10 ways to optimize blog traffic

This is a list any beginning blogger will find useful. It is mainly for WordPress users, this will definitely help boost traffic, and optimize your WordPress setup for the greatest visibility for search engines.

You can also check out my previous articles similar to this topic, which lists some of the Best SEO Plugins for WordPress.


Permalink Structure

This is a great way to get better visibility from search engines, instead of having a site url of “domain.com/?p=345″, it would rather be “domain.com/05/20/06/google-bought-youtube/”. To change your permalink structure you need to login to your WordPress admin panel, then go to Options > Permalinks

Keywords In Content

Using keywords in your post title is important, but you also need to use keywords throughout your post. Concentrate on the first paragraph then use variations of your main keyword throughout the rest of your post.
Header Tags
The header tags are used when assigning a title, typically within a post. These title tags are have a numerical value associated with them that also indicates their importance, ie. < h1 > is used for your most important header, < h2 > would be used for a sub title etc. Place the same keywords as used in your post title in the < h1 > tag then use variations of your keywords in < h2 > / < h3 >tags for optimum effect.

Install the Meta tag description and UTW plugins

Head META Description – Optimizes the meta description for search engines to index your site properly.
Ultimate Tag Warrior – Makes it easier by searching through the tags you made for the posts.

Related Posts

When a person visits your blog you want them to stay for as long as you can. One of the best ways to keep visitors interested is to show them other content on your blog that may be related to the post they are currently reading. The easiest way to do this is with the ‘Related Posts‘ plugin. Upload using your FTP client into the wp-content > plugins folder, then login to your WordPress admin panel and activate the plugin from the ‘Plugins’ page.

Use Sitemaps

To get the most traffic from search engines like Google it is best to get as many of your pages indexed as possible. Make it easier by installing the Google Sitemaps plugin. Upload into wp-content > plugins via FTP and then activate from the Plugins page. This will then create an XML file that Googlebot can spider and then find all your content. You’ll need a Sitemaps account though where you can register your new Sitemap.

Use proper HTML Tags

Using “Alt” tags on your images and “Title” tags not only helps your search engine rankings, but it also helps disabled people with screen readers view the content on your site. It also can help your page be valid HTML (another thing that can help your SE ranking). I recommend simply describing the link/image and not trying to cram tons of keywords to boost your ranking. For more information on doing this, visit W3C’s site and look up the tag for the version of HTML/XHTML used on your site (if you want it to be valid).

Build Backlinks

To get more traffic you need backlinks. Ideally other blogs will like what you write and link to you, but if you are just starting out and need a little exposure then submit your blog technorati.com. Other ways to get backlinks is via commenting on other blogs and using trackbacks.

Ping Other Sites Automatically when you Update your Blog

Pinging other sites allows other sites to get updates from your blog much sooner and automatically when you make a new post. To have your blog update other sites when you update it, login to your WordPress admin area, select Options > Writing and copy and paste the links below, under “Update Services”

http://rpc.pingomatic.com/
http://www.a2b.cc/setloc/bp.a2b
http://api.feedster.com/ping
http://api.my.yahoo.com/RPC2
http://api.my.yahoo.com/rss/ping
http://www.blogdigger.com/RPC2
http://www.blogshares.com/rpc.php
http://www.blogsnow.com/ping
http://www.blogstreet.com/xrbin/xmlrpc.cgi
http://coreblog.org/ping/
http://ping.blo.gs/
http://ping.feedburner.com
http://ping.syndic8.com/xmlrpc.php
http://ping.weblogalot.com/rpc.php
http://www.popdex.com/addsite.php
http://rpc.blogrolling.com/pinger/
http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping
http://rpc.weblogs.com/RPC2
http://topicexchange.com/RPC2
http://xping.pubsub.com/ping/
http://api.my.yahoo.com/rss/ping
http://api.moreover.com/ping
http://rpc.icerocket.com:10080

Spread the Word

While it may not seem like much, telling people you know can help you build a site. People you know can offer advice on design, topics, etc. and let people they know about your site.

People who know you are also far more likely to comment on your postings, making your site look more active, thereby encouraging others to do the same.

If you choose to do this step, ask the person to tell 3 other people they know about your site. This will in effect create a small network of people reading and commenting on your site. Plus, if they really like your site they’ll continue to tell others about it.

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