February 8, 2011

Anatomy of a good blog post

Filed under: Blogging,SEO — webtechbc @ 11:04 am

Anatomy of a good blog post

Looking at the anatomy of a blog post or page is one of the things I do in SEO. SEO is not really a difficult job, but you do need to know how search engines look at data on the internet.

A good blog post will have the following elements to rank well with Search Engines

Titles : Are extremely important Not just the URL title, H1, H2, H3, and bolded text all carry weight in a search engine. Always include an H1 title. It can be styled anyway you want, large or small, as long as the browser recognizes an H1. H2 & are equally important. On important subheadings use an H2 or H3, the search engine will look for these. A lot of bloggers make an emphasis on something by boding it, when possible an H tag is the preferred method.

Titles in Links: It’s true that we can get lazy when creating content. Don’t let this keep you from using a title tag. Search engines use the title tag to determine the value of a link It should be descriptive with keywords that describe your link properly. 3-5 words is usually enough. If you go longer you are using a method called Long Tail Keywords. Long tail keywords can also be helpful in building landing pages.

Alt tags : Naming your images with naming conventions Naming conventions with images are very important and over looked. Did you know people can find your site through a google image search on a subject? If your image is named properly it can help drive traffic. If you have a photo of Vancouver or a series of photos be specific. E.g. VancouverView1.jpg think of a name that people will likely search for and use it.

When you upload that image place Vancouver View in the image title, alt tag description and caption tags. The key is to repeat. They can be unique but at least some of the words should be similar.

Content Placement: If a description is how a search engine describes your website think of content placement in the same way. You can write for search engines without writing for search engines. All you have to do is be descriptive in the first 160 characters of the content.

Use keywords in content without over-use: It is possible to write good content without over using a keyword. You can place keywords in Post tags as well. Keep the keywords light and it makes it easier for a person to read the blog post.

Link to related content: Linking to related content is your ally. If you are not the first to post on a new subject, link to someone else’s post. Make sure you include a ping back and title text to the link. Always quote the person as well.

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September 9, 2010

Analytics – Custom Alterts

Filed under: Analytics — webtechbc @ 6:53 pm

How to monitor keyword changes through Custom Alerts

Do you monitor certain keywords frequently? For this website I monitor “Vancouver SEO on an almost daily basis. Google Analytics has a new feature called Intelligence.

What this means is you can set up a custom report to monitor keywords over a given time frame and it alerts you when it changes significantly. How much of a change is entirely up to you and customizable. To set this up, Click on Intelligence Beta within your website profile.

Next find +Create a New alert above the alert table. You should be on a page that looks like this.

Vancouver SEO

Vancouver SEO

I’m going to ad An Altert condition under All Traffic and Select City. (its under the green tab). In my case the condition contains Vancouver. Next I’m going to ad the alert which is the blue tab. I’m going to select Visits but you could use an parameter you like. I’m going to tell it to altert me to increases more then 10% on a daily basis. I’m done so I can create the report.

You may also want to set up an alert to see when keyword traffic decreases by 10%. In my case I would use the reports to find out what time of day my traffic is at its high-est and then schedule blog posts around that time period. I might also want to target the blog post to the keyword I’m using in the alert when traffic is at its highest.

Analytics has some custom alterts already set up that you can use as examples. They are listed under Altert Templates on the Manage Intelligence Alerts page. Have fun!

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September 3, 2010

10 Steps to improve blog SEO

Filed under: SEO — webtechbc @ 10:54 am

10 Steps you can take to improve your blogs SEO

1. Name your posts well. Generally shorter is better. If you describe your post accurately in terms that people will search for they will find it. The title for this posts includes several keywords that people may search for so it is a bit longer. Rule of thumb, Google only sees the first 65 characters. Anything over that will be ignored.

2. Use strategic H1 tags in the top of your post. Repeat the Blog post title in an H1 tag at the start of the post. It not only helps the human reader, but Google looks for h1 tags Its also a good way to target keywords in a description for example.

3. Describe your blog post. Use a plugin like All in one SEO. Describe your posts well. Repeat the title and H1 tags for keyword targeting. Dont worry so much about the meta keyword tag, but focus on the wording in the description.

4. Name your images.Name your images. Keep it in line with the content you are using. I wont have an image for this post, but if you look at some of my older posts like Really Simple Brand Tracking, I have named the images with keywords related to the post. I’ve repeated this in the image, alt, caption, description, and title.

