SEO – It Doesn’t Have To Be a Dirty Word for Bloggers

This is a guest post by Tom Mcloughlin.

blog seo In many blogging circles, SEO has a dirty reputation. This could be because of the countless generic emails bloggers receive every day asking for ‘valuable link exchange’. Or maybe it’s because they’re purists who don’t think they should change their writing style for ‘the bots’. Some just don’t like the fact that Google seems to have so much control over their success. So they discount SEO – why bother with dodgy tactics and sell your soul right?

This misunderstanding is holding hundreds/thousands/millions of bloggers back and preventing them from receiving traffic that could be theirs with just a few tweaks and a little effort. When done right, SEO is a great way to bring in new visitors in a sustainable way and build a foundation of new visitors coming to your blog on a day to day basis. And there’s no need to venture into the underworld and take sides with Lucifer.

Essentially, SEO is made up of 2 elements; on-site and off-site. The on-site part is well within your control so should be easy, but it’s amazing how many bloggers ignore it. The off-site part can be a little more daunting, but by following a few basic principles you don’t need to be a genius to be successful.

On-Site Optimisation

There are a few key elements in ensuring your blog is suitably optimised on page, and you don’t have to sacrifice your writing integrity to incorporate them. SEO Moz did a great break down of the perfect on page optimisation if you’re interested in more detail, but the few points below will stand you in good stead:

  • Keyword Research

    Always the first action before embarking on an SEO campaign: research phrases around what you write about on your blog and make a note of all the relevant phrases. This doesn’t have to be anything hugely technical, simply plug your phrases into Google’s Keyword Tool and see which variations it spits out with the best traffic levels.
  • Title Tags

    Once you’ve identified what your main target phrases are, incorporate them into your homepage title tag. It’s amazing how many bloggers don’t use their homepage title tag to the maximum and leave it as just their blog name. It’s the strongest page on your site and you have 66 to 70 characters available – use them!
  • Landing Pages

    If you’ve identified a few phrases which are relevant to your blog but can’t all be applied to the homepage then create different landing pages for them. Bloggers often ignore the use of ‘Pages’ and stick to just ‘Posts’, but static pages have a lot of ranking potential and should be exploited. If you don’t you’re missing a trick!
  • On Page Copy

    You don’t have to butcher your writing style to ensure your blog’s pages are optimised. Just make sure the target phrases you have identified are included somewhere in the copy. And if you’re thinking about throwing them in there 15 times then hit the rewind button! Once or twice will be more than enough, the key is to write naturally and for the reader. Which is what us bloggers want to do anyway. No problems there then. best blog design for seo

    Click image to go to source for full and larger picture

Off-Site Optimisation

Link Building. It’s a swear word isn’t it? Unfortunately bloggers have gained a bad impression of link building from the SEO spammers out there who send blanket emails out to every Joe Blogs (see what i did there?!) on the web.

It doesn’t have to be this way! There are loads of great ways to build links which are above board / white hat / Google friendly – whatever you want to call it. Google uses links as ‘votes of recommendation’, so if you’re not getting any then your presence in search engines will suffer. Below are some key methods of getting great links as well as making some friends along the way!

  • Guest Posting

    It’s been talked about so many times that I don’t need to go into any great detail on this one. Write guest posts for other bloggers in your niche and you get great links to your blog, loads of exposure and make some cool relationships with relevant people who you can work with to promote each other’s content until the cows come home. Do it!
  • Directory Submissions

    I hear the groans, but stay with me. I’m not talking about submitting to Find good, relevant directories in your niche and you can get some great links. Ignore the garbage ones which are full of spam and find the ones in your niche. These types of directories can provide traffic, will increase your number of links and will definitely help you on the road to SEO success. Google has even said that some of the most trusted links on the web are on sites like Best of the Web and Guess what? They’re directories!
  • Write Great Content. Promote it

    If you just write great content then you won’t get many, if any, links. This is the mistake many bloggers make. The key is in the promotion. Once you’ve written a fantastic post then get out there and tell people about it! This can be done via social media or by directly contacting people in your niche (remember those people you guest posted for earlier...). If your content is good enough and you tell enough people then the links will come to you.

These are just a few simple points which bloggers can use to ensure they are maximising their blogs from an SEO perspective. No comment spamming, no keyword stuffing, just good old fashioned white hat SEO!

If you’ve got any other SEO tips for bloggers then please share them in the comments!

About the author
Tom Mcloughlin works for the WebMarketing Group, a search engine optimisation company in the UK. He also writes a travel blog called Top Backpacking Destinations.

17 comments to "SEO – It Doesn’t Have To Be a Dirty Word for Bloggers"

Anonymous,  November 15, 2011 at 8:59 AM    

Tom Mcloughlin,

Excellent post and loved the way you write. Keep it up! :)

MUXLIMO November 15, 2011 at 10:34 AM    

Totally agree on "Blogdesign Killer SEO" concept. Yeah, great content with cool appearance will dominate the memory of visitors. :)

Tom November 15, 2011 at 4:37 PM    

Thanks for the comments guys, glad you enjoyed the post!

zulkbo November 15, 2011 at 6:52 PM    

very completed package
SEO strategy..thanks
for sharing here.

Anne Lyken-Garner November 15, 2011 at 7:06 PM    

Thanks for an extremely helpful post. You've gone into detail to actually give something to your readers and many bloggers don't do that. Thanks for being so helpful. I need all the help I can get when it comes to sEO.

Lizz November 16, 2011 at 10:11 AM    

wow! thanks a lot Tom for the great article! i will read it again and again. very helpful post! i will share it in my facebook ;)

Manuel Pinto November 17, 2011 at 12:55 PM    

Excellent!! Great writing!!
Thanks a ton for this post!! :)

Mart November 17, 2011 at 1:28 PM    

On- page optimization is the first thing to do while doing SEO then go for of page optimization. SEO is not a dirty word for bloggers. Also few days back mattcutss said in his video that google doesn't take SEO as spam. The thing you have to keep in mind is, accept only white hat SEO methods. Don't go for black hat seo tricks.

Removal Companies November 18, 2011 at 1:24 PM    

For optimization SEO played a very important role, key words are the main source of any website, guest posting and directory submission are very applicable for optimization of any website.

Beben Koben November 21, 2011 at 5:08 AM    

SEO for me still mysterious thing...xixixixi

Sourav December 2, 2011 at 6:47 AM    

:) Perfect!

Ken G. December 5, 2011 at 2:22 PM    

Most of the time, most new bloggers won't understand SEO. SEO is the most critical area of a successful blog. Thanks for the post.

home care medical milwaukee December 8, 2011 at 4:49 PM    

Thanks for an extremely helpful post. You've gone into detail to actually give something to your readers and many bloggers don't do that. Thanks for being so helpful. I need all the help I can get when it comes to sEO.

Seo Melbourne December 15, 2011 at 5:04 PM    

SEO is the most important area of a successful blog. Good Comprehensive Tutorial on SEO. Thanks for sharing.

roof repair virginia December 22, 2011 at 5:23 PM    

In recent times, On page seo has got much more value than the off page. Although off page seo works very well for the ranking.

Online Marketing Company Singapore May 15, 2012 at 4:45 PM    

A best discussion on the topic according to me, better content, informative post and effective planning to post are something I noticed about it

SEO services India July 25, 2012 at 5:17 PM    

The blog clears doubts about SEO's and shows how they too are a great medium.

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