Boost Your Blog's SEO with These 6 Actionable Steps

Your blog is a powerful tool. Publishing blog content on a regular basis can provide an organization with a number of distinct benefits, which include:
  • Brand building and awareness.
  • Positioning yourself as a thought leader.
  • Demonstrating your (or your organization's) expertise.
  • Developing relationships within your niche.
  • Fostering an engaged and active community.
  • Generating leads.
Blogging is also powerful from an SEO standpoint as well. Strategic and active blogging can help you:
  • Incite more crawling – the more you publish, the more your site gets crawled.
  • Penetrate more keyword verticals.
  • Attract links – provided you're promoting your content; passive link acquisition is difficult if not impossible for most sites.
  • Generate social signals.
  • Drive more organic traffic.
Despite the inherent "SEO value" of blogging, many blogs just aren't properly optimized for search, or aren't optimized to their fullest potential. As such, these blogs aren't working as hard as they could be for an organization from an SEO standpoint.
Many of the fixes and improvements you can make are really quite simple. Let's take a look at six steps every organization can take today to improve their blog's SEO.

1. Practice Good Pagination

Pagination on a blog is a system for enumerating pages so you can organize and archive content. Pagination is particularly helpful for usability because housing all your blog posts on a single page that scrolls endlessly isn't a practical or user-friendly approach. A single page with hundreds of blog entries would undoubtedly hurt load times too.
When it comes to SEO, pagination implemented correctly maximizes "crawl depth" and makes your content easier for engines to access by reducing the number of clicks needed to reach deeper, archived pages. In addition, proper pagination is a scalable way to flow more (or a larger percentage) of PageRank to your archived content.
Here are some solid examples of SEO-friendly pagination (multiple, numbered hyperlinks means fewer clicks to reach older content).
It isn't just blogs. Search engines practice good pagination practices as well, so take a page (or a post, if you will) out of Google's playbook.
If that's good pagination, then what's bad pagination?
Examples of poor pagination (or complete lack of) are pretty rampant across the Web. Some of the biggest offenders are free, off-the-shelf WordPress templates where you get a either a single hyperlink to access archived content "older entries," or two links "older entries" and "newer entries."
So why is the above example bad?
Having a single link means it can take exponentially more clicks to reach older content, which can make it harder for bots to find. Also, a single link means each subsequent archived index page (and the posts linked from it) is getting a smaller percent of a percent of PageRank. By the time you've gone five clicks deep into your archive, those pages and posts are starved for link equity.
Some of my favorite pagination plugins are:

2. Add Related Posts

As mentioned in the above section on pagination, it's critical that you make your blog content easy to find (both for bots and users). If your content is buried a dozen clicks deep or if it's orphaned entirely, that content can drop out of the index or won't have enough link equity to outrank competitor documents, rendering those pages useless from a SEO perspective.
So another way to improve the findability of your content is to add a list of related articles at the end of each of all your blog posts. Not only does this elicit more page views with readers, but this practice also helps flow link equity to deeper content and improves the circulation of PageRank across your blog. Finally, given there are keywords in the anchor text, related posts are an internal linking mechanism that reinforce the semantic relevance of a document they're linking to.
If you're running on WordPress, adding related posts is relatively easy, and there are a range of some very good related post plugins:

3. Add Previous and Next Posts

Similar to implementing a related posts feature on your blog, you can increase findability with "previous" and "next" post links, which can appear at the top or at the bottom of an article on your blog.
Much like adding related posts, "previous" and "next" article links effectively surfaces your content and improves link equity distribution. In addition, these types of navigational links can help increase time on site, and boost overall user-engagement and satisfaction signals via the "long click," a behavior metric Google is potentially measuring.

