Thursday, February 16, 2017, 10:05 AM
With Valentine’s Day just behind us, it’s the perfect time to treat your blog to a proper business strategy. Search engine optimization is a good place to start.
Search engines are a huge traffic driver if you’re properly indexed and have authority on a topic to rank high in search. So whether you write as a hobby or for business, here are some things to keep in mind as you work to optimize the relationship with your readers.
Content isn’t so much “king” as it is “key.” Without quality content, you’re not even getting in the front door.
With recent algorithm updates, Google has made it known that each individual page is being judged on the quality and relevancy of its content. Quantity also can hurt if the quality isn’t there, so save your efforts on producing more and instead focus on fewer high-quality posts.
An editorial calendar can help you plan out quality content at an appropriate pace, and prepare for seasonal events that can help drive traffic.
You also should consider other sources of material to support your content, including interviews and news releases, which can help boost the credibility of your writing.
2. User Experience
A bad site experience can dramatically pull down quality content. Encourage your readers to stick around long-term with the implementation of a proper interface and improved site speed.
Colorlib produced this helpful piece on the best SEO-friendly WordPress themes that are sure to attract reader attention.
If site speed is a priority, HostGator’s 7 Ways to Speed Up Your Website offers specific tips for sizing your images, eliminating unnecessary plugins, and more.
3. Mobile Experience
Google announced its primary search index would switch from desktop to mobile at some point in 2017.
In addition, the Google AMP carousel (AMP = accelerated mobile pages) has been front and center in mobile search results. If you’re on WordPress, you should consider trying the Google AMP plugin for your most newsworthy content. You can find more information here on the WordPress site.
Consider this a clear and fancy sign pointing to your blog that compels readers to stop by for a visit.
Including photos with your blog posts is extremely important, especially if you want to reap the benefits of traffic from image-based search engines like Google image search.
Here, unlike text-based content, search engine bots can’t see and identify your content like a normal reader can (yet). It relies on alt text and content surrounding the image to identify and understand more about that image.
To help, try the SEO Friendly Images plugin. It will automatically update all images with proper alt text and title attributes.
Want to grow your blog in 2017? If you’re successfully considering and working these aspects, you should see a steady boost in site traffic.
Sandra Azzollini is Vice President, Audience at PR Newswire, where she has managed the experiential needs of users for nearly 20 years. In her role, Sandy oversees several of the company’s online properties, including PRNewswire.com and PR Newswire for Journalists. The websites have been honored with several industry awards, including two CODiEs; Bulldog Awards, Best Website; and Web Marketing Association’s Best Public Relations Website Award.