A Surefire Way To Increase Blog Traffic

"Hi Lynn, I have a quick question. In order to have a successful blog, do you have to target keywords? I'm blogging mainly to give information, but it would be nice to profit from it as well.

Do I need to target certain keywords in my posts in order to acquire traffic, or is posting frequently good enough? Do you target certain keywords in your blog posts to gain traffic? Say if I submit a post to my blog about extra curricular activities... do I have to target certain keywords about that specific post in order for traffic to start rolling in?

Thanks for your help, I really appreciate it." - Scarlet

Hi Scarlet,

This is a great question. Most of the people reading along will expect a solid "yes" in my response. And while I will say that yes, you need to target specific keyword phrases when writing content, I want to give you a more detailed answer than that.

If you do not intentionally optimize your content (blog posts, articles, forum threads, etc) for a specific keyword phrase, and intentionally get backlinks to that content, you will still get traffic and readers.

This is true for two reasons:

First is "accidental SEO". Whether you intentionally choose and optimize with a "keyword phrase", your content may still come up in the major search engines for an obscure search term. This is how I first learned about SEO (search engine optimization) and the importance of keyword targeting.

I checked my stats one day (this was 8-10 years ago) and noticed certain archived pages of my site were getting substantial search engine traffic. There were certain phrases or a combination of words in the content, and the search engines deemed those pages relevant to those searches.

It was then that I started targeting my pages to specific searches, by optimizing the pages for specific keyword phrases. This gave me more control over the type of visitor I attracted, better rankings for better search terms, and a stronger "message to market match" between my targeting and my call-to-action.

If you would like to attract a specific type of reader, the type that is highly interested in your content, then you'll want to target specific keyword phrases for the content you publish on the web. This will give you much more traffic, and more targeted traffic, and also result in higher profit potential.

The second reason is because there are other traffic sources, outside of the major search engines. You might attract readers through interviews, networking, personal recommendations from others, social media, offline exposure, etc.

You would be wise to accept the first, have a strategy for the second, and also intentionally optimize your content to attract highly targeted visitors to your pages. Ignoring the major (keyword-driven) search engines would be like an offline business (a plumber, for example) ignoring the Yellow Pages.

Best,

Also see: How to Increase Blog Traffic Fast

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About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...more»

Discussion

  1. Thanks for sharing this topic here today cause it is any eye opener for me and to do necessary things. You are always special Lynn with topic that makes me and ither think.

    Thank you and keep updating new topics or questions into articles. Enjoy and nice knowing you

  2. You gotta keep your keywords in mind, always. It's nice to get that unexpected shot of "accidental SEO" like Lynn was talking about, but it's so much more gratifying when you get results for the content you targeted.

    Great stuff as always, Lynn.

  3. Missy (from Cheap Blog Help) says:

    Hey, Lynn:

    Another surefire way to increase blog traffic is via social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter. It takes extra work and time, but does work. The reason it works is because if targeted right, social media users are a highly active and engaging group.

    But keep in mind that your social media efforts can (and should go) in conjunction with your SEO efforts, not in place of it.

    Missy
    Head Honcho @CheapBlogHelp.com

  4. Accidental SEO! It's hard to be tuned to only one keyword especially for technology blog writers. They need to be cover vast areas of interests.
    So, SEO type you specified is not possible at all.
    Anyway nice share.

    • Not possible? I beg to differ! ;)

      Every page or blog post - or any content for that matter - should be optimized for it's own keyword phrase. And a very specific (longtail) keyword phrase, at that. I don't see how you get to the conclusion that it's not possible... :roll:

  5. Scott Lovingood says:

    Just remember that getting traffic takes work. The more systematized you make it the easier it is to get and manage.

    Make sure your keywords are appropriate to your site and to your message. Lynn's comment about message to market match is critical.

    Having a ton of traffic that isn't interested in your products doesn't do you any good other than feeling nice about the stats you see.

    Focus on finding ways to get the people you want to your site.

    Be relevant, be helpful be useful.

