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Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

Proof that blogging works for SEO

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

If you’re at all interested in search engine optimisation ‘SEO’, it’s likely that at some stage you will have been hectored by a ‘guru’ about the role of blogging, particularly its value in targeting ‘long tail’ search terms. You may have acted on this advice or, on the basis that you have better things to do, like cleaning the drains or pressing your underpants, you’re more likely to have ignored it with the happy consequence that you’re now the proud owner of sparkling drains and crisply ironed Y-fronts.

Assuming you fall into this latter category, here is a recent example of how a single blog post got to page 2 of Google in less than a week. Prepare to abandon your drains and neglect your smalls.

Last Thursday 8th March was International Women’s Day  - yes, they get their own day now - they’ll want rights next! After ‘harumphing’ at the vulgarity of a gender celebration, we thought we’d be decent global citizens and write a blog post for a client who sells, amongst other coffees, Fairtrade coffee and in particular, a coffee produced by a Peruvian women’s co-operative ‘Cafe Femenino‘. His company is D R Wakefield and they were the first company to import Fairtrade into the UK. Cafe Femenino is an inspirational example about how, with a bit of support, a group of previously disenfranchised women have developed a prosperous co-operative and a stronger community for themselves and their families. (Ok, hands up, we’re just a bunch of Guardian reading softies).

We published the blog post on Wednesday 7th March and, because we build websites in such a way that search ‘bots’ can quickly find and index our clients’ content, Google had indexed it within 24 hours. Clever old us.

Yesterday, in a familiar moment of regret after losing a tenner in the 3.15 at Cheltenham, we thought we’d see how ‘Cafe Femenino’ was doing in Google. Much to our surprise, our blog post was at position 11 for that search term after just 6 days. It then slipped a couple of places but its presence on that page is compelling evidence of the potential for relevant content to achieve visibility in Google.

We rest our case. You may now blog or if you remain unconvinced, please resume your drain oblutions, resplendent in your pristine undergarments, quietly to reflect upon this intriguing phenomenon.

7 ways to optimise your blog for search engines

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

If you write a blog, you’re probably aware that one of the benefits is better search engine rankings but are you doing everything you can to get the best results in Google, Yahoo and Bing?

Here are 7 tips on how to optimise your blog plus a link to a fantastic graphic explaining the key elements of a well designed blog.

1. Are you targeting specific keywords? If you haven’t checked the keywords that your target market uses, have a look at the Google keywords tool. It’s not the definitive guide but it’s a great tool and free to use. You just prompt it with your guess as to what your target keywords should be and it generates a list with associated traffic levels.

2. Have you invested  in a decent design? Beauty may be screen deep but a decent layout will create an immediate impression of professionalism and encourage readers to delve further into your content.

3.  Set a blogging schedule so that you don’t keep putting your blog to the back of the ‘to do’ list.

4. Encourage feedback but watch out for link spam. It’s virtually unavoidable. Discussions are to be welcomed and they provide a source of free, keyword rich content.

5. Make sure that you write meta title and description tags for each post. Wordpress provides  an SEO plugin that prompts you to do this. These serve two purposes - they tell Google what the post is about and they appear in the search results pages so write them in a way that’s most likely to attract a click.

6. Enable people to share your content on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in and Google+. You can add bookmarking links too for sites like Stumbleupon.

7. If you can, add some visual content from time to time. It helps to add interest. Make sure you add an alt tag for each image.

And now, have a look at this graphic which explains everything visually.

You might also like to read my blog post about Google’s guide to basic search engine optimisation.

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