Blog SEO Tips

Search Engine Optimization abbreviated as SEO is a technique which is employed for the promotion of websites, web pages or even blogs. By following the principles of SEO we can greatly increase traffic to the site, and thereby increase the revenue generated by that site. SEO optimizes certain elements of a page or blog so that it can easily be read by search engine crawlers who constantly scan the web for new and popular content. According to the level of optimization, the page gets preference in search results which will help the site to receive more traffic. SEO for a blog is a little different than SEO for a traditional website -Blog SEO puts more focus on getting the attention of the reader searcher by giving them a taste of what they can find in the full article/post.

Keyword Research:

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There are many keyword research tools available which give the blog writer multiple keyword suggestions that include (in order) all of the phrases that people most commonly  search for search for. We strongly recommend the Goolge Keyword Tool as it is probably the most accurate, and is also free. Keywords play a keen role in the SEO work. We target the keywords that will give us the greatest traffic increase to the site – keywords should always be selected with this goal in mind, while making sure to stay relavent to the blog and its content.

Blog Title and URL:

Try to add keywords or the words which are relevant to the content of the blog in the blog title and if possible add them in the URL. Ensuring your keywords can be found in each of these areas will greatly help to push your blog to the top of the results when these words are searched. The URL you are using for the blog should be meaningful; it should not simply be a collection of your keywords in URL form – remember that getting to the top of the results is just the first step, you still need searchers to click on your site and the only way to encourage them to click is to give them a good synopsis of the content that is on the page.

Updating Content

Updating content is one of the single best ways to boost your position in search engine results. If you have had a website for a while now and are wondering why your site shows so poorly in the results, this is often one of the primary reasons. If your site is a blog, then you should try to add at least 2 new posts a week. If your site is not a blog, you might want to consider adding a blog section. You can also easily create some automatically updating content by adding a twitter feed or an RSS feed that pulls data from other sites in your industry. Twitter and RSS feeds can be added as widgets to your home page.

Links to the Blog:

The more links that point to your blog (from other sites that are ranked well in terms of SEO) the more frequently that your blog is crawled and indexed which in turn will cause your blog to be viewed as more valuable. This will take time, but working to generate a few links every week will have a dramatic effect on the SEO of your blog. This site only has around 150 incoming links and is ranked in the top 2% of all sites. That said, top 2% doesn’t mean all that much, we recommend making the top 0.5% your goal. Some links are more valuable than others – the most high value links come from sites who have many links to them, but who do not link to too many other links. A forum for example might have a lot of links to it, but because it is so easy for anyone to post an outgoing link back to their site, the value of a link from a forum can be very diluted. Links to your blog only help you get to the top of the search results, as we mentioned before – make sure the content that is showing up in the results is attractive to the reader or all the SEO in the world isn’t going to get you any traffic. Typically the search engine will grab the first few sentences of your blog post, so make sure these are of good quality and reflect the content of the rest of the post. You can also use the description meta tags on your pages to specify the text you would like to show.

Writing Articles with Back Links:

An excellent way to generate high quality links to your site is writing articles to be published on other sites. By writing an article you can guarantee that your link will be placed on a page that has very few links to other sites. On this website we publish a lot of guest articles from from web masters trying to raise awareness of their product/service by writing articles that include links back to their sites. Visit our Publish Article page if you would like write an article to be published on the site. The article will appear at the top of our home page immediately after publishing. Our front page has a Google PageRank of 3 (for now..) and we link to very few other pages, so this will provide you with a very high quality link to your site and will ensure that your site gets crawled by search engines almost immediately. You can expect that the article (along with the link to your site) will be in the google results within 10 minutes of publishing.

Content of Blog:

The content of the blog should be different, it shouldn’t be like copied from some other sites, articles or blogs. Copying content directly is an excellent way to lose SEO. If content has already been indexed by the search engine one someone else’s site, it will not index the same content again on your site – doing so would create inefficiency for the customers of the search engine so naturally they avoid that. You can take ideas from other sites and paraphrase and reorganize them to create new and better content, but copy and paste will get you no where.

