Keyword research is a critical element when starting and building a blog. In order for it to be successful, you need to make sure that you do this step properly and carefully. Though there are some bloggers who do not consider keyword research as much as they should, there is a big chance that they will miss out on new visitors on their blog.
Keywords are universally used to identify search terms that people type in the search engine. Finding popular search terms and utilizing them in your content is a foolproof way to gain traction. No matter how a blogger tries to produce the best content, without keyword research and its use, gaining more traffic will nevertheless be a struggle.
Here is a list of answers as to why keyword research is essential to your blog’s success.
It keeps you updated on the popular trends in your niche.
Land a higher spot in the Search Engine Results Pages.
Increases the traffic to your site.
Provides an insight into the popular products and services that your target market is interested in.
Below are the basic ways of keyword research that every beginner must know.
Think as if you were the perfect visitor – Think about the perfect visitor on your site. What questions do you think they have in mind? What are the subject matters that they presumably already know? By asking yourself these two question, you can formulate a list of FAQs. Using these questions, you can formulate a possibly long list of keywords to use.
Look at your competitor’s site – Think of the term you want to use and type it in the search box. Check the top four displayed sites at the top of the SERP and investigate the sites. You can gain valuable insight as to what your competition is offering their customers. Doing this will expand your list and will also show you what the competitors are ranking for.
Use keyword research tools – Blogs or sites that are still starting may use free keyword research tools. However, it will be in your site’s best interest if you shell out a few couples of dollars for an inexpensive keyword research tool. You can use Google Adwords, Google Trends, Google Blogs, etc. Keep in mind that the tool Keyword Planner by Google is used by paid advertisers. But this also produces data that still is a good representation of the organic search competition.
Understand long tail keywords – These keywords are simply a set of three or more words. General or short keywords are usually ranked by bigger competitors. One cautious yet effective way of bringing in more traffic is using long tail keywords. People who are searching for “black furniture” us very likely to be in the initial stage of gathering the information they need. However, a person who uses the key phrase “round blue ottoman” is likely further along the purchasing cycle and is more likely going to make a purchase.
Keep your site’s actual niche in mind – Keyword research is one of the processes of keyword mapping. However, not all relevant keywords will fit the theme of your blog, or the products and services you are trying to sell. To put the keyword research you have done to use, you actually need to use them in your content.
SEO keyword research can be a laborious process in the beginning. But as you get the hang of it, you will soon find the specific words and phrases you need to rank higher in the SERPs. If you wish to skip this step and work on something else, hiring an SEO specialist is the best option for you.
Few things have revolutionized the landscape of the World Wide Web like WordPress. The Content Management System (CMS) has made starting a website about as easy as it gets. Though there are plenty of ways to spend money when you’re up and running, WordPress is absolutely free to start. In fact, you can create an incredibly professional-looking site without ever spending a dime. That being said, success won’t be handed to you, even when you’re operating within the WordPress model. So keep reading as we discuss one of the main ways you’ll get the results you want by using WordPress: on-site SEO.
The Importance of SEO
Let’s look at why SEO is so important. Unless you’re completely new to websites, you’re probably somewhat familiar with Search Engine Optimization. To put it as simply as possible, SEO is the art of getting search engines, like Google, to bring their users to your site.
So, for example, if a user is looking up dog food and your website sells it, you want the search engine they use to tell that person your website is a reliable source. That’s oversimplifying things slightly, but it’s sufficient for our purposes.
The reason for this should be obvious. No matter how great your website is, how wonderful your product performs or how well-intentioned you are, if no one knows about these things, success will always elude you. SEO is the main way you’ll let people know.
There are two main types of SEO. One is call on-site SEO and the other is off-site. Both are important, but many would argue there is simply more you can do with the on-site variety. So this article is going to focus solely on utilizing SEO to drive traffic to your site.
Start with Permalinks
Alright, the first thing you’ll want to do with your WordPress site is change the permalinks. If you haven’t heard this term before, it simply refers to how your URLs read. When you create your first ever post on your WordPress site, chances are it will look something like this, YourSite.WordPress.com/2014/1/15/This-Is-My-First-Post, where that last combination of words is the title you’ve chosen for your post. It might also just be numbers. In either case, it isn’t very favorable for your search engine results.
