Tuesday, July 31, 2012
If you want to attract readers to your blog, you need to pay attention to search engine optimization, or SEO. Every blog post you write needs to be optimized for search engines so that people who are searching for your topic online can easily find your blog. Although SEO may sound complicated, once you get the hang of it you'll be able to easily optimize every blog post and increase your blog traffic.
Step 1: Choose popular keywords.
The first step to optimizing your blog post is to choose the keywords you want to associate with it. Keywords are words that people will search for online to look for your blog post.
The best way to choose keywords is to ask yourself what you would search for if you were looking for your blog post. Then, use a free keyword analysis tool such as the one Google offers to check how popular those keywords are. Most keyword tools tell you how many people looked for a keyword and give you related keywords you might want to consider. Choose some keywords from this list and search for them online to see how much competition you have. You want keywords that are fairly popular but don't have a lot of competition. You don't want keywords nobody uses because then no one will find your page, but you don't want keywords that a million pages have already used because then you'll have to work too hard to compete.
Step 2: Include keywords appropriately on your blog post.
Once you've chosen your keywords, you'll need to use them throughout your blog post in order to optimize it for search engines. You need to include your primary keyword in the following places:
- Your blog post's title.
- Your blog post's URL.
- The first and last sentences of your blog post.
You may also need to use it somewhere in the middle of your post, depending on how long your post is.
You should use your secondary keywords each once somewhere in your blog post.
It's important to make sure that you fit your keywords into the text naturally because otherwise they'll sound funny to human visitors and turn them off. In addition, it's important not to overuse any keyword. No keyword should comprise more than 2 to 3 percent of your total copy. Otherwise, Google and other search engines might ban your site from their listings for keyword stuffing.
Step 3: SEO Optimize Your Images
Many blog posts include images in order to attract readers' interest. If you do this, it's also another opportunity to optimize your blog. You can save your images to your computer using keywords as part of the file name. For example, a photo of a car can be named "pre-owned vehicle.jpg" if you are writing a blog about pre-owned vehicles.
Step 4: Get Some Back Links
The final step of SEO optimization is to get back links to your blogs. Whenever another site links to your blog, it creates a back link. Back links aid SEO if they come from a variety of sites and if they come from reputable sites. Be careful; if a spam site or other non-reputable site links to your blog, it can hurt your site rank on Google and other search engines. These include sites that promote gambling, adult content, or other illegal activity.
One of the best natural ways to get back links is to comment on other blogs in your niche. When people read your blog comments, they can click on your name to see your blog. They may then comment on your blog or even post a link to your blog in their blog posts. This both increases your traffic and increases your SEO.
It takes some work to optimize your blog posts for search engines, but it's worth it. If you put the effort into SEO, you'll attract more readers to your blog on a regular basis and build your site’s SEO status for the long term.
Linda Le Phan is an avid tech blogger, providing information on topics such as Search Marketing, Design, and Cloud Computing from Profit Bricks.
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