Long tail Keyword:

Use keywords in such a way that it should comprise of all those words which a user normally look for a particular information. Wide ranges of tools are available which will help you to track such keywords. Some of those tools are Sitemeter, Google Analytics, Mybloglog’s. Get long keywords from the mentioned tool bar and prepare a long set of keywords, and try to use those set of long keywords often within the content of the blog.

Social Bookmarking :

Submit the URL of your blog and your post, along with its content, to social networking sites, which will definitely help the blog to be crawled by the search engine a bit faster. The social bookmarking of the blog will help the blog to get a good ranking on its chosen keywords and help to boost the blog to the top of the results. Links from social bookmarking sites are the easiest kind to get so make make sure to take advantage of them. They are not quite as high value as say, a direct link from the front page of a major website, but they are fundamental to building site SEO in the early stages of any blog.

These are just a few way in which you can boost the SEO of your blog. Good luck! Post any questions in the comments below.

WordPress SEO | 10 Steps to The Top

This guide explains in very simple terms, and exception WordPress Search Engine Optimization strategy. Here’s how a new website can push itself to the top of the search engine results in 10 simple steps that anyone can follow.

1. Your Page Layout

A lot of how you score depends on the sites that link to you, but as a new site, you’re probably not ready for that. You can score a ton of points with the search engines by organizing your content in way that is easy for them to understand. Here are a few bullet points on how to set things up properly (don’t worry if you are already setup, most of these recommendations will just be small modifications to your existing site.)

-Have only one h1 header on each page. This is the largest standard title size in html. A web page should have just one of these – more than one and the words in the headers become less valuable to a search engine. The words in your header should match the words that you think someone will type in on a search engine. For example, this site is just a bunch of how-to guides – there are a million sites just like it. But if you’ll look at our post titles they’re all trying to mimic what someone might type into a google search. the better your title the better the SEO.

-Meaningful Meta Data. Search engines don’t value this information nearly as much as they used to, but it’s still important to give this area some attention. Make sure you have a description meta tag that gives a good description of your site that includes relevant words or phrases that one might search – more often than not, this is the text that will end up below your link in a page of search engine results. Use the keywords meta tag to list a few short (comma separated) words/phrases about your site.

-Page and Post URLS that make sense.
If you have a page about search engine optimization, its address shouldn’t be http://firstsearchblue.com/page0664, for better display on search engines and to make it easier for a reader to return to that article it should be more like http://firstsearchblue.com/guide-to-wordpress-search-engine-optimization.
If you are using WordPress, check out this guide to automatically have your post titles become the URL names: <a href = “http://firstsearchblue.com/better-wordpress-urls”>Better WordPress URLs</a>
If you are using another content management system like joomla, mamboor drupal, they’ll have ways to automatically setup this feature.
If you are not using a content management system, just make sure to name your html and php files appropriately.

-Content. If you are trying to target a specific set of words/keywords that you think users will be typing into the search engine, make these words appropriately frequent and prominent on your site. Don’t over-do it, just make sure to include these words or phrases a couple of times in each paragraph, and bold them occasionally where it is fitting. (Maybe we can include something about how to find out how many hits each keyword gets?)

-Stay consistent. Keep the keywords (that you think a user will be searching) top of mind while you put the site together. Make sure they appear in your meta data, headings and content. Do not over do it! If your site seems like a trap and not a place to find meaningful information, no search engine is going to list you.

2. Head over to websitegrader.com

Type in your URL and see what your score is – this site has a ton of tricks for improving the quality of your site. Check your score now and then check it again at the end of this guide, it will go up. When you’ve finished making your way through this guide, you should go through all of the items on this list and make sure you’ve adhered to as many as possible.

