SEO (search engine optimisation) is a complicated subject, but there are some small things you could be doing in your blog posts that could make a difference to how the search engines view and then index you.
Sometimes it?s the little things that can make a big difference. They may even be obvious if you?re a seasoned blogger, but there?s no reason why you shouldn?t check you are doing these simple SEO tricks every time you publish a post.
How many of you are doing these already?
Have you optimised your permalinks yet? And do you check them every time you post?
Permalinks are great for SEO. Each post is given its own page, so it needs its own web address. This is what a permalink is.
You can adapt them for each post your write, but you also need to set them up correctly within your Settings, so they are not in the default format.
Here?s a little video I created to show you what I mean:
Unfortunately, if you have a WordPress.com blog, you cannot change your permalinks and you will be stuck with the default ones they give you. But it?s worth paying attention to the ones allocated to your post anyway, and I?m sure this also applies to Blogger.
The SEO factor is placing your primary keyword in both your title and your permalink, so the match gives it more clout.
Tags and Categories
Now I was recently brought up to speed by another expert blogger about these. They are much misused, because people don?t understand them correctly. In WordPress there are both tags and categories, in Blogger there are only labels.
Tags, categories and labels are archival links to your posts, they help both the search engines and your readers find what they want. Each tag, category or label is allocated its own listings page, which is used by the search facility on your blog.
Let?s think of tags as secondary keywords to your primary keyword (which you use for SEO in your headline, permalink and content). Therefore you shouldn?t use too many (about five will do), and if you can re-use them, eg keep to a few select tags that you always use, the multiple use will give them much more emphasis.
If you have a tag cloud widget installed on your sidebar, you will see that the popular tags are always the biggest, and that is because the search engines notice them more.
Categories should be considered as chapters or subject folders, and you can use them for SEO through their names. These need to be carefully selected to reflect what you write, and each post allocated to one of them.
If you allocate a post to more than one category, you run the risk of the search engines seeing that as duplicate content, because you have the same post archived in two category pages. The Penguin algorithm, which is particularly horrible when it comes across duplicate content, will then penalise your blog and reduce how visible it is to the search engines.
You can get around this if you are able to ?non-index? your categories within your settings, but this is for more advanced bloggers. I would stick with just one category per post for an easier life. (For your information, I?m in the process of going through all my posts and checking the categories ? a tiresome but necessary task.)
In Blogger you have labels, which are a combination of tags and categories. I think you should use them sparingly to give them more emphasis, and make sure they are always relevant to your post?s subject and the SEO keyword you?ve chosen.
Search engines cannot see pictures, they are only programmed to read and index words. Therefore you need to SEO them.
You can stop your picture from being invisible by giving them alt-tags, by filling in the alternative text fields behind your images.
After you?ve uploaded your image, click on it to bring up the editing icon, which looks like a little pencil.
This will bring up the Image Details pop-up page.
In it you will find the field in which to write your alt tag description.
The alt-tag should be a description of the image. This should also contain the primary keyword you are using for your post?s SEO. It should not be a series of keywords in a list, as the search engines will not tolerate that.
Alt tags are useful not only for the search engines. Partially sighted blog readers will appreciate them, because they collaborate with the software they use that reads everything on the page, and having a good description for each picture can be very helpful.
And that?s it. I told you it was simple. Remember to implement these simple SEO tricks whenever you write your posts, and you should start to see a difference very soon.
About Alice Elliott
Alice Elliott writes her award winning Fairy Blog Mother blog for beginner and post-beginner bloggers to ?explain things really simply? about blogging and WordPress. If you want easy to understand training using ordinary, everyday words and simple purple infographics, read her blog to find out more!