SEO 101: Are You Writing For Humans?

I have seen the most illogical keywords that people come up with, and mainly because they are trying to put in everything they can think of that hopefully ranks their site higher in the search engines. This is pure folly to do as it is over-optimizing. Another thing is actually search engine optimizing with keywords that people will actually search for, rather than just putting a bunch of garbage.

In the case of targeting local SEO, it becomes apparent that “Deck Coating Irvine, California” may help, but unfortunately, using it exactly like that in your page or blog post title, and within your article to humans is just illogical. Even if a person were to put in their title “Deck Coating in Irvine, California”, you would still do pretty good in the search, especially if you are going out there and promoting it on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Of course, you can put in your meta and your tags the “deck coating irvine california” and that might help too.

However, it is important to sound logical to your readers and to even potential readers stumbling upon your article in the search engines. They may believe your command of the English language is sub par.

If you really are carefully optimizing your site, regardless whether it is for a business, a blog site, or both, you have to think like a human and not the search engine when optimizing. Most people have used a search engine at some point to find something out there. This is not like in the 1980s when you might be putting in a command for DOS and get an error syntax for putting the wrong words in.

In the case you are not sure on what you should be optimizing for, but have a clue who your competition is, look at their site and seek out their Alexa rank, just as a quick look. On their Alexa rank page, there is a section for keywords people look for and land on their site. Optimize with articles that would compete with theirs, and yet sound logical to your readers.

How have you been optimizing your website?

What Is Your Blog’s Pitch?

If you have a blog, you are pitching. How often have you heard that (even at conferences)? It is a very true statement. When you put up a website, you are most likely not hording it all to your lonesome. You are telling people about it.

Some of you might not understand this and be saying – ‘I have a personal site, so how can I be selling.’

You are selling your words.

Every time you share that blog post out on Twitter, Facebook, and all the social network sites out there, you are basically advertising- ‘Here is my post. Please come read it.’

There is no shame in that, but make sure your pitch is a clear one. If it takes a long novel to describe what your site is about, people will not be interested. Keep your pitch simple and between 3 to 20 words. This pitch is something you can use at your site’s description so when Google picks up your site, that will include exactly what you want people to know about your site.

For example- I use: “Helping You Rock Out Your Site Like A Rockstar” for Blondish.net

You will know I help people with their websites and that I hope to make sure their websites turn out awesome.

Try your pitch here. Tell me it and how you came up with it? If you do not have a definite one, do you need help?

SEO: Your Article And Keyword Density

I have heard quite a few people ask about keyword density. It spurs from either not exactly understanding the term or how they can apply the concept to their site. However, what does that mean for you and what you want to write about?

According to Wikipedia:

Keyword density is the percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on the page.

When you write an article, you have a topic. Usually that is what your keywords pertain to, but some people write articles and put a relevant keyword. For example, if I was writing about designing a site and decided instead of using web design as a keyword and linking it to another site, I want to do that to web hosting. I could and that would be a keyword.

It does not have to do with tagging your posts. Tagging is something like categories, they are both used for organizing your site – categories for general topics, and tagging is more specific topics.

For anyone who has professionally written for article companies that focus on keyword density, a lot of them ask that a keyword not be used more than 1.6%, but at the least .6%. This could mean you could use that keyword any where from 1 to 5 times depending on how short or long your article is. After that, search engines like Google may believe you are trying to keyword stuff your article which is a big frown face no-no.

The beauty of language is that there are many words that are similar and you can avoid keyword over usage by consulting a Thesaurus.

If you are concerning about keyword density, you can use the keyword density analyzer, which is free for anyone to try out.

If you are using WordPress, you might want to try out Keyword Statistics.

What other tools might make monitoring your sites keyword density more convenient?

The DoFollow List At Blondish.net

Alright, so after some inspiration and needing to revamp my link exchange buddies, I wanted to put together a dofollow list here at Blondish.net. Since it is new, pretty much there are no links.

The problem with regular link exchanges is that you end up linking with people who may not have relevance to your own site. I have made it a personal challenge to put together a DoFollow list of sites that are relevant my topics Blondish.net and list them in their specific niches.

Kind of a re-focus on link juice. I want to also be able to use this as a substitute of my own blogroll.

In order to be on the dofollow list, your site must be a dofollow site. Your site must also fall under one of the following categories:

  • Social Media
  • Blogging – (blog tips or a blog about blogging)
  • Social Networking
  • Tech
  • Internet
  • SEO
  • WordPress
  • Web Design

If your site does fall in those categories and you want to join in on the dofollow, fill out the form on The DoFollow List.

Are You Up-to-Date With SEO?

I probably should not be shocked, but as more and more people are becoming more confident about having their own sites, as a web designer and developer, the questions the things they say are a bit alarming. I fear they are not getting the information they need.

Often I refer them to Joost de Valk’s site Yoast because he is extremely knowledgeable about SEO as well as WordPress. Of course, I also refer clients and potential clients to SEO niche blogs like SEOmoz blog an SearchEngineJournal.

The problem is a lot of people get into a lot of hype on things like buying themes that are supposedly optimized for SEO, like Thesis. In the end, they waste either a developer’s fee or a single license fee when they can have a dynamic site and install recommended plugins by people that are top in their niche. Thesis is nice and allows a lot of things to be done, but design-wise, it does not really offer the flexibility that people need to brand themselves properly.

