8 Things Your Blogging Habits Should Include
If you’ve started your SEO education, then you already know there are two major factors that comprise search engine optimization…onpage factors and offpage factors. Today, I’d like to share the 8 things your normal blogging habits should include to make sure you master the Onpage Factors
The number one onpage SEO tactic to have is meaningful, keyword rich, descriptive titles for each blog post, blog page and search/archive page in your blog.
Be advised though, Google is onto those *black-hat* tactics like keyword stuffing, so the title should read naturally. Using the same word over and over in your title will get your site banned. Period.
Words closer to the beginning of the title, are given more *weight* than those that are at the end. So, make sure your title gets to the point, quickly.
“I’m blogging, I can’t control the title that appears at the top of the blog window, can I?”
Well, actually, if you are using WordPress right out of the box, probably not. However, there are a number of ways to enhance the title tag, or browser window title with plugins. A couple that come immediately to mind are All In One SEO Pack and HeadSpace2. Both offer customizations that will ensure your title tags contain the right information, as long as your post or page title does. Both of the plugins I mentioned, also help with the next few factors as well.
Description Meta Tag
Yeah, I know. You’ve probably only heard of this one. The Description Meta Tag is not something humans normally see, unless they are looking for it. It’s purpose is to speak to the *spiders* that crawl your site. It was originally designed as a helpful way to explain the content of the post or page.
When Google finds a description meta tag, it will use the first 160 characters to display the *description* that appears under the link when your site is returned in the results for a search term.
It is important to note this tag is more than a way to explain your content to the search spiders then…it’s a way to talk to your target market, and explain why they should come read your content.
If you don’t provide a description meta tag, Google will grab either the first 160 characters of your content, or 160 character near the keyword that was searched … to find your content. Leaving it for Google to *build* your description is a little like relying on someone who hasn’t seen the movie, to tell you if it worth seeing. Hmmm.
Keywords Meta Tag
This search engine optimization factor is getting some bad press, and experts are unable to agree on the validity and importance of this one. However, for years, Google, Yahoo and MSN used the keyword meta tag to help them weight your content based on the keywords found.
Here’s my thinking on this matter.
Having 3-7 of your main keywords related to the content in this tag won’t hurt you, and very well might still be ranked pretty high on the internal thinking of spiders who index your site.
I don’t want this to become a tutorial on HTML or anything silly like that, but you need to know something about how web browsers *read* the content and display it to you. They use a *tag* system that allows them to define how something will appear, on the fly. For example, to make the word bold, appear in bold in a sentence, an instruction (a tag) is placed right in front of the word and immediately following the word.
For example, this word will appear bold when read by a browser.
Now that you understand that concept (yeah right, clear as mud, right?), there are tags used by all browsers to display text at various heights. In fact, there is a standard set of header tags, numbering 1 through 6, (with 1 being the largest, 6 being the smallest) that every browser understands.
With me so far?
When you put a keyword in a header tag, it is given more *weight* on the relevancy scale, than that same word just appearing in the text. A header tag automatically tells Google it’s more important.
An Alt tag is a small bit of text that is displayed in place of an image, until the image loads. Perhaps you have surfed a site and seen text just kinda hanging out in space, and then, when the page finished loading, a photo magically appeared instead of that text.
You are seeing the Alt tag at work.
Since photo’s can be large and take longer to download to the local surfer’s machine, Alt tags let them know something is coming.
However, the Google spiders crawl Alt tags and if your keyword is there, it’s like another small vote in your favor. Again, I remind you that Google is onto the *black-hatters* that stuff keywords in the Alt tag, just to get better rankings.
A good rule to follow would be to use the title as the Alt tag, and add the word photo. For example..you have a post called *7 Travel Destinations Everyone Can Afford*, and it displays a beautiful photo of the beaches of Fiji. For the Alt tag of that photo, insert the text *7 Travel Destinations Everyone Can Afford Photo*.
Please note, your photo names can also help your SEO. Just name the photo the same as the title as well, and add the word photo. For the photo name though, you will want to replace all spaces with dashes. Although there a couple of plugins I have seen for this task, I have had problems with them and the new version of WordPress. If I hear of one that rises back to the top again, I will let you know.
Also called Anchor text, this is the text that is displayed when you include a hyperlink in your content.
Let’s say you have a site all about Pool Service. And within a blog post, you are sharing your experience with a great vendor that offers overnight delivery for their supplies. If you will include keywords within your text (rather than just *click here*), a few things happen for you.
* You have your keywords included again on your page (in natural sounding language)
* You are linking to an outside site (that might have a great page rank) that is related. So, you are *voting* for the other site.
* The vendor you are linking to get’s some business, making them happier with you
* Google sees you now, as more of an authority on the subject, since you are a linking to another known authority.
This habit is all on you. I know of no plugins to help with this process… just remember, the better the anchor text you highlight for a link, the better all around it will be.
I should mention that there are two types of sitemaps. One, is built for humans. The other, is built for the search engine spiders. I am referring to the one for Google here, although, it’s a really good idea to have a good sitemap for your visitors as well.
This one requires a bit of work unless you choose a plugin to handle it for you. In fact, I highly recommend using a plugin since getting the priorities, scheduling, category hierarchy and other obscure and difficult to follow factors go into this.
A sitemap built for Google looks like raw HTML code. In fact, it’s called XML and is a cousin to HTML. It basically recounts everything that Google can expect to find on your site. Again, unless you are really really into that geeky stuff, I highly recommend a plugin for your blog to handle this chore. Google XML Sitemaps is a good one that comes to mind.
Obviously, this really should be weighted very high on the scale of things to do to bring visitors to your site. None of the Onpage optimizations you do will keep your visitors on your site or coming back like delivering some killer content.
Need a few ideas? Try Google Alerts.
Here are the links to the plugins mentioned above:
All In One SEO Pack
Source : Here!