I introduced you to blog optimization in S E O 101 – Blogs and Feed Optimization Tips.
Hopefully, you’ve got your blog up and running and chock full of great content by now. If you’re just getting started, read the post above first, then come back to this one.
In addition to providing a platform for terrific information (for humans and search engines), a blog is a natural pathway to the world of social media. Blogs are interactive, encouraging posts and information from visitors, and syndicated through RSS feeds, spreading your content (and links) across the web to be found in search engines, dedicated blog searches, news feeds, you name it.
So, here are some advanced tips to help get your blog on the road to good rankings.
1. Socialize. Interact with your visitors. Don’t just publish your posts and sit back. Answer questions, link out to their sites when they offer good content, respond to their comments in a timely, informative manner, etc.
2. Own a niche. It’s a lot easier to dominate a space if you start out with a smaller, less competitive, narrowly focused subject area. For example, you’re more likely to become a dominant player with a blog about “rechargeable outdoor power tools” than you are for simply “tools’ which is way too broad a term with a lot more competition.
3. Work your titles for both audiences – readers and searchers. Be sure you start out with the title of your post to attract readers. After the post has some history and has fallen into the archive section of your blog, go back and optimize the title for SEO.
4. Keep the post slug the same. Write this yourself, don’t let WordPress generate it. Don’t go back and change it at a later date because this is what determines how your post link is formed. Writing your own post slug allows you to create an easy to read, optimized URL.
5. Optimize for the Google indent. We’ve all seen Google search results where a page from a domain ranks with another page from the same domain just under it, but indented. Focus on getting a post ranking well using standard SEO, anchor text links, etc. Then find another, similar post to optimize. Link the ranking post to the second post to try to pull it up.
6. Re-purpose posts and pages. Let’s say you did a post on social media way back in 2005 and you want to do a similar, updated post. If the 2005 post is just way out of date and not of particular use these days, write over it with your new content. The old post has history and back links that can give you an immediate bump.
7. Use a single category. I know it’s tempting sometimes to place your posts in multiple categories, but get over it. You risk duplicate content issues with multiple categories, so make it easy for Google and concentrate on one.
8. Use a folder. Unless there is a very good reason to put your blog on a separate domain or subdomain (like your site is just a blog or you really believe a separate domain will give you more credibility), put it on your main site as a folder. This keeps link juice targeted to your main domain.
9. Got a Flash site that won’t rank? Start a blog on the domain to create the related content and links to the Flash pages. Chances are your blog pages will be what rank, but they’ll link back to and guide your visitors to your Flash pages.
10. Create your own custom footer. If you’re using WordPress, try the Feed Footer Plugin. With it you can create your own custom footer content, complete with HTML, for your posts that will show up in your RSS feed. This is great for plugging favorite posts and monetizing your feed.
One final thought to consider. Blogs are all about sharing, so if a visitor shares something really good, promote it to the front page of your blog. Do a post all about it and thank them for the great content. Your visitors will love it and come back for more.
Remember, you can turn active users into free SEOs who write content for you.