You may have seen the movie Field of Dreams, where Kevin Costner builds a baseball field in the middle of the countryside and people come from far and near to visit. This concept of ‘if you build it they will come’ is a romantic one, but does not apply to your business. Probably the trickiest part for any online entrepreneur is getting targeted traffic to their sites. This is more science than art and has spawned an industry all of its own. Search engine optimization or SEO as it’s more affectionately referred to, is a major player in how you get targeted traffic to your sites or in this case, your blogs.
Driving Targeted Traffic To Your Blog
There are other promotional and marketing strategies that you can employ to get traffic, but it all starts with optimizing your blogs for SEO. If you want your blog to be found, you have to optimize it for the search engines. Google and the other search engines will crawl you site to see what it’s about, and then send traffic (people) who are searching for those specific topics. It must be general enough to garner attention, yet specific enough to weed out those you are actually searching for very different information.
The level of optimization you can perform on your blog depends once again on whether you’re using a free platform or a hosted one.
A blogging platform like WordPress.org is the best way to go for SEO purposes. There are no limits as to how you can customize your WordPress.org (hosted) blog. But because most beginners tend to use the free blog platforms, we’ll explore SEO tactics that everyone can benefit from.
Split Your Blog’s Search Engine Optimization into Offsite And Onsite SEO
Offsite SEO can be summed up as just this – inbound links. This means blogs other than your own, are linking to your blog and a wide variety of your content. Inbound links are quite possibly the most important SEO tactic that could get your blogs highly ranked in the search engines.
So how do you get others to link to you? Here are some ways to get you started:
Write Quality Content – Nothing gets you links faster than writing content that affects your readers. If a little bit of controversy helps, throw that in. As word gets around about your posts, bloggers will inevitably link to you.
Post Comments On Blogs You Read – Don’t hesitate to post worthwhile comments on other blogs, be it your competitors or not, but realize blog comments themselves don’t have impact on your SEO results. You may get a follow-up with a link pointing to your blog. And if that happens to be from a competitor with a huge audience, you’ll be looking at some major traffic influx to your blog.
Submit Your Blog To Directories – You can submit your blogs to blog directories to generate more inbound links. Apart from buying links, this is something many bloggers do to get more traffic. Technorati.com and DayPop.com are amongst two of the more popular blog directories right now, but you can perform a Web search to find more.
Onsite SEO requires customization within your blog itself. Here’s how to get started:
Optimize Your Content With Targeted Keywords – This topic really requires intense study, as it is one of the more important subjects when discussing SEO. But in a nutshell, your blog posts should contain the keywords or keyword phrases that your potential customers or readers would most likely type into the search engines to find what they are looking for.
This requires advanced research of keywords on your part so that you can place these targeted keywords within your blog content. The result would be a highly optimized blog for the very information your potential customers are looking for.
Have each of your posts focused on one specific topic so that you can moderate the keywords going into your content. Over-stuffing keywords can make for terrible reading which defeats the purpose of finding and keeping your customers.
Make your posts as original as possible and update your blog frequently, at least three times a week.
Place Your Keywords Here Too – Within the URL of the page, page and post titles, heading tags such as H1, image alt tags and meta tags. Bold your keywords where you can too.
Create A Good Linking Structure Within Your Blog – Create links that link from a certain post in your blog to another relevant post which you had written previously. This interlinking makes it very easy for search engines to re-index your blog, allowing for more of your pages to be indexed. Categorize your information and place them on your blog’s sidebar. Create a sitemap once your blog starts growing larger in size.
But one thing to remember is not to over-optimize your blog. Write naturally and don’t overdo it with keywords. Use descriptive wording and use synonyms rather than repeating the same keyword phrases over and over. Following these strategies will increase the amount of targeted traffic you receive to your blog, and will ultimately increase your bottom line as well.