I mean, they’ve racked up millions of views on their blogs to become Singapore’s top bloggers. It’s like, come on lah, it looks so easy!
Step 1, look presentable. Step 2, blog about your lifestyle. Step 3, bathe in views. And then you tried it yourself. I think it’s not that easy in those beauty niches if you aren’t the most attractive person.
If you haven’t noticed, this article is mainly aimed at bloggers who do not belong to a specific industrial niche. Some know you as lifestyle or personal bloggers. Others call you the bunch of girls (and a few guys) who blog about their everyday life – which includes shopping, beauty, food, travels, and bitching.
We both know you want more views.
Traditionally, this group of bloggers tend to neglect search traffic. Without a doubt, the rise of social media in recent years has helped bloggers like us increase readership. It has made getting traffic to our blog that much easier through shared content. However, what happens if you aren’t exactly a social butterfly, with plenty of fans to count on? (or see picture above)
That is where I come in. We will build up your site’s visits by grabbing traffic from search engines.
These are 6 very easy SEO tweaks you can make in your blog to improve the number of views. No need for advanced Search Engine Optimization knowledge, no need for a wide social media circle, and very certainly, no need for hacker-like programming skills. I also included the benefits towards search engine optimization, if you are so inclined to be that nerdy.
SEO Tweak #1: Write descriptive titles – not forgetting keywords!
Increase Views: When you write a post, be sure to always include a descriptive Title.
“OMG, Guess What I Ate Today”, or “Love My New Facial Foam!!” just isn’t very descriptive nor helpful for internet searchers. True, it is your blog, and when it comes to personal posts, you have every right to name it the way you want. Your readers might also identify with that personality of yours.
On the other hand, when your post contains information of value to other readers, you want it to be easily found by them. “Review of XYZ at ABC Restaurant” or “My Thoughts On XYZ Foam” would make much better Post Titles. They describe the main content at a glance, and the keywords in the Title are what people naturally search for.
*Tip: Place the more important keywords to the front of the Title.
SEO Benefit: Search engines generally place a lot of importance in the appearance of keywords in the Title tags. Relevant keywords in the title will help you rank better for people searching for those keyword terms.
Say you want to find out more about the new “Laneige Water Sleeping Pack”, and proceed to Google the terms: “laneige water sleeping pack review“. The results page will show plenty of local bloggers giving their thoughts about the product. These bloggers are by no means “celebrity”, but they will get your clicks. On the other hand, a certain celebrity blogger who also had an article about the very product, fails to land on any of the first few pages of results.
You should have noticed the difference in Titles between the above bloggers, and the “bad example”. See, even average bloggers can compete with “celebrity bloggers” if we use little SEO tweaks.
SEO Tweak #2: Write Descriptive Headings – Again, Keywords!
The heading above is an example of a heading. I feel stupid typing that.
Increase Views: These <H1> to <h#> elements help to separate blocks of text, which makes reading easier on the eyes for long posts. They also help to describe the ensuing paragraph, so that there is a neat structure to your blog entries. Similar to your Title, placing your important keywords within the Headings will help your visitors locate main ideas within your post, and will also tell search engines what are the key points of the content. Ease for readers + ease for search engines = MOAR VIEWS!
SEO Benefit: Compared to blocks of HTML text, search engines usually give more importance to words in Headings when trying to decipher the key points of an article. When your keywords are in headings, search engines can get a clearer “big picture” of your content.
Here’s a great example of proper use of Headings, found in an article talking about the proper use of Headings, within my paragraph of writing descriptive headings. Headingception!
SEO Tweak #3: Optimize Categories and Tags
Increase Views: I’m sure most of you probably already use Categories and Tags to separate your content into various themes. If you aren’t, you should!
Categories are like the broad descriptions of the theme of the content. Tags are less broad than Categories, and act similarly to Indexes in books. They are essentially keywords that describe key topics in the article. For example, if you write a recipe for Chicken Soup, “Recipes” could be the Category, while “Chicken” and “Soup”, could be the Tags.
