7 Blog SEO Tips to Gain Bulletproof Search Rankings

by Tamal Anwar on Wednesday, November 7, 2012

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blog seo guideGetting traffic for a new blog is hard. How will you make sure that you will get regular visitors who are interested in your articles?

Some people say social media but the process is painful. From my own experience, social media traffic is less targeted and comes to your blog only when you give it a shake.

To solve this problem and to get regular flow of traffic we need to do SEO for our blog.

S.E.O. is Search Engine Optimization, a special type of marketing done to gain organic visitors.

In this guide I will tell you about SEO and how to optimize your blog/website so that you can gain interested people to come and read your blog, for FREE!

When we need information, we type in to Google.

Few years ago when I wanted to start a blog, I searched google on how to blog and make money.

I found this blog on the topic: “JohnChow.com

Chances are you too searched online and found my blog.

Now there are many sites like google, such as: Bing, Yahoo, Altavista, Ask, DuckDuckGo who provide nothing but web search. YouTube and Facebook have their own search features too. These are called search engines.

These sites are different but the core principals of these engines remain the same. They want to show the most relevant search results to their users.

I will show you how you can optimize your blog for search and this will bring traffic from all of the search engines to your blog.

So Why Do I Need To Optimize SEO For My Blog?

Simply because you want to get found online.

Social media traffic –is time consuming and takes lots of effort and connections.

Paid advertisement –is expensive and takes experience to return your investment.

Viral buzz –is virtually impossible for a new blog or website.

So the effective way to gain traffic and make sure you get only people who are interested in your content is going to be SEO.

The base concept of SEO is relevancy. The more relevant you are the higher you will rank for a particular term.

So allow me to take you to the main 7 Blog SEO tips,

1. Keyword in your blog’s domain name

A domain name is the address of your blog. Such as my blog address is blogkori.com. In my blog there is the keyword “blog” in it.

So listen to me, if you have a keyword in your domain, you will more likely to rank for particular term.

Now there is a way to overdo this. You can put keywords all over your domain. For an example if your keyword is: “How to lose fat” and register a domain like “HowToLoseFat.com” this will be called an E.M.D. or Exact Match Domain.

This is good for SEO but bad for blog branding. You want to make sure your blog name is easy to spell, easy to remember and easy to type. For an example my blog has a keyword and still it is short and brandable.

So for the example you can make a blog or website for the health market and name it like “FatKiller.com” or “WeightBuster.net”

And in recent google update, EMD domains are hit big time. Meaning, people who took EMD domains to gain ranking have got a penalty from google. Read the news here

So the takeaway here is if you have the keyword in domain, it will help you rank faster but make sure you are not overdoing it.

How to do it?

Add at least one keyword in your domain; if you already have a domain then continue with it.

2. Page/Article URL of your blog

The second most important element of blog SEO. You can have your keyword in the url structure, like: yourblog.com/the-keyword or yourblog.com/the-keyword-article You need to put your main keyword on your url.

How to do it?

To enable this in wordpress, go to settings > permalinks and select post name

permalinks-for-seo

To set this on blogger, when you write a new post just customize the article in permalinks,

permalinks-in-blogger-for-seo

3. Page/Post titles headings (this is H2)

In HTML, there are 7 levels of headings. It was originally created to decorate web pages. Search engines started to use the heading tag to learn what this paragraph is about.

The heading tags are,

headings-for-seo

Now how to use them?

They should only be used when you really need them. By default the title of the blog post is in Heading 1 or H1.

You should have only one H1 tag in your content and in wordpress your article/page title is in H1 so you don’t have to add it another time.

Then add H2 for the section titles and then H3 for sub titles. There is no limitation on how many times you can use H2-H7. Use it when it makes sense.

On general, I use only the H2 and H3, because other tags lower than that doesn’t change much.

You should have keywords in the headings.

How to do it?

To use heading on wordpress go here on the editor,

headings option in wordpress

In blogger you can find it by clicking on the heading option,

headings in blogger

4. Content/Articles of your blog

The content of your blog or the text part of your site is the most important part above all.

First of all you should be free to write. Don’t bound to word limits or keyword rate. Just write.

When you write a blog article, you should write to solve a problem, to inform your audience or to give them a solution.

If there was no value in my articles, then you wouldn’t be here.

