Here are nine blogging tips aimed to assist with creating a reader and search engine friendly blog.
1. Dynamic content on your blog’s front (home) page will be more likely to attract new readers and keep the interest of regular readers. Endeavor to post content that frequently changes while remaining on-topic for your audience.
- Understand that many readers consider static front page content such as click through each time landing pages with “enter” to be annoying and/or passe`. And causing regular readers to click through content that could bore or annoy them is taking an unnecessary risk that could send them off your blog.
- The greater the number of posts with images and embeds in them there are, the slower the page loading time will be for your readers. Also be mindful that scrolling can cause readers to become bored and that could send them off your blog. Limit the number of posts on the front page and maintain a high “signal-to-noise” ratio. Keep the content of the front page focused on one or two topics at most.
2. Structure your site for your readers – The way your site is structured either helps or hinders your users to understand what your site is about and to locate content of interest to them. No potential reader likes feeling lost so be sure that the structure is simple and the navigation aids are intuitive. Clarity and simplicity go hand in hand so the KISS principle and the “less is more” motto are applicable.
- Structure your blog with a clear hierarchy and text links. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
- Keep the links on any given page to a reasonable number (fewer than 100).
- Offer a site map to your users with links that point to the important sections of your blog. If the site map is larger than 100 or so links, then break the site map into separate pages.
3. Write for readers because they come to your blog to read your content. So write interesting and informative posts on topics that will draw traffic to your blog.
4. Use Keywords that are the search terms that readers use to locate content that interests them. Think about the words readers would type to find your blog, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.
5. Integrate keywords into your URL structure and into relevant categories and tags. Every wordpress blog post title becomes a permalink so choose strong and relevant keywords to “anchor your text.” Note that link text in the body of your posts should be descriptive of what you are linking to, rather than text like “click here.”
6. Use distinct titles, headers and section headlines and be conscious of the need for “white space”. Writing for the web requires an approach that engages readers and large blocks of text are not reader friendly. The literary rules with regard to paragraph breaks may need to be adapted to keep readers reading until the end of a long post.
- Break the text into smaller paragraphs and sections and use images and text wrapping to help you achieve engagement.
- Do not use images to display important names, content, or links because the crawler doesn’t recognize text contained in graphics. Use ALT attributes if the main content and keywords on your page can’t be formatted in regular HTML.
8. Take time to validate your html and to test that your links in working order prior to publication.
9. Track your links and learn some Blogroll wisdom. It’s a fallacy to believe that a long Blogroll is an asset. Consider that if you have a Blogroll with 100 external links displaying on every page of your blog ( some themes are structured to display Blogrolls on every page) then you need many internal links and reciprocal links to retain your Page Rank. Consider also that reicprocal links to unrelated sites and especially those that have low pageranks lack the value that links to related high quality high ranking sites have. Keep your blogroll short and link only to related high quality sites.
Updated and Edited: October 6, 2013, June 27, 2011, January 20th, 2009.
References and related posts:
Basic SEO for Bloggers
12 Step Blog Evaluation
Blogging: Learning SEO is worth the effort
Google Webmaster Guidelines
How can I create a Google friendly site?
How to: Google site verification
Improving Your Google Page Rank
Technorati: The Six Month Link Window.