Blogs aren’t going out of style anytime soon, despite what the internet would have you believe. While social media platforms like Instagram and content formats like video are soaring, blogs are still an effective content marketing and communication medium.
Recent findings show that globally, around 410 million people visit blogs every month. More importantly, businesses and brands that engage in blogging receive 97 percent more backlinks from other websites. Backlinks boost site traffic, improve search rankings and boost visibility.
Whether you sell software products, teach online courses or offer services, you can benefit from a few tried and tested tips for increasing your readership.
Use relevant keywords
You can write insightful and transformational content on a particular topic. However, if your target readers have a hard time finding it through search platforms, your blog post might as well stay unpublished.
Google looks at keywords as indicators of the strength of a piece of content and considers qualities like reliability, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. The keywords in your content help establish the relevance of your content for various search terms.
When selecting relevant keywords, you need to know the following:
- The kinds of content you need to create to rank for those keywords
- The amount of increased traffic you expect to gain
- How difficult it will be to rank for particular keywords
- Whether or not you can convert visitors to customers when you rank for the keyword
Doing keyword research will allow you to see where you stand as far as the four factors listed above are concerned. You can also determine if specific keywords are relevant to your niche or if you’ll be competing for search rankings with websites outside your industry.
For example, you could use a tool like Keywords Everywhere to review search volume. You could then use a tool like Ahrefs, Moz, or SEMRush to review keyword difficulty.
Customize your URL
Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) is often broadly divided into two distinct areas: off-page and off-page. Practices like implementing customized domain URLs for your blog lie squarely within the scope of the former.
Customized URLs help visitors understand the type of content they will be consuming. In the example above, the URL reads MrPencil.news/scoop, showing the brand name (“MrPencil”), the category that the content is under (news), and the type of content you can find on the page (scoop).
Here are some reasons you should look into customizing your URLs:
- Have a higher user recall
- Help the search engine understand the topic focus (less important as an SEO ranking factor than it used to be)
- Increase click-through rates
Many domain providers offer a range of URL customization features at little to no added cost.
Include internal links
Most web admins, digital content professionals, and even SEO enthusiasts understand the importance of building high quality backlinks to growing online traffic. However, internal links are also just as crucial to your search engine performance.
Here are some reasons you should add internal links to your blog content:
- Internal links help spread page authority across your website.
- When you add links to other blog entries, you encourage users to spend more time browsing through your content.
- Adding links between pages in your site makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index.
How do these effects help improve your website’s SEO?
More page views and longer visit times indicate to search engines that your content contains valuable information. Meanwhile, when search engines crawl through your site through internal links, they understand the relationships between pages and help even the least-visited pages appear in search results.
Finally, spreading Page Authority by linking between pages helps all of the content within that cluster rank.
Aim for featured snippets
The featured snippet is the pinnacle position when it comes to SEO rankings. It is a short excerpt from a website that appears on the resulting first page of a Google search.
For example, searching for the keyword “blog statistics” brings up the featured snippet below:
For your blog to have a good chance of being a featured snippet, you need to consider the following:
- What is the search intent?
- How can you create content that provides an instant answer?
In most cases, the featured snippets feature answers to the question posed by the person searching. To get that featured snippet ranking, you need to include clear answers to the questions you want to rank for.
A good way to get the featured snippet position is to use the target question as a heading in your article. You then try and answer this question in 3-4 sentences.
You can see in the example from OptinMonster, Google picked the first few bullet points for the featured snippet. You should attempt the same approach when creating content.
Add visual media to your content
A survey of content marketers shows that 85 percent rely on visual content to boost their blog articles, social media posts, and marketing emails. In this context, visual content does not just include static images. It also includes GIFs,video infographics and even dynamic content like personalised images on your website.
Why do images attract views?
The human mind processes images up to 600 times faster than text. A well-placed, relevant image on your blog will help the reader get a good idea of what they can expect from your articles. For example, SingleGrain ranks fourth for the keyword “Nike marketing strategy”:
While the SingleGrain article itself is well written and has a lot of relevant keywords, it also contains a very informative chart that illustrates just how much Nike dominates the market for sports shoes:
The data used in the chart comes from Statista. SingleGrain features its logo prominently in the content. You can see that they used this graphic when promoting the content on Twitter and across other social channels.
Creating custom graphics for your content is a great way to engage people who are familiar with your brand and interested in your content. You can share these graphics on social media or embed them in your content to get those graphics ranking on Google images.
Your company blog is a valuable online asset. You will only realize its full potential only when you manage to attract readers to the site. The quality of your content plays a significant role in your blog’s success, but the level of competition for readers is intense.
This article looked at five ways you can increase your readership. You should use relevant keywords, customize your URL, build internal links, optimize content for Google’s featured snippets, and add visual media to your content. Taking a systematic approach to blog SEO will allow your readership to soar to new heights.