The following SEO blogging tips are in order—the earlier a tip appears in the list, the more impact it will have on improving your site ranking. But that doesn’t mean the later tips should be ignored. If you want to rank well on Google and other search engines, I suggest you follow all of these ten SEO blogging tips.
SEO Blogging Tips #1: Content First
The best thing you can do for your site is publish quality content. Too many bloggers today focus on other SEO blogging tips to the detriment of their blog quality.
The other tips in this article and other articles all require a base layer of great blog posts. If you have great posts, improving your search rank or ranking for new keywords will be easy. Without great posts, you’ll have to work several times as hard for the same results.
But WARNING: Just remember that content is not the only king. You should never rely on great content alone.
SEO Blogging Tips #2—Get Incoming Links
Although Google relies less on PageRank now than ever before, the number of incoming links is still the most important thing about your site to Google.
But getting incoming links can be hard. The best way to get incoming links is by getting people to link to your site—and the best way to get people to link to your site is to get them to read your site. But who will read your site if they can’t find it in Google Search? It’s a Catch–21 scenario.
To get incoming links, you need to work with other people on the Internet who already have established sites. Offer to guest post on their sites, or offer them something else in exchange for a link (for example, if you’re a Google Analytics expert, offer to setup their Analytics Goals for free).
Just keep talking to people and rewarding them for linking to your site.
SEO Blogging Tips #3—Keyword Optimization
None of the other tricks on this list will help you if you choose the wrong keywords for your site. What are wrong keywords?
1. Keywords which don’t attract customers. We’ll discuss the importance of customers versus visitors later, but choosing keywords based on traffic is not the best strategy for most sites.
2. Focusing on high-profile keywords will keep you in constant competition with other sites which may have more resources than you. It’s better for you to find medium-popular keywords which you can easily rank for.
3. Keywords which don’t match your content. Most people make this mistake when choosing a too generalized keyword. For example, you don’t want to make your core keyword “soap” if your site is about making your own soap because most people searching for soap will be interested in using store-bought soap to clean something.
SEO Blogging Tips #4—Outgoing Links
Outgoing links are an often-neglected SEO strategy which can pay huge dividends. The main reason most SEO blogging tips talk about outgoing links is because Google may reward sites which link to authority sites such as Wikipedia.
But outgoing SEO links can be more useful to you as a strategy for generating incoming links. All serious webmasters monitor their referral report which tells them which sites referred visitors to their site.
If you link to someone else’s site, they’ll see your site on their referrers report and they’ll probably investigate your site. Not everyone will link back to you, but the more people who know about your site, the more people who can link to you.
SEO Blogging Tips #5—Make Content Obvious
Search engines don’t see your page the way people do. An important part of the reason they see your page differently is that they don’t typically read your Cascading Style Sheet (CSS), so all they see is the bare text of your page.
That’s a problem, because the text on your page includes not just your content, but also your advertisements, navigation links, and footer—things which distract from your keyword-optimized content.
HTML 5 introduced a bunch of new tags to help you mark parts of your page as navigation, footer, or inline content for the benefit of search engines, but even if your blog software doesn’t support HTML 5 yet, you can optimize your site by removing extraneous elements which don’t support your keyword optimization.
SEO Blogging Tips #6—Customers, Not Visitors
Another frequent mistake made in SEO is thinking only about website traffic in terms of visitors instead of customers.
A visitor is anyone who visits your site, regardless of what they do during their visit. A customer is someone who makes you money—whether they bought a product or clicked an advertisement.
It’s easy to increase visitors, but it’s harder to increase customers. The biggest blogs on the Internet have a terrible visitor-to-customer ratio because they’ve focused solely on increasing the number of visitors.
You need to focus on getting more customers—even if that hurts the number of visitors you get.
SEO Blogging Tips #7—Small Site, Long Tail
As mentioned earlier, if you have a small site, you don’t want to compete with larger sites for valuable keywords. Instead you can focus on what’s called “the long tail.”
The long tail are specific search terms only a few people search for every month. Because they’re low-traffic, you can rank for these terms easily—often by simply writing just one blog post.
Although ranking for a low-traffic term may sound nearly worthless, ranking for dozens or hundreds of low-traffic search terms can attract to your site more visitors than you would get if your ranked well on a high-traffic search term.
SEO Blogging Tips #8—More Is More
High-quality content is the best way to boost your SEO, but more content is also a good way to boost your search engine ranking.
Before I tell you more, let me note that I don’t recommend scam ways to boost your content, such as pirating content or spinning content.
If you can add more content to your site, you increase the number of opportunities you have to attract traffic and rank for various search terms. Even if this content isn’t as good as your best content, it’s still better published on your site than buried in your Drafts folder—or, worse, left unwritten because it didn’t sound interesting to you.
SEO Blogging Tips #9—Forget Google (For A Moment)
Google is undoubtedly the king of search engines, but too many SEO blogging tips come from people who forget that Google isn’t the only search engine, so take a moment and think about optimizing your content for Bing, Overture, Ask, and other search engines.
(You should especially pay attention to alternative search engines if your target audience speaks something besides English. Google’s market share is much smaller outside of the anglosphere.)
SEO Blogging Tips #10—Make Partnerships
For small and medium-sized blog sites, other sites in the same niche aren’t competition as much as they are potential partners. Consider: if you and I both write about the same subject, we also probably share much of the same audience. If we fight, our audience may split—my partisans sticking with me and your partisans sticking with you.
But if two sites in the same niche work together, than can both sell to their total combined audience. It’s even better if the two blogs are in related niches—for example, a blog about leaf blowers and a blog about lawn mowers can work together under the assumption that anyone with one device probably has (or wants) the other.
Find as many sites as you can in or around your niche and send them an email asking if they want to be partners. As partners, you both agree to mention the other site in a blog once a month or so. This repetitive mentioning improves your standing to the other audience, while the repetitive linking improves your search rank, so don’t skip this or any of the other SEO blogging tips.