Everyone wants to be heard, chances are it was one of the reasons you started blogging in the first place. A lot of beginner bloggers seem to have the “If you build it, they will come” mentality, and this just isn’t the case. The sheer amount of blogs that exist today ensure that you will have to go above and beyond to attract readers. This is where SEO comes into play.
Let’s assume that you are relatively passionate about your blog’s topic – which means that you are producing quality content on a pretty regular basis. Great, that’s step one – here are a few extra things you should be changing to make the most of the search engine traffic.
The terms may not be familiar, but you already know what these are…you see them every single time you do a search!
Title Tags should be short and sweet, they should be unique and include the main keywords you want to rank for. For a blog, the Title Tag is usually the post’s title, but you can tweak it by going into the page’s code and looking for these tags: <title> </title>. If you use Wordpress these are located in your Header file. The Meta Description is just a short sentence that describes what the page or post is about. Again, it wouldn’t hurt to stick in a keyword or two and it should be kept short, under 30 words or so. You can write unique Meta Descriptions for each post, but to save time using the first sentence or two of the post can be a good starting point. Wordpress even has a plugin that will do the job for you: Head META Description.
It is good to link out to other resources and blogs. You’ll provide added value to the readers you have, and by linking out you’ll increase the chances that other bloggers and websites will link to you as well. You should also be creating internal links – this means linking to other posts on your blog or pages on your website within the post you are writing. Use your main keywords as anchor text in those links and it will help those pages rank for the specific keywords you are targeting. Having quality links to both your own content and outside pages is important, just be careful not to over do it. Having too many links on a page will look unnatural and ’spammy’.
People use the search engines to look for images as well as web pages. If your blog uses pictures often it’s a good idea to optimize them as well. First of all, give your images names that mean something when you save them – for example, SummerHouseFront.jpg instead of image13.jpg or the date. You should also use alt tags to give the image a short description (ex. alt=”Summer House”) and long description tags for more detail (ex. longdesc=”Summer House on Lake Michigan viewed from the beach”) This will help the search engines determine which keywords your images are most related to.
Being aware of the search engine optimization strategies used for blogs can lead to much higher referral traffic from Google, Yahoo and other search engines. If you use Wordpress download the All In One SEO Pack wordpress plugin, it does a good job of optimizing your content and avoiding duplicate content. Finally, be patient! It can be a slow process and take weeks (perhaps months if your blog is new) to see increases in search engine traffic. Trust us – it’ll pay off eventually.