4. Proper Use of Categories

Categories are another component on your blog you can leverage to boost your organic search efforts. Besides making archived content easier to find (a common thread here), categories help classify and silo your content into topically themed pages, which creates additional opportunities to rank in search results.
Some category best practices are:
  • Limit the number of categories you have. Categories are often misused or abused with contributors creating a new category every time they write a new post, which can lead to really thin pages of content (pages with a single post snippet). For small- to medium-sized blogs, 10 to 15 categories are really all you need.
  • Select only one category per post. Contributors often abuse the category select feature and click on multiple categories before posting, which can risk duplicate content issues.
  • Add original content to your categories to help make them unique. This plugin works well for adding introductory content to category pages

5. Vary Title Tags vs. Article Titles

Keywords are the foundation for your SEO efforts. Most bloggers understand this and often include keywords and keyword variations in their copy. But where many authors drop the ball is by not varying the title of the blog post and the title tag element.
Often this is due to inexperience, time constraints, or the option doesn't exist in their dashboard (which is easily remedied with the proper plugin). As such, the CMS or publishing platform duplicates the post title and the title tag with copy and paste.
Will this negatively impact SEO? No. But given the title tag is still the most important piece of content on your site (from an SEO perspective), not varying title and title tag is really more of a missed opportunity.
By varying your title and title tag and working in alternative keywords, stems, modifiers or synonyms, you make your content work even hard for you in the SERPs. And the more keyword variations in your content, the more opportunities your content has to rank in more searches.
There are a number of SEO plugins that allow you to vary post title and title tag, but my favorites are:

6. Add Sharing Buttons

Adding social buttons prompts sharing, which improves the distribution or your content across social platforms. Sharing can also help expose your content to new audiences.
From an SEO perspective, getting your content shared increases the likelihood of mentions and links. Also sharing helps your content get discovered faster; and the quicker it's found, the sooner it shows up in the index.
What's more, Google is gathering social data and this data impacts rankings. To what extent those social signals influence rankings is debatable, but Google clearly places some degree of value on social, and so should you.
To help increase distribution of your content across social channels, you need to implement frictionless sharing. Make your share buttons obvious, but not disruptive or distracting.
Sharebar is my favorite social sharing plugin for WordPress. It doesn't support Google+, but this quick snippet of code solves that.
Sharebar is good for two reasons. It shadows the reader as they move down the page, and it contains "share counts," which can help convey further trust, authority and popularity of an article for an audience. (searchenginewatch)

Personalizing Customer Interactions Secures Customer Loyalty

Back in June I wrote about the importance of creating a great user experience for content creators. One of the areas I touched on was personalization and how that can help separate your website from your competitors. How important is personalization? According to Gartner analyst Gene Alvarez, “By 2018, Gartner predicts, B2B companies with effective personalization on their e-commerce sites will outsell by 30% competitors without the same level of personalization.”
To join the personalization bandwagon here are six tips to help marketers improve their customer’s experience on their websites.
1. Tailor messages: Being sent a generic e-mail about an upcoming sale on a product line won’t grab my attention if it’s a product I don’t care about. If my history shows that I’m interested in running shoes, send me sale information about running shirts and events in my area. Just as important is making my experience enjoyable. If you send me information that asks me to visit the site for a product I am interested in, make sure that the landing page is tailored to my needs. According to the Custom Content Council, 61% of consumers say they feel better about, and are more likely to buy from, a company that delivers custom content.
2. Intelligent targeting: Visitors will come back to your website if they like what they see and if you make it worth their while. Make sure that you cater to their needs at the time of their visit by personalizing the content on your website according to their interests. Advanced website technologies allow you see where your customer visited last time and so you can make an educated guess on what they are interested in. It’s as simple as offering 10% off on the product they viewed last time instead of a generic 10% coupon.
3. Simplify: I’m a big proponent of the adage Keep It Simple Stupid. Don’t overload me with useless information, get to the point and please make sure that it’s easy for me to navigate your website. It’s very annoying when I have to click on links on five different pages to get to where I want to be. Worse yet are broken links and unreliable, poorly presented search results.
Related Resources from B2C
» Free Webcast: Using Data and Design to Create a Knockout Email Nurture Program
4. Tell me a story: Catching my eye with 35% off or half-year sale is a take it or leave it proposition. It works some of the time when customers need what you’re offering. Make sure that in addition to the offers you’re also sharing high quality tips and advice so I see your company as a destination, not just a low price option. Remember: low prices = low margins and low profits. Instead try telling stories about your products and company. Who are your customers and employees? How can you increase my value from what I buy from you?
5. Stale is boring: One of the things that I don’t like is when a company doesn’t take the time and effort to make their website compelling and up to date. If the latest blog entry is from six months ago, I’m gone. To keep a customer interested in your website, make sure that the content on your website if fresh and timely. If it’s June and I see an add promoting the Super Bowl, you’ve lost me.
6. Think best of breed: Unless you have very deep pocket, trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to online marketing and e-commerce is a losing proposition. A much better approach is best-of-breed so you have the flexibility to adopt new innovations as they appear on the market. Be sure to select marketing technologies that integrate seamlessly with your content management system, and link your CMS with your e-commerce platform.
Remember that the goal of leveraging personalization technology is to secure loyal customers and help generate more revenue. Ask yourself if your content management system addresses this important issue and, if not, ask yourself why haven’t you changed CMS vendors. (business2community)

