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2018 is almost over, and you still don't have the organic traffic to your blog that you'd like. 

And the start of 2019 provides a great, natural cut off point where we can start afresh. The age-old expression “new year, new me” is popular for a reason, after all. 

And in digital marketing terms, it is no different. 

But the great news is, you don’t have to be a digital marketer to perform an Search Engine Optimization (SEO) clean-up for your blog that'll help to increase your organic traffic.

Growing your organic traffic and increasing your Search Engine Results Page (SERP) ranking is an ambition that can easily become reality by following some simple steps.

We’ve compiled 5 quick and actionable SEO tips that you can easily implement on your blog in 2019.

  1. Delete zombie pages
  2. Know your content management system
  3. Perform thorough keyword research
  4. Optimize for mobile
  5. Incorporate a social media strategy

1. Delete zombie pages

You don’t have to be an award-winning author to write interesting posts for your audience. 

But there will have been a point in time when you were just starting out and still learning the ropes of blogging and SEO. During this time, you likely produced some content that now makes you cringe. 

These blog posts that just aren’t getting any traction, are outdated, and have little to no copy, are called zombie pages. 

Generally speaking, they're low quality posts that don’t add anything to your blog. And these low-quality pages can even harm your organic profile.

Google has said that it prefers high-quality traffic on pages and posts that provide value for visitors. Because low-quality pages burn resources on your server and reduce your crawl budget.

So is it good to remove these posts from your blog? Yes it is.

But make sure you redirect them first!

2. Get to know your content management system (CMS)

Digital marketing is full of technical terms and three letter acronyms. Fortunately, this article is designed to help you demystify those, starting with your CMS.

 If you are using a content strategy to drive leads and sales, then your content management system should become your best friend. 

WordPress is the most popular system for content management, and currently powers 28% of the web. If you're a small business or blog owner, there's a good chance your CMS is WordPress. 

It’s an open source platform that is completely free, meaning that the source code is available to edit by developers. 

The elements that make each site unique are the plugins it offers. Many of them are tailored to making managing content easy for users. 

This is great news for budding bloggers, and people that don’t yet have the necessary resources in digital marketing or coding.

 Do you remember how you thought 301 redirects were a technical, daunting term? 

Well not to worry! There’s a free plugin for that.

There’s even a plugin designed for WordPress that takes care and checks over your whole SEO. This includes your

  • Content insights
  • Readability scores
  • Whether your posts are compatible with Google’s algorithm updates
  • Technical SEO
  • Internal linking suggestions.

Remember, that on WordPress, you’re on the same playing field as outlets such as The New Yorker.

So get to know your content management system, and see your organic traffic towards your blog blossom. A man pointing to a framework of the main facets of online marketing, one of which is SEO.

3. Do thorough keyword research

Keyword research has been an ever-present staple of SEO and is another way how to get more traffic to your blog. 

From the cutting down of simple keyword stuffing that was utilized by established business BMW in the mid 2000s.

To the holistic, all-encompassing approach that content creators need to write for at this very moment. 

Keyword research is the technique of optimizing your content for a particular keyword phrase that your page will show up in the SERP for, when typed in by the searcher. 

Going even deeper, keyword research is used in different stages of the marketing funnel for creating interest and engaging with people. It is a technique that is easy to use but needs a meticulous attention to detail, as you have to forecast how difficult your chosen keyword will be to rank for, how much potential it has, what the searcher intent is, and implement the keywords in your post. 

Taking the correct steps following your blog post, you can guide a visitor through your site or encourage them to leave information allowing you to continue your engagement. 

And in SEO terms (as per RankBrain), every time a user returns to that site, or a visitor starts a new session, or if they dwell on a page/post, it bodes well for your ranking in the SERPs. 

While some of the keyword research tools are premium and priced towards professionals and agencies, like Ahrefs and SEMrush.  You could also check these local SEO services to boost your online presence.

There are plenty of great free keyword planning tools that are just as valuable, to give you a platform to compete with the outlets, blogs, and companies with more resources than you may have.

Keywords Everywhere is a great free Google Chrome extension and checks the search volume of keywords on databases such as Google, Bing and YouTube.

Google Trends allows you to analyze keywords using metrics such as interest, whether they are rising, interest by region, and what the related queries are. 

And Answer the Public focuses on long-tail queries, particularly useful if your post or page is tailored to providing a service, answering a question or selling product Never underestimate the power of keyword research for your organic visibility to help increase blog traffic.

Read our views on the importance of keyword research for businesses here.

4. Optimize your page for mobile.

As humans, we’re becoming more immediate and more impatient. We have several devices that enable us to do things on the go, and to make things less inconvenient for us. 

And now, analytics show results that reflect this.

Search Engine Land reports that, as of 2017, mobile devices have overtaken desktop devices as the platform which delivers the most website traffic (57%-43%).

And more importantly, they also reported that rankings in the SERPs for both platforms are different.

So you could rank #1 on desktop and #6 mobile.

Click-through-rate position vs percentage comparing web and mobile devices, from October 2018. Keyword research help.

Click-through-rate percentage vs position comparing web and mobile devices, from October 2018. 

The difference may not seem so big, but when you take into account that the top five search results get over 65% of all organic traffic for that search term, the difference is massive. 

In addition, April 2018 also saw Google roll out their mobile-first indexing. 

Meaning sites that Google deemed ready enough for mobile-first indexing were the first to ultimately have their pages rank conforming to this procedure. 

Website builders and hosting services WordPress and Squarespace are either already mobile-responsive, or come with the plugins and ability to easily make them mobile-responsive. 

But even if your site is responsive, it’s worth checking things like page speed and image quality are optimized for mobile, or there’s no flash videos affecting the page’s load time. 

And there are plenty of free tools to do this, like Google’s Page Speed Insights.

While mobile-first indexing may take a few years to fully roll out, implementing an optimized for mobile strategy before it’s necessary definitely won’t harm your organic traffic. 

Stay ahead of the game.

Read more on our views on optimizing for mobile, here.

5. Incorporate a social media strategy

Our final SEO tip that you should implement on your blog for 2019 is to incorporate a social media strategy (If you aren’t doing already). 

A blog is a great way to get the most detailed content out to your users. 

But with social media, the possibilities are endless. 

Let’s be realistic. 

Your blog isn’t going to jump to #1 in the SERPs for keywords that have a massive search volume. 

Well, at least not straight away.

To combat this, you need to save your blog for meaningful, detailed content that implement the previous steps that we suggest. 

And consolidate it with a social media strategy. 

The immediacy of social media helps you keep visitors’ interest with short and more frequent content. 

Having social media icons on your blog to direct to your social media network keeps the visitor’s attention on you, and also gives you other channels and platforms to produce content on. 

With social media, a like or a love goes a long, long way. Consolidating your blog with social media content and directing them there from your site can encourage engagement.

 And once they engage, the outreach, through impressions, retweets, likes and loves, increases exponentially

Your brand will reach more people than you could have imagined with no cost and little time and effort. 

Then you can link your blog on your social media and grow the potential for gaining new visitors back to your blog, helping your site’s organic traffic.

You can read more on our views about social media, here.

Bask in your improved organic traffic for your blog.

It can be hard to keep up with the world of SEO. With Google’s countless new updates and perpetual ranking algorithm make it a tough task to stay on top of everything. 

But following these tips should increase your chance of running a more visible and a more fulfilling blog. 

Get your 2019 off to the start you deserve. 

Good luck!

Codedesign is a digital marketing agency specializing in data-driven online sales and lead generation solutions for brands in a variety of verticals. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our digital marketing experts.

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