Blogging SEO – 7 Tips With Resources from Blogworld Expo New York

Search engine optimization (aka SEO) helps make your blog findable for your potential audience. The challenge for bloggers (and other content creators) is developing content that’s attractive to both humans and search engines.

7 SEO Tips for Bloggers Including Resources

While search engine optimization is a specialized area of digital marketing, you don’t need a specialist to make your blog more findable. Here are seven tips presented at Blogworld Expo to help improve your blog’s rankings in the search engines as well as to spark other blog post ideas.

  1. Start your post with keyword research. Before you start to write, check your keywords against what the public’s thinking. Bear in mind that strong SEO can make a difference in your blog’s performance regardless of the level of traffic. Since stuffing your posts with keywords is frowned upon, it’s helpful to get other words that you can use. Further, this research can spark new ideas for other words and/or posts. Here are three Google Tools:
    • Google AdWords. Put in a word you’re thinking of including to see what words the public uses. This can be a tickler for getting your mind working.
    • Google Search Wonder Wheel. This tool provides word associations that can help you find other words to check in AdWords.
    • Google Insights is great for brainstorming and can give you other words and ideas.

    After you finish your post, check to see the commonality of the words by using Wordle.net. Then rewrite the post for the words you want to see.

  2. Focus every post on one competitive key phase. Think in terms of the short head (competitive keywords) versus the long tail (longer, less searched terms.) Bear in mind that 15-20% of searches each month are new; this means that Google never saw them before. Therefore, stay focused on one keyword or phrase but think in terms of word neighborhoods. You can change the way search engines see the page by slightly modifying some words.
  3. Do things the right way. Make your blog cleaner for search engines to read. Webpages built on good HTML structure and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are cleaner and easier to maintain. Front load keywords into your description and keywords meta tags. For those who aren’t programmers, here’s what the organization of the HTML (Geek Alert! This may seem like a foreign language.) should look like on a blog post.
    <html>
    <head>
      <title>My Title</title>
      <meta name=“description” content=”this is my page”/>
      <meta name=”keywords” content=”this, that, other”/>
    </head>
    
    <body>
    
      BODY CONTENT (header, post content, sidebar & footer)
    
    </body>
    </html>

    The HTML provides the logical structure of the post while the CSS controls its presentation. Since search robots only look at the HTML, separating the two makes it easier for them to understand the page.

  4. Links information. The goal is to provide additional background and resources that inform your readers while helping the search engines to understand what your content relates to. Avoid writing “Click Here” links. The search robots have only a limited ability to guess what you mean.
  5. Build up your back link portfolio. You want to expand the number of blogs and websites linking to your site. To be useful, these backlinks have to be from companies and websites with influence. For example, a link from your brother is easy to get but may not be relevant. Guest posts can provide valuable backlinks to your blog due to the authority of your blog. To discover the links currently pointing to your blog, use Google’s Webmasters tools or search Google using the “link” prefix, e.g.: link:www.mywebsite.com .
  6. Make your post titles sexy. Your post title must lure readers in. You’ve got a limited amount of time to capture your prospect’s attention and pull him into your blog. Use a big head keyword in your headline. Bear in mind that this title will appear on the Google search results.
  7. Use post permalinks to communicate with search engines. A permalink URL such as: http://mywebsite.com/seo-tips/ provides more information to the search engines than something like: http://mywebsite.com/?p=1234 since it can include and reenforce your title keywords. Use Google’s Webmasters Tools to tell Google that www.mywebsite.com and mywebsite.com are the same website. Bing and Yahoo have similar functions.

Start incorporating these recommendations into your blog posts to support your search optimization efforts. Be aware that search optimization is an evolving field so that it’s a good idea to keep on top of the latest changes by reading blogs and other online source on the topic.

Do you have any other suggestions to help you improve your blog’s search rankings? If so please include them in the comment section below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Big tip of my hat to Ric Dragon of Dragon Search for sharing his knowledge in such a fun way. Also, another hat tip to my webmaster, Larry Aronson, for his technical help with this post.

