Darren Rowse, the top blogger in the world perhaps, has a Google Plus post on SEO.
While I once did spend more time on SEO (particularly on structuring my site right, getting keyword density up, interlinking my posts lots and quite a bit of researching keywords) I've increasingly found more value in working on other areas of my business and have found that the result in doing so has been that SEO has to some extend looked after itself....... more search traffic to my blogs .. direct traffic, traffic from social, referral traffic .. Understanding the needs, problems and challenges of readers (and potential readers) is key. ..... you're writing on topics people are searching for, it means that when they find your content they are content with it and are more likely to share it (link to it) - all of which helps to increase search rankings/traffic. .... I work hard and getting inside the heads of my readers by surveying them, running polls, running focus groups, asking questions and giving them space to share what they are doing, learning and struggling with. All of these gives me a fantastic picture of how I can serve them better. ...... the creation of content that is both relevant and useful. This is a daily process of writing, commissioning our writers with assignments and editing their work. ..... ensuring high quality of work but also keeping the quantity up .... More articles mean more doorways into the site. ..... Community - giving readers ways and spaces to engage with you and one another brings a blog alive. .... a reader who feels a sense of belonging is much more likely to be sharing links to your blog than one who never interacts .... I spend a lot of time monitoring our site 'outposts' (Facebook, Twitter etc), creating community centred content (discussions, homework/challenges), focusing our team upon our forum area and investing into customer service (I have a dedicated team on this). .... the dPS Email strategy. .... That blog was well optimized for Google and naturally ranked well. The result was 90% of our traffic was Google traffic. All was good until the day came when Google changed its algorithm and the blog all but disappeared from Google. ...... for the next 6 weeks 90% of my traffic (and income) disappeared. It came back almost as quickly as it disappeared 6 weeks later but the experience taught me an important lesson - to work on other traffic strategies. ..... the graphic with the regular spikes and troughs pattern. The troughs are weekends and the spikes.... are newsletter days. .... Our newsletters drive massive traffic to the site. .... While I wouldn't want to loose the search traffic - the site is now at a point where we wouldn't need it to survive because we can now drive our own traffic each week. .... We now have 100,000 Facebook likes on dPS and it too is sending more and more traffic than previously. The same's true for Twitter and even sites like Pinterest. ..... diversifying our focus on multiple forms of traffic (particularly those we have complete control over like email) gives us a much much much stronger foundation than if we only focused our time and energy upon SEOIn short.
(1) Actively seek to understand your reader's needs.
(2) Write quality and quantity.
(3) Build community at the blog. Hello Disqus.
(4) Email/newsletter can be powerful. Facebook and Twitter are useful.