Today I want to talk about tools you can use to optimize each blog post you publish. Without optimizing each blog post, it is difficult to benefit from free, organic search engine traffic you can potentially generate back to your blog.
The reason for this is because 1) you are not giving search engines the chance to rank you as high as you can or should and 2) there are competitors online who likely have optimized their blog posts better than you have.
I hinted toward this topic in my post about blog SEO. However, that was more of an overview. In this article I will talk about two specific tools I utilize to ensure my SEO is as good as it could be.
If you are interested in learning about blog optimization and how to optimize each individual post before publishing it, I recommend you read my previously published post titled how to execute on page SEO.
In that post you will see that proper blog optimization involves the execution of several steps, many of which can easily slip the mind as you are writing the post. That is where the help of these tools come in.
To ensure each of my blog posts is as optimized as it can be, I have utilized a couple tools that help me scan each post for its SEO and provide me with pointers for enhancing the SEO further. The two blog optimization tools I use are Site Build It and Traffic Travis.
I have talked about Site Build It (SBI) quite a bit on this blog because I have several websites that are on its program, including my most popular and profitable niche website. This is the best website building program I have come across over the years I have been generating income online.
As part of the program, SBI provides a neat tool called “Analyze It!”, a function that analyzes each and every webpage for its SEO and makes recommended changes to enhance the overall optimization. I simply make the changes until the tool gives me a perfect SEO score. Once I achieve the perfect score, I post my webpage live on the Internet.
Here is an example of what the tool does from a recommendation stand point. As you can see, the recommendations are quite precise, stated with reasons behind why the changes recommended are needed.
You type in your content and hit Analyze it to generate a report that looks like the one below:
Below is a screenshot of what the report looks like once you implement the changes. As you can see in this report, the tool has deemed the webpage fully optimized and ready for publishing.
Looks pretty plain vanilla doesn’t it? Don’t be deceived! This tool checks for over 100 different SEO variables in the background and boils it all down to a simple single set of recommendations that need to be implemented to maximize your SEO all in plain English. This is a big reason why I like the SBI program.
Note: In my opinion, the SBI program is a more suitable tool for someone interested in building a profitable long term online business and not so much for fluid bloggers.
That said, because a blog infrastructure in many ways is like a static website, most of the SEO principles that apply to static webpages also apply to blog posts. This is precisely why I was initially able to leverage the SBI SEO Analyze It program for my blog before discovering a SEO tool just for blogs (below).
The process can be rather tedious because I have to copy paste information from my WordPress blog into the SBI module and run the “Analyze It” function. Another downside of using the SBI program just for blog optimization is price. The tool costs $299. However, if your intention is to build profitable niche sites, there is no single all in one tool better than SBI in my opinion.
The cost also appears deceiving because after you add up the costs of the various pieces required to build and manage a successful online business, you will see that SBI is actually a more cost effective option.
In addition, in my experience I and many other SBI users make their investment back in less than a year of going live.
A more conducive blog optimization tool made just for blog SEO is Traffic Travis. This is the tool I currently use to execute SEO for my blog. I like Traffic Travis because of several reasons.
In addition to pointing out mistakes in your optimization efforts and providing recommendations . . .
Traffic Travis is used by over 200,000 bloggers globally according to their website. This tool is so popular that even CNET has it available for download through their platform.
I started by using their Free version initially, which is pretty darn good in my opinion. I recently upgraded to the Pro Edition Version 4. You can read about the FREE version here and try out the software for yourself. You can always upgrade if you like it and when you are ready.
Both of these tools cost money to use. Do you really need either? NO, you DO NOT have to have either one of these. You can learn proper SEO for blog posts and implement each step as you type the post.
However, utilizing these tools can save you the time involved in learning something new and ensures you are executing SEO properly without allowing anything to slip through the cracks.
Utilizing these tools allows you to focus on content creation, as these tools will alarm you of the changes you need to make in your content piece to achieve maximum SEO score.
Even though I am well versed in SEO, I still like to use these tools because they provide me with a safety net that I can lean back on, and essentially a guarantee that my work is fully optimized before it goes live.
For me, I don’t mind paying the nominal fee to utilize these tools because I feel the benefits I derive from effective blog optimization are worth the price. If you have not had the chance to view my traffic breakdown pattern, have a quick look at this traffic chart:
As you can see my blog optimization is pretty good, resulting in the most amount of visitors coming from organic search engine traffic that is 100% free. In other words, this is traffic that has naturally trickled to my blog without me having to spend a dime on it. This is what most bloggers and Internet marketers would want to see.
Of course there are other reasons why my blog SEO is good, such as using the Thesis WordPress Theme. But that said, proper SEO is definitely the way to go and the single biggest reason for my success on search engines.
