Blog Post Optimization: What Does It Mean Exactly?
What does it mean to optimize your blog post? Is it like simonizing your car? Or fertilizing your garden? Or analyzing your options? What the heck is optimizing and why do your have to do it to a blog post? I’m glad you asked. I’ve been bursting at the seams to tell you about blog post optimization.
Optimizing your blog post means doing whatever you can to make it easy to find, read, and understand. The reason you hear it talked about so much is because you have to do so much of it. You see, you have to optimize your posts for your readers and you have to optimize them for the search engines. And sometimes the two overlap.
Now that you’re thoroughly confuse, let’s take a look at…
What it means to optimize your blog post for the search engines
Google and Yahoo and all the other search engines don’t have actual real people who sit behind a desk all day reading all the bazillions of pages of content on the Web so they can categorize them on their indexes. They really don’t even have little teeny tiny crawling robots that they send down through the wires. But they do use algorithms to “read” your content, and these algorithms are very complicated, which is why we’re going to stick to calling them “bots.”
These bots bots visit your blog and they scan the text for keywords. (They can’t “see” images, which is why it’s important to always use keyword-rich alt tags to label your images.) The better these bots can read and understand your content, the better they’re able to place it in the proper index.
Using tags, keywords and long tail keyword search phrases helps the bots identify your content, but they don’t read every single word. Consequently, they don’t necessarily trust you. More than one unscrupulous blogger has stuffed a page full of Viagra ads with seemingly harmless keywords.
And that’s where those incoming links come in. They’re part of your search engine optimization, too. When the bots see those incoming links the realize that other bloggers trust your content, otherwise they wouldn’t be linking to you. And the more incoming links you have, the better you look to the search engines. That’s why bloggers work so hard at developing incoming links.
Now, the problem is, when you’re a new blogger you’re not going to have any incoming links yet, so you won’t have that additional trust the search engines are looking for. The only way to get those links is to get people to read your blog. (Of course, more people would read your blog if there were more links out there for them to follow, but nobody ever said this was going to be easy!)
But getting people to read your blog is only the first step. You need them to start sharing your content and they only way to get them to do that is to provide really great content – that your readers can easily read an understand. In other words, you need to optimize your content for your readers.
What it means to optimize your content for your readers
- Use simple words that everyone can understand
- Get to the point early before your visitor leaves the page
- Be clear and concise so your reader gets your message
- Link to relevant content on your blog to give your reader more information
- Provide clear, prominent navigation links
- Improve your writing skills so your content is well-written and engaging
The whole point to optimizing your content is to make it easy for your visitor to find answers too all of his questions, no matter where they’re located on your blog. If your readers are happy they’re more likely to share your content. And it’s that sharing that brings in those initial incoming links.
The question is always “Should I optimize my blog post for the search engines or for my readers?” and the answer is, “You should always optimize for both.”
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