Bloggers can never get enough advice about SEO. This is a guest post by Chrisian Arno at Lingo24.
Six Essential SEO Strategies for Bloggers
When a blog forms part of your marketing strategy, you need to be confident your words will reach the right people. With search engines constantly refining their algorithms, not to mention the huge amount of information competing for your readers, this can seem like an impossible task. Here are six strategies that can help you regain your confidence with SEO.
Do Your Research
If you are someone who dashes off blog posts when inspiration strikes, slow down a little. Keyword research might seem like a chore but this tried and true SEO strategy remains one of the best ways to let search engine robots know you have something to say about a certain topic. Take a moment to find out what questions people are asking and then set your post up to answer it or promote further discussion. If you can echo some of their search terms in your post, the search engines will make the connection and start sending those people in your direction.
Search engines are getting smarter. It's time to give up those black hat techniques that can banish you to the depths of the results pages. While this means you will have to become a better writer, seamlessly embedding keywords and key phrases into your post, it also frees you up to write more naturally. That's no bad thing if you want to build a loyal readership that cares about what you have to say. Aim for variety instead of going overboard with keyword density. Include some long-tail key phrases as well as approaching your main keyword or phrase from different angles.
Ask: Is This Relevant?
By being more creative with your language you will be less obsessed with ranking for a single keyword and will have a better chance instead of ranking for several keywords and phrases. Take care that in doing this you don't lose focus completely. There's a good chance you will across promising key phrases that aren't entirely on-topic to your post but tempt you with the prospect of related traffic. Resist the urge to throw them in and instead save them for another post. Relevance is becoming a key factor in search engine ranking and needs to be one of your top priorities. Read each draft post and for every new idea that crops up ask yourself: “How relevant is this?”
Avoid Lazy Anchor Links
An anchor link is the text that directs a potential reader to a piece of web content. In this case,we're talking about links that you create around the web to direct readers to your blog posts. Chances are you already know that inbound links can help boost your importance with search engines. Don't throw away this opportunity with lazy linking, whether it's of the 'click here' variety or repeating your blog title in every single link. Opt instead for keywords in your anchor links and also vary your wording. You can do this through a combination of statements (Discover the best sushi restaurant on Mars), questions (Where to eat great sushi on Mars?), and the occasional direct link to your business name (Sushi on Mars) or URL (www.martiansushi.com).
Quality Trumps Quantity
In an ideal world, what you have to say is going to make such an impression that people will link back to your blog or to specific posts. This is something you can actively encourage by social networking with the kind of people who have an interest in your business area and who might be willing to give you a mention. A good quality backlink like this is worth more from a search engine point of view than the kind of backlinks you can get from automated services. (Remember, building search engine reputation is about relevance.) Of course, as it's not an ideal world, you will probably do a lot of your own backlink creation. Again, leaving a backlink on a relevant site is going to be of more value than scattering links about at random.
Watch Your Search Snippets
If you don't know what I'm talking about, go to Google and type in one of your top keywords. Take a look at the results. Each one has a snippet of text from the page it links back to. Which snippet it grabs can vary, depending on whether you have used Meta descriptions, what the search term was and where it appears on the original page. See if you can locate your search engine snippet using a variety of your most popular search terms and take note of what impression it is giving of your content. Google recommends creating quality descriptions and writing custom descriptions for each of your popular pages on a website.
About the Author: Christian Arno is the founder of Lingo24, a provider of top translation services in the USA. Launched in 2001, Lingo24 now has over 150 employees spanning three continents and clients in over sixty countries. In the past twelve months, they have translated over forty million words for businesses in every industry sector, including the likes of MTV, World Bank and American Express. Follow Lingo24 on Twitter: @Lingo24.