The purpose of this post is to share strategies to Get Your Travel Blog On The First Page Of Google for Free simply using keyword strategy and social media tactics. This strategy isn’t specific for travel bloggers and works for any blog post. While the strategy is meant for newer bloggers, it can be used for brand new sites as well as travel websites that have been around for awhile. What I’m going to cover is for new blog posts and not focused on getting your homepage or entire site ranking for page one of Google.
Goal: Increase organic traffic to specific blog posts and work to rank the page on the first page of Google for free.
How To Get Your Travel Blog On The First Page Of Google
Short-Term Traffic & What Doesn’t Work
Most bloggers are in a myriad of Facebook Groups that help promote website articles, such as my group, The Aspiring Travel Writer Evergreen Threads. These groups are great to get some initial traffic from social media, but don’t tend to work for long-term organic traffic. What tends to happen after the initial round of social media threads is the traffic dies.
If your website has been around a little longer, you may have an email mailing list that you share your posts and you also might see a wave of traffic from this as an initial spike.
For some of you, it maybe crickets. You might write a new post and not see any organic traffic to a post. That can be frustrating. The reality is that Google needs to earn your trust. They want to know and understand what your website is all about and that you’ll be delivering content on a regular basis on the same niche topic.
Google needs to understand your content because it’s job is to deliver the best results for each query or search (and this is most important on the first few pages of results).
Tip #1: Write Several Articles on the Same Topic, Destination, Brand or Subject
If your focus is to rank on Google and drive organic traffic, Google needs to see you as an authority on the subject. While you will focus on one particular article at a time for ranking, you’ll also want to write as much high-quality content as possible on each subject. Instead of writing one article on Aruba, write three or five or more. Link each article to the other articles on your site. Google will then see you have a handful or more of articles about the same location and begin to see your blog as offering quality content.
Authority is key! New websites have a hard time because they lack authority.
There is a very simple way to check a blog’s authority. Unfortunately, it is not 100 percent exact, so don’t put your life on it, but it gives you a general ballpark idea and it’s a free resource.
Tip #2: Know you Domain & Page Authority
Head to one of my favorite websites, Moz and check your authority.
Head to moz.com/researchtools/ose/ and simply type in the URL of your website. It will then show your score. Every blog starts with a Domain Authority (DA) of 0 and works up to a possible of 100. Anything over 40 is a great goal. The higher your DA, the easier it will be for your posts and pages to rank on Google.
Tip #3: Focus on Strategic Key Words and Phrases
When you write a new post you want to target specific keywords and phrases. But, you can’t just go out and try and rank for the most competitive words and phrases. So, going back to the Aruba article. If you try to rank for Aruba or Aruba Travel, you most likely will have an issue ranking for these as page one of Google is filled with entries from Aruba,com, Trip Advisor, Wikipedia, Hotels.com, and other big websites. But if I go after “Reasons to Visit Aruba” as I did on one of my articles on 52 Perfect Days (52 Reasons to Visit Aruba) where I rank #5 on page 1 of Google (as of today).
For this article I am hoping to rank for the long tail keywords: Get Your Travel Blog On The First Page Of Google for Free and How to Get Your Travel Blog On The First Page Of Google.
Tip #4: Keyword Research
There are some paid tools and free tools out there for keyword research, but since this is an article about how to get your travel blog on the first page of google for free, let’s focus on some free resources.
This is a great way to see what Google is showing as popular search terms. Simply go to Google search and start to type in your keyword/s and after a few words, Google will show other popular searches you can possibly use. In the below example you can see all the phrases Google suggested.
Moz Keyword Explorer
Moz offers three free keyword searches per 24 hours. This is a great tool to get some initial research and find additional keyword ideas. Simply enter your keyword/s and you’ll be shown a few keyword suggestions that fit your subject.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is located in Adwords. You’ll have to sign up, but it’s free.
Once you’ve done some keyword research, pick your keyword or words. Try to find a word or phrase that are in the 10-100 range.
Tip #5: IntraLinking and Outbournd Links
When writing a new post, make sure to link within the post to other articles on your site that are relevant and on the same topic. Also, include a few outbound links to authoritative websites. For example, in this article I’ve linked to many of the tools I’ve suggested. This is helpful to the reader and Google likes when readers are happy. You can also include a few links to high authority sites such as Wikipedia or popular sites that are relevant. This will add relevancy to your post and increase your ranking, despite the fact that many people think the opposite.
Tip #6: Yoast WordPress Plugin
If you aren’t already using Yoast, this is my favorite plugin to help with SEO, keywords and helping your rank your posts. There is a free and pay for version.
With Yoast it will prompt you to to take several steps such as add your keywords to the title, URL and first paragraph of your post. It will also let you know if you’ve added the words enough time into the body of the article.
Tip #7: Post Length
Research says that posts over 2,000 words shows up on the first page of Google more often. Yoast recommends a minimum of 300 words for a post, but I believe this is a bad recommendation. Don’t fall into the habit of writing short posts if you want to rank for your keywords. Longer posts do better.
If you aren’t a longwinded writer and have a hard time getting to 2,000 words, publish it anyway. Having the post published is better than not adding content to your site. You can head back later and add another paragraph or update the post.
Tip #8: Make the Post Easily Shareable with Social Warfare
My favorite social sharing plugin is Social Warfare. I love it because it adds boxes at the bottom your post to add social media photos and text, so when someone clicks your sharebar, they have the right size photos and good text for sharing.
I’m positive having a great share bar on the photo plus the proper size images for each social platform helps increase social shares to my articles and in turn helps with more traffic.
Tip #9: Facebook Threads That Make a Difference!
Facebook Group sharing threads can be super time consuming, but I do think there are a few threads that really make a difference for Google rank and traffic. The two that help with ranking the most will be anything with Google plus or Google search. The below are my favorite threads (located in the Aspiring Travel Writer’s Evergreen Group) and well worth your time!
Google+ Threads: There are a few groups that run a Google + thread but I’ve recently found out some of the groups are now secret. So, I’ve created a thread in my group! First, join Aspiring Travel Writer Evergreen Threads and then click here for the Google+ Comment & Like thread.
Tip #10: Pinterest & Tailwind
While everyone has their favorite social channel, I think Pinterest has the potential to drive the most traffic. Pinterest is a search engine, just like Google. Creating optimized Pinterest images is step one. Step two is making sure you pin your own posts. But what is more important is to join Tailwind and schedule your pins to post on a regular basis! This is my secret weapon for traffic from Pinterest.
Tip #11: Submit the URL of the page to Google
Once your post is ready, publish it, then go to your Google Search Console account.
Click on “Crawl>Fetch as Google”. Submit the URL of the page, wait until Google crawls it (takes a few seconds) then click “Request Indexing”. This is an important step for new blogs.
This step will result in your new post showing up in Google’s index and search results in about three days for newer blogs. If your blog has been around awhile, you will show up faster and will probably be indexed without this step.
If you follow the 11 steps above for each blog post, you will see increased traffic to your posts. Also, don’t forget to update your posts over time. Google likes to see that you are adding new and relevant information to your posts.
These are my tips, to Get Your Travel Blog On The First Page Of Google for Free. I’d love to hear what you think. What has worked for you? What are the top strategies that are bringing you traffic organically? Please share in the comments below.
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