Five Hacks to Get Your Blog Ranked Higher

Blogging is a difficult job. Countless hours are spent writing, optimizing, marketing, and sharing. We bloggers barely have room to breathe. Thankfully, there are several shortcuts that can, in fact, increase your blog traffic and save you a lot of time in the future.

If you aren’t incorporating these hacks, now would be an excellent time to begin. With the arrival of corona, internet traffic has spiked in ways nobody has ever dreamed of. Possible readers are everywhere- on Google, social media, and other websites. Adding these hacks to your daily blogging routine could allow you to access more readers from more places then before, increasing your traffic and bringing you more readers.

1: Ping your website

If you aren’t doing this, you need to begin now. It is an easy, automated process, allowing you to set up the ping once, at the beginning, and never have to do it again.

Pinging accomplishes two things- it tells Google you exist, and it also helps tell it when you’ve published new content. When you set up your ping, Ping-O-Matic will automatically ping Google again when you release new content. That way, you don’t have to manually do it every time, and yet you’re still receiving all the benefits.

Click here to begin pinging.

2: Submit a sitemap to Google Search Console

If you haven’t linked your website to the Google Search Console, now is the time to start. Don’t worry, though. I am going to walk you through the process one step at a time.

Begin by clicking here. That link will take you to the Google Search Console home. Towards the bottom-left of your screen, click the blue button that says, “Start Now”.

google search console

This will take you to a loading page where you will be asked for a URL to your website. Clicking the right option under “URL Prefix” will allow you to input the link to your website. After you have pasted the URL to your website, you will be asked to verify your ownership. Don’t be scared, WordPress makes this a very easy process. Simply scroll down and select the HTML tag option.

HTML tag confirmation

Then copy the HTML code it gives you and go back to your WordPress home (mine is bookmarked under “Stats”). On the left sidebar, click Tools, then Marketing. Then, at the top of the screen, click “Traffic” and scroll down to the very bottom. Pasting that HTML under the Google option and clicking “Save” will give you everything you need. Wait a few seconds and go back to the Google Search Console verification screen. Click verify, and it should allow you to view your site’s Google status in a page something like this.

Google Search Console Overview

You are now all set to begin using Google Search Console.

GSC has two fantastic uses when it comes to getting your website indexed. To begin, go to your GSC home and click “Sitemaps”.

google search console menu

Now, go back to the previous WordPress page we you had up before, where you pasted the HTML. Scroll up a little to the section that says “Sitemaps”.

WordPress Sitemaps

Click the first link to pull up another tab. This will be a random jumble of links and titles, but all you need is the URL to this tag. Copy that and paste it back into the Google Search Console section, then click “Submit”. If it’s your first time doing this, you will see a section underneath that that will look something like this.

Google sitemap submission

If it wasn’t your first time doing this, you will see the number under “discovered URLs” increase. Now, here’s the thing- you need to do this every time you release a new post. Release the post, wait five minutes, then copy and paste the URL to your sitemap page into the section on Google Search Console.

After this, you have one more step to do. Copy the URL to the new post and paste it into the search bar at the top of the Google Search Console.

Google Search Console sitemap

Click Enter and wait a few minutes. It should bring up a page that will look something like this.

Google Search Console URL inspection

Clicking “Request Indexing” will ask Google to Index your website, speeding up the process of getting your post on Google. This can be especially useful if you are trying to post news within a timeframe.

Now, to cap it all off, once you’ve done all of this, you can go back and ping Google manually. The process of getting your website on Google is now finished.

3: Optimize your images

This isn’t as difficult as it sounds. To optimize your images for the best viewer usage possible, make sure none of your pictures are above 1200×800 pixels and that all of them contain the proper alt text. Although alt text can be a little tricky, it is useful for helping Google understand what the image is. For example, if you had a properly-sized picture of a sunset, your alt text might be “red sunset”.

4: Interlink your posts

Interlinking is not something built in a day. It is a habit created over several weeks, involving linking to all of your related, featured, or previous posts (or in my case, all three). This helps Google create a web between your posts and has been confirmed as one of the factors Google uses in its ranking algorithm.

Make sure to leave links to similar content at the bottom of every post you write. This invaluable habit can help you rank higher on Google quickly and with little work.

5: Stagger your posting dates

Some bloggers mistakenly believe that posting five or six posts at once is a healthy thing for your blog. This is wrong. Not only is that considered spam, it will lose you followers.

So, instead of writing all of your weekly posts and publishing them on the same day, stagger them throughout the week. Try to spread them out as evenly as possible, so you have a day or two in between each post (unless you post daily).

Furthermore, attempt to publish in the early morning (you can schedule posts ahead of time by writing them the day previously), so that your readers have the full day to find their ways to your site through the email your new post sent out. Hopefully, you sent it out in the early morning to fully maximise the post’s potential.

Following these hacks should easily increase your traffic, although sometimes traffic increase comes better in the long run (would you rather get 10,000 views in two months or 1,000 this month?). Make them into habits, and you will see changes.

Alright, that’s all for today. Thanks so much for reading! I hope you learned a lot. If you did, make sure to click that Follow button below (or to the side). Then, when I release new posts like this one, you’ll get notified. Thanks again, and I hope you have a fantastic day!

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WordPress Free Plan Tutorial 3: Manual Off-Page SEO

SEO Off-Page Tutorial Africa Boy

Last week we discussed the non-manual forms of SEO, pieces of search engine optimization that cannot be manually added, but must be worked for. However, there is more to off-page SEO then what we previously discussed. There are other things that must be done outside of our websites, boosting our rankings and increasing our traffic. Because these do not apply directly our website pages, they are categorized as off-page SEO. But since last week’s post on off-page SEO was over 2,500 words, we are going to break these up into bite sized pieces.

I call this section of off-page SEO “Manual off-page SEO.” The post written last week would fall under the category of “Automatic off-page SEO”, as it will automatically boost your rankings after you put in the work. Many of you, my readers, are already familiar with this section of SEO, but if you haven’t learned about pinging, Google Search Console, site audits, and blogging tools, get ready to dive in.

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4 WordPress SEO Practices to Begin For 2020

SEO Search Engine Optimization Africa Boy

2020 has arrived. And with it, a new wave of SEO updates has emerged. Last year, we saw a massive update to the industry, penalizing specific sites and sometimes giving others near-overnight fame. When Google releases an update, people watch out. Usually, they release one every so often, so who knows what the future holds for SEO experts and digital marketers?

To combat the constant Google updates, we need to keep up with new information. What may have worked for websites back in 2005 will get you penalized in 2020. If people don’t get with the times and learn the new practices that work, they will never see exponential growth in their websites.

If you are one of those people, don’t worry. There is always time to learn and grow. If you begin to implement these tactics into your site now, you should see a large growth in traffic. Make sure to do them correctly and, if need be, consult experts such as Neil Patel if you need help.

Continue reading “4 WordPress SEO Practices to Begin For 2020”