7 Things You Must Do To Get Your Blog Found

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origin_5267464508 (4)Besides the obvious advice of creating epic content and promoting your blog on social media, there are some strategic SEO fixes and a few old school tricks that can make a big impact in generating traffic for your blog.

First, do you have a Google Webmaster Tools account? Google Webmaster Tools is provided by Google and it’s free. It helps you understand what is going on with your website and can alert you to any problems your site might be having getting indexed.

If you aren’t familiar with Google Webmaster Tools, The Beginner’s Guide to Google Webmaster Tools from Kissmetrics will help you get started.

Sitemap

Start by submitting your Sitemap to Google through Webmaster Tools.

Google says this about Sitemaps:

Sitemaps are a way to tell Google about pages on your site we might not otherwise discover. In its simplest terms, a XML Sitemap—usually called Sitemap, with a capital S—is a list of the pages on your website. Creating and submitting a Sitemap helps make sure that Google knows about all the pages on your site, including URLs that may not be discoverable by Google’s normal crawling process.

There are plugins and Sitemap generators out there to help you create one. Of course all you have to do is Google it.

Duplicate Content

According to Google, duplicate content “refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.” For instance you might see a post on your homepage, on an archive page and on your blog page.

Duplicate content is problematic for search engines because it doesn’t know which page it should rank or include/exclude in their indices. Search engines will often exclude duplicate content and as such, blogs could suffer traffic losses.

If your homepage, archive, or category pages displays full posts, you should consider displaying excerpts only. You can change how posts are displayed through your blog settings.

301 Redirect

Some people use the “www” when linking to their site and others do not. Both http://www.steamfeed.com and http://steamfeed.com  might seem like they’re the same but they’re not. Search engines might see those pages as separate pages which could result in it interpreting it as duplicate content. A 301 Redirect tells the search engine that they are the same.

You can address this through Google Webmaster Tools, in your blog settings and in your source code.

Title Tags

The title tag is what you see when search results are returned. If you want to rank for a keyword(s), those keywords should be in your title tag and positioned at the beginning. Most SEO plugins will give you the ability to customize your title along with the description seen under the title.

Images

People search for images just like they search for pages. Search engines aren’t quite smart enough (yet) to tell you what the image is, so it relies on the descriptive text you provide. Here are a few tips:

  • Give your image a title using keywords.
  • Use keywords in your alt tag.
  • Create a good filename with keywords separated by a “-“.
  • Include a creative caption.
  • A bigger image is better. That is bigger in actual dimension, you should keep your file size small for faster loading.

To find out what Google is looking for, I refer you back to them: Image Publishing Guidelines

Start the Conversation

Comments help your blog get found but are often the hardest part of the blog to get moving. The most common advice is to end your post with a question to generate interest, making it easier for people to respond.

My advice takes it one step further. Try ending it with a question where it is appropriate for you to answer. Then answer it yourself. Do the same thing on your social networks. It often helps to get the conversation started. Nobody loves being the first one to the party.

Schmooze

Now that we covered some basics, I will tell you the very best way of getting your blog found has little to do with the Internet and more to do with schmoozing. That’s right, plain old-fashioned networking.

Promote the heck out of your blog. Tell everyone about it, every customer you come in contact with, every parent you meet in the parking lot while waiting to pick up the kids, strike up a conversation with the grocery clerk and hit up those local networking groups.

Hand out cards, tell them what you’re offering and invite them to come visit. Think strategically too. Are there potential collaborations to be made, links to exchange or referral money to be earned?

It all goes back to the “if they tell two friends and they tell two friends” way of thinking. Combine local schmoozing with your social media efforts and you will be building a powerful network that you can call upon to help you promote your content and ultimately drive traffic.

Do you have more easy to implement SEO tips or some suggestions for local networking? Let’s grow the list in the comments below.

photo credit: MoneyBlogNewz via photopin cc

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Kimberly Yuhl
Hi there! I'm Kim, the creator of Secrets of Better Business and Take 35. I help small business owners (the mom and pop kind) work smarter and dream bigger. I provide practical tips to help you manage your day and define success on your own terms. It really doesn't matter if you are small business owner, freelancer, stay-at-home mom or work a traditional 9 to 5, there is something here for everyone. Want to know more? You can always find me at my home away from home, kimyuhl.com. I look forward to saying hi.
Kimberly Yuhl
Kimberly Yuhl
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Comments

  1. There are some really good tips here. Some times you just write away on your blog because you have some thing to say and you forget the basics.

  2. Go with excerpts Kim to knock down dupes. I went this route months ago. Saw a nice increase in search traffic by using the strategy. Smart tips!!
    My recent post Make Money Online: Does Fear Override Your Intuition?

  3. Hi Ryan. I saw some similar results. It's easy to overlook some of the basic things when you are wearing all the hats. Thanks for the comment, I appreciate it! ~Kim
    My recent post Don’t Open A Small Business If You Really Want a Big One

  4. Hello Kimberly,

    These points are worth noting. Thanks for writing. However I would love to see more about this topic in this post :)
    My recent post Add floating social media buttons using ADD THIS tool

  5. I have already started interacting with various other businesses on social websites such as: Twitter and Facebook. It works a treat! My colleagues have already attended a few social media expos and have been noticed just by the comments I have left on their posts. Thanks for sharing this article, it's been a great help!

  6. Schmoozingis a great things to do for blogs. Follow things can help you to get your blog found:

    1. Good design
    2. SEO friendly template
    3. Quality content (update your blog daily)
    4. Social media platform for promotion
    5. submit your blog to webmasters tool.
    6. So Many others…

    Regards
    Gagan Masoun
    My recent post 5 Best Online Tools to Check Google Keyword Ranking

  7. Shannon says:

    I have started sending my latest blog post to a prospect or colleague I meet @ networking events. When they ask for my card, I give it to them and ask for theirs or their email and permission to send them an article I think would interest them. They usually always agree.

    I am a newbie to blogging so these are great!

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