Blogging is one of the most common things which we find on the internet. There are millions and millions of blogs in the internet of which only a part becomes much popular. The reason of their popularity is their useful and informative content. Most of the internet users search for required content mostly through search engines for which there are number of tips/guidelines, SEO techniques to be followed. Some of the SEO techniques are simple to implement and some of are a little difficult. But such tweaks in blogging will make our blog to rank higher by the search engines. In this post we will see about tips, guidelines and SEO techniques in blogging. Some of the guidelines mentioned below will be specific for WordPress blog.
- General Blogging Tips and Guidelines
- Search Engine Optimization
- Design Tips for Blogging
1.General Blogging Tips and Guidelines
The search engines crawls h1,h2 and h3 tags to find relevant post. So it is better to give such tags for heading instead of just increasing the font size.
Make a good start in first paragraph
Having more keywords in the first paragraph of the post will make the search engines know what the post is about.
Social Networking Integration
Social networking sites are one of the great platforms to market our blog or website. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are some of the top social networking sites. It is must to have social media buttons in our blog/website for our page. It is also better to have social media buttons like Facebook Like,Twitter Tweet etc in each of the post.
Subscribe for Newsletters
There are number of plug-ins in WordPress (E.g. MailChimp) which makes it easy for managing user subscriptions.
Create a RSS feed(E.g. using FeedBurner service) for your blog since many of the internet users are still using RSS.
About Us and Contact Us Page
Some of the other bloggers will be interested in sharing their content in your blog which is called as guest blogging. So About Us page must give a positive impression about your page and Contact Us page will helps other contact you. Make sure you give a detailed description in about us page (about the page and author) rather than giving one liners or a small paragraph.
No Duplicate Content
Search engines do not like duplicate content. So it not a good option to have same content in multiple blogs.
Improve WordPress Performace with Browser Caching (.htaccess)
All the internet browsers have a cache memory that store frequently used information and that cache can be utilized by setting expire duration by modify the .htaccess file in the root folder of the blog or website. Follow the link How to improve WordPress performance with browser caching (through .htaccess) to make use of it which will improve the loading time of the website.
In most of our post we use images to make it attractive. Sometimes we design our own images or use images from the internet. The images may be sometimes large with higher resolution. But we may scale down the image to make it fit in smaller window. So it is always better to reduce the size of the image to fit the window size so that the page loads even faster. It is better to use PNG or JPEG file format for using the image since they will be more optimized in size. Sometimes PNG image format files will be smaller in size compared to JPEG image files. Make this optimization for background image too. For better SEO upload the images to blog with proper file name (with keywords), caption, alt tags and title.
You may also be using images from other website(other server) which when clicked redirects to the that site. Also we will loose the image if that server fails. So it is better to make our own copy of the image and use it.
Optimizing Background Image
If you are using a background image for your website which has repeated pattern (either horizontally or vertically) you can crop the image to required size and tile the image (horizontally or vertically based on the requirement).
The above image when tiled horizontally and vertically, we get the background image as below.
This reduces the need for downloading the entire background image.
Mobile Version of the Blog
The desktop version of the blog will be only suitable for viewing in desktop. If we view the same in smartphone or tablet, the content will not look attractive. So it is better to create a mobile version of the blog since many of the internet users are using internet in smartphones and tablets. There are WordPress plugins like WPtouch to make the blog open in optimized way for mobile users.
2.Search Engine Optimization
The search engines crawls all the websites in the internet when the user searches for a content by typing a search query. The website or blog with most relevant content will be ranked higher by the search engine and will be shown on top results. When the search engine crawls our blog/website it will look for most relevant post title for the given search query. So it is better to have relevant post title for the post
Example: Guidelines/Tips for buying Graphic Card/Video Cards/GPU
In the above example I have put Graphic Card, Video Card and GPU. The three terms mean the same. Some users use the word Graphic Card and some other use Video Card. Here our post will be ranked even if the user searches with any one of the term in the post title.
Permalink is the URL which uniquely identifies a page or post in the blog or website. Permalinks are auto generated based on the post we specify while we publish the post. However we can change it based on our needs.
Example: Post Title: Guidelines/Tips for buying Graphic Card/Video Cards/GPU
For the above given post title (Guidelines /Tips for buying Graphic Card/Video Cards/GPU), the permalink will be generated with the word “for” which is not essential in the permalink. So we can remove the words like “a”,”an”,”the”, etc to get better permalink which improves the SEO.
It is a XML file in the root directory of your blog/website which consists of all the links present in your blog. This makes the search engines to know about the content of your blog in easier way. You can use WordPress plug-ins like Google Sitemap Generator to get this done. You can even submit the sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools which is a great service to monitor our blog or website. Here we can know about the number of pages indexed by Google from our blog.
Category and Tags
Make sure that the post is assigned proper categories and tags which helps us to build navigation links and also for better SEO.
Backlinks are incoming links to a website or web page. Consider we have a post and its corresponding content in our blog. The post has a unique URL and that URL may be posted in other sites like social networking sites, forums etc which forms the backlinks. This creates certain amount of traffic to our blog. Below I have mentioned some of the tips to gain traffic through backlinks.
- Blog/website link in E-mail signature
- Posting the blog and post link to social networking sites
- Answers questions in forums by giving backlinks to your post
- Create backlinks within your blog wherever you find the chance
- Trackback and ping back
- Link the blog to your social network profiles
- Author name below each post (if required)
4.Design Tips for Blogging
First impression is the best impression. If a user lands in your blog, you must make hold of him with rich user interface and user experience. The look and feel of the blog may be simple, but should be professional. Proper font color, header image, background image are some of the factor which decide the blog’s design. The design of the blog may look different in different browser i.e. we will be changing the design of the blog and testing it in only one browser for which the blog will look good. But it is better to check the design with multiple browsers like Chrome, Firefox, safari etc since these browsers are most used in the internet.
Navigation bar and footer
A proper navigation bar is must which makes it easy for the reader to navigate within the website. A footer with required links and buttons gives more professional and elegant look to the blog. A footer may contain links and buttons for about us and contact us page, social networking buttons etc.
Blogger and WordPress blogs have only 2 buttons namely “Older Posts” and “Newer Posts” for navigation. But pagination feature makes it easy for the reader to use the blog. For WordrPress there are many pagination plugins(E.g. PageNavi pluginfor WordPress) which can be directly used without any coding skills.
Make use of CSS tricks like hover, active etc for buttons which gives better looks to the design.
Example: Hove feature in footer social network image links in this blog
Not but not the least, quality content is required irrespective of above mentioned tips and guidelines.