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16

9 Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts When You Have No Followers

Learn how to promote your blog posts - leverage the social media channels and marketing tools #blogpromotion #increaseblogtraffic #promoteonsocialmediaSo you looking for ways to promote your blog posts?

A lot of people still think if you build it, they will come. That statement may be true a couple of years ago when there was less competition on the Internet.

Today it’s not enough to just publish great content, cross your fingers and hope for the best.

You’ll have to do more than that to get noticed.

But what if you have only a handful or even no followers to begin with? Can you still promote your content effectively?

Yes, you can!

In this post, you’ll learn how to leverage the social media channels and several marketing tools to promote your content when you have only a few or no followers.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

 

Spend More Time to Promote Your Blog Posts

When it comes to content marketing, some people suggest that you should be spending 20% of your time creating content and the other 80% should be spent on promoting it.

This is crucial especially when you are just starting out because nobody knows you exist. The only way for you to get more visitors to your blog is via content promotion.

But I know it’s often hard to spend less time writing especially if you are not a fast or a talented writer.

As a non-native English speaker myself, I probably spend around 30% of my time writing content because I just need to take extra care to make sure my sentences or grammar make sense. And I am still trying to get better at this lol!

I also prefer creating long-form content so it’s not possible for me to just whip a blog post in a day and be done with it.

Now let’s go through each of the blog promotion methods.

 

#1: Pick the Right Social Media Channels

There’s a lot of social media networks out there so it can be a challenge to pick the right one to start with.

Find your strength and spend more time on those which will likely provide you the best ROI. Don’t try to be in all of them as you’ll spread yourself too thin.

Don’t be jack of all trades, master of none.

Check out Neil Patel’s video below to give you some ideas if you are new.

Here’s a recap if you prefer reading:

  • If you are in B2B (Business-to-business), you’ll likely do well on LinkedIn
  • Twitter is also good if you are in B2B but not as well as LinkedIn
  • Facebook, YouTube and Instagram do really well in B2C (Business-to-consumer)
  • YouTube works well for both B2B and B2C and it will also give you a long term traffic if your videos ranked well.

 

#2: Get on the Pinterest Action

Get this: you can have huge success on Pinterest even if you don’t have large followers. On Pinterest, the number of followers you have doesn’t matter.

If you are not familiar with Pinterest, it’s a social media platform that allows you to discover and share content. Although it works more like a search engine than a social media platform. In fact, it’s one of the world’s largest search engines.

So why Pinterest?

  • As of Sept 2017, Pinterest has more than 200 million active monthly users.
  • 87% of users have purchased a product because of Pinterest.
  • Pinterest users spend twice as much as those referred by Facebook. From my personal experience, visitors from Pinterest spend more time on my blog and view more pages per visit.
    pinterest-marketing
  • The half-life of a pin is 3.5 months. That means the pin you create today will continue to bring in the traffic a couple of months down the road.

Just registering and pinning your posts won’t suddenly bring a torrent of visitors though. You need to have a Pinterest strategy.

For that, I am using Tailwind to help me schedule my pins out and it has been a tremendous help.

I started with only a handful of followers (fewer than 20) yet my pins reach extends much further beyond the 20 followers.

Currently I have over 60,000 monthly reach, just after one month of actively using Pinterest.

Pinterest reach

You’ll never get this kind of reach via a Facebook page with a small number of followers, it’s mind boggling!

Tailwind scheduled pins

Get Tailwind here. You get to pin 100 pins per month for free, forever. There’re paid plans available that allow you to pin more.

For a start, I’d recommend you to give the free version a try.

 

#3: Look for People That Have Shared Similar Content

To do this, I recommend using BuzzSumo.

BuzzSumo helps you to find the most shared content on the social media channels and influencers related to particular topics.

Why?

Because it allows you to find people and influencers who are more willing to share your content on their social media account since they have already shared similar content in the past.

You can also write similar articles about the most shared topic because you already know these topics are already trending.

Here’s how you find people who are more likely to share your content.

Go to BuzzSumo and type in whatever your keyword is.

Scroll down the list of posts and find one that is the most relevant and has a lot of shares. Then, click on the View Sharers.

For example, when I searched for “blog promotion tips” the follow results came up. All I needed to do next was to find the most relevant articles to my own blog post and then clicked View Sharers.

 

Buzzsumo view sharers

The next page will show a list of people who have shared that specific post. You can even sort the list by the number of followers.

While you can approach them via their Twitter handles, the best way to get their attention is through email. You can find this information on their website.

How to use buzzsumo

Keep in mind that this is a numbers game so the more people you contact the better.

Not everyone will respond or will be willing to share your content. But those who do share may have thousands of followers. So, whenever an influencer is involved there’s a higher chance your content will go viral.

Emailing each person can be tedious so you may want to automate the process or find an affordable virtual assistant from places like Fiverr. Because you may want to contact over 50, 100 or more people to get the best result.

You can use the following email template as a guide:

 

Hey {name},

I just saw you shared this article {link of the shared post} by {author name} about {topic}

I thought it was pretty great myself.

Anyway, I’ve just published a similar article that expanded on that article and I thought you might like it.

Let me know if you want to check it out.

Cheers,

Rob

 

Notice that you don’t give out the link right away. You are asking for their permission before you send them the link.

The reason is that if they reply and show an interest, you’ll increase your chance of getting your blog post shared.

 

#4: Add Social Media Sharing Buttons to Your Posts

For a new blog with a small number of followers, adding the social media sharing buttons makes it easy for your visitors to share your content.

The share count acts as a social proof which will encourage others to share your content since they see other people are sharing it already.

Social media sharing buttons

While there are many social media sharing buttons out there, I’ve decided to go with the Social Warfare plugin because it offers additional features in one package such as:

  • Show the Pin button on image hover for Pinterest
  • Customize your Pinterest image, description, title
  • Recover your lost share counts when you change your permalink structure
  • Automatic link shortening
  • Create Click to Tweet box easily within your content as you can see below.
The share count acts as a social proof which will encourage others to share your content since they see other people are sharing it already.Click To Tweet

Previously, to get all these features, I had to install several separate plugins. I’m trying to reduce the number of plugins installed as this can improve the performance and security of your blog.

 

#5: Join Relevant Facebook Groups

Because this post is about ways to promote your blog posts when you have no followers, joining relevant Facebook groups can be one of the most effective ways to get your content in front of a larger audience.

Facebook groups

While you may not likely get hundreds of visitors immediately from Facebook groups, they can be a source of targeted traffic that will engage with your content.

One downside of Facebook promotion is that you need to keep on promoting your content.

The average half-life of a Facebook post is about 30 minutes, that is the length of time it takes for content to reach 50% of its total lifetime engagement.

That’s circa 2013, today it might be even more dismal with each Facebook algorithm update.

But don’t let that data discourage you because many have found that promoting on Facebook groups will definitely get that ball rolling.

I’ve dedicated an entire post where I shared the ins and outs of how to use Facebook groups effectively.

How to Use Facebook Groups to Explode Your Blog Traffic and Drive Engagement

I am currently tracking every single link I posted on Facebook using Google Analytics. I’ve been doing this for about a month now.

The goal is to find out which Facebook groups bring in the most traffic and also the most newsletter subscribers.

You can see the exact method that I’m using at the bottom of that post above.

Once I have enough data, I’ll share my finding on this blog.

 

#6: Participate on Quora for a Long-Term Referral Traffic

Guess what, I’ve written an entire post on this topic this so I won’t be repeating my points here. Check it out below:

How to Use Quora to Drive Tons of Traffic to Your Blog (The Ultimate Guide)

 

#7: Leverage the Social Media Scheduling Tools

Why should you schedule your posting on the social media?

There are several benefits of social media scheduling:

  • Save time. You don’t have to spend hours in front of your computer all day long leaving you more time to connect with your followers and to create more amazing content.
  • Optimize your posts engagement. The ability to schedule content in advance means you can post at ideal times for maximum likes, comments and shares.
  • Increase reach. Social media scheduling helps you reach more people as it allows you to promote your blog posts on a consistent basis.

You can start by using Buffer for social media scheduling.

Buffer is pretty easy to use and is beginners friendly. The free version allows you ten scheduled posts at a time across multiple social accounts.

I am using Buffer to schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook group and Facebook page that I am an admin. You can even install the browser extension to schedule any posts you encounter while browsing online.

In addition, I also like Hootsuite and RecurPost.

RecurPost is good if your content is evergreen, as it helps you publish your posts over time. I use it to cycle through all my posts on Twitter.

Also, I am using Buffer in combination with Feedly for content curation.

Feedly is a feed reader which offers an easy way to aggregate your information feeds (the blogs that you are following) in one place.

Feedly

When I find an interesting content that I want to share, I just hit the Buffer button right from the app and it will be added into my Buffer schedule.

 

 

#8: Link Out to Other People to Get Their Attention

When you write a blog post, try to link out to relevant sources.

However, you don’t want to just shove up the links for the sake of it. They need to be useful and add value to your content.

As you do this, you’ll get on people’s radar. This builds incentives for them to engage with you.

By putting them first it shows trust. You’ll earn their goodwill even before starting your outreach. Get to know them first, try to provide value before asking them for help.

Once you hit the publish button, shoot them an email or tweet that person and let them know about it.

Email often works better than just tweeting it at them because it’s more personal.

Here’s a sample email template you can use:

 

Hi {name},

I enjoy your work and find it very useful, I even linked out to you in my latest blog post.

{your link}

Feel free to check it out.

Cheers,

Rob

 

It’s important not to push them to share, just give them a heads up and explain why you mentioned them.

If your content is good enough they may start sharing it on the social media exposing your content to a wider audience which can drive more traffic to your post.

 

#9: Start Collecting Your Visitors’ Emails

Do you know what’s the worst thing that can happen when it comes to getting people to visit your blog?

It is not having opt-in forms installed to collect their emails!

There’s no excuse not to start your own email list today. Imagine if all of the traffic sources suddenly stop sending you traffic overnight.

Your business will suffer and all your effort trying to create quality content will go to waste.

If you have an email list, you can continue to promote your content to the people on your list, build a relationship and sell stuff to them even with zero traffic or no website!

Your email list is one of the most important assets you’ll ever have as a blogger or site owner.

To learn how to start your own email list click the link below:

How to Start an Email List for Free Right Now

 

Conclusion

There you have it, 9 ways to promote your blog posts when you have no followers.

Now you don’t have to do everything at once, pick one method and focus on it.

Once you get the hang of it and start seeing results, you can then add another method into your blog promotion strategies.

Consistency is the key here and don’t expect results overnight. The more time you put in, the more successful you’ll be.

If it didn’t work, find out why. Perhaps you just need to spend more time with it or adjust your approach.

Are you using any other content promotion strategies? Feel free to share them in the comments below.

34

9 Quick SEO Tips and Tricks For Blogs (Updated for 2019)

9 SEO Tips and Tricks for Blogs. #seotips #seotricks #blogseo #seoforbloggers #searchengineoptimizationWhat are there the best SEO tips and tricks in 2019?

