5 TOP RESOURCES FOR TERRIFIC TRAFFIC TO YOUR BLOG (PART 2, SEARCH ENGINES & SEO)
As mentioned in Part 1 of this series, increasing traffic to your blog is a key way to increase your profits, regardless of the niche your blog covers. More traffic equals more opportunities for your articles to be read, advertisements and affiliate offers to be clicked, as well as sales of your very own products. It also adds value to your site and makes it more appealing to potential advertisers and sponsors.
In Part 1, I focused on getting traffic from social media. In this part of the series, I will be focusing on getting traffic from search engines and using Search Engine Optimization (SEO). With search engine algorithms being what they are today, this can be one of the top ways to get traffic to your blog or website.
WHAT IS SEO?
For those unfamiliar with SEO, it’s basically the process of setting up a website and its content in a particular way so that search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing give it a high rating. That is what gets your website content displayed high in the search results. It works similarly for blogs.
Many people are not aware that SEO has two sides to it — onsite and offsite — and that you need both for best results. Onsite SEO has to do with internal things such as your titles, tags, website structure and content being optimized for your keywords. Offsite SEO has to do with non-internal things like inbound links to your site.
Along with increased traffic, SEO can also increase the quality of traffic to your blog. This means you get the right visitors that are a relevant match to what you offer. Getting increased traffic to your blog doesn’t help you if those visitors have no interest in your niche.
One of the best things about the increased traffic quantity and quality is that it is done organically so it doesn’t cost you a thing!
Most people who are interested in buying a product or using a service will look for it by searching on Google, according to current search engine ranking. You can get a lot of increased traffic to your blog if you can come up high in those search results.
Even better, that traffic will be more targeted than your Facebook traffic because they will be actively looking for what you’re offering. So it’s not just the right market, it is also the right time. That is a very powerful factor.
DO IT YOURSELF VERSUS HIRE SOMEONE
The good news when it comes to SEO and increasing traffic is you can do it yourself. That means you can save yourself some money. Also, many of the SEO basics are easy to understand and implement.
You can be set for years to come with a constant stream of traffic and customers if you take a little time early on doing the right setup. A little tweaking here and there may be needed as algorithms change, so keep that in mind.
Now for the bad news. Remember me saying that getting increased traffic through search engines can be one of the top ways to get traffic to your blog? So you do not want to mess it up!
However, SEO can be complicated and is never guaranteed. So if you don’t understand SEO and how to set up your content so that you do get increased traffic using search engines, consider hiring someone. (You could opt to hire a specialist to teach you.)
If you do decide to do it yourself, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances. I’m going to focus on SEO with Google as it’s currently by far the most used search engine. Let’s get started!
But first, be sure to click the Resource Library image below to download my free Cheatsheet to make following these steps a little easier.
Get access to “Cheatsheet: SEO for Increased Traffic” by joining our Free Resource Library, just click below!
THE BASICS OF SEO
To identify which websites and blogs should be brought up for which search terms, Google applies an algorithm to its indexing of the web. No one knows their algorithms and they’re changing all the time, so that’s why there’s no way to guarantee what you’re doing.
However, we do know a few basics.
Google looks at blog or website content to work out what it’s about and whether it offers value to the reader. It does this by looking for keywords which it will match to search terms. That means if you want to make a start with SEO and increased traffic, you need to identify which specific keywords you want to rank for. Then you should incorporate those into your writing in an organic manner.
Tip: Remember you must incorporate keywords people are actually searching on, not what you think they are searching on. So do your research.
TWO STRATEGIES TO AVOID
Years ago people would repeat keywords over and over in their text to try to get to the top of Google. This was keyword stuffing and it was quite unpleasant for the reader. Luckily Google got wise to it pretty quickly.
Another strategy to avoid is paying people to link to you. Google considers that against the rules, and I’m sure other search engines do as well. You can also face serious penalties if caught.
STRATEGIES TO USE
A better strategy is use keywords around 1% of your text. So if your post is 2,000 words, keywords should appear at least 20 times. Google recognizes related terms and synonyms, so it’s great new that those count. This is part of what’s called “Latent Semantic Indexing.”
LSI helps Google recognize the context of what you’re writing about, especially if it can be entirely different things (aviator sunglasses versus the movie). You don’t need to understand LSI though. Simply write naturally around the subject and flex your vocabulary!
Another key factor in deciding a site’s ranking is its “inbound links profile.” Google looks at how many other sites link to yours. It also examines the variety and quality of those links. The links help Google discover your website in the first place, but they are also somewhat considered testimonials. The logic behind that is that if someone is linking to your site then it must be good.
Here are two strategies you can use.
1) Guest posting. This is creating content for other blogs, usually done for free and in exchange for a link back to your site (usually within your bio). Moderation is key when doing guest posting. Of course, first verify the website allows links as not all do.
2) Link baiting. (This is not to be confused with click bait.) This is writing content of excellent quality, but also devised in such a way it encourages people to link to it. An example of good link bait is resource articles. Organically is the best way to do that.
Ironically, the best way to get people to share, thereby enhancing your SEO and getting increased traffic, is to forget search engines exist and focus on simply writing your best content.
It’s also important to think about some of the technical aspects of your site that will make an impact. For example, Google now requires all websites be mobile friendly. If your site loads too slowly you will also be penalized.
