When you first publish a website, it is like putting up a billboard in the middle of the desert; no one knows it is there. Traffic generation, similar to building a highway to a physical destination, is essential for the success of a website. The following information will help you understand how blogging drives visitors to websites via inbound marketing.
Clean Code and SEO
Before you attempt to bring traffic to your website by blogging or any other means, consider web standards. Clean code that is properly indexed by search engines makes it possible for people to find you. Use HTML tags for keywords and descriptions, which will be read by “spiders” sent out by search engines.
Next, understanding a few basics about search engine optimization (SEO) is important. Generally speaking, search engine results listed below the “fold” of a web page (the point where you have to scroll down) will not generate nearly as much traffic as those higher in the rankings. In the past, using keywords and key phrases over and over again pushed you higher in the search results, driving traffic to your website. Each time a keyword was used, it received a “point.” The websites with the most points appeared in the coveted top search engine results. In 1995, the first “hackers” discovered this optimization trick before anyone really knew was SEO was. It wasn’t long before search engines caught on, however, and changed the formulas used to determine page rank.
Google, the most widely used search engine, uses complex algorithms to produce and control search results. As a search engine, it is Google’s job to index web pages and display relevant search results, not a bunch of junk ads. Repetitive and incoherent use of keywords can set off Google’s spam alarm. Warning: If you get the smack-down from Google, you may never show up in search results again.
Trying to figure out Google’s latest algorithms to drive you to the top of search engine results is futile. The best way to drive genuine traffic and build a loyal group of readers is to frequently add interesting, unique content . . . otherwise known as blogging.
WordPress and Blogs
WordPress, powerful open-source web software used for blogging, has a user-friendly dashboard that lets you add, edit, and publish web pages and posts. You do not need any programming knowledge to use WordPress, but you may need help with installation and configuration. Thousands of free plug-ins allow you to easily customize and add functionality to your WordPress website.
Once you have a blog set up, it’s time to write quality content. For optimum cataloging by search engines, blog posts should be at least two-hundred words, if not four-hundred or more. Write with keywords in mind, but remember to write for a human as well.
Getting started with a writing project can be daunting. You may have difficulty formulating your thoughts or issues with grammar. Before publishing content on your website, use the following step-by-step instructions to guide you to literary gold:
- Read the first sentence you have written. Read it very carefully and slowly, a couple of times. Next, read the sentence naturally, as though seeing it for the first time. Is the sentence cohesive and easy to understand? Are there any awkward phrases? Rewrite the sentence until it reads well.
- Next, closely examine the grammar of your sentence. Check for things like “to,” “too,” and “two.” What about “they’re” and “their?” “Your” and “you’re?” These offenses may seem minor, but unprofessional mistakes can damage your credibility. Look at the punctuation. Cut any unnecessary exclamation points and avoid excessive use of commas.
- Read the sentence again, considering words and phrases carefully. Does that particular word add any value to the sentence? Is there a synonym that more clearly describes what you are trying to say? Don’t be afraid to trim the fat from your sentence. Keep things clear and concise. For example, you do not need to write “I believe,” or “I think” before getting to the point. This critical step refines and polishes your writing for a professional finish.
- Repeat steps one through three for each sentence.
Producing quality writing to publish on the web is often a painstaking process, requiring a writer who is capable of communicating both introspective and objective thoughts and ideas. As you take the time to revise and rewrite, remember that your readers will surely benefit from your diligence. Intelligent writing invites the reader to experience the mind of the writer, and for a moment benefit from genius that may be above his or her own.
Add Links, Post and Distribute
Once you have completed the rewrite, embed the text with links to other related websites. You can also link to another page of your own website. For example, embedding a link to take the reader directly to your contact form could be good for business. Once you have embedded a few quality links, publish to your website.
Bottom line: The best way to generate genuine traffic via inbound marketing to your website is to frequently post high quality, interesting content that people want to read. Current SEO tips and techniques can be useful for ranking higher in search results, but be sure to play nicely with Google, the giant gatekeeper of digital information.