6 Post SEO Tips to Up Your Content Ranking

We are going to dive into some very easy to implement blog post SEO tips, because while many business owners do not have the time to stay up to date with the current SEO trends and algorithm updates, there are some simple tips to use when creating blog posts that can help you target relevant keywords that drive traffic to your website.
The first step is to determine what keywords are going to bring highly qualified traffic to your website. You can get some helpful hints by reading an older blog post we did about how to uncover long tail keywords. Once you have your keywords identified you will want to create blog post content around these keywords. There are six parts of each blog post that you will want to optimize for the particular keyword being targeted in the post:
  • Title
  • Description
  • Heading
  • Post Content
  • Images
  • URL
6 Blog Post SEO Tips to Get Your Content Ranking image 5 Blog Post SEO Tips to Get Your Content Ranking
Most business owners do not properly optimize their blog posts fully, not fully taking advantage of the organic traffic possibilities. If you haven’t been properly optimizing your blog posts then use these SEO tips to go back and optimize your older posts, and make sure that all future posts are optimized fully.


When writing your blog post title you need to understand that they impact the search results as well as click-through-rate. Your title should be under 60 characters and it is good practice to include your target keyword in the title, as close to the beginning as possible. Now, only do this if you can do it naturally. The last thing you want to do if have a spammy looking and sounding title. If your title include your target keyword the visitor is more likely to click on your post since it contains the keyword they used in their search query. If you look at the image below you will see the title we used in a blog post where our target keyword was “common business blog mistakes.” The title flows naturally and doesn’t sound spammy at all.
Related Resources from B2C
» Free Webcast: Using Data and Design to Create a Knockout Email Nurture Program
6 Blog Post SEO Tips to Get Your Content Ranking image Title


Your blog post description pulls the meta description for your post, and while it doesn’t impact search results, it can be a great way to pull a higher CTR. If your meta description uses your target keyword and related keywords it is going to appeal to the individual that performed the search. This should be written in a natural way, and there is no reason to stuff your keyword into the meta description. There are zero SEO benefits and it will just make your website appear to be spammy and low quality.


Your heading is telling your visitor what your content is about, and including your keywords in the heading provides a SEO benefit as well, as long as it is done naturally. There is no need to jam pack a heading with multiple occurrences of your target keyword. Use it once if it can be used naturally. Also, don’t just use your keyword in the heading. Make sure there is additional content around it, describing the blog post and providing some value other than just a keyword phrase.

Post Content

The search engines use keywords in your post content as a ranking signal, but it is important that you do not over optimize your content. Multiple occurrences of your keyword within the content can be viewed as keyword stuffing and this can lead to a penalty, dropping your organic rankings. Aside from the potential SEO dangers linked to keyword stuffing, it will also hurt your blog readership. People are not going to come back to a blog that features poor content that reads like pure spam. Always write for your audience first and the search engines second.


It is always a good idea to include a SEO friendly title and description in your images. If you are writing very descriptive blog post titles then you can use the tile in your blog post image, and also write a description that explains your blog post. Image search is becoming more popular, so there is absolutely no reason that you should ignore optimizing your blog post images.


