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Optimize the SEO of your Blog (Part 2)

Blog atWebPresenceLast week we have began a series of articles focused around suggestions and tips to follow in order to optimize the SEO of your Blog.

In today’s post we are going to cover other interesting points that are not really considered by most of the blog owners and that could definitely help to improve the SEO results of you blog.

Subscribe your Blog to the WebMaster Services of the various Search Engines

Google, as well as other search engines (at least the most popular ones) gives the chance to webmaster to subscribe their Blogs and websites to their management tool area. Although by itself it doesn’t really mean anything to most of the blog owner (and I totally understand that), things become a little bit more interesting when you consider what you can do once you register your Blog to a Google Webmaster account:

You can submit your site-map to Google: The site-map is the file that includes the full list of web-pages that  are included in your website. Not only, every single page appearing on a sitemap.xml file has valuable information such as last modify date, frequency of visit (how often Google robots should come and “read” the content of that web-page) and the update frequency (weekly, monthly, daily and so on).

You can modify your robots.txt file: This is another important file that will be useful to instruct search engine spiders about which areas of the website are accessible and which ones are not. For instance, if you want to restrict  a certain location of your public_html folder you will be able to do so by entering a “disallow” rule on the robots.txt file.

You can see which ones are the most frequent keywords that lead to your website, their placement on the Google search results page and the amount of impression recorded when searching for them.

You can know if there is any broken link generated from your website: This is very important since you don’t want people to experience a frustrating error message when trying to reach a page. Or, if the link is coming from a referring site, that could end up compromising your SEO results.

Overall Google Webmaster tool, like other webmaster tools available from other search engines, allow to have a certain degree of control and overview on how well is your website performing on the internet. It allows you to monitor the traffic and flag any problem that could potentially harm the user experience.

Use bold to highlight the keyword place you want

Bold keywordsKeywords used to describe the content of your page should make their way through and be present in the text of the page. When doing so is a very good practice to highlight a phrase or a word using the bold text.

This is a very important rule since to the human eye it helps to focus the attention highlighting a word that has a high relevance to the overall subject of the page.

The same sort of logic is applied by Search Engines that will look at bold world into the text and compare them against the words detected from the list of keywords included on the metadata.

Build internal links to your website from your blog

In a nutshell it means to insert internal links from your blog posts to your website. There are few reasons why Internal Linking can be good to improve the overall SEO of your website:

– It will help your website to get spidered by search engines: Not only will this increase the number of pages that a search engine credits your site with, but it also increases the number of phrases that your website has the potential to rank for.

– Improve the relevance of your keyword phrase: By using keyword phrases in the anchor text of the links between pages of your site you will make sure that a meaningful and valuable link is used to refer to internal content of your site. Let’s assume that you have a Web Design company. Rather than linking to your homepage with the anchor text “home” link to it with the text “web design main”. This will attach the words “web” and “design” and “main” to your homepage.

The same principle will help you to increase keyword relevance with all of the pages of your website, improving the chances of improving the internal SEO.

– Increase the PageRank of an internal page:  The closer a page is in clicks from your homepage, the higher the value (or PageRank) the page is assigned. Basically, if I have a page linked to from my homepage it will be given more weight that a page that is four or five levels deep in my site.

This does not mean that you should link to all of your pages from your homepage. Not only does this diffuse the weight of each individual link but it will look incredibly unattractive if your site is significantly large.

Remove Tag Cloud from your sidebar

Tag CloudFirst of all, what is a Tag Cloud? A tag cloud (or word cloud) is a visual representation for text data, typically used to depict keyword metadata (tags) on websites, or to visualize free form text. ‘Tags’ are usually single words, normally listed alphabetically, and the importance of each tag is shown with font size or colour.

Why this can be considered a problem for the SEO of your website or blog?  The main reason relies on the potential keyword stuffing that Google as well as any other search engine could see behind the implementation of a Tag Cloud.

There is a interesting little video from Matt Cutts from Google talking about how Tag Clouds can be dangerous to your blog:

Improve the speed of your Blog

The speed of the site is among the criteria considered by the algorithm of Google when crawling your blog. It is therefore important to ask yourself how “heavy” your pages are and what can you do to improve the overall performance.

The most important element are, without any doubt, the media included within you site. Make sure therefore that your images are of a reasonable size and that the quality is not too excessive.

Remember that .png and .gif are the desirable extension for graphical images and that .jpeg is the standard for larger images such as photos.

But another important thing is to make sure that you use only the right amount of plug-ins and widget. Use only what you really need to use and make sure that you disable and delete unnecessary plugins. These could end up slowing down the overall speed of your blog since every time a page is requested, WordPress as well as other platforms will try to load all of the active plugins before rendering the content to the user.

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