Is your blog not getting any traffic? Do you want to know how to make your blog more effective?
Whether you have a message that you feel the world needs to hear, or you have a useful review for a product that you feel could potentially benefit consumers, it is frustrating when nobody actually gets eyes on your blog.
Being buried on the third page of the big G sucks.
It statistically proven that almost nobody goes through the pages on Google when they are doing their search queries.
So that means it is very important to rank somewhere on the first page when you decide to share something on the internet.
This will take a significant amount of strategizing and creative output. Producing higher quality content doesn’t always ensure you will rank on the first page of Google though. Rather, it is the stategized approach of marketing your content combined with quality that ensures your high rank.
If you are new to blogging and want to get eyes on your content, or if you have some experience with market strategy and want another perspective and approach, this article will be a valuable resource to you.
A lot of these strategies and my foundational knowledge about gaining traffic was acquired at this fantastic online university. Learn how to monetize the traffic that you receive on your blog website with the great community of teachers and students there.
Now, the first step…
1. Know what you’re up against.
If you are not popping up on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) rank 1, that means there are other websites that are (duh), and that means they are “outranking” you.
See, this doesn’t necessarily mean they have better content than you, or they are better than you as a blogger. It can simply mean they have strategized a plan to get to the front page for what the topic is they are discussing, IE. Keywords.
Keywords are an essential step when optimizing your blog for traffic, as you can read here in this article about SEO.
In the blogging or article-writing world, every piece of new content will rank for certain keywords. These are essentially words that point to what the content is about, generally speaking.
Whether or not the keyword is planned or not is up to the blogger. This will depend on the purpose of your content. If you want to just get traffic on your content as the main objective, you will find a keyword that is relatively low in competition related to the niche.
If your keyword is not planned, then your title, essentially, is your keyword. For example, this blog’s keyword is “…blog more effecitve”. And I will be competiting with other sites that have that keyword in their title.
If your keyword is still up in the air, you can determine which keyword to use by trying to find one that has reasonable competition.
To find out whether or not a keyword has a lot of competition I use Jaaxy In this keyword research tool, you can simply punch in the keyword and you will see how many searches it receives on Google every month, how many hits you can receive if you rank on the first page, and how difficult it will be for you to achieve that.
Try it out here, for free.
On the other hand,
If you are deadset on a partciular keyword for whatever reason, maybe the topic is your passion, or maybe you feel you have content that is extraordinary, you will need to make sure you are performing as well or better than your competition in SEO (search engine optimization).
This means you have to find out what your competition is doing.
A tool I use to do that is SEMrush. I use this tool in conjunction with Jaaxy, because this tool allows you to track all the backlinks that your competitors article has.
Backlinks play a large part in determining your rank on Google.
Here are steps 5 to track your competitors backlinks:
Try it out for free below.
1. Type in your articles name in Google (this will include a keyword, planned or not), and then punch in the top 1 of the 5 top websites.
2. This will automatically bring you to the domain overview. You want to get more specific.
The side bar on the left side of the tool has an option called organic research. Click on that.
3. Then, in the keyword filter bar, put in your keyword/article name.
4. Your competitors domain may contain a few URL’s that have the same keyword. Simply scroll over the links to see if they the title matches the one that you originally searched for.
Now click on the URL that corresponds to the article in competition to yours.
5. You will now get to see the analytics of this specific URL. Go to the sidebar again and click on backlinks.
You will now see all of the site sources that have linked to this article.
This is what gives this article content search engine strength. Google favors websites that a lot of other websites link to. It makes logical sense.
To make an analogy to a job posting, you will get hired (rank) more easily if more people (websites) refer to you, which means you are more relevant to that job (keyword).
Now that you have all the backlinks, you need to do something with that information.
This is where the work comes in. And there is lots work, because successful results only come from hard work.
You must see if you can also acquire backlinks to these websites. There are a few ways to do this:
- It might be easy and you might be able to just post your link onto the site if the site is a open-forum type of thing
- It will take some networking, which means you will have to look at the website and comment on it, build a relationship with the owners, and eventually down the road email them with a proposal offering content for their site for free in return for a backlink.
- You can also design something like an infographic, or a video that is relevant, and then email the website owners offering it for free with am embedded backlink.
In your objective to obtain these backlinks, you will surely find more websites that will be useful to connect with and share your content with.
This all takes a lot of time and effort, and is the best way to gain credibility, not just with Google but with your industry. Although there are shortcuts. In this article, I wrote about black hat SEO strategies. Pretty much, stay away from the quick-and-easy stuff. It’s often not the best path to take, in a lot of areas of life.
2. Improve the quality of your content
If you’ve already written your content and you’re trying to rank it higher for its respective keyword, a great way to do that is just to improve it.
You can do this by:
- Being more detailed in your content, by refining your research.
- Use comments as feedback (mostly from constructive criticism, I hope.)
- Add some interesting pictures that are relevant
- If you are doing a review, install a review plugin. For example, use something like WP Review
Another way you can improve your content, and a consequence of doing more reseach and editing, is increasing the word count.
