Whether you write a lot or only a few blog posts it is worth getting the best results to drive traffic to your website.
Once you have nailed who you are targeting you want to ensure that you get found and build your presence out on the web. To explain the process I have broken it down into 5 steps. I will talk about each tool in how they relate to this.
Here are some key tips to help you get started:
- Set a budget for how much you can afford to spend on SEO tools
- Stay focused and learn a step at a time
- Choose the tools and get to know them inside out – see how it fits your requirements
- Move through each step and do it well
- Remember the 80 / 20 rule – spend the time doing some good research and the rest flows a lot easier
The tools below are well known and work well so why not try them and then once you have mastered them you will be able to better assess other tools and understand more.
Keyword Research Tools
Unless you are in a very niche market you need to be realistic about the keywords you use and research. For instance, if I was a local florist trying to compete on the term florist is not going to work – I would be going up against all the other florists in the Country and the giants like Interflora.
If I choose wedding Oxford florist it makes sense on two levels: 1. people search locally for this type of service and 2. The competition level is much lower
Google adwords is a simple and free tool to use but don’t underestimate its power. Used well you can dig deep into the web to research keywords competition down to geographical location, language (if important to you) and by the device (mobile is now a critical element). You can also move from general terms to exact terms which helps narrow down the opportunity. Key tip: don’t discount keywords with Medium to High competition; these can be a long-term goal. When searching in AdWords, start broad, and then enter narrower queries
If you are looking to dig deep into how and what the competition is using then SEM rush is a great SEO tool to use. It lets you research the popular keywords that are driving traffic to a website. Choose between 10 – 15 competitors. Then click on the link for each of your competitor’s listed in the top 20 results for the keywords you want to focus on. For each competitor, you will get 10 of the top keywords that the website ranks and other useful information such as what page/post on the site ranks for the specific keyword.
The free version will give you lots of great information to start with and then after pricing is start with the free version because that provides lots of good information.To perform comprehensive initial keyword research for your blog, you can sign up for a one-month subscription for $79.95 and get thousands of keywords from blogs similar to yours. You can download these keywords in an Excel spreadsheet for future reference.
On-Site SEO Tools
With over a million downloads WordPress SEO by Yoast is the best SEO tool on the market for SEO.
Use the WordPress SEO tool to optimise you pages ads well as posts. You get easy to use red, amber and green plight system and a guide under the ‘Page Analysis’ which provides you ways to easily improve your post or page. If you work through Yoasts guide and learn how to use it well it will greatly improve your blogs performance.
The other great part of WordPress SEO is it can integrate Facebook Open Graph onto your site as well as provide you with the ability to get Google authorship. For more details and tips on how to improve your SEO you can also read my blog 20 SEO Tips To Build Your Traffic.
Publish and Promote Posts
You need to publish your posts so people know it is there, especially if you don’t post often. Places to publish your post and build your links are:
- Google Plus
There are in fact lots of other social networks and places to post articles and blog posts but doing it randomly doesn’t help you. What you need to do is the post where your audience spends time. As an example, if you have been in First Aid Training you could write a blog on changes in legislation that are soon to come into force with taking out the jargon and making it easy to understand what a company needs to do to stay legal.
This post could provide called “5 ways to stay legal with your first aid in October”. If the people that buy your service are HR directors, assuming they are responsible for First Aid training, you could post into a Linkedin group with HR people. The chances are they might not be aware of this as a possible issue and you could offer to ask any questions that arise from the post.
There are plenty of ways to find out about your customers online and get to know them better. Two easy tools to use here are Twitter and Hashtags.org. The two questions you need to understand are:
What hashtags (Twitter) or terms are they using? and also if you find customers look at their Twitter lists to get some insights as to who else and what topics they follow.
Use the Twitter search tool and/or hashtags.org to find out what hashtags are being used in your topics. if you then tweet your post with a trending and relevant hashtag more people will pick it up.
The best way, and often overlooked is to find out where your customers are hanging out in social media is to Ask them.
Promote On Facebook
Another way to get more eyes on your blog posts is to post a blog on your Facebook page and then promote it. Of course, the thing to be aware of here is how well your post fits your Facebook audience.
CognitiveSEO is an affordable tool that visually maps out the link profile of your blog and your top four competitors using the Visual Link Explorer. Using this you can begin to build a plan to build out your own links.
One of the best ways to build out your links is to guest blog on other sites. To find relevant sites that have a good rank and are right for you can be hard – that is where Buzzstream comes in. BuzzStream does more just help you build links. It is also a way to build relationships and track links.
After setting up your account go to ‘Research’ from the ‘Link Partners’ tab and enter search terms into ‘Prospecting Searches’. Now you can use a keyword and also add “guest blog” “guest post” and you will get a list of possible opportunities. Of course, some may not be right for you and this is where you need to reach out and ask. Choose carefully and write well for a guest post. If it does well you may well be invited to do more.
Measuring Your Performance
One of the things that you will need to do is to track how well your blog is performing in search. This a key part of the process and gives you a measure of how well you are performing vs, your objectives, your competition and your marketing efforts. In other words for the time spent are your moving in the right direction. The two tools I have listed below are both priced at $49 per month and involve no contract so you can easily cancel at any time.
Authority Labs is designed to track your organic search engine rankings and offers the ability to track up to 250 keywords across 50 domains with a Plus account.