I think lots of us do things very differently when it comes right down to a little SEO. I guess in simple terms, it really comes down to how we write and manage our blog information and content.
I don’t always get these right (who does), but it’s nice to remind myself how it should really go to maximise those good old search engine results.
What I think it best practice for blog writing SEO.
Search engines love content these days. The phrase that many come up with is “content is King.” Whether we like it or not, Google had decided that content is the way to go and who are we to argue with Google. Good quality content gets better ranking placement which means more readers sent our way. Try to avoid duplication of content as although it is unlikely to get you banned, it may get your post lowered down the ratings if another website hosting almost the same content is chosen as the one to rank higher.
If we only post a couple of times a year, we’re not likely to have our websites crawled often for updates in the search engine directories. If our content isn’t in them, it can’t be found. Try to build a community of loyal readers who want to keep coming back for more of what you share, and they might even pass it on to their friends.
For any blog that wants to be noticed, or wants visitors, sharing on social media is a must. Many people recommend Addthis, but I found it sadly seemed to slow my WordPress install down so much that I found it frustrating to use, but I would love to have kept it as it was really good.
The WordPress Jetpack share options seem to be working well and it gets our information started on a good many social media platforms. On social media, it doesn’t just mean broadcasting our wares and hoping people will listen. It takes time and effort to get to a place where we create online virtual relationships with our mutual follows. Social media is about trust, reliability and not always likeability. Who cares which one you prefer most, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google +, Digg, Tumblr, Reddit or any others. It’s the one you enjoy that you should stick to, unless you are a business as then you need to go where your customers are.
This is quite important really. Some online content networks ask for between 400 – 800 words for a reason. Anything above about 250 words is acceptable, but go far too far over and few people will stop and read the whole post as the length of the text is just too much for them. Not too short and not too long should be the order of the day. As much as you need to get your message across. This post will be slightly over, but not by much.
Keywords help. In lots of cases, they are simply common sense, and thinking of what you would search for in Google to look for your topic can make how you craft your content slightly differently. I once saw a local hairdresser with simply their keywords written into about 4 paragraphs on a page endlessly. It was horrific to see and read. Don’t overstuff your keywords. Using about 3 – 6 in an 800 word post is probably enough.
I’ve noticed some people adding random keywords into their page or post meta descriptions and titles. Think about what you are doing as Google isn’t silly. If you add words into your seo descriptions and tags that are not in your content, they’re not going to like it. You could well be seen as trying to manipulate the reader.
There was a lot of talk a while back about bloggers turning off comments and being unapproachable. Only the individual blogger can decide if that’s the right route for them. Google likes to see frequently updated content, and comments work for that too. It also makes you look approachable and shows interaction with your readers. It’s also very impolite to never answer your commenters. I’m not perfect and I miss a few, but I try to catch them all.
If you’re serious about blogging and want to rise and rise and rise, you either have to be very popular, create fantastic content that nobody else does, or build some great links. Remember that not all links are equal and that some links could do you some harm. I blog for fun, but if you’re blogging for a future potential business or to turn it into a commercial enterprise, links in are a must.
Google have guidelines for using links that are not illegal, ie taking money for sponsored posts is not illegal, but Google does not like anyone paying or being paid for links that pass any page rank to another website. Any of us who take the risk, also risk a potential ban from Google. Building links naturally from relevant other websites that Google approves of is the best way to go forward. That comes from great content, guest posting, and using social media well. It is ALWAYS illegal to take money for a post or page and not declare the relationship.
Good luck as building a huge link base is really time consuming.
Tags are just like categories but for the net. The search engines pull them up and they can be useful for having people sent your way. A good blog post with some relevant keywords might just not need to put their tags on, and I do sometimes forget, but I think they are useful.
What they do is allow your content to be indexed much more quickly and hence perhaps a higher rank. I still see people putting invisible text in websites, hoping that search engines will pull them up, but I suspect that would go against you as the text would be classed as hidden. In fact, hidden text could get your blog de-indexed altogether in Google.
Some people have tag clouds on their front page in the hope that the words will be picked up from there, but I think that it totally unnecessary and a waste of front page space. Others will disagree with me. If you look at tags as the same as your keywords, it makes them easier to understand. They should be made up of up to three word phrases and accurately describe or reflect the post or page that they are attached to.