3. Submit to the Search Engines

Now, there is some debate as to weather you should submit your URL or you should let the search engines pick it up automatically. The majority of recent research (cit needed), though, suggests search engines do not assume you have less credibility if you submit your URL to them manually. If this was such a “no-no” to them, they probably wouldn’t offer the service. Additionally, when you’re first putting together a site, it is quite difficult to have any well established site link to you (assuming you are still in the process of adding content.) Without anybody linking to you, google will never find you. Once you have been picked up by google, it will be much easier for your “First Round” visitors to find you – these visitors will likely be your friends and family, and if they don’t remember your exact URL, you can bet they’ll turn to google to look it up. Once a search engine has indexed you, you can typically expect to be in the top 10 results when somebody searches for your near-exact URL title. For example, our URL is http://firstsearchblue.com but when we started and had no incoming links, if you searched some variation of the words ‘first’, ‘search’ and ‘blue’ (in that order, but mixing up the spaces) you could find us in the top 3 search results.
Here are the links to submit your URL to the search engines:
Google: http://www.google.com/addurl/
Bing: http://www.bing.com/webmaster/SubmitSitePage.aspx
Yahoo: http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/submit
Ask.com: send them an email with your url and a site description to [email protected]
For a little more info, you can check out our guide on this: <a href=”http://firstsearchblue.com/submitting-your-site-to-the-search-engines”>Submitting your Site to the Search Engines</a>
Or, if you have a WordPress site, you can set it up to automatically send updates to the search engines as you add posts/content – you can check out that guide here: <a href=”http://firstsearchblue.com/submit-your-wordpress-site-to-the-search-engines”>Submit your WordPress site the the Search Engines</a>

4. Sign up for Google Webmaster Tools

It’s free and it’s incredibly helpful for figuring out how to rank higher in the Google results. Often times your site is being dismissed by Google for reasons that are easy to fix (i.e. your sitemap file, your robots.txt file or the fact that by default, WordPress blocks the search engines from crawling the interior pages of your site)
Note: To make sure that Google can crawl your WordPress site, go to Settings -> Privacy and make sure the first option is checked (then hit save changes)
Once you have signed up, you will be asked to verify your site. There are two ways to do this, either by adding a Meta Tag or by Uploading a file to the root directory of your site. If you are using WordPress or some other content management system, you will find it easier to upload a file that to add a meta tag – so pick that option.
Once your site has been verified, you will be able to see whether or not google has crawled it yet. If they have, check out the Site Configuration -> Crawler Access section and make sure that you don’t have any errors. If you have errors, feel free to post in the comments section of this page to get help.

One of the best features of Webmaster tools is the “Your Site on the Web” -> “Links to Your Site” This section shows you all sites that are linking to all of the pages within your site. Once you have some Page Rank you should examine who is linking to your highest page ranked sites and do whatever you can to get more links from them.

Another useful feature of Webmaster tools is being able to see how you rank in search results for given key words. If you notice that you are ranking high, but not getting much traffic, you should examine the “Title” of that web page and compare it to the titles of other search results on those keywords. If your site title isn’t appealing, people are not going to click it, they’ll opt for the yahoo answer or some forum result instead of seeing what your site has to say.

There are lots of other interesting areas within Google Webmaster tools that you should check out as well.

5. Get a Twitter Account for Your Site

The day after we signed up for our twitter account (http://twitter.com/firstsearchblue) it was the top hit for “firstsearchblue” in Google. It actually outranked our home page…
When you sign up for twitter, go into settings and set the More Info URL to your webpage – Your Twitter page will have a Google Page Rank (more about this later) of 8 right off the bat, so this incoming link should help you a little. (Your Twitter page will be a high value site in the eyes of a search engine’s algorithm, this incoming link should help you get listed and better your site’s search result placement.)
If you are using WordPress, you should go get the Tweetly Updater plugin and set it up so that every time you add a new post to your site, a link to the post will be published on your Twitter page. This plugin requires that you create an account with http://bit.ly – this allows Tweetly to create a shorter URL link to your post so that you don’t use up your 140 character limit with a link.

6. Submit to dmoz and Technorati

dmoz is the open directory – it lists just about every worthwhile site on the web. Once you have a little content on your site, you should submit your URL to dmoz at www.dmoz.org – just navigate to the category/section that best describes your site, and click the suggest URL link in at the top of the page.
Make sure that you give your site a good description, this text often ends up as the text below your link in a page of search engine results.

