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Can You SEO Your Blog?

by Mitch

seo blog

There are many different theories on the concept of making sure that one’s blog posts are set up properly using SEO tactics. The initial question of whether one can SEO their blogs may seem like a stupid one, because the answer seems to obviously be “yes”. However, if you look at it more thoroughly, you might find that the real answer you’re looking for isn’t where you thought it might be.

For instance, say your blog is on flowers, any type of flower. The first thing you’ve done is, hopefully, purchased a domain name that has something to do with flowers. Next, you’ve coded your site so that it’s indicating that your site is about flowers. Then you start writing your articles about all sorts of flowers such as roses, violets, whatever. Many times you may or may not use the word “flower” in the post; are you missing out on SEO opportunities by not using those words, or by not finding keyword phrases to use in your copy?

The answer is no. The reality of blogs is that if your earliest works are what establishes how you’re going to be found on search engines, everything else basically just enhances what it is you talk about. For instance, when people go looking for roses, they don’t type “flowers roses” into a search engine. They type in “rose”, “red”, “growing roses”, or something like that. Sure, someone along the way might type in “rose flower growers”, but it’s probably rare and it won’t matter much anyway.

I have found that when I review my statistics in Google Analytics that quite often words I think people are finding my blogs for aren’t close to the truth. Sometimes, people find my blog for terms I’ve never even wrote about, that must have somehow come up through a combination of words I used in a post.

Does this mean one shouldn’t try to use proper SEO tactics when writing their blog posts? Not at all. What it does mean is that it’s probably better for you to sound natural when you’re writing your posts because that’s how people are going to search for whatever it is you’re writing on. Trying to set up a campaign where every article you write uses a particular word or phrase 5 times or more makes your post look stupid. It’s possible that you might bring in some traffic, but no one wants to read that. If no one’s reading your posts, then the point of SEO is null and void.

Don’t get obsessed with the concept of SEO for your blog. Just write your articles as naturally as you can, be conversational, and make your blog both a pleasant and educational experience. And if you can be entertaining as well, it’s all good.

Article by

Mitch Mitchell is the founder and owner of I'm Just Sharing, a blog that talks about blogging, social media, and anything else that's internet related. You can check him out at I'm Just Sharing.

Mitch has written 2 articles at iBlogzone.com

1

Mitch Mitchell

September 7, 2010 at 10:41 pm

RT @ditesco: Can You SEO Your Blog? http://bit.ly/dqOQsk

2

ConnieFoggles

September 8, 2010 at 2:40 am

RT @ditesco: Can You SEO Your Blog? http://bit.ly/dqOQsk

3

Peter J

September 8, 2010 at 9:22 am

I’ve ended up moving of analytics because it doesn’t provide quality information. Statistics directly from wordpress seems better and i get much better information 😀

4 Mitch September 8, 2010 at 11:07 pm

I’m not really sure the issue is Analytics or not when it comes to the search terms, but in any case you probably see people finding your site for some of the strangest things.

5 Ana @ Targeted Website Traffic September 8, 2010 at 10:21 pm

I do not entirely agree with your point, Mitch, that it’s not worth worrying about SEO.

Counting on luck when it comes down to Google is not the best idea, in my humble opinion.

I do agree that every once in a while a post pops up on first page of Google with no effort at all. However, it will require further optimization to get it to #1 spot.

Why does it matter? Because the difference in traffic between #1 rank and any other in the top 10 can be as much as 35-55%.

What do you think?

Ana Hoffman

6 Mitch September 9, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Ana, I still believe I’m correct, and I’ll tell you why. SEO overall works differently for blogs than it does for websites. A static website might get lucky enough to have 30 to 50 pages on average, and those pages have to carry the bulk of the SEO for a long time, since websites aren’t updated as often.

When it comes to blogs, if you’re a consistent writer you’re not going to have that same issue. If I write a real estate blog and I decide to write a post on “forensic loan analysis”, and I try to optimize that post for that term, based on the rest of my content the odds of that post sticking out enough to make an impact on the search engines is close to nonexistent because all my other content, both past and future, is going to overwhelm it. A “one and done” post isn’t going to get me far on the search engines generally, although every once in a while a fluke happens.

However, if all of my posts are consistently about certain topics, I have a much better opportunity to be found if I make sure to keep all my individual posts concerning my main topics. Remember, I didn’t say don’t do any SEO work; I just said stressing about it to the extent that your content looks screwy isn’t a good idea.

7 Ana | Traffic Generation Cafe September 9, 2010 at 7:00 pm

I agree that you should not overcrowd your posts with keywords.

That’s not good for the readers and it’s not good for SEO, as a matter of fact.

We’ll just have to disagree on this one, Mitch (plus I entirely side with Kathy below) – there is absolutely NO DIFFERENCE between SEOing a blog and a static site. I am not sure where your opinion comes from and I would’ve loved to hear more on that in your post.

Thanks, Mitch!

