Traffic And CredibilityWe are heading into the third week of June so it’s time for another guest blogger to grace my place with their fabulous knowledge.

I love it when my readers accept my invitation and I’m so honored that Kumar is with us today.

Kumar is one of those guys you definitely want to know and learn from so you ready to see what he has?

People turn to search engines when they want to buy a product or service. In fact, how many times have you have turned to Google, Bing or Yahoo before making your buying decision?

I do it so often that this activity became one of the reasons why I use Evernote and I recently shared about my experience with the Evernote tool at my blog.

When You Are New, You Care Less

When I started blogging, I wanted to share what I was learning through the books I was reading and seminar’s on personal development I was attending with my team. I really didn’t have any agenda behind my first blog.

If you are just starting out, you are probably going through the same phase and it’s okay.

However, as I continued with my online activities and learnt a few things about content marketing and social media marketing, I started to realize there was more to blogging than just writing something and hitting the publish button.

Why Settle For Less When You Can Have More?

I know how important it is to talk about this mindset. I know because I had the mentality that I write to share with people who know me (or those who will connect with me at a personal level.)

I didn’t have any plans for search engine optimization and I never expected a lot of traffic from search engines whatsoever.

But, this is a very limiting mentality that doesn’t let us get the success we deserve. It is also a mentality that keeps our great piece of work hidden from those who actually might benefit from it provided they could see it somehow.

You need to break out of that limiting belief and always think, “How can my content, my website reach some more people?”

There are many channels (not just one or two) to accomplish that goal and you should leverage all of them. Why settle down for less when you can have more readers, more followers and more admirers?

Things You Are Ignoring May Be Hurting You

In this post, I am going to share with you things you should be doing to increase your visibility, your credibility and traffic. The goal is to help you start doing these things so you can start to have more success online. So, let’s get started!

Never Ignore On-Page SEO

I see a lot of entrepreneurs (especially those who have offline businesses) who also blog for online marketing and personal branding, do not pay attention to this aspect.

On Page SEO is becoming more and more important as link building practices are losing their charm. This is great news for bloggers provided you do your homework. These things are simple and this is what makes your site better day after day from a search engine perspective.

Here are the list of basics of your on page SEO (and you’ll see, it’s not difficult):

1. Always use at least one image on every page.

2. Make sure every image has its ALT tag. This is very important for SEO since search engines can’t read your images. Your images get categorized and index based on the data you provide in the ALT tag.

3. Make sure that your file names for the images are meaningful as well. File names shouldn’t be img00237603.jpg if your image is about “drinking coffee”. Give it a name such as “drinking-coffee-image.jpg” before uploading it into your website as a media file.

4. Make use of H tags (H2 through H6) for sub-headings in your pages. It not only makes your pages more readable, it helps search engines understand your main content based on words you use in your H tags.

5. Wherever applicable, (in file names, meta descriptions etc.) use dash (-) between two words instead of using underscore (_). Important!

6. Although not necessarily a SEO point really, use bullet points whenever you are listing out some steps or list of things. It just makes your post more readable.

7. Add Google Authorship to your website. It is becoming more and more important as Google+ is gaining momentum. It might seem a little techie to you, but, it’s very easy. Just simple steps and you can do it.

8. Ensure you do not have any broken links on your pages. It’s just a bad thing to happen to your pages SEO or not.

9. Interlink your pages. While writing a new post, see if you can reference some of your previously published posts. This is a great way to bring life to those old posts in addition to making search engines happy.

10. Okay, last but not the least in this list, do not use the same name for a tag and a category. It confuses your readers and search engines equally. I had committed this mistake and so I warn you.

Never Ignore Google Webmaster Tools

Many people distance themselves thinking SEO is some alien thing which is so hard that they can’t understand. They give up even before they could try learning anything about it.

Back to the same basic question – What is the point in writing great content if it can’t reach many people?

If you are not optimizing your website for SEO and not even doing basics of SEO for your websites, you are hurting your own potential.

A lot of bloggers I talk to, have no clue about Google Webmaster Tools let alone using it for anything. They have a great website layout. They also write very well. But, it turns out they have not even submitted their sitemap files to Google.

This is a huge topic in itself. However, if this is your first introduction to Google Webmaster Tools, I would recommend that you do some basic study about it and start getting some handle on this. Here is an article you will likely want to check out:

The SEO Guide To Getting Started With Google Webmaster Tools

Basically, Google Webmaster Tools is the way Google and you interact with regard to your website. If you aren’t using it, Google has no way to let you know if your site has a problem and you will never know what went wrong if (and when) it does.

Integrate Your Blog With Your Social Media Profiles

This doesn’t seem like a new thing, but you will be surprised how many bloggers and even companies do not have an active social media profile.

A lot of my customers came through my social media interaction with them after they landed on my website through either a reference or search engine.

People (your visitors) like to see how social you are, how you interact with them on social media and if you respond to a question.

If your social profiles are integrated properly, it not only adds credibility to your website, it also allows your visitors to become loyal readers or even bring business to you.

Share Your Blog Posts on Social Media

Then there are those who publish a blog post, send it to their subscribers and expect others to share their blog posts on social channels.

While there is nothing wrong with expecting others to share your blog posts, my question is: Why should I share your blog posts on my social networks when you don’t share your own posts on your wall – on Facebook for example?

It isn’t hard but it does require diligence. By sharing your own blog posts using your own social profiles first, you ensure that you believe in what you wrote and it is okay for others to share your content. It adds credibility to your posts.

Relationship With At Least 3 Influential Bloggers

Most bloggers do this in reverse order and struggle for a long time where we tend to think that we should become famous blogger first and then we will get the attention of other famous bloggers.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work the same way in the real world.

If you take time to build relationships with a handful of pro-bloggers (those who you respect and think that they could help you,) your growth in the blogosphere will be much faster and easier.

At any rate, you will need at least three famous/popular bloggers to help you become popular on a fast track. This is the best way for you to join the mainstream, although you can still gain popularity the hard way through years of struggle and trial and error.

Your Turn – Any More Ideas?

What do you think of these basic strategies for building traffic and credibility? Do you think these steps are a good starting point for people who are working hard to build a good size blog?

We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below as well as sharing this with your friends.  We can help them as well right!  Thank you kindly!

Kumar Gauraw

Kumar Gauraw is a Personal Branding coach and Social Media strategist helping entrepreneurs succeed by leveraging the power of the Internet through Content Marketing and Social Media. He writes about leadership, inspiration, content marketing and many other topics at his blog.

Kumar’s company, Krishna World Wide offers a range of services including web designing, premium managed WordPress hosting, social media marketing and SEO services.

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