by Frederick Townes
Want to drive people to your blog? Read on…
Blogs have been around long enough to become standard elements of the web landscape. They’re easy to construct and manage, they create fresh, user-generated content and, if well-executed, blogs draw crowds and the attention of search engines.
Whether starting out with a new domain name, or a domain that’s been around for a decade, you can rank your blog on Google if you just do what Google wants you to do. So here are 25/50 tips to get your blog ranked by the world’s biggest SE.
50. Build your own or move to WordPress. WordPress (www.wordpress.com) is a blog platform that’s open source (free), robust, extensible and easy to use. Add Feedburner (www.feedburner.com), which equips site owners to broadcast RSS feeds and develop user metrics. Next, synch up Google Analytics and a sitemap plug-in to simplify populating the blog and developing useful, actionable metrics. Also, make sure your blog is pinging www.technoratti.com and other social-ranking sites like www.digg.com.
49. Don't worry about page rank. PR is highly over-rated as a yardstick of online success. Connectivity within a web community and expansion through content syndication and guest blogging are more critical to building site credibility than page rank. PR will take care of itself over time if you do it right.
48. Make a difference, or at least have a clear purpose. Differentiate your content on every post. Cover lots of editorial ground.
47. Use a conversational tone. Dry, starchy academic writing is strictly for the textbooks. Write words that people “hear” instead of read.
46. Provide a “Tell Your Friends” link on your blog. Birds of a feather do, indeed, flock together. So, if one of your regulars shares an interest in philately, chances are s/he has other friends with an interest in stamp collecting.
45. Study the competition. They’re studying you. Check out http://www.spyfu.com/ to do a little undercover work on search analytics employed by competitor sites and their visitors. You can’t touch the content but you can’t copyright an idea, either, so pick up some new paths of thought from others in your site’s arena.
44. Remember SEO basics. Use provocative, keyword-rich title tags, meta keywords and descriptions, and only link to high-quality sites. Never over do it. Keep your posts relevant, natural, accurate and, above all, current.
43. Don’t stuff blog post titles with keywords. It’s a form of keyword stuffing and spiders hate keyword stuffing. The ratio in headlines should be 40% keywords, 60% non-keywords.
42. Submit your URL to blog directories. There are “best of the web,” and paid directories, like Yahoo, and free directories like the Open Directory project at www.dmoz.org. Every directory listing is another link to your site and another way visitors can find you. Just google them to find more.
41. Create blog categories that contain keywords, i.e., Ecommerce, SEO, Affiliates, etc. for use with a “site hosting” or “site design” blog.
40. Content quality counts. Research topics about which target readers want to learn. Write something new, useful and relevant. And don’t forget to regularly update older posts. Things change fast on the web so last year’s “next big thing” is this year’s hackneyed cliché.
39. Vary topics, content length, relevancy and posting times. However, be consistent, as well. Keep blogging. It can take time for a blog to catch the notice of a search engine spider.
38. Get guest bloggers. Add links from their blogs and establish your site’s link community. There are people within your web neighborhood with opinions and good information. Contact them to invite submissions to your blog and your site in general.
37. Don't use duplicate content. The only duplicate content that appears in your blog posts are quotes, and they should be identified with quotation marks.
36. Call posters by name. If Bob M. from Athens, Georgia, posts to your blog, recognize his contribution with a “Thanks, Bob” at the end of your response.
35. Make friends with other bloggers in your commercial, business or NFP space. Ask to become a guest blogger, or seek endorsements from the “names” within your site sphere.
34. Send a personal note to posters. Not all bloggers have the time to do this but if you can send a personal email thank-you note to a poster, you’ve increased the chances of that poster becoming a member of your site community.
33. Encourage viral link building. Take a stand. Introduce the coming paradigm shift in web commerce, provoke controversy. It sells. Just ask Ann Coulter.
32. Ensure the blog is optimized for Technorarri. Claim your blog, set an avatar and pings, use tags where appropriate and be sure to ping various blog tracking sites.
31. Don’t place ads on your blog, yet. If you feel you must (you’re seeing nice PPC revenues), determine that your site’s HTML is optimized to position those ads at the bottom of each blog page.
30. If your blog isn’t pulling, have the code reproduced so it's as semantic, accessible and code-to-content optimized as possible. Also, hire a code expert to position content above ads or any other content in the site markup.
29. Ignore Alexa. A lot of new site owners rely on Alexa for site metrics but remember, Alexa is a popularity metric since only Alexa toolbar users contribute data – and that’s a less-than-universal test population.
28. Build credibility. Publishing authorities on your site’s topicality usually does the trick. Once blog credibility is established, identify trends, solve new problems and gradually expand the topic range of your blog.
27. Buy or build a screamin’ hot blog design and submit it to design galleries. Hire a site/blog designer, or bring your vision to fruition. This enables your blog to appear five or six demographic iterations from your home site, expanding the site’s reach outside the immediate site community. This creates new marketing channels fast.
26. Develop some friendly contacts on social media sites and participate in the community. Ask contacts to promote your blog content. Also ask for contributors. People love to express their opinions.
To learn even more about making the most of your site blog, check out Get Your Blog Google-Ranked In 30 Days Or Less, Part 2. You’re going to love it.
About The Author
Frederick Townes in the owner of W3 EDGE Web Design. W3 EDGE is a Boston web design company that specializes in search engine friendly design, Internet marketing and conversion optimization. Contact them today for a free quote and more information on how to make the most of your online presence.