So content holds much more value when it comes to blog SEO. Content is king!

In content,

Be relevant: If you are talking about pets, you may need to mention about “dog”, “dog house”, “pet food” etc. But “Hot air balloon” is no way relevant to a blog that is related to pets. You get the idea.

Use synonyms: Search engines are intelligent enough to understand that “K9” is just another word to address a “dog.” When you write articles you should not use the same word over and over again.

Highlight keywords: It is a good practice to highlight a few keywords here and there. Use bold, italic and underline commands to achieve this. But don’t use it excessively.

5. The use of meta data

Meta data is a special code that comes in every web page or blog articles. It’s a small data that is useful for the search engines; this helps them know what this article is about.

The 3 main Meta data’s are: The title, the description and the keywords.

Meta title is the text that shows up in the search like this,

meta title and description for blog

Meta description is the summery that shows up below the search listing and in many popular social media sites,

meta data in facebook

Meta keyword is no more important anymore but still some small search engines use it to know about the content. The idea is to put your main keyword in the title and in the description. Right now descriptions are important for the click through rate or CTR.

How to do it?

Add this free plugin in wordpress: WordPress SEO by Yoast

Now when you write a new article/post you can add the meta data in the box below,

yoast seo for wordpress meta data

6. Internal & external links for blog SEO

Internal links simply direct people to another page/post of your blog. Say if you are writing about dogs and mention about dog food, you can link the word “dog food” to another page of yours that is specific to that topic.

There are 2 benefits for doing this. One is that you are allowing people to read your older posts and the second is you are helping that particular page to help with SEO. Google and other search engines will now understand that this page is about “Dog foods” and they will move that page up in the positions.

The same way you should help other websites rank better by linking to their pages. Now it has 3 benefits. First, you are sending people to a better and trusted resource; second, you are showing your audience that you care about them and not just being selfish; third, search engines will like the fact that you are not trying to manipulate their ranking system.

How to do it?

To link to an internal page from your blog, highlight the word and click on the link icon and type in the URL,

hyperlink test for seo boost

7. Image alternative tags for blog image SEO

Search engines can’t see images, but if you tell them what this image is about then they can put this image in their image search.

Let me give you an example, I did a search on google image search with “color red” and the blue color also did showed up.

color_red

This clearly tells us that search king such as google uses text instructions to understand what an image/page is all about.

Just like a blind man trying to learn about colors.

So to help with image SEO, you need to put alternate/alt tags.

How to do it?

After you have uploaded an image, type the image description as the title and in the alt tag,

image alt tag for seo

In blogger you can do this, after you upload and insert the image, click on the picture and then properties:

image properties

Now you shall see the boxes to add the title and image alt tags,

setting image alt tag in blogger for seo

So these were the top main aspects in doing blog SEO. See the goal for SEO is to make sure the search engine fully understands what your blog is about. The objective of blog optimization should always be focused for people, not for the engines.

Here are some more points of blog SEO that I figured out and I want to share with you,

Subdomains: A subdomain or yourblog.blogspot.com or yourblog.wordpress.com doesn’t ranks well in search. A subdomain rarely appears on google search. Some people say that having a blog on blogger is a plus for google (since blogger is owned by google) but that’s a lie, google is dear to no one. So go and buy your own domain name and host your own blog.

.info and local domain names: In my journey, I found that .info and all other not so known domain extensions rarely do well in SEO. The ones that performs well are .COM/.NET/.ORG –the original 3 domain extensions.

Same goes with country domains. I have proof for that! My domain tamal.me which is a .ME domain, never become #1 with all my efforts. It always stays in 5-6 position in google. But when I did the same with a .COM, it went to become #1 without any visible effort from my side. So always stick with the most general domain name, and avoid anything else.

Website in the same ip: Again it’s a lie. This is something promoted by the hosting companies so that you will buy their expensive separate IP hosting accounts. The realty is google and other search engines count domains, not the IP, otherwise it would show up in the search results. The IP that blogkori is in, also hosts 10s of different blogs. All blogs are treated individually.

Speed of the website: Holds importance when it comes to blog usability. You should cut down images and widgets so that your blog will run faster. Blogger, the free hosting provider is the fastest web service for a free solution.

Social sharing: Is very important in blog SEO. You should put social sharing buttons on your blog articles. Social sharing improves the positions in search for your articles.

