CategoryHow To Blog

7 Steps To Leverage Your Content And Boost Website Traffic

leverage content boost traffic

So now you’ve got your website up and running and you need to move the needle on those traffic stats. What steps can you follow to make sure you start getting traffic and ensure it increases in a consistent manner?

If you’ve followed these best practices to give your new business website a head start, you will have understood how important it is to consistently publish new content on your website. Here are seven steps to leverage your content to bring in new website visitors.

1. Publish a Blog

The best way to publish new content regularly on your website is with a blog. Blogs are natural search engine magnets and help your content get better rankings in search engines. They are easy to optimize and update. Follow these tips on how to optimize your blog for search engines and you’ll be off to a great start.

2. Research Your Keywords

Find long-tail keywords you can rank for easily and create content around them. It goes without saying that the content you create must be related to the theme of your blog and must interest the audience you want to attract. It’s no use attracting traffic to your website if it’s not the kind of traffic that will further your business goals.

3. Address Your Prospect’s Problems

Write lots of evergreen content – that is, content that is always relevant to your audience, no matter how old it is. Make sure that your content addresses your prospect’s problems and pain points. Content that is useful, answers common queries and offers solutions that makes people’s lives easier is always in demand, and will get traffic for years to come.

4. Boost Your Social Shares

Social shares are a huge ranking factor for search engines in 2015. The more shares your blog posts get, the better they will rank. Remember to share every one of your posts on your own social profiles.

You can increase your social shares using Facebook’s Promoted Posts option that allows you to boost your post for a budget that you set. You can also give your evergreen content a new lease of life using a WordPress plugin called Revive Old Post. It will allow you to boost your social shares for the same content again and again.

5. Syndicate Your Blog Posts

Syndicate your content to sites like Business2Community, that have a massive audience, and will share your blog with their community of readers and subscribers. This will help your content reach many more people than you could otherwise reach from your own blog, especially when you’re just starting out.

Don’t forget to link back to your blog in every post, so that you get backlinks as well as potential traffic, from your syndicated post. Also repost your blog content on LinkedIn. It will help build a following and boost your credibility among your LinkedIn community.

6. Guest Blog

Find other blogs that cater to the audience you’re looking to attract. Make sure these guest blogs have a large number of subscribers and will give you a link back to your blog. Be selective about guest blogging, though, because it is one of the content marketing strategies that has been overused and abused by bloggers and Google does not view it as favourably as it used to.

7. Post Consistently

Don’t get discouraged if your posts don’t get as many shares as other blogs in your niche. It takes time and consistency to build traffic using content marketing. If you target your keywords well and get a high-ranking for many of those keywords in Google and other search engines, you will definitely get traffic from search engines, even if you don’t get a lot of social traffic.

Post quality content on a consistent basis and leverage your content using the content strategy above, and you’ll get high rankings for many of your long-tail keywords and boost your website traffic for years to come.

© Priya Florence Shah

This One Trick Helps Me Repost Evergreen Blog Content Without Lifting A Finger

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Have you ever asked yourself how you can get more visits for old, evergreen content posted on your blog? I have! I mean, who has the time to dig deep into their blog archives all the time, to repost old articles and give them a new life on social media?

I knew that someone else had surely asked themselves the same question at some point and come up with a solution for it, hopefully using a WordPress plugin. This is true for mostly anything you can think of doing on your blog – someone has thought of it before and created a WordPress plugin for it.

So, I did some digging and found this awesome plugin called Revive Old Post (Formerly Tweet Old Post). It comes in both, a free and pro version, and allows you “to share about your old posts on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin to get more hits for them and keep them alive.”

From the title of this article, I bet you thought that you wouldn’t have to lift a finger to do this, right? Well, you’ll see why that’s mostly true, because all you really have to do is to install and setup the plugin and it’ll do what it says, without you having to lift a finger afterward.

So here are the steps you need to follow to revive your old posts.

1. Install the Revive Old Post plugin

This is very simple to do. All you have to do is go into your Plugin area, click on the Add New button, search for “Revive Old Post” and press the install button. As simple as that.

2. Manage Your Settings

When you go to your dashboard and click on the new Revive Old Post link, this is what you’ll see.