  6. As always I found a lot of value in this post and I am getting to understand the SEO concept.
    I do still have a problem with checking stats, I use Google analytics and the only thing I see is how many people came to my page the previous day. Is it possible you can do a post on complete break down of the analytics stats.
    You know I see it going up and down and from different countries but I don’t know how to compare apples with apples.
    Did the SEO come from a forum or from a search engine? I still don't know when I was lucky or not.
    Anyway many thanks for your willingness to share.

    • I don't use Google Analytics, but I would search YouTube for video tutorials on it and/or read the guides & FAQ inside your account. I use AWstats on a regular basis, which is a free stats program that is included with any web host running cpanel. I'm hosting with HostGator - who are you hosting with, and what do they offer?

      • Ethan Semmel says:

        Hi Lynn. You mentioned you don't use google analytics, but use awstats.
        How do you track conversions, whether for your own products or for affiliate products?

        As far as I know, awstats can't track conversions.

  7. Thanks Lynn. I think Accidental SEO can be better sometimes than planed one.

    • I disagree. It makes it hard to tailor your call-to-action to a very specific market (or a specific need in the market) if you are not intentionally targeting.

  8. A very good question raised by scarlet and well explained by Linn. Keyword plays a vital role in SERPs and targeted keywords can definitely drive targeted visitors. But I don't think ' accidental seo' can create a major impact!

  9. there are keyword tools you can use fro you to choose the best targeted keyword...the google adwords may help you also to search for what common keywords are being searched..

  10. You are right, Lynn. Keyword rich SEO optimized post will bring more traffic and money for years. This is my focus now, working on what is beneficial to me and my visitors.

  11. Thanks Lynn - that is an interesting way of looking at it!

  12. Thanks Lynn for that excellent explanation ... it's not always easy to
    be intentional about using certain keywords when I'm writing to communicate, but it's something worthwhile learning ... I will be focusing on doing that!

    • Hi Fran,

      Some people write for keywords. Others choose keyword phrases and optimize their content after it is written. Personally, I write with keywords in mind - because it helps me to choose a topic to write about in the first place. Keyword data is awesome because it tells you exactly what your market WANTS to hear from you - it's basically a list of topic/content ideas, free for the taking. So that is where I start, incorporating the very words & phrases my market is using to perform their searches into my "response".

  13. Thanks so much for the post Lynn. It's so true that this is not a yes or no question. I am looking for a free pdf report you made available a while back titled "How to Write a Great blog Post" but in searching clicknewz I can't find it, Help! I have a friend who is starting a blog who needs this kind of info and I was wondering what link to send her to to download your pdf?

    One more question, as a wordpress user myself, and knowing you are, are there any plugins you actually have paid for, use and feel were well worth paying for?

    Also, what are the plugins you absolutely would not blog without?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Jennie,

      The original post is here, and I believe the PDF link can be found in that post or in the comments of that post as well:

      http://www.clicknewz.com/1993/how-to-write-a-blog-post/

      I have not paid for any WordPress plugins. I am using several free ones, of course. I wouldn't blog with Akismet for controlling comment spam. Everything else should be chosen & installed based on your blog's objective. The key is to figure out what option/action you want to offer, and then choose the plugin that allows you to do that.

  14. SEO is easier to implement when you identify at least 15-20 main keywords for your blog. Consider all topics your blog will cover when building your list and you should be able to get enough words. This way you'll have keywords to sprinkle in all of your content-even when you're writing about a topic that's hard to optimize directly.

  15. Once you learn how to do it, I think you have a natural tendency to want to target certain keywords with a post. (Well, at least I do.) Sometimes when I do that though, that post ends up ranking even higher for other obscure keywords that I had not thought of. Sometimes it turns out that those keywords are actually juicier than the ones I was initially shooting for. So, I guess you don't necessarily have to target them. If you are writing about topics that have strong commercial interest, then you are automatically going to be getting some good traffic from whatever you end up ranking for.

    • Interesting, Kathy. I would venture to guess that you're referring to longtail versions of your keyword phrase. For example, I rank well for "free online business" and also for "starting a free online business" (the longtail version of that phrase). Both get substantial traffic, but the more specific phrase generally converts better.

  16. Targeting keywords is how you can be found and how not to be covered by all the numerous blogs out there that is also in your particular niche. So use keywords and be found and if possible sell.

