By Suzanne Morrison
Do you have a WordPress blog? If so, one of the best ways to increase the traffic to your blog is by applying search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. In this article we will go over 7 simple things that you can to do increase your traffic from the search engines.
- Make sure that your permalinks are set up optimally for SEO – whenever you publish a blog post it will have a permanent URL known as a “permalink”. By default the WordPress permalink setting is not optimal but you can easily edit this by clicking on the Settings->Permalinks menu in the WordPress dashboard and then use a custom setting http://yourdomainname.com/category/postname. This will mean that your blog post category and title will appear in the URL rather than a number.
- Install the All in One SEO Pack (or a another similar plugin) – the All in One SEO Pack plugin allows you to add a custom title, meta description and keyword tags for your home page and blog posts.
- Optimize each blog post for a low competition long tail keyword phrase – before you make a blog post take some time to do a little keyword research. Visit the Google Adwords Keyword tool and use this to find a long tail keyword phrase that has a low amount of competition. Ideally this phrase will have just a few hundred monthly searches rather than a few thousand monthly searches. Use a different keyword phrase for every blog post that you make and put the keyword phrase in the blog post title and 2-3 times throughout the post.
- Use Social Bookmarking services to bookmark each blog post – whenever you post to your blog use a social bookmarking service e.g. Digg or StumbleUpon. There are also services such as OnlyWire and SocialMarker that will let you submit your site to multiple bookmarking services at the same time. Social bookmarking can get you additional traffic to your blog and give you a backlink to your blog post.
- Optimize the home page of your blog – it is normal for the home page of your blog to get more traffic then any of the other pages. You can increase the number of visitors even more by optimizing your home page. Choose one or two keyword phrases for the home page of your website using the free Google Adwords Keyword tool. If possible try to choose prases that are not too competitive, but still have a good few thousand monthly searches. Ensure that you include these keyword phrases are mentioned in the TITLE tag, meta description and throughout the permanent content of your blog home page.
- Install the Google XML Sitemaps plugin – this won’t increase your search engine rank, but having a sitemap will help to ensure that the search engines index all the posts and pages of your blog. You can use the Google XML Sitemaps plugin to create a sitemap for your blog.
- Build links to your blog – building links back to your website is the surest way to improve your ranking in the search engines. If you ignore this it will be very difficult to get a good level of visitors from the search engines. You can build links using article marketing, directory submission, forum posting, commenting on other blogs, press releases, link exchange and social bookmarking.