Blog to be found. Optimise your blog for search engines – I wasn’t quite sure what to title this article. You see, once you have the blog set up and running you want people to read your content. And that’s the part that isn’t just a given.
People seem to think that they can set up a blog and start blogging and they will be right out there in the bustling blogosphere, stamping their cyber footprint and attracting attention. But there are very few Seth Godins around.
Sustainable Way of Blogging
Some traffic to your blog will always be direct traffic from people who know you. You might even develop a following and become a kind of cult figure and attract a lot of direct traffic. But that isn’t a sustainable way of blogging. You really need to optimize you blog for search engines.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) can be quite overwhelming and scary to any new blogger (or person thinking of setting up a blog for the first time). But the basics are really quite simple – and with a bit of practice, not that hard at all to do effectively.
Optimise your blog for Search Engines like this:
- Make sure your content is original and interesting. Your blog post must be informative and easy to read and targeted at your audience.
- Keywords or rather keyphrases are important. Think like your audience thinks. What phrase would they type into the search box to find your article? (Use Google Adwords: Keyword Tool to find keywords you can use). When Google sees related keywords in all the right places, it can easily determine the information on the page, thus improving the chances that the page will receive a higher search engine return.
- Write strong keyword rich headings and intros (summary paragraphs). Remember your heading appears when the search results come up, so make it stand out. Headings should have about 72 character and intros about 165 – anything else is cut off in the search results. (Your strongest key word should appear first in both the heading and the intro).
- Don’t forget to write subheadings. They break up a slab of copy and make it easy for the eye to pick out highlights. They are also a good place to use your keywords again.
- Make sure you have good internal and external links. Think of it, the whole Internet is just a gazillion computers linked to each other. When you link to another site, the blogger or webmaster will usually see a “trackback” or incoming link. If you offer related content the site you have linked to might like yours and link back. Incoming links from relevant and reputable websites are highly valued by the search engines. Actually, they’re probably one of the most important factors when determining search engine ranking.
- Caption your Blogposts. I guess the final point I could add in this SEO Tips blogpost, is – always add an image. And caption your image – caption your image with feeling. I’ve seen so many blogposts with images captioned “Bob and Sue”, instead of “Durban Beachfront, October – Bob and Sue enjoy watching the surfers”.
About the Author:
Karen Lotter is a journalist and writer based in Durban, South Africa. She runs a company (http://www.ethekwiniweb.co.za/) specializing in creating websites, writing creative and interesting content and optimizing sites for search engines.
She has written profiles, features, advertising copy, obituaries, press releases, and columns in magazines, company newsletters and newspapers, and written and produced corporate scripts.
Since she stopped writing political speeches (after 13 years in the trenches), she has focused on writing for the web and presenting workshops on communications-related issues. She is a Feature Writer at Suite 101.com (http://www.suite101.com/profile.cfm/ethekwinigirl).
Karen tutors the Writing for the Web Course at the Writers’ College.