Blow Up Your Blog Traffic in 2013

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Online marketer Jason Acidre shares 5 actionable SEO tips you can use to improve your blog’s visibility and drive constant search traffic this year.

Blow up your blog traffic in 2013

As many experts point out, your blog is the most important social media tool. Everything else that follows will just support and propagate the content that your blog has – and that includes SEO.

With SEO responsible for bringing new and targeted visitors, leads, and potential customers to your blog there’s no denying it’s an incredibly important aspect of the blogging process.

Even though SEO is an important area, however, it should never interfere with how you write your content. Search engines are all about improving the online experience of their users — your SEO approach should be, too.

There have been so many improvements and changes in Google’s search algorithms these past few years. Optimizing a blog for search has also progressed alongside these changes, incorporating new signals, factors, and methodologies.

So in this post, I’ll be sharing five actionable tips you can implement to improve your blog’s visibility on search results and performance in driving constant search traffic this year.

1) Create Content that Gets Searched

Content is what drives any online marketing strategy, and that’s why it’s so important to continuously create contents that get actually searched and consumed by your target audience.

You can use keyword research tools such as Google’s Keyword Tool and/or Ubersuggest to get content ideas and to determine what topics are sought-after in your space.

Focus your content development strategy on providing answers to frequently searched information on subjects/topics that aren’t time-sensitive.

This approach can help you constantly attract visitors from search engines who’re specifically seeking for the information that your content provides.

Important: Make sure that the content is absolutely relevant or actually about the query you’re targeting, and offers valuable/useful information to readers. You can check out more tips here on how to optimize your content for search.

2) Create More Landing Pages (Not Just Posts)

Blog posts can do pretty well on search results. But static pages (that can offer the same value) can perform better.

The time/date that a blog post is published sometimes causes posts’ search rankings to fluctuate, seeing that newer blog posts or content about the same topic from other content hubs will eventually compete for the same spot.

So if you have very extensive blog posts or guides that have somehow served as an ultimate resource for a certain topic in your industry, converting them into independent pages on your site will definitely be a great way to protect, maintain and/or improve their rankings.

Few great samples of these are:

There are also other ways and reasons to expand your blog’s amount of important landing pages (meaning pages that you’ll really need to optimize, promote and push more internal links to) such as:

These are content assets that deserve better search rankings for very competitive search terms, because they are worth-linking to. They have better chances of getting natural links and it’s reasonable to promote them through manual link building or social outreach.

3) Post Longer, Comprehensive Content

Comprehensiveness of content is a strong signal that search engines use, not just to gauge relevancy, but also to determine the value of the content.

If the content is a complete resource about the subject, it basically deserves a higher ranking position.

Longer posts are sticky, knowing that they tend to get bookmarked, get more return visits and/or referenced to by other content publishers as a resource.

Few tips on making your content more comprehensive:

  • Add more visuals in your blog posts.
  • Expand the details of the information you’re offering (Wikipedia style).
  • Identify the areas of the subject that’s missing from other websites’ similar post and provide those information in your content.

4) Optimize for Dwell Time

Dwell time is a user-experience metric, which is a combination of bounce rate and time-spent on site. When people are staying longer on the blog, it becomes a strong indication that they are finding its content useful and relevant, and thus help in improving the site’s ability to rank better on search results.

There are many ways to optimize a blog to make its visitors stay longer and to encourage them to take actions:

  • Build more thematic internal links within your posts’ content. Use longer anchor texts to make the more visible to readers and to entice more clicks.
  • Use compelling images/visuals to stimulate and capture your readers’ attention.
  • Link to related blog posts at the end of your post (if you’re on WordPress, you can install the Yet Another Related Post plugin).
  • Invest on a visually appealing site design and learn basic UX. Ask people for feedback and suggestions to improve user-experience.
  • Optimize content above the fold. Make sure that the headline and introductory part of the content can entice readers to scroll down.
  • Improve your blog’s load time or site speed. Use tools like Pingdom or Page Speed Insights to assess areas of the blog that could be causing it to slow down.
  • Optimize for readability and design your content for skimmers. Break down your content in shorter paragraphs and highlight the important parts (by using bold texts, headings or quotations).
  • Use strong calls-to-action on highly-perceptible areas of your pages (ex: at the end of the post or above the fold).

5) Optimize Your Categories

Blog categories are strong static pages that can compete for highly competitive terms, because they actually pertain to the niche itself and they are up in the hierarchy of your blog’s architecture.

Though many times, these pages aren’t well-optimized for search, and often become poor-content pages (that sometimes can cause content duplication within the site).

There are a few things that you can do to improve your categories (for it to look more appealing to both users and search engines):

  • Optimize your categories’ title tags.
  • Add custom content above the fold, including a headline (with the keywords that the category is about) and an introductory content which describes the types of content that go into that category.
  • Display only the excerpts for the listed posts in each category page.
  • Build contextual links to your categories (both internal and inbound links).

Improving the page value of your categories can also help distribute more ranking power to the blog posts under it. The same thing happens when your blog posts are increasing their page authority, wherein they can also pass the ranking ability back to the category page.

For more advanced tips on building a high-traffic blog, check out these posts:

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Jason Acidre, Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive. It originally appeared as part of a longer post on his SEO blog, Kaiserthesage. For more tips for blowing up your blog traffic, see his original post: Advanced SEO for Blogs: 2013 Edition.

We want to hear from you! What steps are you taking to improve your site’s SEO this year?

  • Great tips, especially the one about category pages, and linking to them from within posts. I use WordPress SEO by Yoast for the blogs we run, and it has the capability to customize your category titles, but I never bothered with it.

    • kevincain

      What tips or tactics have worked well for your blog, Stephan? Always curious to get another perspective. Or, turn the question around: What has your experience taught you not to do?

      • “NOT” to do: keyword stuff and all the other tactics that are brutally obvious once you’ve read an article and know what to look for. On the positive side, I’ve been more of a “just write a good story that will help someone and the rankings will come.” That’s worked for me, and I have a few posts that are getting amazing rankings, but could probably use some slight tweaks to hit those specific keywords people are searching for (versus the keyword I’d use personally). It’s the little things that make a big difference, right?

        • jcrowe_openview

          Absolutely agree, Stephan. Thinking of keywords in terms of user intent is such a simple and obvious concept (it’s also incredibly important and can yield major results), but it can be difficult and take time to get into the habit.

          One simple step I take is to do a quick search for my keyword phrase before I publish to make absolutely sure my post would fit in with the results. If not, I need to reconsider my keywords.