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Search Engine Optimization Tips for Blogs – Using Keywords

Having looked at Offsite Search Engine Optimization Techniques I’ll now turn my attention to examining some of the factors you might like to keep in mind as you develop your blog – (or Onsite techniques). There are many of these and it might take a few days to get through them all – bear with me.

Keyword Rich Content – identify a few keywords for your article that you’re hoping will get indexed highly by Google. Don’t pick too many but consider the question ‘how do I want people to find this post in Search Engines?’ What will they type into Google if they want information on the topic you’re writing. The answer to this question will give you a hint as to what words you’ll want to see repeated throughout your article a number of times.

These keywords will need to be the most common words used in your article. Use them in some or all of the following ways:

  • Keywords in post and page titles (read my post on using keywords in titles
  • Keywords in URL of page (blog herald wrote on this a while back
  • Keywords in outbound links (read this article on the pros and cons of outbound links)
  • Keywords in bold tags (try do it at least once)
  • Keywords in heading tags (there is debate over exactly how to use them but it’s generally accepted that h1 tags are important and that h2, h3, h4 etc tags also have an impact. Having said that I’ve seen some pages rank very well in search engines without using heading tags. There are many tutorials online about heading tags – here’s one.)
  • Keywords in image alt tags (here’s how)
  • Keywords in the general throughout the text of your post – but especially early on in the first few sentences
  • Keywords in meta tags (they seem to be less valuable these days but many still believe they are useful with some search engines – here’s a Guide to meta tags)

[Read more…]

Search Engine Optimization Tips for Blogs – Off Site Techniques

This post belongs to the SEO Tips for Blogs Series

As I mentioned in the previous post, SEO experts tend to divide search engine optimization techniques into off site and on site techniques. Off site techniques are as the name suggests factors from outside the site itself (and usually on other sites) that impact the blog’s ranking in search engines. Many of these factors are outside the blogger’s control – however they are useful to know. The most obvious and probably most powerful offsite factor are Inbound Links.

It is generally agreed that the links that point to a website are one of the most powerful way of climbing Search Engines results pages (in fact many argue it is THE most important factor). – To put it most simply – every link to your site is seen by the search engines as being a vote of confidence in your site.

Ideally Speaking – The best inbound links are those that are from higher ranked sites than your own that are relevant to the topic you are writing about who link to you using relevant keywords. Whilst you may not have complete control over who links to you these are the types of links that you should be dreaming of.

How to generate quality inbound Links? [Read more…]

Search Engine Optimization Tips for Blogs

Search Engine Optimization is something that makes many blogger’s heads spin – I know this because every time I write an SEO article I get comments from bloggers telling me that its too big a topic and that they’d rather just write ‘quality content’.

Whilst I’ll never argue that quality content should be anything but a first priority in blogging, the fact is that there are many millions of pages of great writing languishing around at the bottom of search engines results pages that deserve to be read by many but which rarely see the light of day because their authors have failed to understand that just a few simple tweaks in the writing process could see them ranking considerably higher.

So it’s time for another series – this time on Search Engine Optimization for Blogs!

People often ask me ‘how do I get ranked number one in (((insert favourite search engine here)))?

My answer usually starts with – ‘I don’t really know what I’m talking about….but….’

You see whilst some of my blogs rank very highly on different search engines – I often don’t really know why. Much of what I do is educated guessing and experimentation. I do read a lot of other people’s advice on the topic, but the more I read the more I realize that I’m not alone in my guess work – virtually every article I read is a ‘best guess’ of some kind.
[Read more…]

On Buying Text Link Ads

Stephan Spencer has posted a good piece on buying text links to help promote your blog and to build it’s ranking in Search Engines – he writes:

‘The business of text link ad buying has matured, and it’s on the up-and-up. We’re not talking about “buying PageRank”… what we’re talking about is a totally legitimate business practice of buying text ads where you choose your hyperlinked words carefully based on keyword research and your advertisement appears on a reputable, relevant website. And of course, it links directly to your website, sans click tracking, so the ‘search engine juice’ flows unhindered.’

Read more of this post here.

I have personally not bought text ad links on others sites and have relied upon a more natural approach to building search engine ranking – however I’m not adverse to the strategy. In fact these days with the clutter of the web growing it may be one of the best ways to get your blog ranking higher in Google and Yahoo.

