13 Blog SEO Tips To Drive Traffic And Email Subscribers

blog search engine optimization tips

Write it and they will come has never been said about the blogosphere. Well if it has, they were 100% wrong!

Because there are thousands or more blogs writing about the same topic as you, you need to implement SEO tips to stand a chance when competing for attention.

Without proper search engine optimization for your blog, you’ll be stuck in limbo feeling like your writing for no one but yourself.

However, blogs that are optimized for SEO get thousands of views a day or more. It’s easy to understand the power of this traffic when you realize these viewers turn into email subscribers and customers.

With a heavy dose of traffic, you can get an outstanding turn out for your book launch and receive hundreds of book reviews. Not to mention you will feel inspired that your blog is making a difference as people search for keywords that lead to your site’s helpful information.

Bottom line, the number one difference between a dead blog and one that thrives is search engine optimization. So let’s get started already!

(If you don’t already have a blog as an author, read these two posts on why you should blog and how to make your blog stand out. Then circle back to this one.)

13 Blog SEO Tips

1. Focus your blog on a certain subject

Imagine you are Google and it’s your job to evaluate millions of blogs based on brand and authority and then rank them for the keyword “making money on online.”

Would you rank the blog that deals specifically with making money online higher or the blog that covers making money on online plus four other unrelated topics? Of course you would pick the specific niche blog on making money online.

The lesson is to pick a specific subject so your audience knows what to expect, you have a clear direction for your blog posts, and so your site ranks higher for your subject-related keywords.

2. Publish blog posts often

You know who loves consistent content? Google. The Google robot is constantly looking for new, informative pages to add to its index. It’s for this reason that blogs rank so high on Google searches ahead of less updated organization and business sites.

So when you jump on this train to write a blog post twice a week or update an old blog post, you increase your chances of getting on the first page of the biggest search engine in the world. Consistent publishing also casts your keyword net farther to rank for more words.

And when you make it known to your audience that you’re going to publish twice a week—say Monday and Thursday—people will visit your site at least twice a week to see what’s new. Viewing your site on certain days will become a part of their weekly routine.

3. Write long-form content

Short-form content is a post around 500 words. These posts are better than not publishing at all. But they don’t stand a chance in SEO competition with long-form content going 2,000 to 3,000 words long.

You’ll only find long-form content on the first page of major search engines because these posts have all the advantages. Data says people are more likely to share and link to longer posts. Longer posts give way to more keyword and synonymous keyword usage. And with more content, the robots believe that the post will be more informative than a short post.

This isn’t to say you need to only write long-form content. Because you won’t be able to write more than a few hundred words about certain subjects. Just focus on long-form content as much as you can to increase your blog’s visibility.

4. Optimize your posts for keywords

Keywords and search engine optimization work in tandem. You can’t have one without the other.

So before writing every post, I research my keyword phrase. To do this I utilize the free Google Keyword Planner to pick long-tail keywords that I have a chance to rank for.

Once I’ve locked in a keyword, I include that keyword in my blog post title, post content, and post description. Specifically, I  add the keyword in the introduction and conclusion of my writing, and then forget about it in between.

If I do a good job, people across the world will type in that keyword and come to my site. To help you with this, I recommend a plugin like All In One SEO or Yoast SEO.

5. Change permalink structure to include keywords

One of the first moves to improve your site and it’s SEO is to change the permalink structure from plain to your blog post name and or keyword.

To change your permalink structure on WordPress, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your WordPress Dashboard
  2. Scroll over ‘Settings’ and click ‘Permalinks’
  3. Click ‘Post name’ and ‘Save changes’

Now your post URL will show www.yoursite.com/game-of-thrones/ (keyword: game of thrones) instead of the ugly www.yoursite.com/g4jh38/.

6. Use keywords for image titles and alt-text

Yet another keyword tip, but this one is also important to drive more organic traffic to your site. Instead of naming your image something random and leaving the alt-text blank, name them both your keyword. If your post has multiple images, give the others a description that’s synonymous with your keyword phrase.

