Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of techniques that bloggers use to comply with Google algorithms and help your website appear on the first pages of search results.
Since 93% of all experiences on the internet start with a search engine, SEO seems more necessary than ever. How can you successfully blog and climb the Google rankings?
- Create a sitemap and robots.txt file to let search engines crawl your blog.
- Perform an in-depth blog audit to check noindex and nofollow, that impact indexing.
- Find relevant keywords and phrases and use them to optimize title tags, descriptions, headlines, texts, image captions, page URL and more.
- Start link building to get other sites to link to your blog’s pages. Launch outreach campaigns to get top-quality backlinks from relevant pages to ensure a higher rank.
- Learn how to use local SEO to target particular communities.
- Provide practical content that will help your prospective customers solve certain issues.
- Use dedicated SEO plugins.
Search engine optimization is a direct route to success that many bloggers use, but it is also a complex process that requires constant updates and changes.
Drive traffic through social media and forums
Social media and forums are a good gateway to the target audience. As MarketingSherpa claims, 95% of online users aged 18–34 prefer to follow a brand via social networks. These platforms help achieve brand recognition and create a community around a blog.
Today, there are numerous social networks, and you should perfectly understand their specifics to choose the best option for your website promotion.
To share visual content, it’s better to resort to Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.
Reddit is a great place to engage in relevant discussions and throw out questions, the content quickly becomes viral and draws attention.
Tumblr might be useful if you want to support your blog with a diary, while Snapchat is popular with bloggers who upload behind-the-scenes content. Also, consider your target audience: their age, geolocation, interests and other indicators and choose the corresponding networks and forums.
Whether you promote the blog on social media or forums, the following steps might be helpful:
- Create an attractive and informative profile and place a link to your blog there. It should become clear who you are and what your blog is about the moment new visitors take a look at your bio.
- Analyze your followers and schedule posts around their highest activity. You can optimize a posting schedule with dedicated software such as Buffer or Hootsuite.
- Promote your old posts.
- Enrich the content with visuals such as images, video, GIFs, graphs and more.
- Participate in all the discussions on your page and answer all the comments to build credibility, trust and community around your brand.
- Track shares with Click to Tweet and other analytical tools.
- Add calls-to-action to incentivize people to visit your blog and subscribe.
- Choose active platforms that cater to your industry. For example, Flyer Talk Forums or Fodor’s Travel Talk Forums might be helpful for travel bloggers.
- Be active and write comments that really help others. Focus on brief messages and don’t ignore old threads with a large number of comments to push them out to the top.
Add visuals and optimize them
People tend to better memorize the information if it contains visuals. By adding imagery and videos, you will attract attention, present facts in a more interesting way and increase your ranking. Optimizing images is one of the most important blog content strategies. Let’s see what you can do.
The first thing to do is compress files in order to reduce the image load time. Note that making a smaller image and providing the opportunity for users to view it larger in a pop-up is better than simply shrinking the size of a large image. Then, create the descriptive title and include the keywords that are also used to optimize your alt attributes.
Use free or paid image editing tools to enhance the picture’s quality, as well as to choose the appropriate dimensions and formats (JPEG, GIF, or PNG).
Add a subscription form
By adding a subscription form, you’ll start building an email list so readers will always be informed of your latest articles, offers and announcements in order to generate leads later. To incentivize people to leave their email addresses, the form should be easy-to-use and attractive.
There are various form types differing by their main purpose. For example, SendPulse offers four subscription forms that appear on the blog in various manners when people scroll the content: embedded form, pop-up window, floating form and fixed one. In any case, there are some basic rules to follow:
- Minimize the number of fields.
- Make the form branded when picking fonts and color schemes.
- Don’t distract the visitors’ attention from the form and make the space around it free from videos and other bright visuals.
- Point out the strong argument in favor of filling in the form. Create an eye-catching call-to-action button.
- Make A/B tests of several different forms and choose the one with higher performance.
Provide a free online tool
Any valuable tool will increase your traffic multifold because people tend to share useful information. It doesn’t have to be anything complex, you can offer a free checklist or calendar, just don’t forget to collect readers’ emails in return.
