This article discusses 10 easy ways Blogger (Blogspot) Bloggers can build site traffic and in many cases improve SEO - search engine optimization. By implementing these steps you will improve the likelihood of your site ranking more highly in search engine results of major search engine players Google, Yahoo and MSN and as a result increase the number of visitors accessing your site.
10 Easy SEO Tips for Blogspot Bloggers to Improve Search Engine Rankings
1. Make Your Title Tags Search Engine Friendly
One of the most important tweaks necessary for Blogspot Blogs is the adjustment of the title tags of your website because Blogger.com by default has not optimized these for search engines. To prove this point navigate to an individual post on your blog and you will see that the blogname appears first in the title bar at the top of your browser followed by the post name. As search engines place greater value on the first words of an entry this puts your site at a disadvantage in search engine results. Fortunately it is easy to reverse the blog name and the post name with a simple tweak. For instructions on how to change the order of these title tags please refer to my article entitled Adjust Blogger Title Tags to Improve SEO
2. Create Search Engine Friendly Permalinks
Blogger automatically generates a permalink based on the title of your post each time you make a post. For this reason it is important to craft your title carefully. Permalinks are sometimes less than ideal especially if you have a long title. Take for example the following permalink for one of my posts:
You will see that it is search engine friendly in that in contains 2 keywords blogger and permalinks. However you may be surprised to know that How to Create Search Engine Friendly Permalinks for Blogger Posts is actually the title of this post not Improved Permalinks for Blogger Posts. I have initially used a title that is keyword rich and then after publishing gone back and entered a more descriptive title. No matter how many times I change the title the original permalink remains. If I had entered the second title straight away I may have ended up with the following permalink:
Not very pretty is it? And as you can see the whole point of the post is lost.
For more information on crafting permalinks please refer to my article How to Create Search Engine Friendly Permalinks for Blogger Posts
3. Add a Social Networking Button to Your Blog
By adding a Social Bookmarking button to your website you will enable visitors to your blog to create links to popular social bookmarking sites such as Google, Technorati, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, Stumble Upon, Reddit, Delicious, Furl, Yahoo etc. This means that visitors to your site will be able share these links with others thereby helping you attract more traffic to your site and encourage return visits.
Another benefit of a social bookmarking button is that you will be able to identify visitor trends and social bookmarking behaviour on your site. For more information on how to add a free Add This Social Bookmarking button to your Blogger blog please refer to my article Add a Social Bookmarking Button to Your Blog.
4. Submit a Sitemap of Your Blog to Popular Search Engines
If attracting traffic to your site is important to you then it is imperative that you ensure that your Blogger (Blogspot) blog is properly indexed by popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN. One way to expedite this is to submit a sitemap to each of three major search engines. Please refer to my tutorials on website submission, authenticating your site and adding your site feed to Yahoo Site Explorer, Google Webmaster Tools and MSN Tools.
Google - Submit Your Blogspot Blog Sitemap to Google
Yahoo - Submit Your Blogspot Blog to Yahoo
MSN - Submit Blogger Sitemap to MSN Live Search
Also take a look at my tutorial on submitting your blog to major search engines
5. Build Quality Links
If you want to rank highly in Google and other search engines then you need to generate quality in-bound links. That doesn't mean exchanging links with everything and everyone as I see some new webmasters do. A few quality links from authoritative sites will boost your page rankings quickly and are far superior to a bunch of links from low ranking sites.
There are several good ways to generate links to your blog. One easy way is to to submit your site to blog directories. For more information on recommended blog directories please see my article Submit Your Blogger Blog to Blog Directories. Another way to cultivate in-bound links is to submit your best articles to article directories. A third possibility is to actively participate in forums and on other related blogs where commenting affords you the option of adding a link to your site.
I would recommend linking to DMOZ (Open Directory Project). Care needs to be taken to submit your site to the correct subject area. Becoming listed can take awhile so patience is needed.
6. Write Quality Content and Post Frequently
If you have read any articles on the subject of Blogging and SEO you will no doubt have observed writers emphasising the importance of quality content. I can't stress enough how much return visits depend on providing inducements to visitors to come back. If your site content is well written and informative half the battle is won. Make sure you post frequently so that visitors can see the value of subscribing in a reader. Take some care with the presentation of your content and images as this will present a professional image. Avoid common pitfalls like bad grammar and spelling mistakes which stand out like a sore toe and detract from a visitor's overall positive experience of your site.
One leading professional blogger Yaro Starak recommends the use of pillar articles. These are articles that don't change over time and continue to attract visitors. The best pillar articles explain some concept, provide definitions, give advice or present some argument. Your site needs to have at least 5 pillar articles and more if you can manage it. Pillar articles need to be more than 500 words long, crafted to generate interest and provide a welcome resource to your visitors.