Most site owners have no idea what SEO is about, let alone the crucial steps they can easily take to improve their rankings in Google.

The problem is that SEO ranking factors are constantly changing.

What works today may not work tomorrow. Staying on top of the latest changes can be a real challenge.

The good news?

If you are reading this, you’ll learn the latest SEO tips and tricks to promote website and drive massive organic traffic in 2019.

I’ll discuss the dos and don’ts in search engine optimization to help you optimise your pages the right way.

Ready?

Related: 5 Extremely Actionable SEO Tips For Beginners When Starting A New Blog

 

SEO Tips and Tricks 2019 (that Actually Work)

Viewed individually, each SEO tip or trick discussed below may only offer a small incremental improvement to your blog.

The power lies in combining them into one blog optimization strategy and sticking with it from day one.

While there’s no one size fits all which guarantee rankings, sticking with the fundamentals is a step in the right direction.

Your site should remain on Google’s nice list no matter what algorithm changes it throws at you.

For this to work, you need:

  • A good on-page SEO practice
  • Proper site optimization
  • Great and useful content
  • High-quality backlinks

 

book

Exclusive Bonus: Download the accompanying step-by-step SEO checklist that will show you how to optimize your pages quickly.

 

#1: Optimize Your On Page SEO

On page SEO optimisation is such a necessary component in any SEO efforts.

In fact, it’s so important to get this right.

Otherwise, the remaining search engine optimisation tips might not be as effective.

For on-page SEO, you need to pay closer attention to the title tag, the meta description, page URL as well as the keyword density on the page (although this one not so much).

Try to place your target keywords near the beginning of the article. Then, sprinkle them throughout your article and make it looks natural.

Avoid stuffing keywords as you can get penalized for over optimization.

On Google search results pages, your entry would look like this:

title url and meta description on serp

Back in the old days before WordPress and other content management system was the go-to solution for website design, people used to edit the HTML source code directly to adjust the title and meta description tags.

For most people who are not familiar with HTML coding, I’m sure they all Greek to them.

on-page seo ranking factors

Nowadays you don’t have to know HTML to edit the code behind. I’ll explain how later in this article.

Create a Unique, Exciting Yet an Accurate Title Tag

The meta title <title> of your page tells both visitors and search engines what your page topic is about. It is, in fact, the most important place to include your keywords.

You need to create exciting titles because you also want to incite the readers to actually click on them.

To improve your click-through rates, make your titles punchier by adding words that drive emotion such as:

  • Quick
  • Powerful
  • Insane
  • New
  • Now
  • Easy
  • Amazing
  • How To
  • Free
  • And so on…

Usually, Google only shows about 70 characters of the title, so make it brief yet descriptive.

Now, do you know that you can show two different titles, one for the search result pages and another one for your blog readers?

Now you do!

To edit your title for the search result pages, install the Yoast SEO plugin, then scroll down to the Yoast SEO section to find the SEO title text box.

Enter the title you want the search engines to show here.

seo title

For your actual blog post title, you can make it more personal/emotional because you want anyone reading your blog to stick around and read more.

blog post title

Notice how I used different titles for each.

For the search engines, I am using the phrase “increase traffic” because people are more likely to search using that phrase.

Once the visitor clicks on my result on the search result page and landed on my blog post, they will see an emotion-focused title “explode your blog traffic”.

Pretty neat isn’t it?

That said, make sure that you have the main keywords in both titles. Or at least they must match one another very closely.

You don’t want the searchers to click on one title and then landed on a page that has an entirely different title.

Page Description Meta Tags

Your page’s description meta tag <description> gives the search engines a summary of what your page is about.

Description meta tags are important because Google might use them as snippets for your pages.

I say might because there’s no guarantee that Google will use the supplied description especially if it finds a more relevant section of your page’s visible text which matches the user’s query.

Also, some people say Google doesn’t use meta description as a ranking factor.

That said, adding description meta tags is always a good practice to ensure your pages are relevant to the topic. It’s a natural place to add some keyword phrases to encourage website searches to click-through to your website.

Avoid filling it with only keywords though. If your sentence doesn’t flow naturally, it won’t attract many clicks from the search engines users.

You can also use the Yoast SEO to edit your meta description and adjust the length as indicated by the green bar.

meta-description-length

Yoast SEO is a great tool to help make your site search-engine-friendly quickly. It takes out the tedious part of manually optimizing a page.

However, don’t obsess over the green bullets and perfect Yoast score. The recommendations from Yoast are just that, recommendations. They are not rules.

Use Heading Tags to Emphasize Important Points

Heading tags are the <h1>, <h2> tags that you use to create  subheadings in WordPress editor. Use them to break up your content into meaningful subsections.

optimizing headers tag

If you are creating a long-form blog post, the heading tags will help you break up your content into digestible chunks.

Normally <h1> is more important than <h2>, and <h2> is more important than <h3> and so on. Replace the header tags with <em> and <strong> where appropriate.

Use multiple heading sizes to structure your content and make it easier for users to navigate around.

Normally you would use <h1> for your page heading and <h2>, <h3> etc for the subheadings.

Place relevant keywords sparingly. Your headings should help the readers understand what the subsections are all about.

Like your main heading, try to make your subheaders exciting. Make them concise yet descriptive.

Personally, I like to include emotional words where appropriate to draw the reader’s attention to the subsection.

Include Keywords in Your Images Filename  and Alt Tags

When saving your images, try to use descriptive filenames.

For example, instead of using img29.jpg for your filename, you should be describing the content of the image and name it like best-wood-flooring.jpg. Separate each keyword with a hyphen.

The alt tags are the alternative text for your images which are shown if they cannot be displayed for some reason.

If a user is browsing your site using assistive technologies such as a screen reader, your alt tags will provide the information about the picture.

broken image

If you are using an image as a link, the alt text for the image will be treated similarly to the anchor text of a text link.

Like any other in-page keyword optimization, try to use short and descriptive filenames and alt text.

You can include your keywords in your alt text but avoid stuffing keywords or pasting entire sentences here.

To edit your alt text, select the image and click the edit button as shown below.

image alt text

On the Image Details dialog, enter your alt text in the Alternative Text box.

how to edit alt text

 

Use Simple URLs That Convey Information

Your URL is another place to gain some SEO advantage over your competition.

While the advantage may not be as big as it used to be, it’s still an advantage you can’t ignore.

You can add your main keywords in your URLs while keeping it simple and short. Avoid excessive keywords in the URLs.

Google displays your URLs on the search results pages. So you should write them for both humans and search engines. Make it easy to understand what the destination will be about.

Ideally, you would want your URL to be like:

https://www.domain.com/blog/seo-tips-for-beginners

A few things to keep in mind when writing optimal URLs:

  • They are case sensitive – seo-tips is not the same as Seo-Tips. Preferably, make all words lowercase.
  • Use hyphens to separate words – eg. seo-tips-trick. Avoid underscores as those serve to combine two words together.
  • Keep it short – Google will truncate your URL if it exceeds 512 pixels. So be sure to place your important keywords near the beginning. Matt Cutts the former Google engineer once said that anything after the fifth words in your URL don’t matter as much.

In WordPress, you can make your URLs more user and search engine friendly by updating your permalink structure.

To do so go to Settings > Permalinks then select Post name

optimize url permalink

Bear in mind that changing your permalink will break existing links.

This happened to me when I switched Sabahan.com permalink from Day and name version to the Post name version.

https://sabahan.com/2019/08/22/sample-post/

To

https://sabahan.com/sample-post/

 

To fix this issue, you’ll need to create redirects to instruct WordPress to automatically redirects the visitors coming from your old URL to the new URL.

The one plugin that works for me is WP 404 Auto Redirect to Similar Post.

Use Keywords in Internal Links

When you are linking your pages internally, one SEO trick you can do is try to use the relevant keywords in the anchor text.

Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink, normally the blue, underlined text like this.

It’s SEO best practices to include relevant keywords to the page you’re linking to, rather than generic text. The helps the users know what the page is about.

Again, you want to be clever about it. Your anchor text has to be balanced and must not look spammy.

 

book

Exclusive Bonus: Download the accompanying step-by-step SEO checklist that will show you how to optimize your pages quickly.

 

#2: Include Numbers, the Year or Parentheses in the Title

The competition for some keywords is really fierce. But here’s a simple trick you can use to stand out from the crowd and improve your click-through rates.

You can add the year to your post titles.

For example, say you are writing an article about “The Best SEO Tips and Tricks”, kind of like this article you are reading.

Just by adding the year “The Best SEO Tips and Tricks for 2019 may weed out a lot of competition and make your content more relevant for users searching for the latest information.

This will improve your organic CTR (click-through rates) which is an important ranking signal.

If adding the year is not possible, you can add numbers, brackets or parentheses to the end of your titles instead.

For examples:

  • Top SEO Tips and Tricks For Blog (Updated for 2019)
  • How to Create an Effective Opt-In Form (PDF Template Included)
  • How I Got #1 Ranking (Step-By-Step Case Study)
  • Social Media Prediction: Where Are We Heading? [Latest Report]
  • You get the idea…

However, including the year means your content may appear outdated next year. So make sure to update the titles and URLs as the new year approaches.

 

#3: Get Your Pages Ranked Quickly

If you want your articles to rank quicker, make sure to register with Google Search Console.

adding sitemap webmaster console

This is a tool that you can use to monitor your actual search engine rankings on Google search results pages.

Once registered, you’ll be notified if Google is having a problem indexing your pages and then you can take the necessary action to fix it.

To make sure Google knows what your whole blog is about, you need to submit a sitemap.

A sitemap is simply a file containing a list of your site’s URLs that you submit to Google and other search engines.

It helps Google and other search engines to include your site’s pages in their search results more easily and quickly.

The Yoast SEO plugin I mentioned earlier can help you create a sitemap.

Personally, I am using Google XML Sitemaps because it has the option to exclude specific blog categories from being included in the sitemap (I needed to exclude all my blog posts since 2006 from Google!)

Use Fetch as Google to Update Your Page in the Search Result

Fetch as Google in Search Console is a great feature that allows you to instruct Google to crawl your pages on demand.

Use it to see exactly what content Google download and if your page is redirected appropriately.

In addition, you can instruct Google to not just crawl but to submit to index by clicking the Request indexing button.

fetch as google

This is very useful anytime you update a page or you create an entirely new page.  By request indexing, you can trigger the entire process to make your new or updated content available to searchers even faster.

 

#4: Make Your Blog Mobile Friendly

More and more people are browsing the web and searching on Google using a mobile device. Because of the smaller screen size, the desktop version of a site can be troublesome to view and use on a mobile device.

So it’s critical to ensure your blog design to be mobile ready.

It’s so important, Google has begun using a mobile-first index. If your blog isn’t optimized for mobile, it won’t rank as well no matter how good your scores are in the other SEO efforts.

Google also started to show the Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP (identified with a lightning bolt symbol) in the search engine results pages.

To create a mobile-ready site, the design has to be mobile responsive. Having a mobile responsive design means your blog automatically adjust to the screen size.