You should have your site URL structure set up that each post has a custom URL and not a random extension such as the date of the post or just a numbered post. Using the blog post title as the URL extension helps with your click through rate. If someone performs a search and sees a post with a generic URL and one with the target keyword which one are they more likely to click on? In the example below you will see that we have our extensions set as the blog post title.
6 Blog Post SEO Tips to Get Your Content Ranking image URL
These are just some very basic blog post SEO tips to help you produce more effective content for your website. While not every business owner is going to have time to learn SEO, plan out a search engine optimization strategy, and then execute it, the individual producing the blog content can easily follow these tips. (business2community)

Basics of (SEO) Search Engine Optimization

I am sure that it will surprise some people to hear me say that Search Engine Optimization isn’t rocket science! Although it can feel complicated at times the aim is simply to ensure that your website is presented in the way search engines like and ultimately that your visitors will like!

At the end of the day Search Engines always try to give users whatever they can find that is relevant to their search. You need to appreciate that the majority of Search Engines don’t work by moving the good stuff towards the top. What they do instead is to try to push the bad stuff towards the bottom, and hope that what’s good will ‘float up’. It is a frequently repeated truth that Content is King and good content which is well written and which is sprinkled with the appropriate keywords can get you good search engine rankings. This not only brings visitors to your site but also feeds the search engine spiders and crawlers. It is impossible to emphasise enough how well written and relevant content is key to good SEO.

One of the fast way to develop good content is to generate a series of articles regarding your topic. These items are very powerful in the world of SEO because they provide your visitors with something to read and they allow you to feature in the Search Engine results for some key words that you normally wouldn’t. Let’s say you are managing a website for Genealogists. A well written article about using a particular genealogy tool is more likely to generate a high position in the search results for “genealogy tools” than your home page. Therefore, if you write articles relevant to your subject but in more depth than you can put on your home page, you will find that you will benefit enormously.

Take a look at the sites that currently rank high on the search engines for your keywords or indeed for any keywords and you will generally find that they have simple designs with graphics that use minimal bandwidth, and they are generally easy to navigate. Simple, clean designs are what both search engine crawlers and search engine users like, as it lets them get the content they want without a lot of peripheral “fluff”. This is what you should be aiming to achieve with your website.
Of course some websites will be ranked highly in search engines, even though their designs make them difficult to read and navigate. If the content of a site is relevant to what people are searching for then that’s all that matters to a search engine. However, it’s preferable to have a site that is user friendly and easy to navigate if you want to encourage return visitors.

Let’s think about meta tags, keywords, descriptions, and titles. These are all important elements, even if they are not what will make or break your site. Whilst important they are just one part of your strategy. These elements need to be compelling and sprinkled with your keywords, as this will entice users to click through from the search results page to your website. It’s best to start off slowly, gradually adding things in as you learn.

If you have any questions and you don’t know where to go, then check out some of the forums on the subject. To do this you just need to go to your favourite search engine and do a search for ‘seo forum’. The people on these forums are generally more than happy to answer your questions, or direct you to someone who can answer your question if they can’t. Remember to be patient with yourself: learning something new takes time and effort, and SEO is no different.

Long Term vs Short Term SEO

I've always thought of SEO as a long-term process. More of a perpetual process, really. SEO firms (not to be confused with SEO consultants) tend to provide one of two different types of service.

  • Short-Term SEO: These firms provide a proposal for optimizing your entire site or optimizing for a set number of keyword phrases. Once that is done you are wither on your own or you can sign up for a "maintenance" plan.
  • Long-Term SEO: These firms provide a perpetual ongoing SEO process. This might include continuously uncovering and optimizing for new targeted keyword phrases, continuous link building, ongoing consultation and analysis as needed.

Here are a few pros and cons of each:

Short-Term SEO:


  • Pages gets fully analyzed, optimized and rolled out within a few weeks or months.
  • No long-term contracts.
  • No large re-occurring fees.


  • Nothing gets rolled out until its all complete. If the contract calls for a large number of keywords or pages to be optimized you might be in for a long wait.
  • Some important keywords many not get optimized as the contract has limitations as to how many pages and keywords are to be optimized.
  • Newly popular phrases don't get optimized without making an additional optimization purchase.
  • Reporting and analysis is limited.
  • Link building is limited.

