Sep 8, 2007

Even More Tips on Improving Your Blog

Image of Blogger Beta logo courtesy of Blogger and Google This is part of a series of posts on improving the search engine optimization and traffic counts of individual blogs. Previous articles focused on SEO, the importance of keywords, using imags to generate site traffic, and producing quality content.

In previous posts this series has focused on a number of simple steps bloggers can take to increase blog traffic and improve search engine optimization. This segment will focus on post-level techniques of improving search results for your site and making your posts eye-appealing.

1. Create titles that are search-friendly. As a writer, I am fond of creating titles with double entendres, alliteration, and other rhetorical tricks. Unfortunately, search engines like Google and Yahoo have no capacity to comprehend your cleverness, and basic titles with important keywords will fetch much better search results than, say, references to Lord Byron poetry.

2. Keep post paragraphs between four and six lines. Now, writers have their own styles, and some of you will squawk at the idea of breaking up the brilliant 32-line paragraph that you spent so much time developing. Still, blogging shares with traditional journalism many traits, especially the idea of short paragraphs, as longer paragraphs turn away many readers who are daunted by the wordiness. Most of my non-acaedmic writing on this site is composed of 2-3 sentence paragraphs that are 4-6 lines in length. I also like to throw in the occasional short sentence as a way to emphasize a point, or to jar a reader out of a repetitive passage.

Just as I am doing right here.

3. Find a way to include relevant images in every post. Let's face facts - readers have millions of options on the Internet, and sometimes you only have milliseconds to covince a reader that your blog merits further atention. Images are an effective tool to hook a new site visitor, especially if you spend a few minutes finding an intriguing image. If you are concerned about copyrights (as you should be), be sure to learn more about fair use doctrines before posting an image, and include a fair use disclosure statement on your site.

4. Include some relevant hyperlinked keywords in every post. Keywords will not magically catapult your post and your site to the top of the search engines, but the likes of Google and Yahoo certainly give weight to keywords. Be careful, though, not to oversaturate your post with repetitive keywords, or you can be penalized by the search engines.

1 comment:

Mad Jack said...

5. Publish nude pictures and commentary about public nudity under the guise of social reform.

6. Select a rabid left wing group that gets marginal coverage in MSM and write a supportive article about their organization under a nom de plume. Use obscure references, five dollar words and don't forget to be considerate of everyone's feelings. Alert the right wing opposition to this piece of gibberish and watch the fur start to fly.

7. Don't be afraid to publish a complete fabrication about another blogger, particularly a popular blog. When people react, repeatedly disclaim all knowledge of how the juicy tidbit got on your blog in the first place. Say that you'd never believe it (the fabricaton) even if it were true, which it isn't. Is it?

8. Take a digital photo of your spouse sitting on the toilet in the morning and publish it. Start a contest to see who can publish the photo that will get their spouse or significant other pissed off the quickest and stay that way the longest. Award bonus points for nudity that everyone wants to see.

8a. Claim that you can't delete any of the photos.