By Will Hanke

Writing blog posts that keep your readers interested can definitely be a challenge as a blogger. Because there is more to it than just writing, it may take a few extra steps and time to grasp a clear and effective structure in order to generate actual results. But who would want to put their time and effort into a business blog if readers aren’t even showing up?

There are many effective ways to get your blog posts read. Some of them include sharing on social media, investing in Google or Facebook advertising and/or utilizing search engine optimization (SEO). Using all of these methods will no doubt drive traffic to your blog; however, the most significant technique out of the three that you should always consider is using SEO.

SEO is the process of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic and natural search engine results. To break it down, SEO is essentially a great tool to attract visitors who are specifically interested in the products you offer, helping to eliminate those visitors who are aimlessly wandering the web. Once that is accomplished, you not only have the quality of traffic but you also have increased the quantity of traffic organically.

So how does SEO work? There are a few tricky and tedious steps to take in order to successfully utilize SEO. For instance, Google developed an automatic algorithm system that ranks your site. In order to determine if your site is valuable or useless, Google sends out what are called “spiders” to “crawl” your site and check it for over 100 indicators including: backlinks, domain age, traffic, fresh content, etc.

Here are five SEO tactics to focus on in order to keep Google happy, get your content ranked, and get more readers to your blog.

1. Use Long-Tail Keywords

A long tail keyword is a specifically targeted search phrase containing three or more words, often containing a head term, which is a more generic search term 1 or 2 words in length.

“Best awning company in St. Louis” is a perfect example of a long-tail keyword. Using long-tail keywords will provide your website with better quality traffic and higher conversion rates. You can utilize tools like Google Keyword Tool, Ahrefs or even SEMRush to determine which keywords to be used that are most traffic effective to your site.

Use long-tail keywords and incorporate them into your blog post for the following:

  • Headline
  • Headers and body
  • URL
  • Meta Description

2. Choose an SEO-Optimized Theme

Optimizing your theme is essential because it helps give Google indicators that yours is a trustworthy site and helps Google find your content. Here is what you should be looking for in a theme.

Mobile Friendly and Responsive Design

Millions of people use the search engine on their mobile phones more often than on their desktop. If your blog isn’t mobile friendly, you could potentially be losing a lot of visitors as Google prioritizes mobile sites for people searching on smartphones.

Using responsive design enables your blog pages to stay organized and use one URL instead of two (desktop and mobile). This helps your post’s SEO because any inbound links that come back to your site won’t be divided between the separate URLs.

Cleanly Coded with Fast Speed and No Errors

Those spiders are no joke; make sure your theme is coded nicely so that they can be easily read by Google’s spiders while searching for the correct indicators.

Your site should be up and running smoothly, that means making sure all links are working and your website is running fast.

3. Build Relevant Backlinks in a Natural Way

A backlink is when another website links back to your site from their site. This technique is great for driving traffic to your site and will help to show search engines the validity or relevancy of your content. Keep note that the source matters, making sure that these websites that backlink your site are coming from authority websites in your niche.

4. Optimize Your Images

You should obviously include not only text but related images when you write your blog posts. In order for a search engine to read your images, you have to make sure you are also including the alt text with your image. The alt text also makes for a better user experience, as it will display inside the image container if the image does not load.

If you’re unfamiliar with an alt text, it is the attribute that can be added to an image tag in HTML.

<img src=”pic.jpg” alt=”image_description” title=”image”>

5. Add Content Regularly

Posting frequently with actual functional information will allow Google to indicate your website is alive. If it’s not an active website, Google will crawl it less often, making your rankings to decrease and affect your negatively.

Final Thoughts

SEO is an effective and efficient method to use when running a blog. Admittedly, it does take time to build up search authority, but if you follow these main techniques of SEO, you’ll be able to form and drive the traffic you want in no time.