You start a blog, you want to attract a great number of readers and give them content of highest quality. The process takes time and energy. To achieve maximum results, optimize your SEO.

SEO is a process of affecting the visibility of a website in search engine’s, such as Google or Bing, natural or organic (un-paid) search results. The goal is to place a given website on top of search results, so that it is the first visible website. SEO is about understanding the search engine and its algorithm in order to optimize the content for readers searching the Internet.
Many people don’t use the SEO potential of their blogs, knowing little about the principles of this type of online marketing. Here you will find a few basic rules that will help you optimize content, to make it clear and easy to read for the main search engines, like Google, Bing or Yahoo. As a result of this process you will get top positioning of your articles in search engines, which will increase the number of visits to your blog and will expand the group of your followers.

IMG_4594Author Laurens Mauquoi is Team Leader SEO Offpage in Tirendo, where he manages all operations of Inbound Marketing. In May 2014 he was one of the foreign lecturers at The Power of Content Marketing conference in Warsaw. Watch his presentation.

 

 

Technical advice
The first step is the idea for a blog and your unique knowledge about the subject. Then you need to give it the right technical form, that will maximize your priority goal – reaching the highest number of readers. You can expand your technical knowledge in the process of expanding and evolving your blog, but you need to know the basics in the first place.

1. Website name
The name of the blog is a crucial element – it should be original and useful for branding. What’s more, it is good to insert the name of the company in the name of the blog, and an element presenting the content and its purpose. As an example we can use Pampers Baby blog.
This combination guarantees a connection between the brand and the presented content in the readers’ awareness.

2. Blog location
A company blog should be placed on the same portal as the company website. There are many companies on the market which have an external blog, which is ineffective from the point of view of branding, because the readers have no direct access to the business part of the website. This means the company’s marketing efforts are not connected to its business results.

3. Subpage vs. Directory
Subpages are thought to be a safer solution, because whenever there is a problem with the subpage the main page is still “untouched.” We believe this opinion is wrong and limits the potential of SEO. In order to increase the number of readers of a blog, we are more in favor of using URL Directory, which is a more functional and more natural solution. This way the blog becomes an integral part of the website. A directory also guarantees a high flow of linking energy to the blog, providing better visibility.

Content
The blog’s greatest asset is its content – it needs to be original and adjusted to the needs of the readers to be successful. In order to aid our way to success, we should regularly optimize our content using the techniques listed below. Optimized content allows to reach a greater number of readers.

4. Optimize your content
When writing a text with SEO usability, you need to take into account how Google functions. Otherwise the search engine will fail to recognize the major message of the text.
To let search engine know what the text is about, you need to choose the right key words and try to locate them in the text. You mustn’t forget that you’re writing the text for the readers and their feelings are of greatest importance.
If there are several words describe the same aspect, e.g. child, baby, kid, you should use the word that has the highest search number. You can find that easily via Google Keyword Planner tool.

5. Titles – use the right format
We very often find that people use wrong title formats in HTML. When creating content you can choose between the formats h1, h2 and so on. The value of the formats is highest for h1, and decreases gradually with every next title. Remember each format can be used only once! This is why the main header should have the h1 format, for important subheadings always use h2. Use the format of questions and try to answer them. After Google’s update and introduction of the hummingbird algorithm, key words are of less importance than a coherent and continuous text.

6. Webpage title
The key element of SEO, helping to quickly increase the visibility of our blog. You can find it in the left upper corner of the search engine and in the search results. The title should include a key word and be interesting to readers. A catchy title creates more clicks and increases the number of readers.

Visual elements
Even the best text with no visual elements will seem dull and unattractive to the reader. Visual elements enrich the blog and its layout. This is also a frequently neglected element of SEO’s potential.

7. Optimizing photos
Here’s an element that even the best known Internet brands tend to forget about. Nowadays many people search images via search engines. But this is still a niche not appreciated by owners of blogs. Since many people forget about this type of optimization, it is a search area with fewer competitors, so it is easier and faster to promote an image on Google.
Videos on YouTube can help support the SEO ranking of a blog in a slightly different way. A video people can find directly on your blog has no direct value in itself, but it does increase the value of your blog by adding variety and uniqueness.

8. Structure
Most people understand by 'blog structure’ its menu, which does not define it 100%. URL is also an element of structure. Each article should have a URL addressed to the reader. Of course the URL should be related to the subject of the text. When creating a URL remember to use small letters and avoid the underscore, because search engines have a problem recognizing it.

Navigation
Even the best content, when it’s not presented well, may not reach the reader and lose its potential. The element that presents your content to readers is navigation. It allows readers to search for what they are interested in and get satisfying results.

9. Internal links
Internal links are important both to the reader and Google. Their task is to present the reader with a different content value on the webpage. Always try to include internal links in your article. We also recommend that you include internal links below the article, relating to other content about the subject. This form of presentation simplifies navigation for the user, and allows the search engine to find our valuable content quickly. Remember, your content will not be visible in the search engine if it can’t find it.

10. Promoting your blog
Most bloggers are people who value the quality of content and know how to promote it. In order to reach more readers, the presented content needs to be visible on top of the search results on Google. For that to happen, it has to be recognized as relating to a given subject and useful for the user. When measuring those factors, the search engine looks at external links. External links are hyperlinks directing to your website from external sources. A very easy way to get those links is… to ask for it. Most blogging community are people who collaborate, so it’s enough to find someone who has influence on a given Internet environment and ask them to place a link on their page.

If you can make Google appreciate the unique content of your blog, you will become a member of an active online community, you will increase the online visibility of your company or product, and will reach a greater number of customers!

Authors: Laurens Mauquoi (Team Leader SEO Offpage in Tirendo), Monika Jakobowska (SEO manager for Tirendo Polish website.)