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As you can see, I have the free version of this plugin and have set it up to post to my Twitter account. The free version will also allow you post to your Facebook page but that’s a little more complicated to set up, because you have to do it from the Facebook Developer interface.

Once you add your Twitter account to this plugin, click on the General Settings option in order to fine tune your post settings.

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Here you can set the minimum interval between posts (the default is 8 hours), the minimum age of the post to be eligible for sharing (the minimum is 15 days, but you can extend that if you wish).

You can also decide if you want to allow a post to be shared more than once and whether to enable Google Analytics Tracking (definitely tick this box, you’ll see why later).

You can also decide to exclude entire categories from being posted. I suggest you take this seriously, because not all of your posts may be evergreen and some may be very outdated (especially if you’ve been publishing your blog for many years).

Also, you may want to exclude posts about specific or time-bound events, so if you have a category titled News or Events, you may want to exclude that entirely.

If you want to exclude specific posts, click on the Exclude Posts link in the dashboard. You’ll be taken to a page where you can select posts that you want to exclude from being reposted.

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Another little tweak that you can make is to include hashtags in your tweets. You can do this by going to the main settings and clicking on Post Format. Here, choose the option to include hashtags in your autoposts. Also make sure you always include a link in your posts (otherwise it kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?).

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There are other options you can choose to modify here, if you wish, but I chose the default settings because they suited me fine.

3. Check Your Google Analytics

The part that I love best about this plugin is that, if you select the Google Analytics option (as you should), it will append a bit of Google UTM tracking code to the end of your URL, like this:

http://www.blogbrandz.com/tips/blogging-help-bypass-google-algorithm-changes/?utm_source=ReviveOldPost&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=ReviveOldPost

And if you check your Google Analytics dashboard, go to the Campaigns link and check All Campaigns, you’ll see exactly how many visitors have come to your site as a result of the Revive Old Post Plugin. The numbers below reflect just a few weeks of using the plugin on my blog.

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Once you have completed these steps, you’re done! That’s how simple it is to setup this plugin. Now you can sit back and let it work its magic for you, reviving your evergreen blog posts and giving them a new lease of life.

So did you install this plugin and try it out? How did it work out for you? Do share your experience in the comments below.

© Priya Florence Shah

10 Tips To Get First-Rate Ideas For Blog Content

blog content ideas

We’ve all been there. Bloggers with writer’s block. Having no idea what to put down for our next post. Wondering how to keep up with the next deadline, even if we’re the ones who set it.

I have gone through these phases quite a lot. But I usually manage to pull myself out of that funk by doing one of the things below. So here are 10 ways to eliminate writer’s block and get ideas for your blog.

1. Read… a lot

There’s no way around this one. If you want to create great content, you have to read… a lot. Don’t only read things you usually read. Get out of your comfort zone and read books, novels, non-fiction, anything that grabs your eye. Reading in a multi-disciplinary fashion can spark your creativity like nothing else.

2. Watch a movie

Movies are stories translated into a visual format on the screen. A good movie can take you to places you would never otherwise explore, and give you insights that you would never have access to. I love watching movies and find that they often get my creative juices flowing.

3. Listen to music

Good music has the effect of putting you into a creative zone, a relaxed state from where your best ideas can come. Make a playlist, or more than one, of your favourite musicians and songs and listen to it when you’re doing something like cooking or working out.

4. Explore nature

I can’t tell you how many times I have read this advice before, but it’s worked beautifully for me. I find that I am most inspired by beautiful landscapes, natural settings and just some fresh air. Travelling and vacations are some of my most creative periods.

5. Get away from your devices

Devices can be distracting to the point of killing all your creativity. For your creative juices to flow, you need some downtime. You need to let your mind wander where it will and focus on something other than emails and text messages. You need to daydream, and you can’t do that when you’re staring at a mobile screen.

6. Meditate

Meditation can put you in the perfect creative state of mind, called the Alpha state. I know it has worked for me in the past, especially when I used to practice a form of meditation called the Silva Method, created by Jose Silva. It’s pretty similar to the Indian yoga asana called Shavasana, which creates a deep sense of relaxation. You can learn more about the Silva Method and practice it here.

7. Play with your kids

One of my best articles, To Be a Champion, Become a Child, was written while watching my daughter play. It inspired me to see how kids think and react and it made me want to share my observations with others.

