Tuesday, March 18, 2008

SEO for Bloggers, Part 1 of 6: Getting Started with SEO

This is from our SEO Blog Templates website, enjoy:

SEO for Bloggers, Part 1 of 6: Getting Started with SEO

Our previous blogging coach wrote this series of articles back in June of last year. This series may have been her best work. It’s quite lengthy so I won’t do much of an introduction, but I am curious if any one has feedback on our new look of promoting premium blog templates and SEO tools on the front page? Do let us know what you think of the buttons on the top bar, and or any other comments on this SEO Blog Templates sites design as a whole. Enjoy this great series, I am going to republish the series all week, as I am spending most of my time doing design work for our B2b, Business Social Networking site.

SEO for Bloggers: Getting Started with SEO (Part 1 of 6)

You’ve probably heard the term search engine optimization , or SEO, being used before, but you might not have realized how simple it is to apply some of the techniques to your blog. By choosing the right platform, much of the nitty-gritty design work will be done for you, but it’s up to you, the blogger, to create quality content that uses SEO to target new readers and promote your brand.

Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site via search engines and search results. The goal is to achieve a high ranking, or to show up early (ideally in the top five) in the listings for relevant search terms, or keywords. Many SEO techniques can integrated in your blogging to ensure that your blog ranks highly in the search engine results for the keywords that are most important to you and your business.

Although SEO isn’t the only thing to consider when setting up your blog, it’s important to keep it in mind from the very beginning. First of all, you need to make a comprehensive list of all the potential search terms, or keywords that people could use when searching for your business, product, or service. Pay particular attention to synonyms, alternative phrases, and even misspellings (www.thesaurus.com is your friend here).

Next, you want to place your most important keywords in title and tagline. For instance, if you’re a real estate agent based in Chicago, use those words in your title - a possible title and tagline would be “A Chicago Real Estate Blog: From Lake shore Drive to Wicker Park”. Not only is the title the first thing your visitors notice when they come to your blog, it’s what the search engines display in their results listings. Be sure to place your text before your logo or any other images in order to maximize your site’s findability.

Once you’ve started actually blogging, be sure to use your chosen keywords liberally in your posts, categories, and tags. A high keyword density is key to search engine optimization. To continue with the Chicago real estate agent example, some obvious keywords for that blogger would be Chicago Real Estate, Chicago Condos, Wicker Park Real Estate, South Loop Condominiums, and other related terms.

If you’re blogging about your business, it’s fairly easy to place keywords within the content naturally, because you’d probably use the phrases while discussing those topics anyways. Aim for organic, natural usage instead of just repeating keywords for the sake of placing keywords amongst other keywords in your content (see how annoying that is to read?). You don’t want to counteract your SEO skills with unhelpful content.

Combining SEO techniques with compelling content will make your blog a powerful component of your brand. The simplest way to do this is to put yourself in your readers’ place - you want to make your blog easy to find (the SEO aspect) and beneficial for your readers (the compelling content). Quality content will also inspire other bloggers and site owners to link to you, and link building - getting others to links to your site - is absolutely vital for SEO success.

Organic keyword use in the context of interesting, informative posts is especially important in regard to link building, the next aspect of search engine optimization that I’ll be covering as part of my SEO for bloggers series, so be sure to check back soon!

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