Word count is something that Google takes in considering when ranking you organically in search inquiries (if you’re not keyword stuffing).
I read an article recently by Neil Patel of Quicksprout.com that showed, in a graph, that his articles with 1200 or more attracted way more traffic.
Isn’t it nice to be connected to the internet, where we can let other people do the research for us.
3. Pay to play
Pay to play, with Pay per click.
Basically, PPC is paying to show up on the first page of Google.
This may be out of the price range for most people, but if you really do have a blog you want to promote, and you are confident that it has the quality to generate a return, it might be great investment.
Google Adwords is Google’s native online advertisement system. At Google’s Academy of Ads there is free certification in Adwords. This looks good on a lot of resumes in this day and age, and also educates you on the fundamentals of advertiseing online.
A lot of the marketing strategies and best practices take time and practice to master. There are a lot of great affordable courses out there that you can learn from, like Seth’s Digital Marketing course.
Simply put, in Adwords you will be displaying ads on the front page of google whenever your specified keyword is searched for.
There are a lot of paramaters you can then place, like location, time, and also negative keywords so you won’t show up when those keywords are searched for.
I’ve played around with Adwords a bit, and it is a pretty advanced system. It does take a bit of practice to learn to optmize the organization of your ad campaigns. Like with anything, there is a learning curve.
Not the mention, the marketing intuition that one needs to develop in order to accurately place ads. But I digress as these are all the things you can learn in Youtube videos these days, or paid courses.
Before you decide to go this route, keep in mind that there will be quite the cost for your blogging endeavors now, but you are pretty much guranteed traffic, unless absolutely brutalize your ad management.
It is up to you, to somehow monetize your content so you can make a profit margin, if that’s what you are into. But, who knows, maybe you are a multi-millionaire who just has a message to spread. There certainly can be campaigns with those purposes.
If monetizing your traffic is your thing, I’ve learned a lot of what I know about the industry, especially about increasing traffic and content effectiveness, at this online university. It’s free and you can receive personalized help from me and the vast community of entrepreneurs there. In my opinion, it is the finest example of online education can be about.
==>Take your online education seriously.
To make your blog and your content more effective, you must either choose a keyword and title that has a keyword you can easily compete in, or you must know how much more effective it has to be compared to the other blogs in competition to you.
Either way, it will take a bit of strategizing on the front-end. And afterwards, a bit of networking and promoting.
Like any business endeavor, because a blog is essentially occupying online real estate like how a business occupies real estate in reality, you must have a strategy for your content and your marketing in order for it to be successful.
Learn more about monetizing your blog here with a community of online entrepreneurs.. After you get some traffic, there are countless ways to generate revenue. Don’t leave money on the table. Join for free and start learning.
21 thoughts on “How To Make Your Blog More Effective: 3 Simple Steps To Beat Your Competition”
I am working hard on my blog with quite little success yet. I do the keyword research as you write and my posts are around 1000 words so I suppose it is OK from this point of view. I guess I need to work on getting backlinks but not sure how to do that. How to find blogs to offer free content with a backlink to my blog? Should I simply Google my kw and look for blogs listed? I have also received few offers to change links but I don’t know how to check if it is OK. What if these blogs use some black hat? I place their link, then Google finds out about their methods and bans them – and I also get punished because of linking to them? How to know which blogs are good for linking to my blog? I just don’t want to waste my hard work.
The methods I listed are just the recent things I’ve been learning about SEO. You will still rank high if you continue to pump out good content and stick with it. That’s always the foundation of ranking. It takes time.
If you’re getting offers for links they are probably going to use grey or black hat tactics, I would stay away from them. Google is pretty advanced these days and you will get penalised. The best way to do it is to just network within your related niche and contribute. You’ll see openings for links eventually.
But creating keyword content will always be the foundational way to get ranked high. Keep up the good work, man.
I’ve spent the last three weeks looking for ways I can sort of spy on my competition – thank you for bringing this Jaaxy software to my attention. I’m currently being outranked by three ‘big boys’ and I need a way to overtake – this could be it!
How much info could I get out of this tool on the free trial setup? Enough to get started with?
Do you mean Semrush? As you are on sitecomment so that means you already have access to Jaaxy.
As for semrush, the free trial is 7 days and you get to use every aspect.of the tool. If you’re not running a large Seo business, you will have all the information you need. Hope this helps.
This is very informative and very interesting.
Getting a one up on the competition is the way to a faster start at success.
Jaaxy is great for keyword search and competition. I love it because it provides you all the detailed search info that you need. You can’t get traffic without excellent keywords.
I agree that your content should be detailed and quality and geared toward helping your readers. Content is king!
Pay to click is another way to go to get ahead and on page one of Google.
I don’t use pay to click myself as I’m not that familiar with it. What is the best way to use it?
