Aside from being the most immaculately dressed guy at the Nuffnang Blogopolis 2011 event on Saturday, Arnold Aranez (self-confessed Nutella lover of Mr Gadget fame) also gave the packed house a quick lesson on SEO from a blogging perspective.
Now, to many people SEO is a ‘dark art’ surrounded by lots of mumbo jumbo, hot air and black hats.
The ‘purists’ among us (and I include myself in this idealistic bunch) would prefer to write a post – including the ever-important heading – in a creative and interesting way that improves readability and adds value to the story. In other words, not worry too much about the SEO implications of what is written.
The SEO advocates, however, believe being found by Google is paramount. There’s no point having a fantastic blog if no-one finds you (did I hear someone at the event say something along the lines that “no-one sees a tree falling in a forest” – or did I just make that up?).
The reality is, understanding and implementing the basics of SEO without compromising your work is perhaps the optimum outcome we all should be aiming for.
To that end, Arnold provided six SEO blog tips to give us a head start in our quest to be found by the search engines. Here are some of my notes from his talk. If anyone can add to them, love to get your comments below
SEO Blog Tip #1 – ESTABLISH KEYWORDS
- Identify the top five keywords that best describe your website.
- Note – keywords don’t have to be single words – they can comprise of one, two or even three words (i.e. for Arnold’s leather iPad cases blog, he nominated word groupings such as leather cases blog, luxury leather cases etc).
SEO Blog Tip #2 – EMPHASISE KEYWORDS
- Add keywords into your meta data (i.e. add the keywords to your post title, content, tags etc).
SEO Blog Tip #3 – SHARE YOUR POSTS
- Get your blog posts out on to the social web via Twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc.
- Email distribution and bookmarking on the likes of Stumbleupon can also be effective (“You can get some good traffic and they provide links back to your blogpost. Ranking not only means having an optimised post, but having links coming back to you” – extra notes courtesy of The Blog Stylist).
Pictured: @Mr_Gadget in action – he takes photos too!
SEO Blog Tip #4 – REVIEW PERFORMANCE
- Use Google Analytics to regularly review the performance of your blog – see what’s driving traffic with a view to doing more of it.
- Arnold also suggested checking out the BAM Analytics iPhone app.
SEO Blog Tip #5 – AUTOMATE
- Make your life easier by automating various functions associated with improving your blog’s SEO i.e. install WordPress ‘All in one SEO’ plug-in.
- Install sharing options on your blog posts.
- Ensure your posts are automatically published to social media networks via the likes of Twitterfeed and Social RSS for Facebook).
- Establish a network of 10-20 friends with whom you share each others’ content.
SEO Blog Tip #6 – DON’Ts
- Don’t spam keywords throughout your blog (Google takes a dim view of this practice and may penalise your site) – be smart about how you incorporate your keywords.
- Don’t dump all your posts on to your blog at once – trickle your posts for sharing (“timing is everything”).
- For Arnold’s 20,000 Mr Gadget e-newsletter subscribers, readers are most responsive between 9:30 am – 10 am Tuesday and Thursday, and 1-2 pm again on Tuesday/Thursday.
I’ll sum up this post with a quote Arnold used to kick off his session:
“Blogging can take you anywhere as long as you put your mind to it.”