The Essential Guide to Search Engine Optimization for Bloggers

Read More: Blogging

Search engine optimization, known in many circles as SEO, provides a method for search
engines to interact, reference and index web pages in a manner that is most efficient to
delivering of relevant results to users. In the past, SEO was rudimentary and search engines
simply crawled web pages trying to garner useful information from them in order to present
findings to users and hopefully get those users the information they are searching for. This was
less than spectacular in many cases. As soon as unscrupulous webmasters discovered the
“secret” behind search engine indexing, they quickly leapt to the fore to create pages that were
unreadable to the average human being but scored at the very top of the search results.

Realizing that they had a problem on their hands, search engines set about implementing new
policies for web pages to be listed on their index and the framework that is currently known as
SEO was born.

What constitutes Search Engine Optimization?

SEO was designed as a method of creating content that was easily readable by search engines in order to be indexed under the proper categories while at the same time providing information
that was useful and served a purpose. Search engine optimization is basically designing your
pages to be easily read by both the human element and the non-human element (search engine
indexing bots).

Good SEO creates a seamless user experience by placing words and phrases strategically within
the body text of a post and optimizing the tags (such as the title and keywords) to make it
easier for indexing the page. This benefits the website owner by giving them access to a wider
array of users since the keywords that they use can be categorized so that users that are unsure
of what they are searching for will be able to locate the website and use it as a resource. The
downside of it is that SEO takes time and for some bloggers and marketing professionals, time
is a commodity they do not have. As a result they resort to underhanded SEO practices that
have a chance of improving their search result but usually end with their search rank dropping

How can I optimize my blog?

Writing a blog is usually about communicating information regarding a specific topic or series of
topics. This is good from an SEO perspective because it means that optimizing a blog is a lot
easier than optimizing an entire website. In many blogging platforms and frameworks (Blogger,
WordPress, etc.) there is the option to categorize your posts and to add optional tags. By using
the right tags and the right keywords, you can optimize your blog to draw more users and to
garner more visibility due to search engine results.

There are a number of plugins in WordPress that calculate the search engine optimization levels
of individual pages and allow you to view at a glance simple SEO statistics such as keyword
density. When you post, your keyword density should be enough to make the page noticeable
to the search engine bots, but not so stuffed that you have a hard time reading and processing
the page information. Write for your audience first and optimize for the search engines after. If
you try to optimize before you write you’re going to find yourself in a world of trouble with
poorly written and sometimes unreadable blog posts.

What are some tips for a blogging SEO beginner?

As with anything that requires an in-depth knowledge of a subject, search engine optimization
can be an inexact science when you first get started. There are a handful of guidelines that will
serve you well through the process of optimizing your blog for better indexing and traffic.

Although they by themselves don’t constitute an SEO strategy, they are useful in ensuring that
you get a good start on the road to optimizing your posts.

Keep your duplicate content to a minimum

Duplicate content is a no-no in the SEO world. For a blogger this might be a simple task of
ensuring that you don’t double-post an entry. It is also important that you don’t plagiarize your
information from another location. Unique content is what search engines are interested in and
duplicate content will simply thrust your blog to the very bottom of the results page.

Cultivate good backlinks

Backlinking allows a search engine to determine if you site is relevant and necessary. The
relevancy of your site is directly related to the sites you backlink to. Thus, creating a blog about
a certain topic that links to another topic that is totally unrelated is not likely to interest the
bot. Obtaining backlinks from places such as online directories and blog collectives counts as
bad backlinking. Linking to and from authoritative sites is preferred.

Use your keywords sparingly

There is a term for overuse of keywords called over-optimization. The unofficial term
is ‘keyword stuffing’ and it is frowned upon by search engines most severely. In the early days
of search engine technology, keyword stuffing was a guaranteed way to game the search
engines into indexing a page very high up in the search results. Modern SEO methodology has
made it increasingly hard to do that. If your keywords are above a certain limit a search engine
may decide you are stuffing and drop your page ranking. In order to avoid this problem, you
should keep the limit to which you want your primary keyword density to be (around 2% is a
safe number) and adhere to it.

Where do I go from here?

As a blogger, you know the importance of planning ahead by now. Creating a roadmap for your
SEO plan for the next six month is probably the best way to get your SEO system organized. A
long term SEO plan will see a lot more traffic than an SEO plan that simply depends upon
optimizing a single post per week. Be consistent and it will pay off. Get together a list of
relevant SEO titles that are keyword friendly and brainstorm them so that you can create
content based off of their framework. You will find writing will come a lot easier when you
outline before you write, especially when it comes to creating SEO sensitive content. Most
importantly: write for your audience first and the search engines after.

In order to create good content that content must fulfil a role to the audience. Writing for the
search engines just reduces the quality of your content and your blog overall. City Web
Company is a dedicated blogger resource that deals with optimized blog content. Get in contact
with us and find out about our blog management packages.

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