If you spend time writing a blog, then you want people to read it! Driving traffic to your blog can take time, but there are certain things that you can do to help you along the way.
You may just be starting out blogging, or have been doing it for a period of time. Either way, if you are serious about it, you should own your own domain. Running your own blog with your own domain is much better than on a free hosting site. It gives you a greater flexibility to design and present your site the way that you want it. You can install great themes to run it on (Just like this WordPress Theme from WooThemes) that make it much more visually appealing than basic free ones.
Most importantly, you can manage your own site SEO with greater freedom. This will greatly improve your site traffic to your blog, which is what we will be looking at today.
Understanding The Basics
The internet is a truly gigantic place, that is constantly changing and growing. It consists of billions of web-pages of information that people want to read. (That’s Big!)
In today’s world, we all have very little time to spend hunting down specific information that we want, so we all use certain techniques to find what we are looking for.
Understanding these techniques that we all use to find information, is vitally important to the success of your own blog! This way, you can produce content/structure your site to increase the chances of people finding your site.
And the more people you get to your blog, the more money you will make!!!
SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimization‘, which is where you perfect your articles so that they have a better chance of appearing in search engine result pages (or SERPs).
Everybody uses search engines to browse the web. This is because search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. make it really easy to find relevant information that you are looking for.
The key factor for attracting visitors to your site, is to have your website appear in relevant search engine result pages. This way for example, if you write a blog about gardening, when people search for “how to maintain a garden” in Google, one of your posts will appear on the first page of results (preferably the first one).
The most important and easiest way to rank highly for people just starting out, is to produce quality content that people want to read! You can spend all the time in the world perfecting your marketing strategy for your blog, but if people don’t like what they are reading, then they won’t stick around for long. Quality content is your sites greatest pulling in power.
Continue to build upon your existing content, with new, interesting, unique and relevant content, to continue to grow your site and traffic. Generally, search engines value not only the quality of website pages, but the size of the website. Having a small website with only a couple of quality pages, generally won’t rank as highly as a site with hundreds of quality pages that is seen as an authority on a specific subject.
Having a specific theme to your site is also very important. Producing regular content on a similar subject, is much better than producing content on a wide range of subjects. For example, this site looks at blogging and making money online. If I suddenly wrote a post about the population of Penguins in Antarctica, then my readers would be confused.
There are more technical things that you can do to improve your site’s SEO. One of the best and easiest is to include a Sitemap!
A Sitemap is a very basic page that lists all of the links on your website. Here is our own Sitemap as an example. Not only can you include a link to your sitemap in the footer of every page on your site, to make it easy for your visitors to browse through your content, but search engines use them to essentially “SEE” your site. They send out ‘Spiders’ and ‘Bots’ to crawl your site and find updated content which people might find interesting.
Search engines can naturally find your site over time, but the best way is to submit your sitemap to the search engines themselves. This way, they are instantly made aware of your site and can begin crawling it from day one.
You should also include ‘Meta-tags‘ and ‘Meta-Descriptions‘ on all of your articles and posts. Meta-tags are a list of keywords that are relevant to the subject of your post. Search Engines use these Meta-tags to determine what your article is about, so that they can properly display your content to the right people. A ‘Meta-Description’ is simply a short description of what your post is about. This is then displayed on search engine pages under your post title.
You want to include keywords and phrases that are relevant to your content, that people might search for in Google. For example, a keyword phrase for this post would be “how to drive traffic”.
Often, these keyword phrases are obvious and you can enter them in yourself. But you want to make sure that the maximum amount of people can find your posts. Using tools such as, Google AdWords to search for popular Keywords that people enter is very useful. You can quickly and easily find keywords and phrases that you may not have originally thought of to include as Meta-tags.
Consideration, Communication & Community!
Constantly ask yourself – Who is visiting your site? Who is reading your content? Who is your site aimed at?
Remembering that your site is aimed at your readers is vitally important! If you start to forget that, then your business will suffer. You should be making your site as easy as possible for your readers to understand, navigate, communicate, etc. Your visitors will value your site if they believe that they are being considered.
Get talking to people! When people comment on your blog posts, reply back with a response. Comment on other websites of the same niche, get involved in discussions on forums, etc. Blog and Forum marketing can help build up your reputation within your field. People are much more likely to visit your site if they think you know what you are talking about.
One of the best ways of driving traffic to your blog, is to create a community around your site. Social media is the best way of doing this and growing the numbers of people that have an interest in your content. Joining in on LinkedIn groups, Tweeting regularly, having your own Facebook Fan Page, Google+ account, etc. all help to get people talking about and spreading the word about your site.
Please leave your comments below & feel free to ask any questions.