8. Embrace boredom

Sometimes great ideas come from just sitting and watching the world go by. If Newton hadn’t been sitting under a tree, would he have noticed the apple dropping to the ground? I’m only half kidding when I state that boredom is necessary for creativity to emerge. Remember when, as kids, you came up with some very creative games to play when you were bored? Boredom forces our minds to work harder and work out solutions that we would never have thought of otherwise.

9. Interview your readers

Often we end up creating content about things that WE want to write about. But your blog readers may be looking for other information that you’re missing out on because you can’t see beyond the tip of your nose. So, interview your readers. Have them fill out a survey and ask them about their most pressing concerns. It will give you a surfeit of ideas to draw from when creating your next post.

10. Check your blog analytics

This tip worked amazingly well for me when I saw a phrase that visitors were searching for in my blog analytics. I decided to jump on the opportunity by writing a quick post on it. It not only got me a new client, but the post also got syndicated on Monster.com. How’s that for inspiration?

You’d be amazed at the kinds of things that you can use to jumpstart your creativity and get rid of writer’s block. I hope the 10 suggestions above will help you do just that.

10 Awesome WordPress Plugins That Will Take Your Blog From Good To Great

Wordpress Plugins

Part of the magic of using WordPress is the fact that this amazing open-source CMS comes with a community of talented developers that continually creates plugins to boost its functionality.

At present, there are over 29,000 WordPress plugins that you can choose from, to take your WordPress install from basic to a full-fledged website with any number of functions. And most of these plugins are free.

Here are 10 of my favourite WordPress plugins that I use to optimize, promote and measure my blogging efforts.

1. Light SEO

You’ll need an SEO plugin to optimize your Title and description in the search engine results pages. Some people recommend Yoast or All-in-One-SEO, but I found that the latter used up too many resources and caused a bunch of problems for me.

Light SEO is exactly what it claims – a light plugin that is clean and uses minimal resources. It automatically optimizes your titles for search engines and even allows you to override any title and set any META description and any META keywords you want.

2. All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets

A Rich Snippet is basically a short summary of your page in the search results of Google and other search engines, and sometimes also displayed in the Facebook Newsfeed in an attractive format with star ratings, author photo, image, etc.

The reason Rich Snippets are important is because they give search engines important and precise information about your page that they can display in the search results.

They also allow you to categorise your blog post as an article, review, event, product, recipe, video or software application, so that Google can show it in the appropriate section of the search results pages.

Because of this, they can also boost your Click Through Rate (CTR) – which means that more searchers are likely to click through to your website when they see your link in Google.

CTR is also an important search ranking factor in 2015, so Rich Snippets can help you rank higher in search results. This plugin also helps Facebook display the proper information about your page, when users share your links on Facebook.

3. Twitter Cards Meta

Twitter Cards is a feature that allows your links to be displayed with an image or a summary in Twitter – eventually boosting your CTR. To do this requires an addition of some code to your website.

Any blogger that wants to make the most of Twitter Cards now needs to install a plugin that adds this code automatically to all pages on their blog. The Twitter Cards Meta plugin does exactly this, allowing you to easily boost your Twitter visibility.

4. Digg Digg

Ever wonder how so many blogs add a floating share bar to their posts? Just use the Digg Digg plugin to do this. This is an all-in-one social sharing plugin that displays a bunch of social sharing buttons in an attractive format on your blog. Mashable uses something similar.

This plugin is easily customizable and includes a lot of social sharing options. You can select only the ones you want displayed and omit others. I use it on a number of my blogs (including this one) and it works beautifully. Social sharing is an essential component of any blog or website and this plugin is an easy way to achieve it.

5. Click to Tweet

Take your Twitter sharing to the next level by adding the Click to Tweet plugin to your blog. It allows you to take short, snappy quotes and sentences from your blog posts and turn them into easily tweetable content for your readers. Make it simple for your readers to share your blog on Twitter and they will.

6. Easy Facebook Like Box

If you’ve created a Facebook Page to promote your blog or your company, you must add a Like Box to your blog sidebar. It gives you another way to connect with your visitors and build a community of loyal blog readers.

The Easy Facebook Like Box plugin displays fan page posts, the like button and connections on your website using a widget, shortcode or in an Auto PopUp. Build your Facebook community and showcase it on your blog with this neat plugin.

