A number of well researched keywords can be used all over your article but it is effective to place them where search engines and your readers can detect them easily. People tend to scan pages, usually only the first page, for the information they are looking for. They are not prepared to read everything you write but only the stuff they need and scanning is one way to do that. If you write about keywords I suppose it is logical to put it your blog post title. If you describe a process or explain something, let your readers know this perspective and the title is a great place for that.
Blog title and blog post tile
The main purpose of a title is to get attention and make your readers want more. Your title should not be so concise that it is not inviting readers to read the whole article neither do you want to trick people by writing about something that has got nothing to do with the title.
If it is appropriate place a keyword in the title and use it at the beginning rather than the end. Also keep in mind not to make the title too long otherwise you end up with only half of it in the search results in Google. In that case it is better to opt for a sub title or a head line.
Headers and sub headings
Headlines are another effective facilitator for scanning. They give readers a quick overview of what is in the article. Placing a keyword in a header is effective but again keep in mind that it should be appropriate. Don’t become a so-called keyword bomber or – stuffer. Google does not like this and your blog may be blocked rather than climb the search engine ladder. As long as your article reads natural and creates a great user experience, include a keyword.
Content, ‘About Me ‘and links
Keywords can be placed in the rest of your content, the ‘About me’ page and in links to your other posts. It is very likely that several posts have the same keywords as some of your previous posts and it is logical to refer to them. There are ratios in place on the amount and frequency of keywords in an article but I will have to dig a little deeper before I understand what the full impact is of those.
Apparently emotional terms in your titles and headers appeal more than a functional description of an article’s content. This is based on the fundamental desires that drive our behaviour. It does not matter what you call them or how many there are but some core desires include love, security, change, contribution, curiosity and achievement to name a view. Such words or values in your content attract more attention as they appeal to our needs and wants. From a search point of view, your readers may put such words into search engines to find what they are looking for.
Another interesting factor is that you can use synonyms for your keywords. Search engines have algorithms that take synonyms into consideration and rank them accordingly. This applies more to English sites than to other languages. This is interesting as you have more creative freedom to write a great post while optimising SEO tactics.
And THAT is to my opinion still the best achievement – optimising SEO while at the same time keeping the user experience to an optimum.
When you Google Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and blogging you can choose from the ‘Most Effective 21 Tactics’, the ‘Best 8 First Steps” or the 6 Hottest SEO Tips’ and offcourse there is the ‘Guide to’ ….
Which one to choose? Or should I go for all of them? I suppose I will have to sift through everything to find the most effective but also the easiest to understand and the most accessible techniques. I am looking forward to the challenge. I will say upfront that I am not researching the methods that cost money at this stage. That will be my last resort when nothing else works.
It’s all about content!
When scanning over the articles I am attracted to an article of Problogger and its writer Darren Browse. I have read his blog and his book Problogger and I think it is a great help for serious bloggers. Darren Rowse reckons that the most important factor for SEO is writing great content. As a fact this may be debatable but looking at his personal experience he states that this factor has contributed hugely to his online success.
This one appeals to me because I believe that great articles will attract readers. It won’t happen overnight but bit by bit. Readers who like your article hopefully pass it on, like it or share it. The good old snow ball effect!
Rowse has several other tips but he finishes his article with his ‘hunch’ regarding content. He suggests ‘writing the best information that you can come up with’. According to him that is what Google appreciates the most and searches for. Most tips for SEO optimisation that can be found on line are considered the minimum effort that every blogger should put in in order to climb the rankings. Bottom line is still the quality of your content.
What to do with great content?
Okay, you have written a great article and published it on your blog. The following questions come to mind ‘How can someone find you?’ and ‘What do you need to do so Google and your readers knows that you are there?’
Social networks are great tools to spread the word. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are perfect for sharing your content. Once you have written and published your post, seed it to the social networks so your readers, friends and contacts can pass it on. The more readers you have the more it can be passed on through their networks. Logical but effective. Not fast but a gradual growth with a potential snowball effect.
So far this is all relatively logical – yet there may be many blogs that do not take the above into consideration. The point is to create interest for your blog because of your content and not only because of your skilled application of keywords, h-tags and meta-links. They have a purpose but will eventually lose their effect if your content is not up to scratch.
There is not much new to this but it is important enough to emphasise and dedicate a post to. More to come!
What message do I have?
As promised I like to continue talking about content. I am inspired by a comment one of my followers made about not being able to find enough ‘topic’ to write about. This happened to be a result of ‘the feeling of not having enough expertise’. How often does this happen and does that mean that you should not blog!
I personally believe that it depends on the kind of blog you write. What is the purpose of you writing your blog? What do you want to say, achieve and above all share? My blog is about ‘learning to blog’ – after all it is called ‘Blogexercise, the road to professional blogging’. If I would pretend to be an expert while all I am doing is exploring the subject, I would be fooling you all.
My aim is to ‘become an expert’ by reading books, researching the web and talking to other people. I then like to compile whatever I have learned in a post for others to read and hopefully learn from as well. My main objective is to get a clear overview for myself but it is great to see that others benefit from it!
