“I’d like to have more consistent traffic to my blog!”.
Which one of us hasn’t said this?
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to increase your blog traffic.
And as we all know, social media is one of those ways, but there’s an even better way.
SEO or search engine optimization
It’s the process of being visible on search engines.
And the neat thing about it is that it can give you the traffic consistency that you’re looking for.
But if you read about it in different places, it might seem overwhelming. I’m an SEO Specialist so I understand how it can be like to have a basic understanding of how it works.
Fortunately, I’ve broken it down to provide you with these easy-to-follow SEO tips for your blog that you can work on at any point to help you with it!
Install Google Analytics
It is super important to be able to have knowledge of your blog traffic in general. For SEO purposes, you need to know how many visitors you’re getting from Organic Search traffic (this is the free traffic you get from search engines). So that’s where Google Analytics comes in.
Google Analytics is a free tool that allows you to get so much data on number counts for things like page views, bounce rate, page session times, etc. It can really help you as a blogger because it can give you a good idea of what posts are more popular. You can also find out what posts might need to be promoted more on social media. Of course, there’s a lot more that it can do for your blog outside of SEO so I definitely recommend creating an account.
If you’re using a WordPress site, there’s a plugin called “GA Google Analytics“. It’s the one that we use here and it really makes it super easy to install your GA account.
First, you need to get the UA tracking code that is generated after you register. That code can be found on this screen:
After you activate the plugin, you’ll see “Google Analytics” under your Settings section on WordPress. It’s here where you’ll add your UA code on their GA Tracking ID field.
Install Google Search Console
This is an amazing free tool that Google provides to anyone who has webpages showing on their search engine results.
When you first visit Google Search Console you’re presented with the above screen. This is the setup screen which allows you to verify your ownership of your domain name in a couple of different ways.
If you verify as a Domain, it’ll give you data for all the different URL’s (http and https) as well as any subdomains that you have, but it is a more technical way of verifying. It is a good way to verify though if your website is switching to https and you want to have the http data there still.
But my favorite way of verifying is on the URL prefix side because I can compare https and http separate. It’s also a way that provides you with a variety of verification methods.
And guess what one of those methods is? (hint: you just read about it earlier).
It is dependent on you using the same account that’s tied to your GA account as this is how it can verify it.
The neat thing about Search Console is that it shows you the Google search data for your website. There’s things such as search impressions, clicks, and average position. You can request indexing on Google, of your blog posts as soon as you post them. Check for any warnings from Google that may be affecting your Organic Search on their search results.
Check Meta Titles & Descriptions
This is something you can’t overlook when it comes to your SEO. So much that I even wrote an entire post on it.
It’s what’ll ultimately get you the most traffic to your blog from Organic Search.
So take the time necessary and add that meta title & description to your post if you haven’t already.
And if you have already, revisit them still. Check how your blog posts are doing on search and change both on underperforming posts.
You’d be surprised at how much impact even just one word can have on both.
Remember this is what searchers are looking at so convince them to choose your result over others.
Check Your Blog Permalinks
This is another topic that I have a complete blog post dedicated to. It’s that important. Your blog’s permalinks can help or affect your SEO efforts. Why is this? Well if you don’t have a descriptive link name, searchers may not click on your result.
Would you rather click on:
Most of you would probably pick the second option because it contains your search keywords. Now I’m not saying the first option will never be on page one of Google but more people would click on the second than the first. And the more this happens, the less time your result will be on page one.
Add ALT Tags to Your Images
Make sure that your images have alternative text (also known as ALT Tags) in place. This helps ensure that your blog is accessible to anyone using a screen reader. For SEO purposes, it’s also used to give search engines a better idea of what your image is about. In turn, this helps you rank on search engines such as Google Images and certain search results that have images on them.
Where Do You Change ALT Tags on WordPress?
You simply go to your image settings either when you upload the image or on your media library. And as you can see it’s as easy as typing your description and saving it.
Answer Questions on Your Blog
What do you do when you have a question? You most likely Google it! And your readers are doing the same thing.
With this in mind, you’ll want to ask and answer questions on your blog. Why is this? Well, you may have noticed that Google shows a box most of the time when you ask a question.
For example, you can know a little more about me if you ask about me lol. These are things that not only show up at the top of a page but that voice searchers are hearing. And voice search is increasing in popularity each year so this becomes more important each year.
Of course, there are exceptions but it really helps to have questions and answers.
Use Ubersuggest To Find Keywords
Ubersuggest is my all-time favorite SEO tool because it’s FREE and gives you so much keyword data. If you log on with your Gmail account, you can also track some keywords too (which is something that others charge for!).
So let’s say you had an idea of writing a blog post on say a chicken recipe (I’m about to eat chicken as I write this post lol). If you wanted to know what keywords you should include on your post here are some that would be great.
PD stands for Page Difficulty and SD for SEO Difficulty. Volume tells you the estimate of the number of searches per month. CPC is the cost that you’d likely pay if you run a Google Ad.
