Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the most important tool a blogger can use to generate visits to your site – and revenue to your bottom line. The best thing about optimizing your SEO is that it can come at no cost. If you’re trying to increase your traffic and revenue, it’s imperative to build a strategy to keep your blog showing up in search engine results.
Effective SEO increases your chances of being found by potential customers and gives you the opportunity to compete with popular, more established bloggers who may even be vying for leads through big ad budgets. And planning is the first important step in getting off to a good start with SEO.
Here are six steps for smart planning that will increase traffic to your blog through SEO:
1. Relevant Keywords
Choosing your keywords is important, as they must relate closely to the topic of your blog. Exact keywords and those that are ideal can be great, but keep in mind that they may suffer in their ranking due to high competition. Popular but unique keywords and phrases are what you should be trying to utilize. They can be handy as there is less competition using them. The more of these unique terms you generate, the more traffic you will have visiting your site.
2. Refresh and Optimize
Focusing on keeping your content fresh and relevant and continuing to optimize your site is a great technique, but make for certain that you can do this directly yourself. This way you can refresh content and refocus it around your keywords to target a variety of visitors. It is also a good idea to incorporate your main keywords for your blog as the title of your homepage and any other tags on your site.
3. Building Links
Instead of falling into the trap of paying for links on various other websites and risk being blacklisted by Google, you should instead simply ask if other sites similar to yours will feature your posts. The most important way to generate good volume of traffic and a healthy number of inbound links is to write great content. Great content will increase the ranking of your blog pages, because people will want to link to you sites with useful content. You’ll discover that you won’t even have to ask for the privilege.
4. Get Local
If you cover local topics, register your blog on sites such as Yahoo Local and Google Places. You’ll be able to list your site on their directory services for no monetary outlay whatsoever, and these listings will help people in your area find your site more easily. Utilizing your local market is essential to keep those in your area able to find you first and fast.
5. Utilize Social Media
If you’re not already using social media sites to market your blog, you need to get on board right away. There aren’t many better ways to increase SEO than to use social media to your advantage. You can talk directly with your readers via sites like Facebook and Twitter, and what’s more important is that it can be an enjoyable experience. A good social media strategy is essential – if it’s executed properly. So get active!
6. Search Engine Results Pages
Search engine results pages (SERPs) are the best way to evaluate how your SEO strategy is proceeding in the right direction. These results will measure your ranking, traffic and leads. You can uncover which keywords are bringing customers to your site and which are not. You can also discover if a particular keyword is bringing a high volume of visitors but not converting them to customers. The wealth of information to be extracted from these SERPs will help establish your overall future business strategy.
Matthew Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Adam. Matthew is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.