This is a Guest Post from Amit.
So you have a blog and you are wondering how to get more people read the blog. You have done your best to write the quality posts but somehow the traffic is not picking up. After reading lot of success stories you must be checking your adsense/analytics account every 20 mins or so just to find that not much traffic has trickled down to your blog. You know something is missing but then it is difficult to digest that how such beautiful articles can be ignored by people.
Many people fail to understand that the problem is not with their articles but the problem is how they market their articles. Lot of great ideas in this world has failed miserably just because they were never sold in a proper manner. Likewise if you are only concentrating on writing good stuff without any effort of marketing it, there are chances that success may be delayed by long time.
There are three ways to attract traffic – Referrals, Direct Traffic and Search Engines. Of all these forms Search Engines is the best way to drive the traffic to your blog. In layman terms the mechanism to draw traffic from the search engines to your blog is achieved through a technique called SEO or Search Engine Optimization. It is an ability to write and present your articles to search engines in a manner that it finishes at top of results for your specified term or keyword. Users generally search for a keyword and look for articles listed in first few pages of the search engine and if your article is amongst those, there is high probability that user would come and read it.
Many people don’t put much efforts to learn SEO techniques thinking it to be very difficult. Many times they rely on their luck to attract traffic. Whenever they even try to read about it, they feel lost just because much has been written about SEO related to Business Websites rather than Blogs. Practically it is 10 percent of your effort which gives you 90 percent of results (how to do it would be covered in next series, it is important first you get convinced that it is must for you).
Apart from Traffic there are very important uses of SEO which are largely ignored. However these are things which you learn by practice but once mastered it helps you to becomes wise and attract traffic in multiple numbers. Below are 10 myths and uses of SEO which has the potential to enrich your blogging experience as a whole. Concentrate on each one of them and you would find good results in coming days. Also if you think that you know much about SEO, below points would help you to provide an extra perspective.
1. SEO is not a Hack
SEO is of two types. White hat SEO and Black hat SEO. White hat SEO is something which is recognized by search engines and they publish the guidelines for it also (Yes, there is a guidelines from Google too). Black Hat SEO is basically a way to cheat search engines and if you get caught there are huge penalties. Hence SEO (always White Hat in this article) is not a hack but recognized standard. You master it and search engine would be much happy to present you at the top of the results.
SEO has a potential to draw tremendous traffic to your blog. Forget everything, if your articles are at top of search results you need not care about other forms to draw traffic. The opportunity to draw traffic is so huge that people have literally made huge bucks in short amount of time.
3. Search Engine Fodder
It is a term used when your articles are never found in top pages of search page and it seems that search engines has digested and forgotten about it. This is primarily due to competition for specific terms and implementation of poor SEO techniques. Remember, if SEO is done in a right manner, the article stands a chance to compete in top results irrespective of competition.
4. Aligns Your Thinking
Once you start to think from SEO perspective, you start to approach an article in terms of keywords searched by users. This provides an interesting perspective from the angle of demand in the market. Once you know about the demand there is every reason to satisfy it by writing SEO enriched articles. Wordtracker, Overture, adwords etc. provides important tools to help you get feel of the demand.
5. SEO helps generates Ideas
Once traffic starts flowing to your blog, you can monitor the flow through sites like hittail, mybloglog etc. The insight into what people use in terms of keywords (short and long tail) at times helps you generate lot of ideas. Many times you would find that title of your next post comes from terms searched by the user, something which you haven’t ever thought of.
An insight into SEO would help you to look at competition from entirely different angle. Not only would you know what strategy they are using but also what keywords are bringing them traffic. You would read their articles and would be in a comfortable position to comprehend their strategy. Additionally there are sites like alexa, compete.com etc. which lists the keywords that brings them traffic. Once you have knowledge of this you can definitely eat into their market share.
7. SEO Takes Little Time
SEO takes little time and is not all that complex. It is a myth people have in their mind because whatever they have heard till now is in terms of business websites and not blogs. Remember, business website needs a concentrated approach in one direction while in blog an approach changes with every post.
The results from SEO show up on your face. So if any blog post is not attracting traffic you have an opportunity to change it. While a minimum of about 4%-5% articles normally contribute to traffic in your blog through search engines but if you not achieving this figure than you should re-look at your strategy. SEO helps to validate your efforts in terms of results that show up in form of traffic.
9. Check Mistakes
Every bit of incoming or no traffic provides you an opportunity to check mistakes. The steps in SEO can be changed time and again till the time you achieve desired results. The effort spent in first few posts would make you knowledgeable enough not to commit the same mistake in subsequent posts.
10. Helps You Grow
SEO has this uncanny habit to not only make you slog but also make wise with time. Soon you would find that your way to approach content and market has changed. You would find yourself more aligned to needs of your readers than fictitious thoughts in your mind. This is an essential step which would help you gain a rightful entry into blogging world (the place which is full of competition).
Are you convinced now that SEO is must for your blog and at any time it should not be ignored? How you do it would be covered in next series of articles but you must be signed to work hard on it. It is always advisable to spend more time in one SEO oriented post than write plenty of posts. The logic – “Your content would be of no use if there are not enough people to appreciate it.”
This is a guest-post by Amit, who is a blogging enthusiast and has interest in everything that relates to it. He currently own and maintains a blog Mystic Madness which concentrates on Personal Development related to Professional Life. His main areas of interest are Personality Development and Job Hacks.