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Blog SEO

7 Ways to Use Google Analytics to Grow Your Blog Traffic

I’ve waxed poetic about Google Analytics before, about how to install it and what you should be tracking every month for your blog. But you need to do more than track and observe.

You need to ACT on that info and use it to guide your blogging strategy for the month ahead. 🦄

Aww yiss. Google Analytics isn’t only for tracking how many people come to your site and that’s it. There is a lot of powerful info in there that you can use to grow your blog faster!

In this post, I’m going to break down 7 ways to grow your blog using a plain ol’ free Google Analytics account!

Google Analytics Blog Strategy

First up, when you log in to Analytics, you see what I like to call your SUBS. It’s actually USBS when read left to right but I think SUBS sounds better. It stands for your Sessions, Users, Bounce Rate and Session Duration.

Those are the 4 key things you should be looking at every time you log in, FO REAL. In a general sense, they tell if you if you’re trending upward or downward. I like to set my view at the previous 30 days to get a good overall picture.

In this screenshot, you can see my traffic went downhill this month, compared to last (by 15.7%). I know that’s because I hardly spent any time writing new posts or promoting existing ones, whoops.

Google Analytics Blog Strategy

Beyond that, I review the following things at the end of every month as part of my monthly business review (that also includes things like tax payments and profit/loss statements – oh yay).

Reviewing these 7 things influences the actions I’ll take for the upcoming month to grow my blog. Sometimes it might be posting more on social media, or other times it’s about seeing who’s linking to me and striking up a conversation.

Here’s what to look for, boo.

1. User Location

Under the Audience -> Geo -> Location area, you can find out the geographical breakdown of everyone who has visited your site. Again, I like to set this to the past 30 days.

Google Analytics Blog Strategy

There’s a list underneath of how many people came from which countries. This is helpful to know if you’re targeting certain areas or if you plan on running ads.

If you run a local business, meaning one that you help customers face-to-face in your city, this is really important. I mean, it’s not very helpful if you want to attract people in Vancouver, Canada but 98% of your traffic is coming from Vancouver, Washington, right?

Knowing where your audience lives can influence the keywords you’re using on your site and even your ad strategy.

Even if you’re an online business that can serve anyone anywhere in the world, you still want to know where your top countries are. Maybe you target French-speaking clients. Then, you’d want to make sure French-speaking people are coming to your site (there’s a separate Language tab for this, too).

Running a Google AdWords or Facebook campaign can be a lot more cost-effective when you can target the locations your ideal audience is in. Analytics tells you that with no guesswork involved. Easy, right?

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How to Write SEO Page Titles and Descriptions for Your Blog

SEO page titles and descriptions are really important for your blog.

Raise your hand if you know what an SEO page title or description is. 🙋🏽

Mmkay, for all y’all advanced placement students, hold on just a sec.

They help Google figure out what your site is about and show your site to people searching for things like, “Pants for big butts,” or, “What shade of foundation am I?” (You can tell how my week is going so far.)

SEO meta data (another name for dis shiz) helps bloggers:

  • Get more traffic from Google
  • Get higher rankings in Google, as part of your overall onpage strategy

But they’re more than just a nerdy internet thing. They can actually help you surprise and delight your readers, too!

Read this post to find out how! 🤓

How to Write Blog SEO Page Titles and Descriptions

 

What Are SEO Page Titles and Descriptions?

For those who don’t know, an SEO page title is the text that appears in 2 cool places:

  1. In a Google search result

How to Write Blog SEO Page Titles and Descriptions

  1. At the top of your browser window

How to Write Blog SEO Page Titles and Descriptions

And yeah, this is the sort of wild stuff I do on a Saturday night: write about SEO. #NerdAlert

An SEO page description is the other texty part that shows up in a Google search result.

How to Write Blog SEO Page Titles and Descriptions

Page titles and descriptions can either be on PAGES on your website, or on blog POSTS. Obviously, ya wanna have SEO-optimized titles and descriptions for both of those types of content.

SEO page titles and descriptions are also known as “SEO meta data.”

 

Why Are They Important?

For starters, page titles and descriptions help Google figure out what your site is about. Google still scans your whole site’s content to figure that out, too.

But having the keywords you want to optimize for listed right in your titles and descriptions makes Google’s job a LOT easier. Which means, more people will find you via organic search easier!

There are a LOT of factors that go into ranking high in Google and fully optimizing your SEO. There are about 200 ranking factors, actually.

