Blogs started out as a way for people to tell other people what was going on in the community or their lives and to interact with whoever was interested, much like what social networks are nowadays. Back in the 90s, however, blogging was all there was, and it grew in popularity.
The term “blog” was coined in 1997, just around the time when site owners realized the value of SEO. You could say that blogging and SEO grew up together. However, even though search engines are becoming more sophisticated, they ‘still don’t know the value of a web page from a human perspective.
If you want to persuade search engine robots to index your site better in a search result, you have to speak their language. This requires a bit of original content creation, maybe even engaging a professional coursework writing service. Here are five ways to optimize your block better for SEO.
Concentrate On Long-Tail Keyword Searches
When search engine bots “crawl” a site in response to a query, they look for similar or related words to that query. This is why keywords continue to be important in SEO. However, you can’t just pepper your content with the keywords in which you want to rank because that’s a red flag for search engines nowadays.
Instead of using a shotgun approach, focus on making your keyword phrases as accurate as possible to your site. A long-tail keyword phrase usually has fewer competitors than general keywords. You may not be able to see these long-tailed keywords in your research, but if you have an intimate knowledge of the likely queries your target audience will make, then you’ve got it made.
For example, if you sell anime-inspired costume jewelry, you should concentrate on creating content that contains keyword phrases such as “anime cosplay costume jewelry swords” than “costume jewelry.”
The longer the keyword phrase, the more likely you are to rank for that particular query. Of course, that limits the number of people that will type in that query, but this is your target market. These are the people that are probably looking to buy your products, so you want to give them priority over people that only want to know the definition of “costume jewelry.”
Don’t worry too much about putting in the exact phrase in the exact order. When there is not much competition for a particular combination of keywords, scattering them about in the same general area should work just as well. In most cases, if you can manage to mention it once in the title, a heading, the body, and the meta description, that would be great.
Put On-Site Elements To Good Use
The trick is to insert these long-tailed keyword phrases in the content naturally.
Bots can smell a marketing ploy a mile away. You can use on-site elements such as meta descriptions and the image alt description to sneak them in. Each of your important pages should have meta descriptions as well as title tags because these are the first things the bots and readers will see and will determine how it will rank and how clickable your page will be in the search results.
Love Your Own
Many bloggers like to put external links in their content, especially to authority sites, because that increases the credibility of their site.
This is entirely accurate and will have a positive impact on your page authority. You also want to get other sites to link you, but that’s a lot harder. However, your page ranking will benefit more from links you put in content within your site itself. The more a page is linked to a site, the better it will rank in search queries specific to that page.
Of course, you shouldn’t just put internal links willy-nilly. First, you have to decide what pages you want to rank in a search and focus on sending a lot of link juice to that site from your other pages. You want these pages to be the ones that will most benefit the readers, not your business. It seems a bit screwed up, yes, but you have to look at the long term.
Readers that like and follow your page won’t do so because they found your contact page; it’s because they read or saw something interesting or relevant to them. Eventually, they will want to know who the genius is behind such fantastic content and seek your contact information on their own, so don’t worry too much.
If your contact info or other “unimportant” pages in your site (i.e. has little content) is getting a lot of inbound traffic, you want to put a stop to that. Add an index code to these pages so that the search bot won’t index them, and a follow code for internal links to them.
Putting in these codes will redirect the PageRank flow to your “relevant” pages. Just make sure you know which pages deserve these codes. You can identify them more quickly by using apps like SiteLiner, which will give you a free detailed report of what’s wrong with your site.
If you use WordPress for your blog, use the Yoast SEO plugin to automatically put index codes for tag and category archives, which are mostly duplicate content. Like pages with no content, duplicate content leaches away PageRank flow to your key pages.
Speed Is Of The Essence
Did you know the loading speed of your site is uber important?
You probably do, because like most users today, you probably click away on slow-loading pages after a couple of seconds. However, did you know that it also affects your SEO? Oh yeah, the bots don’t like to be kept waiting either!
The best way to make sure your site loads quickly is to have a dedicated server hosting your site. That means you won’t have to share bandwidth with other sites, which can slow things down during peak hours. Of course, a dedicated server is more expensive than a shared one.If you don’t have a budget for it, you’ll have to trim some fat from your pages to keep it light.
The first thing you have to do is to find out what element in your site is likely to make loading a problem. You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, which will tell you lots of things you need to know about not only your load speed but mobile usability as well (always useful as most people today use mobile to browse).
You can also try Pingdom. Once you’ve pinpointed the culprits, do what you must to make them less of a drag. A common strategy is to web-optimize large images or videos.
Be A Good Egg
Many site owners have feared the latest search engine algorithm updates ever since the Penguin fiasco, when thousands of hours and dollars spent on offsite optimization went down the drain and resulted is many of them being penalized severely for keyword stuffing, unnatural linking patterns, and using other black hat SEO techniques. If you want to avoid stress and problems now and in the future, be a good egg and follow the rules set by Google and other search engines.
Don’t buy links. Sites that offer them are less than reputable, or they wouldn’t be selling links. It can get you banned if you’re caught. The algorithm isn’t foolproof yet, but it’s getting better at detecting suspicious links all the time. Why risk it?
Have great content. This doesn’t mean you have to be mind-blowingly creative or original. It just means your content should give value to your readers over and above your marketing goals. Sure, put in a keyword or phrase to help your ranking along, but not so much that your content becomes unreadable and unnatural. Strive for the organic style, and let the dice fall where it may. You can always use the backdoor to get in your keywords (see number 2).
Don’t duplicate content. It is perfectly permissible to reference other articles in your content if it clarifies your point with the reader, especially if you link to a high-authority site. However, don’t lift the article and post it on your blog.
For one thing, you could be sued for copyright infringement, For another, you could lose credibility and damage your search rankings. To make sure you aren’t duplicating content inadvertently, check your posts against SiteLiner or CopyScape.
The Takeaway: Optimization Does Not Have To Be Expensive
Optimizing your blog better for SEO doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Small tweaks and a sincere desire to provide relevant content to your readers are all you need.
Stacey Marone is a freelance writer and a social media marketer. She creates magnetic content optimized for search. In her free time, she also does volunteer work and organizes some activities for children. Her passions involve painting, reading, and writing. You can follow her on Twitter.