Ways to Improve Your SEO

A couple weeks ago, I realized that I was quite frustrated with my progress with my search engine traffic. I have known the basics of SEO for some time now, so I thought I would be at a different state than I currently am. From the beginning of the year, my traffic was steadily increasing. At the rate I was increasing, I was expecting to have over 30,000 monthly pageviews (on my main site alone) by the end of the calendar year.

Then, something happened.

It wasn’t one update that changed my traffic overnight. While many people often hate to see a new update negatively affect their traffic in one night, I would have welcomed that. Instead, I was faced with uncertainty. I saw a slow decline in my traffic over a period of several months.

How to Respond to Decline in Traffic

The way that I see things, there are three ways to respond to a decline in traffic.

  1. Ignore it – One of the easiest things to do is to ignore it. On the one hand, search engine traffic can be finicky and confusing. For this reason, this response may be appropriate at times. But on the other hand, this could also lead to your demise. Ignoring a steady decline in traffic may mean that you ignore something that can be fixed.
  2. Give Up – Believe it or not, many people who manage websites and are seeking to increase their traffic often give up after a significant drop in their traffic. Continually adapting their practices to increase their traffic can be quite draining. Right when you think you have it figured out, you are thrown a curve ball. That’s why it’s not surprise to me that people throw in the towel and give up completely.
  3. Address it – The last, and in my opinion the best, response is to address the decline. You need to figure out why it is happening and how you can improve it. Everyone’s situation is different, but there are things that everyone can improve.

How to Improve Your Traffic

In case you haven’t guessed it by now, I chose to address my decline. I had put off focusing on my decline in traffic, hoping it would get better, but it didn’t. It had been a couple months of steady traffic now and there had been no increase since the the drop. I decided to reach out to a couple of bloggers that have been around for quite sometime, asking for their help. I didn’t want to make them explain the basics of SEO (again), so I was very thorough in telling them everything that I had been doing. In essence, the email told them what I was doing and asked if they had any advice or things I can do. Here are the responses that I embraced and have already started to see a positive result:

  1. Guest Post More Often – One of the best things that I needed to hear was whether I should be expected to guest post regularly. This came from someone who is now getting over 100,000 visitors each month, so I knew I could trust it.
  2. Write Longer Posts – Another great piece of advice that I got from another experienced blogger is to write longer posts so that I can have more keywords naturally in my posts. Longer posts also generally mean that they are more useful to readers. The more useful that a post is, the more traffic it will attract (as a general rule of thumb). I took this to heart and have started consistently writing posts that are 800-1200 words instead of 500-700. Some of my posts now venture over 1500 words and I am starting to an increase in traffic.
  3. Create Resource Pages – Another thing that was recommended was to create what Derek Halpern calls resource pages. Basically, it is a sort of landing page that directs visitors to featured posts that are related to the keyword you are targeting. It’s another layer of on-page SEO strategies and made sense, so I created several of these already. I plan to create more as I target other high-volume traffic, but I want to wait to see the progress of these 3-4 that I created.

As I said, SEO is hardly an exact science. I have started to make some gradual changes and I am starting to see some promising results. I still have a long ways to go, but I am going to keep working at it, while remembering that quality is one of the best ways to attract visitors.

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3 Responses to Ways to Improve Your SEO

  1. I need to work on all of those. My normal article length is 500 to 1000 words and I need to start guest posting more often… I am just starting out though so one thing at a time. Right now that is basic SEO

  2. These are all great tips! I normally post about 1,000 words, so I’ve actually been backing it off a bit. I need to go a re-tag all my posts to setup a few resources pages. ^ Lance has this setup well :)

    And I have only ever done one guest post. It was actually before I had started my blog, and I launched my blog just in time to get the referral traffic. I really need to knock out at least 5 in the next month.

    • Derek says:

      Glad you enjoyed the article! Good luck with your new blog and if you need any help, send us an email through the “Contact” tab on the top of the page!