How to Drive Traffic to Your Blog For Free [Understanding The Anatomy of Blogging]


Regardless if you are a small business or a multinational company, blogging is integral to your online content marketing strategy.

One of the most effective ways to build brand awareness, while providing relevant and useful content to your target audience is through consistent blogging.

But, if no one visits your blog, how are you going to achieve that?

Understanding the anatomy of blogging will not only help you understand how to blog the right way, but it will also help you generate traffic to your blog for free.

The Anatomy of Blogging

URL (uniform resource locator).
The specific address on the Internet that readers will type to find your daily posts.

What’s the URL structure of your blog?
http://blog.website.com (subdomain structure)
http://www.website.com/blog (subdirectory or subfolder structure)

If you said #1, this could be a major reason your rankings and traffic are suffering. When your entire blog runs under a subdomain, search engines will treat it as a separate website (which dilutes brand authority).

Rand Fishkin, Moz Founder, made it clear when discussing subdomains vs. subfolders:
Subdomains sometimes inherit and pass link/trust/quality/ranking metrics between one another 
Subfolders always inherit and pass link/trust/quality/ranking metrics across the same subdomain

For the best blog results, stay away from subdomains.


Keyword researcher
Keyword research will help you create a blog title and contents that will perform well on search engine results pages (SERPs). Tools like Google's Keyword Planner can help you determine exactly which terms people are searching for, and which will be easier or more difficult for your new blog post to rank for.

"Blogging" is a broad search term, and when I dropped it into Google Keyword Planner, more than 95,000 keyword results were returned. However, when I searched for "business blogging," on the other hand, I found keywords with lower search volume (62,000) but would be more specifically targeted to the audience I'm trying to reach.

I recommend targeting long-tail keywords that are more specific to the exact audience you're targeting. Once you've nailed the keyword you're targeting, you can create your final title.

Blog Title
Your Blog title is one of the critical first elements that help readers decide if they want to click and stay on your site or not. In fact, 60% of readers don't read past the title. Your blog title is also important in your blog ranking, it is one of many factors Google considers when ranking results on SERPs and an optimized title will help people find the information they need more easily.

Meta Description
The meta description refers to the HTML attribute that explains the contents of a given web page. Basically, it's a short description you see on a SERP to "preview" what the page is about. 

The headline, URL, and meta description work together to convince searchers to click on a link to read the entire blog post, so you'll want to put thought into what to write for this piece of your blog post, too.


Posts
Without a blog post, you'll have nothing to promote on social media, you'll have no clout with your leads and customers, and you'll have fewer pages to put that valuable calls-to-action that generate inbound leads.

I often describe blog posts as the meat of your blog. The more meats you feed your ever hungry audience, the more traffic you generate.

Your posts is where you’ll tell your story through images, text, video, or a combination of these elements. For instance, if your readers are millennials looking to start their own business, you probably don't need to provide them with information about getting started in social media -- most of them already have that down. You might, however, want to give them information about how to adjust their approach to social media from a more casual, personal one to a more business-savvy, networking-focused approach. That kind of tweak is what separates you from other bloggers and in return bring you more audience. People always look for new ideas and ways of doing things.

Permalink
This is the unique URL of a blog post. This address is helpful when you want to link back to an old post that’s no longer on your front page, or if other bloggers want to reference one of your posts.

An example of a blog’s main URL (which shows all the posts for a given period of time:
An example of a permalink:

If you don’t use the permalink, your audience might not be able to link to another article that further help them in their search for answers. Instead, your blog will be linking them to your main blog page.

The problem with that is that, as you post new blog entries, the newest entry appears at the top of your main blog page and the other entries are pushed down on the page. The entry your readers are looking for may be down at the bottom of the page or already in the archives; your reader has no idea where to find the entry.

If they click over to your site expecting to see a specific post related to a post and they see a different post, they may not take the time to find the “real” post they’re looking for.

Using permalink within your blog posts help readers check your other articles that are related to the one they are currently on. This will keep the reader glued to more than one of your articles.

Hyperlink
Usually appearing in a different colour or as underlined text, a hyperlink indicates to readers that the text can be clicked on and will take them to another Web page.

The best bloggers will routinely link out to content on a regular basis because it provides readers with more information about a particular subject. For instance, if someone is looking for charts or tools not hosted on your site then it makes sense to link out for your reader’s benefit.

Backing up your articles with research and statistics from external resources helps add credibility and value to your content. If you use someone else’s statistic or surveys in a piece then you should also ensure you quote or link to the original source.

You’ll use hyperlinks when you want to credit an image source, tell readers where to buy something you blogged about, link to a post that you love on another blog, or reference a past post in your own archive.

By referencing other articles in your blog archive, your hyperlink created will keep readers on your site for longer. Make no mistake, those "Related articles" at the bottom or side of every article are hyperlinked to another page on the same site. With Google taking note of page views and how well your site is linked, routing readers to another page is a smart idea.


Comments
Comments on your blog let you interact with your readers and give you insight into which content your readers enjoy the most, or least.

If you find yourself complaining that your site is not getting enough traffic from search engines, it may be because your site does not have enough authority with those search engines.

When you comment on blogs, it helps create backlinks, which in turn generates traffic. Most of these links are no-follow links and thus, carry little value; however, the process is still helpful.

Trackback
A trackback shows you when another blogger loves your content enough to link to your post on his or her blog. So if you enable trackbacks, your blog will list all the other places where one of your posts is being reposted or mentioned.

Your reposted contents on other sites increase your chances of getting more traffic.

Categories
Whenever you post a new blog entry, it’s a good idea to categorize it. A category quickly tells your readers what a post is about as well as providing a helpful way to group posts together and make it easier for people to find related posts. You can assign multiple categories per post and they can be organized hierarchically

Categories allow you to arrange your posts in a particular section in case readers want to see every post related to a topic you cover. This will help readers read more articles from their most interesting category.

As you generate new posts, you should place each into a category (e.g., “Digital Marketing” or “Sport News”).


Tags
Tags serve as complements to categories and refine them further. In addition to placing a post in a general category, you can tag it using specific keywords.

For example, if you have a category about interiors, you can tag a post with the keywords bedroom or wallpaper to more clearly define the various topics in that post.

Or if you have a chocolate category on your blog, tags may include truffles, cupcakes, or frosting to narrow the type of chocolate even further.

Archives
Blog archives are the heart and history of your blog. While your recent blog posts appear on your blog's home page, your older posts are harder to find. Thanks to the archiving feature in most blogging applications, your older posts can be found online at any time in the future.

Blog archives are important to your blog's success for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, they give your blog depth and credibility.

A blog with years of archives has an upper hand over a blog with just a few months of archives. That's because with each new blog post, search engines have another way to find your blog, and people have more ways to find your blog through posts shared by their online connections, discussed through entries on other blogs or through Twitter updates, and so on.

In other words, more posts equal more entry points, which leads to more ways for people to find your blog and more blog traffic.

0 Comments