The main goal of a new blog should be to rank on Google to get organic traffic. You can also use social media as traffic, but this should be complementary and not your main traffic source. Social media websites know that the more time you spend on their platform the more money they earn. A couple of years ago it was highly recommended to use social media like Facebook, Instagram, and even Reddit to get additional traffic, today however these platforms offer little to no benefits when it comes to traffic.
You can rank your new blog faster by targeting low competition keywords, writing a lot of content, writing long-form content, adding Google Analytics, indexing your posts, applying for Adsense, targeting rich snippets, using social media for traffic, and by building backlinks.
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New blogs have an extremely hard time ranking, especially if the niche is fairly competitive. It can take several months until your blog starts to rank, although you can speed this process up significantly with some high-quality backlinks. If you rely only on your content to rank without any backlinks than you have to make sure that you target low competition keywords, and most importantly informational posts.
The problem with a lot of bloggers is that they jump on the highest competition keywords their niche has and start writing the first articles on them. The idea is that the sooner you write these high competition articles the more time they will have to age and they will rank eventually. The problem with this approach is that new blogs do not have any authority or trust, google will not rank you for these high competition niches.
What you should do is to identify the low competition keywords which are informational and not buyer intent. Informational posts tend to have less competition than buyer intent keywords, a lot of bloggers only focus on buyer intent keywords and most of them won’t bother with informational posts. Once you have a couple of good informational posts than you will slowly start getting some traffic, and once you have a good number of articles than you can go for the more competitive terms. A lot of people will say that you need an SEO plugin to rank, this is completely false, for more information check out my recent article Should I use an SEO plugin?
Target low competition keywords
This is where most bloggers fail, they either write most of their content targeting buyer intent or extremely competitive keywords. The main reason why a lot of bloggers target buyer intent keywords is that every SEO guru has told them to do so. The problem is that these are the most competitive keywords on the web, and you will have an extremely hard time outranking an established website.
Instead, you should focus on informational posts, these have lower competition and you can still monetize them with display ads. Although they are not as valuable as buyer intent keywords but if you write a lot of informational posts than you will slowly gain google’s trust and the user also benefits from your content. If your website has been deindexed for some reason then check out my recent article How long before google reindexes my site? ( The Honest Truth ).
Write a lot of content
The first couple of months of your blog’s life are vital, you need to get the ball rolling as fast as possible. The problem with a lot of bloggers is that they write 20-30 posts in a year and they wonder why they are not getting traffic. A couple of years ago a website wth 30 articles used to be considered a medium website, today however they are not. In the first 3 months, you should aim to write around one article per day, and this will increase your chances of ranking your blog a lot faster.
Simply put the more content you have the better you will rank, although the content also has to be high quality. If you have picked a low competition niche than you will see the results after the first 6-8 months if you are not building backlinks, if you are building backlinks then your content will rank a lot faster.
Write long-form content
The days of ranking a blog with 300-word articles are long gone, you will need around 1000 words per each article and the content also has to be high quality. There are millions of blogs out there, but only a few of them have high-quality articles. Generally speaking the longer the content is the more keywords it can rank for, it is like a snowball effect and you want this for each and every post of your blog.
Some bloggers rather focus on shorter but more posts, the problem is that you have to have both long-form content and a lot of them. On the other hand, there are some bloggers who focus on extremely long content with 4k+ words and only a couple of them. You will see this mostly done by some SEO guru’s, they can get away with it because they are interlinking each other, it is like a club, and you are not invited!
Add Google Analytics
A lot of bloggers are paranoid about adding google analytics to their website, as it might slow their website down or they simply do not want to give google that information about their website. Usually, people who do black hat stuff will not add google analytics, and that is understandable. Although if you are mostly focusing on content and a couple of backlinks here and there than you would definitely add google analytics to your website.
Although this isn’t a ranking factor, but analytics will allow you to have a more in-depth view of what is going on your website, which are the more popular pages, and what kind of keywords your articles are ranking for.
Index your posts
If you are on some SEO related forums than you have probably noticed that a lot of people are complaining about not having their posts indexed. Usually, their main problem is that they either use an indexing service which does not work at all, or google knows that they are trying to manipulate the rankings with backlinks, and thus it doesn’t even bother to index some of the posts. If you are focusing on high-quality content than you shouldn’t worry about getting indexed.
Go to search console and add your posts into the inspect URL area to see if it is indexed or not, if it is not than request indexing. If some type of error pops up why google can not index the post then you can fix it, rather than waiting for months and wondering why it ain’t indexed. A lot of people will say that once you have a couple of articles than it is no longer necessary to manually index new posts.
I strongly disagree, there are a lot of website scrapers that will steal your content, but if you index your posts as soon as you publish it then you will have no such problems. Just look around some forums and you will see a lot of people complaining that somebody copied word for word their entire website and now they are outranking them.
Apply for Adsense
A lot of people will say that you shouldn’t add AdSense to your website, as you will earn pennies in the first couple of months. This is true, but by applying to AdSense you will know if Google considers your website high or low quality. If you are wondering why your website isn’t ranking even after a year than try to apply for Adsense, if they reject you then you will know that there are some issues on your website which need to be fixed.
Once I have around 15 articles on a new blog I will apply for Adsense, usually, they get approved but sometimes they don’t. Usually, Adsense will give you a vague reason why they do not approve your website, like scraped content or thin content. With this info, you can start improving your website and once it is approved you will see that your website or blog will start ranking.
Target rich snippets
Rich snippets are the new number one position on google and the best part about them is that you can get the snippet as long as you are already on the first page. Not a lot of people talk about rich snippets but they are by far one of the best features which google made in recent years. Before the time of rich snippets, it was all about authority, even if you had the best content on the given subject you still couldn’t rank above a website that had more backlinks and authority.
This is why having backlinks was so important in the past, you could simply not outrank anybody without backlinks, the problem was that google hates when you build backlinks to manipulate the rankings but webmasters didn’t have a choice. There are a couple of good tutorials on rich snippets on YouTube, most of the info is still correct, the only difference is that the website which has the rich snippet won’t show up twice on the first page.
Use social media for traffic
Traffic plays a big part in how fast you rank, if you can get some traffic to your new blog then you will notice that your blog will rank extremely fast. Usually, you can use traffic from social media, by posting on relevant groups. The main reason why Google will rank you faster if you have traffic from social media websites is because they can see the user engagement, if it is good than it will rank your website.
This is why it is extremely important to post on social media in places where the audience is interested in the topic which you are targeting. If you send the link to your friends then you will do more harm than good, they will bounce extremely fast and this shows Google that the article is not high quality. There are a lot of services which are masquerading as social traffic, the truth is that these are just selling bot traffic masked with some social media URL, it might fool you but this won’t fool Google.
Backlinks are still a big ranking factor even today, although Google is slowly starting to focus on user engagement than on backlinks as these can be extremely easily made or bought. Backlinks will rank your blog a lot faster, just don’t go and start building them right after you have published the article. Think how a backlink is created organically, once somebody sees your post and likes it he might link back to your site.
For this, you will need at least some traffic for your website, once you do you can start building links and you will see that your blog will rank extremely fast. If you buy backlinks than make sure it is from a reputable seller. You can still rank without backlinks if you use low competition keywords, for more information check out my recent article Can you rank a website without Backlinks? ( Fact or Fiction? ).
As you can see there are a couple of steps to ensure your blog ranks faster, you have probably already used a couple of the above-mentioned steps, but now it is time to try the ones that you didn’t. Just keep in mind that for most posts you will have a sandbox period but by following the above-mentioned steps you will decrease this period significantly.