Fortunately, most WordPress templates are likely to be mobile friendly and adapted the responsive design requirements.

Not sure if your website or blog is mobile-ready? Don’t worry.

You can use Google’s Mobile-friendly Test to check if pages on your site meet the criteria for being mobile friendly.

Page mobile friendly test

You can also use the Google Webmaster Mobile Usability report to discover any issues affecting your site.

If your page is not mobile-friendly, you will get the “You page is not mobile-friendly” message on the search result.

your page is not mobile friendly

There are many free WordPress templates that are mobile-responsive. If you want to stand out more, I recommend buying premium themes from sites like:

  • Thrive Themes – this is the theme that I am currently using
  • Themeforest – wide selections of premium themes for any niches at reasonable prices.

 

#5: SEO Content Writing Tips

I’ve made a conscious decision to only publish long-form content when I decided to revive Sabahan.com from the dead in June 2019.

It’s a lot of work I tell you that. And if I had a choice I would prefer writing shorter articles and writing more often.

But in 2019, SEO no longer works that way.

If I want to improve my chance of ranking on the first search results pages, especially in the blogging, social media marketing, and SEO niche, I don’t think I have any other choice but to write long blog posts.

It helps that I am passionate about these topics.

Putting everything that I’ve learned into practice makes the whole process a fun learning experience for me as I got to see first-hand what works and what doesn’t.

Also, as a non-native English speaker, it gives me the chance to practice my writing.

Research has shown that publishing long-form content will help you rank higher.

long-form content seo

Image credit: Backlinko

Aiming to write blog posts with 1800 words or longer is a good starting point.

Long-form content will increase the dwell time, i.e. the time someone spends on your site.

How so?

Noticed when you came across a 300-word blog post, you may skim or read it in 30 seconds or less then leave.

With long blog posts, there is more opportunity to include more comprehensive information about the topic (later I’ll show you how you can use LSI keywords to tell Google you have a comprehensive and helpful content).

This effectively reduces your bounce rate. Shorter bounce rate signals Google that users love your content and Google will rank you higher.

A bounce rate is when someone clicks on your Google result but then hit the back button quickly after arriving. Not good.

To view your bounce rate, you can use any analytic platforms or just log in to Google Analytics, then go to AUDIENCE > Overview

how to check your bounce rate

So what is the ideal bounce rate then?

Well, it depends on your industry and your goal for that page. Generally, the lower your bounce rate, the better

As you can see there’s room for improvement for my own bounce rate, but it’s not far from the industry average.

Creating great and useful content for the users will likely influence your blog more than any of the other SEO factors.

If you create great content, you may start attracting backlinks from other bloggers, improving your domain authority further.

When it comes to creating long-form content, your goal is to increase time on page, lower bounce rate and provide helpful content for the user.

As you get more organic or word-of-mouth buzz by creating good quality content, you should be able to build your site reputation with both users and Google.

Related: 9 Successful Blogging Strategies to Get More Visitors in 2019

 

book

Exclusive Bonus: Download the accompanying step-by-step SEO checklist that will show you how to optimize your pages quickly.

 

#6: Use LSI Keywords to Improve Overall Rankings

Don’t worry, this is not as complicated as it sounds!

LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing. LSI keywords are words and phrases that Google associates with your main keyword.

For example, if your topic was about cat food, some LSI keywords may be:

  • “low protein diets”
  • “vegan cat”
  • “lean body”

How so?

These are related words which Google would expect to see in a comprehensive article about cat food. They are important because they give the context for Google to fully understand your page.

Google is moving towards machine learning (RankBrain SEO) to rank pages and no longer relying solely on the traditional on-page and off-page SEO ranking factors.

For example, Google now knows if you are searching for “vegan cat”, you probably wanted to learn more about vegan diets for cats.

So how do you find these LSI keywords for your topics?

A good place to start is the Watson Natural Language Understanding Tool

For example, when I entered the Wikipedia URL for cat food:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_food

It returned all the important keywords ranked by relevance.

rankbrain LSI keywords

The second place you can uncover good LSI keywords is from Google’s own search result pages.

When you do a search, scroll down to the bottom of the result page to find phrases semantically related to your topic.

google semantic keywords phrases

 

You can also try LSIKeywords.com to find related LSI keywords to your topic.

LSI Keywords

Now, if you are already a creating long-form content on a topic, you’ll have more opportunity integrating these LSI keywords.

That said, avoid adding LSI keywords just for the sake of including them into your content.

Your goal is to provide the best user experience. If these LSI keywords don’t make sense or don’t benefit your content then leave them.

In most cases though, you’ll find that when you sprinkle the LSI keywords in your long-form posts, you’ll confirm to RankBrain that your content is comprehensive and better all-around.

If you want to learn how LSI keywords can help you rank on Google, watch Rand Fishkin’s video below:

 

#7: Research Link Building Opportunities

When you come up with a blog post idea, it needs to be unique, fresh, with lots of long-tail keywords that can bring in organic traffic.

But how do you know if the topic is not already saturated or overdone?

This is where Moz’s  Link Explorer, formerly known as Open Site Explorer comes in.

 

It’s an all-in-one link building tool that will help you do better link building research, better content marketing and link prospecting. You can find out:

  • The URL / website that is linking back to you
  • The anchor text used in the backlink
  • Page Authority
  • Domain Authority
  • Linking Domains
  • Spam score

The real benefit is the ability to view the link profiles of your competition. Just plug in their URL, find their top pages,  and reverse engineer their campaigns to help you get backlinks from similar sites.

Link Explores is a powerful content marketing tool for any marketers. Although it’s can be a little technical for beginners. The free version is currently limited to 10 queries per month.

You can watch the video below to learn more about how to use Moz’s Link Explorer.

 

#8: Perform Keyword Research

A keyword research involves finding a series of popular words and phrases that people are searching for based around your topic. Then you make an attempt to figure out what to rank for.

Without conducting any keyword research, you risk using keywords or write about topics that may be interesting to you but have little to zero interest to your target users.

When conducting your keyword research, the best keywords should satisfy the  following criteria::

  • Good search volume – potentially more traffic for you
  • Low competition – so that you have a good chance for ranking
  • Have commercial intent – is the keyword profitable?

You can use free tools like Google Keyword Planner or Answer The Public.

Google Keyword Planner allows you to see keywords popularity and see how competitive they are.

While Answer The Public maps keyword suggestions/prediction which are the questions people search most on the Internet.

In addition to the above, I am also using KeySearch to conduct my own keyword research.

keysearch keyword research tool

It’s a reasonably priced keyword research tool to find keywords search volumes, their competition and profitability.

KeySearch also gives you access to a free SEO Crash Course where it teaches SEO from the ground up, step-by-step.

KeySearch costs $17 monthly, but you can use the following coupon code to get a 20% so you’ll only pay $13.60 monthly until you cancel or upgrade your plan.

KSDISC

If you are serious about using SEO to drive organic traffic, having access to a good keyword research tool is a must-have.

 

#9: Switch to HTTPS to Secure Your Site

Google has confirmed that switching to HTTPS gives a small ranking boost. It was first announced HTTPS as a ranking signal back in 2014.

Basically, HTTPS is the safer version of HTTP.

All the major web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox now show an insecure warning if your site isn’t HTTPS. You don’t want this, as it makes your site appears less trustworthy and people might avoid visiting your site entirely.

If you implement HTTPS for your blog, you’ll see the following when using Chrome.

secure https icon in Chrome

Sabahan was using HTTP since 2006 and just recently I implemented the HTTPS. After the switch, I noticed a drop in rankings for many of my keywords.

Unfortunately, that’s a risk that you may have to take if you already have established keyword rankings.

Your rankings drop because when you switch to HTTPS from HTTP, Google considers you are using a different URL so you essentially starting from scratch again.

While it’s definitely a cause for concern, sooner or later you should regain all of your rankings back and traffic should return, provided that you implement HTTPS properly.

Some say it takes anywhere from two weeks to two months, with an average of one month before everything is back to normal.

For Sabahan.com it takes around 2-3 weeks for rankings to return to normal.

After you made the switch, check for broken links.

Be sure to redirect old URLs to the new HTTPS version. You would want to use 301 redirects. Improper implementation can cause further losses.

At the end of the day, I’d recommend implementing HTTPS as soon as possible for security, user trust and SEO ranking reasons.

For a step-by-step guide to switching to HTTPS from HTTP, check out this article.

 

#10: Speed Up Your Site

You page load speed, without a shadow of a doubt, is one of the SEO ranking factors.

With Google placing more importance on the mobile-first index, mobile should continue to be part of your SEO strategies.

Research has shown that roughly half of mobile users leave a website if it doesn’t load within three seconds. Don’t let your blog or website be part of that statistic.

Here are a few things you can do to reduce your loading time and speed up your site.

Related: How to Increase Your Blog Loading Speed

 

Conclusion

The other day I was watching Neil Patel’s video on YouTube.

He said the reason why he is successful is not that he was smarter or had more money than other people.

He just tests everything to see what works.

All these SEO tips and tricks for bloggers means nothing if you don’t take action.

If you want your blog to rank on the first page of Google search results pages, you’ll need to start implementing them immediately.

In fact, for each tip and trick that I shared on my blog, I made it a priority that I am also implementing them myself.

Keep in mind that blog SEO optimization is an ongoing process. Often it takes a few months to start seeing the results, maybe three, six even a year!

What’s important is you take the first step, starting today. Implement the SEO content writing tips. The sooner you start the faster and the better your chance of ranking.

With these SEO tips and tricks up your sleeves, you are already ahead of the game.

Are you already using any of them? Do you know of any SEO tricks that are not included here?

Let me know in the comments!

PS: Download the SEO tips and tricks PDF below to help you optimize your blog posts quicker.

10

How to Use Quora to Drive Tons of Traffic to Your Blog (The Ultimate Guide)

How to use Quora to increase blog traffic and engagement for new blogs. #quora #quoramarketing #howtousequoraBlog traffic…

The most elusive thing every new blogger could ever have.

You tried promoting your posts on the social media but when you stop sharing, the traffic stops too.

Search engines take too long to rank your posts.

Perhaps guest blogging is the answer. So you write several guest posts only to get a trickle of visitors.

Sounds familiar?

You wonder if there’s a faster way to get traffic than the search engine or without the need to pitch your ideas like guest blogging. You want the traffic to continue to flow even after you stop writing.

Well, good news, there is a better way!

This is where Quora comes in.

 

What Is Quora

If you don’t know, Quora is a question-and-answer site where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its community of users.

Think Yahoo Answers but better and the answers are actually helpful.

When it was started, Quora goal was to create a platform where community members can provide a high-quality response in order to build their own reputations as experts.

From the start, Quora was tremendously successful in attracting people who were at the top of their fields. Early contributors to the site included Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen.

