8 Steps to optimize your blog for SEO

Blogging is all the rage – and it’s become a great way for business owners to help promote products or services beyond a standard otherwise static web site.  But what good is a blog if nobody finds it?   Search engine optimization for blogs requires proper planning.  Here are eight key steps to help you optimize your blog for SEO.
Step 1.  Category Naming

Most blogs allow you to create your own categories so that you can group your blog articles.  One of the first steps to optimizing a blog for search engine position value is to name your categories using your most important keyword phrases.

Step 2.  Article Name Seeding

Be sure to have an individual article’s top two phrases as part of the article name This is vital because the article’s name becomes the page Title and the URL for that article.  Of course if you make your article titles too long this will make it more difficult to capture your audience’s attention and if you attempt to abuse this technique purely for stuffing keywords in every article, you may eventually find your site penalized by the search engines.  So always try to find a balance in how far you go.

Step 3.  Content Content Content

Make sure each article has at least two or three paragraphs of content where you mix up the use of each individual word from your Article title keyword phrases. The more content, the more you can seed your phrases in a natural way and the more value is thus given those phrases. So five paragraphs is better than two, and eight is better than five.
Step 4.  Mix It Up

It’s okay to have one or two uses of each phrase in it’s original syntactical order, but it’s just as important to then use the individual words from a phrase either in reverse order if intelligently possible or split up.
Step 5.  Cross Link Articles

For more value on individual blog articles, provide links to them from other articles where the links are embedded in the article content, and where they are inside paragraphs where that paragraph discusses the contents of that article
Step 6.  Build Authority Relationships

Create other links within articles where those links go to 3rd party web sites – the more authoritative those 3rd party sites, the more your article will be seen as helpful, relevant and trustworthy for the specific keyword phrases related to the article.
Step 7.  Link Titles

Each link you embed in your site – either a link to another page on your site or a link out to another site should have a title in the link tag.  Most blog software allows you to add a title to the link from within your blog’s rich text editor and you need to take advantage of the opportunity.  Title’s should be appropriate to describing the page the link points to while incorporating at least one keyword phrase relevant to the landing page but the most value comes when that phrase is relevant to the page you’ve go the link on as well.

Step 8.  Build Inbound Authority

Link to individual articles in the blog or at the very least, the blog home page from other web sites, including your business web page, your LinkedIn profile page, etc…  Any sites you own should of course have a main link to your blog – so that link appears on every page of that web site.  Subit your link to the search engines and any web directory related to your business as well.  Consider sending out a press release through a web service such as PRWeb.com – where their SEO level or higher release service allows you to optimize that press release for SEO value – and embed at least one link to the blog in the release.  For $200 (current price as of 07/2008), it’s a bargain for obtaining high quality links back to your blog!

So there you have it – 8 steps to optimize your blog for SEO.  Now this is by no means the only 8 steps you’ll need to implement – distributing your blog through RSS, incorporating a sitemap.xml file, and all the other essential tasks for search engine optimization you can read about on my White Hat SEO Fundamentals page….  But if all you do is follow the above 8 steps, you’re at least starting on the right foot!

About Alan Bleiweiss

Just another guy. Who happens to have a lot of experience living, breathing and sleeping organic SEO. So that's my primary focus - high end SEO audits and consulting for sites ranging from thousands to tens of millions of pages. In my spare time I blog, rant, write eBooks, and speak at industry conferences.

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