So far, we provided you with tutorials on how to build up your blog in ways of design and substance. We advised you on how to connect with other bloggers, on sites and plug-ins. In short, we taught you how to prepare your blog to be the fairest of them all and how to be social and send it to the ball. To further expand this metaphor, now is time to teach you a few tricks on how subtly be noticed by the big players. It is time to introduce you with SEO.
What is SEO?
For those of you who don’t know what SEO stands for, it stands for Search Engine Optimization. It s the process of affecting the visibility of a website in search engine’s “natural” or un-paid search results. Simply put, it means how high your website will appear in search engine’s results list. And why would you want that? The more visible a website is, the more visitors it can get- who wouldn’t want that? Because let’s face it, how many of you have gotten beyond page 3 of search results on Google/Bing/Yahoo?
Just like in life, there are good and there are bad techniques. The so called white hat SEO techniques are those that will have a long-term effec, won’t deceive the reader and are created for users, not search engines. On the other hand, the black hat techniques are primarily made to deceive search engines and drive traffic, and will eventually be penalized by the search engines by reducing their ranking, or eliminating them from the search results. Nobody is spared in this case of deceptive practices, just ask BMW what happened in 2006. So here we will focus on white hat techinques.
Starting the Optimization
What to do first? The best way to start is to make sure that your theme is SEO optimized. It will indicate to search engines that your blog is trustworthy and it makes it much more easier to find your content. Keep your code clean, make sure it loads fast, don’t leave any unused or broken parts of the code, and make your theme original.
Second, make your blog easy to navigate. Organize your pagination in logical manner and limit number of posts by the page. It will take less to load your blog and help so called “spiders” to find archived content. You can also install a sitemap, which is literally giving a map of your blog to search engines, and we all know that navigation is easier with maps.
Use tags and categories. It will interconnect your content in a logical way that is beyond chronological. However, limit the number of categories that you have. Specialized content is good, but if it is too specialized, it will lead to very thin pages with only one post. Select only one to two categories per post and make them unique. Also, add related posts. Not only it makes easier for the reader to search your blog, but it will help search engines too. If your content is buried under a dozen of clicks, it will drop off the radar very fast.
Links and Linking
Fix your permalink structure. If you don’t know what a permalink let me show you on an example of this post: http://domain.me/seo-for-your-blog/ is the permalink, and each permalink is made of root (http://domain.me) and extension (/seo-for-your-blog/). Since the root is always the same, make sure that your extension is to the point and use keywords. Speaking of keywords, use them. They will indicate how are your users finding you and what do they want to read. Keywords can be of great help for for you for figuring out and giving people the content that they want.
Once again, we will mention social networks. Since your blog is specialized, there will probably be one social network that is more suitable to your agenda. If you are crafting blog, use Pinterest, if you are news blog, Twitter is your domain and so on, but don’t ignore other social networks. Use all of them and don’t forget to add sharing buttons. It won’t only make it easier your for your readers to share your content, but it will help create external links, which again help in positioning your blog. And don’t forget about internal linking, or linking yourself on your blog (with relevant information, of course).
These are just few simple ways of the SEO. Once you implement them, your blog will at least be afloat in search engines. You should never forget that your content is the most important thing, and without it, all of the SEO won’t be of much use. However, if you use them wisely, who knows, maybe you are the next big hit in blogging world?