Here are a few interesting facts about Quora and Quora traffic stats:

  • Founded in 2009 by former Facebook CTO Adam D’Angelo.
  • As of June 2017, Quora has 200 million monthly unique visitors.
  • According to Alexa, Quora is the 92ths most popular website in the world and 44th in the United States. (last updated July 18, 2018)
  • A large portion of Quora’s user base (20.4%) is from India. The majority, 36.7%  is from the US.
  • The most followed Quoran is Balaji Viswanathan with over 480,000 followers
  • Ashton Kutcher and even Barack Obama have taken their turn answering questions on Quora.

 

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The Benefits of Quora

There are a few tangible benefits you can gain by participating in Quora Q&A such as

  • Establish your position as an authority in your niche
  • Build your personal brand
  • Grow your email list faster and with more targeted subscribers.
  • Drive targeted long-term traffic to your blog – your popular posts will continue to drive traffic for months even years after being posted.
  • If you write an excellent answer, the Quora staff may pick it up and have your posts syndicated to major publications including Time and Inc. Magazine.
  • It can be an effective place for content marketing.

However, those things can only happen if you have an effective Quora strategy to get your answer viewed, read and upvoted like the top writers.

Using Quora for Social Media Marketing

To use Quora for marketing your business or blog more effectively, you need to determine what’s goal.

Do you want to build a personal brand, use Quora to drive traffic to your blog, get leads to your freelance business, build a huge online community, help other people by sharing your knowledge?

While getting tons of views to your answers is great, there are other benefits to using Quora for marketing your blog and business.

If you share valuable tips and real insights to your Quora readers, you’ll reap the rewards by building trust, authority and credibility. It’s the best way to promote yourself and your business without selling out.

How to Use Quora to Drive Traffic

To use Quora to drive traffic to your blog and build trust as a Quora contributor you need to:

  1. Optimizing your profile
  2. Finding popular questions to answer
  3. Writing your answer with authority and proper formatting

We’ll look at each of these in turn.

How to use Quora effectively?

Start by replicating what other popular Quora users have accomplished. While it won’t be easy, it’ll be worth the effort.

Using Quora for SEO won’t take you far though because any links placed within your answers are no-follow links. This means you won’t get any SEO benefits for using relevant anchor text or getting backlinks from Quora.

As you start answering more questions, you’ll start receiving more notifications of questions that other Quora users have asked you to answer.

You can simply pass on the questions if you don’t want to answer them. However, those who asked you may turn to followers or upvote your answer if you can write the best answer for them.

When people check your profile to learn more about you make sure it’s optimized to showcase the best of what you have to offer.

Make Your Quora Profile Stand Out

To use Quora to drive traffic and get targeted leads, you’ll need to optimize your profile by adding relevant attributes based on your niche.

It’s your chance to stand out, demonstrate your knowledge and expertise and help you get traction from early on.

To edit your profile, click on your profile picture on the top right, then go to Profile. On the right-hand side, click the Edit link next to the Credential & Highlights.

optimize quora profile

You’ll have an option to add several credentials in the following areas:

  • Employment
  • Education
  • Location
  • Topic
  • Language

Add all the necessary info about you.

You can then select one of your credentials and set it as the default as shown below.

set default quora headline tagline

Your default credential also serves as a tagline which is shown at the top of every answer.

Quora tagline headline

This tagline should tell your audience that you’re qualified to answer those questions. So it’s important to make it enlightening and attention-grabbing.

One popular format is to give a list of descriptive roles separated by a “pipe” character.

For example, for my default profile I use:

Blogger at Sabahan.com | Internet Marketer | Programmer

You can follow me on Quora if you want.

Any links you place in that field won’t be clickable so you may want to include them in the Profile Summary.

The Profile Summary is the chance for you to stand out. You can:

  • Tell a story of your personal or professional experience
  • Ask the readers to follow your social media accounts
  • Ask the readers to visit your blog,
  • Entice people to sign-up for a lead magnet
  • Link to your popular and most useful Quora answers
  • Structure your profile summary to make it scannable.
  • Include social proof – such as major publications where your work was published if any.

quora profile example

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Copy how the top writers write their bios and adapt them to your own needs.

top writer profile

In addition to having a default credential, you can also set specific credentials for the different topics you write about. This serves as a custom bio highlighting your expertise for that topic.

For example, for the Blogging topic, instead of showing my default tagline, I use “I Blog at Sabahan since 2006”

To customize your topic credentials, click the three dots at the bottom right of your answer, then click Edit Credential.

create unique credential for topics

Provide In-Depth Content On Your Blog

People come to Quora to find an answer to their question and they are actively looking for new ideas to try.

Your own blog is the best place for you to find content to link to in your Quora answers. So you need to bring your best blog posts to their attention.

Choose a blog post to use as your answer. Strategically place related links pointing back to that post or specific section in the post.

No, you don’t have to link to your blog posts each time you answer a question.

What you’d want to do is pick a post with multiple examples or strategies that are not included in the Quora answer. This gives the reader a reason to click on the link.

Don’t copy the whole post and present it as an answer on Quora. There’s a chance that Google will penalize you for duplicate content if you do that too often. And be sure to disclose your authorship when you link to the post.

Having written a blog post, article or opinion piece on the subject position you as having some form of authority. People will pay attention to your answer more.

 

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Find Popular Questions in Your Topics

Here’s another secret sauce you can use. Instead of answering every question in your topic, try to answer popular questions or those that are gaining traction.

Why?

Because popular questions help you get more views to your answers quicker.

There’s something for everyone doesn’t matter what niche you are in. Here are the 50 most followed topics on Quora at the moment.

On Quora, lifestyle-related questions are more likely to get upvotes and comments.

While those questions may get you more views, if they’re not related to your blog niche or business, you’ll likely get fewer click-throughs to your blog or drive lower quality leads.

How to Find Questions With the Most Views & Followers

To find a question with the most views and followers, start by searching for a topic in your niche.

Use short phrases and pay attention to Quora autosuggest topic names. Don’t use long sentences because they are not good for getting relevant topics you want.

For example when you do a search for “blogging”, Quora will suggest related topics like “Blogging Platforms, “Blogging Advice”, “Guest Blogging” and so on.

popular topic search

The Blogging topic has 775.5k followers which is a clear indication of its popularity.

quora popular topics

You can also browse the Related Topics section and gauge their popularity by the number of followers they have. These would be great topics for you to target.

Once you found a popular topic, drill down until you find a popular question.

You may be thinking the most popular questions have already received too many answers and you can’t possibly compete with them. But remember, most popular questions also have a ton of followers so when you post an answer, those followers will be notified that there’s a new answer.

So, how do you know if a question is popular?

The Question Stats reveal how popular the question is.

Question stats

Once you’ve found a question with lots of followers and views, you can start answering it right away.

Ideally, the question should be asked recently and already being followed by at least 500 people. However, don’t limit yourself, you can respond to any question with a low number of followers as long as it’s getting lots of views.

It’s even better if the question has only a few answers but a lot of followers as you will be able to stand out easier and more people will see your answer.

Now, instead of searching and then writing an answer each time, you can mark the question to Answer Later. You can search all the popular questions and build a database of questions you want to answer.

answer later

Later you can spend time dedicated for writing the actual answers. That way, you’ll work more efficiently as you’ll be focusing on doing one task at a time.

Many of the followers will be notified as soon as your answer is posted so you will start getting views almost immediately.

Quora places a strong emphasis on promoting new answers similar to how google likes fresh content.  So your answers may get an instant boost in view.

Questions That Get At Least 1000 Views After a Week

A question that’s at least a week old is gaining traction if it’s starting to accumulate 1000 views or more. There’s a chance that the question will continue to get more views.

popular questions last week

Quora doesn’t indicate when a question was first asked but they do include the date when it was last asked in the Question Stats. When a newer question is merged with an older one, the last asked will show the date of the newer question.

Unfortunately, you can’t sort your feed by date or view count so you will have to dig around looking for such questions on your own.

Find Questions That Appear On Google Search

Some Quora questions also appear on the first page of Google search results bringing in tons of organic traffic.

For example, the long tail keyword (phrases that contain 3 or more word)  “drive traffic to blog using quora” appears second on the search result page. These questions are good candidates to target if you can find them.

organic google traffic to quora

Find Questions Answered By Most Viewed Writers

Another way to find popular questions is by finding questions that were answered by the most viewed writers on the topic.

most viewed writers

While not all of the questions are popular, you may discover a few that have contributed to the popularity of the writer.

You can also follow these people. Your home feed will contain an assortment of questions answered by the people you follow. Quora will also notify you of any questions they’ve answered.

You will notice that some of the most viewed writers are no longer active but their answers still get significant views. That can happen if your answer continues to be relevant long after it’s first created.

Find Questions From the Topic FAQs

Some topics have an FAQ section listing the top questions being asked or most relevant ones to the topic.

Topic FAQs

The Topic FAQ contains the most common and frequently asked question in the topic’s subject area from people learning about the subject. The questions aren’t overly specific for the topic.

You can start finding popular questions from the FAQ list and share your take on them. Just make sure to be helpful and avoid writing just another me-too answer.

Some of the questions may not have good answers (or any answers) at the time they are added to the FAQ. So this is your chance to give good guidance and demonstrate your knowledge of the subject.

Keep an Eye on A2A (Asked to Answer) Questions

Ask to Answer or A2A is when a user request or ask someone to answer a question on Quora.

As you start answering more questions, you’ll start receiving more notifications of A2A questions that other Quorans have asked you to answer.

Check the Question Stats and take note of the view count.

A2A Ask to Answer Questions

You’d want to answer questions with fewer existing answers (ideally less than 5) but are gaining traction by getting lots of views (500 or more) in a matter of hours.

Because there are only a few answers, there’ll be less competition which means you should be able to stand out easily by writing the best answer.

The person who created the A2A may upvote you and turn into a follower if your answer is really helpful to them.

 

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How to Write the Perfect Quora Answer

Now that you’ve located relevant and popular questions you want to answer, here’s what you need to do to craft the perfect Quora answer.

Make Your Answer Scannable

No one likes to be confronted with a massive wall of text when trying to find answers to their question.

People don’t read your answer word-by-word, they scan because it’s more efficient and help them find information faster.

So it’s important to break your answer into smaller, easily digestible chunks.

To create scannable answers, make sure to incorporate the followings:

    • Subheading – organize your answer into different sections to help the reader navigate your content. Drive curiosity by using descriptive headings.
    • Short paragraphs  – break up large blocks of text with short paragraphs to improve readability.
    • Bullet points and numbered lists – create itemized lists to make the content scannable.
    • Bold, italics and underline – draw the reader’s attention by bolding, italicizing or underlining important keywords. But use them sparingly.
  • AVOID USING BLOCK CAPITALS.

Tell a Story

People love reading stories.

In fact, it has been proven that when we hear a story, our brain activates the same areas as if we were experiencing the events of the story ourselves.

Depending on your niche, you can use personal stories of struggle, tragedy, perseverance to pull people in and inspire them

Even when writing about a technical topic, you can turn some of your points into a story to make your answer more engaging and relatable.

Add Images or Videos

Use images to make your answer stand out more. As people scroll down the thread, using images is a powerful way to grab their attention and ‘interrupt’ their scrolling.

