SEO Basics for Bloggers

After my last post, I spoke with several bloggers who needed a few fundamental SEO tips for their blogs. Let’s take a look at some basic, must-know SEO facts, do’s and dont’s.

SEO and Keywords
1. Use keywords in the titles of your pages.
2. Use variations of the same keywords throughout your post.
3. Proximity of keywords matters (Let’s say your going for the phrase “Make money online” – The phrase “Make money online blogging” counts more than “Make money blogging online”)
3. Use keywords for categories and tags (see my Big Bang Theory here: keyword strategy.)
-1 Q q aaaqqqaqq

SEO and Backlinks
1. Get anchored backlinks from relative sites.
2. Do not pay for backlinks.
3. Do not use backlink circles. ie. Site A links to Site B which links to Site C. Site C then links back to Site A creating a circle of one way links. Google doesn’t like this!
4. Google “reads” backlinks so even a url shown on a “no follow” site, will get indexed.

SEO and Images
1. Alt tags are essential.
2. Titles of images matter.
3. Flash is lousy for SEO – Search Engine’s are limited on reading the content embedded in Flash.

SEO Tracking
1. Use Analytics AND other tools for tracking visitors- once you see what they like, you can do follow up posts targeting the same keywords.

There you go- a handful of basic SEO do’s and dont’s for your blog. Feel free to share your own tips in your comments!

Paid Inclusion, PPC, or SEO for Bloggers

I’m currently in Fiji at a Tony Robbins business mastery event- an event that was so great last week, I extended my trip to participate in the next one. If any of you fine bloggers have the chance to try go, I would highly suggest it. Anyway, back to blogging business…

Tony had us review the business plan for a participant here; a sharp man who happened to own a web business. His goal- to increase his web traffic by 15,000 I believe. 15,000 is not an extremely high number. Now, having spoken to thousands of web business owners I can’t say that I was surprised when their first line of attack was to go PPC and Paid Inclusion. I hope I wasn’t on camera at that exact moment, because my hands flew up to my face and I’m sitting there shaking my head. In nearly 4 years, I have never had to use ppc or paid inclusion. While PPC is a valid and potentially effective approach to driving traffic, I would only suggest this after much focus on other strategies.

Paid inclusion however… Oh wow, where do I start. Aside from the fact that paid inclusion pissed me of for giving weak, unuseful sites, paying for paid inclusion really only generates temporary results. As my new friend and SEO guru, Stephen, said just moments before me, paid inclusion is dead. Ultimately, search engines NEED- not just “want,” but NEED to provide surfers with the highest quality sites. This is becoming more important not just every day but literally every time a search is done. Anyone else stop using Yahoo when they went all willy nilly “paid inclusion” on us for a bit? I know that was the day I discovered just how great Google was.

Just ad Yahoo did, at some point, a search engine is going to choose staying alive and monetizing through other means rather than risk losing their searchers to better search engines.

Knowing im a successful blogger, Tony encouraged me to share my thoughts on this. What I suggested was that they opt for a permanent solution, focusing on SEO. The same money spent on temporary paid inclusion ads can be used for SEO improvements that will place them in a better position when paid inclusion is long gone. The other option is to spend now and make a little , rather then leave them hanging with the competition passing them by.

The bottom line, avoid paid inclusion of any type, see ppc as a temporary strategy, and focus on your SEO.

Organic search is the future. Position yourself well for it.

SEO Tips for Bloggers: Brilliant Blog Linking Strategy Part 1

Brilliantjeni's happy happy Buddha Statue
I made so much money blogging this month, I was smiling like this too!

In my last post, I covered my “Blogging Keyword Strategy.” If you missed it, here’s a quick overview, but understand that to get the most from my backlinking strategy, you really need to read the full article and have already implemented the described keyword strategy.

Keyword Strategy Overview:

  • Create a list of related keywords to target using Micro Niche Finder (aff link)
  • Create a category for each keyword
  • Create a tag for each keyword
  • Write a pillar article for each keyword, using it as the title (no variations)
  • Write supporting articles for each keyword (keyword used with variations)
  • Link the supporting articles to the pillar articles using a plugin such as KB Linker

The next step: Backlinking for Bloggers.

One of the first things bloggers learn when starting out, is to get backlinks by commenting on other people’s blogs. Particularly with the help of plugins like Commenluv, this is an extremely effective approach with a bonus of being a great way to meet fellow bloggers. Since I know you all know this already, I won’t go into detail about it, and instead will focus on more advanced tactics.

Backlinking Tactic #1: Create your own link love using Twitter

Since every Blogger on the planet uses Twitter (and if you’re not, oi- START NOW) we’ll start here. Twitter is an easy, almost overly useful SEO opportunity. First, start by adding the Twitter Tools plugin by Alex King. Don’t use the tiny url co-plugin that now comes with this. We don’t want to tinyurl the tweets and hide the keywords we’ve so carefully used to name our blog posts. Alex has done a great job simplifying this setup, so just make sure yours is set to automatically tweet blog posts when they are published.

Once you’ve tested and are sure blog posts are showing on your specified Twitter account…

  1. Set up a facebook account where you’d like your posts to show. I opt to keep my blog posts on a specified fan or business page rather than on my personal fb page but this really depends on your own needs. Using a twitter app (I use Smart Twitter) link your fb and twitter accounts. Remember to test and make sure your tweeted blog posts are showing when you hit that magic publish button.
  2. Set up a Yahoo profile page (also, personal or one specifically for your site if appropriate.) Link your twitter account here so your twitter feed shows in the profile.
  3. Do this for as many sites as you would like. The more the better. FriendFeed is the most popular for this. Last I heard, FriendFeed was still “no follow” but we don’t care about that since the url’s will be showing “non tiny” and [BLOGGING TIP:] Google reads urls. (Google is so clever.)

I’ll list more of these sites at the bottom of this post, but feel free to share more in your comments.

For sites that don’t offer an automated Twitter-connect, grab your Twitter RSS and feed that to pages. Many will offer an easy option to add your RSS url. For those that don’t, if they happen to allow html, add your feed using a snippet that displays your RSS. For example, I use autoblogger (aff link) to publish one of a feed from my forums to a separate blog I also own. Not only does this drive traffic to the ad-monetized forums, but the feed pages actually rank higher than the forum pages because of the added SEO features wordpress offers. This works great for RSS exchange too; if you’ve got a blogging buddy with a similar site, you can use autoblogger to post to a specific category on their blog, automatically giving you backlinks for every post you publish and vice versa.

There are dozens of other ways to utilize this tactic but you get the idea. As you can see, using feeds and aggregators can really cut back your efforts of having to go around and place a link on sites individually. Ultimately, you can set this up so you are getting hundreds of keyword rich backlinks for every post you publish, and without an ounce of extra work. Here’s to blogging smarter, and not harder.

If you liked this post, subscribe to my RSS!

Next post- more brilliant backlinking strategy.

Try this on any of the following: Facebook, Yahoo, MySpace, WordPress, LiveJournal, Blogger, FeedBurner (duh, right?) blogger (you can actually do this from just about any hosted blog site), Friendster, LinkedIn, bebo, hi5, msn live…