So go to the Permalinks setting on your WordPress page and change yours to “custom structure.” For the structure, put in “/%postname%/” (except without quotation marks).
The first reason is because it gives the search engine something important to read immediately. Search engines read websites to gather what they’re about. That way they know whether or not it’s a good fit for the user (this is one method, anyway). When your URL is a bunch of numbers, it’s a less favorable read for the search engine. But when your URL contains words about, again let’s just say, dog food, it now has reason to believe your website is a good one to send users to if they’re looking for that subject.
Of course, this works for actual people too. If your link is on a website somewhere, people will read it when they see it. Seeing what the subject covers may be enough to convince them to click. URLs that are mostly numbers are less likely to garner this response.
The second reason is that it keeps things in order. When people use a hyperlink to send others to your site, they’ll most likely choose words that match what the link is about. “All natural dog food”, for example, may send people who click on it to a post you wrote about just that. By having the hyperlink match up, things are kept organized.
Be sure to keep your URLs as short as possible. Keep it to 3 words, if you can. Also, get rid of stop words when possible (i.e. “a, an, and, the, etc.). Search engines don’t read them anyway.
Content is King
You may have heard this before, but it’s as true as ever. Don’t expect traffic if you’re not keeping your website updated. For one thing, users will simply stop showing up as they learn that you don’t seem to care about your site.
Secondly, search engines will take notice as well. By constantly updating your website, you show search engines that your committed to providing the best experience for your users.
Use Title Tags
It’s debatable, but many believe that title tags are by far the easiest way to improve your websites SEO in a meaningful way. If there’s any one thing you glean from reading this, it should be understanding what SEO is. But the second should an appreciation for utilizing title tags.
Your WordPress site doesn’t show up ready to optimize Title Tags, so you’ll need to handle this part. Fortunately, it’s incredibly easy. There are two plugins I recommend for these purposes. Either use the All-In-One or Yoast’s SEO plugin. Either will work, but the latter is for more advanced users.
Set your general settings as follows:
Home Title: You’ll want to enter in Targeted Keyword| Site Name.
Post Title: You’ll simply input, %post_title%
Page Title: Just type, %page_title%
These changes help put the keywords you’re targeting (in this case, one would be “dog food”) front and center where the search engine is bound to immediately see it.
Focus on Keywords
Speaking of keywords, we should address those in greater detail now. For the most part, stick to a central keyword throughout your site. There are plenty of arguments for doing otherwise, but when you first start out, I think it’s essential. Huge brands, companies and corporations may have the means to diversify, but you’ll be swimming upstream if you try to follow suit.
You can use Google’s Keyword Tool to look into which ones may be best for your goals. Remember, that you want to find ones that best match what the topic of your website will be.
Once you have a keyword chosen, it’s time to use it. Include your keyword in the title tag of your homepage, the heading for your actual website, in anchor text you use for links from other sites and, if/when you have one, even your logo. For your logo and other images, you’ll simply name them your keyword before putting it on your WordPress site. That’s, then, how search engines will read them.
Optimize Meta Tags
If you aren’t familiar with Meta Tags, chances are you’ve still seen them. They’re the short description that you see below a search engine result. So whatever you read in that description is whatever people entered into their Meta Tag.
By adding keywords to your Meta Tags (as well as any others), you help convince search engines that you deserve to be higher up in the results.
Keyword Label Images
At this time, search engines, especially Google, still look for what are known as alt attributes for images on your website. This is welcomed news as it simply gives us one more place we can insert our keywords.
One tool that is especially hand for this is called SEO Friendly Images. It’s fairly self-explanatory, but it allows you to label any images you use with the keywords that correspond with them. So for the imaginary site I’ve been referencing, I’d want to label images I was using as “dog food.”
Link to Your Own Work
This might seem like cheating, but it’s perfectly acceptable to link to your own work within your website. In fact, your visitors will welcome the help. One tenet of SEO you can rely on is that if visitors like it, search engines generally will to. By linking to work elsewhere in your site, you’re making it easier for your visitors to navigate around it and find the information they find most useful.