If you are talking about an event, add a related image, a public domain celeb photo for entertainment topic perhaps  to get people’s attention

Don’t just use any image, use relevant photos, infographics, charts etc. to support your ideas and illustrate your points.

There’s a study which shows people like reading content with images. Make sure to use only high-quality images and optimize them so that they load quickly too.

If you don’t have personal images, you can use any of the free stock photo sites to find suitable ones to use in your answers. Quora uses the first picture in your post as the preview so make that one counts.

Adding a related YouTube video can also help you to stand out.

Be Different

Have you noticed how some answers tend to be repetitive?

For example, the answers to the question how to make money online always involve creating a blog, promoting affiliate offers, selling your own products or services and so on.

As the readers scan your text trying to extract useful information, try to make them think that yours is different. With new information to learn, or interesting story to enjoy they’ll less likely skip your answer.

If you can’t come up with a better answer, try to be different.

So back to the how to make money online example, you answer could involve unconventional or strange ways people can do to earn money such as selling your hair, be a virtual jury, or even rent a friend!

make money doing strange things

When the followers are notified of a new answer, they will receive a preview of your answer.  So ensure that your intro is intriguing enough to encourage click-through.

Provide Hint There’s More

If your objective is to drive traffic to your blog, try to offer the gist of the subject in your answer.

It should provide enough value to get views and upvotes, but not so much people think there’s nothing else to learn.

Include a call to action in your answer to encourage people to take the next step, that is to click on your link.

How Long Your Answer Should Be?

As long as it needs to be.

Although, you should avoid writing a very short answer (50 – 100 words) as it adds little to no value to the conversation unless the question can be answered satisfactorily with a short answer.

I often write 500 words or longer to ensure I provide much-added value.

Additional Benefits of Writing Good Quora Answers

Keep in mind that you’re considered as an expert so having an opinion matters.

However, when coming up with a statement, make sure to back them up with data or include links from the sources. Avoid writing self-promotional answers as it will hurt your credibility.

If you know other bloggers who’ve written a comprehensive post about the question, don’t hesitate to link to them in your answer. This way, you’re perceived as being genuinely helpful.

An additional benefit of writing good answers is having the chance of getting featured in Quora Digest.

Quora Digest is an email sent by Quora daily or weekly which contains a list of answers which Quora thinks you might like to see.

The answers are a mix of programmatically generated and hand-picked from globally popular topics. It is sent out to 1000+ users and sometimes 3+ million Quora users.

As you can imagine, this could drive even more views to your answers.

Also if your answer goes viral, more people will check out your profile. As I mentioned earlier, having an optimal profile is a must as you don’t want this traffic to go to waste.

How to Get More Views and Upvotes

If your answer got upvoted by other Quora’s user, it will rise to the top of that thread.

The higher your answer in the thread, the more view you will get. The more view you get, the higher the chance to get upvotes.

Upvotes will result in the followings:

  • Boost your answer up the thread
  • Provide social proof which makes your answer look more trustworthy
  • More people will check out your profile and click the link to your site.

The number of upvotes can form a positive feedback loop where it drives more views and upvotes to your answers.

Some even resolved in buying upvotes to boost their popularity. Avoid this as it will put your reputation and account at risk.

Unfortunately, getting real upvotes for your answers to get the top of the thread isn’t easy either.

So how do you get more upvotes to your answers?

  • Avoid self-promotion – try to be genuinely helpful. Make sure the link pointing back to your blog post complements or provide further clarification to your answer.
  • Tell a story – as I mentioned earlier, telling a story is a way to engage with your readers and develop a strong emotional connection. As people get more engaged they’re more likely to upvote your answer.
  • Share actionable steps – focus on how-to content mixed with personal storytelling.
  • Be yourself – sharing technical details and data is good but if you can inject some personality in your answer, doing so helps you to stand out more and be more relatable to readers.
  • Avoid technical jargon – use ordinary, everyday language to connect with more people.
  • Grab attention with the first sentence – you can make the first or second sentence interesting enough so that people will click through to see the full answer.
  • Wrap up with humour or inspiration – you can try making the last line or two humorous or inspirational. If you can end a solid answer with something that makes people smile or feeling inspired, they’ll be more likely to upvote you.

How Often Should You Post on Quora?

There are several Quora users who amassed millions of views to their answers. If you are not one of them, don’t worry 🙂 It’s a tough thing to achieve but not impossible.

These people usually fall into one of the following groups:

  • Longtime Quora users who consistent writing answers and manage to answers 3000+ questions during their time on Quora.
  • Those who write a few hundred answers and get picked up by Quora Digest and their answers go viral.
  • Famous personalities or celebrities.

If you are just starting out and are serious about driving blog traffic to your site from Quora, you’ll need to start answering questions. I would recommend answering one question (or two)  per day on Quora for at least 30 days.

Focus on answering questions related to your niche. Answering questions that are of personal interest is a good way to start because you are answering topics you know a lot about.

When you are answering questions from your own personal experience, you won’t have to spend a lot of time thinking about your answer. When you don’t have to think of a topic, you could answer rather quickly.

As you write more, there are more related answers from you on the topic for the readers to check out.

You can write on Quora every day because you can repurpose the answer for content marketing on other social media like Facebook, LinkedIn and get traction there with it as well.

If you can’t make a commitment to writing on Quora daily, you can dedicate more time writing one or two answers per week and make them the ultimate answers.

Some users who manage to attain top writer status managed to do so with only a few hundreds of answers under their belt.

Case in point, Oliver Emberton who managed get 16.1 million views answering only 125 questions and was named Top Write in 2013 and 2014.

When Is The Best Time to Post on Quora?

According to Imran Esmail, if you are living in North America, posting early in the day or late at night can help.

Since a large portion of Quora’s user base is from the Indian subcontinent (20.4% according to Alexa), you can get a lot of views when they are just waking up or going to bed. (When it’s 8:00 a.m. in New York City, it’s 6:30 p.m. in Mumbai; 10:00 p.m. in NYC is 8:30 a.m. in Mumbai.)

For me, I don’t specifically try to target audience in other time zones. I prefer writing according to my own schedule, usually after 9 PM.

I’m located in Malaysia, two and a half hour ahead of India. So when it’s 9 PM here, in New York City, it’s exactly 9 AM and it’s 6.30 PM in Mumbai.

Finding the optimal time to post will need some testing on your part.

Avoid Spamming and Follow The Rules

Quora defines spam as:

On Quora, spam is defined as one or more questions, answers, posts, comments, or messages whose purpose appears to be to direct traffic to external commercial sites while providing little to no value back to the Quora Community.

When linking to your blog post, provide a summary of how the reference answers the question. If the link is not relevant and the gist of the answer is not understandable by the writing on Quora then the question will violate answering policies and guidelines.

Quora allows some leeway when posting about your product or company as long as it’s relevant. However repeatedly posting the same information or intentionally misapplying topics on posts in order to gain more visibility may be considered spamming.

Answers that drive traffic to external sites for promotional or commercial purposes and do not sufficiently answer the question are considered spam.

Try to avoid writing a one-line answer, pasting a link or quote. Short answers often contain less value and may be collapsed by other Quora users.

If you’re doing affiliate marketing, keep in mind that Quora’s policies disallow you to post affiliate links. Instead, add relevant links to your blog post (when appropriate) which may contain affiliate links.

How to Track Quora Traffic For Conversions and ROI

Review Your Performance With Quora Stats

Quora Stats allows you to see summary and detailed statistics regarding how many people had viewed, upvoted and shared your answers.

Quora stats

The more views, upvotes and shares you have the better your performance. It’s an indication of the impact of the knowledge you are sharing to the world.

However, you may want to dig deeper than just be content with those numbers.

You’d want to track the number of Quora users you’re driving to your blog, the email list conversion rates or whatever important metric you want to measure.

Use Google Analytics to Track Conversion

Here’s how to do it.

Sign-up with Google Analytics if you haven’t already then install a plugin like Google Analytics Dashboard for WP to help you add the analytics code into your blog.

For this example, I am tracking my newsletter sign-ups.

1. Set up Goal Tracking In Google Analytics

You can follow this instruction to set up your Google Analytics account for goal tracking.

2. Locate Quora In Social Networks Traffic Acquisition

Inside your Google Analytics account, on the left-hand menu, click

Acquisition > Social > Network Referrals

You should see Quora listed on the list.

Quora social network

You may be wondering why I get very little traffic from the social media.

If you follow my earlier post, you’d know that Sabahan.com is a very old blog that I am trying to revive. None of my earlier posts have any social media presence because I didn’t do any social media marketing for Sabahan in years.

I’ve also set all the old blog posts to no-follow so Google no longer can send any traffic to them. Hence the low number of visitors I get at the moment.

I could have made some extra money from AdSense if I didn’t do that but I needed to create a laser-focused content that Google will love.

So I am literally starting from scratch.

This is actually good because it gives me the opportunity to test different strategies to grow Sabahan.com and find out for myself what works and what doesn’t. And you can read all my findings on Sabahan.com!

Anyway, as you can see from the image above, the average visitor from Quora spent around 3 minutes reading my blog, the longest among the social network traffic.

To find the actual newsletter signup conversion, navigate to:

Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels

Then click on Social to delve deeper into the numbers.

Quora goal conversion tracking

A break down of the social media traffic shows 14.29% of visitors from Quora has signed up for my newsletter in the past 6 days.

how to track newsletter conversion

Admittedly, the sample size is small. Nonetheless, I found traffic from Quora consistently outperformed other traffic sources when it comes to lead generation.

A large sample size can be found from an experiment conducted by Wishpond where up to 79.2% of Quora visitors signs up for a free trial after landing on their blog.

Conclusion

Quora is one of the most under-utilized social media channels for driving traffic to blogs and it should be part of your digital marketing strategies.

Let’s be real though, you can’t expect a torrent of traffic after spending just a few hours answering questions here and there.

Unless you are being featured or get lucky, expect little traffic for the first few weeks.

Also, remember only to link to your blog post when it’s helpful and necessary. Linking to the same source repeatedly is considered as spamming by Quora.

I hope you now have a solid strategy to dominate and use Quora to drive website traffic to your blog!

Aside from using Quora to drive traffic to your blog or build your email list, you can use it to get clients for your freelance business, drive relevant people to join your Facebook group or follow you on Twitter or whatever your goal is.

Spend time on Quora and you’ll be rewarded for your effort.

Have I missed anything that isn’t included in the article? Have you already started using Quora to drive traffic to your blog?

Let me know in the comments below.

18

7 Proven Strategies to Increase Blog Traffic for Free In 2019

Learn the strategies how to increase blog traffic for free. Drive traffic to your blog now! #blogtraffictips #howtogetblogtraffic #increaseblogtraffic #howtopromoteyourblogYou started your blog and now you want to know the strategies to increase blog traffic for free.

Yes?

Before I answer that question, let me tell you why most bloggers fail to attract traffic to their blogs.

Back in 2013 and earlier, most bloggers wrote 350 to 600  words articles about anything they like and hoped for the best.

Some may got lucky when Google picked up their content and ranked them for certain keywords.

