So you have a niche hobby and you thought you'd starting blogging about it, and maybe connect with some people who are also interested in the topic. Great idea! You started up your blogspot account and made some great posts with original content, complete with pictures and video. A few weeks of high quality posts go by and you decide to Google your hobby and see how far up in the results your blog is showing up.
Surprise: you don't show up at all.
In spite of making a large number of posts and even having a few comments, you aren't ranking on Google at all. What happened?
The first thing that may have happened is not using keywords. If you aren't signifying to Google that you're writing about a topic, they aren't going to make you a result for the topic. While you have used the word repeatedly in the body of your post, adding in keywords will help Google find your page while it's crawling the web.
Descriptions, Titles and Content
The meta description (explained here) of your posts also matter, along with what you're titling your webpage. Not only are these the things that pop up as the Google result and help a reader decide whether or not to click, it's where Google can scrape and find the keywords someone is searching.
By adding the keyword (say, if you write about baking cake, your keyword might be "recipe for chocolate cake"), you're giving people who are using search engines an opportunity to find you. While you're choosing keywords for your posts, try to be more specific rather than broad. There are thousands upon thousands of potential blogs under the word "baking," but there might be less for something more specific, such as "German cake recipe."
Backlinking to the Top
To get on one of the first few pages of results, and hopefully the first, it's about more than what you put directly on your blog; it's who is linking to you, and who you are linking back. When you link to another website (say you were inspired to make cake pops by Bakerella, so you want to give them a shout out in the post), you're saying you like that blog and put trust in them. If you get lucky enough that a big blog such as Bakerella links back to you, search engines also read that as trust.
So how do you get these links back to your blog? There are few ways. The first way is easy: ask. If you send an email to the owner of the blog, they might respond positively. Remember to practice good etiquette and offer a link back to them in return. This will not only give you a link, it will build a relationship with a co-blogger.
Offer Free Content
This may seem counterintuitive, but offering free content to other blogs can help you in the long run. Making a guest post is one of the quickest ways to create a connection in the blogosphere while also getting a quick and easy link back to your own site. Rather than asking for a link, you can offer a blog owner a written piece that would fit well into their site, but links back to yours. However, if you are to do that, make sure to be honest. Let them know your link is self-serving, and be open to return the service.
These are only a few examples of how search results can go wrong, and ways they can be fixed. Backlinks, keywords and relationship outreach are the best ways to start out in getting your blog noticed, but it doesn't end there. Keeping up on trends and being aware of the Google updates is something every blog owner should have high on their priority list. And if all else fails, it's time to call in a professional and look into local seo services to help fix whatever bad Google "karma" might be hurting your blog.
By L. Wainwright, a journalist turned blogger trekking through the realms of the blogosphere in hopes of a higher Google ranking.
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