Long-Term SEO:


  • New keywords are always being found and optimized into your site.
  • Ongoing analysis, maintenance, reporting and consulting.
  • Ongoing link analysis and building
  • You know who is ultimately responsible.
  • No fees for just keeping the status quo or a few reports
  • Pages are rolled out as soon as they are ready, no waiting for "everything" to be completed.
  • Constant analysis for new trendy keywords that can bring in targeted traffic.
  • Ongoing link building efforts
  • Ongoing reporting and in depth performance analysis


  • Some important keywords may take a while to get optimized and rolled out.
  • Larger ongoing fees.
  • Long-term contracts often required.

Both forms of SEO campaigns have their merit. Your particular budgetary and optimization needs will dictate which is best for you.

Much More Website Traffic

I’ll focus on eight ways you can start driving more visitors to your website. To make money online you need people to come to your website and you need a way to convert those visitors into customers.

The first, fastest, and perhaps easiest way is to buy visitors with Google Adwords and other pay per click search engines. Especially with Google Adwords, you can be up and running in an hour or less. Just sign up for an account at, create a campaign, create an ad group, enter some keywords, and your ad will start showing for those keywords in approximately 10-20 minutes. There are definitely right and wrong ways to go about using Google Adwords and I suggest you buy a book about Google Adwords, or get Perry Marshall’s course.

A second way to drive traffic to your site will take longer, but you won’t be paying per click. You can optimize your site for the search engines. This is called SEO or sometimes SEM (for search engine marketing). It’s important to know what keywords to focus on, and Google Adwords is great for determining which keywords make you money. But once you know what your “money words” are, you can start driving traffic to your site though the natural search engine listings. Brad Fallon has a great course called Stomping the Search Engines which tells you just about everything you need to know about how to get listed and rank well in the 3 major search engines Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

A third way to drive traffic to your website is article marketing. This is the brilliant strategy of writing articles and submitting them to article directories. What happens is that webmasters will find and put your article on their sites so that your content is displayed on many websites. You also include a resource box with your article that links to your site. The link will help you rise in the search engines and the article itself may encourage visitors to your site.

A four way to get visitors to your site is to write and submit press releases. Your press release can be picked up by major publications and, just like articles, you can get visitors from the content of the press release, but you may also get some great links which will help you out in the search engines. Marc Harty has a great course for using press releases to drive traffic.

The fifth method for driving visitors to your site is to have a blog. The reason that blogs are so good at driving traffic is that the search engines love them because they provide fresh content, and because they are available through RSS feeds, webmasters can post your blog content on their sites which can then drive traffic to you (much like how you would get traffic from article marketing). If you are totally new to blogging, you might want to try Google’s free service or if you are ready to take the next step, you can move to another free service called Wordpress. Wordpress seems to be a much more effective SEO solution than blogger, but there is more to setup on your website. Sherman Hu has a great set of word press tutorials that you can watch to setup and use Wordpress for driving visitors to your site.

A sixth way to get more eyeballs on your site is from offline advertising. Many people don’t think of actually running advertisement in publications to get traffic to their sites. It might be worth your time to look through a few publications in your industry and compare some of the ads in old issues with ads in the new issues. The ads that are still there are probably the ones that are successful and that you should consider modeling. A phrase that seems to effectively get people to put down the publication and enter your URL in their computer is “free website”.
The seventh method for getting more traffic is viral products. This is simply an e-book, website, movie, etc that gets passed around from person to person because it’s so interesting. Some ideas for viral products including publishing the results of an interesting contest you hold for your customers, putting a creative spin on a current event, or tugging at the heartstrings of people with poems or wisdom. There are some good courses on how to create and use viral products. You can search for these courses, or visit my resource page for a few.

The eighth and final method for driving traffic to your website is affiliate programs. The beautiful thing about affiliate programs is that you can have an army of people sending traffic to your site and you only pay them when they are responsible for a sale. Your risk is almost nothing and the rewards can be huge. has a great affiliate program if you are marketing electronic products. Commission Junction ( has a good program for finding affiliates to sell your physical products.

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