These scores are from 0 to 100 with the closer to 100 being harder to rank for. With this in mind, you’d likely want to incorporate the keywords “chicken recipe with mayo” to your recipe because it has a low SD and a decent search volume. This doesn’t mean that you’d say this over and over again, but that you would mention it.
Reference Other Posts
Make sure that you mention other blog posts on most, if not all, of your blog posts. Of course, you want to make sure that you’re linking to relevant posts. This practice is called “internal linking” and it can help with your page SEO. It also helps you introduce your readers to other posts that are relevant to what you’re talking about.
For example, you may have noticed that I mentioned two blog posts earlier in this post. The internal links are there for you to read more about what I had to say about those items. When done in the right way, this works out great because you invite your readers to discover more of your content.
I do have to note that although it could help with your page SEO, don’t go overboard and link every other word on your post. Limit yourself to only linking to the same blog post once on any post (maybe twice but definitely no more than that). If you’re linking to multiple blog posts that’s fine, but again make sure they can provide value to your readers.
Update Your Posts
Over time you’ll get a better idea of what posts are your top-performing on search engines. Make sure that these are updated as often as possible. I say this because you want to make sure that they continue to perform well. If your competitor comes out with a blog post that’s up-to-date, they’ll likely outrank you because more people will see value in that post.
When I say update, I mean add more content to it or make sure that the content is still relevant today. This is really important because you want your readers to save your blog and return. If the first thing they see is a blog with outdated information then it’s likely that they’ll hit the back button.
High Word Count
The more you words your blog has the better it can do on search engine results. I’m not saying that if you write a 3,000-word count post, it’ll do much better than a 1,000 one though. It really depends on the value of the content you are providing. If the 3,000-word count post is providing tons of value to search engines then it’ll do better.
What do I mean by value?
The amount of useful information that you provide to the searcher. Let’s say you write a blog post that covers everything that a new driver should know about the rules of the road. You’ll probably have tons of things to talk about. If you mention each and describe them thoroughly, you’ll have a great post. On the contrary, if all you do is provide a quick list with the items and don’t really describe each, you won’t be providing as much value to the reader.
If you’re looking for a minimum word count, I’d say go with at least 1,000 words. I tend to range between 1,000-2,500 in my blog posts.
Find Backlink Opportunities
Backlinks are just exactly what the word says, links that point back to your website.
Research opportunities to obtain a backlink from another website, but try to make sure that it’s from a site relevant to your blog. This will provide much more value to you. An important thing to note is that you should avoid getting backlinks from spammy websites as their negative reputation can pass on to yours.
For example, being interviewed is a great way to obtain a link. Go out there and find these backlink opportunities. If you’re not sure where to look, check out Ubersuggest. They have a “Backlinks” section under their SEO Analyzer category, that can provide you with your competitor’s backlinks. That’ll give you a good idea of who’s linking to your competitors and you may be able to have a backlink of your own there.
There’s a variety of factors that make one backlink more valuable than another.
The main point here is that as long as the website isn’t inappropriate or one of those spam directory sites, it’s valuable to you. If the link is labeled as “follow” it can help you SEO-wise, if it’s a “no follow” link then it won’t help but it can still potentially send you traffic.
This topic can be really extensive as you can see so lookout for a future blog post on backlinks 101 for bloggers.
Comments Can Help
You may think that comments aren’t really looked at by the search engines but this isn’t the case. On the contrary, if it’s on your page, it’s going to be treated the same way. For this reason, you should encourage your readers to leave you a comment.
If the one comment turns into ten or twenty replies, that’s awesome! Every word that is said in comments is going to be read by the search engines. If you’ve read some of my posts, you may have noticed that I ask a question at the end of every post. This is something ideal to do because it helps encourage your readers to leave a comment
But don’t just read the comment and move on, actually respond to them. This is how the conversation can continue (and you can get to those ten or twenty replies lol).
Write For Your Readers, Not Search
So I might sound like I’m contradicting myself but I really am not.
Let me explain.
You should make sure that your content is one that readers enjoy and that provides visuals. Don’t grab your list of SEO keywords and start mentioning them repeatedly over and over again. This will not only get you penalized by search engines but your readers will catch on.
Gone are the days when people focused on writing unnatural posts that were literally meant for search first. And that’s good because our readers should come first instead.
It’s possible to write naturally and have good SEO content.
So just keep blogging and incorporate these keywords naturally.
Don’t Give Up on SEO
Most people might think that if you don’t see an increase in search traffic in a month then it won’t ever change.
This is not true!
Your SEO efforts can take months to show results. In some cases even a year. But ultimately the thing is not to give up on it because you just have to give it time. Just because a blog post shows on page 7 of the search results today, doesn’t mean that it won’t make it to page 1.
If you follow these SEO tips, you’ll help your blog increase its traffic from Organic Search which in turn will help you get new readers.
Do you have additional SEO tips for bloggers that you’d like to share?