I’d give a few of words of caution though before we all rush out to buy some incoming links.

[Read more…]

SEO Tip 1 – Use Keywords in Titles

One of the things I’m constantly amazed at is how many web publishers miss one of the easiest ways to maximize their positioning in Search Engines by simply including the keywords that they’d like to be found for in their post titles.

I spend a lot of time looking at online articles written on blogs, newspapers and websites and some days it seems that every second or third one has a title that is either cryptic, clever or cute at the expense of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

To put it bluntly – when it comes to blog SEO I believe that your page and post titles are incredibly important. Google in particularly seems to value the words in your title incredibly highly. [Read more…]

Google Ranking Factors

I want to give a prize today to one of the most ugly yet useful sites I’ve seen for a while.

I hope I don’t cause any offense by saying that – but the prize goes to Google Ranking Factors.

Don’t let the ugliness factor put you off because if you scratch a little under it’s spewy color scheme and boxy look you’ll find some very useful information on factors to keep in mind as you think about optimizing your blog for Google.

The factors are divided into four sections.

1. Positive On Page SEO Factors – things that you should consider including on your blog/web page

2. Negative On Page SEO Factors – things you should avoid including on your blog/web page

3. Positive Off Page SEO Factors – factors that you should seek from other web pages that point to your blog

4. Negative Off Page SEO Factors – factors you should try to avoid in those that link to you

Keep in mind that SEO advice is often speculation and that one can become obsessed by it. Rather than treating this as absolute truth you might want to try to keep some of these factors in the back of your mind as you blog.

How To Be A Blogging Idol Instead Of An Idle Blogger

Todd Mintz writes a very worthwhile article at How To Be A Blogging Idol Instead Of An Idle Blogger which I think is a must read for bloggers wanting to start out in ProBlogging.

Whilst I don’t completely agree with everything Todd writes (I’ve never entered into a link exchange program or never bought a text ad for that matter) the article is brimming with useful information that Todd learnt in experimenting with blogs on the topic of American Idol contestants last season of the show. In particular he has had some success with the Bo Bice Blog.

Among Todd’s more useful tips are:

Have a narrow focus: The quickest way to drive traffic to your blog is through excellent search engine rankings. If you blog about lots of unrelated topics, you won’t rank well for any of your key terms….

Press Releases: Online press releases are an excellent way to generate notice for your blog. I created a press release announcing the launch of the blog, and once I decided to “actively” blog Bo, I wrote a release each week recapping the show and featuring highlights from the blog….

Involve Fans: When my blog reached a consistent 500 visitors a day, I decided to actively solicit posts from Bo’s fans. Sure, most blogs give readers the ability to post comments…but I thought that if I ran the comments as actual posts, I could create a “buzz” about the blog and generate large numbers of repeat visits….’

I subscribe to each of these tips and many of the other things Todd writes and think they apply not only to fan sites like the one he runs (keep in mind fan sites are hard to monetize…. I’ve been trying for a while now) but to most blog topics.

Can you have too many inbound links to your blog?

A well known Search Engine Optimization strategy that most serious bloggers keep in mind is that the more links that you have pointing to your blog from other sites the higher your page will be ranked in search engines like google. This is a generally accepted strategy for building the profile of your blog and is in fact one of the strengths of blogging (as at the heart of our medium is the linking that bloggers do to one another).

But can you have too many inbound links pointing at your blog?

The growing opinion of SEO experts is that you can. In fact a recent patent by Google indicates that sites that have big increases in inbound links to them in short periods (especially young sites) can actually be treated as spam sites by Google’s algorithm.

[Read more…]

Google PageRank Update Analysis

Search Engine Journal has a useful post analyzing the latest Google PageRank Update in which they speculate as to why many sites have decreased in their visible PR whilst increasing their backlinks:

‘The most current PageRank update will undoubtedly cause a larger stir than usual in that many sites have shown drops in their visible PageRank while at the same time showing significant increases in their backlinks. This fact reveals that one of three things has occurred in this latest update:

1. Google has raised the bar on PageRank, making it more difficult to attain a high level, or

2. The way they are displaying their backlinks has changed, or

3. The way they calculate the value of an incoming link has changed.’