It won’t take more than 15 seconds to change the image title and alt-text. So do it and improve the SEO of your pages and posts.

7. Link to internal posts like Wikipedia

Why does Wikipedia rank close to #1 on thousands of searched topics? Besides the fact they have a boatload of content, Wikipedia articles have links to other Wikipedia articles scattered all over the place.

This works brilliantly because each link to another blog post on your site is a vote that registers with search engines. And when you create sticky content that links one piece to another, a reader won’t leave after only one pageview. They will get sucked in and read your posts for an hour.

8. Link to high-quality external websites

Say you don’t have any content on a certain topic but another famous blogger wrote an ultimate guide on it. It’s wise to link to the ultimate guide blog post because your readers will appreciate the link and search engines will learn that you’re a trusted authority.

Interesting enough, the opposite happens and it becomes a negative when you link to low-quality sites. And only use external links sparingly throughout your post. Because each link that sends readers away from your site is readers who might not come back.

9. Write guest posts to build backlinks

Guest posts are a beautiful thing to not only increase your blog’s SEO, but also grow your audience and email list.

A backlink from the guest post site to your site gives Google a strong message that your content is popular and an authority. Backlinks hold a tremendous amount of weight in domain and page rank.

And when you write an in-depth, super valuable guest post on another site, all the impressed readers will click to your site and subscribe. Spending time getting guest posts on relevant and high-ranking blogs is arguably the best thing you can do, especially as a new blogger.

10. Comment on relevant blog posts

If you read a decent amount of blogs, I’m sure there have been times where you saw an interesting comment and decided to click on the writer’s name to see what their website is about.

This happens all the time and it’s the reason for you to comment on blog posts in your niche. When you put time into your comment or ask a great follow-up question, people notice. So they click on your name to learn more about you.

I’ve made the mistake of commenting, “Great write up! I loved this piece,” and that added no value to the discussion. So viewers skipped over my name and didn’t visit SelfPublishingX.com because of it. Now I focus on delivering value with each comment.

(Not all blogs have this type of comment system. You’ll notice a winner when the comments ask for your name, email, and website.)

Another benefit to this tactic is you gain a backlink to your site. They all add up, as long as they’re from relevant, high-ranking sites.

11. Write for your audience, not SEO robots

Although many of the previous SEO tips for your blog dealt with keywords, a big mistake beginning bloggers make is littering their blog post with too many keywords. It’s so overdone that the keyword appears in almost every sentence.

What results is an awkward read for visitors and possibly a Google penalty for trying to game the system.

A better approach is to use words and phrases that are synonymous with your keyword phrase. This will boost your post’s credibility for search engines and make your content flow better.

And always write naturally for your audience if you want to build a relationship with them. People are at the heart of your business. They will go on to become email subscribers, share your posts, and buy your books—robots won’t.

You’ll be set if you remember two things: The purpose of your content is for your readers and Google’s algorithms and robots are insanely smart, so don’t test them.

12. Increase your blog’s speed

How fast or slow your pages load affects the user experience, bounce rate, and their time on the site. And it so happens that all these factors influence your site’s ranking.

People have no patience these days, so if they click on your post and it takes more than a second or two to load, they’re leaving to browse another site.

To increase my blog’s speed, I always install W3 Total Cache. W3 Total Cache reduces download times and increases server performance like no other plugin.

And since images often take up large amounts of space, download the plugin WP Smush to automatically reduce the file sizes of your images while maintaining the same quality.

Add plugins that speed up your site and remove anything—unnecessary plugins, large images, and videos—that slow down your site. Your visitors and search engines will appreciate it.

13. Be patient

The age of your domain name does play a role in your search engine ranking. There are discussions about how much weight Google assigns to the domain age, but it’s clear that URL age counts.

The only thing you can do is to be patient and stick with writing content. The less patient bloggers will give up by deleting their site, stop updating it, or starting a new blog. Your blog will rise to the top as your produce more content and other blogs discontinue.

Related: Why Authors Should Use Snapchat To Sell More Books

Have you optimized your blog for search engines? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments section below.

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