Why Your Blog Sucks At SEO

by David Shaw · 38 comments

This is a guest post by David Shaw from Shaws Web Services.

I have worked in the blogging industry for around 4 years, moving from blog to blog and doing a lot of  ghost blogging for some friends.

Many of you may know me from blogs such as protycoon.com and davidshawblog.com (I no longer own these) but I decided to move away from blogging and focus on what I do best, website design and SEO.

Since I made the move into this area I have been working for several bloggers and large organizations to help them get to the top of the search engines and drive substantial traffic to their websites.

Have you noticed that some of the top bloggers don’t actually rank highly in the SERPs for their niche and rely a lot on links from other blogs and their RSS feeds?

blog seo

I was shocked when one of my clients (a very well known blogger) asked me to help him get his blog to the top of the search engines for his niche. I always assumed that his blog was a leading authority and would naturally float to the top but he was down on page 3! why? Because he thought that installing a few plugins and writing keyword content was enough to push him to the top.

In truth getting to the #1 spot on Google is not always easy but it is not impossible either. After working with many bloggers I noticed that there was one thing that they were all avoiding and in my mind it is the most important aspect of search engine optimization….. Keyword Research and Targeting!

To explain my point I am going to show you how this blog (SmartBloggerz) can move onto the first page of the Google SERPs with less than 2 hours work.

Like I said before Keyword Research is  hugely important, the aim to select between 8-10 specific keywords. I would try to avoid single word keywords such as ‘blogging’ or ‘money’ as they are far to broad, instead be more specific use keywords such as ‘Blogging Tips’ or ‘Make Money Online’. Once you have selected your keywords you need to order them by importance, this can be done in two ways.

  1. Order them by relevance to your content
  2. Order them by estimated traffic

Option 1 is to order them by relevance to your content, so if you spend more time blogging about ‘blogging tips’ than ‘make money online’ then blogging tips is more important. Option 2 is about using the Google Keyword Tool and judging which keywords can bring you more traffic, ‘make money online’ has a GMS (Global Monthly Search) of 1.5 million and ‘blogging tips’ has a GMS of 14,800, this means that ‘make money online’ is more important than ‘blogging tips’.

OK, so you should now have a list of 8-10 keywords ranked in order of importance. The next step is to optimize your blog a little for these keywords, for bloggers I advise just three simple changes, all to the meta-tags:

  • homepage title
  • homepage description
  • homepage keywords

Before you jump down my throat and start telling me that meta-tags are old school and not as important as they used to be, hear this: a blogger that I did some work for about 2 months ago went from page 3 of the SERPs to #2 on page 1 within 9 days of making these changes. This is also true of another blogger that I am currently working for who has gone from page 3 to #5 on page 1 this week.

The fact is that meta-tags are still very important in letting the search engines understand your blogs content more clearly.

Here Is My Advice:

  1. Aim to get the 3 or 4 most important keywords into the homepages <title> tag. Ensure that it is less than 66 characters including spaces.
  2. Aim to get 3 of those into the meta description as well, ensure that it still reads well as a sentence and is less than 155 characters.
  3. Put only your 8-10 keywords in the meta keywords tag, have them in the order of importance.

If you do this you should see your blog jump up the SERPs for your respective keywords. Here is an example of what I would have as the title, description and keywords for this blogs (SmartBloggerz) homepage:

  • <title>Make Money Online | Blogging Tips | Blogging Money</title>
  • Description: Make money online using our fantastic blogging tips. We guarantee that making money online is easy with our unique blogging guide.
  • Keywords: make money online, blogging tips, blogging money, blog make money, blogging make money, making money on the internet, blogging guide, blogging for money

I hope you found this little insight into my world of SEO interesting. These simple tips have helped to drive traffic to large and small blogs across the blogosphere. Have you forgotten to target your keywords?

About David Shaw

A blogger and SEO expert from Bristol, UK. I have run many successful blogs and written as a ghost writer on some of the top blogs on the Internet. I can currently be found blogging on my personal blog: David Shaw Blog, where I share tips and advice on blogging, Social Media and SEO.

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Dragos Balota October 18, 2010 at 8:37 pm

In the past I wasn’t so careful with my site description, I thought that the description is not that important, but after reading some article I found out that together with on page optimization and title will help allot the SEO. Thanks for this tips

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