Building a blog Google will rank high seems like an impossible task. However, here are 10 tips that will help you rank higher than you rank now, including how to stick to your niche.
Tip #1 – Write Great Content
The biggest factor Google uses to rank you is the content on your blog posts. Writing great content that will keep your readers engaged is a big part of why you blog in the first place. Always think of the reader in mind. Think what value can I give the person visiting my blog? Consider why they should visit, what they will get out of reading your material, and if they will think about your blog after the visit. Spending time carefully writing blog post is essential.
Knowing your audience will help you write content they want to read. If you have a blog about surfing, then what is the surfing mentality. The language that you use and words you choose with a surfing blog may look different from a blog aimed at teachers. So keep in mind the culture and mindset of those you are writing for, and you will see an increase in your ranking, return visitors, and the time they spend on your blog reading through your material.
Lastly, organize your content with appropriate headlines to make it easy for the readers to know what each section of your post is about. Google mimics the experience of readers. Having your content organized and accurate to the headlines you choose will give your blog Google brownie points. For help with this, check out our post about writing great blog posts here.
Tip #2 – Post To Your Blog Often
Posting often and consistently is a trigger for Google. As Google visits or crawls your blog it detects the changes from the last time it crawled your blog. If there is much more content on your blog Google will think that it’s an active site, worth visiting more often. The more often Google crawls your blog, the quicker your posts will get ranked, or changes that you have made to posts will be noticed.
Having frequent posts are signals to Google that you are engaging visitors, and that you actually have something to say that is valuable. As you are being visited more often, you should see a bump in ranking provided that your site is relatively free of any technical glitches that Google does not like. So, put yourself out there, post often, but post those things of use to others.
Tip #3 – Practice Good SEO To Be A Blog Google Likes
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s an important word in getting ranked, but often feels like a curse (or cuss) word to many, me included. SEO is relatively simple to understand, but you do not always get the results that you want. Three major areas of SEO are your page title, page description, and keywords for your page.
The title of our blog post should make people want to click on it and read. Most importantly, the title of our blog post should match the content of your blog post. Google notices such things. Make it accurate, but catchy. This is important to your SEO and important to your ranking. The blog post should always contain the main keyword for the post within the first few words of the title. Google likes this.
The post description is important for SEO and to get clicks from potential visitors as they use search engines. The description should make reference to your title, and should contain the top two or three keywords of the blog title. Try to keep the description under 160 characters because no more than that will display on search engine results. So, any more than that is kind of a waste and I believe that Google ignores any characters beyond 160.
Keywords for your post are just as important to your title. Choosing the right keywords means a mix of broad ones such as “surfing” with a mix of long-tailed keywords such as “board surfing in Malibu.” Picking the right keyword will lead to the right visitors seeing and experiencing your blog. So, spend time doing research on those keywords most meaningful to the content of each of your posts.
Tip #4 – Collaborate With Others
Collaborating with other bloggers is a great way to get traffic to your site and organic backlinks as well. Find other bloggers with similar interests out there and connect with them. Work out a simple agreement of writing a guest blog post for them, and have them do the same for you. This will help you get your name out there. And in the guest blog post you can include a link to your blog. This will signal Google that your blog is important.
The more you do post as a guest blogger the more traffic and backlinks you great. Just a word of caution, guest blog on good blogs like your own. Avoid spammy blogs or ones that seem inactive. It is not worth the time or effort because of minimal returns for your blog.
Tip # 5 – Stick To Your Niche
Stick to your niche or blog topic. Remember the surfer and teacher example? The more your blog post address areas within your niche, the better. There are a million things you can write about surfing. A million. But if you begin to write about pets or circuses, you may see a decrease in your ranking.
So, the opposite logic is true as well. The more you write about all aspects of surfing, you should see a bump in the ranking of your website in blog when it comes to surfing related topics. Stick to your niche and explore all aspects of it. The gains will be tremendous over time.
Tip #6 – Do Your Research
Spend some time researching your niche topics before you do a blog post. Then break those topics into smaller topics that will create a reading series for your viewers. If you have accurate information for your visitors, and topics that are proven, you will see an increase in the number of minutes viewers stay on each post, and the number of posts each viewer reads. This is highly important to Google ranking. The blog Google wants is the one that keeps people engaged. Do your research for more engaging content.
