SEO Refresher: Make Your Blog Stand Out Online!

May 6, 2014
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 The world of SEO has changed in recent years. A lot. In the past, keyword stuffing and aggressive link-building pretty much assured you a Page 1 listing.  These days, quality content is the most important thing when it comes to being found online.  Search has evolved since the early days of Google, Yahoo, and Alta-Vista.  Today, SEO is as much about discoverability in general, as it is about technically optimizing your site for a particular search engine.  That means in addition to some site tweaks, you have to really understand the best ways to share your content so people can view it.  Here are a few tips to revamp your SEO and gain more traffic:

1. Get a good plugin.  This is specific to WordPress, but I recommend Yoast. It’s easy to use, and incredibly powerful – you can tweak any part of your site.  Ranking in search is only part of the battle; you also have to make people click on your link.  Yoast not only makes sure your site is structured well for the crawlers (programs that search engines to analyze websites), but it also allows you to easily tweak the way your site appears in search results.

2. Get on Google+ . . . TODAY.  I’ve heard all the excuses.  “Do I really need a new social network?”  “I don’t want another place to post.”  “I can’t get ‘in’ to Google+.”  I get it.  I really do.  But more than anything else that you can do, Google+ has the most power to boost your search results.  Get on Google+. Develop a following of engaged people. Join communities. Encourage your readers to +1 your content. Your +1’s actually causes your site to shoot right to the top of search results for people in your network; the same goes for your followers.  All of their friends on Google+ will see your web pages that they have +1’d much higher in search. You simply cannot afford to be a content producer and ignore Google+.  This also lets you set up Google Authorship.  Another must.

3. Make it easy to share. Use a plugin, or find a feature in your preferred blogging tool that allows your site visitors to easily share to any social network they want.  Put Google+ first.  That’s where you truly want them sharing.  But include everything else too. Make it easy!

4. Clean-up Site Structure.  This is the most technical piece, but it’s still important.  Take a look at your site’s title, subtitle, and description.  These should be very descriptive of what your site is about, and use keywords that you want to rank for.  Here’s a quick checklist:

a.     Title – Use SEO Keywords here that are important to you

b.     Tags – Choose meaningful tags for your posts – 3-5 as a general rule.

c.     Permalinks – Ditch the standard number-based permalinks.  Your permalinks should use the title of your post, or the category and title.

d.     Internal Linking – Make sure that in your blog posts, you’re linking liberally to past posts that are relevant.

 

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