If you’re looking to increase traffic to your blog, you need to become familiar with SEO and how it helps people know your blog exists.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. In order for someone to find your blog post, you need to have told the search engine they’re using what the post is about. That way, it can match what they are looking for with what you have to offer.
How to improve the visibility of your blog posts?
Get the right title
Blog post titles are important for SEO. You can easily do some research to guide you on your post title. Do keyword searches for the topic you are covering or do some Google searching yourself to see what autocorrects – that will give you an idea of what’s popular on that topic. For posts that are more about your family life, it may not be as important, but getting the title right for an informative post or tutorial can make all the difference.
Install a SEO Plugin
If you use WordPress install an SEO plugin, such as Yoast. This will help make your SEO much easier and less time-consuming.
Get the length right
Ultimately, traffic will come from you producing what people want to read. The right length of post is therefore got to fit with your audience. However, bear in mind that when the Google bots trawl your post, they index every part of it. Therefore, the more words there are in the post, the more they index, which is better for you. You also want your post to be shared as many times as possible and there is evidence to show that the optimum length for maximising social shares is 1,500 words.
Put text before images
Search engine bots scan the content of your post and it goes in your favour if they find your keywords in the first 100 characters of the post. If there is a picture, they will read all the code in the picture (not just your tagged words). By the time it gets to your keywords, you could be outside the 100 characters. Start with a short paragraph containing your keywords, then follow with a picture.
Write good content with keywords
Make sure your keywords appear in your content, but that they feel natural to the reader. Putting keywords in bold, tells Google they are important and to pay attention to them. Using heading tags also helps to improve your SEO rating. You can check the keyword density in the Yoast plugin.
Link to relevant past posts
Make sure you link any relevant previous posts to the new one. This adds value to your reader (and helps to keep them on your blog or longer) as well as to your SEO rating.
Use anchor text for links
When you are linking to other pages or sites, use words which are relevant to your keywords (anchor texted). Avoid using words such as ‘this post’ or ‘here’ for the link.
Encourage readers to return
Google sees people returning to your site as a good indication that you have a trusted site and a good product. They are then more inclined to show it to more people. Naturally, the best way to increase your rate of returning readers is to write engaging, good quality content. You could also build a mailing list that links back to your blog or produce a series/feature that people will come back to your blog for. Also, make sure you reply to comments and interact with readers as they will be more likely to come back to read updates.
Reduce your Bounce rate
Your bounce rate is the percentage of people who ‘bounced’ when they arrived at your blog. This means they arrived and left without visiting any other pages. It doesn’t necessarily mean your blog isn’t any good, if your bounce rate is high. When people search for something on Google, for example, they are usually looking for only that thing. When they find it and read it, they then leave the site. Check your bounce rate. Ideally you are looking below 60%. That means you are doing a good job of keeping people on your blog. Less than 50% is REALLY good! In SEO terms, if your bounce rate is low, Google will consider that you have a valuable product as readers are spending more time there. In turn, they will then direct more people to your site. Some ways to improve your bounce rate are creating great content, using a popular post and related post plugin, linking to other posts and using a theme that people want to explore.
Optimise your theme
Search engines favour quick loading themes, where everything works well and there are no broken links. They want to know your blog is looked after and current and they want to be able to navigate around it easily. Try installing a broken link plugin, to help you identify and remove them. Make sure you delete any pictures or plugins you no longer need/use. Keep everything up-to-date and streamlined.
Build relevant back links
You’ll find plenty of benefits to commenting on a variety of other blogs. From a purely SEO point of view though, look for authority blogs to get more exposure and an increase in traffic. It will also give you a back link to your blog. A search engine will consider a back link on an established site, with good rankings, to be worth more than one on a lesser known site.
Don’t forget social media
Google is now looking at social media for an indication of an article’s authority. People retweeting links to your post, especially ‘big players’, will be all help to boost your rankings. Try reweeting the posts of others and hopefully they will reciprocate.