An obvious goal of all bloggers is to drive as many visitors to their blog as possible. In order to make your blog a success you need to generate a steady stream of targeted traffic. While there are many sources of traffic, search engines are often one of the first that come to mind. The way that you build, structure, and maintain your blog can greatly impact your search engine rankings.
Here are some blogging basics to maximize your search engine traffic.
Use of Keywords
Keywords are the foundation of your internet marketing efforts. When selecting target keywords for high search engine rankings it is important to be specific, focused and realistic. More than anything however, you have to know what keywords your target market is using to search for your product, service, or blog. There are many tools available to help identify these keywords. Here are links to some of the top keyword research tools:
- Google Keyword Tool
- Keyword Discovery
Once you generate a list of keywords, you can target each one by creating a blog post. Use your most important keyword(s) in the title tag. You should also include your target keyword(s) in your post’s META description and wherever else you can in the content of the post. Be careful not to overdo it however. Keyword stuffing can hurt your rankings and the readability of your blog. Do not sacrifice the user experience in an attempt to appease the search engines.
While it is not simply a matter of numbers, generally speaking, you need to get as many links to your blog as possible. To do this, start submitting your blog’s RSS feed to blog and feed directories. Here’s a resource that lists RSS / blog directories you can submit to: http://www.toprankblog.com/rss-blog-directories/
You can also do a Google search to find such directories.
Another method of gaining links is to visit other blogs or forums in your niche, and post comments. In most cases, when your comment is published, it will include a backlink to your site. This way you gain exposure as well as links to your blog. Make sure your comments are respectful and provide value.
This is one of the most important blogging basics. If your blog readers find your content valuable, they will want more of it. If you post to your blog consistently and frequently (at least once a week if not more) people will return or follow your feed on a regular basis. I need to do a better job on this one and post more frequently.
Keep a Tight Focus
Many people have a personal blog where they post anything and everything related to their life. While this may be OK for a personal blog, it’s not recommended for a professional blog.
If you are serious about your blog and hope to make some money from it, stick to a single topic. If you want to cover a different topic, start another blog. The cost to create a new blog is minimal and with everything you’ve learned from your first blog, creating your new one will be that much easier.
Make Use of Plugins
Plugins are components designed to extend the functionality of your blog. Written by the development community, plugins offer custom functions and features allowing site owners to tailor their site to their specific needs.
There are many helpful plugins that make blogging a lot easier and more fun. Plugins like “Most Popular Posts”, “Related Posts”, “Recent Comments” etc. can help keep readers interested and coming back for more
Encourage User Interaction
Foster conversation on your blog. Encourage comments and dialogue. Posts with a lot of comments indicate to users that you are providing valuable content. This encourages people to subscribe or return to your blog. One way to encourage comments is to ask a question at the end of your post.
When someone leaves a comment, be sure to reply. Another way to encourage commenting is to not require registration or moderation of comments. Just be sure you have a good spam filter in place.
What are some blogging tips you use to make your blog a success?