If you are still doing that today, it won’t work.

Some discovered a few different strategies to drive traffic to their blog and figured that they would give each one a shot and see what happens.

The ideas may come from articles like 23 ways to increase blog traffic or the 101 best ways to promote your blog for free and so on.

While you can try 101 ways to increase traffic to your blog, it’s more useful to know where you should be spending most of your time to get the best ROI.

This post will explain the strategies and biggest platforms that you should use to promote your blog posts and increase your website traffic.

Related: 9 Ways to Promote Your Blog Posts When You Have No Followers

 

How to Increase Blog Traffic For Free

If you want to make money blogging, driving large amounts of traffic to your blog should be one of your main blogging goals.

That said, all traffic is not created equal. What you need is traffic that converts into social media shares, engagements, email subscribers and customers.

Getting visitors to your blog requires a specific plan that you need to execute and follow through.

Executing random tactics sporadically won’t help you much in the long-term and it’s a waste of your time.

To start increasing traffic to your blog, the first step is to make sure your blog posts are helpful to your readers.

 

1. Start With Creating Content That Solves a Problem

Use your blog as a way to help others with what you know. Although, you don’t have to be an expert on the topic to help your readers.

For example, when you start blogging, you’ll face many problems and challenges along the way.

As you learn new things, you can turn this new found knowledge into helpful advice for your readers.

As you come up with a blog topic to write about, think how:

  • Your new knowledge can benefit your readers
  • You can help them solve a similar problem
  • Your ideas can help improve their blog, business, traffic etc.
  • You can help them achieve their goal easier and faster
  • You can inspire them and in-turn helps you reach your own goal (convert them into email subscribers, customers etc).

Leave the opinion pieces to the newspaper columnists. I’m not saying you shouldn’t share your opinions or give your perspective on an issue.

However, you’d want to avoid writing only about things that you are interested in.

Why?

You don’t want to be the type of blogger whose only concern is to make other people like you.

These bloggers spent so much time creating content about them instead of creating the content that other people actually want to read and that they need.

When a visitor arrives at their blog, as awesome as the content may be, if there’s nothing for the visitor to learn and benefit from, they will leave.

So, if you want your readers to like you, give them what they want!

It’s perfectly fine if you want to be a lifestyle blogger or  Instagram famous.  Be an inspiration. Give tips and strategies for your readers to help them through the process.

Good blog posts should:

  • Help solves your reader’s problems
  • Have practical value, i.e. actionable
  • Be formatted for a quick read, i.e. scannable
  • Be long enough to hold reasonable value.

One of the best ways to write great content is to create a long-form content.

 

2. Write Long Blog Posts (Long-Form Content)

What is long-form content?

There’s no exact definition of what “long” means, some experts agree that  1200 to 2000 words article is considered to be long.

Thus, long-form content dives deeper into the topic and cover all the bases by answering all questions the reader may have (kind of like this guide you are reading).

While creating long-form content for your blog requires a considerable amount of work and time, the benefits you get in return are well-worth the effort.

This blog post, for example, took me 2-3 days to write!

 

Benefits of Creating Long-Form Content

Here are some of  the benefits you get from writing long-form content:

Your posts will rank higher on the search engine results

There’s a research done where they found the average word count of a first page result was over 2000 words.

increase blog traffic

Your posts are seen more authoritative

Long-form content is meatier, better-researched and often offer more valuable insights than shorter posts.

Writing long-form content position you as an authority and helps establish you as an expert in the subject matter.

According to Backlinko.com, in-depth, authoritative content also has a direct relation with search engine rankings.

People spend more time on your site

With comprehensive and useful content, people will spend more time reading them, increasing the time spent on your site.

They’ll also tend to visit your other pages more because they trust you more.

You get more search traffic for related keywords

Writing a longer post allows you to integrate more long-tail keywords into a single article.

What are long-tail keywords?

A long-tail keyword is a keyword phrase that contains at least three words. It’s used to target niche demographics rather than the mass audience.

Because they are more specific, they are often less competitive than generic keyword terms.

So, with long-form content, you can get one of your posts to rank for hundreds or even thousands of long-tail keywords.

Your posting frequency doesn’t matter as much as the length of your posts when it comes to optimizing your content for long-tail keywords.

Brian Dean of Backlinko.com said he has managed to get 1 million unique visits over the last year. At that time he has only published 32 posts in his blog.

Your post will get more shares

People tend to share posts that provide so much more valuable information as found by BuzzSumo. With 3000-10,000 word articles getting the most shares.

Why?

Longer blog posts offer more value and are unlikely to be filled with trivial or superficial information.

average shares by content length

How and When to Create Long-Form Content Blog Posts

Getting people to visit your blog every single day is nearly impossible if you don’t have great content to begin with. So before you worry about increasing traffic to your blog, worry about your content.

If search is a major source of your traffic, focus on creating longer content. However, don’t create long-form content just for the sake of it.

Not all topics warrant excessive detail (think current news and celebrity gossip).

Try to write about evergreen topics such as how to articles that focus on beginner topics to stay relevant.

To make sure your content are easier to read, you’d want to:

  • Use shorter paragraphs with shorter sentences in them
  • Use headings and subheadings to break up your content
  • Use bullet points and lists where relevant
  • Highlight key points in bold, italics or underline
  • Use images to break up your content

 

3. Optimize Your Blog For The Search Engines

Making your blog’s content SEO-friendly is one way to drive massive blog traffic.

In 2018, Google processes over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year.

When I talk about optimizing your blog for the search engines, I am referring mostly to Google because they have the lion share of the global search volume.

A good blog SEO practice helps you rank better on the other search engines too.

global search share

While having a blog that’s focused on Google SEO is great, trying to get traffic from them is hard because:

  • It’s very competitive.
  • Can take awhile to rank
  • SEO can get quite technical

That said, it’s one source of traffic you can’t ignore because you get very targeted traffic which will engage with your content. Good rankings also bring consistent traffic for months even years to your blog.

Some people will tell you to only focus on publishing great content and the search engines will notice and will rank you appropriately.

While that can definitely happen, it can take a very long time, months if not years. Most bloggers already gave up by then.

Why leave this to chance when you can be proactive and take action to improve your search engine rankings quicker?

 

Understanding Search Intent

People arrive at your website with an intent. Either they’re looking for specific information to help them do something or they want to learn something.

By understanding their search intent, you can optimize your content for keywords that target them in any phase of the customer lifecycle.

For instance, if they are in the learning phase, make sure your page is informational. On the other hand, lead people to your sales page if they are in the buying phase.

Understanding search intent will help you sell more of your stuff, get more email subscribers, get more clicks on your ads or whatever your goal is.

 

How to Optimize Your Blog SEO

So how do you optimize your blog for the search engines?

Improving your blog SEO involves two main components:

  • Doing proper keyword research – target less competitive, long tail keywords that have high commercial values
  • Getting backlinks to your blog

Free tools like Google Keyword Planner or Answer The Public is a good starting point for keyword research.

Each of your posts would become an optimize landing page to draw visitors from the search engines. These are highly targeted visitors which would likely engage more with your content.

To learn more about SEO and how to optimize your blog, check out the following posts:

 

4. Participate in Q&A Sites Like Quora

Quora is a Question & Answer website where people go and ask questions on any topic.

Quora

Created in 2009, today Quora has more than 100 million unique monthly visitors and is one of the most popular websites on the Internet.

By joining Quora, you can:

  • Build your personal brand and reputation (you’ll need to use your real name to participate in a Q&A)
  • Use it to drive engaged referral traffic
  • Get massive blog traffic for free

Sometimes Quora will continue to drive traffic from answers you created months ago (or a few years earlier). It’s normal to see questions from Quora ranked on the first page of Google search results.

Some bloggers vouch that Quora is one of the major sources of traffic to their blog.

Visitors arriving from Quora are more likely to spend time, visit other content and convert on your website.

How do I know?

Recently I started participating in Quora and as I checked my Google analytics I noticed the followings about the traffic from Quora:

  • They are spending more time on my site –  over 7 minutes on average
  • They are viewing more pages – 2.53 pages
  • Bounce rates are pretty low

get traffic from quora

Granted, the sample data is small but, there are many other bloggers who claimed to experience those good numbers too.

 

How to Use Quora For Blog Promotion

While you aren’t allowed to promote your blog directly, you can leverage their popularity by providing high-quality answers and strategically place related links pointing to your blog posts within your answer.

Take extra caution when linking to your blog. Doing it just for clicks can get your account suspended for spamming.

Your goal is not to answer every single question, but to answer popular questions that receive more views.

When someone upvoted your answer, Quora will rank it higher and make it appears in the community feed increasing its visibility.

To get the most out of Quora, you’ll need to do followings:

  • Optimize your profile – position yourself as an expert in the topic. Use your bio to promote your blog and social media accounts.
  • Provide in-depth and good content on your blog – give Quora users a compelling reason to visit your website
  • Find questions that attract the most views and followers – you may be thinking the most popular answer has gotten too many views and you can’t compete with them. Remember, most popular questions also have a ton of followers so when you post an answer, those followers will be notified that there’s a new answer.
    find popular quora questions
  • Look for new questions that are gaining traction – a week old question which receives 1000 or more views is a good candidate

Let’s be real, you can’t expect a torrent of traffic after spending a few hours answering questions here and there.

Unless you are being featured or get lucky, expect little traffic for the first few weeks.

Ideally, you should try to answer at least one question every single day. Your answers need to add value to the conversation for them to attract views. In-depth answers are good but they can also be short, concise and unique.

The more time you spend time cultivating your presence on Quora, the more views you will receive. To increase blog traffic, just keep it consistent and be patient.

To learn more, check out my comprehensive guide on how to use Quora to drive traffic to your blog

 

5. Use Pinterest to Promote Your Blog Posts

After writing an amazing blog post, you need to tell people about it.

This is where Pinterest comes in.

Pinterest is actually a giant advertising billboard, still, its users never look at it that way. Another interesting fact about Pinterest is that it’s actually a search engine with a social element.

So it’s a little different from the other social media networks.

As such you’ll notice people who visit Pinterest are there mostly to search for information (for the social part you can follow other people too and share their content).

This means they are more engaged and will respond to content that provides an answer to their question.

Pinterest works so well for bloggers because the platform is image-based (as opposed to video-based) that can be tied up with your written content. It’s actually the secret weapon for many bloggers.

Pinterest can help you

  • Drive lots of traffic for free
  • Gain organic traffic quicker compare to Google for instance
  • Gain sustained traffic for months.

The disadvantages of Pinterest is that it takes time to master and require some skills to create beautiful pins which attract people attention.

To learn more how to use Pinterest to drive traffic to your blog check out the following articles:

 

6. Write Amazing Guest Posts

Guest blogging is a great way to promote your blog to a new audience who’ve never heard of you before.

It can be useful in getting links back to your site when your blog is new. But it can also be bad depending on who you ask.