7. Ensure Your Content is Keyword Rich
Apart from the quality of your content there is the question of keyword density. The more keyword rich your posts are the greater the likelihood they will appear higher in search engine results. This means it is worth the effort of crafting your content in such a way that you make use of important keywords and keyword phrases frequently used. Don't go overboard however as Google is smart enough to recognise if your pages are littered with keywords and nothing much else. A useful free SEO tool to help you optimise your site using keywords and labels is Google Adwords. Another good tool to help you quickly craft keyword rich material is Live Keyword Analysis which assesses the keyword density of keywords and keyword phrases of any post you paste into the analysis box.
When writing posts make sure your opening sentence describes what the article is about and contains your keywords and keyword phrases. It is important that your first sentence is keyword rich as search engines like Google give more emphasis to content at the beginning of the post. Also it is worth including a short ending statement about the content of the post as there is some evidence that Google also places value on the content at the end of the post.
8. Manage Your Feeds Carefully
Feeds help your visitors find your site so they need to be managed carefully in order to make the most of them. Your site feeds are an important way to create backlinks too. Backlinks from authoritative sites are highly valuable and can boost your page ranking. For information about showing backlinks please refer to the Blogger Help Article About Backlinks
Ensure you have your RSS feed icons clearly visible for visitors to see. The most superior positioning of the feed icons on your site is in the header. Watch out for coming tutorials on how to improve positioning of RSS feed links.
You can redirect your feed to a feedburning service like Feedburner and then add a chicklet to your site (orange RSS feed button) so that the feed is instantly available on click. Please refer to my tutorials about Blogger feeds:Burn a Blogger RSS Feed at Feedburner and Blogger RSS Feeds and Feedburner. To add a FeedFlare to your burned feed check out my tutorial.
If you haven't burnt your feed you can try adding a Subscription Links widget to a sidebar too to encourage visitors to subscribe to your site in popular on-line readers such as Google Reader. You will find the Subscription Links widget available under the list of gadgets.
Display your most recent posts by configuring a feed widget. Under Layout > Page Elements add a feed gadget to a sidebar. Enter the URL of the default feed of your site which will be:
Enter Recent Posts in the title and then Save. For more information about adding a posts feed widget to a sidebar please refer to my article Add a Recent Posts Feed to a Blogger Blog
You can do the same for comments if you wish to have a list of recent comments displayed in your sidebar. In this case you would enter:
For more in depth coverage about adding a comments feed to your sidebar please see my article Add a Recent Comments Feed to a Blogger Sidebar
Ensure you set up your site feeds to show the full text. To check this navigate to Settings > Site Feeds and select yes from the dropdown box for all three feeds.
Consider having a feed specifically for a popular label if it contains 20 or more posts.
9. Optimize Your Use of Images
Chances are you don't give a thought to images when you insert them into your posts but images can be optimized by careful use of filenames and the alt attribute. When naming images avoid long names. Instead give your images distinctive filenames rather than something generic like 00045.jpg which has no meaning.
The alt attribute allows you to specify what text is displayed when a visitor's mouse hovers over an image. The alt attribute also gets displayed if the image is not available for some reason. By optimizing your alt attributes you are increasing the likelihood of your images appearing in Google Image Searches.
Optimizing your alt attributes is easy. Every time you insert an image into a post look for the alt attribute which will be empty by default
style="DISPLAY: block; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 122px; TEXT-ALIGN: center" alt="" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/abcdeefgBxA/4560/sidebar-add-this-bookmark-button.JPG" border="0" />
Fill in the alt attribute with a useful description of your image
style="DISPLAY: block; MARGIN: 0px auto 10px; WIDTH: 320px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 122px; TEXT-ALIGN: center" alt="Blog Know How Sidebar Showing Add This Bookmark Button" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/abcdeefgBxA/4560/sidebar-add-this-bookmark-button.JPG" border="0" />
Depending on the subject of your site you can gain a lot of traffic from the images you post on your site. The more unique the content of your site the greater the likelihood that your traffic will stem from images. Without going overboard ensure you have a good mix of images to support your articles.
10. Take Advantage of Web Analytics Services
Having implemented some strategies to improve crawling and indexing of your site by search engine giants Google, Yahoo and MSN chances are you will want to see how these changes have impacted on the traffic reaching your site. Web Analytics programs are a valuable tool for gaining insight into visitor behaviour and trends. The kind of information that a program like Google Analytics will provide is:
how users reach and behave on your site
the most popular content on your site
the impact of optimizations you make to your site (e.g. by how much did changing the order of title tags improve traffic from search engines?)
To integrate Google Analytics into your Blogger (Blogspot) blog please refer to my articles Track Visitors to Your Blogger Blog and Add Google Analytics to Blogger Blog
This article has discussed 10 easy ways to build site traffic and improve SEO for Blogger (Blogspot) Bloggers by addressing the following areas: feeds, images, social bookmarking, title tags, permalinks, content, analytics, submitting your blog to search engines.
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