7. SEO Smart Links

If you have keywords that you use over and over again in your blog, and want them to link to a specific page on your blog or website, or even to an external page, this plugin will help you do it automatically. All you have to do is enter a list of keywords along with the corresponding links and all these will be automatically linked in your blog posts.

The SEO Smart Links plugin will automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories and tags on your blog. It boosts internal and external linking, gives automatic SEO benefits and makes life so much easier! Also comes in a premium version with additional features.

8. Google Analytics

If you use Google Analytics to measure your blog traffic, then this is an essential plugin to add. This plugin adds the required javascript for Google analytics on all your blog pages automatically. It will make the task of measuring and analyzing your traffic a peach.

9. WP Spam Fighter/ WordPress Zero Spam

Anyone who has had to clean up thousands of spammy comments from their blog knows how handy a good spam-blocking plugin can be. There are so many good spam- blocking plugins out there that it’s hard to recommend just one. But these are the ones that I have tried and use.

WP Spam Fighter prevents comment spam without requiring you to moderate all comments or your users to use user-unfriendly captchas or answer stupid arithmetic questions.

WordPress Zero Spam also blocks registration spam and spam in comments automatically without requiring captcha or moderation. Install, activate and enjoy a spam-free site.

10. Feedburner Form

If you’ve been blogging for any length of time, you’ll know how essential it is to capture subscriber emails, build a mailing list and send out email updates from your blog as soon as you publish a new post.

Feedburner is a free web feed management provider launched in 2004, and now owned by Google. It allows you to collect emails and send out blog updates to your list without any investment in a professional mailing list system like Aweber or Mailchimp.

All you have to do is go to http://feedburner.google.com and create an account. Then enter your blog feed (which should look something like http://www.yourblog.com/feed/) into the fields provided and “burn” the feed.

Then install the Feedburner Form plugin and insert a Google Feedburner subscription form in any widgetized area of your site. Enter your Feedburner RSS feed into the widget.

This form allows your visitors to subscribe to your feed and receive emails sent by Google Feedburner every time you publish new content. Now you are set up to collect emails and build a list.

Note: Every time you install a new plugin, make sure that it is compatible with your version of WordPress, or it could create problems. 

So what did you think of this list of 10 plugins that will take your blog from good to great? Do you have any more to add to this list? Do share them in the comments section below.

© Priya Florence Shah

10 Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips For Blogs – Updated for 2015

blog seo

I wrote this article (originally called Search Engine Optimization For Blogs) in 2004 and when I revisited it, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was not as outdated as I feared.

A lot of these tips are still valid, but I have added a few new ones and updated it to reflect the new ranking factors of social media and mobile usage. So here are my 10 search engine optimization (SEO) tips for blogs – updated for 2015.

Blogging software is really a simple Content Management System (CMS) that easily adds new pages and integrates them into your site’s navigational structure and linkage.

Blogs and blog posts are naturally search engine friendly because they are text-rich, link-rich, frequently-updated webpages that use stylesheets or CSS, and have very little extraneous HTML.

Optimizing a blog is very similar to optimizing a website, and optimizing a blog post similar to optimizing a web page. But depending on the blogging service or software you use, the results may look somewhat different.

If you follow some simple rules for search engine optimization, your blog will rank much higher than static website pages in the search engine results pages.

Here are 10 of my favourite tips to get your blog posts ranked for the keywords of your choice.

1. Use your primary keyword in your blog domain

This is still one of the most important ranking factors. Whether you purchase a separate domain (recommended) for your blog, or host it on a blogging service or a subdomain of your own site, try to ensure that your URL contains the primary keyword you want to optimize for.

For example, if you want your blog to get found for the keyword “seo” get a domain with the keyword “seo”, or use the keyword in a subdomain as in http://www.yoursite.com/seo/

Getting a domain name with your own name might make sense for personal branding, especially if yours is a personal blog. But if you’re blogging for business reasons and want targeted traffic to flow your way, primary keywords in your domain or subdomain are a move in the right direction.

2. Optimize your permalinks

If your primary key phrase is “blog seo” make sure that the word blog, or seo, or both, appear in your blog headers (the H1 or H2 tags) as well as the title of each of your posts.

Most blogging software will take the keywords in your post title and put them into the file name of the permalink it creates.