If you use Google Analytics, you can find how much time each visitor spends on your posts, the average number of pages that are visited, and what visitors clicked while on each page. This can be beneficial feedback to how you structure your blog posts and the sequence of your content. So, watch your numbers. Particularly, if you are selling products or services on your blog or doing affiliate marketing, you must pay attention and do your research about how your visitors are behaving.
Tip #7 – Use Social Media And Branding: A Blog Google Sees Social Signals
Social media is a powerful way to help you rank a bit better. Some social media platforms will allow backlinks to your site. Others, not so much. The importance here is getting your name out there. Branding your blog means that you have a name, logo, theme, and style that people will see and know exactly who you are and what you have to offer. Social media can help with this tremendously. The more social medial platforms you get your blog posts on, the better. Over time, people will get to know your logo. And in time readers will start to return, provided your content is good.
Social medial also allows you to engage with past and would-be visitors. People who want to visit your site everyday if possible. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest to name a few are great resources to get your name out there. And Google likes this.
Creating a buzz about your blog site helps to get you noticed by Google. As they crawl other pages and posts from social media, it assumes your site has a far reach, and can increase your ranking over time.
Tip #8 – Patience
A word on patience and blogging. It takes patience to blog. Plain and simple! Your blog or website will not be found and ranked high on Google immediately. This is fact. As a domain it takes months for Google to visit, analyze, and trust what you are posting. There are millions of websites out there and it takes a little while for them to get to yours.
If your SEO is good and your site is free from major technical glitches, they will get to you as fast as they can. The great part is once Google has found, analyzed, and begun to trust you, they get to your new posts and website updates way faster. So compare ranking to a FICO score. If your credit is good because your content is great, Google will lend you trust. You will rank higher and faster over time. But, the courting period with Google can be a long one. Show some patience, blog your fingers to the bone in the meantime, and wait a little while. The payoff can be tremendous in the long run.
Tip #9 – Blog Speed
Another important factor to ranking well is how quickly your blog loads. Page speed is something that Google definitely pays attention to, always. There are three important factors to consider when it comes to page speed: images, hosting, and external links.
Images can be a big help to keep readers on your blog. Pictures do tell a thousand words. However, pictures do slow down the loading speed of your site. Ouch! Slow loading speed can get you ranked downward in Google. So, use some of the free software that is out there to compress your images. It will help tremendously and you will notice a difference in load speed right away. So will your visitors.
Website hosting can make or break you in this area. It’s worth a few extra dollars when you are choosing a web host to pay for one that provides the speediest load times. Again, this will help your ranking with Google, and, it will make your visitors happy when they can quickly access the material that you worked so hard to create. The better the experience on your blog, the more likely people will come back to it again. Slow hosting, and they will click the ‘X’ in the upper right corner of the screen.
External links also play a role with blog speed. Links to ads and videos can especially slow you do. Right sizing and right numbering external links is important. Only add enough to provide value to you visitors, and if you are monetizing your blog, limit the ads per page to four. Otherwise, you stand the chance of running slow.
WordPress is a great resource with many free plugins that address loading speed. If you are worried about loading speed, do a little research on the right plugins for you and use what is free. Many of these plugins work with cache and images compression to speed you up. It’s worth it, trust me!
Tip # 10 – Don’t Give Up On Blogging
I will be the first to admit that saying don’t give up on blogging sounds like a cliché and possibly a big fat lie. However, most people give up within the first three months of blogging. The truth is for your new blog Google will not take notice until about month 4-6. Numbers don’t lie, and most people give up right before the window of opportunity begins to open for them with Google.
Quick Story: The first blog that I created was a bit silly. However, I was dedicated to it. The dedication ended in a bad divorce from it after two months. I was done, tired, and upset that no one was finding my masterpiece posts. For that blog I monetized it through Google Ads. And in the first two months I made a whopping 38 cents. So I quit. Nearly year later I received notice from the web host that my annual payment was do to them. That prompted me to log in to the website and Google Ads. To my surprise, I had received several thousand visitors over those months, and had $60 of revenue with Google Ads.
If I would have kept going, I think I might have done well with that one. But, it taught me a lesson. Don’t give up on blogging.
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