Blog SEO – How To Optimize Your Blog For Top Search Engine Rankings

In my previous post, I shared the basics of blog SEO so that you can drive free and unlimited traffic to your blog.  As promised, today I’m going to go over the actual steps or actions that you need to take to ensure that you have a fully search engine optimized blog.

Without further ado, let’s jump right into it, shall we?

Let Your Blog Be Visible

That’s right. You’d be surprised how some people miss this important aspect. Unfortunately, WordPress sites are set to block search engines and that explains why this can be overlooked.

So, you need to check your Privacy settings to make sure that search engines know that your blog exists and make it visible.

In your admin area, go to Settings >> Privacy and check the first option:

How to Make Google to *Love* Your Blog and Give You More Traffic

 

Title, Description and Keywords

You need to have a title, description and meta tags for your blog. Before you start wondering what these are and where do you add them, I’ll show you how to get this done.

First off, you’d need to install the All in One SEO Pack plugin if you haven’t done so already and then add your title, description and keywords.

Is Your Blog Repelling or Attracting Visitors? Its Time For Reality Check...

You can also watch this video to help you with configuring the settings in your admin panel.

1. Title

This is the title of your home page and it’s important that it has your keyword in the beginning as search engine bots read from left to right.

A long title does not entice your readers to click on the link, so you should go for about 65 characters, just to give people an idea of what your blog is about.

2. Description

It speaks for itself. This is where you write a few words about what people can expect to find and learn from your blog. Again, you don’t need to write an essay to achieve this – a maximum of 170 characters will do. Your keyword should be used right at the beginning for the same reason cited above.

3. Keywords

In order to attract the right people to your blog, you need to add some keywords that are related to your blog. Word of caution: don’t display your money keywords as your competitors would easily discover them by just viewing your source page. Use generic but relevant keywords.

 

Permalink Settings

Your blog’s permalinks need to show the keywords so that you can improve your search rankings and help your content to be found online easily.

This is much better than using URLs that include question marks and numbers, e.g. http://YourBlog.com/?=p235/. This means nothing to search engine bots.

The good news is that you can change this default setting in your admin area, so that you can use the relevant keywords.

Warning: Now, before you drop everything to go and make the changes, you need to install a plugin called, Redirection 2.1.27 by John Godley so you don’t break your existing links.

Now, go to Settings > Permalinks > Custom Structure

Is Your Blog URL Properly Optimised?

 

In addition, before publishing your posts, you need to remove the extra words such as to, is, the, how, what and so forth. They have no significance and will not improve your search rankings.

You can remove them manually (if you’ll always remember to) or install a plugin called, SEO Slugs 1.0 by Andrei Mikrukov which can do a job for you automatically. I use this plugin, but I still double-check before hitting the “publish” button.

URL Canonicalization

What on earth is that? Don’t fret! This is just a fancy word with a simple meaning. You could unknowingly behaving different versions of your blog URL, all going to the same destination:

  • http://www.YourBlog.com
  • http://YourBlog.com
  • http://www.YourBlog.com/index.html
  • http://YourBlog.com/index.html

Trouble is, different URLs for the same blog, mean different blogs in Google’s eyes and this could hurt your blog SEO in a big way.

Here’s how to fix this problem:

1. Choose the version that you want to go for and use the same one all the time. In your admin area, go to Settings >> General and type in your chosen URL version.

2. Let Google know your preferred version by logging into your Google Webmasters Tool account (you do have one, right?).

url canonicalization image

 

Now, if people are using any version of the same URL, they will be redirected to your preferred one. And Google will recognize your chosen URL as well.

There you have it, these are the initial blog SEO actions that you need to take to make sure that you increase your search engine rankings and attract lots of traffic to your blog.

 

Be on the look out for my next post as I will be sharing more blog SEO tips.

 

Was this post helpful? Please let me know below. I would also be grateful if you can share this with your friends and followers.

P.S. Please help me win the blogging contest by commenting and sharing my incredible post ==>How to Beat Changes to Organic Traffic Generation Rules.

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17 thoughts on “Blog SEO – How To Optimize Your Blog For Top Search Engine Rankings”

  1. Hi Mavis!

    Thank you for this post! I have been wanting to change my permalinks for a long time (my previous theme would not allow post name permalinks) and now I am excited to have a plugin to help with redirection!

    The redirect plugin won’t work for some reason though. I click on the link and it says “Nothing Found For Archives [post number]” It doesn’t show as a 404 error, could that be the problem? Or do I need to go into the settings for the plugin?

    Thanks,
    Stacy

  2. Hi Mavis!

    I have to say, this is one of the most comprehensive yet easy to understand SEO Tips posts I have seen. You leave nothing out, and especially assuming the most elemental things like making your blog public! It is something most people don’t even mention.

    And your advice about Canonicalization is concise and well put, it’s a scary word but easily fixed!

    Thanks and keep up the outstanding work!

    Wishing You Wonderful Success,
    Vicki

  3. Another question: I’ve just installed the all in on seo.

    You said to do your keywords in the title…so just putting the title of my blog is NOT sufficient? I have a totally different niche than yours. Would you be able to offer some suggestions here.

    FOr the time being I have Blessed Quiver in my title.

    and my tag line in the description.

    or is that actually okay?

    1. @Michelle,

      I know your questions were addressed to Mavis, but wanted to answer until she gets a chance to respond. I’m sure that she will have additional great insights. (If you have additional questions, feel free to msg me and I’ll try to help you out as I’m optimizing my blog too)…

      Mavis’ advice was to put the keywords in your blog title. For example if your blog is “Give a Dog a Bone” a blog about all things related to dog nutrition. You may want to make your title something like “Give A Dog A Bone – Blog – Canine Nutrition – Dog Health” (You get the idea…all of the “terms” that you put are ways in which someone who needs your information might search on Google or Yahoo for your blog.

      My simple rule of thumb for SEO is this: My SEO goal is to make it as easy as possible for search engines to bring my content to the eyes of the people who will be best served by it.”

      Hope this helps a bit.

  4. Hi Mavis,

    Nice tips for freshers in SEO,content will remain the king forever but without these techniques its difficult to recognize it.

    So today its my second read on All in One SEO and finally got a bit to set it up

  5. Mavis, great post. Found this through your other blog. Great tidbits. I’d recently learned most of this from a friend who’s a SEO guru, but the plugins that you recommended to clean up permalinks and maintain links were really helpful.

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