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Do you have a blog or plan to start one? Are you looking at your blog as a source of good income? There are lots of small easy-to-implement search engine optimization tips and tricks which I am going to summarize in this post which can have a tremendous positive impact on not only the quality of your blog and blogging experience, but also result in a multiple rise in your blogging income.
Tips for writing your posts:
Content is King: This is well known. You have to write information which is useful. For this you must actually have knowledge of what you are writing, or the very least, be willing to first gather substantial knowledge before writing a post. In other words you must first have something which you would like to optimise. Let me tell you my experience. This is the third blog I have started on investing and personal finance. The first two blogs came before my actual investing experience. They were not successful and later I deleted them. But when I started this third blog, I actually had some experience, knowledge about online trading, demat accounts, mutual funds, etc. So i knew exactly what I had google searched for, what information is difficult to find, etc. That made my task of choosing the content much easier. You must know or at least be willing to find substantial information about majority of posts you write. Otherwise i think its a waste of time.
The role of Keywords: It is important to keep one or two keywords in mind while writing every post. For example, suppose you plan to write some posts on Mutual Funds. Instead of writing 10-15 general posts, each touching every aspect, it would be much much better if each post focussed on one or a group of related keywords. You must also learn to tastefully sprinkle your keywords throughout your post. The number of meaningful occurences of a keyword is extremely important in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Almost equally important is the number of occurences of keywords which are closely related to your chosen keyword. Here is a simple tip to get a list of keywords related to your chosen keyword: Go to Google Insights for Search. Type your keyword. At the bottom of the page, google will show you Search terms related to the keyword you typed. If a meaningful inclusion of those related keywords in your post is possible, please make an attempt. Another way to find related keywords, is to actually do google search using that keyword and variations and google will give a list at the bottom of the page. Or you simply one or two other top-ranking posts on that topic to get an idea.
Interlinking your posts: After choosing a topic, and writing different posts on it, each focussing on a group of related keywords, it is important to interlink your posts. For example, if the keyword of one of the posts appears in another, make a link. Also, you should make an attempt to make those links more meaningful. For example, if a page is pointing to a Gold-price chart make a link which says Gold Price Chart instead of something vague like "click here". When search engines analyze a page content it is possible they also analyze the content of the links provided on that page. How exactly this helps in Search Engine Optimisation is difficult to say quantitatively. But another advantage of interlinking your posts is you increase the time each visitor spends on your page. By providing relevant links, you encourage her/him to click on them and thus spend more time. Providing extremely relevant external links is also a good habit. Try to put a "Related posts" link after each well written post or you could also put it in between the post wherever relevant using "Also Read: ***" template.
Choosing a title for your posts: It is very important to choose a catchy, yet relevant title for your posts. It is important that the main keywords for your post appear in your title. It is worth spending a couple of minutes to actually think of a suitable title. The reason for this is when your post appears on google search page, the viewer is going to decide which site to click on mainly based on the title (and a short snippet below it, this google automatically selects). As an example: A title like "Make money by investing in Gold" is better than "Gold investing". It is also important to keep the title short. Because google will display your post title, ony upto a limited length on its search webpage. As an exaggerated example if your post title is "The one and only famous post which gives guidance for how to invest in gold" then probably google will just cut short and the title actually visible people doing google search will be "The one and only famous post which give guidance" the rest will be cut. Also: Do not change the title of your posts or your blog title frequently. Changing a title seems to have a negative impact on search engine ranking and may result in sudden decrease of traffic.
Tips for promoting your blog:Submit your blog: Submitting your blog to major search engines (I would say just google and yahoo is good enough) and at least 5 to 8 top blog directories is a good idea. It is difficult for me to say how much exactly has this helped me, but I have followed these tips in first few weeks of launching my blog and initially i have recieved some flow of visitors arriving from them. Also claiming your site on Google's Webmasters tools is a good idea. There you can tell google if you are targetting an audience from a particular country or the whole world, whether you want you site indexed as www.niftyprediction.*** or simply niftyprediction.*** etc. You also get a list of top searches in which your sites have occured.
Choosing your blog's title: This is actually a very important point, and perhaps I should have written about it earlier. You have to be careful about choosing a relevant, attractive and a short title. The reason for the title to be relevant and attractive is obvious. But let me explain the importance of it being short. Earlier the title of my blog was "Blog of an Indian Investor". Note that if your blog is on Blogger for example, every post appearing on google search looks like "Your-blog-titile: your post title". Thus when i wrote a post called "NSE Holidays" the way it actually apears on search engines is "Indian Investor's Blog:NSE Holidays". This explains the importance of having a shorter blog title, it gives more space for the title of your post. So "Blog of an Indian Investor" is a bad choice as compared to "Indian Investor's Blog". Yes, i think that extra bit of space for every post helps.
Link Exchange: Try to exchange links with other blogs which focus on a similar topic. But beware! do not put any advertisement of link exchange on your blog. I think google may penalise your for it. I once put such an advertisement and as a result when i typed "link:niftyprediction.blogspot.com", there were no results. I think this was not a coincidence. Earlier there were a couple of backlinks i used to see.
There are mainly two types of visitors that will visit your blog:
- Visitors from Search Engines: These are valuable because they are the ones who are hungry for information and most likely to click on your Google Adsense ads. Also some of them who like your blog can turn into regular visitors, thus increasing your daily traffic. It is to get these types of visitors for whom the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important.
- Regular visitors: These types of visitors get accustomed to seeing Adsense or other ads on your site and are hence less likely to contribute less as far as ad-clicks are concerned. However they are important for a number of reasons. Whatever algorithm google uses to determine the importance of a page, whether be it backlinks, or number of active feeds or whatever, it is an ever improving and a secret algorithm. But I think that the fact itself that a site has regular visitors, is likely to eventually contribute to the importance of your site in the eyes of Google. Some of these regular visitors may themselves have a blog and may provide you backlinks, others may tell their friends about your site, etc.
- Goal 1: Write 25 quality posts on chosen relevant topics.
- Goal 2: Get 100 unique visitors to your blog. For a very new blog, this may take at least a month or two or maybe even more.
- Goal 3: Get to a stage where you get 10 visitors arriving from search engines.
- Goal 4: Get a Google Adsense account. (may require your site to be six months or older)
For me, going from zero to five daily visitors was more difficult than going from five to fifty. At the time of writing this post I am getting around 100 unique daily visitors and about 200 page views. It is a good idea to install some counters to track statistics of your website. I recommend either Statcounter.com or Sitemeter.com
Google Adsense: Placement of Ads and Optimization:This is a whole new very important topic, as important as Search Engine Optimization, which I will deal in a later post to be written after I finish my own experimenting with Google Adsense Ad placements. Currently I my experiments have already shown some results but there are things to be done, for example the vertical ad on the right hand side of this page (at the time of writing this blog) is simply not earning any clicks at all. More on this later!.