SEO Principles and Strategies for Promoting Blogs
When you start a blog, SEO and promotions won’t be far behind. Even if you only started writing as a hobby and had no intention of earning a money out of it, there will still come a time that you will perform various SEO strategies whether you intended to or not. The integration of blogging and social media alone is enough to force your hand into dabbling with SEO. If you’re just going to end up doing it in the future anyway, why not learn as much as you can about promoting a blog and actually do a good job at it?
In order to be competitive, it is now customary for companies, online entrepreneurs, and even bloggers themselves to hire a reliable SEO company to promote their websites or blogs and have it monetized. You can do it yourself for your own blog. You might not get very impressive results at the beginning, but what’s important is that you do the right things so that you can reap much better rewards in the long-term.
The Goal of SEO
Search engine optimization is often defined in sophisticated words and terminologies, but it all boils down to one thing: making a website become more visible to the targeted audience by making it rank high in the search engine results pages. This is why SEO deals closely with things like Google PageRank (PR) and search engine result page (SERP) rankings. When you optimize your blog, you are actually trying to make it earn a high PR, which will hopefully secure your blog a position at the very first search results page. The goal is always to land in the top 10, top 5, or even the very first spot in the search results.
SEO doesn’t stop at landing number 1 at the SERPs though because the competition is always fierce and sooner or later another budding competitor may take your spot out from under your feet. Your SEO efforts should also increase traffic, improve your blog’s link profile, and syndicate your content for sharing and blog mentions.
The fact too that you made the effort of optimizing your blog—and spending time, effort, and money along the way—means you want to get an ROI at the end of it all. In other words, your blog also needs to be able to generate income.
There are so many known SEO strategies, but not all of them may be practical for optimizing and promoting a blog. Here are some strategies that will be very useful especially if you’ll be doing SEO by yourself.
Sign up for Google Analytics and Google AdWords, for starters. These are the basic tools that SEO neophytes should be familiar with. Analytics will help you get a more concrete vision on how your SEO is working for your blog. AdWords is where you can get the top keywords used by search engine users and use them to your advantage.
Later on you should also sign up your blog for Google Adsense. It’s not a huge moneymaker, but it can be a good start when it comes to hosting paid advertisements.
Many SEOs say that social media doesn’t do much for them in terms of SEO or even traffic generation. But then, that’s probably because the nature of their website and the businesses behind them are not compatible with the nature of social media. It could also be that the very markets they are targeting are not active social media users themselves.
Blogs for the most part target readers who are frequent Internet users. Naturally, these people are bound to have one or more social media accounts. Creating a Facebook and Twitter account for your blog will let you get in touch with your fans through there. You should know that bloggers tend to bond with their readers more through social media than on their blog sites. They may get traffic through SEO and placing high in the SERPs, but they gain loyal followers through social media.
Use your accounts to announce updates and new blog posts. Most importantly, don’t forget to include sharing widgets for each of your blog posts.
We can actually consider this as part of social media in SEO. Look for groups, chatrooms, forums and the like where your target audience are already meeting regularly. Introduce yourself to a moderator or the people who seem to be well-liked and trusted by the majority that their opinions and recommendations are always held in high regard. This accomplishes at least three things:
- - Promotes your blog to potential audiences without them cringing because of blatant advertising and promotion. (After all, your blog’s going to be recommended by esteemed friends!)
- - Useful for link building (It’s customary for cyber friends to recommend and share links to valuable stuff.)
- - Associates the name of your blog with the keywords you want to rank in (when people start talking about your blog, they are also bound to use your keywords for SEO. Remember that search engines index forums too, and many of them even turn up in the first SERPs. So even if your own blog doesn’t make it to the Top 10 or 5, it will still have an appearance even if the forum page makes it.)
It is important to write blog posts that are interesting and truly appealing to your target audience. Don’t be disheartened if you look at your Analytics stats and you only have four or five readers. Develop the enthusiasm to write excellent blog posts as though you have a thousand readers waiting for your next post. At the end of the day, the quality of your blog is what makes readers want to come back again and again and again. Don’t forget to use the keywords and phrases you’ve gotten out of AdWords too!
Everyone would have you think that every other blog similar in theme and concept with yours is competition. Technically they are, but there’s no need to go all mercenary against them. In fact you ought to befriend them especially if they are older and already have a very wide readership. Bloggers actually stick together and even give newcomers a leg up. Never underestimate the power of recommendation and word of mouth! Practice blogger outreach and your competitors might just become your best allies as well.
SEO may have the tendency to transform blogging from a simple writing hobby into an entrepreneurial venture, but it cannot remove the sense of community that forms among the readers and the blogger. By cultivating that relationship and trust, it becomes so easy to land the first SERPs or even make substantial income afterwards.
About the Author:
Emma-Julie Fox writes for Pitstop Media, a top rated Vancouver SEO company that provides services to businesses across North America. If you would like to invite the author to guest post on your blog please contact www.pitstopmedia.com
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