Stand Out From The Crowd – Creating Epic Blog Posts

Putting together an effective and meaningful blog post nowadays requires quite a bit of planning in advance, as the game has gotten so much more involved in recent years. After the one-two SEO punch delivered by the Panda and Penguin algorithm updates, staying in the good graces of Google’s search engine is a tall order. When crafting the perfect blog post, there are a couple of important details to keep in mind. If you take an analytical approach to writing blog posts, you’ll find yourself becoming a far more productive overall blogger in no time.

Fine-tune Your Keywords and Content

Though the algorithms used by Google and Bing for ranking websites in their own SERPs change more or less every day, many best practices remain fairly consistent. The primary and secondary keywords that you use to optimize your content should be thoroughly researched before you get started. Google’s over-optimization penalty introduced with Penguin makes selecting the proper keywords more difficult but not impossible. Start by using the Adwords Keyword Tool to find low-competition keywords that’ll assist your posts in appealing to the right niches.

Multimedia Elements

Dog Food Infographic Screenshot
Infographics – A great way to brighten up your blog

Incorporating rich media content like infographics and videos helps to flesh out and clarify your talking points. They’re also increasingly important for SEO regardless of the nature of the content involved. Just make sure to optimize your media content to deliver the best web experience possible.

Images should be in PNG format so that resolution and quality aren’t affected by the viewing window. Include links to fallback video formats like Ogg and M4V for devices that can’t run Flash. Whipping up eye-catching graphics doesn’t have to cost much if you use free tools like Pixlr and Splashup.

Standing Out: Find Your Voice

If you want a terrific example of somebody who leaves a lasting impression with their blogging style, look no further than the great Seth Godin. He’s a writer who imbues every word with meaning and doesn’t beat around the bush when making a point. Bland, trite blogging styles are a dime a dozen online, so it’s important to have a fresh and unique point of view. As for optimal word counts for blog posts, there is no perfect number. However, posts between 600 and 1000 words tend to feature lower bounce rates than overly long compositions.

Underneath the Hood Optimization

Rich Snippets Author Markup
Rich Snippets – Author Markup

In addition to keyword and media optimization, meta data is an important SEO consideration that should not be ignored. Facebook’s Open Graph makes incorporating meta data into web pages quite easy. Rich Snippets of the RDFa variety are becoming more and more important when it comes to ranking highly in the SERPs of the major search engines. Essentially, Rich Snippets and other forms of meta data help web spiders to form a more complete and accurate picture of any given website.

Market Research and Target Audiences

Churning out the most compelling content in the world won’t help you if it’s targeted at the wrong audience. That’s why market research and analytics are crucial if you want to blog effectively over the long haul. Targeting your audience of choice through keyword research isn’t that difficult. It’s analyzing the impact and ROI of your content after the fact that’s more challenging. Just because your blog posts are well-received and widely read doesn’t mean that they’ll help you to accomplish your long-term goals. If you’re blogging for fun or leisure, it doesn’t really matter. Otherwise, you’ll need to come up with a blogging strategy that actually pays dividends.

Odds & Ends

Aside from the technical details outlined above, there are a few other points to consider when slapping the finishing touches on your latest blog post. For one, you’ll need to remember to incorporate internal linking in your posts. When you publish something worthwhile, people will want to link to specific portions of your posts that are relevant to their own readers and associates. Also, include links within your post that lead to other pages on the same domain to increase page views and retain visitors.

The Long View

When all is said and done, all the tricks in your SEO play book won’t camouflage weak content. Free web applications like Google Analytics can assist you in sifting through raw traffic data to gauge the effectiveness of your efforts. Ultimately, there is no such thing as the perfect blog post. You’ll always be striving for perfection and falling just short of it. The key is to keep working at it and learning as you go. As you refine your technique and learn from your mistakes, your posts will improve steadily and incrementally with each writing.

This article is written by Matt Beswick. He is the co-founder of Pet365, one of the UK’s fastest growing online pet retailers. If you wish to write for HBB, kindly check this.

5 SEO Strategies For Making Money With Your Blog

SEO Money TrafficWhy do people blog? Most likely, they think they have something important or interesting to share. But what’s the point if no one reads it? Anyone can write a blog but few will find it. Word of mouth only goes so far and the lucky few whose blogs go viral, well, they’re just lucky.

If your blog is more than just a hobby—if you want to make money from blogging—driving traffic to your blog is critical. Getting people to your blog requires the same tactics as getting people to any website: SEO.

How to Use SEO to Bring Traffic to Your Blog

1. Know Your Audience

Most bloggers write for a specific niche. In any niche, there are keywords that bring high traffic to the blog and can lead to a page one ranking. And that, of course, is the goal! Get your blog to page one and you’ve made it!