Let’s return to my dog food website. If I was writing a post about organic dog food, I might reference how the kind made in factories is subpar and bad for a canine’s health. If I had discussed this once before, my readers would probably appreciate a hyperlink that would take them back to that article. As an added benefit, it would help my site link as well.
Choose Pages Over Posts
Alright, now let’s get into some more advanced SEO tactics. My first piece of advice is to always use pages on WordPress instead of posts, at least when you’re covering important information.
For one thing, your WordPress homepage will generally be the most potent on your website. By this I mean, linking from it will garner those pages the most validity because it’s coming from your SEO-rich homepage. So while a post stays there on your WordPress homepage, a page links off from it and, thus, gets more credibility with search engines.
Secondly, on a page you won’t have comments. Why’s this important? Because while comments are nice to read and give your visitors a sense of involvement, they ultimately delude your keyword density. Chances are all those comments aren’t necessarily relevant, after all, so they wind up being counterproductive.
This follows from the last paragraph nicely. Like I said, pages are helpful because they lack comments. In order to further that aid, I’d say deactivate comments from all posts as well.
The only exception would be if you can see that comments clearly play a role in your site’s popularity. For example, if you’re getting hundreds of them per post, then it’s clear that you’re speaking to a vibrant community and that stifling conversation could have negative effects. People might be linking to your page due to certain comments and conversations, for example. But when you’re first starting out, you probably won’t be getting this kind of feedback. It’s best to take comments out and leave SEO strength in.
This might stretch the line a bit between on-site and off-site, but it’s an easy thing you can do on your WordPress page, so I think it qualifies. Plus, it can be very helpful. No matter what your market is for your WordPress site, chances are you aren’t the only one with a website, right? While you might be in direct competition with some people, it’s often helpful to link to their page anyway. This is especially true when you’re just starting out and “competition” is a very loose word.
Linking to other people does a few things. But for our purposes, one of the best things it does is gets other people to link back to you. The more authoritative they are, the better your site looks to the major search engines.
Check Your Speed
Everyone’s been on a website before that lacks the speed it should have. Instead it stumbles along slowly, eventually bringing you to where you want to go. If your site is guilty of this, you can expect most of your visitors to simply leave.
If you’re unsure about your website’s speed, use Google’s Page Speed Tool. It’s free and will give you the feedback you need in no time. Google’s tool doesn’t just measure your speed, it will actually tell you where you’re lacking, so you know immediately what to change. Depending on what Google recommends, chances are a tool called CloudFare will be able to help you handle matters.
Keep in mind that user experience is just one reason to have a faster site. While it’s important, so is a secondary benefit involved. The faster your site runs, the faster search engines can read it. In fact, if you use CloudFare, you’ll almost certainly experience greater results in a shorter period of time. Make sure your server is able to handle the new traffic.
The world of SEO is vast and there is always more you can learn, apply and refine. However, if you follow the above advice your WordPress site will stand a better chance than most that get started. Just be sure you start at the top and work your way down as things get more advanced as you go.
It is no secret that links hold a great value for any website. It proves to the search engine that your site has authority and it opens many doors for you to potentially tap a different set of audience that can become customers or clients to your brand, that is if you use the right techniques.
In SEO, link building is crucial. You cannot just assume that any link is a good link. There are factors that you need to analyze and take into consideration to improve your search engine ranking and effectively optimize your website’s traffic.
Create forum links
There are thousands of forums on the Internet, ranging from beauty, lifestyle to various advice. Although it will take some time for you to read and respond to other comments in the forum, positioning yourself as an expert in your niche gives you an advantage.
There is a great chance that posters will respond to you and click the links you post. The best part about it is that casual forum readers can potentially become future customers or blog subscribers.
Add blog comment links
Blog comments are the simplest form of links and they are considered to be one of the oldest yet still effective SEO link building techniques. All you have to do is visit a web page, leave a comment in response to the publisher and include your link.
The best benefit of blog comment links is that you will never run out of places to comment. After all, there are about 83 million new posts being published every month.
Create directory links
Directory links are links from websites that act as an online directory for people who are looking for products or services at a certain location. Online directories are either paid or free, so if you are looking to build multiple links, consider setting aside a budget for it.
