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12/17/2008

Search Engine Optimization

SEO

There are two keys to unlocking the power of search engine optimization (SEO): Relevance and Popularity

Relevancy and popularity are the foundational elements that will create long-term success for your blog. When you understand what these terms mean and how to use them to your advantage, they will help you attract loyal readers and valuable referral traffic from other blogs and websites.

  1. Relevance: the measure of how appropriate a given web page is for a particular search term. Pages or sites that are judged to be more relevant are given higher rankings.
  2. Popularity: the quality and quantity of the sites that link back to your site. These links aren’t directly in your control; someone else has to link to you. In a sense, each inbound link is a “vote” that endorses the quality of your content; the more prominent sites (with higher “voting power”) that link to you, the higher your rankings will be.

How to Make Your Blog Relevant

Provide high quality content. Create an information-rich site that contains useful information that will capture the interest of readers.

  • Use descriptive terms on your tags. Your headlines, titles, and image tags should all contain clear, descriptive language that makes it easy for the search engines to determine the content of each post.
  • Don’t cheat. If you fill your pages with keywords or post multiple copies of the same page under different URL’s, the search engines will penalize you for cheating.
  • Submit an XML Sitemap. An XML Sitemap is a file format specially created for search engines to quickly index a blog or site every time new content is published. TypePad users - go to Configure > Publicity: Publicity Preferences and set Generate Google Sitemap to On.

How to Build Your Blog’s Popularity

Link to other sites. If you want sites to link to you, you’ll have to take the first step. Create a blogroll and include blogs that you read, and blogs that are respected in your industry.

  • Find other sites that will link to yours. These links are called “inbound” links, and they make your site more credible to the search engines. The more prominent sites that link to yours, the higher your rankings will be.
  • Encourage participation. Blogging is a social exercise, and participation is one of the most effective was to gain popularity. Engage in conversations on forums and leave constructive comments on other sites. Take advantage of every opportunity to link directly back to your blog in the comment section. Solicit feedback on your blog by asking questions and responding to commenters.
  • Reach out to sites that send you traffic. If a particular site begins sending you traffic, reach out to the webmaster or blogger by featuring them in a post, or posting an exclusive interview. This will increase the interaction between your sites.

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