2. Identify Those Niche Keywords

Do your keyword research. Find out what keywords people are searching on and how competitive they are. Don’t skimp on this step—this is an important foundation for SEO.

3. Write For Your Readers, Not the Search Engines

Contrary to what you may have heard, your readers are your first consideration, not the search engines. If you’re thinking primarily about writing “search friendly” content, you risk alienating your readers. Once you’ve identified your niche keywords, you can quite naturally incorporate them into your blog without sacrificing the quality of your writing.

Bonus: Your keyword-rich blog is more search friendly!

4. The Two Sides of SEO

Onsite SEO is responsible for about 30% of your rankings. That means priming your website for the search engines. There are many resources on the web that explain the basics of onsite SEO. That’s actually the easy part. Off-site SEO is all about backlinks, which are absolutely critical for rankings and traffic. Offsite SEO starts with solid keyword research. Then, you need to work on getting links from other websites that have content similar to yours. This is not a simple task. These other websites/bloggers want top rankings on the same keywords as you.

5. How Can a Blogger Get Links?

If you’re a blogger with a limited budget (or no budget at all), hiring a SEO firm is probably not an option. What you can do is this: write great content. Use your talents, creativity, originality, everything you’ve got to make your content stand above the others in your niche. Believe it or not, even your competitors will link to your blog if your content is stellar.

This article is written by Adam Stetzer, Ph.D., an avid blogger and President of the HubShout SEO Reseller company. If you wish to write for us, kindly check this.

3 Recipes For Effective Search Engine Optimization

SEO RecipesYour optimization campaign has quite much to do in the success of your site. And this makes it utterly important for you to handle your campaign with due care, nurture it like a tender sapling, plan it most vigorously, finally execute it like a well rehearsed show/event, so that the final outcome is no less than an Oscar or Emmy award for you!

Below you’ll find a recipe for conducting an effective search engine optimization.

1st Recipe: Nurturing your campaign

Since your entire SEO campaign revolves round the keywords, its effectiveness can be decided by the way you research for your keywords, choose them, and use them.

Your Keyword Selection

The way you research and select your keywords can make your site an enviable success or pitiable loss. You can surely define these magic words as your language of conversion which when is well understood by a webmaster, more users are conveyed the message bringing in more traffic but when not understood well, can even take away your present traffic. You should be aware of the language that your targeted audiences speak and use while conducting searches, your industry based terms, the words that your competitors target and rank well for and so on.

How should your Keyword Research be?

Your keyword research should start with a thorough study of your business niche, site theme, the current searching trends, and in-depth knowledge of your audience. Once you are aware what kind of audience you are going to target, the language trends, slangs and peculiarities of the way they conduct a search, you’ll easily be able to track them and turn them up into your traffic.

Check what keywords your competitors are using and how much are they benefitted by them. Which of them are ranking well, which aren’t ranking that well, will the same prove helpful for you, how can you use the same for your campaign and so on. Take help of special research tools, check out what others are doing, do your homework well.

2nd Recipe: Planning your Campaign Vigorously

On Page Part

Your vigorous plan includes your decisions that will help you turn your site into a well-baked cake which has both proper ingredients and proper icing and no cluttering in the over all making, baking and presentation. Well, in simple words, you’ve got to check out whether your site has all its pages in the right order, i.e. the content is relevant with proper keyword concentration, your tags are correct, your Meta Description says exactly what you want people to know about your site, and so on.

Off Page Part

Again, you’ll have to decide what link building practices you should be dealing with. If you are to go for article submission, what submission platforms and directory should you choose, is there any platform specially dedicated to the theme of your site; if you are to go for blogging and guest blogging search out all the blogs related to your niche; choose the social media sites that will best publicize your web presence, and so on.

This part will again require a lot of research to decide what best suits your site for its success.

3rd Recipe: Execute your Campaign like a Well Rehearsed Event

Having made out what changes and additions you should be making to your site, selected your keywords have them included in your pages, searched out the blogging platforms, content sharing sites, created your social media presence and so on, it is the time when you kick-start the real campaign. Start creating best possible content and use them in your link building through article submission, blogging, guest posting, go for social bookmarking, share your share-worthy news pieces, content, and so on through social media sites, and etc.

This is the main part as here you bring your research into action. You do the things in real and see how they are working and do it in the best possible way like a well rehearsed show or event.

If you’ll deal with your campaign as discussed above, it will surely prove to be an effective search engine optimization campaign bringing in sweet rewards of success for your site.

This article is written by Sunny Makkar. He is from SEOCommunity which provides a platform to all Indian SEO Professionals, Webmasters, Bloggers and Internet Marketers. If you wish to write for us, kindly check this.