Search Engine Optimization March 1st, 2013
Link building is, let’s face it, a boring work, especially for a blogger who would rather be using that time to write new posts, or to socialize and promote her content through other channels. But link building is what gets your blog some Google love, and we all know why Google love is important. So no, you can’t go around it – your blog has to get links. And here’s the good news: you won’t be needing as many as you think if you do some of the things described below – promise, you’ll enjoy them more than link building.
As you are probably aware, when it comes to SEO there are two sides of it: the on page (things you do on the website itself) and the off site (links, basically). Links are needed to build the website’s authority in the search engines, but too many people, bloggers included, are forgetting that the on page factors can be almost just as important. Twenty high quality links will impact your rankings differently if the website is well structured, if the content on it is properly presented, if the coding is good etc – and if it’s not. So, are you wasting your quality links? Probably yes, but that’s another story. We won’t be talking about all the on site factors that you should pay attention to; today we will give you a few highly effective ideas that are easy to implement, even if you have no coding skills.
User generated content (UGC) is, once you get it going, one of the easiest ways to add more meaningful text to your pages, and to keep them fresh and relevant in the eyes of Google. The difficult part is to get your visitors to comment on your blog posts, but once they start and when the others see that you’re encouraging comments and answering them, you may need to dedicate some time each day to respond to them. And how do you do that, for the maximum results?
Well, let’s say that your blog is about fleas; the post that the visitors are commenting is, say, about flea bites on children. A visitor will naturally include some of the related key phrases in their comment, but your response should be well optimized – it should also contain some variation of the key phrase (not the exact one, of course), it should be detailed (at least a full sentence) and, well, it should be on time (no matter if that visitor possibly won’t be coming back to see it – you’re showing to the others that you’re responding in time). And after a while, your page will grow in content relevant to the key phrase.
Similar to the previous one, but not related to one single key phrase. Make a list of the most important misconceptions, questions, tips etc. related to your blog’s topic, and turn them into a FAQ page. Make sure that each question is in h2 tags, that it’s well optimized for the key term it’s targeting, and that the answer is detailed and useful (and also optimized for that key phrase).
Lastly, a bit techy one (but you probably know your way around your SEO plugins, these are extremely easy to fill in there). Small changes in the way your title tags are structured can make a page a lot more relevant for the key term that you want to rank it for; that means, tweak the words, experiment and change the terms that you’re using on your most important pages, check some keyword tool to get more ideas and give it a few days to see how well a term you’ve chosen is performing. As for the descriptions, they don’t matter for Google, but a good description makes the difference between your page being clicked on in the search results, and it being skipped, so you want to experiment with the descriptions as well. Never leave it to Google to decide what it will show to your potential visitors – you are the one who should know best what bothers them and how to get close to them, so do it yourself.
None of these is difficult to implement, it just requires you to think about it while you’re doing what you’re already doing – creating content for your website. Try it for a month, and come back to share with us just how much your Google visits have improved in that time.