When it comes to promoting your business blog, I’d love to be able to tell you that all you need to do is start writing blog posts and wait for Google to send a tidal wave of traffic your way, but it’s just not that easy. Sure, any blog post is better than having none, and yes, sometimes you can write a real traffic magnet without even trying. However, if you want sustainable and growing traffic to your blog, an SEO strategy is a must.
SEO (search engine optimization) is a set of techniques applied to the pages of your website to get them to show up more prominently in search results. Your blog is an extension of your website, and every blog post you publish is treated by Google as a separate page.
Increasing traffic to your blog through SEO doesn’t need to be difficult. In fact, you can make things a lot easier on yourself with a little planning and thoughtful execution.
The beauty of blog SEO is that it’s a whole lot easier and less technical than performing SEO on an entire site. In fact, you can do just about all of it right in your blog editor.
Choosing the right topic for your blog post is one of the most important factors in how much traffic you will get. A good topic is:
Writing engaging and high-quality blog posts is crucial for increasing your blog traffic. Google and other search engines prioritize value and credibility in their ranking.
Even though you have a topic that is related to your business and provides helpful information, it’s not going to attract traffic if no one can find it. It’s important to make sure that for the topic you’re writing about, you find words that people will type into a search box to find information on that topic.
These are called keywords. For example, if you’re a roofer and your topic is valley flashing, most people looking for roofing services will not know to look up valley flashing. They might instead look up “ways to prevent roof leaks”. This phrase is what’s called a keyword (even though it’s a phrase), and keywords are the means to increasing traffic to your blog through organic search.
There are various tools for finding keywords for your blog posts, such as SEM Rush, and you can also refer to Google’s suggest feature in the search box.
Now that you have a topic and a keyword that can help bring that information to visitors, it’s time to see if Google thinks the topic and keyword are related. Google takes user behavior into account when ranking, so it’s not arbitrarily determining what constitutes a relevant result. It’s bringing up the web pages that people are clicking on and staying on— as this behavior indicates that the page answers the question they are asking.
Google your proposed title and look at the content of the current results. If it’s along the same lines of the information you’re looking to write about, great! If it’s not, you need to change your keyword or your topic.
Writing the blog post itself is one of the easier parts of all this. Simply write what you have to say on the subject. If it makes it easier, structure it like the essays you wrote in high school with an intro paragraph and thesis statement, a few paragraphs supporting the thesis and a conclusion paragraph to wrap the whole thing up.
Writing optimized blog posts is not rocket science. In fact, it’s simple. Google searchers want web pages and blog posts that are easy to read and digest, and they prefer posts written by humans, not robots.
As you write your post, try to incorporate your main keyword into the content as often and as naturally as possible. You don’t want to stuff it into every sentence, but make sure you remember to use it a few times.
A well-written article on an interesting topic is great and all, but even the best blog posts feel a little stale without a couple of images to break up the text on the page.
When uploading an image to your blog editor, you are usually given a text field in the image uploader that says something like “Description” or “Alt”. This is text that is used by search engines to “read” the picture. Make sure you write a clear description of the image, and if possible include your main keyword or one of your supporting keywords. This helps to strengthen the relevancy of your post to the keyword for search engines. Go here for more on optimizing images for search.
Many blogging platforms allow you to customize the web address, or URL, where your blog post will live. Search engines actually read the text of a web address as a cue to what the page might be about. That means that this is yet another place to use your core keyword to get an SEO boost. At the very least, make sure your blog is set up to use words in your URLs, and opposed to something like “?postid=12345”.
In addition, the URL shows up in search results underneath the title. If it’s something mysterious with random numbers or characters, people will be less likely to click on it. If it is close to the title above it, users feel more confident and secure in the click.
The final step in increasing blog traffic is probably the most fun, and that’s sharing it with the world. This will increase the visibility of your business blog which will increase traffic.
Google doesn’t necessarily give preference to articles that are being heavily shared on social media, but they don’t ignore it either. Blog articles that are heavily shared do tend to perform better, and they certainly start showing up in the search results faster. Share, and encourage your readers to share as well.
That’s it! A step by step guide for increasing your blog traffic through SEO that doesn’t require much more work than your normal blogging routine. Use this guide the next time you sit down to blog and you’ll put yourself in a much better position to get more traffic from Google.