There is no point writing a blog if you won’t get any readers; after all, most people blog in an attempt to make money from adverts and product promotion. However without careful planning and organisation, you will never create a blog that will get enough viewers to sustain the time that it takes to create blog posts. Search Engine Optimisation (or simply SEO) is one vital factor in getting viewers – by getting your website ranked higher on search engine pages such as Google and Bing, you are more likely to get viewers.
How do you go about SEO? Well you need to be very careful – the ‘spiders’ that rank websites will notice when you are targeting them, and then avoid you like the plague. Instead you have to be more subtle, and use high-profile key words, inter-site links and meta tags to promote your website. By providing a description of what your website is about, and having a well-structured layout, you will fly up the rankings and pull in more readers.
Here are just a few extra ways that you can help to make sure that you are promoting your website in the best possible way
Blog for a rival site
While the use of the word ‘rival’ might be slightly melodramatic, you need to treat other websites as just that: competitors for viewers. Most people will only read one or two blogs regularly on a single topic; you want to make sure that yours is one of those few that they read regularly. A great way of doing this is to become a temporary blogger for another site, and then link to your blog through them. This is a mutually-beneficial agreement, as you will hopefully get a more diverse range of viewers, while they get free content for their blog. By linking to your blog, as well as using the same name that you usually write under, you will hopefully also rise up the search engine results page.
Know your HTML
As touched on previously, without the correct meta tags you will forever be stuck at the bottom of the page rankings list. Meta tags will not only show that you are a serious web page (as many amateur websites will not include them at all), but it will help ‘spiders’ to notice your website and rank it highly. The tags are placed in the between the and section of your website, and should be just simple key words that you aim to target – “blog”, “cooking”, “baking”, “moms” might be just a few examples of a baking blog’s meta tags. Do some research on the best ways to utilise meta tags and anchor links before you go about placing them anywhere – use too many, and you will find that you will have an adverse effect on your ranking.
Utilise social media
Making sure that you are Tweeting about your blog, creating a Tumblr page and using Facebook posts will increase the traffic to your site much more than you might imagine. Word of mouth is important when it comes to blogs – if you can get a serious blogger to retweet a link to your blog, you might find that you have thousands more hits overnight, all because you knew how to best use social media. Make relationships and follow/friend request those who could be beneficial to your blog – you never know when they might come in useful.
However social media is so much more than just word of mouth. With the newest updates to the Google algorithm, you will find that incorporating social media into your website will have a positive impact on your page rankings. It is absolutely impossible to exaggerate the role that social media has on page rankings nowadays.
Careful page optimisation
While I’ve covered the importance of meta and anchor links, there is a lot more that can be said still. You need to make sure that you are using appropriate key words on your website, and that you have quality content on your blog. Creating hundreds of blog articles which are all the same and are of little benefit to anyone will not help your ranking – if anything, the Google ‘spiders’ will see that you are simply trying to get higher on the page ranking list and thus ignore your website completely. You need to be discrete and think carefully about the image of your website that you want search engines to have.
Share with other blogs, and use directories to your advantage
One great way of sharing your website is to participate in ‘article dumps’, which are just collaborations with other blogs. You will post an article of theirs, and they will post one of yours, which each article linking to the other website. This helps with page rankings, and increases traffic to your website in the hope that you will get new viewers who haven’t heard of your blog before.
A directory is just a list of a few of your favourite blog entries, with a short paragraph explaining the overview of the blog itself. Use key words to your advantage again, and you will extend the number of pages that can be accessed by the ‘spider’.