Naturally, such a tool should correspond to your niche and be branded so that every time someone uses it, your name pops up.
Make a FAQ page
Answering the most popular questions on one page is among the most frequently used blog-writing strategies. To help users navigate, categorize the questions in order to provide single-click access to information.
To save up space, you can place answers in pop-up windows emerging when you click on the question tab, just like the FreeSpirit FAQ page.
Invest in mobile optimization
As plenty of users browse the internet from mobile devices, it’s crucial to adapt content and make it responsive for small screens as well. Mobile-friendliness provides a better user experience on your website and increases your website ranking on Google.
Many website builders offer the option of mobile optimization so you can develop both website versions from the very beginning. You’ll need to go through all of your website pages and make sure they properly open on mobile devices.
Do email marketing
Email marketing is an old-fashioned but still very efficient strategy. You’ll be able to stay in touch with your readers and notify them of all news, offers and promotions. Start by adding a subscription form on your website and then collecting emails.
Don’t buy email lists to save your reputation and avoid spam filters. Try to add a lead magnet to your email – a discount, prize or a chance to win the contest. Send trigger emails (ask the addressee to interact with your blog in exchange for a gift) as they’re highly targeted. Track the open rates and retarget those readers that haven’t open your email.
Use advertising with Google Ads
You can promote either the blog or its specific post to attract the relevant traffic almost instantly with Google Ads (unlike SEO that provides you with the first result in several months).
However, wide campaigns demand a solid budget. To escape hurting your wallet, it’s possible to start with retargeting to drive prospective subscribers back to your blog. Since you don’t need direct sales but use Google Ads to generate more readers, advertising is likely to be affordable and deliver thousands of visitors at a low cost.
Consider analyzing competitors to find new perspectives and strategies that have proven efficient for other businesses within the niche. Here are some aspects to take into account:
- Reveal your target audience. Identify the most active subscribers and think about how your website can become interesting for them as well.
- Check backlinks to know who finds the content of your competitors interesting and might become your partner as well.
- Discover their sources of traffic in terms of geo to select the top five locations and define your best opportunities.
- Run an organic keywords report for each of your rivals to clarify the juiciest phrases.
- Define the most popular content to figure out the posts with the highest-ranking keywords.
- Focus on searching PPC key phrases as the competitors’ readiness to pay for them witnesses their value.
Partner with other influencers
Outreach will help you grow brand awareness, traffic and exposure. You can develop a joint project that will cater to a much bigger audience than if you did it all by yourself. For example, run a contest together with a few other influencers.
You can also write an article or a case study about the other business or simply promote their most popular content on your page. Influencers will be happy to contribute if their brand gets bigger exposure and promotion. Naturally, it is worth partnering with strong and recognizable brands.
Explore guest posting
This strategy is a good solution if you want to partner with other brands. You’ll create a post in exchange for a backlink to your blog. On the flip side, consider placing guest posts on your website to offer your readers new perspectives and increase traffic.
Whatever option you choose, carefully check the credibility of the websites you want to partner with, as their poor reputation might negatively influence yours. The next thing to consider is the quality of the articles you publish or submit. It should be impeccable.
Analyze the market and find influencers within the same niche whose readers might be your target audience. To accelerate the process, take advantage of guest blogging networks as Blogger Linkup, GroupHigh, BlogDash, etc.
A/B (split) tests allow you to find strategies that work in your case. For example, to choose what layout to use on the website. Select two or three options that you consider attractive and offer them to the audience. It will help understand which design gives better conversion, provokes higher activity and caters to your audience.
How to choose blog marketing strategies
To find killer blog marketing tips, don’t be afraid to try out a few different options and then choose the ones that work better in your case. It’s crucial to resort to different channels such as social media, email marketing, outreach, etc. to attract a wide range of audiences fast.
You can start by optimizing your website for the search engines and run tests to determine high-performing elements, then establish your presence on multiple platforms and collect emails to build community. And, it’s never not efficient to partner with other brands and increase your exposure.