More than you may realize, these days many of the blogs you read are actually written for one purpose.
Search Engine Rankings
Often a writer will be given a keyword phrase such as ‘Blog Search Rankings‘ and be told to write a 500-700 word post about that. The sole purpose of this is to help their site rank higher for that search term. The only real way to improve rankings and this is the kicker: is to build great sites.
So, while choosing interesting topics to write about may seem like a better idea than writing about the sites main keywords, the very best way to do this is to write something interesting that ties back into the primary search phrase you wish to rank for.
So for example, if you wanted to write about ‘Blog Search Rankings’ as this post is mainly focused on, my approach in this article that you are reading is to be ‘helpful’ in some manner. It is a ‘how to’ style post that describes something useful that a reader may actually use.
On that note here are some ‘how to tips’ for blog writing that will help with your search engine rankings.
After you post your blog, in FireFox press either ‘Control-U’ or ‘Command-U’ to view the source. Older IE6 or other browser users may need to use the dropdown menu and select ‘View Source’. If your blogging software is configured correctly, hopefully the title of your post will be in an H1 tag. If it isn’t you may consider editing some of your preferences to make this so. The key about H1s is that you should only have ONE per page that highlights the most important keyword phrase for that page. For this post the only H1 tag you will find that is actually rendered is the one surrounding ‘How to Write Blog Posts that Rank Well in Search Engines’ at the top of this post.
H2, H3, H4 tags. – Any sub headings should be surrounded by H2 tags, and tertiary levels of headings should be H3, H4, etc. the further you go indenting. You can use your style sheets to determine what the respective heading will look like.
For example you could put:
if you have a class called ‘.header-2-style’ predefined in your stylesheet.
This is something you can easily do while posting your piece and doesn’t have to be done later by some ‘SEO Expert’.
Link Titles, Title & Alt Attributes for Images
As many of you may already know, when you mouseover an image sometimes descriptive text will be displayed. This is from the ‘alt’ attribute in the <img> tag. More less widespread is the use of a ‘title’ attribute within the <img> tag.
i.e. <img src=”http://www.wpromote.com/affiliates/wpromote.jpg” title=”The Wpromote Logo” alt=”Wpromote Logo”>
Notice how there are both a title and an alt description. These serve two purposes…the title is for google and the alt is for the user who mouses over the image and gets a description.
For Hyperlinks the same concept of a title applies and not many people would ever think to do this intuitively. This is what you should use:
<a href=”http://www.wpromote.com” title=”Wpromote PPC Management Experts” target=”_blank”>Wpromote PPC Management</a>
Every link on your site should have a title. The title tells Google what your links are and will help with your rankings. Now if you want to hyperlink the image above to go to the site in the link example above…it may seem like a lot but this is really what you should put in the source code:
<a href=”http://www.wpromote.com” title=”Wpromote PPC Management Experts” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://www.wpromote.com/affiliates/wpromote.jpg” title=”The Wpromote Logo” alt=”Wpromote Logo”></a>
If you use WordPress (I am currently using WordPress to edit this post) depending on which SEO(Search Engine Optimization) related plugins you use there will be options to create custom titles etc. If you use the ‘SEO Title Tag’ plugin from NetConcepts then you will have that option – i’d suggest cutting and pasting the post title in the ‘Title Tag’ field that appears AFTER the post when this plugin is turned on.
Be sure to add keywords that are in your post to the ‘Tags’ section in WordPress right after the post content section. examples: for this post I will include: Seo Title Tag Plugin, Title Tag Plugin, Blog Seo, Blog Search Rankings, Search Engine Optimization, SEO, Wpromote and others. Try to put at least 5 tags in the tag section that are found in your post if possible.
Make sure you select an appropriate category for your blog post. If you don’t have one in your category list, then simply add one that makes sense and is ‘relevant’ (That word again) to your blog post. You can select more than one category if it applies, for this post I chose, SEO, Internet News and Wpromote. I noticed that there is no ‘blogging’ category so I created one and added it to that as well.
We’re Almost Done!
At the bottom of the page below the blog content post section below the tags and categories is an area for Advanced Options.
Under ‘Excerpt’ here is where you will write the description that comes up in the Google search engines when that post comes up for a result. The average length is 160 characters. You want 2-3 sentences that describe the contents of that specific post and preferable have the main keyword phrases for that page closer to the beginning of the description.
This is VERY important, more important than the link titles (which people never seem to take the time to do, thus making it easier to outrank their sites) and is almost as important as the Title tag for the page.
-Till next time