You’ve done a lot of work on your blog - you’ve researched and found your niche and had it built. It’s ready to go. Now what? You hear crickets. Where is everyone?! You start to wonder how the heck do you get people to actually visit it? How do you get the website traffic?
There’s a lot to cover here and we don’t want to overwhelm you, so we’ll keep it simple. Here are five SEO tips to get more visitors to your site.
SEO / Keywords
Make sure that your website and its content are optimized for the keyword phrases you are targeting. SEO means Search Engine Optimization; it’s a huge topic that people spent enormous amount of time mastering. Since it’s not the focus of this article, we’re not going into it in too much detail.
The point is that you need to learn about it and understand keywords & how to use them in your content. Always start with the end in mind. In otherwise be clear which keywords you want to rank on top of the search engines and then build your website and articles around those keywords.
Many amateur bloggers write aimlessly on various different topics without focus. Their efforts get watered down in many different directions. You want to make money. Concentrate and be clear!
A backlink is a link from somewhere else to your site. Usually this is from another website with a similar niche as yours. That audience, which may not know about your site will see the link, click on it and check out your blog.
You can do this yourself by leaving well thought out, insightful comments on other websites, blogs, and social media sites (and then linking back to your site in the comment). Note the key here is “well thought out, insightful.” If you just start writing something like “Love your blog! Now check out mine which also has a lot of fresh and interesting content!” That is not cool!
It’s actually called comment spam. There are already a lot of shady online marketers who do that. Don’t be that way! Not only is it bad manner, current blog plugins catch many of these spams automatically. And even if you do get through the filter, links in comments are usually tagged with a piece of code called rel=”nofollow” which negates any SEO benefit you might get with that link.
It’s very important that you network with people in your niche. They’re not simply competition to be ignored. Instead they’re “comp-friends.” You can work together with them, because the pie is big enough for everybody.
What you really want is to build relationships with the owners of other blogs, and hope eventually that they will link back to you site. The downside of this strategy is that it might take a while.
So if you’re not patient, you can also contact other people in your niche and outright ask them to link to your site from their blogroll. But you need to answer the question “why they should do that?” What benefits are you offering? If they agree, you will get a lot of traffic & maybe a jump in SEO! The likelihood though is somewhat low. So it’s basically a numbers game.
Even better is to offer to do a guest article or blog post for them. (make sure it’s good so that people will want more from you). Again remember to include the link to your website in the articles. This will have the added benefit of potentially increasing you page rank in the search engines.
Register With Online Directories
There are directories for various blogs and websites. For example you want to make sure you get listed in major directories like DMOZ, BlogCatalog and Yahoo Directory, so people know who you are and how to find you. There are some hoops to jump through to be accepted by them, but it’s definitely worth the effort both for the search engine optimization and traffic.
Use Social Networking
Get a Facebook page for your website, and tell your friends about it, and get them to refer other people. Get on Twitter, and be consistent about your tweeting. Get a YouTube channel and posts videos there. All these require you to interact with others on a regular basis!!! It’s not enough to just BE there.
You have to be a member of the community by having ongoing conversations. Become a recognized expert, not a spammer.
Create High Quality, Targeted Content
Make sure you have a site that people who are into your niche would actually want to visit. Many publishers have content mainly for the search engines and not really for reading by actual human beings. Don’t do it!
Companies like Google have spent billions of dollars to weed out that type of crap. You don’t want to have your effort wasted and your website penalized. We have a saying, “You can do all the marketing you want, but you can’t polish a turd.” Make sure your site is a great one or all your hard work is for nothing.
Avoid article generating software like the plague! You get what you paid for. In the long run, it’s just not worth it! It’s not going to be in your voice or your style.
We also learned the hard way that if you’re going to hire someone to write for you, make sure that they speak your native language. Otherwise, the euphemisms and the phrases just don’t quite click.
Your audience basically wants to read the writing the same way they speak. Put out good solid content that you’d be proud to stand behind. Don’t try to trick the search engines. Put your heart and effort into your work.
Build your brand! Have good quality content and links will result in more traffic and establish you as a recognized expert. That should be your long term strategy for making money on your blog.