Strategies to Grow Organic Blog Traffic: Leverage SEO Best Practices
If you've been blogging for more than five minutes, you've heard that SEO (search engine optimization) should be your most important goal—and some would say, your only goal. To increase your blog's organic search engine rank position and gain more clicks, follow these four simple strategies.
Use Relevant and Related Titles for Each Blog Post
The title is the first bit of information presented in search engine results. Searchers scan quickly, looking for the exact answer to their problem or question. Your titles should contain relevant keywords, and should also capture attention and show a little personality. Present a fresh twist or an interesting angle right up front.
To use titles in your SEO strategy, create a series of five or more posts that examine one aspect of your niche in depth and use the same keywords to relate them to each other. Spread the publishing of these posts out over time. Search engines give more weight to blogs that drill down into topics rather than briefly touching the surface. (If you write ten or more closely-related posts, assemble them into an ebook for added value.)
Tag Blog Posts Appropriately
Determine about ten SEO keywords and phrases and use only those tags for every post. If the topic of a blog post doesn't fit with your niche idea, it's probably not appropriate unless you plan a whole new series based on the unrelated keyword. Tagging appropriately shows search engines that you stay on topic and helps visitors find more information deeper in your blog.
Tags allow your blogging software to sort posts into categories. Remember, you don't have to tag every post with all ten tags—just choose three or four that fit best. As your blog grows you'll gain more articles in each category, thus strengthening the power of tags overall.
Use Keywords and Keyphrases Naturally
Gone are the days when simply repeating a keyword ad nauseam scored points with search engines. Bloggers must write relevant and informative blog posts that a real human reader finds interesting. The writing should be grammatically and structurally correct and incorporate organic use of specific words—around one percent is perfectly fine.
While an exact match is ideal for top placement in search engine results, you also gain ranking if blog posts contain related keywords and phrases. For instance, this article uses the keywords SEO strategy, search engine optimization, organic search engine rank, search engine results and search engines along with liberal sprinkles of blogging, blog, blogger and post to reinforce the main idea. This strays over into the somewhat scary realm of latent semantic indexing.
Don't Fear Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)
As repetitive use of keywords is going out of style, latent semantic indexing (LSI) is becoming the primary SEO strategy. LSI is how search engines look at the whole picture of a particular blog and the entire world wide web, relating your bit of content to everything else. Words that are frequently used near each other become patterns, semantically related in the search engine.
To leverage LSI as an SEO strategy on your blog, incorporate organic variations of keyphrases throughout the content. Rich writing naturally produces semantic patterns, but think creatively about how your keywords are related to other concepts. For instance, affiliate marketing is related to blogging, which is related to online business, which is related to sales strategies, and so on.
Keep SEO Strategies Simple or Hire an Expert
Bloggers can actually damage their search engine rank position by using SEO strategies wrong. Unless you become a student of search engine optimization, keep your SEO efforts simple: write fresh content with natural use of keywords and phrases, explore your niche topic deeply, post regularly, and engage the blogging community frequently.
If you feel a well-written and engaging blog isn't enough, hire an SEO expert to tweak your strategies. Experts get paid the big bucks for good reason. Search engine optimization requires attention to detail to get the best results.
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