Increase Blog Traffic with Seach Engine Optimization Tricks in Mind

Increasing blog traffic is important to your blog’s success.  One way to increase blog traffic is to write blog posts and blog titles with keywords in mind. Another way to increase blog traffic is to keep other search engine optimization tricks in mind.

An often overlooked blogging technique which helps to increase blog traffic is internal linking.  Internal linking is them “SEO term” for the practice of linking one post to other posts on your blog.

The reason why internal linking is called a search engine optimization trick is that by linking to your own posts, you are in fact performing an act of SEO (search engine optimization).

See, the search engines are a lot like the character on the  educational television show Sesame Street.  Remember the Count?  He is a character who helps small children learn to count by counting everything that crosses his path.

Well, the search engines share the Count’s passion for counting.  When the search engines come to index your blog, each bot begins to count the number of links to each blog post.  In Google, the number of links counts HEAVILY towards the PR or Page Rank assigned to a page or a post in your blog.

Many bloggers tend to focuson the number of incoming links to their blog without considering that some of the best links are those that come from inside the blog – or internal linking.

Internal linking allows you to not only increase the number of links to a page, but it also serves to highlight your best blog posts for your readers as well.

When creating internal links, you have the added advantage of having control over the “anchor text” used to create those links.

Anchor text is the text which is hyperlinked.  The keywords you use to create your blog post should also be reflected in your anchor text.  Instead of creating a link that says “Click Here” be sure to create your links with the text you want the search engines to use to index the page.  For example, instead of creating a link that says “click here” I’d instead create a link using the words how to blog. The search engines are then created to say to themselves, “Hey – this post must be about “how to blog” since there’s an incoming link to it that says “how to blog”.

This is by no means the depth and breadth of blog SEO – but the journey of a thousand miles begins with just a single step.  Use the proper keywords and then linking to other blog posts within your blog posts are two great steps towards getting more traffic to your blog using basic Search Engine Optimization techniques.

How to Blog Successfully

There are tons of resources telling you “how to blog”.  I just read one that walks you step by step through installing your own WordPress self hosted blog.  Somehow, these people keep “selling” the idea that the HARDEST part of a creating a blog is the technical “set up” of the blog.

Oh my friends, nothing could be FURTHER from the truth.

While it’s true, starting with a self hosted WordPress blog IS a great start to building a blog.  But the structure of the blog is just the beginning of the “How to Blog Successfully” story.

The true FOUNDATION of a successful blog is not found in the technical installation of a blog.  After all, there are dozens of successful blogs which are not self hosted WordPress blogs.    The true key to how to blog successfully is to start with a plan.

First,  identify your GOAL for your blog.  What do you want from your blog? Money? Fame? Advertising for your business?

If you’re blogging as a business (to make money) you’ll want to adopt a different blogging style than if you’re blogging trying to achieve a level of fame and recognition.  Want to blog to advertise your business?  That’s another “style” of blogging all together!

Then, identify the “niche” you want to target.  I can honestly say at this point that it’s almost impossible to select TOO narrow of a niche.  Most people are literally not able to wrap their brains around how BIG the internet is – how many websites there are out there and how many people scattered across the globe there are that fit into a tightly defined “niche”.

If you want to make money online, I’d advise you pick a niche outside of the “MMO” niche.  There are wide open opportunities in THOUSANDS of niches outside of the make money online blogging niche.  While you may struggle for years to make a name for yourself in the make money online niche, you could quickly become a blogging superstar in the knitting clothes for toy breed dogs niche.  (While I just made that up off the top of my head, I’m sure that somewhere, there is a Facebook group or Myspace Group dedicated to just those enthusiasts!)

The true “key” to how to blog successfully is to set a goal and pick a niche.  Then the fun begins!

Blogging is Dead – Long Live the Blog

It’s official.  Blogging is dead.

Wired.com declared it.

“Thinking about launching your own blog? Here’s some friendly advice: Don’t. And if you’ve already got one, pull the plug.”

Mike over at the DoFollow Blog Information shared it.  Oh, Mike also shares this in his post Blogging is Dead

The real key to blogging today, is to find niches to blog about.

For example, if you try to get traffic to a general political blog today, you will have a hard time competing with the big boys.  But, if you decided to blog about something like politics from a Christian’s prospective, or from a lawyer’s perspective, or an internet marketer’s perspective, you should be able to find an audience.

BINGO!!!

If you think of a blog as a “mystical magical money making machine” then it’s easy to declare that “blogging is dead”.

If, on the other hand, you view your blog as a MARKETING TOOL to use to promote your BUSINESS -well, then blogging is VERY MUCH ALIVE!

Blogs are kind of like online magazines – and declaring that magazines are “dead” would make about as much sense as declaring that blogs are “dead”.

Magazines are the poster child of target marketing.  Each magazine has it’s own “audience”.  Is it tough to launch a magazine that appeals to ALL women?  HECK YEAH – but Oprah seems to have succeeded there.

Do I recommend that you try to launch a magazine that appeals to all women?  HECK NO!!!

However, there are tens of thousands of small “niche” magazines that are incredibly successful.

Would I recommend that you launch a magazine that appeals to a tightly targeted audience – HECK YEAH!!!

There are two ways to use a blog and both are illustrated by using magazines as an example.

  1. Your blog can act as a marketing tool to promote your business
  2. Your blog can act as an “entertainment medium”.

YOUR BLOG AS A MARKETING TOOL:

If you’re using your blog as a marketing tool to promote your business – well, think of it like the quarterly magazine published by Kraft foods.

Every quarter a very slick magazine filled with dozens of informative articles and recipes arrives via snail mail courtesy of Kraft Foods.  This magazine is actually an ADVERTISEMENT for their many products, because each recipe calls for ingredients made by Kraft Foods.

