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How to Grow Your Blog to the Next Level With SEO

In this series we’re looking at 9 things that bloggers need to work on once their blog moves out of ‘launch phase’ and into maturity.

Today I want to focus upon the topic of SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

While SEO is something that is well worth while focusing upon right from the start of your blog – I’ve found that it becomes particularly important once your blog is at least a few months old. In my experience it is not until a blog is 6 to 12 months old that it really begins to grow in its authority in Google.

I will not rehash everything I know about SEO here (I’ll link to some resources at the bottom of this post) but here are just two tasks that I think established bloggers will particularly want to focus upon (I’m assuming that you’ve got some of the basics like getting titles set up right):

1. Optimizing Successful Pages on Your Blog

I mentioned this earlier in this series of posts but one of the first things to do is to identify and analyze the pages that people are arriving to your blog on from Search Engines. If you’re like most blogs you’ll find that a handful of your old posts generate a significant percentage of your search engine traffic. Identify these pages and you can then go about increasing the ranking of those pages even further in Google by doing some of the following:

  • increasing keyword density of these pages – don’t add the keywords that people are searching for too many more times, but it can help to add them 1-2 times more, bold the keywords, add them to heading tags, add them to image tags etc.
  • increase the internal links to these pages – if you find a page that is getting a lot of search traffic, any extra links to the page that you can generate (from both within your blog and outside it) can help its authority. You might want to even highlight some of these pages in your sidebar or navigation – or to link to them within other posts on your blog on a similar topic.

2. Create More Content on Related Search Terms

Once you start getting a handle on what type of information that people are searching for you should begin to make a list of other related topics that you might want to write about. You can get ideas from this by looking at keywords that people use to arrive on your blog and thinking about synonyms for those words but also by looking at online services like Google Trends which maps what people are searching the web for.

Another good tool for analyzing search traffic and coming up with new topics to write about it 103bees which gives some metrics on the questions people are asking to find your blog. These questions are topics your readers are actually asking which shows you what they’re typing into Google. Another great tool to try is Lijit which is a search tool you can use on your blog (see it in my sidebar). This tracks what terms people are searching your blog for. The useful thing about it is that they also show you what terms people searched for that there was no search results on your blog for – very handy information.

There is A LOT more that you can do to increase the search engine authority of your blog. Part of it just comes down to writing great quality content over the long haul (which over time increases the number of doorways into your blog and grows the number of links from other sites to it) but below I’ve listed some other resources from both within ProBlogger and from SEO experts that will hopefully give you plenty of things to work on.

Further Reading:

Also – here are three helpful videos (particularly for WordPress Users) with some great tips from Matt Cutts (Google Engineer), Joost de Valk and Stephan Spencer.


WordPress SEO & Optimisation Strategies a4uexpo London 2008 from existem on Vimeo.

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About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Tyrone says:

    Well I also think that SEO is must for a blog but it helps a lot when the blog is about 6 months old.

  2. Luggage Set,

    I realized that you’re looking for some off page SEO techniques. I could refer to article marketing, press release marketing, social media marketing, directory submission, and any other methods that build up your link popularity.

    I’ve written quite a handful of off page SEO in my blog about this topic. You might find them useful.

  3. I honestly haven’t paid attention too much about SEO on my blog (even though it’s on PR 3 + Alexa of 60k). I guess I’m just being too lazy to do the research and the optimization :(

  4. Belkis says:

    I wish that last video about blogger mistakes would show the powerpoint presentation.

  5. Great article! That clears up some things I have been studying. Just when you think you’re getting it you find out there’s something you missed. Always learning.

    Belkis,The link for the PowerPoint Presentation for the SEO mistakes Most Bloggers Make by Stephan Spencer is http://www.netconcepts.com/learn/SEO-mistakes.ppt.

    Blessings,
    Wendy

  6. Daryl says:

    Like your site, and all the great tips that are mentioned on it, it has really helped out. Thanks!

  7. thanks youuuuu

  8. I like this idea. I will recommend this article to my friends. Thank you

  9. Wow, great information. I could say my knowledge in seo is already broad but I find it nice to see people giving out tips and new information.

  10. Useful post!

    I would say that adding text links from a few pages within your site using the same keywords to the traffic generating post will help as well.