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Tag Archives: Search Engine Optimisation

How to optimise your blog for the world wide web

My Blogging Experience – New to Blogging

Information Architecture and Content Management is my first ever blog. For this blog I have used WordPress, one of the most popular blogging tools. WordPress is also open source, which means that the user has access to the code that WordPress is built on and they can change it if they desire. It also means that it is free to use for the perspective blogger, all that is needed is a domain name and a web host. Or you can use the WordPress.com service that allows a blogger to set up a free blog as a sub domain of WordPress.

As my first attempt at writing a blog, I would rate this experience as successful. I have already put forward a few blog posts; I have focused on making the posts high quality and am confident that I have achieved that goal. In addition, in the process of producing these blog posts, I have learned more about search engines, search engine optimisation and the use of search analytics tools in web development.

I have attempted (to the best of my current ability) to use SEO techniques such as those that have been written about in my second post. Unfortunately as of 5th September 2011 my blog does not even appear in the top 10 pages when using a Google search for “search engine optimisation” but the Google search “tim ashton search engine optimisation” returns my blog in the number one position, also true for the search “tim ashton metasearch engines”. Of course, my blog is up against the experts in SEO as every organisation or individual that provides a SEO service has got an optimised blog or website.

Search Engine Optimisation Search

Search Results for the SEO Google Search

 

Metasearchengine search

Search Results for Metasearch engine Google Search

 

Now that I have a sentiment of a success from my first attempt at blogging, I think that I will certainly participate in blogging in the future. As I gain more experience in the information technology industry, I will draw on an increasing pool of knowledge. An increase in my knowledge base will allow me to offer more in each of my future blogs and blog posts. In doing so I will not only share what I know with others, but I am inviting comments, and increasing my exposure to a community of blogging peers on the web. I will be using this blogging experience as my starting point in my information sharing activities on the web.

HTML
The most difficult technical issues of getting started as a blogger have been made relatively trivial through the use of WordPress. The WordPress content management system (CMS)has negated the technical difficulty of producing this blog. You do not need to know how to code in server side scripting languages such as PHP or write SQL (WordPress uses PHP and SQL) queries to interact with a database, you do not even need to know how to produce HTML code. That said, my knowledge of HTML has been very helpful, it has allowed me to modify the content in the way that I desired. Without this knowledge I think it would have been difficult to produce tables and position pictures effectively. I found using the standard WordPress content management view a bit tedious and that it was considerably easier to write HTML code to achieve my blogging goals.

Having the technical issues taken care of by the content management systems allowed me to focus on producing quality content for my blog and know that for the most part, it could be simply entered into the CM administration interface. Producing the content was, in fact quite challenging. Not only was there a considerable amount of research and reading required but I was attempting to write the content in a search engine friendly manner.

Coming up with new ideas for the content of a blog is not easy, but if a starting point with a sound foundation can be made, the blog can stem from there and begin to grow. I think that the continued production of a quality blog would assist in the generation of new ideas from comments and input from other bloggers. Furthermore, a continued participation in blogging circles of a particular topic will help to stimulate new blog posts.

The Blogosphere
This blogging experience has given me an insight as what it means to actually maintain and write in a blog. The experience showed me that actually setting up and using blog software was not complex. The difficulty exists more in the production of high quality content written in an appropriate manner for the web and gaining exposure on the web from your blog.

I learned more about the topics that I have posted about and I have become more aware of the blogosphere at large. I have learned that bloggers work hard to get their blog posts noticed and they interact with other bloggers to share their ideas and knowledge. Additionally the whole notion of blogging is knowledge sharing and communication between people with both similar and dissimilar views.

The topics written about in blog posts are numerous and varied, The State of the Blogosphere 2010 report by Technorati provides some interesting information about who is blogging, why, what are they blogging about, how often and where are they blogging from.

Further information

 

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Search Engine Optimisation for Blogs

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.

Search Engine Optimisation

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

  1. Use the primary keyword of you blog in the domain name (the URL of your blog).
  2. 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.

  3. Use the key phrase that you want to be found by in header tags and in the title of blog posts.
  4. 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.

  5. Use your secondary keywords in the body of your post.
  6. 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.

    Search Engine Spiders

  7. Make sure every page is linked to every other page by using sidebars and linking old posts.
  8. 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.

  9. Try to establish inbound links to your blog.
  10. 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.

  11. Once you have set up your blogs domain, don’t change it.
  12. 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

 

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