5. Use Tags in your post. Most blog platforms have the ability to put tags into a post. Implement tags in the template in either the beginning or end of the blog post. This is a great method of creating multiple keywords without using the meta keyword tag.

6. Use a Tag Cloud Plugin. This helps with keyword targeting. It also helps readers find posts they are interested in by a given tag.

7. Use a Twitter Plugin. Tweet your blog posts. Having a Twitter plugin on the blog will help with back-linking. Whenever possible tweet the whole url. e.g. http://webtechbc.com/blog/10-steps-to-improve-blog-seo/

8. Link your posts as often as possible. Whether you use, twitter, delicious, digg, or another service link to your blog post. Help people find it, most of these services allow for keywords and descriptions. I recommend being as descriptive as possible within 250 characters. Repeat your blog post title and h1 tags whenever possible.

9. Make your posts readable. Don’t write solely for search engines. Write with the reader in mind. There’s a fine balance between a readable document and search engine babble. Be genuine and unique. Keep your readers interested.

10. Go through your archives and update. Once a month go through your archives. Update descriptions, as you receive analytic data for them. If you get a large amount of traffic from an unexpected keyword or phrase, use that in your description. Take advantage of it.

Finally:
Maintaining a blog is hard work. Coming up with new content is also not an easy task. If you are the type of person that learns by doing, write a blog post about something new you’ve learned. Thats what my blog has become, an archive of new things I’ve learned at work. It also helps with my memory retention.

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September 2, 2010

Google Insights for SEO

Filed under: SEO — webtechbc @ 5:30 pm

Google Insights SEO Keyword Tool

Google Insights analyzes search data over time periods, and tells you what terms are currently trending in a given market.

Lets say you are a photographer and want to name your images. Vancouver photo is a pretty generic term. While it is good to keep names shorter, you will increase your traffic by using terms that are searched for more frequently. I’m going to do a Search Term, search for “Vancouver photo”, using “Image Search”, “World Wide” and “2008 – Present”

Vancouver Photo Google Insights

Vancouver Photo Google Insights

The result is a table of data that show’s you when this term has been searched for since 2008.

From the results table I can tell that this term has not been used very often since 2008. I may want to consider using a different term. The results also show you Regional Interest, to show you which countries search for the term. The term “Vancouver Photo” has been searched for the most by people from Canada.

Because the time period table told me that this is not a very popular search term, I’m going to use something else. Below the Regional Interest chart is a “Search Terms” graph that shows me the Top Search Queries.

Vancouver Photo Search Terms

Vancouver Photo Search Terms

From the above table I see that photos of vancouver is a popular search term. From this I may want to name my image, photosofvancouver.jpg. Properly naming your images is a key ingredient in SEO, you also want to include the name in your alt tag, and description or caption tags.

If you are a search engine optimization specialist or a business owner launching a new website. Google insights can help you find market niches for your brand. I should point out that no tool can accurately estimate traffic. With Google Insights you will gain a better understanding of what people are and have been searching for in a given keyword. You can then create tailor your content or create content with those niches in mind.

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Google & Keywords

Filed under: SEO — webtechbc @ 11:55 am

Keywords

Google says they don’t use them. I’m trying an experiment on my site and am taking them out completely.

The key ingredients you do need for SEO are:

Great Content: Content Always Wins. Make it unique, readable to the human eye, and keep it coming.

Meta Description: Describe your website. Make a unique Description on every page. (this is important!). It’s one of the key ingredients that Google uses when ranking a website.

H1 Tags: Repeat your description with the use of H1 Tags. Search engines scan pages for H1 and use it as a means of ranking.

Here’s what google has to say on the use of keywords:

If you do decide to use keywords, don’t over-stuff them. Keep it simple, with-out repeating keywords. When using them, less is more.

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August 19, 2010

Update Archived Posts for better SEO

Filed under: SEO — webtechbc @ 2:52 pm

SEO is an on-going game. One way to keep on top of it is to task yourself to update your blog posts SEO. Consider doing this once a month. All in one SEO Plugin Is a good way to keep on top of this.

What I do is just include categories and tags in initial posts. Then once analytics receives the data, I use all in one SEO to update the post title, keywords and description. This type of updating also allows you to create blog posts that aren’t focused on search engines. While that is one technique for SEO rankings, for the average person reading a blog post that is written for search engines finds it quite boring.

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