The views on search engine optimization (SEO) has been one of the things that has changed in the past few years. A lot of bloggers sit down, type a post, and publish it without even applying any keywords. In fact, there are some that even apply SEO without even knowing it. However, it is usually not enough.
Of course, there are professionals and even plugins for content management systems that can assist in optimizing an article.
For some of the older bloggers, and I mean ‘older’ as in you have been blogging for more than 3 years, you might want to take a look through your posts. It might be a walk down memory lane, but you should check out your posts and see how you can change and insert the keywords necessary to allow the search engines to list your article where it should be.
However, for a lot of bloggers who are newbies…
Here are 7 things you should consider before applying SEO to your blog.
Writing Style. You do not have to be perfect. However, you should write naturally. If you are unsure of a word, look it up in a dictionary. Some people believe you have to write like you are a journalist for a newspaper. You do not. If you are passionate about SEO, then it will come naturally and you may not have to optimize your article much.
Readers. Your readers are extremely important. They are the ones viewing your content and judging whether it is useful or not. They will also be the ones that would turn away if your site is obviously in for just the money. This should be your main focus. The keywords can come in time. You might like to read Reader comment: counting keyword density and worrying about SERP’s by Marko Saric or even Jack Nguyen’s article – Writing For Traffic or Visitors? – Have You Been Doing It All Wrong?
Design. You can have a nice fancy design, but is it functional? Are your readers able to surf your site with ease? If not, you might want to look into revamping it.
Keywords. Keywords should be used wisely and not in overabundance. A lot of people try to aim for posts between 200 to 800 words. This is not a lot of words to work with when playing with keywords. This is why you should write naturally. If you are not sure on the subject, research it before writing about it.
The Article Title. The article titles can have keywords, but like newspapers have to kind of draw in your visitors. It is not uncommon that when a person goes to purchase a book, they are looking at the title and cover first. So – make your title pop. You can still use keywords, and write a naturally sounding title.
The Article’s URL. Because of the wonderful technology of some content management systems, it is possible to use “pretty permalinks.” While an article’s title might be longer, the URL can be optimized for keywords. For example, Joost de Valk talks a lot about WordPress SEO. Even though he has a subheader, he put ‘WordPress SEO” as keywords in his URL and his title. Of course, it was a simple decision, but he could have put WordPress SEO: The Definitive Guide To Higher Rankings For Your Blog, but he did not because it was much more important to draw in people looking for that term. (By the way, you should read Joost’s guide on WordPress SEO.)
Linkage. A lot of people know about different link programs. You can exchange links, and join web directories, but you can now do more than that. You can write article that might be related to other articles written by other bloggers. You might get a link back, and maybe a new reader!
Are there any other things people should think about when applying SEO to your blog? Or even to your site in general?