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    Everything in SEO seems to refer to tags – if it isn’t Title Tags, then it’s Metatags or there’s alt tags for images. Well, here is another type and one that will probably become much better known than any of the others, particularly in connection with Blogs.

    In this instance, a Tag is like a subject or category, and it is one of the few elements in SEO which is unique to blogs because of the way that some of the Blog Search Engines use their own type of Tags to help categorise posts. They are not used instead of a normal search function but alongside it and it is the author of the post who attaches the Tags to it. The rationale is that rather than just rely on the Search Engine to categorise it in the way they wish, the blogger can also indicate where and how they think it should be categorised as well.

    Probably the best known of the Blog Search Engines which use these extensively is Technorati, though there are a number of others which offer the same format such as Del.icio.us. You also have sites such as Flickr offering the type of categorisation for photos.

    Some people believe that this is the direction in which indexing information on the web is likely to go that remains to be seen, but in the meantime it is certainly worth including relevant tags for Technorati at the least so that your visibility with the users of their Search Engine is improved. In wider SEO terms, they have the additional benefit that they contain your keywords or ones relate closely to the subject matter of the post which in itself adds to the keyword levels in the post and on the page.

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    The Title Tag is one of the most important aspects that you can look at when you wish to do some Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) on your Blog, so it is good to get it right from the start.

    The Title tag is used in two principal areas: when you are using a browser, it is what appears in the blue bar right at the top of your screen and tells the reader what is contained within the page. Secondly, on the Search Engine Results page, it forms the link that you click on to reach the page shown in the results.

    In the code itself, the Title tag appears in the head part of the code that makes up the page – the code will look like:

    < title >Better Business Blogging < /title >

    In this case, Better Business Blogging will appear as the Title tag information.

    You dont have many words to play with in your Title tag (between 8 and 10 is considered the most that are given relevance) so its important to use them, and ideally have your keywords included. The order that they are used allows adds weight, with words appearing earlier having more importance.

    In Blogs, the Title tag is generated automatically and usually takes the format of the name of your Blog followed by the title of the post. So if we take this page as an example, under normal circumstances, the Title Tag would be:

    Better Business Blogging >> Basic SEO in Blogs: important Title Tag

    However, ideally I would like to highlight the reference to “SEO in Blogs” and so by changing the order in the title tag using my template, I can achieve this. This gives a new Title tag of:

    Basic SEO in Blogs: important Title Tag” – Better Business Blogging

    This will help to the highlight the term “SEO in blogs” more because of its placement in the Title Tag and will give better results for these key terms with the Search Engines.

    While this should not be done in isolation, the Title tag is an important element and so due attention should be paid accordingly. Try it – you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results!

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    As you might have gathered from the title of this post, content is all important in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)!

    First and foremost, it is content that Search Engines look for when they index a website or blog. So, from the outset, a blog has an ‘unfair’ advantage because it is primarily made up of words whereas websites will often be driven just as much by their graphics – something which search engines just don’t see.

    A well set-up Business Blog has an even greater advantage because it also has a well defined focus and so its content will be targeted towards a particular subject matter. This means that there is likely to be a lot of relevant content and in Search Engine Optimisation terms this is key to all the other elements you add in around it.

    Remember though that while good use of content and keywords will certainly attract the Search Engines, it is the quality of the content that will bring the visitors back, so you need to make sure that what you write is useful and “attractive” to both of them. You can certainly “overoptimise” a post and if it sounds stilted to you when you read it, then it probably will to others as well.

    So, what should you remember when you want to use your content to help your SEO and hence your Search Engine rankings? Well, try to bear in mind:

    Keyword density: this is the number of times a keyword phrase appears on the page divided by the overall number of words it contains. If you are serious about optimising, then you should aim for 5 – 7%, any more than this and it is going to sound very stilted indeed. However, do not churn out text which is keyword rich but doesn’t engage your readers – if you do, then it doesn’t matter if you are highly placed by a Search Engine because people will arrive and then immediately get turned away by the content.

    Placement on the page: Another element to remember is that where you place the text on the page is important as well. Text at the top of the page is considered to have more importance (although it is important to spread your keywords throughout the page) so this means that you should look to get the keywords in the opening paragraph and then continue this throughout the post.

    In blogs, this is not only important in the post itself, but also in the categories. It is possible to have a key article which is always at the top of the category it relates to – this article would summarise the important elements to the category and so, in the best principles of SEO, have content full of key words. Some blogging systems have the functionality built to create this so called “Sticky” post, but with our recommended system of WordPress you will need a plug-in to achieve it. The best we have found is called Adhesive although there are others which achieve the same.

    Highlight key elements: the use of bold and/or italics to highlight keyword phrases makes them stand out not only on the page but also in Search Engine terms. As with all SEO techniques, don’t overuse them but do use them in relevant places to focus on your important key phrases.

    Update on a regular basis: Search Engines also recognise that a website or blog which is constantly changing is likely to have the most up to date information and so be most relevant. So make sure that you maintain a flow of new and relevant postings … BUT, remember the idea of quality content for your readers so don’t post just for the sake of it as this will reduce the overall quality of your blog.

    So to summarise:

    • make the content targeted and well written

    • ensure that the posts contain the keywords that are relevant to the subject

    • aim for good level of keyword density within the context of the article

    • get keywords in at the top of a page or category, and then also spread them through the page
    • use ‘bold’ and ‘italics’ on occasions to give extra weight to your main keywords
    • update regularly to add new content

    But, just to re-iterate one final time, getting good Search Engine rankings is important but you must write for your readers or else all your other efforts will be in vain, so use SEO with this foremost in your mind.

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    Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is as relevant and applicable to blogs as it is to websites in general and, when done properly, is an excellent way to help both Search Engines and visitors alike to identify the most relevant websites for their search.

    By their very nature, blogs already contain elements which naturally lend themselves to good indexing and ranking in the main Search Engines. However, since blogs at one level are websites with certain specific characteristics, then the important elements used in general Search Engine Optimisation are also very relevant when it comes to ensuring that your blogs are optimised as well.

    I thought that it would be worthwhile to revisit some of the main elements and take a look at them in more detail over the coming weeks, on a one by one basis.

    The elements that we will be having a look at are those which are generally accepted to have the most relevance when it comes to be Search Engine ranking. These are:

    • Blog Content
    • Domain name

    • URL / Address of the page

    • Title Tag

    • Description Metatag

    • Headings and Bold

    • Image tags

    • Internal linking

    • External inbound links

    There are other elements which are more specific to blogs which we will also have a look at such as tags which give additional information about the post and the blog – these are used by certain blog Search Engines such as Technorati and are likely to grow in importance.

    Next post in the series will look at ‘Content’ – from an SEO point of view, of course!

    If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

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