The goal of all bloggers especially those that are looking to make money is to develop a great amount of traffic. This is not as easy as it looks but can be accomplished with hard work and dedication. The owner of Moz has found a way to not only do this but has updated his information to match the most recent SEO changes. We have decided to share some of his tips with you.
#1 – Target Your Content to an Audience Likely to Share
When strategizing about who you’re writing for, consider that audience’s ability to help spread the word. Some readers will naturally be more or less active in evangelizing the work you do, but particular communities, topics, writing styles and content types regularly play better than others on the web. For example, great infographics that strike a chord, beautiful videos that tell a story and remarkable collections of facts that challenge common assumptions are all targeted at audiences likely to share (geeks with facial hair, those interested in weight loss and those with political thoughts about macroeconomics respectively).
One of the best startups that I have seen this in is PPC.org. They put up lots of posts and content that people like to share. This content is then shared with tons of people in the online search marketing space. This causes them to have tons of people giving them links and sharing their content online!
#2 – Participate in the Communities Where Your Audience Already Gathers
Advertisers on Madison Avenue have spent billions researching and determining where consumers with various characteristics gather and what they spend their time doing so they can better target their messages. They do it because reaching a group of 65+ year old women with commercials for extreme sports equipment is known to be a waste of money, while reaching an 18-30 year old male demographic that attend rock-climbing gyms is likely to have a much higher ROI.
#3 – Make Your Blog’s Content SEO-Friendly
Search engines are a massive opportunity for traffic, yet many bloggers ignore this channel for a variety of reasons that usually have more to do with fear and misunderstanding than true problems. As I’ve written before, SEO, when done right, should never interfere with great writing.” In 2011, Google received over 3 billion daily searches from around the world, and that number is only growing.
SEO for blogs is both simple and easy to set up, particularly if you’re using an SEO-friendly platform like WordPress, Drupal or Joomla. For more information on how to execute on great SEO for blogs, check out the following resources:
- Blogger’s Guide to SEO (from SEOBook)
- The Beginner’s Guide to SEO (from Moz)
- WordPress Blog SEO Tutorial (from Yoast) SEO for Travel Bloggers (but applicable to nearly any type of blog – from Moz)
Don’t let bad press or poor experiences with spammers (spam is not SEO) taint the amazing power and valuable contributions SEO can make to your blog’s traffic and overall success. 20% of the effort and tactics to make your content optimized for search engines will yield 80% of the value possible; embrace it and thousands of visitors seeking exactly what you’ve posted will be the reward.
#4 – Use Twitter, Facebook and Google+ to Share Your Posts & Find New Connections
Twitter just topped 465 million registered accounts. Facebook has over 850 million active users. Google+ has nearly 100 million. LinkedIn is over 130 million. Together, these networks are attracting vast amounts of time and interest from Internet users around the world, and those that participate on these services fit into the “content distributors” description above, meaning they’re likely to help spread the word about your blog.
Leveraging these networks to attract traffic requires patience, study, attention to changes by the social sites and consideration in what content to share and how to do it. My advice is to use the following process:
If you haven’t already, register a personal account and a brand account at each of the following:
- LinkedIn (those links will take you directly to the registration pages for brand pages).
For example, my friend Dharmesh has personal account for Twitter and a brand account for OnStartups (one of his blog projects). He also maintains brand pages on Facebook,
Fill out each of those profiles to the fullest possible extent – use photos, write compelling descriptions and make each one as useful and credible as possible. Research shows that profiles with more information have a significant correlation with more successful accounts (and there’s a lot of common sense here, too, given that spammy profiles frequently feature little to no profile work).
Connect with users on those sites with whom you already share personal or professional relationships, and start following industry luminaries, influencers and connectors. Services FollowerWonk and FindPeopleonPlus can be incredible for this:
Start sharing content – your own blog posts, those of peers in your industry who’ve impressed you and anything that you feel has a chance to go “viral” and earn sharing from others.
Interact with the community – use hash tags, searches and those you follow to find interesting conversations and content and jump in! Social networks are amazing environments for building a brand, familiarizing yourself with a topic and the people around it, and earning the trust of others through high quality, authentic participation and sharing.
#5 – Install Analytics and Pay Attention to the Results
At the very least, I’d recommend most bloggers install Google Analytics (which is free), and watch to see where visits originate, which sources drive quality traffic and what others might be saying about you and your content when they link over.
Employing analytics is critical to knowing where you’re succeeding, and where you have more opportunity. Don’t ignore it, or you’ll be doomed to never learn from mistakes or execute on potential.
These are the basic ways to increase the SEO for your blog and increase traffic. For a more technical approach see The SEO Experts Guide to Blogging SEO Part 1, 2, and 3.