyword entry. Try to focus on low-competition keyphrases that yield less results. For example, typing “food blog” in to Google results in 3,330,000,000 hits for the keyphrase. In contrast, a more specific “southern cooking blog” hits 18,500,000 results.
Once you have narrowed down your keywords, the next step takes some ingenuity. Your goal is to strategically place keywords in the main components that search engines scan. The beginning of headlines, your page URL, external links, and image tags will all be searched by an engine’s spiders to determine relevancy to a search keyword or phrase. All it takes is a little creativity to make these areas relevant without devaluing your content.
Once you have selected your topics and keywords, don’t forget to monitor your results. Google Analytics and Clicky by Yoast both offer the functionality to monitor and analyze your traffic. Once you master the use of these tools, you will be able to easily to determine what is working for you, what is not, and whether any recent changes are making a positive impact on the traffic your blog is seeing.
Aside from optimizing your keyword use and density there are ways that you can improve your blog’s components to keep it higher on a search engine’s result list. One of the biggest keys here is your blog’s load times. The quicker the pages load, the better they will be rated by a search engine.
Simple approaches such as cleaning up your header and footer coding will result in a much quicker load. Every time your web site has to access information that your code points to, the web site’s response time decreases. Making as much of your theme or code static can cut down recall times and increase your speed. For example, your blog name and feed URL are not likely to change often. Therefore, you can make them static features in your code instead of asking the web site to recall them every time they are displayed.
High traffic loads that a web site host can not support will also decrease your web site’s speed exponentially. While it may be tempting to save costs on a host, don’t skimp here. Make sure that you choose a host that can sustain the high loads of traffic that you are trying to generate.
There are some finishing touches that you can put on your blog that will boost the traffic you see. An often overlooked method of increasing search engine ratings and reaching more of your audience is to ensure that your blog is optimized for mobile viewing. Aside from increasing your rating in a search engine, mobile optimization can affect whether a user accessing the internet from a mobile device will overlook your web site. If it’s not easy to read or navigate from a phone, tablet, or reader, a user accessing the internet from one of these devices is not likely to view or come back to your page. You can use HubSpot’s Beta Device Lab to view your blog on different devices until you get it right.
A quick technical tip: point your links to the highest traffic sites possible. When you have a choice, direct your external links to a page that has more views than its alternative. Search engines scan for your referenced links when making their rating determination for your web site.
To engage readers and keep them coming back, it can be helpful to enable comments on your posts. Connect with your audience by responding every now and then to the comments. Similarly, make it easy for your readers to share your posts via email and social networks. Having more links that point to your blog increases its rating, and word of mouth referrals to your web site will also boost traffic. This last point ties in directly to your final step in search engine optimization.
Once you have written a few blog posts, perfected how your keywords are used in them, and ensured that your web site is designed to attract and maintain traffic, it is time to get your posts out to the world. Giving yourself a little boost can have a big impact on your blog’s rating.
A big tip-off for a search engine’s spiders is the number of sources linking to your blog or posts. With the essential role social networking plays in our lives, it can be easy to boost this figure. Advertise your blog on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, MySpace, Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr, LinkedIn, and SoundCloud. “Like” your page on StumbleUpon to add it to an interests section. Add your blog URL to a relevant YouTube video that you have posted. Advertise your blog every where that will reach those who share your interest in its topic.
Since your goal is to get the most clicks, you want your headline and meta description to instantly captivate your reader. For a double whammy, design your headline and meta description so your audience not only wants to read your post, but so that your keywords are included to show the search engines that your blog is relevant.
To keep up the traffic you have generated from your self-advertisement, offer a subscription to your blog. This will not only keep your readers coming back for more, but will also let them know when new content has been added so they do not miss a thing. This will maintain your traffic and increase the likelihood of a subscriber sharing a post since they are more likely to see them all.
By now you have designed an interesting blog on a topic you enjoy, and worked to make it easily accessible to the world wide web. Following the tips above ensure that your last step, writing your blog, is as fun and easy as possible. Keeping yourself and your audience engaged in an interesting topic is going to attract traffic. Speeding up your web page and tweaking technical details is going to improve your blog’s search engine rating. Promoting your blog is going to maintain the visitors you have attracted. Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and share with the world.