Of course, there are people who can write awesome content and get away with slinking by and not having a fantastically designed site to help with branding, but even people who are not as savvy in SEO should be taking the time to read up or watch videos. These days, people really do not have the time, but this is important.

As a site owner, it is important to try to be up-to-date in a lot of internet techniques. It is what leaves one site in the dust while its competition succeeds because they were open to keeping up. It is kind of like when I went to college for web design. The text books, even though they were informative, they were well behind for the time. Typically, by the time most internet related technology books are behind in information when it is put to print.

What sites do you think are huge resources for webmasters needing more information on search engine optimization?

What Is The Best Way To Display Posts On Your Front Page For SEO?

I recently submitted my blog to BlogDistributor to try them out. After waiting for the site to be reviewed, I got back a noticed saying to resubmit when I fix the issue of the fact my articles do not all display full posts and only display excerpts from the front page. The reasoning behind the decision is because it was not good for search engines. (I was also suggested to use themes from known unsafe free WordPress theme sites to download in the case that I was not able to code.)

WHAT?!?!

Where is that little piece of information on the net? Seems fine and dandy to me to display excerpts. Some of the top blogs on SEO use excerpts to display posts and it is not hurting them one bit. Search Engine Journal does it, Joost de Valk does it at Yoast, and even the SEOmoz blog does it.

The whole work is within the site layout, and the content itself to build SEO. It does not really matter if your site displays full posts or excerpts because it is ALL read by the search engine. And because of social networking, and RSS, it makes it easy for people to bypass your layout and go straight to he content itself.

However, I have never had an issue with this with Pay Per Post or SocialSpark, so why is this a reason? I am not changing my site, so I am not sure why this is even an issue because I know it really does not matter.

So, I am wondering if people are not being given the right information or are we all still wrong?

What is the correct way to display your posts on your front page?

Comments Are Important!

I respect Michael Gray, but I cannot agree with his post Why Everyone Should Turn Off Blog Comments. Now, I do keep my post dates and it is a choice. I do not put it in my permalinks. Google will still index your site and tell when your post has been last updated.

Yes, you should create content that is relevant for months and maybe even years to come. Putting the date in your post’s layout is a personal preference. Also putting it in your permalink is, but for SEO, you probably should not unless your site is literally a personal journal. It will do nothing to effect your site’s SEO. Your content will… remember – Content Is King!

If you are not certain about great SEO practices, I recommend reading up on WordPress SEO by Joost de Valk.

Comments are still important. What good will it do if you turn your comments off and your post does not present the best case, especially if you are a competitive blog in your niche. How will you learn and develop more as a site owner, a blogger, and in some cases, a professional?

Your readers might not always have something to say and that is fine. However, when they do, you might like to listen. Of course, they can send you an email through your contact form any time, connect with you on your social network streams, but what about your site? Your site is your headquarters. If you are not encouraging feedback there, what does that do for you – not much.

I am not a person that relies heavily on building my site rank like crazy. I do blog regularly – most might say quite frequently. I love comments. I am not the best at returning as I want to be (and I am working on that), but I have always loved to respond and I love to learn. I also get a chance to connect with others outside the 140 characters.

5 Ways to Help Give Your Site A Better Focus

I was laughing lately about the title in the article that Dan Keller writes, called Does your blog suffer from ADHD?. However, as much as it was a funny title, the article shares a serious issue. Before I go into sharing some ways to help give your site a better focus, I thought I would share my own personal experience.

Some of the bloggers that are still learning the ropes may have started a site for whatever reason and built it with zest. However, months or maybe a year or two later, the site is one heap of a mess. This is what happened here at Blondish.net at one point. And that took 3 years and a very bad decision to have a hiatus. What I realized was that I needed to focus on what my site was about. I never wanted Blondish.net to be a personal blog. In fact, this site has evolved from a website I had in site competitions and the goal was to give free advice and free graphics.

Blondish.net is always evolving. A lot of people who visited 6 months ago have seen it in action. Two years ago, this site was quite a stranger. So, as I have focused more on what was important, my site has improved greatly.

Here are 5 ways I did this:

  • 1. Go back to the drawing board. Your site does not make you. You are the one responsible for your website and can control it. Brainstorm what you want your site to focus on. Keep it within so many topics and make sure what you talk about is something you are familiar with as well as eager to learn more about. Too many topics and your site could continue to seem chaotic.
  • 2. Get rid of the excess or move it elsewhere. All that content that no longer fits needs to go somewhere. You might want to open a second website, or keep it on draft.
  • 3. Is your site design reflecting what you want it to? You need something to be proud of. If your site is too plain Jane or does not give anyone a reason to want to visit, why bother. Even if your site has awesome content, how can you make your site memorable. Think ‘McDonalds’ and all those places that you probably knew what they were as a child before you could read by just the logo on the sign.
  • 4. Get feedback. As some people in your niche that you know about what you can do in order to improve your site. Make a survey. Send an email out or send a message through your social network streams. Ask anyone who has visited your site what interested them and what they believe would help you covert over more visitors.
  • 5. Be open to changing and revamping your site focus at any time. You might go through several brainstorm sessions on your site focus before you get a winning plan. It is up to you to make sure you or your webmaster is on top of the most current ways to optimize your site for search engines, designs, and even your visitors.

What other ways do you believe will help a website owner have a better site focus?