1. Content is king
- Matt Cutt’s “content is more important than SEO”
- Look at your competition – how good are their posts? how often are they posting? what kind of social media is involved?
- The more content you have, the more search results you can pull organic traffic from
- Add keywords and be original (keyword density under 5%, don’t spam)
- Consistency is key – write every week and daily if possible
With panda being the major algorithm that affects content and bloggers directly, you’ve got to be able to produce posts that have quality information and media for your visitors. The volume of content you need to produce is directly related to the type of competition you have working against you in the SERPs. For the most part any competitive niche is going to need 600+ word posts for best weight and keyword associations. Larger volume posts can also add in a lot of long-tail keywords that will produce extra organic traffic from low volume first page rankings. Competition is a lot lower for the long-tail keywords.
SEO is still very useful for bloggers, but if you do not have quality content, you will not see high rankings on high competition keywords. Many low volume/low competition search results can still be obtained by small niche and micro websites, but authority and content powerful websites are starting to dominate all high to mid competition search engine results. You’ve got to be keeping up with the “freshness algorithm” and producing large volumes of strong content that is loved by the “panda update”.
2. Keywords in Title
Titles are one of the more important factors of on-page SEO currently with Google, don’t waste too much time with meta keywords, but titles go a long ways. Make sure to match up the keywords in order as well, exact match will give you the strongest weight toward better rankings.
Don’t build long, spammy titles, just try to remember what your audience is looking for and how to include your key search terms into that heading. Most titles should not be over 100 characters, and that is on the long side. This is one of the most simple ways to see quicker rankings from on-page SEO, no need to write very vague and mysterious titles unless you already have the clout and rankings to go with it. Otherwise, make sure you include the keywords that your keyword research has provided you. All of the old keyword stuffing and junk on-page techniques are useless, focus on producing top notch content and making sure search engine spiders can read/associate the right keywords and phrases along with it.
3. Add Images and Video
- Create your own original images and media!
- Make sure to re-size and fit properly, keep file sizes manageable for broadband users
- Place keywords in file names, good for getting picked up by Google images and search spiders
- Place keywords in titles
- Add all applicable meta tags – don’t spam, keep them diverse and no duplicates
Google demands that top level blogs are including serious media for their users. You don’t have to be uploading HD video, but nice stock photography or other quality imagery can really make the difference.
Not only is media important for Googlebot to see, you can also gain quality back links from distributing and uploading your original work around the web. Sites like Flickr, Youtube, and Slideshare are great for sharing media, adding keywords, and getting solid inbound links. Make sure to also be using your image creation talent or go buy some stock photos for social media uploads as well. This can really help you get more views and better results when social bookmarking or writing content like press releases, articles, and more if you can include your related imagery.
4. Integrate social media sharing!
There has been a major shift over the past two years in Google’s algorithm toward giving significant more weight to social media “signals” over other styles of generic back links. These social media backlinks are created when original pieces of work are shared, discussed, and often spread virally through communities online.
- One of strongest back links currently = social media shares
- If your post goes “viral”, you can get major traffic boosts
- Let people make back links for you, white hat links and they can build them faster than you
Matt Cutts and Inside Search blog have both stated that social media signals are the new back link of the future. You want your blog’s readers to be reading, sharing, and discussing your posts. Ultimately you need some sort of sharing tool or platform that users can click into immediately once they land on your blog.
Goals = to get blog readers to share your posts through likes, +1′s, Diggs, Stumbles, Tweets and more Top Sharing Tools for Blogs:
5. Get the right plugins
Some of our favorite ideas for plugins and widgets are:
- SEO plugin – homepage and posts meta data tags, time saver
- Inner linking between posts/pages on keywords – i.e. SEO smartlinks
- 301 redirects
- WP cache tools
- Custom permalinks
- Social media “sharing” widgets and plugins
- XML sitemaps
- Automatic ping tools