Optimizing your SEO meta data is just one small part of a robust SEO strategy, but it takes just a few minutes per page and is a good habit to get into as you write posts. Don’tcha want more traffic for just a few extra minutes?!

Image from searchengineland.com

Some SEO strategies are harder than others, like link building, creating longform 2,500+ word count posts full of value, or searching the web for broken links to replace with your own.

Literally nothing is easier or faster than writing page titles and descriptions for your blog.

Woo! All aboard the Lazy Blogger Express over here. 🚂

 

How to Write SEO Meta Data

To write effective titles and descriptions, you need to know what keywords you want to optimize your blog for.

Related: How to Do SEO Keyword Research

And, make sure you change it up for different pages. If one of your target keywords is, “blog seo,” you don’t need to have that in EVERY single page title or description.

Make sure the keyword you’re optimizing the page title and description for is relevant to the page’s content.

Once you have a keyword in mind, write out that page title and description!

For SEO page titles, they need to be under 60 characters to fit on Google.

If they’re over 60 characters, it trails off like this:

How to Write Blog SEO Page Titles and Descriptions

For SEO descriptions, they need to be under 160 characters… and ideally more than 120.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when writing your meta data:

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5 Easy Blog SEO Tips to Skyrocket Your Traffic

Blog SEO is a big deal.

It goes beyond just optimizing your posts for a single keyword, although that’s important too. I’ve been studying SEO for over three years now and have a pretty foolproof system for growing organic search traffic easily and quickly for my blog and websites.

5 Easy Blog SEO Tips: Grow Your Blog Traffic

Google is always changing their algorithms, so you need to be aware of what’s new in the world of SEO. But, these tips are universal, despite any new mega-update from the Google overlords.

Read on to discover my 5 best blog SEO tips you can do today!

 

#1 Verify Your Blog with Google Search Console

Google Search Console used to be called Webmaster Tools. It’s basically the place where Google verifies your site’s identity, keeps track of changes to your site (i.e. new blog posts), and controls how your site appears in search results.

It’s free and super easy to setup! Once you verify your site, it will stay that way.

I recommend logging into Search Console and checking your stats every month, just to make sure your website is indexing properly and all systems are go.

To verify your site, login to Search Console with a Google account (either a @gmail.com email, or your G Suite account email).

Easy Blog SEO Tips

Enter your website URL in the white box. ☝🏼

On the next screen, you’ll see different verification options. The easiest one is to verify with Google Analytics, which you can find on the Alternate Methods tab. If your Google Analytics account is setup with the same @gmail.com email address, it will verify your website right away.

Or, you can download an HTML file and upload it to your site to get verified. You can upload the file via FTP, or through your web hosting company’s CPanel/File Manager area. (Psst, this is where you would login to manage your hosting account – like on Bluehost or Siteground!)

There are lots of tools within Search Console, but the most important area to monitor for your SEO is the Crawl tab.

Easy Blog SEO Tips

Click on Crawl Stats to monitor how often Google comes to crawl your site. This is the number of times Google’s algorithm is scanning your content, looking for new changes, and adding those changes to Google.

aka… how your blog shows up in search results! Super important.

Easy Blog SEO Tips

More crawls per day = good!

Another key area to check in monthly is the Sitemaps tab under Crawl. Here, you can manually submit a new sitemap to Google. Many WordPress plugins do this automatically, but it’s a good idea to do it manually once in awhile too.

You can see how many pages of your site are indexed here. To add a new sitemap, click on Add/Test Sitemap at the top.

Easy Blog SEO Tips

Then, type in “sitemap.xml” into the box and press Submit.

Easy Blog SEO Tips

If you want to learn more about Search Console and all it can do for you, I recommend reading this article from Moz.

 

#2 Use SEO Keywords in the Right Places

It’s not enough to stuff your SEO keyword everywhere you can find a spot anymore. Google is cracking down on “spammy” keyword stuffing practices and shady over-optimization.

What does that mean?

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How to Do SEO Keyword Research for Your Blog

I’m passionate about SEO for blogging. You could say obsessed. And for good reason: mastering SEO is the ultimate free way to market your business.

Yes, there’s paid search (AdWords), Facebook advertising, networking, lead generation and all that stuff too… but those strategies are made even better with a solid SEO foundation for your blog.

It can be a tough thing to learn if you’re just starting out. I used to think it was just for the pros, or something techy marketing wizard types did to “growth hack” or disrupt or whatever other marketing buzzword is hot right now.

