If you’re wondering what this Case Study is all about, please read the introductory post from Week One.
If you’ve been following along with Suzy’s progress, you’ll know that she’s come a long way since beginning this journey to build a new travel blog.
She’s done keyword research to tell her if the niche she’s chosen for her new travel blog is a viable one, she’s selected a new domain name, installed WordPress to run her new travel blog, and started writing good content.
Now it’s time to turn some of her attention to increasing the number of people who come to her new site. She’s reached Level 5 of our Flow Chart, Getting Traffic.
Since her goal is to monetize her travel blog so that she can spend more time with her family and less time working, it’s critical that she attract a lot of site visitors, and begin to build a subscriber list.
SEO – also known as Search Engine Optimization
The best way to get more site visitors is also free – it’s called Search Engine Optimization, which basically just means making sure that the search engines clearly understand what your travel blog is about, so that they can rank you for that topic, and send people who are searching for your topic to your site.
Because SEO is such a critical component of getting site traffic, this week we’ll focus on just this method.
You may remember from the second post in this Case Study, “Suzy: Week 2 Goals – Choosing a Travel Niche ” we discussed doing keyword research to find out if enough people are searching on a topic to make it a viable travel niche…..now Suzy will use those same keywords she discovered during her research, and weave them into her content in a natural sounding manner, and by doing so she is telling the search engines what that post is about. Over time, if you are consistently telling the search engines that your posts are about a specific topic, by focusing on a small but highly relevant group of keywords and phrases, the seach engines come to understand what your site is about.
But there’s more to it than just using keyword phrases in your content!
Much like small children, to whom you must repeat something several times before they understand or remember it, the search engines need to have keyword phrases repeated often enough that they will “get it”. However, you don’t want your content to read as if it’s stuffed full of keywords, or your readers won’t like it.
What to do? There are other places that you can use your keywords and keyword phrases:
- In your post title;
- In your page title – this is what appears waaay up in the top of your Browser window – generally defaults to your post title, but by using a WordPress plugin, All In One SEO Pack, you can set your Page title to be different from your post title, and work in another keyword/phrase or two. It’s important to note that your Page title is more important than your Post title to search engines!;
- In your permalink – this is the URL (the “address”) for the page – this also defaults to your post title but WordPress allows you to edit this so you can work in an extra keyword here, but do this ONLY before you “publish” the post, since publishing it ‘pings’ the search engines to tell them that it’s a new post and once your page has been ‘indexed’ by the search engines, changing it’s permalink will create broken links (404 pages) which is not good;
- In paragraph headings (if you use them);
- In your image names (e.g. ‘mykeywordhere.jpg’);
- In your image captions;
- In your image descriptions (aka alt attribute value);
- In your post’s meta keywords and description tags – another critical feature added by the All in One SEO Pack plugin;
These additional places to use your keywords are less noticeable to readers (and in the case of image alt attributes and meta keyword and description tags, completely hidden from readers) but the search engines do read them. And when they read them often enough on the same page, they learn how to rank you in comparison to other travel blogs who are using the same keywords. If you’re not actively incorporating your keywords into your content and page, you won’t rank well against those other travel blogs – your competitors – and you’ll get less traffic than they do.
NOTE: We have a wonderful Guest Author post coming up on Monday that digs deeper into keyword research and weaving keywords through your content – don’t miss it!
If you have questions on Search Engine Optimization, be sure to ask in our Forum  – we have several Forum members who are SEO experts!
Stay tuned! Next week we’ll cover how Suzy is working to build quality inbound links to also increase the traffic to her travel blog.
What other ways do you attract visitors to your travel blog? Share your tips!