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11 Tips for growing your blog audience and increasing search traffic

Or…simply put…how to make your blog kick more ass.

1. Write great content and be yourself

First and foremost, and quite simply, you want to write great content. Write for people, not for search engines. Try to be informal, yet professional. Writing doesn’t have to be 100% grammatically correct, but it should be free from misspellings and typos.

You want to engage with your readers, much as if you were face to face with them having a conversation. Endear yourself to them, earn their respect and trust, but don’t “sell” to them.

2. Write content people are searching for

The best way to get your blog discovered is to write content that people are out searching for. A cheap and easy way to go about this is to look at the related keyword phrases that are suggested in a Google search. Google Trends is also a very useful tool which shows the trending popularity of the keywords, along with related search terms. If you have an AdWords account, the keyword planner in there is another good cost-free alternative.

For my keyword research I use a mixture of the above tools, plus data from WordTracker, the WA keyword tool and SEMRush.

3. Be informative and educational

The best way to reach your visitors and to win them over is to help them. Entertaining them is good and so is enlightening them, but nothing works better than teaching them something actionable. It’s hard to beat a well put together guide or tutorial.

Try to take as many opportunities as you can to teach your audience something, rather than just telling them a story.

4. Find the best article on a topic and create a better version

Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.

A popular formula for increasing traffic and engagement is to seek out high ranking articles on a given topic then create a better post. The idea is to draw from the information that’s available, then create a masterpiece which you and your audience would want to read.

This process is not unlike writing a research paper. I’ve used this strategy to create number one ranked posts and pages time and again. The posts are hard work, but the the method is simple.

5. Use images

Readers aren’t always going to be compelled to stare down a wall of text, which is why pictures are so important. Just one simple image near the headline of your post – which conveys the feeling of the article – can do wonders for drawing a visitor into the content.

Every single time I post a new article on any of my sites I always include at least one image, and I always place one at the very top of my posts and pages. DepositPhotos is my go-to for post images.

6. Use proper formatting

Make sure to use several short paragraphs and include headings (h tags) where appropriate. Also use a font size and typeface that is easy to read. You want your content to be easily digestible. Having your content broken up into several paragraphs and subheadings will ensure that your readers will be able to scan it with ease.

Headings are also important for telling the search engines which particular keywords you are emphasizing in your post or page.

7. Don’t have a shitty looking site

Don’t be silly with your site theme and use some kooky color scheme or low contrast palette. You don’t have to be a web designer to have a nice looking site, you just need to be sensible about things. Use a clean layout which doesn’t detract from the content, and provide your visitors with a pleasant viewing experience.

Your favorite colors may be chartreuse and eggplant, but that doesn’t mean your visitors will love your neon green font on the purple background. Don’t be eccentric, be accessible.

8. Post regularly

Posting regularly is a great way to get your content indexed quickly, and a surefire way to improve your rankings. Google loves sites that are active, and the more active you are, the more often Googlebot will come to visit, and the better your chances of getting Google to shuffle you upward in the search results. A set posting schedule is also a great way to convert first time visitors into fans.

Google will occasionally shuffle rankings to give lower ranking content a chance to get found, and an active site will be much more apt to be bumped up a few spots. Google is always trying to deliver the best results possible, so keep posting great content regularly and Google may give you a boost!

9. Interlink your posts and pages

Once you do start to attract an audience it’s important that they’re able to easily explore the rest of your site and discover more great content that is related to the post or page they landed on via search. An easy way to do this is to link keyword phrases within your posts and pages to relevant articles on the site. This is also a great way to build authority for specific pages.

By linking to other pages on your site from within your content you’re not only making it easy for your visitors to discover related content, but you’re able to pass internal authority over to certain pages and take advantage of targeted anchor text.

10. Make it easy for readers to share your posts on social media

Make sure you have features in place which will make it easy for your visitors to share your great content on social media. Each page should, at the very least, have a way for visitors to like and/or share the article on Facebook, tweet about it, +1 it, or Pin images from the post or page.

There are many great WordPress plugins available which make sharing easy. My personal favorites are Jetpack’s Sharing, SumoMe, or if you’re using the Genesis Framework, Genesis Simple Share.

11. Find out which posts are getting the most traffic, then make them better

Once you do start getting some people through the door, the quickest and easiest way to improve your rankings is to note which articles are getting the most traction, then make them even better. Add additional information, images, updates to the post, etc… Another great technique is to post additional related articles, linking them back to the higher ranking ‘authority’ article. This is a great way to keep funneling visitors to your cornerstone content, and to emphasize to Google the importance of specific pages on your site.

Often times I like to create static pages for specific topics, articles, guides, tutorials, etc…then boost their rankings by creating loads of related posts that link to these resource pages.

Well there ya have it! A few miscellaneous tips to help you out with your blogging strategy. I hope many of you will get at least a little something from this post. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “11 Tips for growing your blog audience and increasing search traffic”

  1. “Write great content and be yourself” This is the first and foremost thing to remember and then rest will follow.Always try to write something that will attract the audience.Make it unique .

  2. I found your page after searching WA hosting problems and really enjoyed your writing. I learned a few things in the process which I really appreciate.

    Thanks!

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