Submit your blog to Technorati ASAP! This gets you a solid and legitimate incoming link to your homepage. Technorati also links to all of your posts, so make sure to get the sign up process started! It takes a few hours and a bit of back and fourth before you are finished the submission process, but it’s well worth it

7. Understand Google Page Rank and Inbound Links

Google Page Rank is a score out of 10 that Google applies to websites – it basically translates to how likely that site is to appear at the top of a list of Google search results – the higher the better.
Inbound links refers to links that point to your site (usually/ideally on other peoples’ sites)
For this step you should start by installing the google toolbar in your browser – it seems to work best in Firefox (just do a quick search of “install google toolbar” We all hate tool bars.. but this one is good.
When it asks you if you want the additional/advanced/extra features, say yes.
Now whenever you load a page, you can see it’s Google Page Rank in that little green and white bar within the Google tool bar.
The higher this number (out of 10) the more Google likes the site, and the higher it is going to rank in the search engine results.
When considering what sites you would like to link to your site, you should go after ones that have a medium to high page rank. Obviously in the beginning this isn’t going to be very easy – a site with a rank of 10 is not going to want to link to your site which probably has a rank of 0. So start small (maybe get someone with a rank of 2 or 3 to link to you) and work your way up.
One thing to consider with inbound links, is that they decrease in value with the number of total outgoing links that the site has. For example – You decide to post your link in a forum on a site that has a page rank of 6. Not bad! You have an inbound link from a well-ranked site. BUT on a site like a forum, there could be thousands of users doing the same thing as you, so this forum website might have 5000 outgoing links. Because there are so many, it makes the one link to your site less significant. Keep in mind that it is better to have someone link to you if they are not linking to a million other sites.

8. Get Some Inbound Links

There are many strategies to this. We recommend going about inbound links in this way:
1.Your own sites
Utilize the site you already have – This includes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Del.ico.us and any other profile-type sites that you are a member of. This also includes other sites that you may have built in the past. Maybe your school/employer has a website where you can post profile-type information.
2. Forums and Comments
If you think the content on your site might be helpful or valuable to a certain group of people, join a forum where these people discuss things and post your link to let them know where they can find some info. You can also comment on blogs where similar topics are being discussed.
3.Your Friend’s Sites
Talk to people you know that have websites. See if you can put some content on your site that would give them a reason to link to you. You could write an article about their site, or a product/service they offer.
4. Bigger Players
Once you have established some web-presence, use the “contact us” forms on other sites to see if they would be interested in linking to you. Perhaps you have some content that would be useful to people on their site. You can also offer to place a link to their site on yours in exchange.
5. Advertise
If you want, you can pay to advertise your link on other sites or search engines. Google Adwords is probably the most popular way of doing this.

9. Analytics

Analytics tell you who is coming to your site, how long they stay, where they come from, what they looked at and much more. If you are using a hosting service, it almost definitely has some Analytics software built in. Check out your control panel and look for a Statistics section.
WordPress has Google Analytics built in, if you click the Dashboard link from your WordPress back end, scroll down a bit and you will see a summary of your Analytics.
Whether you use a hosting service, have a WordPress site, or manage your hosting on your own server, it’s a good idea to sign up for a Google Analytics account. It’s free and the information will tell you a lot about how to optimize your site.
If you are using WordPress, you get a Google Analytics account and then install and connect the Google Analyticator plugin. You can also link your Google Analytics account to your Adsense account if you have one.

10. Write!

Get as much relevant content up onto your site as you can. This one applies for a few reasons.
1. First of all, when a search engine crawls and indexes your pages, it ads all of the text to its searchable database. That means every additional phrase/sentence (or even word) that you have on your site, is one more phrase that someone might type into their favorite search engine before getting directed to your site. By this logic, the more content you have, the more likely people will be driven to your site by a search engine.

2. Credible sites (especially WordPress or article/post based sites) have a substantial amount of content. Little scam or get-rich-quick type sites don’t typically have 1 or 2 pages. The search engines know that the web is a sea of scams, be more like the credible sites and you will rank higher.

3. Bad at writing? There are companies and individuals that offer inexpensive editing services and cheap, high-quality article writing. We have a few good contacts/relationships with writers and editors, send us a quick message if you need some help with your editing or content generation <a mailto=”[email protected]”>[email protected]</a>

Need Some Help?

Shoot us a message at [email protected] – We’ll give your site a once-over and send you a few tips for free. If you are interested in a full-scale SEO makeover we can help with that as well!