Hi and welcome to The Candid Talks blogging series. In this series, I will each week cover a different topic, question, news or trend from the blogging world.
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Episode 1: How to start a blog in 2020?
Episode 2: How to stay motivated as a blogger?
How to get more traffic from search engines? Just try this 1 simple step and get traffic in no time.
Many times I see bloggers talking and also complaining about the lack of traffic from search engines. Also, they talk about the struggle with content research, SEO and the whole keyword thing. Sometimes they do not understand the basics and therefore they tend to overcomplicate things.
Yes, it is true. The SEO might look like something from parallel universe but in my opinion it is actually very easy to understand.
Let me explore on that first.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine. SEO refers to the improvement of unpaid results and excludes direct traffic/visitors and the purchase of paid placement.Wikipedia
As you see, even the full explanation from Wikipedia is not so difficult. But if you need to translate it into even simpler language here you go.
Here is the SEO explained by me.
When you create a piece of content (blog post, article, video,
Note, it will rank even if it will be not 100% optimised (filled with keywords) for search engines.
Once it is ranked it will get a specific position. The higher the position is, the more it is seen when people search for that particular content. And the more it is seen and clicked by people the higher traffic your content can bring to your blog, website or social media.
This position is changing very often and it is influenced by many factors. Like how relevant your content is for the users in that moment. Or what kind of content your competitors created meanwhile.
Note, if their content is better and more relevant than yours, they will simply outrank you.
If you are a blogger or you have a website, it is ranked by search engines as well. This is usually called a domain score or domain authority. You can check yours here if you want.
And again, the higher the domain score is the higher your content can be ranked.
So how to improve SEO and rank higher your content? Use this 1 simple step.
First of all, your content or domain score shouldn’t be your goal. Your goal should be to create great content which people want to see, read and share
Besides the lack of SEO knowledge, the other big problem which I see here is
This is not the worst thing to do but in fact it can lower your search engines ranking.
To show you exactly what I mean here, I will give you an example from my food blog.
Food blog case study.
I’ve started food blogging back in 2016. During the first few months I was posting a new recipe or a blog post, almost every week. That time majority of my traffic was referral from my social media.
Somewhere in summer 2017, I have discovered the SEO. I’ve started to learn about
After a while I’ve seen a small traffic increase on my blog which came from search engines.
In 2018 I was still posting few recipes per month and included keywords everywhere. At the end of the year I had already around 150 blog posts, mainly recipes, online.
But there was one issue. My traffic from search engines was not increasing at all. It was almost flat
So I started to read more about it and randomly discovered a blog post (sorry to the author but I simply can’t remember who wrote it).
In that blog post, the author said that one of the solutions to better rankings was to delete or archive the low performing posts on the blogs.
The explanation to that point was this.
The better performing content you have on your blog the better overall ranking you can have. On the other side, if you have too much low performing content it can decrease your rankings.
So why should you keep the underperforming posts online, right?
After reading that, I’ve opened my Google analytics and checked all my posts. You would be surprised what I found. The posts which I though were doing really well were not the ones which brought the highest traffic from search engines. They were not even close to them.
In that moment I have decided to cut each post which was not bringing me enough traffic from the search engines. When I finished this exercise, I ended up with having online only around 30 posts. Yes you see it correctly, I have cut around 80% of my content.
In few days the traffic on my blog increased. And you know what? It was the traffic from the search engines.
In the next few months, I got more traffic from search engines than in the previous almost 2 years of blogging. The traffic still keeps growing each month. And today the search engines are my second biggest traffic drivers. The first one is Pinterest.
If you want to repeat this exercise on your blog, here is what you need to do step-by-step.
First of all you have to find out what content is underperforming. Here is how.
1. Open (or sign up for) your Google analytics. In the top right corner, choose the time frame you want to check.
In my example, this time frame is set between 1.1.2019 and 1.11.2019. Please adjust this according to your needs.
2. Navigate to the side menu and click Acquisition, All Traffic and the Source/Medium.
3. Choose and click on the google / organic option.
4. Click on the google / organic row.
4. Click on the secondary dimension tab. Type in “
page into the search bar. Click on the page row.
5. Now you will be able to see all your pages and the organic traffic.
Now you can proceed to the last steps in the process.
6. As a next, I recommend to set up the minimum traffic benchmark. In my case, it was a minimum of 50 pageviews per post. And yes, if the post did not bring me at least 50 pageviews from the search engines it got unpublished.
7. So if the post does not meet your minimum page views criteria then archive or un-publish it.
To get a better understanding of how your content works on Google, I recommend to sign up for a Google search console.
You will be able to track the changes in your rankings and the average position, the number of clicks, impressions and the average CTR (click-through rate).
As you see you do not need be SEO expert to increase the search engine rankings and get more traffic to your blog.
Sometimes the only thing you need to do is to try new things and keep going forward.
To me, letting
Also, do not stop here. Once you know what content is doing well on search engines and what content doesn’t, check out why it is like that.
Why is one content better than the other? Is the low performing one missing keywords? Is there a problem with the graphics or photos? Do you miss something key information in the content?
Ask yourself all of these questions and improve your posts. Then publish them again and see observe how they will perform
PS: If you naively think that somebody is checking all of your 15, 20 or even more pages with your content, you are wrong. No one actually goes further than the first 2 pages. So why to keep your posts and lower your search engine rankings, right? Just think about it for a second.