10 helpful SEO tips for bloggers

Published on Feb 19, 2009   //  Guest Post

So, you are starting a blog now and wish to stand out in the cyber world. Well the cruel reality you might not know is that there’re 135 millions of ‘you’ according to Technorati. Yes, as a matter of fact, blogsphere is a crowded place. Apparently, it takes a lot more than just hard work to stand out from the crowd. You might think you have the best blog design and write the most interesting stories in the world but either one of these will not avoid you from sinking in the sea of blogs.

To success, bloggers need more than just writing interesting blog post. Search engine optimization (SEO), for example, is a crucial skill that every blogger should learn. By ranking better on search engines, you increase the possibility of your blog being viewed and expand its readership. While we might need an expert to perform advance SEO work; the basics, however, are not too tough to be done by ourselves.

In case you are willing to learn, here are the essential guides to bear in mind.

1. Study your market by doing detail keyword research

Before you start any SEO work, it’s important to know your direction. Good keyword research reveals your market trends and the competition. By targeting related keywords with low competition and high demand; you simply avoid tough SEO fights and increase your chances to be viewed by searchers.

To get the job done, you might want to check out Keyword Discovery, Google Keyword Tool, as well as Word Tracker – these are among the best keyword tools you can get online.

2. Write unique and keyword rich title tags.

A page title (namely the Title tag) is the most important onpage SEO element. Be very sure to include keywords in your title tags and do not repeat your title tags on all your web pages. In case you are running a WordPress blog, check out Stephen’s WP plugin on the title tags. It allows WP users to optimize their blog title tags easily and it’s highly recommended.

3. Get your own domain and hosting

Please, stop sweating on the blog that you run on free platform. Blogs on Blogger.com or WordPress.com are way too difficult to promote. A blog with the .blogspot or .wordpress extension project the ‘amateur image’ and it simply drives most webmasters away when you are suggesting them for partnership.

Hosting services nowadays are dead cheap; while domain name is often given for free when you subscribe to their services. BlueFur Unix hosting package for example, cost less than $7 per month and it allows you to host unlimited addon domains. So get your own domain name and web hosting as soon as possible.

4. Write link baiting blogpost

With the rise of Web 2.0 technology, gone are the days where you can trash Internet with junk contents. In fact, building informative too, is not enough. What you need to do is to create the kind of content that can grab readers and social bookmark users’ attention, Write content that makes people talk about it, share within their online social network, and link to it from their own blog.

All in all, write link baiting blogpost.

5. Write eye-catching headlines to draw reader’s attention

A good headline attracts readers to read further. As studied by Brian of CopyBlogger.com, 80% of the Internet readings are done on headlines. So make sure you spend enough effort in constructing your headlines for next blogpost.

What’s more about a good headline is their indirect SEO impact. Getting more readers to read further in turn offer better chances of a reader (who had read your post) write about you on their blogs. Such natural links are crucial and it offers valuable SEO values.

6. Use Heading tags appropriately

Headline tags are often misused by bloggers. Check your blog theme, does it have a tags on the sidebar with irrelevant heading text (example: Calender, Categories)? If so, your blog need more SEO work. To make sure your blog is well SEO-ed, one top thing to do is to remove or modify these headings into keyword-rich headings.

7. Construct proper internal links

Proper linking allows your users and search engine spiders to reach your content easily. A keyword-rich internal link offers indispensable SEO value and it helps your blogpost or page rank higher on search engines.

8. Quality inbound links are important; get them as much as you can

Basically a big part of the SEO work is all about link building. To rank high in search engines, Google especially, you need a lot of quality inbound links from related websites. Exchange links wisely with other blogs and websites in your industry; write guest posts for related blogs; stay active in well known related forums – these are some of the few ways you can develop incoming links for your blog.

9. Insert relevant keywords to image alt text

It’s always a good practice to insert descriptive keyword-rich alt text for your images. A relevant image alt text helps search engines spiders (as well as your users) to understand your images better. It in turn increases your blog’s SEO scores.

10. Avoid canonical issues

Originally, blogs built can be viewed in two editions: the non-WWW version and the WWW version. However, search engines are unable to recognize the issue occasionally and penalized innocent blog owners for putting up duplicated content (same content for http://www.yourblog.com and http://yourblog.com). Even if there’s no punishment imposed, the blog indexed twice will have difficult time to rank high as the back links are pooled over two separated pages.

To avoid this, simply create an account with Google Webmaster Tools and tell them which version of your blog is preferred. Alternatively, a simple 301 Redirect code in your root .htaccess file will be sufficient to prevent such hassles.

This guest article is written by Jerry of Web Hosting Secret Revealed. Jerry inspects and reviews web hosting services based on his own usage experience. Readers looking for honest hosting advice are recommended to visit his blog at Web Hosting Secret Revealed.

Would you like to guest post on the BlueFur Blog? Send me a tweet on twitter if your interested.

10 Things I Hate About Web Hosts

Published on Feb 9, 2009   //  Guest Post
Off

ihatewebhosts

1 - Over Selling
I hate over selling host that sell ‘unmetered’ hosting for the price of cheese burger! There is nothing unlimited in these world. If a host says, “Sir, You need our Mega World Class Deluxe Enterprise plan with UNLIMITED Disk Space and Bandwidth which costs only $4.95 a month” it won’t last for longer than a few months or their service is probably a dud!

2 - No Cpanel
If a web host doesn’t offer Cpanel – Its not a web host!

3 - Long Term Contracts
This is my personal opinion; I do not like hosts that charge yearly or semi yearly. I would like to try their hosting by paying monthly for a month or two and then decide if I would like to go ahead and pay for a year!

4 - Slow/Bad Support
A good web host will always reply to your ticket within 2 hours, A better one within 30 minutes and the best one asap! The web host must have a support staff which has basic knowledge of PHP/SQL so that he can help the customer better :)

5 - False Claims
This includes claims like 100% uptime, 1000 mbit speed, 27/7 support etc. Many web hosts do what they claim to (like BlueFur), but many are just BSing!

6 - Sick Policies
I don’t like policies which restrict a client from transferring their domain to another registrar/web host only after 6 months of service. Some of their policies are really sick! So read their policies before you sign up. (This is the case with many web hosts these days)

7 - No Refund
The client has the right to have a refund if he has used the service for less than 7 days and is unhappy. Web Hosts should offer a refund if the client is not happy.

8 - Not offering an affiliate program
My personal opinion; Web hosts which offer an affiliate program are better than the ones which don’t. Reason: They allow their clients to make money with them ;)

9 - Ordinary Promotions
An ordinary promotion benefits you, an extra ordinary promotion benefits your pocket! A host charging $100/year for 10 GB Space/100 GB Bandwidth and giving a free domain/$50 Ad words/$50 Yahoo Credits blah blah would be an ordinary promotion; A web host giving you a 50% recurring discount with quality service – Priceless! ;)

10 - If its not…
To be honest, I couldn’t think of another one.(I know there are many more reasons why people hate web hosts). So my last one would be: A web host that doesn’t have “BlueFur” in their name ;)

This post was guest blogged by Monty from WebHostingOffers.org. To find reviews on web hosts and much more visit WebHostingOffers.org.

Would you like to guest post on the BlueFur Blog? Send me a tweet on twitter if your interested.