Blogging is all fun and simple. But if there is no traffic, then what’s the point of having a blog?
You can spend a lot of time writing content, probably the best in your niche. Still, no one comes to check your blog unless you physically make them click.
It is also a lot of trouble trying to promote your blog day and night on Facebook groups and other social media platforms.
Most of the time, you’ll just end up getting banned from the group because of too much self-promotion.
So, what is the best solution to all your traffic problems?
Easy, More organic traffic!
There is nothing better than getting hundreds or thousands of daily visitors for free and with no hassle. That’s where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in.
If you want to grow your blog the right way, then you need to use SEO.
In the list below, I’ll discuss the various ways Search Engine Optimization will help you grow your blog, whether you have just started it or you have been blogging for years.
I won’t talk about selecting a niche, though. If you still don’t know what to blog about, then this guide should help you figure it out.
But the best way to start is finding what you are passionate about and blog about it.
As for now, here is a list of ways you can use SEO to grow your blog.
Perform Keyword Research
We all have been told to write about what we are passionate about. In fact, I have even used that advice a few sentences ago.
While there is no intentional harm in that advice, you shouldn’t follow it to the letter.
You can choose a niche that you are interested in, feel like you can give your all to writing about its topics, but you can’t just write about anything.
You need to do extensive keyword research to discover what topics are most profitable to write about.
Sometimes, Topic X may seem appealing. However, there may be too many competitors writing about it, and the potential traffic is low.
So, while you can definitely write about X when you have nothing else to write about, it should not be your most focused piece.
Instead, you need to work on finding relevant keywords in your niche, preferably long tails and write extensively around them.
A highly optimized piece of content that targets a long tail keyword can bring a lot of traffic that converts well. If you are looking to grow your blog’s traffic, this is your best move.
Write Great Content
There is no direct answer to how long your content should be. Many studies have shown that content that is around 2,000 words ranks higher on search engine pages. But those studies don’t reveal the nature of the keywords (informational or transactional) or the niche.
But there is a simple answer to keep in mind.
Write a piece of content that is no longer than what it should be and no shorter than what it needs to be. Your blog post should cover your topic as extensively as possible, leaving room to discuss each aspect in more detail in another post.
Following a good content writing process, you can find figure out what keywords to target, what structure your blog post should have and what points it should discuss.
I’ve been asked more than once about how many times a blogger should publish new content. Again, publishing frequency is a long debate in SEO, and no answer is final. Still, this is what I have to say about it.
Publish as often as you can research, write, and promote high-quality content that answers your audience’s (questions and needs, without overwhelming yourself (or your writing team) with overly discussed topics, unnecessary research, and overthinking about your publishing frequency.
All of this means that for SEO to help grow your blog, you need to focus on producing high-quality content rather than worrying about its length or when to publish it.
Chris’ checklist on how to write insanely helpful content is worth your time. This type of content makes you appear as the authority in your niche, which helps your personal brand as well as your blog popularity.
Write Guest Posts
Writing content on your blog is great for SEO, but it is not enough. You will also need to write content for other bloggers.
From a purely SEO perspective, you want to publish guest posts on other blogs that are related to your niche to gain more search engine visibility.
Usually, you would write a high-quality article for someone, include a link to your blog, and ask them to publish it. (I will discuss the importance of linkbuilding and backlinks later on.)
These guest posts are a good opportunity to put your content in front of a new audience. Usually, bloggers will opt for a quick and short article, but the long-term benefits are not considered.
You want to write just as lengthy and quality content for your blog posts as for the guest posts. This will ensure that your content is always considered high-quality.
This is a comprehensive guide to guest posting that you can check out.
SEO has three main aspects: On-page, off-page and technical SEO.
The latter I won’t discuss in this article, but you can check content by Dawn Anderson and Bill Slawski to learn more about it.
Off-page SEO is discussed below. But what I want to focus on here is the on-page aspect. This is a crucial and easy aspect to deal with because you have full control of it.
On-page optimization is exactly what it sounds like optimization your pages for search engines.
After you have done your keyword research and finished writing your content, it is time to optimize it for readers AND Google.
Here are the things that you should optimize:
Optimizing your URL simply means keeping it as short as possible while including your main keyword. The shorter, the better, but it has to be descriptive as well.
A common mistake is that bloggers simply keep their page title as their URL, which is too long and does not help the readers since it usually gets cut off when it appears in the search engine pages.
SEO Meta tags:
There are two meta tags that you should always optimize before hitting the publish button. These two do not directly improve your rankings, but not optimizing them will probably stop you from ever ranking high on the SERPs.
Meta Titles: these are the titles that appear on the search engine results
Meta Descriptions: these are the few sentences that appear below every URL in the search engine.
Optimizing the meta tags and URL does not increase your rankings directly, but it helps improve your click-through-rate.
You want to break down your article into sections, each with a heading. A well-optimized article will have one H1 as its main title (may also be the meta title), and plenty of H2s.
Each of these headings should be actionable to grab the attention of the reader.
Most bloggers have learned that links give authority to blogs. So, if they give links to other blogs, they will have more authority than they do.
That’s only partially true.
Reality is your readers want to read more about what interests them in your article. They will trust you more if you give them links to where you got your information, data, and samples.
You need to remember that search engines rank pages and not websites. So, whenever it is possible to add a link to a source, your audience will benefit from, just do it.
You don’t always need to link outside of your blog, though. You should also link to yourself.
If your reader can learn more about a point you mentioned in a blog post you have written, then go ahead and link to it.
When you link to your own content, your reader stays on your blog longer and engages with you. This gives a good impression to search engines, which may be now using user experience and social signals as part of their ranking system. SEMRush’s study does a good job of showing that.
There is no magic number of how many links you should add to a page. But it should common sense to add only relevant links. Whether external or internal, it does not matter, but a mix of both is better.
All this aspects of on-page optimization are covered with Yoast For SEO WordPress plugin. It is one of the best tools a blogger has access to.
When it comes to SEO, linkbuilding and off-page SEO are almost synonymous. However, they are not completely interchangeable.
Google rankings are based primarily on links. While there are many factors in play, all studies, both past and recent, show that backlinks are on top 5 ranking factors.
So, to grow your blog you need to do a lot of link building.
The concept is fairly simple: you need other relevant websites in your niche to link to your blog. This will help increase your search engine visibility and give you more rankings on the first page.
However, getting those links are not an easy feat. There are many ways you can earn your backlinks. I’ve already mentioned two above; high-quality content and guest posting.
The first will attract natural backlinks. The more people read and like your content, the more backlinks it will attract overtime without you needing to do outreach for it.
The second helps you build your reputation outside your blog and brings you more traffic.
However, these two are not all there is to it. You can use:
- Guestographics: create an infographic and ask other blogs to add it with a link to you.
- Broken Link Building: find broken links on other blogs and offer a working alternative.
- And others that are too complicated to summarize in a sentence.
This comprehensive guide does a good job showing you almost all the link-building techniques known to the SEO world.
Search Engine Optimization is important for growing your blog. It offers a free source of traffic that will exist forever. You can’t rely on social media for traffic, and paying for ads may get expensive.
SEO is the free alternative that you should look for. There are many opportunities for growing your blog and building beneficial relationships with others in your niche.
About the author:
Youness Bermime is a professional content writer and marketer. He currently writes to help other bloggers become more successful in writing content and promoting it effectively. He
believes knows that SEO is not dead, and that content will always be king. You can learn more on his blog at WritersDo and ActionTakingMogul. You can also follow him on Twitter.