Get Noticed: SEO Strategy For Bloggers
As a former copywriter, I know how it feels to invest hours crafting the perfect blog post only to render a few visitors. It's a hopeless feeling - like a tiny drop trying to get noticed in a big ol' sea.
I've learned that there are essentially two ways to get noticed out there. They are:
1. Have lots of money to invest in advertising and other forms of marketing
2. Devise an SEO strategy and stick to it, over time
Here is a strategy that will get your content noticed, provided you are consistent and persistent.
1. Publish regular content
Feeling inspired to write a blog post but it's 9PM on a Sunday? That's fine! Write your inspired post, just don't publish it yet...
Why? Because not many people are online checking their blog feed on Sunday night. The same is true for social media in general.
Statistics show that one of the best times to get your content viewed is Monday at 11AM (EST), while Saturday at 9AM (EST) is the most likely time to receive comments.
Schedule your blog posts to publish at these optimal times, and be reliable with regular content. Once or twice weekly is a good publishing schedule for the first few months of blogging; be realistic about the frequency of your publishing and maintain consistency.
2. Hone in on your keywords and include them in blog posts
After you do some thorough research and have selected the primary keywords and phrases you'll be targeting for, you'll want to sprinkle those words and phrases throughout your blog posts when applicable.
I stress when applicable because it's common to see a lot of keyword stuffing out there nowadays, and I think most readers will agree that it lessens their opinion of the content, the author (you), and the site altogether which will inevitably send red flags to Google's ranking system.
If you've taken the time to choose the right keywords for your site, it should be no problem to use them organically in your posts.
3. Rename files for SEO
Adding images to blog posts is a crucial aspect of any post. Walls of text don't perform very well when it comes to reader engagement.
Breaking up text with high-quality images placed strategically throughout your posts is a great way to keep the reader's attention.
But before you upload the photo files to your post, inject SEO into them!
Sound scary? It's not - you're just going to rename your files using appropriate keywords.
For example, in this very blog post you're reading right now, I've taken the time to rename the photo files I've selected, with file names such as "tiffany-davidson-seo-strategy-for-bloggers-squarespace.jpg"
Depending on your goals and popularity, your formula for renaming files should go something like this:
1. Your name or the name of your business/site
2. Your service (example: paleo-chef or natural-parenting or film-photographer-portland-oregon)
3. The title of the post itself (example: seo-strategy-for-bloggers or 10-examples-of-good-design)
4. Your choice of a couple more keywords/phrases that your targeted audience might be searching for (example: stress-reduction-san-diego)
4. Include internal and external links
Since a lot of your content will likely be related in some way, make sure to internally link to other posts you've written in each new blog you publish.
This helps keep readers interested while leading them around your site's content.
Before publishing a new post, scroll back through and try to insert one or two internal site links.
Include external links to other sites too as long as the other site is relevant to yours and is a reputable site itself.
5. Craft good titles
You don't have to be a generic click baiter, but you should craft titles that are informative and direct.
Stay away from vague, general, abstract titles. Be specific.
Show your reader that you value their time and let them know in the title what they can expect from your article (remember - most people on the Internet read articles that are either informative or inspiring).
Think about articles you are drawn to, posts that you click on throughout the day. Go over to one of your favorite blogs, scroll the archives, and pay attention to the titles you feel compelled to click, or not.
Remember: headlines are the first interaction you have with potential readers.
So take some time to research what makes for effective headlines, so that all of your hard work isn't in vain.
6. Share Your Content
Now that you've crafted a lovely post full of SEO and bedazzled with an intriguing headline, you should share it.
Subscribers - Make sure to offer an easy way for people to sign up to receive new posts on your site via a newsletter subscription. When I am designing a site for bloggers, I make sure to add this feature to the homepage, all blog posts, and anywhere else it fits. MailChimp is my favorite tool for capturing emails and automatically sending blog posts to subscribers. Make sure to create a sleek template that is cohesive with your branding.
Social Media - Set up a public Facebook page for your service/business/website and publish new posts there. If you have a professional Instagram account, be sure it's public, and post a photo or graphic to alert everyone to your new post (make sure to use appropriate hashtags). LinkedIn is also a great place to post articles, especially of a business/professional nature, plus it has the added benefit of attracting people who need your services.
Feedly - Adding your blog to Feedly is a great way to get your posts seen! Here is a great instructional to help you do this.