This is post number 24 in my Building a Better Blog project and we’re coming down to the wire. Today’s task is to do a search engine optimization audit on your blog.
While you should never rely on one source for all your traffic, it’s a safe bet that most of your traffic, especially in the beginning, is going to come through the search engines. And at least 80 percent of that search engine traffic will come through Google. Therefore, it’s important that any blogger who’s serious about his business learn everything he can about search engine optimization.
Now SEO is a very, very broad topic and, unfortunately, the guidelines and techniques change almost daily. What worked last month may be either completely outdated or illegal these days, so SEO isn’t something you can just “learn” and move on to something else. It’s an ongoing, continuous learning process.
That said, there are some aspects of search engine optimization that have remained constant over the years and these are the things you’re going to take a look at today.
Keywords: Covering keywords effectively would take an ebook but here’s something you need to remember: The search engines are a lot more intuitive now than they were in the past. It’s no longer necessary to stuff your blog post with the same keyword, over and over again. Use synonyms and long-tail keywords so your content sounds natural and don’t worry about it, the search engines will get your meaning.
- Use keywords in your blog title and blog description
- Use keywords in your post and page titles
- Use keywords in your content
- Use keyword title and post tags
- Use keywords to tag all images
Internal Links: A strong internal linking structure not only makes it easier for your readers to find your content, it makes it easier for the search engine bots, too, which means they help your SEO. There’s also some indication that they help with page rank, although they don’t carry as much value as incoming links. Be sure to check for dead links regularly and fix them as fast as possible.
Out-Bound Links: Linking out to other blogs also has a small effect on your SEO. Citing your sources increases your credibility and authority, and regularly linking out to other blogs makes your blog look like an information hub. Again, be sure to check for dead links regularly and fix them as fast as possible. It’s also important to check out-bound links regularly to make sure they’re still linking to a reputable site. More than one blogger has decided to go over to the dark side after he’s built up a lot of incoming links and you don’t want to be linking out to that kind of content.
OK. Go do a search engine optimization audit on your blog today. Oh, and if you want to check your Google Page Rank go to PRChecker.