Today's guest post by MaAnna Stephenson has excellent tips about how to get more SEO juice from your blog. While this tutorial is specifically focused on Wordpress blogs, you can apply the tips to your TypePad or Blogger text editor as well...
How to Use Your Text Editor to Improve SEO on Your Blog
If you’ve been making blog posts for a while, you’ve probably developed habits with formatting your text and images. But, did you know that there are several features in your WordPress text editor that you may be over or under using that significantly impact your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and your Bounce Rate (how long folks stay on your site)? Following are tips on formatting options you can use to make your content candy for both search engines and readers. (Bonus video tutorials at the end!)
Because the WordPress text editor offers no way to change the size or family of a font, many folks choose to use a Heading to give their text some punch. The look of the Heading is controlled by the theme and the fonts are usually bigger and more colorful than the standard paragraph text.
The problem with overusing this tactic is that a special HTML tag is placed in front of the content. Search engines like Google index these as important. If you’re using a heading to make a line of text in the middle of your page stand out, you just confused your SEO. In other words, Google will index that colorful line as more important than other text on your page. [Editor's note: The TypePad text editor gives you the option to change the font size without using a heading tag.]
If you include links in your post to other websites and don’t set the Target to open in a new window, you just sent your readers away and they may never return. This practice could also increases your Bounce Rate, which calculates how quickly folks click away from your site.
When the viewer clicks a link with the target set properly, either a new window or tab opens in their browser while leaving your site open as well. It ensures that viewers don’t have to click their browser’s Back button just to return to your site.
Always include a Title for your link, even if it’s to a page on your site. It gives Google one more thing to index on your page. If possible, use the same text as your link, which further increases your SEO.
The More Tag
One way to keep viewers on your site longer is to give them more headlines to find interesting. This is why magazine themes have become so popular. If you don’t have a magazine type layout, you can still take advantage of this tactic by using the More Tag.
Write your post so that the first paragraph can be used as the excerpt. Place your cursor at the end of the last sentence and then click the More Tag icon. Do this for all of your posts. Then, from your Admin pages, go to Settings > Reading and set “Blog Pages show at most” to 5 or whatever best fits with your sidebar length. Now your blog page will display a series of headlines with excerpts giving you more ways to engage your readers and keep them on your site.
Text Editor Videos
To get the most from your post formatting, watch this two part video tutorial on using the WordPress Standard Text Editor. It will guide you through more ways to increase your SEO, decrease your Bounce Rate, and keep viewers on your site longer.
About the Author:
MaAnna Stephenson’s BlogAid site features a wealth of tips and resources for blog and website owners, along with books, classes, and site consulting that are specifically for non-geeks who are on a budget. Her experience as a web developer, professional engineer, nonfiction author and artist allow her to draw together the right mix of teaching skills, technical expertise, and online promotion techniques that are best suited to each site owner and their target audience. She specializes in working with creative folks like authors, artists, as well as small business owners.
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