Boosting Google traffic to your blog

Strategies and tips for boosting traffic to your blog from Google and achieving faster entry into Google’s search results for new blog posts.

When a blog author has finally published a new blog post and is sitting back and basking in the success of their achievement, one thing is guaranteed. That it won’t be long until they use Google to try and find their newly published prose and they may well be disappointed with the result. Perhaps they can’t find the new blog post at all or it’s a long way from the prime ranking positions.

When thinking of boosting traffic to your blog from Google looking at inclusion in Google News is a great place to start as it delivers over 6 billion clicks to publishers every month. That said, your website needs to be approved for inclusion and Google is fairly selective so you may need to be realistic that if you’re not really blogging about newsworthy topics on a regular basis perhaps Google News isn’t where you should focus your efforts. If you think you might have a chance at getting included in Google News great, their quick start guide is where to get started.

For the rest of you fear not, there’s still lots you can do to boost your traffic from Google:

1. Blog about popular topics, it’s true that in journalism timing is everything. So if you’re able to keep your finger on the pulse and write blog posts that tap into events or topics of the moment that’s a great strategy to increase traffic to your blog as there’s no point blogging about topics or events that are only of interest to a narrow audience.

A popular blog post on our website is about implementing Brotli compression in Nginx, “what?!” you may say but in our field it was quite popular around February this year, exactly when I published the post and it was our most popular blog post for a number of weeks thereafter.

2. Make sure you’re not doing your content a disservice when it comes to the blog post’s title and meta description, these should be carefully considered. Don’t leave this to an automated tool, it’s definitely the most important few characters you will write so do take your time.

3. Whilst this won’t necessarily have a big Google search impact I’d still recommend you invest some further time to compose an eye-catching Open Graph image (example below), this is the image that displays when your blog post is shared at Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. If design isn’t your thing consider employing the skills of a designer for this purpose. We’ve noticed more retweets and shares when we’ve put more effort into the design of our Open Graph images, so don’t neglect this.

The Open Graph image for our blog post “Why we love Craft CMS”
The Open Graph image for our blog post “Why we love Craft CMS”

4. Make sure your blog has an XML sitemap and it has been submitted to Google’s Search Console, this XML file gives Google a list of all the pages in your site so it can quickly identify new additions it needs to index.

5. For particularly time sensitive blog posts, from the Google Search Console, use the “Fetch as Google” tool, which then provides an option to “Request Indexing” this is effectively a notification to Google to ask the search engine to crawl your new page as soon as possible. This may well be functionality that is built into your chosen CMS but it’s worth checking if that’s the case, and if not doing so manually as it should mean new blog posts are indexed in a matter of hours instead of days.

6. Boost your reputation as an author by making sure your blog posts are attributed to you as the author, if you’re lucky enough to get blog posts published on other leading sites in your field this is great as it should boost your reputation in Google’s eyes as an author and in turn increase your rankings as a result.

7. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an open-source initiative Google launched in October 2015, with the aim to improve page loading times and reduce data use of web pages on mobile devices. It’s been very successful with many major news publishers quickly adopting the approach. You can often see AMP enabled web pages listed in a carousel at the top of the search results so also serving your blogs posts via AMP is a surefire way to increase their search engine prominence and drive more traffic.

So there you have it, that's our top strategies and tips for boosting traffic to your blog from Google and achieving faster entry into Google’s search results for new blog posts, I hope you've found it useful.