If you are looking to gain readership to your blog, you should consider implementing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies. SEO practices have become increasingly popular in the business community in the past few years—especially businesses that operate online. For the everyday blogger these practices can seem confusing, but once you know the basics, it’s really quite simple.
Simply search for your site using a search engine, like Google, and see where it ranks. Can you find it by searching keywords that describe your content? If you have a blog about car insurance, for example, you should be able to find that blog by typing in “car insurance.” Of course, the more specific your topic, the less competition you are likely to have. Once you increase your readership, you may even gain income.
Here are five easy ways to get started using SEO practices:
1. Target your audience
In order to run a successful blog or website, you need to understand the needs of your audience. But before you can even begin that process, you need to know who your audience is. Is your blog about baking sugar free cakes? Then your audience should be able to find you by searching for sugar free cake recipes.
2. Use keywords
To successfully use keywords, you need to do a little research first. This sounds more difficult than it is. If you have a site about saving money on car insurance, then “car insurance” would be a keyword. You might also want to incorporate long tail keyword phrases like “car insurance quotes.” You can determine what keywords are relevant to your site by using a program like Google analytics. Or you can simply see what comes up in your search engine when you type your blog’s subject.
3. Male your headings, post titles and tags keyword rich
Once you decide which keywords apply to your blog or website, use them as often as possible in your blog’s tags, headings and post titles. You can also label any graphics that you use to accompany an article or post, depending on the platform you are using. Be careful though: do not use keywords if they are not relevant. This will make you look like spam to search engines like Google, and can result in even lower ranking.
4. Build links
Link building is an integral aspect of SEO practices. Your blog is more likely to get picked up by a search engine if there are several links between your site and others. To start, you can link to sites that garner more traffic than yours, but only do so if relevant to your content. Another way to build links is to direct traffic to your site by participating in meaningful online conversations via commenting on blogs with similar topics, or by guest posting on similar blogs. Building links takes time, so be patient.
5. Keep your content fresh and updated
If you haven’t written a post in a couple of months, chances are that your site will drop in the ranks. Make sure to update your site often with fresh and relevant content. Posting often also increases the amount of content on your site—which means more opportunity to use keywords. SEO practices aside, readers are more likely to come back to your site again if they see that it is updated often.
Don’t lose hope if you don’t see results overnight. Applying SEO practices to your website is relatively easy, but it takes time for your efforts to pay off. If you keep writing and generating great content, and use these simple steps, you should start to see yourself climb in the ranks of search engines.