Here are some related sources to help you stay abreast of the field.

Photo credit: u2canreed via Flickr

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  • http://sixestate.com David Reich

    Hi Heidi,

    Nice post. I wanted to clarify some of the information about meta data.

    Meta Keywords Tag: Google has said that keywords don’t really affect a page’s search ranking anymore. I don’t know whether they still have a tiny impact, or none at all; regardless, I’d recommend limiting keywords to only the most highly relevant phrases for that specific post or page. Adding too many keywords has the potential to look spammy, and there essentially is no upside anymore.

    Meta Description Tag: Google has also stated that your description tag won’t impact search rankings either. However, it’s still extremely important, since it’s often the information Google and other search engines will display under your page title on a search results page when your site ranks. So while it may not play a role in getting your site to rank, it plays a huge role in attracting searchers to actually click on your page, as opposed to other results. Your description should always be a concise and appealing blurb that accurately describes your post – never overuse keywords in the description, because that’s not attractive to potential readers.

    On the same note, your meta description is often what appears when you share a link on social media sites. Facebook and LinkedIn, for example, always pull the description tag when you attach a link for an update.

    Title Tag: A page’s title tag () is the single most important on-page ranking factor. You mentioned the importance of a sexy post title to draw in readers, but, from a search perspective, your title needs to be well-optimized because blog platforms will use your page/post title as the title tag. It’s always bad practice to keyword-stuff your content, and this holds true, of course, for titles and title tags. Try to make your titles attractive, while still intelligently incorporating keywords.

    There is an awesome (and free!) WordPress plugin called All in One SEO Pack which allows you to easily adjust your meta data and title tags at the bottom of all pages and posts. This allows you to change the title tag to be different than your actual title. Again, this isn’t an opportunity to keyword-stuff your title tag, but you can certainly use it to your advantage, especially if your title is a more catchy title that doesn’t necessarily include keywords. (There are other plugins, as well as some premium themes, such as Genesis, that do the same thing.)

    On another note, as important as building backlinks is to a blog’s SEO strategy, how do you feel about a link-selling company actually exhibiting at BlogWorld yesterday?

    • http://riversidemarketingstrategies.com/ Heidi Cohen

      David–Thank you for adding to the conversation. It’s important to note that this underscores the point that Google looks at keywords in the post content and context to understand the underlying meaning. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

  • http://dawncomber.com Dawn Comber

    Thanks for your helpful tips about blogging SEO. One other suggestion to augment your SEO is: incorporate H1, H2, and H3 level headings in your post and use your keywords in those headings.

    • http://riversidemarketingstrategies.com/ Heidi Cohen

      Dawn–Thank you. These header points are useful to include. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

  • http://daddybydefault.com Craig Grella

    Another great post. I also use Thesis theme for my blog and that includes alot of the SEO fields in each post box, similar to all in one SEO pack. Both make it easy to change your meta data without doing any hard coding. It’s really helped me with SEO for my posts.

  • http://www.marketjd.com Rafi Arbel

    Google Wonder Wheel has been replaced by Google Instant. GWW is still available, but you need to turn off Google Instant to access it.

  • http://www.seotipsaustralia.com/blogging.html Matt

    I agree that having a title that stands out in the search engine results is a big help. I have found that being funny and outrageous is a good way to do this, too. I have a satirical character blog that I use this technique with as often as possible. He just says the most outrageous and ridiculous things and certainly gets quite a few clicks as a result.

  • http://heidicohen.com/blogging-seo-tips/?& Bevis

    I’ve go through a handful of the posts on your blog now, and I prefer your style of blogging. I added it to my favorites web page list and will also be looking at back soon.

  • Ewa Erdmann

    Hi Heidi,

    Thank you for very useful tips. You are right about catchy and sexy headlines. What I’d also add is make sure the first sentence of your post is a strong statement. This will also grab the readers’ attention and make them want to read the rest of the post (or at least the first paragraph ;-) )

  • KakuThakur

    thank for your valuable tips you have post very help SEO Tips for Bloggers. that i use in my Websites New York projects.