Until I became a techy marketing wizard type. 🌟

Okay, before we get to my awesome lesson (including awkward video walkthrough) showing you how to do SEO keyword research for your blog, I’m gonna tell you my SEO story. Buckle up.

how to do blog seo keyword research

About five years ago, I got a job in an ad agency. It was all very exciting for 25 year old me. They had leather couches, rum hidden in cabinets and worked with huge national brands that I was a fan of. What’s not to love, right?

Well, the truth about the downside of agency life would come crushing down on me years later, but at that moment, things were great. I was the fresh meat, the eager young intern-type ready to learn about the industry and take it by the horns.

I am marketer, hear me roar! Or something.

Why Bloggers Need SEO

I got the job because I wrote well (and hopefully still do in the present tense). But, I had no idea about SEO. I’d heard of it, but again, filed it away in my brain into a folder called Wizard Land: Do Not Attempt.

I had to learn SEO for my new job, and I was nervous. My boss at the time took me under his wing and promised me it was really easy, I’d learn it in no time. The first week of my new job, I eagerly read everything I could find on the internet about how to do SEO keyword research, write for SEO, get higher rankings, get Google to like me, etc.

The articles I found were good, but I was left with a feeling of, “So now what? What do I do with all this information?”

Well, my boss showed me in like an hour how powerful SEO can be. How it can help businesses, how to write for it without sounding like a total tool, and why keywords are only one small part of SEO.

“Whoa, what? There’s more to SEO than keywords?!” you might be asking.

YEAH. There is. It’s a big topic with lots of shady shit in it and some really stellar strategies too.

I wanted to cover just keyword research today because it’s the easiest place to start if you’re new to SEO, and it’s especially important for bloggers.

I’ll show you exactly how to do SEO keyword research below…

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Blog SEO: 10 Tricks for Optimizing Your Blog Posts

I’ve talked about how to format your blog posts to get the most readers before, but today I want to talk about one of the most mystical creatures in these lands: SEO.

A search result in the wild.

You probably know how important SEO is by now, but if not… well, it’s really important.

As a freelance writer and marketing agency copywriter, I spend a lot of time optimizing content for search engines, and writing about SEO for clients. There are some obvious tricks that everyone knows, like picking a keyword and mentioning it throughout your post. There are also some lesser known blog post SEO tricks out there to increase your rankings.

I’m going to share those secret tips with you today.

Blog SEO: 10 Tricks to Grow Your Blog

A critical thing to keep in mind about SEO is WHERE it fits into your writing process.

Any guesses as to where it should fit in? At the end maybe, when you’re editing your post before publishing it and want to sprinkle in some keyword magic dust?

NO!

SEO should be thought of from the very beginning of a blog post’s life. When it’s still nothing but a wee little idea tadpole floating around your brain.

Thinking about SEO from the beginning means that ALL your future actions for that post will be optimized for the Google overlords, increasing your chances of beating the algorithm and ranking high. F yeah!

So, with that in mind, let’s get into my top 10 blog SEO tips!

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Best Spotify Playlists for Productive Writing Days

The Best Spotify Playlists for Productive Writing Days

 

In my work and my personal life, I do a lot of writing. For clients, for this blog, for everything from birthday cards to detailed product reviews on Sephora.com (that shit gets serious, mmkay). Sometimes it can be hard to focus which I’m sure you already know… Phones ringin’, people talkin’, life goin’ on all around you. I have never been someone who enjoyed working with music. I prefer bone-crushing silence. But, finding some great playlists has changed my mind and actually made me more productive I think. Now I see why so many people like working with music (guess I’m late to the Captain Obvious party).

When it comes to music, I love Spotify. I love that it syncs between my iPod, iPhone, car, laptop, work computer… all my playlists and favourite songs, everywhere I go. So I use it almost exclusively now. Here are a few of my favourite zone-out-and-write playlists!

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How to Write The Perfect Press Release

How to Write a Press Release

 

There’s plenty of articles out there describing how to write the perfect press release. Here’s one, two, three, four of them. In this post, I’ve compiled tips I’ve read along with my own workflow to present a really simple way to write an effective and engaging press release. Here goes.

Start with Why

As with anything content related, identify the point. Why should your audience care about this? Is it truly newsworthy? Who do you want to know about this? Which of your personas are you targeting? Once you know that stuff, the rest is pretty easy.

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