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It has been said many times that blogs are search engine-friendly by nature. That may be true from some standpoints, but you just can’t set a up blog and expect the traffic to automatically start rolling in without putting in any additional effort. Some of the most successful bloggers had to work years to get where they are today, and many will tell you that it wasn’t easy.
From Tumblr to WordPress, most blogging platforms provide you with all the tools needed to increase visibility in the SERPs and boost traffic. For you, it’s all about knowing how to use them and making the most of the opportunity.
Implement a “Completely” Appealing Design
Looks aren’t everything, but they are critically important in this game. When a visitor arrives to your blog, the first thing they are going to notice is its presentation. You probably have a couple of default templates to choose from, but are they suitable for what you have planned? If your plans involve running a business, the answer may be “no”. A nice design might cost you a few dollars, but what it gives you back in presentation and customization qualities could be priceless.
While we’re on the subject of design, keep in mind that a truly appealing blog does more than look good. It also performs like a champ and makes sure the search engines have an easy time processing your content. This means your blog should not be overloaded with Flash, advertisements, or other items that could make it difficult to index. Fail here, and all your other efforts immediately become futile.
Consider Your Audience
As a blogger, it is fairly to get caught up in posting what you want to publish. Some can get away with this, but for others, it might as well be a death sentence. When carving out your content you need to be thinking about what your ideal audience wants to see. In several cases, it is the readers who send traffic to a blog. Not the search engines. With social media having such a powerful influence on the web, you should focus on content most likely to compel your readers to share.
Use the Right Keywords
Simply using the right words and phrases can see to it that your blog appears high in the results when a user goes to type something in their favorite search engine. You could take a gamble by guessing what a potential reader will enter into that box, and while you might guess right, you could be wrong as well. This is why I highly recommend conducting a little research with a good keyword tracking tool.
There are a number of tools out there, but most of the better ones function in a similar way. You enter your term or phrase into a box, and the tool provides the term or phrase that best matches up with your intent. Some tools limit you to broad results, while others allow you to drill down with more precision. When you identify the right keywords, make sure you include them in the right spots (e.g. title, headline, tags, body content) and more importantly, use them sparingly.
Link Externally and Internally
A solid link strategy is critical to increasing visibility and driving traffic to your blog. Google especially, loves it when you put yourself in a giving mood and use that strategy to highlight content on other sites. This method works incredibly well when you are linking to sites that are not only similar to your own, but have high authority in the eyes of the search engines. It is a tactic that rose to prominence in the early days of SEO and continues to shine to this day.
While linking to external sites may be more effective from an SEO perspective, never discount the value of an internal linking strategy. But be warned! Linking to your own content can get you penalized with Google’s new over-optimizing initiative in effect. Mainly, you want to avoid linking the keywords in your posts to other posts, pages, or categories within your blog. The search giant views this practice as tooting your own horn a bit too much.
So many individuals and businesses throw in the towel on blogging before even making it to the second round. Expecting instant gratification, they get frustrated, then grab their ball and run home. The road to prosperity is often a long and grueling one, but when you employ tried and true methods, you can put yourself on that surefire path to success.