Hive Health Media

How to Optimize Your Blog for SEO?

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As a preface, here’s a lengthy and detailed post that I had written approximately three years ago.  I thought it would be interesting to revise this post for 2013 with some of the new algorithm changes brought forth with Google’s Penguin and Panda updates.  Tips that are no longer relevant will be visible with strikethrough text.  Any new information added to this post will be indicated by italics.  

Feel free to share your thoughts on the changing landscape of SEO and tips for 2013 and beyond.  

Okay, so maybe you’re a doctor, nurse, chiropractor, personal trainer, or other expert in your field.  You decide one day that you’re going to start a blog and share your accrued wisdom with the world while maybe making a few bucks while you’re at it…

Maybe you think it would be expensive , time-consuming, or too complicated to set up your own blog (on a .com domain), so you head over to Blogspot or WordPress.com to get a free blog.  It seems like a good idea at the time…  That’s probably your first mistake.  You’re far better off starting off with your own domain which you own.  If you switch later, you will lose all of the backlinks that you built up over time.

There are ways of using redirects to transfer some of this PageRank albeit with an incremental loss.  

SEO e1323763374962 How to Optimize Your Blog for SEO?

Is If Difficult to set up Your Own Blog?

You may be amazed to find out how easy and inexpensive it actually is to create your own self-hosted blog on a custom domain.  Surprisingly you can obtain your own domain name and hosting for a WordPress blog for between $20-$70 for the entire first year depending on the hosting service and plan that you choose.  After that, most have a ‘one-click’ install button (aka the easy button) and you’re off to the races, right?

Well, close but not quite.  WordPress software is open-source which means that it’s free to use.  As well, there are thousands of free WordPress blog themes, so it’s easy to find one of these that will suit your needs while starting out.  It’s also pretty intuitive to use, so you should be able to figure out how to get started.  You will need to install some plugins to back up your website and for other functions as well.  All of the plugins that you’ll probably ever need are also free. WordPress also has a helpful support forum if you run into any problems.

Let me get this straight…  WordPress (Automattic) spends time and money-making a great, free, software program which they update regularly  for people to run and manage their blogs.  The software itself is ad and spam free too. Then other people make free plugin software and themes for WordPress as well.  Yeah, I know, it is an interesting business model.

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  • http://www.gazzconsulting.com gazzconsulting

    It’s important to note that guidelines from Google recently have suggested not to optimize web sites and blogs for SEO just for SEO sake, rather focus on providing engaging and original content that visitors want to read. Too often in the past targeted keywords solely drove blog postings to the detriment of good interesting content, and now Google is better at seeing through that. So write what is relevant and unique for your blog, and SEO and optimization will follow.

    Thanks

    • http://www.jarretmorrow.com Jarret Morrow M.D.

      While Google’s certainly getting better at flagging SEO spam type content, I’m no so sure we’re at the point where great content alone is nearly sufficient.
      For keyword searches in our niche, it’s still largely dominated by strong domains such as mayoclinic.com, ehow.com, wikihow.com, livestrong.com, etc. Outside of that, keyword domains still do surprisingly well–an SEO strategy that’s been abused for years.
      Here’s a litmus test–If you have a Nobel Prize winner write an article on random domain vs someone from Demand Media who’s paid $15 to write an article for Livestrong–what ranks better in search? I’d put my money on the article published on the better domain.

  • http://www.abipo.com/blog Abipo Web Design Northern Ireland

    Yes, I’m starting to agree that Page Rank is not as important these days. While my website has climbed up the SERPS since January, my Page Rank has actually fallen. So don’t become obsessed with this one.

    /Brian

  • http://www.ezzal.com Dharshan Venkadesan

    Thank you. Some useful tips there !

  • http://www.jarretmorrow.com Jarret Morrow

    @Philip,

    Well, it depends on the type of SEO that companies offer as well. The ones that specialize in managing Google Adword campaigns probably are less focused about enhancing the organic SEO of their own websites–if they’re getting significant referral business. So, I do agree with you to an extent about that.

    I’ve worked with various SEO companies in the past. Being able to demonstrate success on their own websites does not necessarily translate into success for their clients–particularly if their client’s products are in a different niche. Also companies that are good at organic SEO might not be very good at managing ad campaigns and vice versa.

    From what I’ve experienced, it’s easy to get impressed by some of the larger SEO companies since they have both high-profile clients and successful traffic/SEO on their own websites. However, if you as a client are not among their top clients, your file will probably get assigned to one of their less experienced managers. In that case, a better fit might be finding the best person at a smaller company than an entry-level person at a large company.

  • Philip

    Also note that some SEO companies don’t try to optimize their own sites for SEO because they get most of their business through referrals.