High search engine rankings are something that every blogger craves for. Even in this world of social media, nothing can beat the quality of organic traffic. It is much targeted and the visitors have a definite requirement in mind, which makes it easy to convert such traffic.
That is why it is so important to optimize your blogs from a search engine perspective.
There are around 200 factors controlling the search engine rankings in Google. Are you paying full attention to them?
I am sure that know about basic on-page SEO and linkbuilding. There are plenty of tools to help you in linkbuilding (I use Ahrefs regularly).
But is that all? Aren?t you missing out on a lot of other factors?
I think so.
In fact, there are plenty of factors that we overlook. While it is not possible to control all 200 factors, there are some that we are simply unaware of. As a result of this lack of knowledge, we miss out on some easy to apply tactics that can be of great help to a blog?s SEO.
In this post, I am going to explain (and reinforce) some of these lesser known ideas and tell you how to derive full SEO benefit using these tactics.
Write attractive headlines to get higher click through rates
Idea: Higher click through rates in SERPs (Search engine result pages) provide boost to your rankings. The reverse is also true.
How a particular result performs in the SERPs has an important effect on its subsequent rankings. Suppose you are ranking in #1 for your target keyword. But still, people are not clicking on your link. This sends a wrong message to the search engines. The algorithm will interpret that your blog is not relevant enough.
As a result, your rankings will go down. On the other hand, if your blog is ranked low, but still, more people are clicking on it, then the algorithm will attach more value to you blog and your rankings will rise.
So you must improve your click through rates. The easiest way to get more clicks is to write attractive headlines. In fact, most people read the headlines only. Your headline should persuades the user in clicking it (to reach your blog post).
Use power words, use numbers, stir controversies, make claims: these are a few of the many things you can do to make your links more clickable. Next time, make sure you write an attractive title rather than a bland one.
Also write a meaningful meta description. This description often appears in the SERPs and will potentially play a role in attracting the user. Doing these things will boost your CTR, and in turn, your rankings.
You can check the CTRs from Google Analytics. Start writing clickable headlines and monitor the change. Find out which type of headlines work best in your niche.
Use images links to improve SERPs
Idea: Alt tags of images provide keyword benefits and also add to backlink diversity
Everyone knows about text links. Anchor text used in the text links affect the rankings for that keyword as well as related ones.
But did you ever consider that image links can also boost your rankings for your chosen keywords?
Yes they can. Images use alt tags, which tells the search engine bots about the content of that image. When you use an image to link to a particular post, the alt tag of that image will serve as the keyword.
So, start building image backlinks. Images are a nice way to interlink your posts. Moreover, image based links add diversity to your backlinks repertoire.
One easy way to get image based backlinks is to offer a free infographic for others to use on their blogs. Simply ask them to provide an image backlink (through the infographic) to your original post.
Link out to trustworthy blogs
Idea: High quality articles are supposed to link to high quality sources
Backlinks are, in essence, a form of voting. If your blog is good, it is expected to get lots of votes.
At the same time, a good blog is expected to vote for other good blogs! That is why outbound links are so important. By linking out to useful and credible sources, you not only ensure the satisfaction of your readers, but also the favor of the search engines.
Do not link out to crappy, low quality resources. Provide backlinks to high quality and helpful resources only. It is easy to do and will raise your blog?s value in the eyes of the search engine.
Maintain healthy dofollow to nofollow ratio
Idea: Excess nofollow backlinks suggest that your blog is not trustworthy.
A nofollow tag is basically used to indicate that a certain backlink is not towards a trusted source. As such, getting too many nofollow backlinks can be a bad thing. In the initial days of a blog, nofollow backlinks will be predominant. Most of your links will be from nofollow blog comments.
But as a blog ages, it is expected to gain more dofollow links. You can easily check the number of dofollow and nofollow backlinks using Ahref. At the time of writing, my blog is few months old and has 20% dofollow backlinks. A couple of months back it was only 5%. On the other hand, an established blog like Problogger has 91% dofollow backlinks.
My suggestion is to avoid getting excessive nofollow backlinks. Major culprits are forum profile backlinks, nofollowed footer and blogroll links, and crappy Web 2.0 backlinks. Do not acquire such links as they do no good.
Some bloggers cannot resist the urge of buying thousands of cheap automated backlinks. Avoid this at all cost. Such backlinks provide zero value. They unnecessarily inflate the nofollow backlinks count, which can only harm your rankings.
Instead, concentrate on getting dofollow backlinks. Writing guest posts (like this one) is one great way to do it.
Stretch your contents longer
Idea: High quality contents are usually comprehensive in nature
Various studies have shown that longer contents rank better in Google. You may argue that you can provide high quality content in a concise manner, but the algorithms won?t listen. So, it is a good idea to write longer posts.
Unique content (the post and comments) to repeat content (header, sidebar and footer text) ratio should be high. Try to write in depth content. If you feel that you are ending up adding fluff to your content, there are alternatives.
One great way to ensure more unique content is to get more comments on you blog posts. Comments not only increase content length but they also introduce new long tail keywords, which can further help in getting organic traffic.
These are the simple tips that I urge every blogger to follow. These tips are very easy to follow. But sadly, these are often overlooked due to the hype around things. Be smart.
Try out these tips and see your rankings improve.
If you have any questions or want to discuss anything, feel free to leave a comment.
Neil is making a comeback to blogging after 5 years and he writes at Blogician.com. He shares super useful tips including this blogging tips for beginners guide.