Frustrated that despite churning out content on a regular basis and doing other necessary stuff, your traffic isn't moving ahead as expected? Well, that's a common problem we all face sooner or later in our blogging career. The importance of social media cannot be undermined in giving a push to an upcoming blog. But, search traffic forms a major part of traffic volume for almost every blog. Today, we'll try to understand what it takes to help our content show up higher in highly relevant search queries. I'm not going to discuss the technical on page SEO implementation in detail. I'm assuming that you're already doing it with no luck. So what else is left?
Before we go ahead, let me ask you a simple question. Why Google should rank your blog posts higher up in the search results? Almost each one of us will come up with N number of reasons to answer this question. For example - I have a great blog design, I write very good content, I do killer SEO settings, and I'm very much active on social media platforms and so on. Despite doing all this, why some blogs experience a drought when it comes to getting traffic from search engines?
Understand Reader's/Visitor's PerspectiveYes, that's the first step towards gaining good rankings on search engines. Whenever a potential visitor queries for something on a search engine, what essentially he is looking for? Is he looking for a great blog post or a killer blog design? Your great blog design simply aids in retaining the visitor once he lands on your blog post. From reader's perspective, whenever he queries about something, he is simply looking for the best possible solution to his problem.
And that's what Google tries to offer him in the search results. A visitor checks out some of the links provided on the first page and choose to read and apply the best solution. He may bookmark that post and may keep track of fresh new content on that website. That's how things shape up from the visitor's end. He queries about a problem, Google provides him with a list of best possible solutions and finally he picks the best one out of them.
As a publisher, what's in there for you? Think about it!
Assess Your Content's WorthI've always emphasized on creating solutions for your audience. Your entire archive should focus around creating best possible solutions for common problems faced by your target audience. Can you say with confidence that at least 50% of your posts are providing unique, easy-to-understand and practical solutions to the readers? If not, probably you've to rethink your entire content creation strategy.
Scan your entire archive, shortlist posts providing solutions to your readers and compare them with the competition already ranking on top of the search results. To make sure you don't have to do it again in future for your old posts, apply the same technique for every new post you're planning to write. Research and analyze what your high ranking competition is already offering to the audience.
Come up with a different yet practical and unique solution, and you're bound to get your share from the organic sources. Don't hesitate to delete thin content from your archives altogether. It's not going to help you in any way.
Remove Weeds with Surgical PrecisionOptimizing archives and coming up with the right kind of new content should be supplemented with several other precautions to get the best results. Post Penguin and Panda era has seen lot of SEO changes that includes suspension of several good old SEO practices prevalent from a decade. I'll strongly advice you to diversify anchor texts in your archives. If they're more or less similar for the same content in good numbers, you're going to suffer despite coming up with the right solutions for your readers.
Religiously scan and no-follow all unnecessary links including your comments section, header, sidebar and footer. De-clutter your entire blog's layout. Ensure it's not sluggish. Make all navigation paths obvious.
Add Some FleshUse illustrations, custom infographics and videos. Include free resource downloads, wherever possible. Create resource pages that are known to perform so well on search engines. Ensure you've correctly configured Google+ author and publisher tag correctly on your blog. Google has given clear indication about preferring the author tagged content over others in the long run.
Use a custom related content section with thumbnail images in a grid. Serve custom or select content according to visitors' intent and behavior. This is a very effective methodology that increases the worth of your content. It increases the length of visits on your blog which is taken into account while assessing your blog's overall value and usability.