Being featured on directories (especially on a really good directory website) can drive relevant traffic to your website. If it is optimized, there is an even greater chance that these visitors could become customers or clients.
Obtain editorial links
Along with building awareness around your business or blog, editorial links can help boost your online presence and organic search rankings.
For example, high publication profiles such as The BBC Channel, The Daily Mail and The Huffington Post have a high “domain authority”. These sites are trusted by search engines and are identified as quality and reliable websites. The same concept applies to government and university websites.
When one of them publishes an article with a link to your website, this passes on some search-engine-trust to your website. Therefore, you blog, brand or business could now be regarded as “reliable” by search engines. This also strengthens your chances of ranking for your keywords.
Submit a guest post to a blog in a similar niche
You probably already know that guest posting is a great technique to build links to your site, as long as you follow the right techniques.
What happens with guest posting is that you contact the editor of a site with the hopes of publishing your content on their site. If their rules or guidelines permit, you could include a dofollow backlink. Make sure that whenever you submit a guest post, you think about the value of it to their readers as this increases your chances of getting published.
Another detail to look at when guest posting is having a user profile section. Not all guest posts will allow you to put a direct backlink within the content. Instead, some of these sites will only allow you to put a single link in the bio section or author section below your article.
Though this type of link may not be as valuable to SEO as the in content backlink, there is no doubt that setting an author section is useful in building your brand and allowing your readers to get to know you further, even if you are simply guest posting.
If the site’s readers find your published article compelling, they will most likely click the link to find out who you are.
Use images of infographic links
Content marketing does not always come in the form of a written article, press release or a short post. You can utilize photos or infographics too.
Every person who uses the internet is a reader. But there are some people who are more visually enticed as opposed to reading lengthy articles.
Using infographics is an efficient way to build backlinks. A good looking infograph can also effectively target shoppers or buyers who are interested in your products.
As a rule of thumb, backlinking should not concentrate on a specific type. You should spread out your backlinks on different websites with a high DA. And if you use these types of backlinks as decribed above, they will stimulate natural traffic to your blog or website.
Building a balanced link profile will take time. If you could find resources that can point out the kinds of links you need to build (like businesses that offer SEO reports), go ahead and use these resources. They will be a great help at build a scalable and sustainable strategy to make your website appear natural and well optimized.
When you press the SEND button on your email client it appears simple and straightforward. In actuality, a series of events occurs which causes the message to be transferred from your client (Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, Netscape or whatever) to the destination.
Most email on the internet is sent using a protocol (the rules for communicating) called Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP for short). This is defined in a document called RFC 821; it specifies how to communicate with an SMTP mail server. What happens when you press send is described below. Text sent by the email client is underlined.
Your email client connects to the SMTP server (which is defined by you when you set it up). It usually uses port 25.
The email client will print a header to confirm it is, indeed, an email server running SMTP
Your email client will now get the attention of the SMTP server. It can do so with a “HELO” or an “EHLO” command. HELO is standard SMTP, and EHLO is extended and more or less asks the SMTP server to identify which advanced functions it supports.
The SMTP server responds to let the client know it is alive, well and waiting for commands.
250 rglapache Hello
The client identifies who the email is from using the “MAIL FROM:” command.
MAIL FROM: email@example.com
The SMTP server responds with a confirmation that it’s okay to continue.
250 <firstname.lastname@example.org>… Sender ok
Now the client informs the SMTP server who the email is to be sent to using the “RCPT TO:” command. More than one of these commands may be used to send to more than one recipient.
RCPT TO: richlowe@internet–tips.net
The SMTP server responds that this is okay:250 <email@example.com>… Recipient ok
The client sends the command “DATA” to tell the SMTP server it will now send the message. After that, text is sent, line by line, until the entire message has been transmitted. The message is ended with a “.” on a line all by itself.DATA 354 Enter mail, end with “.” on a line by itself Message-Id: <firstname.lastname@example.org> From: email@example.com To: richlowe@internet–tips.net Subject: This is a test of SMTPThis example shows how SMTP works. Pretty nifty, isn’t it? . You should note from the above that the “Message-id”, “To:” and “Subject:” (as well as others such as “Cc:”, “Bcc:” and so on) are sent to the email server as part of the message data. These are what displays as the “Subject” and “To” when you open the email. Note that the actual recipient and who the email is from is sent BEFORE the data. The implication is that since these are part of the message they can be forged. In fact, that is exactly what spammers and some of the newer viruses do. Klez, for example, chooses a random email address for the “From:” and “To:” fields, making it appear that someone else has sent the message.