With proper Categories and Tags, your readers are able to look at all the articles you have written that is relevant to a topic he/she is already interested in. If a visitor stumbles on the archive page for your Category/Tag pages, there are greater chances for the user to read more related articles. Yay more views!
SEO Benefit: The important thing is to use terms that your readers would find useful. Think of them as keywords that could potentially be searched for. Not only will assigning keywords as your Categories/Tags be great for classification, it helps search engines crawl your site efficiently too. Categories/Tags are great for internal site linking. It gives more ways for visitors to reach other parts of your website. Link juice is able to flow easier – so that if one page is deemed important to search engines, internal pages that are linked to that page can benefit too.
As you can see, you should never spam tags! A post should not be under more than 2 categories in most cases, and tags should be relevant to the topics discussed in the post. Context and relevancy, people!
SEO Tweak #4: Link To Yourself a.k.a Internal Linking
Increase Views: When writing a post, you can link to yourself whenever a group of text has relevance to another page on your own site. You only need to highlight the keywords that you want to act as the link to another page, insert the hyperlink, and point it in the direction of the other page’s URL.
One obvious advantage to this is that readers can follow the link to another page in your site, nabbing you more views. The anchor text (the text used as the link), must be relevant of course. People who want to know the truth about SEO would click that link, expecting a page related to SEO. You can increase views to your lesser viewed articles by linking to them relevantly from newer posts.
SEO Benefit: Internal linking with keyword rich and relevant anchor texts is a great way to improve SEO within the site. It creates more links between pages, which facilitates the passing of link juice around. More relevant internal links tend to lead to greater click through rates within the blog, which helps to reduce bounce rates. Lower bounce rates is mostly always a good thing.
SEO Tweak #5: Link To Others a.k.a External Linking
Increase Views: Yes, linking to others can increase views to yourself. Indirectly so.
The step to take is just the exact opposite of internal linking. You just link out to another website, with an anchor text or URL. Whether talking about a restaurant, something you saw somewhere else, or an article that you read elsewhere, it’s always good to link to the original source. Not only is it good manners to quote from the source directly, it provides better user experience.
*Tip: Remember to use the HTML line target=”_blank” on your links so that they open under a new tab. You do not want your readers to drift away from your site.
SEO Benefit: Linking to informative, high quality sites makes you more credible. Not only that, there is evidence that linking to relevant, authority sites also helps boost your own site’s rankings. Here’s another lesser known secret I will share. When you link to someone else in a positive manner, there is a chance that the other person will notice as well. You might get unexpected benefits, such as a shout-out on Twitter, a link back to you, or even a free promotion.
Would you tell your followers if someone else just complimented you on their blog? I know I would. I hope you get the hint here.
SEO Tweak #6: Use Related Posts
Increase Views: After your reader has finished reading your post, why not offer more related stories to keep the user on your site? You will get more views by offering articles that are related to the article the reader just read.
SEO Benefit: Related posts are great for internal linking. It creates a broader link structure that search engines love. When more people click through to another page on your site, it helps to reduce bounce rates. Research also show that as you satisfy the reader’s hunger for information with your own depth of knowledge, conversion rates also improve. That means the reader is more likely to become a subscriber, follower, or consumer.
Last Important Tips
In all honesty, you can go without these tips if you blog consistently and have genuinely interesting topics. There are many bloggers who became successful before the age of Facebook and social media, and certainly without too much SEO know-how.
With these easy tweaks, you can definitely get a leg up on bloggers who do not practice them.
I wish you the very best on your blogging journey, and I hope the next big Singaporean blogger finds her/his roots here. 🙂
If you want more advanced tips on how to get more views on your blog, do comment below to request them. If I get the chance, I will squeeze out some time to write Part 2: Advanced Tips.