You have to understand how search engine optimization (SEO) works if you want to get loads of visitors to your blog or website. When people enter a search term into the worldwide web, the search engine robots crawl every site looking for the most relevant information. Without an understanding of how to make the most of SEO techniques on your blog, people searching for the kind of information, product or service you have, will not even know you exist.
What is SEO/Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization is often referred to as SEO. The principle behind good SEO is that it will maximize the chances for your webpage to be listed high in the search engine results. This means your webpage is more likely to get a bigger slice of any traffic searching for a particular term or ‘keyword phrase.’ You can easily increase the chances of your web page ranking high by focusing on good use of keywords, links and relevant content.
Why? Because web pages that contain high quality content based on the search term are considered relevant. Search engines also look favorably on pages that other domains link to (search engine robots believe your site must be relevant if other similar web pages link back to yours). This is called Back Linking.
Getting to understand SEO can seem overwhelming with all the information that is out there so I’ve tried to provide you with some of the fastest and easiest things you can implement immediately to improve your blog’s search engine rankings.
Keyword Checklist for SEO
1. Your article or blog title must have the keyword in the title. It’s best if the keyword shows up near the beginning of the title and the title should be at least three words long, but no longer than six to seven words.
2. Break your article or blog post up with headings. Include your keywords in these headings.
3. Your content should have two to four-percent key word presence. However, don’t be tempted to overload your content with your keywords. If you do, the search engine robots may think your site is a fraud and your rankings can be heavily penalized. These little robots will think you are more concerned with driving traffic than providing high quality content to readers.
4. Write content that is at least 300 words, and even better if it is closer to 500 words.
5. Use your keyword right away in the content. It should show-up within the first 50-100 words and then again in the last 50-100 words.
6. Include an image that has the keywords added into the ALT attribute.
7. Only focus on one keyword or keyword phrase within one article or blog post.
8. Be mindful of keyword proximity. If you’re writing about how to optimize your blog, it’s more valuable if you use the keywords ‘attraction marketing’ without any additional words in-between them than if you use the word ‘attraction’ in the first paragraph then use ‘marketing’ in paragraph two.
9. If your domain name includes your keyword – that’s a bonus.
Avoid These SEO Pitfalls
1. Do not use excessive amounts of unrelated keywords in your text. Doing this tampers with content relevance in search engine results. This activity can demote you in search engine rankings.
2. Don’t use keywords or phrases out of context. This will severely push your web page down in the rankings.
3. Search engine robots severely penalize keyword stuffing (more than 10% of your content is keyword-rich). In fact, this can get you banned from posting online.
How to Use Links to Enhance Your Blog
1. Link your keyword within at least one sentence, to another page within your website
2. Get other websites with relevant high quality content to add your link on their webpage (Remember, this gives search engine robots confidence that your site is relevant).
3. Try to get links to your site from .edu and .gov pages. These are considered more reputable by search engines than .net, .info, .biz and .com websites.
4. The more backlinks the better as long as the sites are similar to yours and reputable.
5. Create new links to your page gradually. If you get more than about 10 links leading to your website at once, the search engines will think you bought them. Remember, search engines want authenticity.
6. Choose websites to link to your page that have a limited number of existing outgoing links. This tells the search engine that your link is most important to the host website.
How NOT to Use Links in SEO
1. Limit Your Links. Google especially, will frown upon too many links in your content. Keep it to less than 100 links.
2. Relationships. Make sure all of the websites you link to remain relevant, up-to-date, and have a good reputation. You don’t want to appear connected to “bad” sites by search engines.
3. Do Not Enter Into Link Exchanges. You may get approached to do ‘link exchanges.’ Avoid these at all costs. This will appear to be a paid relationship and work against you.
What Content Will Optimize Your Blog?
1. Keep your content unique. Don’t copy other people’s articles onto your own site.
2. Post regularly. Search engines LOVE new and regular updates.
3. Where appropriate bold, underline or italicize your keywords. Don’t overdo this or you’ll get penalized but, if done tastefully, it will improve your rankings.
4. When using headings in your article, select the ‘headings’ font.
5. Articles around 500-700 words are ideal. If you have lots more than this to write, think about breaking it up over two or three posts as a series.
Most of these tips will help to improve your rankings across all the major search engines – Google, Bing, and Yahoo! SEO can sometimes seem hard to understand at first, but it’s not difficult. The great thing is that when you implement these small changes, you will see an improvement in your rankings and the traffic your site receives.
So there you go. The strategies I use every day to get my blog posts ranking high in the search engines.
Article by Fay McLean. Pick up more great free content over at: http://www.faymclean.com