Have your say

Are you going to use this info and improve your blog SEO? How will you optimize your blog or website? Did I miss something? Please share your thoughts on the comments.

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  • Shamim

    Tamal Vai,

    At the very first point; you have talked about the EMD. There is an argument from me. Google recently updated their Algorithm about EMD and they are strict enough to penalize the domain names who are following EMD purposing to rank higher in Google.
    I think; these days guys should emphasize on creating Authority blog or Brand itself (which you have talked too….amazing) which will survive for long.

    Thanks mate. :)

    • Tamal Anwar

      Maybe you haven’t read it well, I did mentioned about the EMD penalty at the end of that section.

  • http://parttimejobs-home.blogspot.com Nirmala

    Really informative.. Am a blogger, I knew few of the basic SEO already. Gonna execute what I gained from here. Thanks for sharing, keep writing SEO tips for newbie bloggers.

    • Tamal Anwar

      Thank you Nirmala, you are welcome and I will keep writing.

  • http://blog.smartusaha.com zulfadli

    Thank you for your tips.

    What your opinion about backlink building using anchor text for Google Penguin Updates?

    • Tamal Anwar

      I think google did it so that people stop abusing the anchor text. So now you should link to a page anyway you want, with the keyword, variation of keyword, naked link and with “click here”

  • shakil

    EMDs are still in work and the EMD update was not a major change as matt cutts stated it as a minor weather update :D i see many exact match domains are still ranking high. The real problem was with thin sites/micro niche sites, i would agree with shamim vai that you need to build a brand even that is a EMD.

    • Tamal Anwar

      Right you are.

    • Shanta D’suza

      I do not know before about JohnChow.com. is it really working. hope so. lets try to make it own. thanks byddy for the effective information sharing.

    • Tamal Anwar

      Yes he is blogging

  • Serunagmbh

    Definitely this blog is very informative and neatly designed. Really you’ve motivated me strongly in my new project by this article. As a constant reader of your blog I want to tell you that your writing skills are superb

    • Tamal Anwar

      Thank you, happy that it helped you.

  • http://hutzelmedia.com Stephen

    Hey Tamal, just wanted to say that this is a really solid list here. The term “bulletproof” in the title was accurate because regardless of Google’s notorious updates, these fundamentals will stand the test of time.

    Looking forward to reading more of your work.

    • Tamal Anwar

      Stephen, thank you for your comments. Welcome to BlogKori. I do believe that the basics are the most important ones in terms of SEO, so we should use them effectively.

  • Badar

    great article but one thing you mentioned “7. Image alternative tags for blog image SEO” i have never heard about that.That is new to me.

    • Tamal Anwar

      Good to know that I provided something that was unknown to you. Yes definitely image SEO helps you lot to get new traffic.

  • Manir

    Your every post excited me. So uncountable thanks.

    • Tamal Anwar

      Thank you my friend, you are welcome

    • Ibrahim Kamrul Shafin

      I know you know it. Google is still the king. Not even 1% traffic came to my blog from Yahoo, whereas Google sent me the most.

      Thanks for creating incredible articles.

    • Tamal Anwar

      Sure that’s my pleasure!

  • Ibrahim Kamrul Shafin

    Reading the post. Not only for the info, but for the pleasure I always used to get reading BlogKori. There is a point I would like to add with this post.

    Google is arguably the best Search Engine out there. But the reality is, it is not the only one. So, you should be at home with the methods how the other Search Engines rank your blog.

    Let’s see for Yahoo. They value the keywords in your domain more than Google does. While a good article from Lifehacker will get the most priority in Google, an average article from a domain that includes the keyword will get more priority in Yahoo! (Exception is not an example though).

    So, why not work for the both? And in the contrary, keep in mind, Adept in all, Master in None! Therefore, practice more strategies and a time will come when you will shoot in the middle at last.

    Wishing everyone an ultimate success,

    Returning to IM, Shafin.

    • Tamal Anwar

      Hey man, welcome back to the space. Well if you read carefully I did wrote this article for search engines in general and not about google. But when you compare with the stats, google sends 95% of the traffic while bing, yahoo and others are at dust; so when I do SEO I give much more priority to google.

  • Sojib

    nice and informative blog………. something missing here as a smart blog.