Recently, at their request, I analyzed the SEO of a non-profit’s website. Looking at what people did wrong reminded me of the things we need to do right to promote our blogs.
I considered writing “Ten Things to Do to Improve Your Blog Traffic,” but I’ve noticed some writers are just plain whiny about SEO. It’s time consuming. No one reads my blog anyway. Who cares? Much of this just comes down to not knowing what to do. Let me streamline the process by providing a few suggestions. Do these things and you should see a rise in your traffic.
1.) Use keywords in your post—Google’s ranking algorithm may have changed more often than Lady GaGa’s wardrobe, but one constant remains—keywords. In your title and in your post utilizing keywords is the most effective way for search engines to notice you. If you are a writer trying to promote your work then use the words, “writing,” “fiction,” your genre, i.e. “fantasy writing,” romance stories” etcetera until you are tired of seeing them. Then tag them in your tag section. Spare me your protests about how it is important to vary words. This is a blog post, not your epic Work In Progress.
2.) Connect with other people in your profession through Facebook and Twitter. Your best friend may adore your writing, but the goal is to connect with the wider world. Read and comment on other’s posts, send them tweets, let them know you are friendly person. Once they get to know you they will connect with you on your blog. Nearly guaranteed.
3.) Link your Facebook page and Twitter accounts to your blog. Just by having links to either gives people an additional way to connect with you. Wouldn’t you like some more Twitter followers? Then don’t make it so difficult for them, OK?
4.) Use alt tags in your pictures. What am I talking about? Instead of uploading just a picture, name it. Search engines can’t “see” your pictures. They need a piece of text to grab onto. The more ways you give search engines to “read” your page, the more information they have to say to someone doing a search. “I’ve got what you are looking for!”
5.) Link to other blogs. That’s what blog rolls are for. Inline links to other blogs is a must. If you are lucky, some other author will get all excited about the link you gave them and reciprocate. If you are new at this don’t get all fussy about the other’s person’s page rank. When you are a famous author and can afford to hire someone to manage your online presence, he or she will do that for you. While you are at it, add a link to another post in your own blog. Give people something else to read to increase the time they spend on your blog.
Photo published under a Creative Commons License issued by flickr user Paloma Gomez