How do I improve my search engine rank? How do people find me on the web? How to do I get new customers? How do I get people to visit my site?
In following our previous conversation on how to get people to find you on the web, in this post we’ll discuss On Page Optimization (how the words on your blog match up with those being used in a search). In the next post, we’ll wrap-up this series of posts and discuss Off Page Optimization (the quantity and quality of inbound links from other sites into your blog).
In reviewing a video from Rich Brooks of FlyteBlog.com, here is what I have summarized from his presentation on how to improve your search engine visibility and how On Page Optimization affects your search engine ranking.
USING KEYWORDS: WHERE TO PUT THEM
After you’ve used Google Analytics other keyword tools we’ll discuss later in this article, you need to know where to put your keywords for the best chance in ranking well on search engines.
- Page Title is the most critical to determine relevancy. Not all blogs allow you to modify this but Rich Brooks uses a free WordPress plugin called All In One SEO.
- Blog Post Title. You can also use the color (:) to make two headings in one post title and increase your chances at ranking high.
- Such as if you are a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator and write a post about a particular stamp set and technique, your post title could read “Polar Party: Holiday Stampin’ Project Using Polar Party and Heat Embossing”. The focus in that example is “Polar Party”.
- Within your blog post content but especially towards the top of the post.
- In you links (to yourself – pages on your site – or to other site, use your keywords in the link).
Be sure to have the Related Posts widget added to your site if available. It’s a free WordPress plugin. In TypePad there is Recent Posts, in Blogger there is Popular Posts. These use the Post Titles (headings) in your site and help in search engine optimization, and another reason why the Blog Post Title is important and keyword rich.
Additional Places to Use Keywords
You have the ability to edit the following in all the popular blogging platforms: Blogger, TypePad and WordPress (unless otherwise noted).
- META Keywords.
- META Description.
- ALT Tags for images (in Blogger and TypePad you have to edit these in HTML).
- Categories (called Labels in Bloggger).
- Tags (WordPress feature, and TypePad has Technorati Tags as a similar feature, not available in Blogger).
- Domain Name — do NOT change your domain name. If you are starting out though and just purchasing a domain name for your business blog, you can try and work in a popular keyword(s) into you domain name. Domain Mapping is available in all blogging platforms. Here is one of my tutorials.
DETERMINING THE RIGHT KEYWORDS
How do you know what keywords to use? Keyword analysis!
Rich suggests brainstorming key phrases with friends and/or business associates; test your beliefs; and then refocus your blog posts (you don’t have to go back and edit old posts, but instead you can bring an old topic back to life and repost about it, fresh, with optimized keywords as well).
Brainstorming keywords and keyword phrases can be focused around these topics:
- Your products and services – think of all different ways of how to explain what they are and incorporate keywords into them or phrases if possible.
- Think about your customer’s needs and problems. Think of what they need help with, things they have asked you in the past and how to re-phrase them.
- Actual solutions and benefits to your services or products – generate a list of keywords based on those.
- What are your product’s special features – sometimes people search on a specific feature verus a specific product name.
- Last but not least, analyze your competition. Almost every business offers some solution, but its not the only solution. Focus on how yours is different.
OPTIMIZE YOUR KEYWORDS
You can optimize your keywords using keyword analysis.
Here are Brooks’ recommended tools – some free, some not. You CAN and SHOULD use more than one as normally one does not do everything the best.
- Raven SEO. Raventools.com — paid
- KeywordDiscovery.com — paid
- WordTracker.com — paid
- Google Adwords Keyword Tool (bit.ly/betterkeywords). — free
Part of keyword analysis is determining and finding how much opportunity you have to rank well with a given set of keywords. For example, many Stampin’ Up! demonstrators have high competition = low opportunity to rank on the popular phrase “stampin’ ” or “stamping”. For landscape companies, there would be high competition for the phrase “landscaping” for example.
Google Adwords Keyword Tool: How it works
Google Adwords Tool is FREE and a good place to start! Go to bit.ly/betterkeywords and enter your business category, such as interior design.
Click to Find Keywords.
It tells you if the competition is low, medium, or high. In this example..I have a pretty good chance if I work Blog Design or Blog Design Service and related terms into my blog related posts 😀
Result: Google Adwords Keyword Tool gives you keyword phrases you need to start using that have lots of search volume but not so much competition.
Google Insights for Search
This free tool shows you a graph, the trend on keywords you enter. You can also enter your county, state, nearest town/city, as well as specify the period range (7 days, 12 months, etc.).
You can use this and compare the results for your keywords and the trend from month to month.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZED POST: CREATE A POST
Rich uses a WordPress example but we’ll keep it generic 😀
In creating a new post, the Post Title:
- Should be keyword rich.
- Lead with your best keyword phrases.
- Use the colon (:) === Two title tags in one === more traffic.
- Must still make sense and read well.
In the post content:
- Great quality content to support the great post title.
- Use keywords and phrases heavily in the beginning of the post and then sprinkle thoughout the post body.
- Use Bold and Italicize.
- Use Headers and Sub-Headers.
- Use ALT tags when inserting images (even if you have to go to HTML to edit them).
- Link appropriately to other pages on your own site, other posts, or external sites. If you are writing about <something> and you have a product or service on <something>, linking to your self or your products page helps to increase blog visibility.
GENERAL BLOGGING TIPS: SEO FRIENDLY
- Break up your posts! 300-500 words. Do not have one large post. Instead, break the big post into smaller parts, and link to each other. Then right a TOC to recap series. CopyBlogger and ProBlogger do this all the time.
WHAT NOT TO DO: SEO SABOTAGE
- Keyword cram. over do it. Algorithms to find people like that
- Do not mislead people to visiting. DO NOT “bait and switch”.
- Need help finding what to write about? Go to http://labs.wordtracker.com/keyword-questions/. Enter your keyword or phrase and search. It will report back to you questions that were searched on relating to that topic.
- Use or hire Guest Bloggers.
- WordPress Plugins – All In One SEO (free) and Scribe SEO (different levels but Rich uses the $30 a month package).
Next post will discuss Off Page Optimization in SEO and helping you with ways to increase your online visibility. That will wrap up the 3 post series on SEO: How do I get people to find me on the web?