For example, if you have a blog on Blogger and title your post “Search Engine Optimization For Blogs”, Blogger will automatically create a page with your post and name the file “search-engine-optimization-for-blogs.html” or something similar.

In WordPress, it is possible to achieve the same results by selecting the “Post Name” option in the Permalinks settings as I’ve done for this blog here.

Wordpress Permalinks

3. Use your long-tail keywords in the body of your post

If you want to get listed for long-tail keywords use them infrequently in the body of your post and pepper your blog titles or links with them as appropriate. Don’t overdo this or your posts will end up sounding unnatural and spammy to readers.

Write your blog post for your readers first and then add keywords in suitable places. If your post is unreadable because of keyword spam, it will not be of interest to either readers or search engines.

4. Mobilize your blog

With Google’s recent “Mobilegeddon” update, you must ensure that your blog is easily accessible and readable on all mobile devices. The best way to do this is by using a responsive theme that adapts your blog design to the device it is being viewed on.

WordPress has thousands of free, responsive themes available that you can download and install right now. There’s really no excuse not to make this change when a growing percentage of internet users now access the web from their mobile or tablet.

5. Create a Google Sitemap

Set up your blog so that the side navigation bar is present on all pages. Make sure your archives and previous posts are accessible from all pages of your blog so they get spidered easily.

You can take steps to ensure that all your pages get spidered by creating a Google Sitemap that lists all the pages and posts of your blog. WordPress has free plugins that can easily do this, but make sure that your Google sitemap is accessible from every page of your blog.

6. Get backlinks from other blogs or websites

The best way to get backlinks from other blogs and from social media sites is to write posts that are engaging and worth sharing. But, you can also use the methods below to build your links and boost your visibility.

  • Submitting to Blog Search Engines and Directories:

Submitting your blog and RSS feed to blog search engines and directories is a good way to get high-quality links back to your blog.

Here is the best list I’ve found of places to submit your feed or blog. (This list was active in 2004 and, amazingly, it still is today!)

Robin Good’s RSSTop55: Best Blog Directory And RSS Submission Sites

If you know of any newer resources better than this one, do share them in the comments below.

  • Comment on other blogs:

You can also get back links to your blog by posting legitimate comments in response to posts on other blogs. With plugins such as CommentLuv, these backlinks are automated.

Of course, the “no follow” tag ensures that you will get little juice from such backlinks, except for getting your blog seen by other commentators.

7. Update frequently

There’s no better fodder for search engine spiders than fresh content. According to a study by Hubspot, the more blog posts companies published per month, the more traffic they saw on their website.

They also found that companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0 to 4 monthly posts.

Ideally you should test your audience’s tolerance for publishing more frequently. If the rate of unsubscribes increase when you publish more often, you might want to scale it down and find a happy medium that is right for both, you and your readers.

8. Stay put

Once you create your blog, stick to the same domain for as long as you continue to publish. You could end up losing a lot of your organic traffic, your readers and all your search engine listings if you decide to move or change your domain and URLs.

9. Grow your social media community

Social shares are a huge SEO ranking factor in 2015, so getting more shares and Retweets on social media networks is never a bad thing for your SEO efforts.

Build communities on the big three networks – Facebook, Twitter (the best networks for content sharing) and LinkedIn. If you publish content in multiple formats (images, infographics, videos, PDFs), you should expand your list of networks to include Pinterest, YouTube, Vine, and Visual.ly.

Engage your social community by sharing third-party content as well as your own blog content (we recommend a ratio of 80:20 for third-party versus your own content) so that your community knows that you’re interested in sharing great content, and not just plugging your own.

10. Build a mailing list

This is not strictly an SEO tip, but it ensures that you get repeat traffic to your blog, by capturing emails and sending out regular blog updates to your subscribers. The amount of time that visitors spend on your blog is one of today’s SEO ranking factors, because it tells Google that your blog is useful to your readers.

Even using a free service like Feedburner to capture subscribers’ emails is better than not having a subscribe box at all. If you want to get more professional, you can use Mailchimp or, my personal favourite, Aweber, to capture and follow up with your subscribers. All these services can be set up to send an automatic update to your subscribers every time you post on your blog.

Post consistently using all the rules outlined above and there’s no reason why your blog will not get top rankings for your long-tail keywords.

© Priya Florence Shah

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