‘If you build it they will come.’
That is the attitude a lot of us have when starting out in blogging. So much time is spent fussing over things like logo, which software to use when capturing email addresses, creating pop ups and where to get the best images. When in actuality the place we should be spending the most amount of effort is how to drive traffic to the site.
Off Site SEO
Everyone has a method they follow to get traffic to a blog. Some result in long term automated traffic generation and other methods are short lived.
In my efforts to come to grips with SEO for my sites, I have been able to find 2 different schools of thought on how to get traffic.
The first method I’ve came across involves appealing directly to a sites target audience, while the other method appeals to those who you could say are thought leaders within your niche.
Before carrying on, I have to say I do all my own SEO work and have had some success. Mainly though, I would have to say success has been inconsistent.
Blogging For Your Target Audience
This method requires searching for long tail keywords that has low competition about a topic and writing a blog post around that keyword.
Obviously majority of the work here is done before a single work is written and the idea is to come up with a collection of low competition keywords that receives a decent amount of monthly searches. This then leads to organic traffic coming to your site.
The more blog posts written that have been optimised around these long tail keywords, the more organic traffic a site gets.
This does make logical sense and is used by a lot of people to drive traffic to a site. Delving deeper into this method, there are other things to do to ensure the keywords selected will successfully drive a percentage of the monthly search results to a site.
An example of this is, what type of sites are ranking for that keyword? If there are too many top tier sites ranking for that keyword on the first page of Google, then it is not a good keyword to use.
Top tier sites benefit from having a lot of pages with high page authority which is shared with other pages in order to boost a new posts rankings. So if there are 7 top tier site ranking in the top 10 for a particular keyword, then chances of a niche blog outranking them with a single blog post is limited.
Blogging For The Thought Leaders
The other school of thought to get more traffic to a site is to target those within your niche that have the power to have people visit your site.
These people tend to be those who have cultivated themselves as thought leaders within your niche. They have a large following and most importantly their website consistently ranks on the first or second page of Google.
This method involves writing blog posts specifically for these thought leading sites. If they like what you have written they are then happy to share and refer their audience to you blog post by linking to it from their site.
Using this method not only gives you backlinks from authoritative sites in your niche, it also builds your sites domain authority.
After following this process a few times, there would be an increase in your sites traffic.
On Page SEO
Of course before delving into any off site SEO methods, each blog post and page on your site has to be optimised. So make sure the following is done for each blog post:
- Fill in those title tags,
- Use an SEO friendly URL,
- Have H1 and H2 headers,
- Don’t overuse your keywords,
- Use images and give the image an SEO friendly title so it can come up in image searches,
- Also remember to link out to other posts and sites.
Both methods have their place and make sense. Perhaps the best SEO method when blogging lies somewhere in between writing blog posts for your target audience and writing for thought leaders.
Regardless, of which method chosen SEO is quite an involved undertaking that takes time to understand and see results and patience to implement.