Simple SEO Practices That Do Help You Get More Blog Traffic

simple seo practices that work

Every blogger wants to get more blog traffic to increase site income.

For author bloggers, it’s to find more new readers and potential book buyers.

I have a foot in both camps.

So I can attest to the benefits that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can bring in gaining organic search traffic.

Time for a change

Like most bloggers, I thought that writing and publishing regular new blog posts was the best recipe.

It builds a blog’s reputation, and with that would come lots of traffic and new site visitors.

Thankfully, this worked quite well. So I have to say that there was nothing at all wrong with the plan.

My publishing schedule was three new articles per week, up until I decided to concentrate more of my time on learning and applying SEO practices.

After making the decision, I reduced my writing schedule to only one new piece of content per week, and it sometimes extended to ten days.

But I had things to learn.

I started by digging deeper into my WordPress SEO plugin. It helped me to understand how SEO worked and how and what I could apply to my blog.

My focus moved from writing articles to wanting to know more about SEO.

Was it all worth it?


Can I say that SEO works?

You bet I can.

Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools confirmed my success. My blog posts began appearing more and more in search results, which, of course, meant more traffic.

In the graph below, arrow one is when I decided to implement SEO and started to reduce my posting frequency. So that slowdown of articles produced a plateau.

Arrow two is when my simple SEO practices started to take effect after waiting for Google and Bing to index my pages.

after applying simple seo practices

What is SEO, and what exactly did I do?

After boiling down all the SEO ideas I found from my research, I decided to apply only six super simple SEO practices. I knew I could apply them quite easily to new as well as all my existing 350+ blog posts.

I didn’t use paid SEO tools. The free SEO tool on my WordPress site was sufficient for me.

My six new step by step on-page SEO practices:

1. Decide on a keyword or keyword phrase for a post. For this post, I chose Simple SEO Practices

2. Use the keyword or keyword phrase in my page title, subtitle, title tag, and meta description, and at least once or twice in my text.

3. Add an Image Title Attribute and Alternative Text to every image, and include the post keyword. For the image above, it is simple SEO practices that work.

4. Use a subtitle marked as Heading 2 (H2) and paragraph headings marked as Heading 3 (H3).

5. Add internal links whenever possible.

6. Add external links when relevant.

To check my SEO on each new page, I used a free online SEO analyzer to make sure I had done everything correctly.

The benefits of SEO started to roll in

Gaining new readers is what blogging is all about, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result.

The traffic I gained from SEO was almost all new users, or more precisely, new blog readers.

new users after applying simple SEO practices


Another huge benefit of applying my SEO practices was that my search queries and ranked keywords jumped up enormously.

As you can see from the graph below, my ranked keywords really took off after implementing the SEO changes.

It is hard to see in the image, but the arrow points to a total of 5,094 search keyword queries, with an average appearance on Google Search at position 17.

When I last checked, I had over 500 keyword queries in position ten or better.

search queries after simple SEO practices

One of the main reasons I wanted to get serious about SEO was that I sensed a drop off in social media activity, and especially on Twitter.

Over the same period, this is what happened to my blog traffic gained from social media.

A little flatter, but still delivering reasonable traffic and new readers.

social media blog traffic

What’s my conclusion about my six new SEO practices?

They have worked exceptionally well and delivered a huge jump in traffic volume and click-through rate to my blog, but it has been a lot of hard work.

I had to apply the six changes I made to over 350 existing blog posts, so it has taken me months and months to work my way through (almost) all of my existing posts.

Now that I have updated almost all of my blog posts, perhaps I can get back to writing new articles more often, which of course, is far more enjoyable.

But they will all now contain my new simple SEO practices.

Then I took an even bigger step forward

It is now more than two years since I wrote the first part of this article. So it’s time for an update.

I was very happy with the result of my SEO changes. But I knew there was more to learn about SEO strategies and content marketing.

Search engines like Google and Bing use complex algorithms that are not easy to understand. I started searching for ways that I could get better search results.

What I learned was that I needed access to better data than Google Analytics.

It was clear that I needed help finding better ranking keywords and the ability to track their performance.

I also knew nothing about link building as a ranking factor, so I needed help.

It took a while, but I tried a lot of applications from different SEO companies before I finally made my choice.

Here’s the result. The first arrow is when I started using my six new SEO practices.

As you can see from the steady progression, it worked.

The second arrow is when I started using a professional SEO suite.

After only two months, the increase in organic traffic is clear and making steady traffic gains every week.

Increase in organic traffic

While there are a few very good SEO suites available, I chose Semrush because I could try the free version first.

I don’t have money to burn. So I wanted to be sure what I was getting was good value in the long term.

It took me a few weeks to become familiar with how Semrush worked by using the free version.

But once I was satisfied that it had all the tools I required, I opted for the paid version.



If you want to improve your SEO for your blog, I can only say that learning more and applying good practices will help you gain more organic traffic.

If you are in the process of trying to monetize your blog, I can only say that using a pro tool makes such a huge difference to your earning potential from advertising or affiliate marketing.

You need a lot of traffic to make money from a blog.

Understanding and using good SEO is the only way to steadily increase your number of blog visitors.

And it works.

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent writing and blogging, as well as testing and taming new technology.

Avatar for Derek Haines

8 thoughts on “Simple SEO Practices That Do Help You Get More Blog Traffic

  • Avatar for Dawn Renée
    March 14, 2021 at 12:02 pm

    Thank you kindly, for sharing the lessons you have learned and compiling them thusly, in that even this ‘paper & pen’ – type of person can comprehend. I wish to publish a children’s book & another of a different nature, entirely, nearest to free as possible. Reading material such as this is balancing my fear & discouragement with an optimism for the challenge. I look forward to learning more from your posts, as they may help regarding my blog of 4 years as well. I’m having a difficult time with my mobile device not showing a means of ‘following’ here, I may figure a way. Best wishes

  • Avatar for Davanna
    April 8, 2019 at 1:22 am

    Thank you so much for giving your readers the benefit of your experience. I plan to start a blog soon and this advice is invaluable to me because you put it into terms I can understand and use.

  • Avatar for The barefoot sub
    July 8, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Out of curiosity, have you made it back through all of your posts yet? I’ve just started taking baby steps with SEO after starting to self host, probably because I was advised to download an SEO plug in.
    My imported posts will take some work though.

    • Avatar for Derek Haines
      July 8, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      Yes, I got through almost all of them. The learning experience really helps now with all my new posts.

  • Avatar for Dr Eva Chapman
    May 27, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Brilliant- I know something like this is important. I started a blog 3 months ago and it takes a LOT of work to attract readers- especially if WP requires you to join befoer commenting

  • Avatar for Derek Haines
    March 24, 2018 at 1:29 pm

    Sure is okay, Steve. And yes, SEO is very important for authors, but many haven’t realised the potential yet. SEO is much more powerful and long-term than social media.

    • Avatar for Steve Boseley
      March 24, 2018 at 2:19 pm

      I’m in total agreement with you. I think the email list and SEO are what I need to be focussing on, and by the way, my blog is actually I just can’t seem to get my google analytics working right to keep track!

  • Avatar for steve Boseley
    March 24, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Great Article, Derek. I intend to share this on my blog, on Monday, pointing people back this way, I hope that’s okay. SEO is a topic that has intrigued me for a long time, and I have tried, with mixed results, to get it right, but I can see you have an awful lot of stuff on your site that I need to catch up on!

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