Ana

8 Mitch September 9, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Lots of research. I run my own SEO company, and I belong to a group of people who do the same in this area. We talk about this stuff all the time, and disagree often with what the mainstream believes when it comes down to what we term “over the top” SEO methods. My clients have been happy with the results, so it’s okay that we disagree.

9

Jarret

September 12, 2010 at 4:18 pm

I would tend to agree with Ana, though I also agree that it’s important for a post to not appear to be read like its optimized for keyword density and key search phrases.

I have to admit that when I first started blogging, it was to build links for 3 shopping cart sites that my then company maintained. I didn’t know much about SEO back then, but I did get create the ‘bad’ habit of attempting to write for SEO.

Old habits can be hard to break though and it’s not a particularly engaging style.

10

Kathy

September 8, 2010 at 10:48 pm

If you try though Mitch you can probably get those 5 instances of phrases into your article while still having it make sense. You just have to be creative. In my opinion it is definitely worth it.

The money is still in SEO. The best traffic is the traffic that comes from organic search results. It is the best because it is free and highly targeted if you are choosing your keyword targets carefully. Choose keywords that represent people researching a purchase. That traffic will buy through your affiliate links and click on your ads.

11 Mitch September 9, 2010 at 12:18 am

Kathy, I did add that doing proper SEO is still the way to go, but what I see often is people writing something that looks really stupid in the middle of their article.

For me, I don’t want to go backwards and have to look at a blog post a second time to try to fit in keywords. I just don’t think a lot of people are really skilled at doing it and making it look natural. I’d rather get my SEO by how much content I can push out and go that route.

12

Kathy

September 9, 2010 at 12:56 am

That makes sense Mitch.

13

Michele

September 13, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Hi Mitch,

I agree in that your sole focus should not just be on SEO and keywords but rather writing for your audience and not search engines.

I too get visits from keywords that appear to be just a mix of words found on my site, such as “alt tag blogger” . However, I get very few visits from these types of keywords. It’s also important to note that they usually result in a bounce rate of 100% as oppose to my more targeted keywords.

I do you think SEO should be in the back of your mind, but not the driving force to how you set up content… in particular, it you are writing articles.

This is one of those topics people can debate about for hours. 😉 At the end of the day, if you set up your site properly with target keywords, include your keywords at some point in your articles and continue working on your marketing efforts, than eventually you will start seeing results.

Thanks for sharing Mitch!

14 Mitch September 13, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Thanks Michele. You’re right, hours, days, weeks of discussion and debate and there wouldn’t be a consensus at the end of the day.

15

Aaron

September 14, 2010 at 12:11 am

Good tips Mitch. I don’t think SEO should be ignored for blogs, but a lot of time can be spent afterwards if you do not prepare your posts in the first place. Put some small time and effort into your posts, and there will be much less work to do after the fact. It took me a while to realize this, but I am much more efficient now.

16 Mitch September 14, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I’m glad it works for you, Aaron; I try to do the same thing.

17

Ileane@Basic Blog Tips

September 15, 2010 at 9:03 am

Hi Mitch, what a nice surprise to see you guest posting here. 🙂 I agree that using WordPress stats sheds a different light on your traffic. I was so used to using it on my free Wordpress blog that I think it’s certainly worthwhile to compare the two.

Now that I can see AdSense in Google Analytics it makes sense to keep it around just to save time. It will be really cool to see some earnings.

Thanks for the post.

18 Mitch October 7, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Earnings are always great, Ileane, and tracking what’s popular could help target certain things here and there. Good luck to you on it all.

19

Jason

September 15, 2010 at 3:31 pm

great views about blog SEO there Mitch. As an SEO practitioner myself, I don’t really build up my targeted keywords on the body copy of the content. Stop measuring the post’s keyword density and start writing for real people. But on the other hand, what I believe that does work when you really want your page to rank highly on SERPs is to just mention your targeted keyword on:

– title
– url
– once in the body (no particular placement, but it’s best to mention it on the first paragraph)
– highlight a definition of your targeted keyword
– include synonyms
– build at least 5 external links pointing to that post using your targeted keyword as anchor text (you can also take advantage of commentluv blogs for this task).

That’s it 🙂 quite simple I suppose.

Regards,
Jason

20 Mitch October 7, 2010 at 9:30 pm

Great stuff, Jason. That was really my biggest point; the bulk of what one writes will really determine how well certain articles will do on the back end. You don’t negate SEO totally, but trying to work hard to make every single article perfectly optimized is a waste of one’s time; you could write 3 articles in the time it takes to scrutinize one article that much.

At least I can. lol

21

Tycoon Blogger

September 21, 2010 at 12:17 am

RT @ditesco: Can You SEO Your Blog? http://su.pr/9jcu69

22

web marketing company

October 7, 2010 at 11:11 am

Great post.In order to SEO your blog, you have to do all possible things that are helpful for your blog ranking high in search engine.Make sure that the content of your blog should be unique with proper anchor scheme and keywords at better position and placement.

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