Chirp chirp. Chirp chirp.
Sometimes I hear the sound of crickets when I stumble across certain blogs written by small business owners. At first glance, the content is good, thorough, and up-to-date, but the page rank is 0 and there are a dozen signs leading me to believe that no one reads this blog. What is a blogger to do? Simple! Adopt a simple, 5-minute SEO routine that will gradually turn into a habit over time. Following an SEO routine will increase the chances of your blog finding luck in search engine results, and in turn increase traffic to your site.
Place one keyword in the title.
Even if you’ve done zero keyword research, you probably already know your business’ top keywords. Search engines love relevant titles (and so do searchers). So instead of the title “New Store Opened in Salem, Massachusetts!” write “New Candy Store Opened in Boston, Massachusetts!” Think of a blog post as a press release. After all, your goal is to draw new visitors to the site, right? Write each title as if your reader has never heard about your company before.
Trim your URL.
Though WordPress automatically generates a URL from your title, it’s wise to trim the title down to the bare essentials. For example, a blog post called “5 Yummy Candy Gift Baskets for the Christmas Season” could be trimmed to candystoreblog.com/5-candy-gift-baskets-for-christmas.
Weave the keyword two or three times through the body.
Once you’ve finished writing your content, go back and see where you can sprinkle relevant keywords. Four times is probably the maximum amount of times you should mention a keyword; anything over that will look like spam to search engines and to your readers.
Optimize your pictures.
Because search engines can’t understand visuals, alt text is the major factor in crawling images. Provide alt text for each image that is relevant (think of alt text as a keyword for your picture). Image title is important in that it sometimes plays a part in the URL of your image. For instance, entering the image title “chocolate kiss” on WordPress will result in an image link that looks like candystoreblog.com/2010/10/chocolate-kiss.jpg. Compare this to keeping the original file name of Img_244.jpg, which will result in the URL candystoreblog.com/2010/10/Img_244.jpg, which isn’t search engine –friendly.
Tags help fellow candy-loving blog readers find their way to your candy store blog, and they also help search engines index your site. When you tag a blog post as candy secrets, a page will be created that looks like candystoreblog.com/tag/candysecrets. It will contain links to all posts you’ve tagged with candy secrets. If you have several posts on that topic, Google may view your site as knowledgeable.
It’s easy to begin an SEO routine for blogging, and results can show up within a few weeks. The trick is to stick with the routine in order to optimize as many blog posts as you write. Don’t let that good content go to waste!