The SMTP server replies that this is fine and will be delivered.250 M2002101709193007556 Message accepted for delivery
The client can either start another message or quit using the “QUIT” command.
And example of a full session to send an email is shown below. 220 rglapache SMTP NAVIEG 2.1 bld 63; Thu, 17 Oct 2002 09:18:30 -0700 HELO localhost 250 rglapache Hello MAIL FROM: firstname.lastname@example.org 250 <email@example.com>… Sender ok RCPT TO: richlowe@internet–tips.net 250 <richlowe@internet–tips.net>… Recipient ok DATA 354 Enter mail, end with “.” on a line by itself Message-Id: <firstname.lastname@example.org> From: email@example.com To: richlowe@internet–tips.net Subject: This is a test of SMTP This example shows how SMTP works. Pretty nifty, isn’t it? . 250 M2002101709193007556 Message accepted for delivery QUIT This is all very easy to see, as you can do it all from a standard TELNET client. Just connect to an email server on port 25 and type the commands by hand. How do you get to TELNET? Simply invoke it from the CMD prompt or RUN as shown to the left. You can then enter the commands to the SMTP server to send an email.
Successful Internet marketing requires a great deal of effort on your part. Remember that you must focus your hard work towards meaningful ends if you want a successful online business. It makes sense to put your effort in the right direction. Check out these tips and get on the track to internet marketing success.
You must utilize every tool that you can get in hands to be successful in Internet marketing. If your customers use more advanced software than you do, you can expect that you will fall behind. If you stay on the front lines of technology and always have the next best thing available to your customers, then they will be more likely to be drawn to your business or website.
Create FAQ Page On Your Website
Create a page of FAQs about your product. Offer answers to your them and provide solutions that will help. Although it’s a good idea to avoid the impression of advertising too directly, you can couch the questions in terms that make it reasonable to talk about your products when you write the answers.
A frequently asked questions page (FAQs) is an essential tool for keeping your site’s visitors satisfied and well-informed. By providing instant gratifications to the customers, their problems can be easily fixed, and they will stay as happy clients. The more evident it is to your customer that purchasing services or goods from you is to his or her benefit, the more likely the person is to complete a transaction at checkout.
Reach Out To Influencers
Your internet marketing strategy doesn’t have to be limited to the internet itself. Reach out to people who have blogs on a regular basis. It can help establish a sense of a relationship between influencers and everyone else in the same niche as yours. If bloggers feel right about your business, they are going to become more active in writing about your brand.
Keep A Simple Website
It is essential that websites are kept somewhat user-friendly, and webmasters often overlook this. It is tempting to use a variety of fancy multimedia tools, such as Adobe Flash or Silverlight, and web designers usually use them because of visual effects.
Smart website owners will not include fancy technology, as they know it will drive away visitors that do not want to be bothered by multimedia tools. A website should work well and serve its purpose, without resorting to lots of fancy tricks.
Internet marketing has some characteristics common to most other markets but also has significant differences. For example, search engines may decide not to focus on title tags in the future. If the search engines implement a significant change on their algorithm, you need to be ready to alter your campaigns to include techniques to encourage search engine bots to crawl your site.
Content Is King
Always try to keep your content fresh and current on your website. Visitors who arrive at a site and find that the latest information available was posted months or even years ago are going to draw the wrong conclusions about your business’s current state of affairs. A well-received and current site is one which will attract more people.
Create A Blog
An efficient way to draw more traffic to your site is by creating a blog. Note that it is recommended to regularly add fresh content to make your blog more effective. If you provide new, up-to-date content, people will visit your site more often.
Open Social Channels
Open accounts on social networking sites, such as MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter, and send out information about your business. Be careful from sending spam that people don’t want since this can pose a problem later on.
This article should let you know it is vital to put your best effort into Internet marketing to make more money. Use the advice found here, and you can watch your business shine.