Running a personal blog can be great. You have total free reign on the topics, you can build relationships with readers and you can express yourself in any way you like.
Running a well read, well visited personal blog is even better. It’s no secret that the best traffic is organic traffic, from search engines.
The reason why SE traffic converts so well and is held on such a high pedestal is the SE user is essentially looking for your site. They might not know it, and you certainly don’t but once they do find your site they’re happy. They’ll look at some other pages, maybe subscribe or buy something.
But a personal blog doesn’t have anything to sell, except for your self, of course. The thing with personal blogs and search engines are that you’ll be getting mostly long tail terms or your name popping up in Mint, or your favourite analytics app.
There are exceptions like everything else, where people may target certain terms that are mildly relevant, but the main purpose is for that oh-so-golden traffic.
What Should you do With Your Personal Blog?
There are tons of things you can do to better optimize your blog for search engines. After all, if you’re not getting that one juicy term, then you’re going to be relying on the inevitable long tail.
First, let me explain long tail search terms to those no savvy at the moment. The term simply refers to search terms, usually three or more words, that can seem random but the user finds a post or page from your blog that has the aforementioned words scattered on the page. Basically you’re getting refined terms. A searcher looking for “design blog” might refine their search by looking for “web design and development tips blog”.
So, lets get down to it, shall we? You want to optimize your blog to increase SE traffic which will in turn raise your overall traffic, readership and earnings if you’ve monetized. Sounds like a good idea to me.
The Definitive Guide to Semantic Web Markup is exactly what it says it is. Tell search engines what parts are important and in what order is very important, and will help your site in terms of SEO. Post titles are back links, and when they’re served in <H1>’s they really increase the long tail possibilities.
When you’re writing your headlines, you also have to think about search terms. I’ve personally written a couple of posts with titles laser targeted at range of long tail terms. While these posts are stale to my current readers, they bring in SE hits every day. Blog post titles can come from a couple categories, you just need to choose clever, concise or made for Google.
Another great article made to set you on your way to SEO heaven is “Search Engine Optimization for Blogs“. SEO is something most personal bloggers don’t know about, but it’s something that is really simple at the basic levels. After you start developing, meaning more posts, better posts, more backlinks, more link exchanges and relationships, you’ll notice your traffic increase.
Connor Wilson is a freelance web designer living in Toronto, Ontario writing his own personal blog.