Here is another example of what I mean. Type in phrases “extra money online” “make extra money online” “earn extra money online” and scan the results on page 1. You will notice that these phrases have tens and hundreds of millions of competitors online, amongst which my blog ranks on page one. This is a practical example of effective blog optimization.
How about you? What blog optimization strategies have worked best for you? How much of your traffic comes from organic search results? Are you happy with your blog SEO efforts and results?
In this post I want to share my top blog SEO marketing strategies that have worked well for me in the short time that I have been blogging.
While I have been making money online for a few years now, I started blogging at the end of July 2010, and have since surpassed my own expectations in terms of visitors, subscribers, profitability and the participation from the community.
I attribute some of this success to effective blog SEO, or blog optimization. A lot of the optimization principles that work for niche websites also work for blogs, with the exception of a few nuances.
Thanks to the Thesis WordPress theme and a couple other blog SEO tools that I use, I have been able to capitalize on organic search engine traffic better than I expected, which has contributed tremendously to my blog’s growth.
Here is last month’s graph showing how my blog generates traffic:
My diversified blog marketing strategy is clearly paying off huge dividends, particularly my blog SEO strategy. Nearly 38% of my traffic is coming from search engine queries, which is my biggest source of traffic.
Organic search engine traffic is 100% free, and means that your website is being found for keywords that people are searching for the most. This is where you want a bulk of your traffic to come from.
But how do you accomplish that? By engaging in effective blog SEO.
Marketing a blog (or any website for that matter) can be broken down in two umbrella concepts, on page blog optimization and off page blog marketing.
On page blog SEO efforts involve researching and selecting the right keywords for your post, applying the correct meta tags, keyword density within the body of your blog post as well as the correct linking structure.
Proper blog SEO can initially seem like rocket science if you haven’t been exposed to it before. But I’ve broken down the process and each individual component in detail in a previous post here.
Though practically not too complicated to implement, these individual concepts can take time mastering, which is why I use Traffic Travis, a program that detects the flaws in each of my blog posts as I type it out and provides recommendations that need to be implemented to best optimize each blog post.
Traffic Travis is neat in that it gives you a rating system similar to the SBI rating system for on page SEO. This system immediately shows you what you have done right and where you can make improvements in your blog post or page to achieve the maximum on page SEO score possible.
In addition to that, Traffic Travis helps you find out exactly why your competition outranks you, and then enables you to beat them. Finally, it also helps you build quality back links.
Using Traffic Travis, coupled with the Thesis WordPress theme has been the best one two punch I have used for effective blog optimization, which has been extremely effective for me so far. Do you HAVE to use these? Absolutely not. Do you WANT to use these? Absolutely. Credible internet marketing tools are meant to make our work easier and expedite our success.
If you don’t do anything else for your blog, employing these two alone will ensure solid on page blog SEO.
If you want to read more about why Thesis is so effective, read my post titled Better Meta Tag Optimization with Thesis WordPress Theme.
Off page blog marketing initiatives can involve everything under the sun, which makes it overwhelming to process, digest and implement. The growing social networking craziness, although effective for many, further ads to the minutiae and makes things more convoluted.
Grant it that each off page blog marketing strategy has its benefits, I will highlight the only three that I put a concentrated focus on which have all worked very well for me. The three are article marketing, guest posting and strategically commenting on blogs and forums.
I engage in article marketing mainly to build quality back-links to my blog, submitting to a handful of selected directories and web 2.0 properties. Article marketing is especially effective when your blog is not as popular yet and when Google takes its sweet time indexing your pages and posts.
Effective article marketing not only ensures that your pages are indexed as quickly as possible, but also gives you a chance to start link building initiatives from the get go. If you are interested in an advanced back link building strategy, read my article on link wheeling as an effective back linking strategy.
The caveat I’d add to this is that although many of my niche sites were not impacted by Panda and Penguin, some have, and it is very difficult for me to determine what caused the hit. My best suggestion is to limit your link building efforts to credible directories and web 2.o properties. I also highly recommend spacing out your submissions over time (drip feeding). Too much too fast will raise a flag.
I engage in guest posting for two reasons; to get quality back links to my blog and to get exposure to a completely new readership base on a popular blog. The latter is actually the primary benefit, with the back link being the inherent benefit of the activity.
Effective guest posting is probably the single best off page blog marketing initiative you can undertake in my opinion to quickly gain exposure to your target audience.
Finally, commenting on blogs and forums also gets you in front of a new audience instantly. Though many blogs and forums allow you to link back to your blog, many blog and forum platforms have a “no follow” attribute in their code which prevents your link from benefiting your blog from an SEO perspective.
If you are tight on time and have to eliminate one of these three off page blog marketing initiatives, commenting on blogs and forums would be the activity you leave out in my experience.
Readers: How are you marketing your blog or website? What blog SEO marketing strategies are you applying? Which have worked best for you? Why aren’t you trying other strategies?
Better meta tag optimization leads to better search engine optimization (SEO) results.
