How Will Blogs SEO In 2011?

by Ross Hudgens from Burial Insurance

5 SEO Tips You Must Use On Your Blog

Create great content, and let everything else take care of itself. Well, I say to them — wrong, and thank you. Yes, you can create great content and have an incredibly successful blog — but you can generate even more traffic if you spend just a few minutes extra per blog post. And I’ve got the tips for you to help you do that.

1. Create your post first, SEO later. This way, you don’t taint user experience in any way. Don’t do keyword research in advance — if that’s the point of a blog that’s personal/anyway unique, there’s a strong chance your content can’t really be great. Your post will improperly skew one way — and by doing that, and not truly being unique, you do your users a disservice.

2. Create two experiences — one for users, one for search engines. Yes, this can be done, without interfering with one another. Users don’t read title tags once they’re on site — so deliver a title tag that is optimized for SEO, even if it’s dramatically different from the user-modified title tags. Research shows that headers really don’t matter — so if the term is relatively uncompetitive (which are terms you should be aiming for), you won’t have problem ranking. Similarly, users don’t care about the URL — so deliver the URL, matched with the title tag, that is going to give you the best chance of ranking for a certain term.

3. Target two keywords — or more. If you have a strong domain and a good thought that a post fits more than one keyword, target multiple KWs. This can be done by having one in the title tag — the strongest one — and then having the URL be a separate URL. For example, I could target /blogging-tips.html with the URL and “How to Blog” in the title tag. These would both be pretty competitive, so I wouldn’t suggest it unless you have a power domain to back it up (such as Daily Blog Tips!).

4. Do long tail research with Google Suggest. These can be the easiest terms to target. For example, when you input “How to Blog” in the Google search bar, you will automatically get other long tail suggestions — suggestions searchers will lean towards because of these nudges. Find ways to work these terms into your post, even if once. Also, consider targeting these in the URL/title tag specifically if the short tail is too specific.

5. Make internal linking easier with the Cross-Linker. If you have WordPress (why don’t you?), use this plugin to make SEO life easier. Cross-Linker allows you to use certain terms — like “how to blog” — and make them auto-link to posts on your site that utilize them. This makes internal linking easy and something that isn’t a reoccurring time suck.

People can get by, in blogging, without SEO. Many times, they stumble into it. This is because much of blogging search traffic comes from long tail queries, where there is no competition — and thus, very little SEO skill needed. But real traffic can come from small-to-moderate difficulty queries, and this can get you lots of residual traffic from over time. Those who ignore it suffer the consequences.

Ross Hudgens is the Online Marketing Manager for Burial Insurance and Streamline Refinance. He likes blogging and the sweet upward arrow on an Analytics chart.