The advantages:

  • It’s a good way to get started
  • Helps build up backlinks – quality links improve your blog search engine rankings

The disadvantages:

  • Not a great source of referral traffic
  • If you write a guest blog for a small blog, chances are you won’t see any traffic
  • You don’t own the content and you can’t republish it on your blog.
  • Takes a lot of work
  • You’ll need good writing skills.

The best way to go about it is to select the right blogs. Don’t just offer to write on any popular blog. Find those that are relevant to your audience.

Now, I have a confession to make.

I’ve never written a guest post before!

Sure, I can guest blog on some mid-tier blogs if I choose but to get the most out of guest blogging, you’d want your posts to appear on the largest and most authoritative sites.

The alternative is to guest blog on several smaller but good quality blogs which is doable but will take a lot of work.

You see, English is not my first language as may be apparent from my writing.

I don’t want to spend more time than necessary trying to craft the perfect post with impeccable grammar, while putting other more important tasks, which potentially could provide a better ROI, on the back burner.

That said, it’s something that I plan to do in 2018 because I believe it’s one of the best ways to acquire backlinks from authoritative domains.

The goal is not to drive immediate traffic but to  gain traction on Google for the long-term.

When the time comes, I’d probably hire a good proofreader from Fiverr to help me polish my post. 🙂

In any case, check out this in-depth article about guest blogging to help you decide if this is the route you want to try.

 

7. Start Your Own Email List

Building your email list should be a priority early on in your blogging journey.

Unfortunately, most bloggers think collecting email addresses isn’t important. We are more focused on creating content on our blog because it’s the thing that actually gets us traffic.

Admittedly, I was also guilty for not starting my email list early on.

Why create an email list when you have nothing to sell or you didn’t even know what you’re going to talk about?

Having an email list allows you to build a deeper relationship with your audience even when you don’t have anything to sell.

These are people who have given you the permission to email them. So you can ask them questions about what topics you should write about.

It’s a way for you to drive traffic instantly to your new blog posts too. Just send your subscribers an email whenever you publish a new blog post.

Darren Rowse of Problogger.com said he always get a traffic spike whenever he sends an email to his list about a new post.

For most bloggers, their email list is their number #1 way to make money.

If you are starting out and are on a tight budget, I would recommend registering with MailerLite.

You’ll have full access to all the features for free and can send an unlimited number of emails per month if you have fewer than 1000 subscribers.

Related: How to Start an Email List for Free Right Now

 

8. Other Tricks to Increase Blog Traffic

I don’t consider the following methods as a major driver of traffic (especially if you are just starting out) because they often offer lower ROI but can be effective if done correctly.

Your own experience may differ though, so feel free to give them a try and see it for yourself.

 

Create Twitter and Facebook Page/Groups

The reason why I don’t include Facebook and Twitter as one of the major sources of traffic is that they are unreliable, have a short lifespan and inconsistent.

If your post goes viral, you’d get loads of traffic for the first few hours then it dies out. Some say the average lifespan of a tweet is around 15 minutes, and Facebook post last for about 6 hours.

To improve your visibility you’ll need to post more frequently (and risking driving people away for over posting). On these platforms, people don’t return just to search for previous content.

Having a large number of followers can improve the visibility of your post and extend its lifespan substantially as people reshare or re-tweet it. Unfortunately, new bloggers with only a handful or no follower have no chance.

 

Facebook Updates

Facebook algorithm changes could affect your post visibility too. The recent one limits posts from pages or brands from showing up in a user’s news feed and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Well, actually there is something you can do about it, which is to pay Facebook to show your post to more people. Facebook advertising requires a different set of skill to master. If you don’t know what you are doing, you could end up burning a hole in your pocket.

Remember also, these social networks actually own your audience. They can shut you down for whatever reason.

That said, don’t discount Facebook or Twitter completely. They can work wonders if you can create viral video content. Unfortunately, regular blog posts have less chance to go viral unless it’s some next level stuff.

Also, not everyone wants to sign up for your email list. So, with a Facebook Group, you have another channel to connect with your followers. The best part about Facebook groups, it doesn’t adhere to the same restrictions or the algorithm that a Facebook page does.

Joining other Facebook Groups can also be a good way to promote your blog. There are many blogging related groups you can join (just do a search to find them).

There are no complicated requirements. Most groups welcome anyone as long as you are a blogger.

Finally, create dedicated Facebook Page or Twitter account for your blog.  It’s always good to build up an audience on these platforms as it gives your blog more visibility to more people.

Facebook and Twitter should be part of your content marketing strategies.

Related:  How to Use Facebook Groups to Explode Your Blog Traffic and Drive Engagement

 

Drive Traffic By Blog Commenting

The are two ways you can get benefit from blog commenting:

  • Leave a comment on other blogs – others will notice and may visit your blog
  • Encourage comments on your own blog – this helps create long-form content and help to boost your SEO.

 

Leave Comments on Other Blogs

Commenting on other blogs is a good way to get you noticed.

However, all blogs are not created equal. You’d want to select popular and highly authoritative blogs in your niche to comment.

Visit those blogs on a regular basis and start leaving awesome comments that add value to the discussion.

Granted, this may not bring you much traffic.

But your goal isn’t to get everyone come across and clicks your URL (although that would be nice). The goal is to get people who are really into the topic to notice and click.

The bloggers may start noticing you and might start mentioning you in their blog posts or get an invitation to guest blog.

In any case, WordPress comments are no-follow by default.

Meaning anyone leaving their website URL or link in the comments won’t benefit from the SEO juice of the page. This is good because it discourages comment spam.

Unless the comments are do-follow, blog commenting won’t boost your backlinks and domain authority as Google does not transfer value or anchor text across these links.

 

Encourage Comments on Your Blog

This second benefit of blog commenting is seldom talked about.

Earlier I talked about how creating long-form content help you rank for hundreds even not thousands of keywords.

But what if you are very busy and don’t have the time to research and write 2000+ word article?

You can encourage your readers to comment on your blog post!

Once you’re starting to get comments, reply to all of them. Try responding with more than once sentence instead of just thanking them for commenting.

Try to expand upon what they’ve written or debate them. Your goal is to encourage healthy discussion.

When other people see that you take time to reply to comments, they will comment too.

Imagine having 10 people leaving 50 words comments, that’s an extra 500 words of free user-generated content on your page. You just bumped your 1000 word blog post word count by 50%.

Having a longer post means more keyword variation you can rank for, and more value to your readers.

Blog comments help you build engaged followers to your blog. If they are bloggers themselves, you might even be able to start a mutually beneficial relationship.

Through blog comments, you can discover new perspectives that you might not have considered before.

 

Conclusion

When it comes to generating blog traffic, most bloggers feel rather demotivated because:

  • Nothing seems to work no matter how hard they try
  • Things seem to progress very slowly
  • They keep reading how the top bloggers get tons of traffic  but they see nothing
  • They get trickles of traffic here and there
  • Blog search engine optimization (SEO) can get technical and takes time

The biggest mistake most new bloggers make is spreading themselves too thin. They try to master every blog promotion strategies.

What you’d want to do as a new blogger is to focus your time learning just one strategy. Get very-very good at it. Then add another strategy to the mix.

Identify Your Strengths

Start with the strategy that you think you can be good at quickly:

  • If you are a good writer, maybe you should start with guest posting
  • If you are a technical person, then Google SEO may be right up your alley.
  • If you are creative then Pinterest could be the answer to your traffic drought
  • If you like helping people, use Quora to for content marketing
  • If you are a good learner pick and mix two or three strategies

Some bloggers will tell you how their blog traffic began to pick up after a year-long blogging.

Which was after they got nice guest blogging gigs, had some posts became viral in the social media or Google finally started ranking their posts.

Wouldn’t it be great if there’s a way to accelerate this process without having to slog away months and months and still see nothing?

Yes, there is!

By getting very good at one (or two) strategy first!

The only way to increase your blog traffic fast is to be consistent and never give up. Most importantly, focus on proven blog promotion strategies that increase blog traffic.

In any case, you would want to get on the Pinterest action and get a good start on increasing traffic to your new blog.

Over time, you’d want to make sure not to depend on a single traffic source.

Now it’s your turn.

Do you have a blog promotion strategy that work for you? Please let me know in the comments.

If you find this post useful, feel free to share it.

Thanks for reading!

4

5 Extremely Actionable SEO Tips For Beginners When Starting A New Blog

Learn SEO tips for beginners. This article contains 5+ SEO tips and tricks to help you rank on Google and other search engines. Read now! #seotips #seo #seoforbeginners #blogseoAre you looking for SEO tips on how to rank number #1 on Google using high impact SEO ranking strategies?

Are you an SEO beginner or wonder what you can do to improve your position on Google search results?

If you just started blogging (or working on an existing one) here are some SEO tips to help you out.

Related: 9 Quick SEO Tips and Tricks For Blogs

 

Introduction

Getting the number #1 ranking was pretty easy 10 years ago. In  2005, I got a new website ranked on the first page of Google for keywords of my choice in my niche pretty fast, just based on the on-page ranking factors, without any external backlinks.

I hand-coded the website to sell a CD burner software that I developed myself. I was pretty hands-on with everything. Besides I had no money to pay other people to do it for me 🙂

I knew I was ranking with the right keywords because I began making sales  within a couple of days the website went online. The best thing was I spent zero on advertising. If you perform a Google search, the website no longer exists. Oh, the good old days…

seo ranking tips

I hate to break it to you…

But getting number one ranking on Google today is very-very hard. However, there are a couple things you can do to increase your chances of appearing at least on the first page of Google.

If you just started your blog or website, follow these SEO tips to start off on the right foot. They are the exact SEO ranking strategies I performed on Sabahan.com as I get Sabahan.com ready for prime time 🙂

If you are a newbie and are wondering  what is SEO. It stands for “search engine optimisation”. It is the practice of increasing the quality of your blog or web page content to make sure it’s ranked well on the search result based on what the search engine considers most relevant its users.

All major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have their own ranking criteria but in this article, I am going to focus on Google. OK let’s get started with the search engine optimisation tips number 1.

 

book

Exclusive Bonus: Download the accompanying step-by-step SEO checklist that will show you how to optimize your pages quickly.

 

1. Focus on Writing Thorough and Extremely Helpful Content

Blogs that write about everything won’t rank as well as blogs that focus on one single niche very thoroughly.

Try to write a post that solves a problem your readers have. Go in-depth by breaking down everything your readers would want to learn.

For example, if you want to teach people how to start a blog,  breakdown your post by creating separate sections and talk about the followings:

  • Why you should start a blog
  • Before you start you should…?
  • What topics should your write about
  • Which web hosting to host your blog
  • What are the differences between WordPress.com, WordPress.org and Blogger?
  • Selecting the right theme for your WordPress blog
  • How can you make money from your blog
  • You get the idea…

This naturally leads you to write very lengthy posts.

But that is OK because Google prefers longer post. In fact, the average word count of a Google first page result is 1,890 words.

content total word

My point is, you need to write very thoroughly and extremely helpful content that covers as many angles as you can for the topic. Include as much helpful information in one post as necessary.

Ideally, your post should offer much more than what your visitors initially asked for. This helps your article to become very share-worthy on the social media.

