There are so many ways to increase blog traffic out there, but today I wanted to cover 6 simple steps you can do to optimize your blog, and up your ranking.

My last post How To Get An A+ On Your SEO Blog Page Report Card talked about optimizing your posts.  Today I will go over steps to optimizing your whole blog.

Create Pretty Permalink Structure

The permalinks WordPress uses by default are not search engine friendly. You can make this simple change by inserting %postname% instead of the default that is already there.

This will successfully create URL’s that include your post name which should include your targeted keywords.

So instead of having a page URL look like this..

http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/page=2 “Not Pretty” Right?

Your URL will now look like this..

http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com/how-to-get-an-a-on-your-seo-blog-page-report-card/

Ahhh So Pretty..  Now this look’s a lot better.

Install All in One SEO Plugin

This plugin allows you to specify a title, description, and the keywords for the search engines. This will make your life a lot easier..lol and trust me any tool that can help my blogging, is a great tool for me.

Once you have it set up, it pretty much works automatically for you, the only thing I do once I make a post, is change the title if needed.

Install Related Posts Plugin

Search engines love it when you interlink your pages and posts. The plugin will automatically add your previous posts at the bottom of your new post that are relevant to that post.

This is important because for one, you are interlinking your content, SE’s love this and will increase blog traffic and second, you are giving your readers more related info and a place to go at the end of the post.

Now I personally stopped using a related post plugin, since I have to many plugins installed as it is, I use Zamanta.com to add my related posts.

Research Your Keywords

When people search, they search by keyword or keyword phrases. It is important that you know what these keywords are if you want to rank at the top of the search engines. Your posts should be written around these keywords.

Make Your Blog User Friendly

Make your blog clean and easy for your readers and search engines to find information. That means including your blog’s archives, categories, recent posts and pages.

This also means having a nice clean design, now this is where I can see both sides of clean user friendly, and attention getting design, I have tried to do both..lol “I hope”

Expand the Ping List

When you make a new blog post WordPress will “ping” the blog search engines. This alerts them that content on your site has changed and ready for readers to view. This can help you get indexed fast and increase blog traffic.

Do a Google search to find an expanded ping list you can include in your wp-admin so you make sure you get as many of these sites to update you as possible.

Increasing blog traffic can be the most challenging part to to a new blogger.

These 6 simple steps will help you on your way to optimizing your blog, increasing your blog traffic, and making your blogging tasks a little easier.