When you consider how many blogs are out there with the same topic or a similar topic, you canít afford to play at or ignore search engine optimization (SEO). Whether you wish to drive readers to your site, sell products or monetize your site, you need to optimize to inacrease traffic and rank well in search engine rankings positions (SERPS). Optimization doesnít happen overnight, but these tips might help you to understand the importance of web hosting, natural backlinks, quality content, becoming an authority and much more.
Keep in mind that SEO techniques can change from year to year based on algorithms, and whether you succeed is pretty much determined by Google spiders that crawl sites to decide if they have useful information or garbage. Spiders check more than 200 different types of criteria like fresh content, the age of the domain, backlinks and the amount of current traffic to the site. If youíve optimized and update your content regularly, youíll more than likely improve your SERPS.
Domain Name and Web Hosting
Research keywords carefully and include them in a creative domain name. Spiders and readers will associate the name with the blog focus.
Many bloggers make the mistake of looking for free blog hosting services or buying into the cheapest hosting service they can find. This might be a huge mistake if youíre serious about building a long-term site, which involves a lot of work. When choosing a service, consider these tips:
- Estimate the amount of bandwidth and space youíll need or choose a host that allows for increases.
- Choose a hosting company that has functional and easy to use blogging software.
- Look for companies that offer technical support 24/7.
- Select a host that has excellent ratings for uptime.
Donít put your site in jeopardy by copying articles off the Internet. Google is interested in high quality blogs that offer original content. Whether you write the blogs or purchase them, make sure they can pass a duplicate checker like Copyscape.
Not so long ago, blog and website owners purchased backlinks to increase their ratings. However, that is strongly frowned upon these days, and it may have negative affects on blogs. The best links are those that come from authority sites that have good to excellent ratings.
Do some research to find high quality sites. Offer to guest post or provide something of value in exchange for backlinks. Avoid keyword stuffing in anchor text, which isnít desirable. Instead, include some keywords in a descriptive statement.
Adding comments to blogs and websites with related topics is another great method for obtaining backlinks. Look for high-ranking blogs. Post a helpful comment, which can increase your exposure, increase traffic and develop new relationships with other bloggers.
Installing a Google Sitemap
There is a good chance that your ranking might not be as high as it could be if you donít already have a Google sitemap. Sitemaps map out your archives, pages and posts so the site can be properly indexed.
Social Media Sites
Underestimating the importance of social media sites could be highly detrimental to blog rankings if you havenít been posting or tweeting. All kinds of people look to Facebook and Twitter for information, updates and tweets about services and companies. In fact, Google uses them as a source to check the relevance and authority of content on blogs and websites.
Interacting with readers, customers and other businesses on social sites can only improve your authority reputation, get your site noticed and help you to network and develop relationships.
By making your blog an authority on a specific subject, youíll not only draw more readers, but youíll catch the attention of Google spiders. Since many people rely on Internet searches to research information or find answers to questions, authority sites are naturally listed higher in the SERPS.
If your site cannot easily be viewed and navigated using mobile phones, youíre likely missing out on potential customers. Mobile phone usage to view sites is constantly increasing, and Google even gives priority to mobile-friendly sites by listing them at the top of SERPS.
Optimizing Your Theme
Consider using blog themes that are already optimized and plugins to cover basic optimization. Google prefers well-optimized sites that load quickly, and they also improve the userís experience.
Choosing web hosting services with faster hosting and compressing images on your blog are two important ways to improve load time, which is part of your rating score.
Images help to clarify or expand on the points youíre trying to make in blog posts. However, they are also the perfect way to add alt text. By writing a creative description about each photo with keywords is easy and may draw the attention of spiders.
Writing a short meta description for each page in your site can be important because they may appear in search results. By including long-tailed keywords, youíll alert Google and readers to the importance and usefulness of your content.
SEO for Blog Posts
- Design short URLs for pages, which include target keywords.
- Use H1 title tags and include at least one keyword at the start of the title to catch the attention of search engines.
- Make your blog easier to read by using H2 subheadings and sprinkle keywords in a few throughout the text.
- Increasing user interest with photographs, multimedia and videos improves the time users remain on the site, which is another criteria Google uses for rating.
- In addition to using keywords in titles, you should place keywords in the introduction and conclusion paragraph. Keywords help search engines to determine the focus and subject matter or your blog post.
- Blog posts, which include internal links to related blogs or topics, help readers to find additional information, and they may show Google spiders that your site is a valuable asset, which provides authority information.
Writing original content with keywords, optimizing your blog and getting quality backlinks are all smart methods to increase SERPS.