Meta tag optimization on your blog or website is a fundamental component of basic on page SEO, and optimizing this data will increase the likelihood of ranking higher on search engine search results for your targeted keywords.
For static HTML websites, getting the meta data right is an easy task because each web page within a website is a stand-alone HTML document or file, which means that the home page is its own independent file as well. But can the same be said for a blog? I am afraid not.
Each individual post maybe a file of its own, but because of the background coding infrastructure of most blogs, getting the meta data right for the overall blog itself can be challenging. When I say the overall blog, I mean your blog as one complete and stand-alone entity.
The home page of a website defines the entire website’s concept or theme. The webmaster customizes the meta tags on a website’s home page based on the entire website’s main concept keyword around which the website revolves.
Similarly, a blog too has an overall purpose. For example, this blog’s title is the Extra Money Blog, and its purpose is to help successful professionals get more out of life through discussions around entrepreneurship, blogging, Internet marketing, career and personal finance.
Have a look at the meta tag optimization on this blog:
Notice that the meta tags are relevant to what this blog stands for. Unfortunately, this kind of meta tag optimization is not easily achievable in a standard wordpress blog / theme, not without additional coding at least.
To further clarify this point, a website has a distinct home page (the index.html) file, whereas a blog doesn’t really have a dedicated home page per se. Most blogs are meant to be live, dynamic websites where the home page, or landing page changes depending on the most recent blog post.
This presents an interesting challenge from an SEO perspective. Because a blog does not really have a dedicated home page, how is one to optimize the meta tags on a blog’s home page? You can’t work on something that doesn’t exist. This assumes that your blog’s home page is not a static page.
I talked about the importance of getting your website’s meta data right in my post on how to optimize blog posts and webpages. Many readers have since then emailed me asking how they can optimize their blog’s meta tags. The answer is not a straightforward one, but there is a solution.
In a “regular” WordPress blog, the meta data on the “home page” reflects the meta data of the post that is currently live. When the blogger publishes a new post the following day, the meta data changes. So even if a new visitor was to land on the “home page” (the main URL) of the blog, it is the current post’s meta data which is reflected behind the scenes as the overall blog’s meta data, therefore sending such signals to search engines.
This meta tag optimization structure would be perfectly fine for static blogs, or wordpress sites that are meant to be websites and not blogs. But for dynamic blogs, the limitation precludes you from optimizing the meta data for your overall blog (without additional coding at least).
Thanks to the Thesis WordPress theme, one can easily create separation between the home page meta data and that of the current blog post.
In Thesis, each blog post you write gives you the opportunity to specify the post’s meta tags. Here is what the input section looks like within the Thesis dashboard:
In addition, there is a separate area within the main dashboard where you can specify the meta tags for your blog in its entirety. Here is how the input section looks like in the Thesis dashboard in the “Page Options” section:
Now see what this does. Here is what the specific post looks like when indexed in search engine listings:
Here is what the overall blog looks like when indexed in search engine listings:
You might be thinking that you can simply add an SEO plugin and accomplish this functionality in your blog? If so, you are correct in that you can optimize individual posts. However, this still doesn’t give you the opportunity to optimize your overall blog’s homepage with the main (thematic) meta data.
A big component of how a blog is able to sustain a high organic ranking in search results is the ability to perform meta tag optimization with keywords specific to the blog’s overall theme or topic. In my opinion, you are losing out on significant leverage if you don’t have your blog’s functionality set up this way.
You don’t have to have Thesis to effectively implement the meta tag information that will propel your blog higher on search engine listings. Coding tweaks can be made to any other theme to achieve the same results. However, that is not my personal preference.
Unless you are an expert coder, tweaking the coding just further convolutes the HTML code in the background, which hurts from an SEO perspective and makes it more difficult for search engine spiders to crawl your website smoothly. It is something that I wouldn’t dare attempt myself.
Personally, I prefer to go the cleaner, easier and more streamlined route. I am also a big fan of ease of implementation and use. I am not a programmer, I am an entrepreneur, and I want to work on what I enjoy and do best, which is my business and definitely not tweaking code.
Sure I can hire a developer to make the tweaks, but it takes time to find the right resource and then pay them. Might as well work with a theme that has everything built into it from the get go for just as much, if not more economically from a cost perspective. Not to mention the time wasted researching, implementing, testing and tweaking.
The Thesis WordPress theme is by far the best blog theme I have come across in terms of flexibility, ease of use, SEO-ability, user support and most importantly functionality. If you’d like to learn how to get your blog or website to rank higher on search engines, which involves the other components of effective SEO, read my post on how to fully optimize your web pages and blog post.
Readers: If you are a Thesis user, what do you think about the meta tag functionality? Are you using it to your advantage? If you are not a Thesis user, how are you getting around this limitation and achieving meta tag optimization on your “home page” and then for individual pages and posts?