By now, having your own blog may seem like a cliché since it seems everyone has one but the fact is that they continue to rank very well. What’s more, they’re not only popular with search engines, they also give you a chance to interact with and receive invaluable feedback from your readers.
Blogs are generally a win-win situation IF you’re willing to set yourself up for success. To that end, here are some useful techniques to optimize your blog for the major search engines.
- Update your content often! – This works for both your readers and the search engines. Your readers love fresh content and it gives them a reason to check your blog more often. If the search engine crawlers determine that your site is updated frequently, they will be more inclined to index your site more often and your ranking opportunities are enhanced.
- Focus on one keyword per post –It’s OK to provide variations and modifiers on your keyword or phrase but don’t overdo it. In your writing, if you discover other ideas that you want to include, it’s often best to separate that idea into a different blog post.
- Use the keyword in the title – Use the keyword you want to optimize in the title of the post and make it descriptive. Follow up by using it in the text of your post as well but make it comfortably fit into the content without seeming forced or repetitive.
- Put the keyword in the URL – Putting the keyword or phrase into the page URL adds extra relevance to the page from a search engine’s perspective. Instead of www.yetanotherblog,net/IrrelevantQueryString, try www.yetanotherblog.net/ keyword-topic-title
- Provide relevant links – Look around for related sites that reinforce or even differ with the point you wish to make in your blog post and include them in the body of the text. To take this a step further, make the link itself descriptive. Instead of saying, “Check out this guy’s opinion here,” say, “Check out this guy’s opinion on keyword here’. Also, remember that other blog owners love links as much as you do so if you link to their site, they may be more inclined to link back to yours.
- Make your blog easy to bookmark and share –Don’t overdo it and make your page seem too crowded with these things but make it easy for your readers to bookmark your site and share it with others by including bookmarking widgets from Digg, StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us, etc. These are great tools for creating good linking opportunities and add a very effective Social Media Marketing angle to the blog.
- Make every post count – It’s important to update your blog often for the reasons stated above but you also need to focus on the quality of the post. Put yourself in another blogger’s position and ask yourself: Is this relevant? Would I want to link to it? Would it be of value to MY readers?
- Double-check for spelling and grammar mistakes – This may seem obvious but if the blog features lots of mistakes, not only will it be more difficult to read and sully your credibility with your readers, other blog owners will be less inclined to link to your site.