Grow your blog, Part 1 – SEO.
I think SEO is still alien to a lot of people here. Don’t worry, I was among-st you a while back but someone helped me to understand it better and I hope to be that someone for you guys. I am not an expert but below is my understanding of SEO in simple language and I welcome suggestion / corrections if I am incorrect anywhere.
What is SEO ?
SEO refers Search Engine Optimization. Majority of traffic for our blogs are driven by major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bling. Search engines are also know as answer machines. If your site in not found on the first few pages you miss out on a LOT of opportunity to increase the traffic on your blog.
Whenever I want to know about any topic, the first place I go to is Google and look for it. For example, say I am looking for the review of Maybelline Color Tattoo. I will go to Google and type Maybelline Color Tattoo and it will give me 100+ pages in result for my search. I will of course not start from the 100th page for my answer but with the 1st page and most probably the first result in that page. Wouldn’t you do the same ?
Before I started blogging, I always had this mindset that the result in the first page are the most accurate to help me, which now I can say is not true. The pages that appear on the first page are the most popular or relevant. Search engines assume that the most popular page has the most accurate information available. Suppose, you and I have a post on the same topic, same subject but your page content is much better than mine but I have more visitors and comments on my page. Google will then, put my link on the top page and yours not even when your content is way better than mine. This will result in giving me more visitors through search engines.
Googlers recommend the following to get better rankings in their search engine:
- Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines. Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as cloaking.
- Make a site with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
- Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content. Make sure that your <title> elements and ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate.
- Use keywords to create descriptive, human friendly URLs. Provide one version of a URL to reach a document, using 301 redirects or the rel=”canonical” element to address duplicate content.
Bing engineers at Microsoft recommend the following to get better rankings in their search engine:
- Ensure a clean, keyword rich URL structure is in place
- Create keyword-rich content based on research to match what users are searching for. Produce fresh content regularly.
- Don’t put the text that you want indexed inside images. For example, if you want your company name or address to be indexed, make sure it is not displayed inside a company logo.
I hope this was helpful to some of you. Our goal here is to put our pages in the top result of search engines to make them more popular. As I said before, you or me can’t do it alone. Lets help each other and Grow your blog ! Are you ready for this ? BTW, I need a group name for next steps. Any suggestion ?