As we approach the end of the year (Happy New Year!), our attention often turns to what can we do different in the New Year. What can we improve? What new toy or system can we implement? For many of my clients, the New Year is when they refocus their attention on their blogs and ezines and recommit to making blogging a priority (and for those of you paying attention… guess who else is back on the blogging wagon!).
Let’s take a look at some super simple methods to drive traffic to your blog.
Change Your Permalink Structure
Believe it or not, this is a simple switch to make and is often overlooked as an SEO strategy. Take a look at the URL for any post on your blog. If you see something like http://yoururl.com/?p=123 then you’re not taking advantage of this strategy.
Before we go any further, let’s define the term permalink. It’s the permanent link to any given post in your blog. By default, WordPress uses a numbering system to keep track of your different posts in the database, which is great from a programming perspective but really lousy for Search Engine Optimization (I don’t know about you but I can’t remember the last time I searched for Post #123).
What we’ll be doing is changing that link so that it uses real words (a.k.a. KEYWORDS!). To make the switch, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Log into your WordPress blog
Step 2: Click on “Settings” and then select “Permalinks”
Step 3: Select the “Post Name” option or “Custom Structure” option and type /%postname%/
Step 4: Click “Save Changes”
and voila! You’re good to go.
With this structure in place, you will start to improve your search engine attraction factor and work to drive traffic to your blog… as long as you continue to post regularly and put your main keywords in the title of your posts.
Enhance Your Blog With the WordPress SEO Plugin
One of the great things about WordPress is that you can install plugins to enhance the basic functionality of WordPress. WordPress has a list of free plugins that you can browse by visiting the Plugins section of your dashboard. To save you time, here’s a fantastic plugin I recommend for search engine optimization.
WordPress SEO by Yoast: This free plugin helps you learn how to optimize your page titles, content, URL and even your meta tags. It’s a fantastic plugin and one that I highly recommend. You can read more about this plugin here: WordPress Plugin: WordPress SEO by Yoast
There are a few other plugins (both free and premium) that I use with different clients but WordPress SEO is by far my favorite!