By Kristin Schwartz | Echo
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a popular concept, but the average blogger may be confused about how to apply it to an actual blog. The good news is that it's not that difficult. By applying three very useful practices, a blogger can avoid getting lost in the Internet sea.
Choose a blog theme. This is a topic that could be easy to write a variety of posts about on a regular basis. A good blog writer writes about a topic that he knows and is interested in. Having a theme streamlines blogging, giving writers target keywords to rank on in search engines, and sets them apart from all the other bloggers in the world who write with no specific purpose. Become useful and unique, a blog with value, even if an occasional post about dinner or the guy down the hall sneaks in.
After choosing a theme, pick out a list of keywords that search engines will associate with the theme (Google's keyword planner is helpful for this). Don't fill the blog post with keywords, but use them when they are applicable.
The most valuable part of blog optimization is remarkable content. People return for good posts and ultimately, search engines cater to people. Outline content, write it, edit and edit again before posting. It's worth the work
Everyone loves to come up with a funny or snappy title, but these should be used sparingly. Write genius content, and then be logical with titles. Keyword lists and titles are a blogger's best friends. Identifying content in a title is imperative. Search engines look at the title first to understand the post. Giving content an unrelated title confuses the search engine and the audience, both of which hurt SEO ratings. Choose the primary keyword from the post and incorporate it into the title.
When a blog links to another website, it's called an outbound link. When another site links to that blog, it's called an inbound link. Outbound links are a great way to interact with readers and help them understand the content of the blog. Make sure to link to reputable sites, and use specific wording in the text link (e.g. "in this article on puppies" rather than "here").
Inbound links are basically votes, other websites telling the search engine that this site is worth reading. A blogger can't force inbound links, but by optimizing content, titles and outbound links, they can encourage them.
While there is no set formula for SEO, these methods have proven to be effective. There are many more practices that are helpful, and this infographic shows a few of them. Google Analytics is a useful (and free) tool that can help measure how effectively a blogger is applying these methods and assist in helping them reach the masses.
Kristin Schwartz is a blogger, professional writer, and the author of an instruction manual on search engine optimization, a subject she has studied extensively. Her manual can be seen on Indiana State University's website.