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As a blogger, you might find you’re not getting the traffic you were expecting out of some great articles you’ve written.
And if your main referral is not search engines, you will probably want to look into optimizing your website better and making your content more search-engine friendly.
I’ve started several blogs throughout the years and I’d like to share some of the tips I use to make Google love me more. Here are my top 10:
1. Get on Webmaster Tools
This is one of Google’s tools that’s often overlooked but quite useful and easy to install. Simply generate a sitemap for your blog (using the Google XML sitemaps plugin), add & confirm your site in Webmaster Tools.
You will then have a access to a variety of useful stats, such as search engine impressions and CTR for your site, you will be able to see missing pages, malware notifications, incoming links and how well your site performs in terms of loading speed.
Check the WMT account regularly so you can solve whatever issues may arise.
2. Get your meta tags in order
Meta tags are pretty important for every page since it tells Google what your page is about. Meta title and meta description are two things every page on your blog needs.
The WordPress SEO or All-in-One SEO plugins do that and a bit more, just pick your favourite. When you’re writing your meta tags, make sure you use some keywords you think people would use to find your blog.
For a bit of inspiration, go to Google’s free Keyword Tool.
This is probably one of the easiest things to do, that comes natural to many of us but we often overlook.
To increase page views per user, as well as to get older posts back in the spotlight, link in your recent writings to older, relevant posts.
Search engines love this and you should too – just look at how well Wikipedia is doing with their numerous inside links on each and every page.
4. Write for the readers
I’m advocating making your blog more search engine friendly, not writing for search engines. But here’s a tip you can use to get more search engine traffic with your content.
Login to Google Analytics (hopefully you’ve installed it already) and check the keywords that bring in only a couple of visits. Look over those keywords and see which ones you’re not covering.
Based on them, you can get some really nice post ideas for your blog and thus answering your readers’ inquiries.
5. Expand your posts
Most readers will avoid big chunks of content with no separation in between or without visual stimuli.
Visitors and search engine like diversity so try to add relevant videos or images to your posts as often as you can.
This will make your post easier to read and more relevant, since it has more types of content that delve on the issue.
6. Use anchor texts
You might not get a lot of benefit from linking to your old posts with the anchor text “click here”.
Whenever possible, even when writing on other blogs try to use anchor texts relevant to your blog, such as “my beauty secrets” instead of “here”.
It makes your blog look more relevant in the eyes of search engines and bumps it up a notch when looking for that particular anchor text.
7. Analyze & optimize
Since some of my articles are not evergreen, I realize they will not always be relevant to those finding them. Whenever I have some spare time on my hands, I go in my Analytics blog profile and check “Top Exit pages” to see the pages with the highest bounce rate.
Then think about how to improve the content, restructure it or update it with relevant information. This will decrease bounce rate and make your visitors stick around more.
8. Encourage sharing
Make your blog more social by including a plugin with share buttons to most social media sites, such as ShareThis.
This will drive more traffic to your website, encouraging visitors to share your content on social networks, and will also improve your backlink profile.
9. Get more backlinks
It’s easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. More links to your site gives more authority to your homepage and articles, so your blog is likely to rank higher in search engine result pages for various keywords.
Add links to your blog on your social media profiles, guest post or to online communities, without overdoing it.
10. Promote your content
I used to have some posts I would spend my day creating, then end up with a few visits and no comments. So I decided not to let them go to waste and promote them a bit on some sites I was active on.
So if a post is not getting the merits it deserves, try to submit the link to various, BUT relevant social sites such as Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon or Delicious.
It will increase your exposure and bring in some new visitors. This will also bring in some fresh links to push your post a little more.
Something essential I haven’t covered? Use the form below to share with us your tips on making your blog more search engine friendly!
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