July 8th, 2009
These days, having a blog on your website has become the norm. Without a blog, many businesses struggle to gain targeted traffic to their website as well as retain visitors for more than a minute or two. Blogging is a great way to drive targeted traffic to your site and it seems many businesses are now jumping on this bandwagon.
In addition to increased traffic and longer on-site times for your visitors, blogging is a great compliment to any SEO efforts your company is making. Updating your blog regularly and actively promoting these posts on social networking sites can drastically increase the value of your website in the eyes of search engines. Your site’s rankings in search engines will benefit from fresh and regularly updated content as well as increased backlinks that result from high quality and linkable content.
Now, lets dive into 30 simple blog improvement tips that will increase traffic to your site…
1. Location of Your Blog – Although there is no definite answer to this question, in general, most sites will benefit from a blog located at yourwebsite.com/blog rather than blog.yourwebsite.com or even a completely separate site such as a Blogspot blog. For more information, read this great article about where to setup your blog.
2. Use a Good Blogging Platform – Using a good blogging platform or content management system will save you time and money in the long run. My favorites are WordPress and Drupal which both make blogging quite simple.
3. Blog Design – Make sure the design of your blog is simple, clean, and not too cluttered with information. Simple is always better.
4. Design Consistency – Make sure the design of your blog has the same feel as the rest of your site. You don’t want your visitors feeling disconnected when they visit your blog.
5. Blog Link – Make sure to have a prominent link to your blog on all the primary pages of your site; preferably a link in the main navigation menu. This seems obvious, but I still come across sites that make it difficult for users to find their blog.
6. Advertisements – If you will be placing any advertisements on your blog, make sure they are related to your topic and aren’t overdone. I have seen blogs with so much advertising that it gives the site a very spammy feel and takes away from the end user’s experience.
7. Author Bio and Contact – Many readers will want to know who the primary writers are for the blog so be sure to include an author bio page with contact information.
8. Blog Topic – Pick a topic for your blog and stay within that topic. To successfully build up a loyal audience, make sure your blog isn’t all over the place, but rather only post content related to your niche.
9. Blog Your Passion – Blogging about what you know and love will produce higher quality content for your readers to enjoy and will leave them wanting more.
10. Post Regularly – Set a schedule for writing blog posts and stick to it. Successful blogs will post regularly and often. With that said, bear in mind that quality is better than quantity so don’t post just to post.
11. Write Compelling Headlines – It is important to spend some time writing the titles/headlines of your posts as they are always the first thing your visitors will see. If you don’t have a compelling headline, people will not read your post.
12. Easy to Read Format – Be sure to use bullet points, subheadings, separate paragraphs, etc. You want to make it easy for readers to digest your information.
13. Pictures – Include relevant pictures and make sure your blog is visually appealing in addition to having high quality content.
14. No Sales Pitch – Do not promote your products/services in your blogposts. If every post you write is a giant sales pitch, you will fail to attract a loyal audience of readers.
15. Blog for Your Readers – Make sure you write blogposts for your readers and not for search engines. It is important to optimize your blogposts for SEO purposes, but don’t optimize in ways that compromise the experience for the end user.
16. Encourage Comments – Be sure to invite people to comment on your posts and also respond to your readers when they leave comments. This will create interaction with your readers. You may also want to encourage comments by adding a small “Top Commenters” section on your blog. Many platforms (such as WordPress) will have a simple plug-in that does this.
17. Use Categories – Categorizing your blogposts is essential when blogging. A general rule of thumb is to have fewer categories with many posts in each category versus having many categories with fewer posts in each category.
18. Use Internal Links – Linking from one of your posts to other related posts on your site will help funnel traffic around your blog and prove a valuable resource to your visitors by connecting your content. Wikipedia explains this best when they say, “Linking through hyperlinks is an important advantage of an online encyclopedia, with internal links binding the project together into an interconnected whole." I believe this also applies to blogs.
19. Engage Your Readers – Use polls, contests, surveys, etc to engage your readers and allow them to interact with your blog.
20. Use Plug-ins – Many blogging platforms will allow you to extend the functionality of your blog by adding functions such as related posts, top posts, posts by author, date archives, recent posts, etc.
21. Optimize Your Posts – Make sure to write unique title and Meta tags for each post. Find out what words are popular and include them in your title tag, Meta tags, and content. I kind of like this new Wordtracker Firefox Plug-in for some quick keyword research when writing my posts. Also pay attention to the URL structure of your posts; include relevant keywords in your post’s URL (take a look at the URL of this post).
22. Update Old Posts – It is a good idea to revise some of your older posts and update them with any new information you may have. You may also include some internal links back to your newer posts for bonus points.
23. Feedburner – Setup a Feedburner account and make it as easy as possible for your readers to access your posts through a variety of different subscription services. Also be sure to allow your readers to receive your posts via email.
24. RSS Icon – I still come across blogs with a very tiny RSS icon hidden in the bottom corner of their blog. Be sure to add a large RSS icon in a highly visible section of your blog. Again, make it easy for your readers.
25. Social Media – J
ump on the bandwagon and promote your blogposts on social media sites. Social media promotion has the ability to drive massive amounts of traffic to your site and will have some very juicy benefits in search engines as well.
26. Social/Bookmark Links – add social media bookmark buttons to the bottom of every post enabling your readers to easily help promote your posts on all major social sites.
27. Blog Ranking – Submit your site to blog ranking services such as Technorati.
28. Blog Commenting – Comment on other related blogs and drop in a link back to your blog when relevant and appropriate, but do not spam!
29. Guest Blogging – Guest blog on other blogs as a way to bring new visitors to your sites. You will often be allowed a small resources section or author bio where you can link back to your own blog.
30. Guest Contributors – Invite guest bloggers to contribute to your blog. This is a great way to bring fresh perspectives to your readers.
Please feel free to comment and add your own suggestions, tips, and recommendations. Happy Blogging!
• 8 years ago
Perfect guideline. I think you covered almost everything starts from writing, blog building and blog promotion. Highly recommended guide.
• 8 years ago
Well I Have Reading Many Blogs For Same Topic but This is Most Liked Man. Thanks For Sharing
• 8 years ago
This is a very descriptive post for any blogger looking to improve their seo, ranking and traffic.