Blog Optimization Series: Search Engine Optimzation (1/3)

by Janith

As we all know Search Engine Optimization is a long term process, that needs to be attended intuitively. As webmasters – we all have different techniques and we all go to different depths of optimizing our blogs. However, it’s fair to say that we all have one common goal; which is rank high for our keywords and start getting organic traffic.

Still, most bloggers neglect the basics and don’t understand the fundamental power of SEO.

What’s worse than neglecting SEO? Completely ignoring our work in the Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Social Media Optimization (SMO) aspects of blog-promotion. Join us in a series-post to help explain and reveal the secrets behind the trio!

Search Engine Optimization

First up in the three will be SEO.

Why? Well, I decided it’s better for us to start off on the right foot – and ease into the idea with something we already have a rough idea about.

Let’s face it – ranking high for our keywords is (if not should be) one of our focal points when it comes to maintaining our blog. Getting to the front page of SERPs and maintaining high positions is not an easy task, but I want to take the consistently regurgitated SEO advice and give it to you straight.

These techniques alone will cover most on-site optimization and you’ll be ranking for most of your keywords + a few more!

Research + Target Keywords

A website without targeted keywords is like a fishing line without any bait. Only difference being, your hunting for search engine spiders that eat words/phrases. Without having targeted keywords, you aren’t giving them anything to bite on. It’s absolutely critical you have researched a handful of well define search terms.

A few months ago, I wrote up an article titled: What’s the key to Keywords? It covers the basics of utilizing keywords and optimizing your blog to them. If you need some insight or perhaps just a recap of keywords – I would recommend reading that post once more.

XML Sitemaps

Sitemaps (XML ones to be exact, but non-XML ones are not a problem) are loved by crawlers. Why? Because they can crawl off to different pages from one single page. It’s just perfect and makes their job so much easier.

If a crawler can find all links within a site from just one page – its more likely to spend more time on that site. By having a constant flow of new content + pages to crawl or re-crawl older pages – it will inherently spend more time on your blog.

There are several plugins that can automatically create XML Sitemaps for you, such as Google XML Sitemap Generator (WordPress Users) or you can install your own coding/scripting.

ALT Attributes

Not so long ago, I wrote Debate: DoFollow V NoFollow Links. It sparked quite some discussion, and several arguments (least to say) on a couple of external forums. It’s interesting because everyone has their own thoughts about ALT Attributes such as “rel=nofollow” but end of the day – it really is up to you.

Internal Links

Internal links are important because it allows crawlers to navigate your website’s deeper pages more conveniently. So, link to old posts if it’s appropriate and whenever you can, mention other internal pages. Not only will this benefit from a SEO perspective – but it will also drive traffic to your older posts.

Link Building

One of the most popular posts here is 45 Link Building Tips To Help You Promote Your Blog. Why? Well, simply because of the SEO value it contains. There’s almost a million ways people build links on the internet, these were just 45 ways I personally use/plan to use.

Analysis + Reports

Search Engine Optimization doesn’t end when you’ve done all the practical techniques. Just like any on-going project; you need to keep a constant watch on how your optimization is performing. Identify both the positively performing aspects and also the aspects that are lacking attention.

Nicholas Pruhdon’s Tracking Your SEO Performance is an excellent read on this topic. Mr. Pruhdon carefully takes into consideration the different methods and the different information you can extract from from possible “SEO trackers.” Definitely a worthy read!

Quick mentions on Search Engine Optimization;

As a blogger, you should soak in information like a sponge – listen to everything you can – then decide for yourself the best technique/method. Don’t believe everything you hear but take educated guesses and some calculated risks when it comes to SEO.

What do you think is the most critical aspects of Search Engine Optimization? If you have any recommendations – drop by a comment below :)

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