 

How Google Hummingbird Update Rewards Helpful Content

In 2013 Google announced an update called Hummingbird where it prefers websites that focus on one single niche rather than those that write about everything and anything that took their fancy.

Google prefers pages with an in-depth answer and not just those that give you exactly what you type in.

For example, before Hummingbird, a search for “acid reflux prescription” would return pages like this. While it did give you what you type, it might not necessarily be the most helpful in treating the disease.

Now, Google will return pages such as this. The page contains information about the diagnosis your doctor might recommend, information about possible treatment, options for over-the-counter medication or whether you even need drugs.

Notice how thorough and helpful the page is and how it includes more information in addition to the prescription you asked for in your original query.

 

book

Exclusive Bonus: Download the accompanying step-by-step SEO checklist that will show you how to optimize your pages quickly.

 

2. Optimise Your Title Tag and Meta Description

Having a good title tag and meta description is given since the beginning of search engine optimisation if you want to rank properly.

title meta description

When you do a search on Google,  each entry in the search result contains a link at the top which is the title tag and a description below which is called the meta description.

If  you search for the phrase “make money online” for example, you will more likely click on a search result that contains the phrase “make money online” either in the title or description because it’s related to what you’re looking for.

This tells Google that they should priorities results which contain the search term you are looking. So make sure to include your preferred keywords in your title and meta description for some ranking juice.

Is it enough?

Simply including your keywords in the title and meta description is not enough. Make sure you also do the following:

  • Your sentence should flow and easy to read.
  • It should pique the reader’s interest so that they click your listing
  • Avoid repeating your keywords.

 

How to Edit Your Title and Meta Description Using Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin

You can change your existing or create a new keyword-focus title and meta description for your posts using the Yoast SEO plugin.

The plugin also comes with many other SEO optimisation functions but we are going to focus on the snippet editor, which allows you to edit your meta title and meta description in WordPress.

Once you have the plugin installed, just follow these steps to start optimizing your meta information on a post or page.

  1. Create a new post or select an existing post to edit.
  2. Scroll down to the WordPress text editor until you find the section titled “Yoast SEO”.
    yoast seo plugin
  3. Click “Edit  snippet” (see image below).
  4. Edit the text listed under the “SEO title”, “Slug” and “Meta description” to include your keywords. Yoast will calculate the length of your text. Make sure the color-coded bar under each text box stays green.
  5. Check the “Snippet preview” and make your title, slug and meta description appear the way you intended.
  6. Once you are satisfied, click the “Close snippet editor” button.
    change title meta description

Keep in mind that the updated title and meta description won’t be reflected right away in Google search results. You can speed up this process by following these steps.

To get crawled faster, use Google Webmaster Search Tool which I am going to discuss in the next SEO tip.

 

book

Exclusive Bonus: Download the accompanying step-by-step SEO checklist that will show you how to optimize your pages quickly.

 

3. Use Google Search Console to Rank On Google

If you are not already a Google Search Console user, drop everything you are doing right now and sign up.

google search console

 

Formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, it’s a free service by Google for webmasters. It allows you to check indexing status and optimize visibility of your blog or website.

More importantly, it will help you improve your Google rankings.

After you sign up, give it a few days for Google to populate the data.

 

Improve Your Blog With Search Analytics

One of the most important data you want to check is the Search Analytics.

The Search Analytics shows all the pages on your website that are getting traffic from Google search.

search analysis

Since I started reviving Sabahan.com from the dead recently, right off the bat I noticed several issues reported by the console that I need fixing.

Some of the queries Sabahan.com were ranked for have nothing to do with the niche the blog is in.

While those search terms used to bring me traffic, which was  good for getting page impressions for my AdSense ads, the traffic they attracted were totally unrelated to my niche.

You see, Sabahan.com used to be more like a personal blog.

However, in 2018, I’ve decided to change things and treat it more like a business blog.

I need to put the SEO Tips #1 above into practice. So I will focus more on topics that are highly relevant to my making money blogging niche.

As tempting as it is for me to have as many pages as possible indexed in an attempt to boost traffic, it will only dilute the focus of my blog which could affect my search engine rankings.

My focus today is on search engine optimization techniques, better blogging and content marketing, building your mailing list, affiliate marketing and so on. So no more topics like the average IQ of the Australian aboriginal!

To fix this issue, I can either delete those pages or prevent Google crawler from indexing them using a Robots.txt file or via noindex Meta tag.

I won’t discuss these methods here because it’s not something you would normally do when you start a new blog.

 

Find Out How Many Times Google Shows Your Pages In The Search Results

You can also find out which of your pages or posts are getting impressions. What I mean by impressions are the number of times your pages are shown on the Google search results.

When you do a search, you don’t always click through on a result, but when Google shows your post in their search result, it counts as an impression.

So from the Google Search Console, you can track:

  • How many impressions you get
  • How many clicks you get
  • Your click-through rate or CTR
  • Your page position

 

click impression ctr position

So, why is this information useful?

I’ll explain in the next section.

 

Use Google Search Console to Improve Your Click Thru Rate and Ranking

Google Search Analysis shows you all the keywords that you are getting impressions for and your click-through rate. Normally, most pages would get less than 5% CTR.

This is great because you can use this information to improve your title tag and meta description to get more clicks on your listing.

When Google notices your listing get more clicks than your competitor above you, they are going to rank you higher.

Why?

Because it tells Google what their users prefer. They prefer you over your competitors.

 

Use Google Search Console to Improve Your Content & Attract More Traffic

What you can do is take all the keywords that you are getting impressions for and start including them in your copy.

add keywords from webmasters

But don’t do this just to make your content  filled with keywords. Make sure your writing flows naturally and that it makes sense.

 

Use Google Search Console to Rank Number #1

If you already have a country specific domain such as .com.my or .co.uk, Google already associated it with that specific country.

But if your site has a generic top-level domain, such as .com or .org, you can use the International Targeting feature to tell Google which countries are most important to you.

This is useful if your business serves a country specific-audience. So you will experience better results in the country that you are targeting.

It’s also a good idea if you want the local audience to notice you more as it helps you to stand out locally.

country specific targeting

You may want to keep the box unchecked to target a global audience if:

  • Your products/services can be sold anywhere.
  • Targeting the United States is too competitive.
  • You want the ‘global advantage’ but still want Google to associate your blog with a particular region.

For the third point, if you get more backlinks from your own country for instance, it signals Google to give some importance to you in your own country.

global targetting

If you want to ensure your blog is not associated with any country or region at all, you can select Unlisted in the drop-down list.

This will tell Google that you’re targeting a broad, global audience or region, diminishing the importance of backlinks from any country.

Keep in mind that when you change your blog international targeting, it may affect your existing rankings as Google will need to reassess your  blog using a new set of rules.

While the effect maybe temporary, I would only recommend doing this early on or  when you haven’t got many high ranking keywords yet, just to be on the safe side.

 

book

Exclusive Bonus: Download the accompanying step-by-step SEO checklist that will show you how to optimize your pages quickly.

 

4. Increase Your Blog Loading Speed

Focusing on offering great user experience is important because Google wants to rank content that is actually useful for users. One way you can achieve this is by increasing your blog or website loading speed.

A slow loading website will hurt your organic search performance as well as your business. According to Hubspot, a 1-second delay in website loading speed can reduce website conversions by 7%. The good news is reducing your average loading time has the opposite effect.

At the very minimum, you should aim to get your website loading speed to three seconds or below.

 

Use Pingdom & Google PageSpeed Insight to Benchmark Your Page Load Time

Go to tools.pingdom.com and enter your URL. Run your blog through Pingdom several times  from different location to get the average loading speed.
pingdom website speed test
It is important to have this benchmark because it allows you to track your progress as you made changes to your blog structures or implement improvements.

There are countless ways you can improve your blog loading speed. But one of the biggest factors that determine how fast your website actually loads is your web hosting.

I’ve used Hostgator before but as they moved their support from the ticketing system to chat, the quality deteriorates so much it forced me to switch my webhost.

If you are looking for a reliable WordPress hosting for your blog, you can check BlueHost.

In Pingdom, scroll down to the Performance insights section where you can see suggestions on what you can do to improve your web page loading time. Unfortunately, most of the suggestions are very technical for a newbie to implement.

performance insights

The good news is there are WordPress plugins you can install that will implement some of the suggestions without the need for you to tinker with the technical aspect.

In addition to Pingdom, you can also use Google PageSpeed Insights. Google will analyze the content of your web page for mobile and desktop, then generates suggestions to make that page faster.

google page speed test

So as a beginner without a technical know-how, how do you implement Pingdom or Google page optimization suggestions? It’s actually quite easy. Most of the suggestions can be incorporated easily into your blog by installing the W3 Total Cache plugin.

 

Install  W3 Total Cache Plugin for WordPress to Increase Your Blog Loading Time Speed

W3 Total Cache is one of the most popular caching plugins for WordPress.

They claim to improve the SEO and user experience of your blog by increasing your blog performance and reducing download times via features like the content delivery network (CDN) integration and caching.

After installing W3 Total Cache plugin for Sabahan.com, right off the bat, I noticed the loading time decreased significantly.

Most of the changes suggested by Pingdom such caching of pages and post, database caching, minification of CSS, Javascript, browser caching can be implemented easily.

It can be a pain to configure but the default options should work just fine if you’re not sure what to change. Also, make sure to enable gzip compression.

I am using the free version and have not found the need to buy the premium version which is quite pricey at US99 per year.

 

5. Use Google Mobile-Friendly Test to Make Sure Your Blog Is Mobile Friendly

Today, it’s more likely that the majority of all traffic that is coming to your website is  from mobile.

While there are exceptions to the rule such as for business-to-business (B2B) traffic, it’s not going to be that way forever.

So it’s still very important to make sure your blog looks good on mobile, that it is responsive and friendly on a mobile device.

So how do you go about in making your blog mobile friendly and responsive? The first step is to see how mobile friendly your blog is by using Google’s own tool that checks mobile friendliness.

Go to the Mobile-Friendly Test and enter your blog URL. Google will tell you whether or not your blog is mobile friendly.

mobile friendly test

So what should you do if your blog is not mobile friendly? You can hire a web designer to re-design your blog or website to make it mobile friendly.

If you are using WordPress, which you probably are if you are reading this post. You can download many free themes or purchase any of the premium themes.

I’ve purchased several premium WordPress themes online. One place I’d personally recommend for premium WordPress themes is Theme Forest. They have a pretty good selection of high-quality and good looking themes.

Just be sure that when making your purchase, the theme is responsive and mobile friendly.

Currently I am using the FocusBlog Theme by Thrive Themes.

 

Conclusion

Now that you have read my SEO tips for beginners. It’s time to take action.

Implementing any of these tips ensures your blog or website is built on a strong foundation before you start creating even more thorough content or acquiring backlinks.

These are high impact SEO strategies which means they will affect your Google search rankings in a big way. So whether you are a beginner or an experienced blogger, give them a try.

Please leave a comment or share this post if you find it useful. Thanks for reading!

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