Do I have enough inspiration to keep on writing?
Another issue is ‘not having enough content’ to write about. A very successful blogger in Australia (www.problogger.com) once wrote that you should be able to write at least 30 blog posts about your topic. A good aim is to do this even before you start. If you can’t do this you may eventually run dry and have nothing to write about.
The reason you start blogging is because you have got something to say, you like to speak ‘your’ truth and talk about the way you see how things are. If you can’t do that, why would you bother! Don’t be one of the thousands of blogs that ‘hang inactively’ in the blogosphere.
Tara Frey (www.bloggingforbliss.com) reckons that readers connect more with you if you stay faithful to your truth and as a result words come easily. And she should know as her blog gets thousands of hits per day and in 2008 ago it was was honoured Typepad Favourite Blog! Something to aim for.
How to find content……….
- Look around and see what inspires you, irritates you, makes you happy or sad and most of all discover what is close to your heart.
- Then do something with, discuss it, embrace it or fight it.
- But approach it with passion and you’ll find the words will flow!
4 simple techniques to make your blog post stand out!
2012, there we are. First blog post of the year, full good intentions and maybe even some resolutions.
Although I have postponed the commitment to the final structure of my ‘future’ blog, I have already started to write posts for it. Exciting stuff as I get to go places. The idea is to review places in Brisbane and immediate surroundings. Places such as restaurants, cafes, cinemas, galleries, shops and what else I can think off. To start off locally but I may expand to other areas.
Okay, back to blogging about blogging. In a previous post I was talking about content and I realised I had more to say than I could in one post. I wrote about simplifying information in an easy format for people to find and to read. I suppose writing a good blog post is a bit like writing a good essay. It has a heading, possibly a sub heading, an introduction, explanation, discussion and a conclusion. It requires logical thinking and creating a natural flow. Anybody who thinks that it is easier than that is wrong!
So what contributes to ‘good content’?
- Keep it simple and easy to understand
- Keep it fresh
- Keep it unique
- Keep it useful
- Make it look nice
Simple! A good way to ‘keep it simple’ is not trying to be everything to all people. This is a trap and it easy for an enthusiastic blogger to fall into. The majority of successful bloggers have created a ‘niche blog’ and concentrate on a narrow topic. If you have inspiration for a wider point of view, splinter this into a number of more specific topics.
‘Fresh and nice’ is an important one for me. I am not keen on busy web pages with so many ads that you can’t distinguish ads from blog content. It is confusing and it tires the eye too much. When I find such a blog/ website and when I realise it is successful, I feel a little cheated. I feel that potential advertising income has replaced the originality of the blog. There must be something in between. Give your topic an ‘attractive jacket’ and it will be a pleasure to look at!
Unique! That is a big one. How difficult is it to be ‘unique’ with millions of blogs already out there. As a blog is an opportunity to show your ‘voice’, it should be exactly that. Don’t copy someone else’s stuff. If you want to use information from others, reference properly and acknowledge that it is not yours!
Useful! A good way to find out what is ‘useful’ for other people is to have a good look at comments. The issues people raise in comments can give you as a blogger countless ideas for future posts. After all if you want readers you must find out what people want, so you can give it to them!
I found it hard to come up with a ‘good title’ for this post, so I suppose that is what my next post will be about…
Starting a blog is easy, but then what….
Well the blog is there and it is alive. I noticed that I spend a lot of time perfecting the blog posts before I publish them. I suppose that is the perfectionist in me.
The whole point of ‘Blogexercise’ is to experiment and to learn while the blog is online so it should not be important if I make mistakes. The point is to write and publish posts, see what works or does not work and then find out how to correct it.
When starting a blog, you’ll find that there is a wealth of information out there. In fact there is simply too much and it is confusing to know what to do and where to start. Many people just like me have started to blog and learn on the job. It is not difficult to start and websites such as WordPress and Blogger have made it very accessible even for the computer illiterate amongst us.
I like to add that it ‘seems’ not difficult but when you dig a little deeper, it appears that you ideally make certain decisions before you start and in order to do so you need to know more about the whole process than initially said. For instance should you go for an all inclusive hosting service or should you self-host? To understand what this actually means you need to know about domains, hosting and web addresses. Well when I started I had heard about all these things but had too little understanding to make an educated decision whether I need an online service or should self host.
One professional blogger who has made a living out of teaching people like me how to blog, claims that a crucial factor in making a decision about self hosting or a hosted blog is your ‘technical ability’. Well that means that I and probably many others should go for the hosted online service but….. if I have aspirations to add advertising to my blogs it is better to self host! It apparently is complicated to transfer blog content at a later stage. It is possible but again you need to have a ‘certain technical ability’ to make such a transfer.
So what’s next?
Where does that leave me? I think I like to create a couple of blogs about certain topics. Topics I know something about, I have worked with and can teach others about. I may like to attract advertisers and add Google ads but with a hosted blog it is very hard to have input how the page will look and where ads will be placed. That is how I understand it at the moment and I have set myself the task to get some clear answers.