However, that’s not ALL that appears in this magazine.  There are also informative articles – and of course, full page ads for various Kraft Products.

My local hospital offers a similar publication to area residents to promote their health care system.

Your blog can act like that – providing USEFUL information to people to people to whom you’d like to sell products and services.

YOUR BLOG AS AN ENTERTAINMENT MEDIUM

There’s another way to use a blog and that’s as an “entertainment” medium.

When you use your blog as an “entertainment” medium, you’ll be using it like a traditional magazine would.  Think Better Homes & Gardens Magazine.

It’s your job to provide articles (blog posts) that people want to read.  Just as magazines offer advertising space within their publication, the way you make money from this arrangement is to offer advertising space on your blog.

See, advertisers want to get their message in front of people and if you have people coming to your blog to read your posts, then you have something to “sell” to advertisers.

The thing is, advertisers like it BEST when you can tightly target your audience.  For example, if your blog is all about COOKING – that’s one thing.  You can try to sell ad space on your blog to cooking schools, cooking equipment manufacturers, appliance manufacturers, etc.

But if your blog is all about COOKING TO CONTROL DIABETES – ah, now THAT’S another story. A blog that is all about COOKING TO CONTROL DIABETES suddenly is very appealing to a pharmaceutical company selling diabetes testing supplies AND the company that makes foods especially for people with diabetes.

The thing is, the second blog can command a much higher rate for advertising (even with fewer “eyeballs” consuming the content) because their content is SPECIALIZED!

BEFORE you pull the plug on your blog, pick up a copy of the 8 Week Power Blog Launch.  In the 8 week course, you’ll learn not only how to pick a niche market for your blog, but you’ll also learn how to build content AND drive traffic to your blog as well.

Long live the blog!

Blog Marketing: Online Keywords

One of the most common scenarios I see not only with my own blogs but also in my clients’ blogs is creating posts without considering online keywords.

Online keywords are the words used by people to find information on the web. The thing is, if your vocabulary is exceptional and if your spelling skills are good, you may find yourself creating blog posts which are focused on words very, very few people are using when they search the internet.

For example, according to Wordtracker’s free keyword tool, shows 620 searches for the word entrepreneur. Yaro Starak knows how to spell entrepreneur and has based his blog on the correct spelling of the word. Not only did he launch his blog with the keyword entrepreneur in the domain name, but he also creates blog posts with the keyword in the title such as the blog post 4 Tips for Becoming a More Productive Entrepreneur.

However, there are other ways that people online are spelling that keyword. While Google is quick to “correct” spelling mistakes, there are still other “alternate” spellings of the word entrepreneur including:

  • entreprenuer – 53 searches
  • entrepeneur – 38 searches
  • enterpreneur -17 searches

Wow. People can’t spell entrepreneur. You might be tempted to think that the easier to spell keyword “small business owner” would fare better… but according to Wordtracker, the keyword small business owner only had 17 searches. The same as enterpreneur mispelling.

So which word should you focus on when you’re writing a blog post with tips for small business success? Should you write your blog post and title it “Success Tips For Entrepreneurs” or Success Tips for Small Business Owners”?

When I started paying attention to keywords in my blog posts, my traffic began to increase exponentially. On one of my blogs, I was creating a post which was originally titled “Writing Pithy, Punchy Headlines”. When I checked the online keywords, I discovered that no one was searching for “pithy” or “punchy” headlines. However, they were searching for Creating Blazing Hot Headlines that Attract Readers.

One of the keys to blog marketing success is to pay attention to the keywords people are using to find information online.   When you create blog posts around the keywords that people are using to find information on the web, it will help attract visitors to your blog.

Great Blog Names

I was recently looking at the log files of a blog client of mine. She wanted to know how she could see how many visitors had found her blog and I was preparing to give her what I thought would be bad news.

See, she had only posted 15 articles to her blog… 3 of them poems. She hadn’t been tagging her posts… she hadn’t focused on essential keywords… and she hadn’t been posting regularly.

Imagine my surprise when I saw she had already snagged almost 200 visitors that month to her brand new blog. She then told me that 25 of them had signed up for her newsletter. I WAS STUNNED!

When I looked at the keywords which were driving traffic to her blog, I saw the reason for her amazing blog success: she had chosen a GREAT blog name and domain name for her blog.

Because she had started with a great blog name, her blog was already taking off… despite all the “blogging mistakes” she was making!

Great Blog Names

If there is one KEY to a great blog name it’s to include a highly desired keyword in the domain name of the blog.

A keyword is just another way of saying “words people actually use to find information on the internet”.

There are lots of free tools you can use to find a great keyword for your blog’s domain name.  One is the Google keyword tool.  Another great free keyword research tool is provided for free by Wordtracker.

In addition to researching keywords, you can also use Google Insights to see if your chosen keywords are “on the rise”.

A great blog name with relevant keywords can provide a solid foundation of relevant traffic right from the start!

Once you’ve found a great keyword which your audience is using to find products/services/answers on the internet – the next step is to register a domain name that contains that keyword combination.

The rule of thumb is – generally .com domain names do better than any of the others.

If you can’t find that SPECIFIC keyword combination – try mixing it up and adding other words to the mix.  GoDaddy is real good about offering suggestions when you search for domain names there.

Summer Savings! $7.49 .com

The best blog name is one that instantly conveys to your audience what your blog is all about.  When you include that information in your domain name as well – it can be the beginning of a beautiful (and successful) blog.

Starting with a great blog name is a key to blogging success.   If you’re looking for other essentials you need to create a successful blog check out the Virtual Impax Essential Tools for Blogging Success.