Search engine optimization (SEO) has been the hot topic in all areas of the blogosphere for years now. Now that creating and maintaining a blog has become fairly simple, bloggers and wannabe bloggers are all about getting readers and creating traffic. While there are dozens and dozens of tips and tricks to mastering SEO available on the web, these three tips are simple and often overlooked.
One of the most important aspects of optimizing your blog is learning to link intelligently. This is an area that people have significant trouble with (and for good reason). Linking in a way that appears both natural and unobtrusive can be tricky. When you link out in your blog posts, you should always be aware of how the links are related to the content you provide. Not everything that you discuss in you blog will warrant a link. You must determine where it is appropriate to use convention to link and where a little more creativity is necessary. The biggest deterrent in a blog is over-linking, however it is also important to realize that under-linking can have very dire consequences as well. If you mention Wikipedia in a blog post, it is obviously not necessary to link to Wikipedia in general because everyone on the internet knows what it is. However, if you mention a specific page from Wikipedia it is not only good that you link to that page, in fact it is necessary.
Another great tip for optimizing your blog is launching your blog posts without comments enabled initially. Unfortunately, many readers will base what they read on how many other people have read it. We've all done it. You click on a post that has an interesting looking title, scan the page, see that there are no comments, and decide that it's not worth reading. Obviously, this doesn’t always happen, but there is something kind of sad about a blog with 0 comments on every single post. The site looks dead and unpopular. The simple solution turn off the commenting option. This way no one can see that there are 0 comments on your blog. After you submit a post, pay close attention to the number of RSS subscribers you have and the number of unique visitors you have each day. Once your RSS subscribers tops 100 or you get more than 300 unique visits a day open up the comments. Using this technique keeps particularly tech-savvy visitors from judging your blog based on popularity.
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Finally, many bloggers underestimate the value of guest bloggers for their site. Having already established bloggers write content for your site will help attract their readers to your page and will strengthen your SEO. Of course, it is important that you choose your guest posts and guest posters carefully. The guest posts that you choose should be relevant to your blog's interests and aims. However, it may also be useful to support guest posts that counter something that you have discussed previously. This way you are catering to all spectrums of the general audience and you demonstrate that you are open to discussion. Fostering varied discussion in your blog can be important to generating more interest in it. Another important thing to look for in guest blogs is links or direct references to other posts from your page. If a guest blogger discusses other blog posts you have written, it will encourage readers to read more of your work and it establishes that that guest writer is familiar with your blog.