Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving a web sites visibility to search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. By improving the visibility to search engines SEO aims to have a web page appear higher in the list of search results of any given appropriate search, thereby increasing traffic on the site or page. SEO may target different types of searches e.g. News or Images and these different searches can be made using most general purpose search engines such as Google.
Generally, optimising a website involves editing the content and the coding to increase the relevance to specific keywords (aslo known as “index terms“) and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. It can also involve increasing the number of incoming links to the page or site and increasing the number of outgoing links.
In this post, I am going to look at ways to make a blog more search engine friendly and how to utilise SEO techniques to improve a blogs visibility to search engines on the web. Blogs are naturally search engine friendly because they are rich in text, links and are frequently-updated, they are web pages that use cascading style sheets (CSS). As blogs are web pages, SEO on a blog is similar to SEO for web pages but for Blogs, SEO is focused on giving something to talk about and something worthy of attention.
There are a number of ways that you can make your blog more search engine friendly
- Use the primary keyword of you blog in the domain name (the URL of your blog).
- Use the key phrase that you want to be found by in header tags and in the title of blog posts.
- Use your secondary keywords in the body of your post.
- Make sure every page is linked to every other page by using sidebars and linking old posts.
- Try to establish inbound links to your blog.
When you set up the domain of your blog, ensure that you have used the keyword in the domain name. For example if you were doing a blog on “metasearching” and you wanted to be found with the keyword “metasearching” then ensure that this appears somewhere in the domain name.
If your primary key phrase is “search engine optimization”, you need to ensure that this appears in whole or part in the blog headers and in the title of each post. Most blogging software will create permalink posts with these keywords in them, but for server side software such as WordPress (used for this blog) you may need to change the permalink structure to maximise findability.
When writing the content of your post, consider the words and phrases that someone may use when conducting a search. These are the secondary keywords that you want to include, try to use them throughout your blog. Do not overdo it, as overuse of your keywords can reduce the apparent value of your content. You should also use these keywords wherever possible as “alt” and “title” in your images and outgoing links in the blog. By carefully wording you content you ensure that you have an appropriate keyword density.
By having every page linked in such a way ensures that the search engine spider can crawl over your blog and index the pages more effectively. This makes them (the pages) more available to anyone conducting a search for your content.
Incoming links help to increase your Pagerank and help to increase your blogs ranking in search engines. Although you may have less control over this than other factors, there are still some things that you can do:
Submit your blog to blog search engines and directories.
Exchange Links with similarly themed blogs.
Add your blogs URL to your signature on forum posts on other sites.
Of course, quality content will entice other bloggers and sites to link to your site, so a focus on developing the content of your blog will assist in generating inbound links.
If you change your domain name or system, any links that you have generated will be lost and you blog will become more difficult to find. This is the opposite of what we are aiming for when considering SEO for a blog.
There are many SEO tools available for you to use, here is a good list. These can assist you when you are optimizing your blog and many of them are free to use. You can easily gain valuable information about your domain, the use of keywords in your content; the amount of incoming links to your site and many other aspects relating to the SEO techniques described is this post.
Useful information can be obtained from the following links
- wordpress.org – Search Engine Optimization for WordPress
- thesitewizard.com – How to Make Your WordPress Blog Search-Engine-Friendly
- pandia.com – How to make Google’s Blogger more search engine friendly
- Zemalf.com – How to Make Your Blog SEO Friendly
- Seobook – The Blogger’s Guide to SEO – by Aaron & Giovanna Wall