I started my blog a year ago and spent a few months creating content. Then I launched my blog in January and got just a trickle of traffic. What to do? I formed a blogging group of moms who were also launching blogs and we met regularly, sharing what we learned and bringing in guests to fill in gaps of knowledge. I am still new at this and trying hard to grow my blog audiences both by learning SEO from the school of trial and error. The good news is that what I learned about SEO can be applied to any blog, both personal and corporate. Here is the top 10 To Do List:
- Identify your key words and track them on Google Alerts. You might have to play with the words for a few weeks to find the words that work for you. Not sure if the words you choose are popular search words? Check trending for each word on Google Trends.
- Alt Text Images and make sure there are images on every post, not just for Alt Text SEO but to break up text blocks. Do you have a small budget for the company blog? For source of free images try Bing or FreeDigitalPhotos.
- Tags and Labels — Go Crazy! Blogger will have character limits for labels but WordPress lets you type in all the tags you can think of. Think big category as well as what a user might be typing into Google. “Best” is always a good one.
- Trackback any references you make to blogs and sites on the web, and link back to make it easy for your reader to find your reference. Also think about your blog roll. The larger the community you create in the blogosphere, the more good karma (and traffic) you will generate. Recognize those people and blogs that you admire and learn from. Credit them, repost their stuff with their permission, crediting and linking back to them.
- The Title to your post is everything. Write this last. Make it short and informative. Clever is good but don’t sacrifice information about what you are posting about for something cute. Readers click through based on your title so let them know your content is worth their time by telling them what you wrote about.
- Add the ability to suggest your post to friends via email, a tweet to Twitter, and social bookmarking sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon, and Delicious. There are a ton of them, and the more the merrier.
- Remember your key words? Use them frequently. In your post title. In your blog post. In your tags/labels. In the alt text of the images. You want to “own” your key words and use them as much as possible.
- Meta name descriptionsfor your blog need to be inserted. Meta tags for posts, not so much.
- Link your blog to the company Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin pages and promote each blog post throughout your social media network such that it works as a giant referring machine. Even better, get your employees to Tweet, Facebook and LinkedIn key messages on their personal networks to expose your blog exponentially.
- And don’t expect your readers to figure out a complicated RSS feed. Just let them submit an email address to get a email newsletter. We’re all not that technical! I use Feedburner. It’s great and has SEO on the newsletter and best of all, it’s free!
Mia Wenjen is a co-founder of Aquent. Her blog on education, parenting and children’s literature,PragmaticMom: Type A Parenting for the Modern World, is 10 months old. Yesterday she hit her all time high of 648 page views. She learned everything she knows about social media marketing from her blogging group, CoffeeShopBloggers: The S.O.S. for SEO, with members: DesignTrackMind,Capability:Mom, and GreenCollarGuy. She also spent untold hours on the phone with very helpful technical support at GoDaddy!, BlueHost, WordPress.com, and Solostream. She thanks everyone for their assistance.