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Blogs and Search Engine Optimization

Ten Tips For Optimizing Your Blog For Search Engines

It’s not breaking news that blogs are great for search engines. Since blogs became popular and were documented in the main stream media, back around early 2004, the merits of their marketing reach and search engine prowess has been well-covered by the search and marketing industry. It’s almost as if blogs were specifically designed to appeal to search engines, in that they fulfill so many specific criteria search engines look for when determining ranking. Fresh, content-based websites with clean architecture, simple navigation and keyword-rich page titles are like honey to a bear, search engines are naturally attracted to them and once they get sticky, they keep coming back.

But getting your blog to really communicate well with the engines isn’t something that comes built in; there are some essential steps that you need to take in order to make it easy for engines to discover your site and subsequently, rank it higher. Follow these ten tips to optimizing your blog for search engines, and you’ll be well on your way.

1. Write. Write often, write on topic, and write with personality. Content is truly king when it comes to engines, so the more content your blog has, the better. Ensure you contribute regularly to your blog, and there aren’t lapses between posts – consistency is very important. If you’re writing three posts a week, don’t suddenly change to three posts a month – you’ll lose interest from both readers and engines. Some blogs allow you to write all your posts in one day and schedule posts for the future. Utilize this function so you don’t have to write as often. Also, write about your industry – look for news on everything related to your topic and put your spin on it. Writing on topic will ensure you use keywords in your writing that are searched for on engines. Lastly, write with a little personality. No one wants to read a blog with no voice, so don’t be afraid to voice your opinion and raise a few eyebrows.

2. Discover keywords to target, then use them in titles and anchor text. There are many good keyword tools out there that can help you find phrases to target; use them. Put a list together, and use those phrases in your writing. Use them in the titles of your posts, and use them as the anchor text that you use to link back to your main website. Search engines like Google call this anchor text linking, and it’s one of the main pieces of criteria they use to rank websites. Putting keywords in your post title means those keywords will show up in your URL, as long as you…

3. Choose a domain with your keywords and ensure your blog is setup to use the titles of posts or pages as the URL for that page or post.  Although most blogs have this functionality, it isn’t always setup this way. Having keywords in your URL will allow engines to rank those pages higher for those phrases compared with numbered URLs. For example, BirdWatchingBlog.com/bird-watching/robins.html will have a better chance of ranking under a search for “bird watching robins” than MyBlog.com/4567.html.

4. If you’re using your blog in conjunction with another website, put your blog on a separate domain. Links from a different domain hold more weight with search engines and build more link popularity than links from within the same domain or a sub-domain. Many free blogging services like BlogSpot.com or WordPress.com allow you to setup and create a blog for free, with little technical knowledge. This is fine for the average personal blog, but it won’t work for a blog meant to help a business. These services unfortunately setup URLs likes jimsblog.blogspot.com or bobsjournal.wordpress.com, so they are not top-level domains, and the link popularity is instead routed to BlogSpot or WordPress.com. To be considered a real, valuable industry resource, get your own domain.

5. Get listed. There are many communities out there that cater to bloggers. Get involved in them, submit your blog, and communicate with other bloggers in your market. Many of these services also allow you to integrate your RSS feed so your most recent posts show up in the community, another way for people to find you and…

6. Build links. The best way to do this is to provide valuable content. Write interesting, thought-provoking articles, and people will naturally link to you. They’ll do it without you having to “exchange links” like so many people profess is the best way to build popularity. Another way to build links is to get your blog listed in directories, profiles, and industry-specific sites. Use the engines to your advantage and search for websites that allow submissions in your industry. Take some time each week and submit your site to these places.

7. Network with like-minded bloggers. Start reading their posts and commenting on them. Find the leaders in the industry and follow them, duplicating their process and taking the same steps they took to get where they are. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from these same people, most who are in a position of leadership got there because they are willing to offer advice and help others.

8. Use the tools available to you. Advertise your RSS feed so people can easily subscribe to your blog. Setup a newsletter that people can subscribe to and provide additional tools, advice and advantages to those people for taking the extra time to provide their email address. Respond to comments, no matter how trivial you think they may be.

9. Syndicate your posts through social networking and social bookmarking. Many blogs have the ability to allow direct communication with social networking and bookmarking sites. Places like Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Technorati and more have proven again and again to be a great source of readership, traffic, and an excellent way to get your name into the proper circles. Pay special attention to Twitter – as a microblogging tool, it’s one of the most popular services available and can significantly help to build your online following, and all it requires is some witty words a few times a day at 140 characters or less.

10. Let the professionals do it for you. Although it may seem like one person can do these steps on their own, it will take a massive time commitment to get even halfway through, and that’s just the start of it. Proper blog optimization and marketing takes constant maintenance, not to mention keeping up with the new social venues, marketing techniques, and emerging trends in the industry. If you have the time and the knowledge, optimizing your blog can be a valuable learning experience. However, the process needs to be taken seriously and followed through to the end, not to mention done in the right order. Consult a professional who can manage the process for you, and get it done right: www.iePlexus.com.

1 Comment

  • Justin

    Great Article on how to maximize your blogs performance. Follow these 10 steps and I agree you will put your best foot forward not only to search engines, but people looking for information on the subject on the blog.

    Reply

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