Top 5 SEO Fundamentals To Increase Blog Traffic
Last week we discussed how important it is to create an SEO friendly blog post through picking the right keywords, beefing up our content, creating the perfect blog title & description, and using Yoast to expedite the process and check all our work.
What is the ultimate goal of SEO? Why put in all this extra work?
We want to increase website traffic! That’s it…
Google facilitates around 3.5 billion searches per day…yes, PER DAY. Obviously not all these searches are for fashion/style blogs, but a great example that Google is a beast and the most widely used search engine in the world.
We need our blog to be found by Google and indexed correctly so that we can capture 0.0000001% of those searches. (I didn’t do the math, so don’t call me out on it. It’s an exaggeration lol )
Without getting too technical and bombarded with over 200 different factors that can increase our Google ranking, the following are the top 5 SEO fundamentals we should focus on to increase our blog traffic:
1. Identifying Your Keywords
The degree to which Google treats keywords has changed over the years, quite a bit, but they still play a very important part. Remember, Google looks for relevancy and that’s it’s number one priority. They want to provide users with the most relevant websites based on the keywords they entered in.
When writing your blog post, identify your core keyword…typically it’s about the subject matter. For example, my core keyword within this post is seo fundamentals.
Let’s remember, we don’t want to over optimize our post by “keyword stuffing” and cramming our core keyword in every sentence. Google looks for relevancy. Develop a list of “long-tail” keywords (multiple words or phrases that are relevant to the core keyword) and use them throughout you content. This is where we will see our traffic grow, having our blog rank for long-tail keywords that relate to our core keyword.
I would suggest to write your post naturally, then once completed, go back and see where you can place your core and long-tail keywords. This will avoid over-optimization and keep Google happy.
2. Optimize On-page SEO
At this point you should feel a bit more comfortable with how this works if you’ve been following along this month, so skip forward if it’s repetitive (jk, read it all).
On-page SEO is about optimizing your blog’s content. By that I mean anything dealing with the website itself.
We need to make sure we have enticing page titles and subheadings, correct meta data with our keywords (explained in last week’s post), images with descriptive titles and alt tags, and beefy longer content (minimum 300 words, ideal 750+ words).
I know, most times we won’t hit that 750+ words mark for outfit posts. That’s OK, it won’t tank your rankings. When you have the opportunity to write a lengthy post, do it but just make sure it includes important points and has an overall theme, visitors don’t want to read filler content.
Also don’t forget about internal links. Throughout your blog post, try to reference previous posts you’ve written and link them within your content. It will provide a better user experience and may introduce new content to first time readers (while also decreasing your bounce rate).
3. Building Backlinks
This is what we generalize as off-site SEO, getting backlinks from websites that are relevant to your niche. I went over the various links in a previous post about SEO basics.
Linkbuilding is important, right up there with Keywords. When people link to your website, they are letting Google know that there was some information they found useful enough to link to. By getting back links from websites related to your niche, it shows Google that your website has some authority and can be trusted.
Some ways to gain backlinks could be through:
Guest posting: Write a post on another relevant blog or collaborate with another blogger that has your same style. Do a photo shoot together and post the look on the same day referencing each others blog.
Round-up posts: Write a post including experts in your relevant niche. For example, in August Brittany wrote a post titled: Top 5 Minimalist Fashion Blogger Instagrams for one of her FriYAY Faves roundups. Not only is it one of her highest referred posts from Google searches but also received various backlinks from other blogs that re-shared her post. Win win.
Link to relevant sites: I know this might seem counter intuitive, but linking to other relevant sites is a great way to build links. Before posting, get the contact information for the sites you’re referencing and shoot them an email making them aware that they’re included in your next blog post. Not every site will link back to you, but you’d be surprised by the number of those who do.
4. Promote Content Through Social Media
Post and they will come.
No, not how it happens. Just because you add another post to your blog, doesn’t mean all of a sudden the traffic is going to come pouring in.
Be social and share!
– Share to Facebook
– Tweet on Twitter
– Pin to Pinterest
– Post on Instagram
Now you may be thinking, but this is Social Media not SEO. Well they’re intertwined in a crazy and incoherent way. I say that because for a while, there has been a debate on whether social shares helped with SEO.
Well, my take is… You share your post with your audience on your social media channels, they go to you site which increases unique views and could potentially lower bounce rate and increase page views…and these are factors listed in Google’s algorithm. Can the social share itself affect SEO? Maybe not, but what the share produces can have the potential to.
5. Enhance Website Performance
An area I feel that is overlooked often. We’re so focused on keywords and links that we forget about the overall performance of our website and user experience.
Google loves sites that load quickly and have great usability…I mean don’t we all? If a site takes more than a few seconds to load or is difficult to navigate, I’m over it and leave.
I remember when our blog traffic started to take off, our hosting plan couldn’t handle it and site loading times were increasing…we needed to upgrade because this also affected our bounce rate, which had increased by 30%! Not good for Google spiders.
So that’s when we made the switch from Bluehost to Synthesis. Don’t get me wrong, Bluehost is amazing for starter blogs but we were growing out of it…and fast. Once we made the switch to Synthesis, loading times decreased and so did our bounce rate. We were able to enhance the overall user experience and increase blog traffic by upgrading our website’s performance.
Use website speed tests to see if everything loads quickly, don’t do it through your browser as there can be other factors that effect loading times (personal internet connection, computer hardware, etc.)
Here is a reputable site – pingdom.com
They also provide recommendations on how to improve performance.
At first glance, it may seem like a lot, but incorporating these 5 SEO fundamentals within your blog can increase website traffic and provide great results. Keep in mind, with regards to SEO, nothing is instant. We want to practice good SEO habits now so that we can see the results a few weeks/months from now. Trust me, it will pay off.
As we head into the last week, I want to make sure that I didn’t miss anything. I had a few ideas for next week’s post, but wanted to throw this out there…
A post that consists entirely of SEO questions asked in the comments below? Ask me anything about SEO and I will answer it in next week’s post.
Obviously if there’s only 2 questions, we’ll scratch that idea and move on to another topic I have in mind. So it’s up to you!
Have a great rest of the week!