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Blog Optimization – Make Your Blog Stand Out

Blog Optimization – Make Your Blog Stand Out

According to Dave Sifry’s last State of the Blogosphere post/report, Technorati is tracking nearly 27 million blogs and there are about 75,000 new blogs launched every day. How can a blog stand out with this kind of competition? Like anything else, there’s no silver bullet answer. One thing you can do is to optimize your blog. Blogs can generate traffic without search engines, but WITH search engines it can be even better.

With blogs, there exist as many or more optimization opportunities to optimize as with a web site. While most blog software is more search engine friendly out of the box than many web sites, the opportunities for blog optimization are readily available. For our SEO and blog marketing consulting service, we have a very long list blog optimization tactics to employ. For this post, I’ll focus on a short list that can make a difference for any blog.

Why optimize your blog?

* Increase rankings of the blog on BOTH regular search engines as well as blog/RSS search engines
* Increase traffic to the blog from multiple sources such as social search (Yahoo MyWeb, Google Personalized Search) and social bookmarking sites (del.icio.us, Digg, Furl or Blogmarks)

A blog is just a website that uses a content management system, so most standard SEO tactics apply. There are also optimization tactics specific to blogs.

* Consider keywords when writing your blog post titles. Some blog software allows plugins that can suggest keywords. Otherwise, you can use Google Suggest or one of these free keyword suggestion tools: Digital Point, SEO Book or the Google AdWords Keyword Tool Aaron Wall mentioned yesterday. Keywords should NOT determine your content (unless it’s an AdSense blog).

* Optimize the template. Make sure post titles appear in the title tag and append the title tag (hard code) with the most important phrase for your blog.

Example:

“50 Ways To Write a T-Shirt Slogan – Search Engine Journal
Search Engine Journal is included on every blog post title tag automatically.

Also use the blog post title as the permalink. If you’re using keywords in the blog post title, then they will occur as anchor text in the permanent post link. While you’re at it, just make the post title a permalink.

* Make it easy for your blog readers to subscribe and include RSS feed subscription buttons or “chicklets” in a side bar or on a dedicated Subscription Info page. Here’s a handy RSS Feed Button creation tool.

* Optimize Categories. When you create categories for your blog, be sure to consider keywords in the titles. When you post, be sure to default to a general category that is relevant no matter what the post is about. Choose multiple categories on each post when appropriate.

* Social bookmarking sites can be excellent sources of traffic to your blog, so be sure to make it easy for readers to bookmark your blog posts. You can do this by adding some code to your blog template for each of the major social bookmarking sites. Here’s a tool for social bookmarking links. Here’s another tool that uses icons instead of text links.

* Ping the major RSS feed and Blog search engines each time you post. This can be configured with blog software such as Movable Type or WordPress to work automatically. If you’re using Blogger.com, then you can do this manually with Pingomatic or Pingoat.

Comments and Trackbacks. Be sure your blog software is configured to send a trackback ping to blogs that you cite within your posts. Pay attention to press releases distributed by PRWeb. If you cite a release, and ping the trackback link, the press release will in turn link to your blog. This is better for driving traffic than for link popularity.

Make useful comments on other blogs. Your name will be linked to the blog url that you enter. Do NOT make comments that offer no value to the blog post. Do NOT use keywords in the field for your name, use your name or blog name.

* Submit your blog to RSS and Blog directories. Also submit the blog to regular directories such as (DMOZ, JoeAnt, GoGuides, MSN Business Central, etc) that have categories for blogs.

* Offer RSS to Email. Anywhere from 10% to 40% of your blog traffic can come from individuals that perfer to read blog posts via email. There are several free services available for this including: FeedBlitz, Squeet, Zookoda (this one is more for using blog posts as a weekly newsletter), RMail and Bloglet.

The important thing to remember is that no matter how many optimization tactics you employ with a blog, there is no substitute for quality content. Blog optimization is only as effective as the quality and usefulness of the content you’re optimizing.

 Blog Optimization   Make Your Blog Stand Out
Lee Odden is President of TopRank Online Marketing, an industry-leading search marketing agency specializing in natural search optimization, online PR and blog marketing services.
 Blog Optimization   Make Your Blog Stand Out

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33 thoughts on “Blog Optimization – Make Your Blog Stand Out

  1. Thanks for dropping by Easton.

    Lee, I’m quite impressed with the blogging tools you’re hosting at TopRank. You’re offering excellent resources which gather you links, bookmarks, tags, and authority among the blog marketing community.

    Top notch stuff and relevant for any blogger, pro or play :)

  2. Nice post Lee. I’ve been checking out a lot of resources on blogging best practices and optimization lately; this is a nice, clear summary that I’d definitely refer people to.

  3. Hey Loren, Maybe you can check out the RSS feed button maker from the above blog post to give readers more subscription options?

    (as far as feed readers go)

  4. Mr. Odden,

    I think you hit the mark when you said quality content. That’s what keeps everyone coming back for more. I myself however have to “ping” the rss feeds more as I am still new to this. Thanks for your great listing!!

  5. Thanks for the information. Very useful list of blog directories as well as your other links. Question, where would be the most effective spot for the RSS button?

  6. Thanks for the tips.
    I’m starting up my blog slowly and steadily, trying to get it right as I go. I’m hoping the readers will come as I discover my own voice and increase the quality and quantity of my content, but standing out is hard!

    Much appreciated :)

  7. Just wanted to add a few tips for wordpress SEO – optimization. Plug-ins are a big help in optimization, but i also believe that well written relevant content is just as important that has had some of your relevant keywords sprinkled into. I use a service called scribe that helps me to insure that all of my articles are well written and seo-friendly. I think as SEO's we have to be thinking 50% search engines and 50% optimized content all of the time.

  8. Hi.My name is Manisha…I just started writing the blogs…and I am finding this information really interesting and useful for every beginner.Thanks a lot

  9. The importance of blog to every SEOs campaign makes it very important that blogs be optimized as well. And this article surely can help everyone with their blog optimization process.

  10. The importance of blog to every SEOs campaign makes it very important that blogs be optimized as well. And this article surely can help everyone with their blog optimization process.