You know content is important. But how can you get people to read your content?
More importantly, how can you get your target market to read your content?
If you’re a marketing professional, writer or even a business owner looking to increase traffic to your website, you probably already know that the key to any successful website is stellar content. Which means your blog, an essential component of content marketing, must be well researched, well written and yes – well marketed.
If you build it, they may not come.
They may, but they probably won’t, unless you are in some way publicizing your blog. I have seen online traffic dramatically increase after deploying some of these methods, and I’ve also written articles that have been for the most part passed over.
8 Tips for Increasing Your Blog’s Readership and Boosting Your Search Engine Optimization
1. Post often, and consistently.
This is what I’ve found to be the best way to see a quick increase in your blog traffic. The more you post blogs, the more potential you have for readers. We’ve seen this for ourselves – once we became committed to posting daily on our corporate blog our traffic steadily increased.
2. Write about useful, engaging topics.
These tips only work if you write content people actually want to read. Who are your target audience? What do they want to know?
Try to write about topics that either 1. Instruct (how-to articles); 2. Entertain (everyone loves humor); or 3. Inform (industry news, etc.). If you don’t know what your potential customers want to read – ask them.
3. Keep it short.
Choosing a relevant, engaging topic is only half the battle. No one (and I mean no one) will want to read your blog if you write it like an English paper.
Online readers are skimmers. Stick to short articles (under 1,000 words) and short paragraphs. Use lots of paragraph breaks and subheads. Incorporate relevant photos and videos to illustrate your points.
4. Don’t overlook metadata.
What’s the first thing you do when you’re looking for information on a topic? That’s right, you Google it. That’s why SEO is so important.
What are the key words or phrases you want to lead online users to your site? Use those keywords in your blog’s title, content and meta description. If you use a platform like WordPress, the program will help you make sure your keywords are used correctly. And don’t forget to tag those blogs as well.
5. Don’t be afraid to guest blog.
Remember that old saying, “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine?” It turns out that applies to blogging, too. Ask other websites in your industry to post some articles as “guest posts” and offer to do the same for them. This gives you an increase in your potential readership base for every guest blog you publish.
NOTE: Don’t forget to include an author bio on each guest blog with links back to your site, as well as a link to your Google+ profile (see #8).
6. Comment, and respond to comments.
The more you engage with your readers, the better. They will come to know you better and trust you. Think of it as a two-way relationship; don’t just spew information at them, make it a discussion. (But don’t get defensive; allow others to profess their own opinions)
I probably use this word in every blog I write. Did you just write an amazing blog post? Great! Now Tweet it. Link to it on your Facebook page. Share it on Google +. Link back to it in other relevant articles. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – integrate, people!
8. Get a Google+ account.
Speaking of Google+, do you have an account?
Here’s how smart those Google people are: they’ve updated their search engine algorithm to look for trustworthy, high-quality authors. This concept of “authorship” allows Google to improve search results by returning content it knows is from a credible source. And how do you get a good authorship ranking? By joining Google+, of course (I’ve always said Google would take over the world one day…).
By associating your Google+ profile with every piece of content you write, you’re increasing your author rank and making it easier for Google to find you. And you want Google to find you (see #4).
Well, that’s all for now, friends. I hope these tips are helpful in increasing your blog’s traffic and bringing more visitors to your website.
Do you have any tips for increasing blog readership?
Natalie McCatty is a content writer for Solutions 8, Arizona’s fastest growing digital marketing firm offering SEO, video production, content creation, web design and more. Follow her on Twitter @nmccatty8 or read more of her work on the Sol8 blog.