Thanks for the comment. The best way to use PPC is to have a budget and be very specific with the campaigns. The thing about PPC is that you need to have a page that converts or else you are just paying for traffic. It’s probably a more advanced strategy. I’m definitely not there yet.
Great post! Very helpful advice. Getting more people to see your blog and beating your competition is the hardest part about internet marketing. It can be a frustrating and long process. But, like you said, it doesn’t necessarily mean your blog isn’t worth sharing with others. You simply need to change your strategy.
I’m at the point where I’m trying to change my strategy to get more views. Your three steps were very helpful. I’ve done the first two, but haven’t put any money down for views yet. I’ve been thinking about trying that on Facebook. Do you recommend Google Adwords over Facebook pay per click?
I appreciate it. I don’t have a recommendation for Facebook PPC over Adwords. I believe they are both effective for our purposes though. If your niche is selected wisely, there will be a big market in both platforms.
Like I said in the article, you are pretty much guaranteed traffic if you use configure your PPC well. Meaning you make sure your ads show up for the proper keywords. There are a high percentage of people that will click on the ads as they are on the front page. Let me know how it works out for you if you give PPC a try!
Thanks for this informative article Wilson. I am always comfused about if backlinks are good or bad, because I have heard stories that sites have become authorities due to backlinks, and other sites bit the dust, some even banned due to backlinks. I have used Semrush before, I do think it is an extraordinary tool.
No problem, Jacob. Thanks for reading.
Back links can be sketchy as a lot of people us private blog networks and other grey/black hat schemes.
As long as you are meticulously keeping track of where your back links are coming from, they will never be a problem.
This pretty much falls in the realm of off-site SEO. It is always foundational to build up the on-site stuff, and use back links as a way to “beat” tougher competition.
Hey this is a really good article and it has a lot of good information. I am trying to get trusted with google more and would like my spot on the from page, i have messed around with making ads but im not too good at it yet and im not wanting to spend too much right now. I need to make sure to find some good keywords i can use, keep up the good work!
Awesome tips and tools for bloggers to improve their ranking and success, I have heard of some of these tools and some I have not so I will for sure be checking out the new tools you have recommended.
Many bloggers post so many affiliate links it can be overwhelming for some readers I am sure, I was wondering if you have found a magic number of affiliate links to recommend bloggers to use in their posts?
Yeah outbound links are not good for SEO. That’s why WA teaches to link to the review page for the affiliate. Then only one posts has an outbound link whereas everything else is linked internally which is good SEO.
You mentioned that word counts that are higher typically get more traffic. Do the comments that you get from visitors count towards the word count? I know that google takes the site comments seriously in the form of engagement on your website, but I wasn’t sure if it counts as lengthening your previous content.
I’m not sure if the word count of the comments is included as the content word count. Like you said they definitely take in consideration the interactions. It’s hard to know the exact correlation. Maybe longer articles tend to have higher quality content. I’m sure a short effective article with 50 comments will rank higher than a long one with none though.
I guess I could have elaborated on that fact. The conclusion of longer word count= better traffic can have lots of inferences. Thanks for the thought provoking comment!
I have a question in regards to writing good quality content. I’ve never really been a writer and my longest post yet is only about 800 words. They said more word counts can ramp up the quality of a blog, but I am having difficulty doing that.
Any tips for a new blogger here? I could use some help.
I just recently started to write articles at least 1200 words long and it was quite the struggle. I find the best way to make an article longer with good content is to go back to it in a couple of days, read it and add on new complementary ideas.
Also, having a brain storm session before starting also helped.
I have been tracking the activities and posts of my competitors through Jaaxy and it has been going fairly well for me.
However, a friend of mine who is also an internet marketer told me that Semrush tool is far better than Jaaxy. Now I am confused and would want your advice on this.
Which one is better and why?
I don’t think one is better than the other. They both have their strength and weaknesses. SEMrush is a bit more comprehensive but it takes a while to learn to even use all the data it gets. Jaaxy is simple to use and laid out more clearly and it’s more keyword-centric.
For “spying” though, I like SEMrush. Although it does have it’s competitors which I will be reviewing soon.
Thanks for reading, Dave
After months of trying to figure out why my blog posts weren’t ranking on the first page, I finally figured out tip 1 for myself. I started searching for my keyword on Google and looking at my competition. I checked their content, their backlinks, and their domain authority (using MozBar).
If I can compete with the ones on page 1, then I’ll use the keyword. Otherwise, I’ll try a different keyword. Jaaxy is useful but if your keyword has a QSR of >10 and those 10 competitors all have lots of backlinks and higher domain authority than you, then your post will be on page 2 at best.
My posts are now ranking on page 1 much more often, and the more I study my competition, the better I can make them rank.
Thanks for the really informative post.
Hello Ed, I think may give MozBar a try one of these days.
I’m a little obsessed with “spy” tools lately. I was so amazed to find out how much information we can gather on websites on the internet. I think it would amaze the average person that isn’t in the online marketing industry.
Hopefully, I can start to rank on the first page one of these days lol.