  17. Matt Duggan says:

    Hey Lynn,

    Thanks for sharing your answer to this question with us.

    I can totally see your point when it comes to the 'accidental' SEO. My blog is the top search on Google for an event that I attended a couple of months ago. I'd inadvertently optimised that post for those keywords and got a few extra visitors as a result.

    Obviously, as you said, if you can do that on purpose, it tends to work better! I've been doing keyword research for my more recent posts and although it takes longer, it's worth it to find those keywords about a subject that don't have massive competition in order to get some easy bonus traffic.

    All the best,

    Matt

  18. Michael - Instant Traffic Today says:

    Thanks Lynn. I quite agree with your advice though today is my first time to comment here but I have always been reading your post. Thanks for the unbiased tips. Keep them coming

  19. For those of us running a business on the internet, surely "accideltal SEO", as it's so appropriately described here, is great. But it doesn't have to be an either/or type situation.

    I agree that it's just good sense to develop keyword optimized content right from the outset... as most probably the rewards of "accidental SEO" will still be present even when you do "intentional SEO".

  20. The competition depends on the niche you have chosen. But "intentional SEO" helps you to achieve traffic faster...

  21. ellipsis dive says:

    There are numerous people like Scarlet out there. Your answer didn't help only Scarlet, but also me. Thanks :)

  22. You have a lot of really great information on this site. I am one of those people who started blogging my daily diet journal and decided to make it public to help others who are dealing with the same thing as me.
    I'm now trying to see if I can expand on it.

    I'm not really very familiar with keyword targeting and such. I just know that if I write a post, i can put labels in the little box at the bottom. LOL
    So, when keyword targeting, what exactly are you doing? using a keyword to link to a product and then adding that keyword two or three times throughout the post? Or is this on the meta tag side of things?
    I feel like I have bits and pieces of information and I'm not sure how to implement the techniques I've learned over the last few months of researching. :)
    thanks for your help!!

  23. thomas cook says:

    lynn,i am new but i will be listening and getting help and learning all what these terms mean. I am putting together a new website, my last one was a failure,,,,,,,i am eager to learn how to make my site appeal to more customers......thanks for all the help,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    • Welcome Thomas! You'll find a wealth of information in the archives here, so make yourself at home and browse around for tutorials & topics. I look forward to getting to know you!

      • thomas cook says:

        lynn,,i saw an ebook once but can't find it now,,i asked your assistant but she said she did not know about it,i believe it was 10.00 and it was downloadable,,,,,,,any thoughts,thanks tom cook

  24. Good post Lynn.

    I liked your "message to market match" scenario. I picked that one up from Dan Kennedy a couple years ago. But it really fits in the internet marketing/blogging game.

    I noticed that if I use long tail keywords I get more targeted traffic. Like...instead of targeting the keywords "lose weight". I would target the keywords "losing weight after 50"

    "Lose weight" has over 1,000,000 searches a month and "losing weight after 50" has 1,300 searches a month. However, the latter of the two will generate more targeted buyers to my blog.

    Another great post Lynn. Thanks for all you do.

    Peace,

    Shane

    P.S. I heard on your last Internet Marketing This Week chat that you were "unplugged" for a while. It's my goal to be cell phone free by November of 2011 ;)

  25. This is an excellent, straight-forward explanation of how keywords work. Definitely something to share with others who are not entirely certain about the best way to tackle blog marketing. Thanks!

  26. Bill Gassett says:

    Everyone that owns a blog should be tracking how people arrive at your site and what the keywords that are used to get there. Studying keywords and keyword phrases and then writing about them is huge. As a Realtor I write about topics I know many people have an interest in. For example short sales and distressed properties are something people want to know about at the moment.

  27. Carla Easley says:

    I agree with you Lynn, Keywords are really important when it comes to getting traffic to websites. I've had a few accidental seo moments with some of my blog posts and once I noticed which posts were getting the most traffic, I started researching keywords.

  28. Aurelio Reifel says:

    Very good blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers? I'm planning to start my own blog soon but I'm a little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I'm completely confused .. Any tips? Kudos!

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