How Consistent Blogging Can Increase Search Traffic
In the beginning, blogs were nothing more than online journals, a place for people to put their thoughts into the ether. As time went on, blogs became a viable business model and a means to support oneself or promote a company’s product and values. With all of these new applications for the concept, things like traffic and page views became equally important.
There are numerous methods by which you can increase your traffic, but ultimately the key point is going to be your content. Consistent quality content that possesses certain key characteristics will be the ultimate driver of traffic to your site.
5 Key Characteristics of Consistently High Quality Blog Posts
Your search traffic is dictated by a number of factors, but most important of them is the content you post on your blog. Most people believe they have a good grasp of what high quality content looks like, but it goes deeper than a fantastic writing style. Before you publish any single post, there are several things to consider. These characteristics will help you create content that is of high quality, and consistent with the style and branding of your blog.
1. Set the Expectations and Keep Them There
Any successful blogger will tell you that consistency lies at the heart of any great blog. When using the term here, we’re referring to more than just the tone and topic of your posts, we’re also talking about the rhythm of your updates and how often you express your opinion. Part of our basic human nature dictates that we seek out things that are predictable and orderly. We like to get into a routine of things and breaking that routine threatens our interest or faith in your blog.
A major expectation to set and stick to early on is the theme of your blog. Once you’ve chosen the theme of your blog, you must stick to it with every post that you publish. If you’ve chosen current events in the national economy, don’t stray from that subject. By choosing a specific theme, you’re attracting an equally specific audience.
To pull from the very definition of the word, you should also seek to have consistency in the frequency of your posts. Your readers will want to see consistent articles and content to read, otherwise they’ll look for the same information somewhere else. The actual number doesn’t matter as much as the rate of publishing. It can be five posts a week, or a single weekly publication, so long as you stick to the established rate. Another thing to consider when discussing consistency and expectations, make sure you have an established format, especially if you’re using a team of writers.
2. Establish Your Credibility
Your readers need to feel that the content you bring them is reliable, that it comes from a trusted source. This isn’t something you can do overnight, but there are some reliable strategies that can help you build that sense of expertise in your writing. Here are a few tips:
- Write about something you’re already familiar with
- Do plenty of research on new topics
- Interview experts in the field or have them write a guest post for you
- Cite your sources
- Tell a story of personal success
A very important thing to remember is that facts and opinions should mix like oil and water, which is to say, not very well. You need to keep these two things separated at all times to maintain your credibility. Voicing your opinion is always a great way to add spice to your posts, but boasting an opinion as fact is a very bad idea. It almost instantly ruins your expertise.
3. Maintain a Laser-Focus at All Times
If you’ve ever tried to make yourself heard in a room full of shouting people, you know how hard it is to have an actual discussion if everyone is talking about different things at once. Your blog post can become the same way if you try to tackle too many problems, issues, or topics in one post. Your post should spark discussion; it should throw fuel to the fires in the comments and fan the flames.
Trying to argue several things at once will leave your readers unable to understand true nature of your post. Your blog can, and should cover multiple topics within your theme, but your posts should endeavor to focus on a single topic throughout the content. Consistency in this regard will not only spark discussion, but it will also make your posts more search engine friendly, since your keywords will be equally focused, and that’s always a good thing.
4. Don’t be Afraid of New Things
While you should always stay within the boundaries of your blogs topic and your writing style, these boundaries are much farther away than most people realize. You have a lot of room to work with, and while every little experiment may not pan out, you should always be open to trying new things. You never know, one of those attempts could reveal the secret ingredient that sets your blog on fire. Here’s a great example: try writing a post that touches on a controversial subject in your niche. Maybe play Devil’s Advocate and try to see the issue from the opposing side. Trying new ideas may net you a few negative comments, but finding that secret sauce is worth every stumble.
Don’t go overboard with these samplings of insanity though, stay within the realm of tasteful blogging and don’t do seventeen experimental posts in a row. Space out the “outside the box” posts and show your readers that you haven’t forgotten your usual structure and consistency.
5. Always Leave Your Readers With a Call to Action (CTA)
The ending of your posts don’t always have to be a CTA that pushes them toward a product or service of yours, it can also be chance to motivate them towards starting a discussion in the comments section of your blog. It doesn’t end there however, you need to create engagement and do it, wait for it, consistently. When someone asks a question or poses a thought in the comments, you need to sweep in and continue the discussion or answer their question.
You’re not finished when the post goes up. That’s just the beginning, the real fun begins when your readers start expanding on the subject of your post and you have the opportunity to engage with them through meaningful conversation. You can start this kind of discussion with a small section at the bottom of each post that poses a question or encourages them to comment.
Bonus Tip: Utilize the Keyword Planner, Competitors & Wikipedia to Maximize Keyword Research
The basic concepts of search engine optimization lie within the use of keywords. One way you can seek out these specific words is to use Google’s Keyword Planner. It will provide you with valuable data around specific search terms and keywords that you can incorporate (naturally) into your posts. This will make them more visible and therefore easier to find.
The best way to use the Keyword Planner to your advantage is to incorporate how Google sees your competitors. In order to do this, is to enter your competitor into “your landing page”
Click “get ideas” and Google will do just that. Provide keyword ideas that are closely related to what your competitors are ranking for or are at least trying to rank for.
Take that practice one step further by studying the keywords Wikipedia uses for your keyword.
Type in (“your keyword” + wiki) and review some of the primary headings that the Wikipedia page mentions. This is one valuable source for keyword ideas.
Now, lets combine both: Wikipedia & Keyword Planner. Take the Wikipedia page and plug it into “landing page”.
Voila! Now you have countless more keyword ideas that are highly related to your keyword, topic and competitors. This should help jog your mind full of additional long tail keyword ideas as well.
A Penny For Your Thoughts?
The art of blogging is one that is constantly evolving. We work together, sharing what works and cautioning against what doesn’t. We’re a community across millions of websites and thousands of topics. Share your thoughts on these methods of maintaining consistency across various aspects of your content, and tell us what has worked for you in the comments below. Thanks as always for reading.