Optimize Your Blog: Part 1

written by BlogEx on March 9, 2009 in Blog Optimization and Blogging with 7 comments

So you’ve got a blog. Now what?

In this series of posts I’ll be covering several strategies to maximize your blogs potential with proper optimization. How can you be both search engine and user friendly at the same time? It’s a tough balancing act at times, but if you really want to make money blogging, you must start with a properly optimized blog.

Display Your Keywords First And Often

Let’s use Blogging Experiment as an example. For almost 2 years now, BE has been a content driven resource teaching people how to make money. The topics include blogging, internet marketing, affiliate marketing, and how to buy and sell websites. While the topics are varied, the general theme is consistent: how to make money online.

For this reason, a list of popular keywords that BE wants to rank well for (and subsequently write content for) must be related to these keywords.

Currently, our site ranks well for a number of keywords related to the topics listed above, but as I started browsing through the site, I noticed a couple key areas where further optimization would help even more.

Navigation Bar

Starting with the navigation bar, I changed “Home” to “Make Money.” For those who don’t know, the anchor text (the phrase used to describe the link – in our example “Make Money”) is very important in search engine rankings. By keeping the word “Home” as the anchor text pointing back to your home page you are inadvertently telling the search engines that your home page is trying to rank for the phrase “Home.”

Because 99.9% of other websites just leave the word “Home” as the anchor text to your home page, you are now competing with virtually every other website online for the keyword “Home.”

Furthermore, in our example, the navigation bar is the first text our site displays. Not all sites have the navigation set up like this, but this makes it even more critical in our situation.

Those top links are the first introductions search engines have to our site after going through the title tag and meta description. For this reason, we want to make sure that they (the search engines) quickly realize what this site is about. By making “Make Money” our anchor text with the link back to our home page, we let the first on-site text be a very keyword rich phrase in which we want to rank.

If you want to use the word “Home,” at least try to fit in one of your targeted keywords somewhere close to the top.

The second part is to display your keywords often.

Remember, often doesn’t mean trying to keyword stuff every article or page with your targeted keywords. Instead, it simply means to be aware of the keywords in which you want to rank and use them strategically throughout your site. Consistency is the key here. Be aware of your targeted phrases and use them wisely.

Don’t Forget The Footer

Just as important as it is to have the search engine see your keyword phrase somewhere close to the top of your site, it’s equally important to include that same phrase, or even a little different variation of that phrase (what I recommend) at the bottom in your footer.

Footer

As you can see, instead of using the phrase “Make Money” like we used in the navigation bar, this time we used another target keyword: “Make Money Online.”

We want the search engines to see that our site, more specifically our home page since that’s where the links point, are directly related to each other. The next step is to make sure that your content actually reflects information related to those key phrases. Meaning: don’t just pick your best two keywords, put them in your header and footer then talk about completely unrelated topics on your site.

That’s not what this is about.

Optimization by it’s definition is to modify a system to make some aspect of it work more efficiently or use fewer resources. Taking the time to do these little “detail” things are what separate the mediocre sites from the ones who actually make money. Granted, optimization will not necessarily put money in your pockets directly, but a better optimized site means more traffic which ultimately means more money.

These tips work great with optimizing wordpress, other blog platforms, or any website in general.

-Kyle