Employ these SEO guidelines to drive traffic to your blog or site
There is a lot of talk about search engine optimization (SEO), and rightly so. SEO can enhance your marketing and public relations efforts and could even help to reduce your advertising costs.
When using SEO properly, you can increase your traffic and search engine strength without having to spend as much on ad words or other forms of advertising.
Here are a few quick tips to help blog traffic grow:
Optimize titles. Use keywords that people often search for (which you can find from the Google keyword tool). Remember, too, that new searches are made every day, and most other blogs and Web sites don’t optimize for the smaller, less-searched-for terms. The long tail of the keyword curve needs to be paid some attention. These keywords include three- or four-word searches and can greatly increase your traffic.
Be mindful of keywords. Within the posts themselves use keywords a few times in a blog post, and try to use them at the beginning of the post. Also, try bolding or italicizing them. Google and other search engines periodically send out spiders to sift through your content to use in their search engine results.
When users search these engines for content that your Web site has optimized for, your site will show up higher in the results due to the spiders’ recordings of keywords that you’ve used.
Don’t discount URLs. Make sure the URL for your post or blog utilizes the best keywords from your title. With Blogger, the URL of a blog post is automatically made from the title of the blog post. More often than not, the title is cut to make the URL shorter. Thus, it makes sense to use critical or more important keywords at the beginning of a post title.
Optimize images that your blog uses. Spiders cannot “see” images, but they can read the tags, names, and other notes associate with images. Name or tag your images with keywords.
Use meta tags. For the overall blog, within the HTML source code, use meta tags. These are also searched by spiders, and they show up in search results. Using these tags also gives your site more keyword associations and allows you to give your site a description in search engine results. Meta tags are added within the portion of your HTML source code and can be customized to fit your own needs. (Though the spelling is a little atrocious, this blog post offers some clear tips for adding meta tags.) Some say that meta tags are part of a “keyword stuffing” technique (where keywords are overused), but I find them to be useful either way.
SEO takes some time, thoughtful planning and dedication, but the results are great and can help increase your return on investment. Also, WordSell has a great tool here for scheduling articles based on content you want to cover on your blog and keywords you want to touch on.
Ashley Wirthlin is a marketing associate of the H Media Group and director of the Public Relations Specialist Certification Program from BusinessTraining.com. She is the author of Public Relations Blogger, a free, 3,000 post large, educational resource for PR, social media, marketing, and everything in between.