You write a blog religiously every day or so. You provide informative, interesting content for your loyal readers. You've even got a couple of affiliate links in there, too. But is this enough to get great search engine results for your efforts?
Probably not. Sure, you'll get listed with the search engines easily. But without a top twenty listing at one of the majors (Google, Yahoo! or MSN), you won't have traffic, literally, banging down your door.
In order to get better search engine results you need to make sure you are using the right keywords (and know how to use them), have links pointed your way and regularly check the results of your hard work. Here's how.
Choosing Appropriate Keywords
Do you know what search terms your visitors are using to find you? Most blogging sites give you the option of checking up to see just how people found you. If you don't have this feature available, hop over to http://www.statcounter.com/ and install their free service on your blog immediately.
Next, research those keywords. Visit Overture's free site (http://inventory.overture.com/) and type in the most generic of the terms people are using to find your blog. You'll get a list of related keywords used at a major search engine in the past month. Although it is an oversimplification of the search engine optimization process, try and stick to the more unusual but natural-sounding keywords as your top picks.
Putting Keywords in the Right Places
Once you've picked a keyword that applies directly to your blog, make sure to incorporate it into the following portions of one complete blog posting:
# The title;
# The first sentence;
# Each header (if you have any);
# Once a paragraph; and
# The last sentence.
If you have any links to outside sources, use the same keyword as your link text where possible. Also, for each blog posting, try and pick a different (but related) keyword to use. Feel free to reuse keywords every 30-45 postings.
Submitting to Directories
Your third step is to take these keyword optimized blog postings and post them to the article and blog directories. Most of the search engines determine the relevancy of your blog by how many outside websites link directly to you; therefore, posting your blog entries (with a link back to your site in your resource blurb) is an easy and straightforward way of doing so.
Checking Your Progress
It may take a couple of days to see any results, so try and wait a week before you take a look at StatCounter. Have your hits increased at all? Are there any new search engine referrals?
To track your blog's ascent up the search engine rankings for any given keyword, try Digital Point's free Keyword Tracker Tool (http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/keywords/). It is an excellent way of ensuring your blog positioning efforts are paying off.
With all blog postings, content is key. Without useful, interesting information that cannot be found elsewhere, your visitors won't come back for more. Incorporate these simple search engine optimization techniques into your blogging practice however, and you'll both keep the visitors you already have and dramatically increase your readership through high ranking search engine placement in no time.