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image SERP-Search Engine Results Page

SERP-Search Engine Results Page

It’s a snappy title, isn’t it dear reader? Gaining More Readers for Your Blog doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue, does it. It’s not a clever title for a blog piece, but it goes to show how something as simple as a title allows your blog to be more readily discovered.

I’ve been blogging for a number of years, ever since I started writing and publishing my books as an Indie Author. Blogging has allowed me to build an audience on my blog, which I then use as a platform to advertise my books. It’s called content marketing and it’s an inexpensive and enjoyable way to advertise my books and at the same time give my readers something entertaining, interesting and useful to read. A blog is there as a two-way street. Use it to inform and at the same time to gain an audience and maybe sell a few books along the way. In order to build your audience you will need to compete with bigger fish in the sea of information that is Google SERPs.

There, I’ve said it. I’ve used the G word. You will of course know immediately what I’m talking about when I mention Google. What you may not have heard of is SERPs. SERP is short for Search Engine Results Page. Now if you look at the image, you will see it’s a screenshot of a search I did for woolwhich arsenal spy ring. Ignore the fact that in my hurry I misspelled woolich! You will see that Google came back with 61,900 results. That’s a lot of pages to wade through to find what I was looking for, but I’m lucky, what I wanted to see was right at the bottom of the screen The Treasonists: #2 The Woolwich Spy Ring | Tom Kane’s Blog. It’s the fourth item down on the first page of the Google SERP. It’s the only one of the four items that mentions prominently that which I searched for. It’s the link to my blog and in using Google Analytics I can see that I’m getting an increasing number of visitors to my blog due to what is called an Organic Search. Organic searches are simply visits to my blog from a search carried out on Google which a reader has clicked on my link to bring them to my blog. A year ago I rarely had any organic search results. Hardly anybody found my blog from a SERP on Google, absolutely nobody. Feb 1-21st 2018 I had 4 visitors to my blog and none were organic searches. In 2019 in the same period I had 51 visitors and 17% were organic. in 2020 it’s 98 visitors and 50% are organic.

So far this year half my blog visitors have been via organic searches, 16% from social media and the rest are direct or referral, i.e., other websites.

What does all this mean. It illustrates that my reader count is rising and that what I’m sharing with everyone seems to be enjoyed by more and more people. But more importantly, I’m finding a new audience from organic searches on Google and this is big news for any blogger. To have your site listed on page one of a Google SERP is the ultimate. Why? Because most people don’t bother to go any further than the first couple of pages of a search result page on Google because they can’t be bothered. If your link is on page three, forget it, not many, if any, will see it. But on page one, that’s a whole different ball game.

I can guess your next question. How did I achieve these results? I wish I could say it was all down to me, but the truth is it’s really a 50-50 partnership. Me and Google. It’s down to two things. Good content and Google Discovery. First, my content. If what I write is rubbish, nobody would read it and my blog would die because I would have no visitors, I would then be disheartened and give up blogging. Second is Googles new feed service, Google Discovery. This new feed from Google is pushing my content onto the people’s devices where they have shown an interest in a particular subject, a subject I may have written about. If you happen to do a few searches on Google for information on the weather in your area, chances are you will soon be getting a feed of the weather automatically. Same goes for a search for information on blogging, or Cyprus or writing, all of which I have written multiple posts on my blog. But there is another consideration, my blog is search friendly. In that I have met all the criteria from Google to ensure it’s bots are always going to be able to crawl my site and find what they are looking for. That information is then stored on a database and anyone doing a Google search for, the woolwich arsenal spy ring will likely find me on page one of the SERP.

It isn’t always what you say, but also how you say it, which brings me back to the title of this piece. Gaining More Readers for Your Blog has two key words in the title, readers and blog. These are used in a list of tags on my blog and detected by Google’s bots. Google’s AI algorithms also detect what they deem to be good content in the way the blog piece is presented to them and a few other criteria, unknown to us mere mortals. Ultimately Google’s AIs decide who gets on the list and who is on the first page. The fact that my woolwich spy ring piece has had to compete with 61,900 other postings and has managed to be just below the likes of Wikipedia and The Guardian is something of a minor miracle for me.

Of course, my blog will not show on every single search anyone carries out on Google. If you tap in get more readers on your blog you will see something like 699 million search results and my blog is nowhere to be seen. Getting on page one of a SERP every time will probably take more time than I have left in my life, but it won’t stop me trying. It takes small steps and a grim determination to keep on moving forward to get to number one.

Copyright © Tom Kane 2020



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