Search Engine Optimization for Bloggers

Jim over at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity has a great article on making a ton of money and being successful with a personal finance blog. Great information and I want to expand a touch on Search Engine Optimization. It’s on my mind because I will be speaking at the Colorado Chapter of National Speakers Association next month on blogging. As we all know, it’s not enough to write compelling and insightful posts if the search engines can’t find you!Here are some thoughts that will hopefully help you in your optimization strategies.

1. Spiders start from the top down and go left to right so it pays you to have your strongest key words at the top of your title bar. Best free source of keywords is Overture. For serious analysis that is not free after the trial try Wordtracker.

2. Use Meta tags for your title and description. Search engines don’t really rely much on meta keywords but I still put them in. To see this go to Jim’s blog in Internet Explorer and hit “view” then “Source” -starting about 5 lines down.

3. Still near the top of his blog notice the “About” etc…Don’t forget to welcome your readers and use keywords in the about area. I would also recommend you put in a “Contact”, FAQs section, with keywords, and a Glossary of terms.It helps readers understand terms they might not know…And of course you are using keywords again!

4. Another great place to put keywords is in your “Category” section-with blogger it is challenging to say the least! Be sure to include terms like: Money, Personal Finance, Retirement Planning, Insurance, Financial Planning etc…

5. Use Technorati tags-they really will help you. Here is a great site that will generate the tags for you-all you have to do is cut and paste!

6. Don’t forget the social bookmarks like Del.icio.us and Digg-as many of you know, a good Digg can get you monster hits. Digg loves lists that BEG people to link to the post…Kind of like this one!

7. Get syndicated by Google News for traffic, links and rankings.

8. You can go to SEO Analyzer and put in your site and they will come back with suggestions for enhancing your search engine optimization efforts.

9. Don’t forget to use ALT tags in your pictures-do use keywords.

10. If you have a search box on your site, place a few keywords under it to demonstrate to users suggestions for their search!

11. Link to my SEO Speakers blog for additional tips 🙂

12. Oops-Do use Keywords in the title of your posts!

Hold the Presses: The Big Dog, Randfish, over at SEOmoz has an incredible list of Link techniques that are absolutely essential for major Google Page Rank.

Hope these help and if you have further suggestions let me know!

Steve Mertz
SEO Speaker

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5 Responses to “Search Engine Optimization for Bloggers”

  1. Stuart says:

    I’m fascinated that you almost missed number 12 off your list. I thought it probably should have been your #1?

  2. Steve Mertz says:

    Stuart, I’m fascinated as well-It is an absolut must and a given, so mcuh so that I almost forgot to mention it. I would not put it #1 simply becasue the title bar is so critical! Thanks for commenting!

  3. Trent says:

    Spiders do not always go “top down and left to right,” as you suggest. It depends entirely on your site software and page layout; it’s quite easy to have a site layout that doesn’t do that at all. A spider actually follows your HTML source code in order, so use “view source” on your browser and nose around a little to see where your actual content is.

  4. Steve Mertz says:

    Trent-So true, all the more reason to use keywords in the title bar. Another reason that comes to mind is when someone uses flash and a spider can’t continue reading the page.

  5. Rob says:

    You can also try the KeywordDiscovery.com keyword research tool which offers a free trial and similar (monthly and yearly) subscription options like WordTracker. Key difference is that KeywordDiscovery has a much larger keyword database and provides historical data for the past 12 months for every keyword.

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