(Ping! Zine Issue 53) – Start with the title of your posts.
The title is what shows on the tab or browser. This is also the first thing that people see when they conduct a search. Search engines give more importance on the first word written, so keywords should be placed accordingly for a higher ranking. Likewise, people conducting searches would scan the first word of the results found, clicking on the title where keywords appear first.
While the usual format puts your blog title ahead of the title of the post where important keywords are found, you should turn things around to make the important keywords appear first.
From BLOG TITLE>ARCHIVE>POST TITLE WITH IMPORTANT KEYWORDS
POST TITLE WITH IMPORTANT KEYWORDS>ARCHIVE>BLOG TITLE
Choose good images that are properly tagged.
People are very visual, and images play an important role in conducting searches as well.
There are people who check sites in screen readers, and the images they see would factor in
the site they would visit. These images help in improving your SEO ranking. Choose your images carefully and make sure you write good alt tags as this can add to your site’s traffic.
Sidebars could do more harm than good.
Perhaps you should take a look at your sidebar and see if it is really necessary for your site. You might have put links that gives users the option to go out of your website instead of staying in and exploring your own content. What you can do is put those links on your front page – a cleaner solution that gives your SEO ranking a boost without compromising the links to your friends.
Make your readers subscribe to your posts.
Put a big RSS subscribe button or make sure your offer for readers to subscribe to your posts via e-mail is visible. People who regularly visit your blog are more than likely to be interested with this option. After every post, make sure you put a link that allows them to subscribe to your RSS feed or e-mail list so they can get more from your website.
Engage in a conversation with your readers.
Comments play a vital role in increasing your site’s SEO. People usually leave comments when they find a topic interesting, or when an article is written in an engaging way. Once they leave comments, respond as much as you can to build a relationship with your readers. This could help in making them link your blog. You could think about changing your comments section. Instead of a discouraging “No comments” why not change it to “Let me know what you think” or “No comments yet, be the first.”
Change the Permalink Structure.
If the content you are posting is timeless, it is better to do without dates on your permalink structure. People conducting searches are not inclined to click on a result that is not published recently regardless if what you have written is exactly what they are searching for.
The permalink setting is under settings> permalinks. You could select ‘custom structure’ and change the default “?p=<postid>” to “/%postname%/”. You can also try this code:
<!– for /category/postname/–>
<!– or for /postname/–>
Following all these tips would be useless if the content of your blog is blah. Work as hard on your content as you do on increasing website traffic. That said, you are well on your way to going up the ranks on the next search a user conducts.