Using WordPress and a custom theme is a good way to help ensure your site runs smoothly and reliably, especially if you’re not a pro web designer. Custom themes offer more control and more options. A lot of plug-ins and non-optimized images can also cause sites to be slow.
SEO STRATEGY — A LOT OF CONTENT
The secret to SEO success at the moment is to write a lot and to write it well. SEO and content marketing are almost one and the same. Google is advanced enough to review your writing almost like a human. Google is going to keep get smarter so don’t waste your time trying to trick the system.
Instead, work on generating a lot of content around your chosen topics. The more content you create, the more long-tail keywords you will hit and the more you enforce the subject matter of your site. (Long-tail keywords are those of three words or more.)
When someone types longer keywords into Google, such as a sentence, Google has to bring up something. Most likely it will be a random website that used a lot of those words rather than an exact match. So while a website may not intend to rank for a phrase, having a lot of content on the subject increases the likelihood that vaguely relevant searches will still land on the site by chance.
If an article gets a hit a day that way, and you have three hundred articles, that’s an extra three hundred hits. That can really matter for getting increased traffic.
The more content you have, the more likely it is searches will find you. Many bloggers write only once or twice a month, so they don’t see much growth in traffic. If you want to make a full-time living with your blog, which needs increased traffic, you need to treat it like a full-time job.
SEO STRATEGY — A FEW TIPS
Quality is just as important for getting increased traffic. Each time someone views your content you have an opportunity to get an organic link from them, whether posted to a forum or even on their blog.
Also, one thing Google uses when judging your content quality is the time people spend reading your page. If you consistently put out high-quality work, people will begin to talk about your brand and you will start gain momentum and increased traffic.
There are no shortcuts! Although you can certainly outsource this process if you can find a high-quality and reliable writer.
Keep a few keywords in mind to keep returning to. They should form the backbone of your content. They should also help guide decisions on which articles to write and how to set up your web pages. Be sure to also use your keywords in file names, image tags, etc. Again, keep it subtle but be sure it’s there.
Search for “keyword tools” so you can research which phrases relevant to your niche have the most searches yet have the least competition.
A few years ago a prominent Google spokesperson (Matt Cutts) said too much guest posting will likely get a website into trouble. This is similar to how buying links and submitting to directories fell out of favor a while back.
A main purpose of Google’s algorithm is to find genuinely high-quality and popular content. So they don’t want you trying to game the system by posting links to certain places in high quantities. It can look suspicious if you only have links on high-quality blogs.
However, it doesn’t mean you should never use guest posting. At times that may be the best or only proactive way to get onto websites that Google sees as having a high reputation.
Be sure to click the Resource Library image below to download my free Cheatsheet to make following these steps a little easier.
Get access to “Cheatsheet: SEO for Increased Traffic” by joining our Free Resource Library, just click below!
THE FOCUS OF GUEST POSTING
Switch your focus in this area from quantity to quality. Try to find a few really big blogs. Then focus your efforts on getting a link from them. A single link can take you to the top of the search engines. This can also trigger more shares and likes, and most certainly will bring you increased traffic.
It can help set you up for years to come if you can get a link on a top blogger’s website in your niche. It can also help transform your profits overnight. This growth hack is known as “influencer marketing” and it’s an incredibly powerful tool. It’s also helpful for increasing traffic.
Big sites are likely to ignore you at first. So getting your links on really big sites may involve a series of steps and working your way up. Start with sites just a little ahead of you to grow your reputation. Then use bigger sites to grow a little more. Keep doing that until you’re ready to go after those few crucial links.
It may take a little while to work your way up to guest posting on really big sites, but keep in mind it gets easier after you get your first one.
It’s also important to always guest post with purpose and keep your quality high. Do not simply gather a bunch of low-quality links.
Tip: Do not underestimate the importance of real world networking. If you can meet a big blogger in person, you’ll have a much better chance of making a real impression, which may later lead to a link.
On top of using regular SEO for increased traffic, using local SEO can be incredibly important if you have a local business. Local SEO basically means taking your regular keywords and adding your area to the end of them. For example, use handmade pastries Las Vegas instead of handmade pastries. Listing your business with Google, including your location, is also an important step.
One great thing about local SEO is you’re less of a tiny fish in a massive pond than regular SEO. Instead, the only people you’ll be competing with will be local businesses in your niche. That makes it much easier to reach the top of Google. Odds are you’re also not competing with the likes of Amazon.
Local SEO can also be great for non-local businesses. Facebook started as a tool only available to Harvard Students. By the time it branched out, it had already conquered that small demographic and had a strong start.
You can do the same with your ecommerce business. Simply start local and then branch out more and more. You’ll also gradually increase your traffic.
Tip: A lot of local traffic comes from people on mobile devices. This makes it critical to have a mobile-friendly site with a responsive design. (Although being mobile-friendly is very important for <em>all sites</em> so they’re looked upon favorably by Google, not just local sites.)
If you’ve not yet checked out Part 1 of this series, which focuses on increasing traffic using social media, be sure to take a look!
PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW. WE’D LOVE TO KNOW HOW YOU’RE COMING ALONG SETTING UP YOUR SEO TO INCREASE YOUR TRAFFIC.