6 Overlooked Onsite SEO Techniques for Bloggers

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

6 Overlooked Onsite SEO Techniques for BloggersThere are two main elements of search engine optimization for blogs - onsite SEO, and offsite. When it comes to onsite SEO tactics, I've found that bloggers may in fact be overlooking a few very basic techniques, yet they are very important. Which techniques? The following is a closer look at 6 important onsite blog optimization tactics that will benefit every blogger.

6 Overlooked Onsite SEO Techniques for Bloggers

Today’s post is from guest author Michael Tomlinson. Michael Tomlinson is a professional writer and blogger with a particular interest in online marketing. With a degree in Social Psychology, he has been helping many different companies maintain their professional relationships with clients and business partners since 2007.

There are two main elements of SEO for blogs - onsite and offsite. When it comes to onsite SEO tactics, I've found that bloggers may in fact be overlooking a few very important techniques. Which techniques? The following is a closer look at 6 important onsite SEO tactics that will benefit every blogger.

1. Appropriate Use of rel="nofollow"

In 2005, Google's Matt Cutts and Blogger's Jason Shellen saw how rampant spam was on blogs. They suggested using the nofollow attribute value to address this issue. Using nofollow means that you are blocking the act of giving a vote for the site that a hyperlink points to.

Where and why should you use nofollow? Search engine spiders can't sign-up for a forum or login to an account, so nofollow is useful on those elements. Let Googlebot crawl the pages that benefit most from being indexed. According to a June 2010 YouTube video by Matt Cutts, you should NOT use nofollow on internal links because PageRank judges your site based partly on internal links. If internal links have the nofollow attribute value, they cannot benefit your rank. In other words, they cannot "flow" PageRank.

Matt stated further that it's okay to use nofollow on a login or About page, but that having those pages indexed doesn't hurt. To use nofollow, place rel="nofollow" immediately before the anchor text in a hyperlink, like so:

<a href="http://www.example.org/" rel="nofollow">Anchor text</a>

2. Navigation - Text or JavaScript?

A great number of themes in both the WordPress and Blogger platforms feature JavaScript navigation menus. Javascript menus are more eye catching than plain text, so they are good for human eyes, but search engine spiders cannot read through JavaScript. The navigation links of a blog should always be crawlable.

However, instead of deserting slick JavaScript menus altogether, simply keep them, but add text links that spiders can read. Creating a secondary, text-link navigation along the bottom of a page is one viable solution. Visitors to your blog will see and use the JavaScript option, and search engine spiders can index the other blog pages via the text links. You can have your cake and eat it too.

3. Readable URLs

Blog URLs in the form of "www.myreligion.org/showthread.php?t=18989" are visually displeasing and impossible to remember. A better, clearer version would be "www.myreligion.org/forum/january/sermon3/". This is much easier to recall. In addition, the refined URL also helps search engine spiders categorize pages more effectively. WordPress allows its bloggers to alter URLs, while Blogger does not allow this currently.

4. ALT Image Text

Three events that could preclude a visitor from seeing an image on your blog are SRC attribute errors, a slowed connection, and the use of browsers like Lynx or a screen reader. Naming images appropriately with ALT annotations is considerate to those visitors, and it has SEO benefits. Spiders crawl images, so make sure image file-names reflect what the images portray.

5. Keyword Density Percentage

Keyword density is the ratio of keywords to total text in a given post. For instance, a blog post has 1,000 words. If the same keyword is repeated 20 times within those 1,000 words, that's a density of 2%. So what percentage of total words on your blog should be keywords? Is there an optimal percentage?

In 2006, Matt Cutts wrote a piece about keyword density, and this advice remains true today. The recommended keyword density is between two and eight percent. The longer the post, the greater the density can be.

6. Keywords in Anchor Text

What percentage of anchor text should be keywords? The argument is similar to that of keyword density: if there is a correct percentage, it probably changes.

Some professionals argue that even if an optimal percentage exists, it's a tiny range. The best practice is perhaps to vary your usage: use a combination of keywords and keyword-related text in some links, a mix of keywords and their direct synonyms in other links, and then just keywords for the rest of the links.

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  1. Good sound advice and action to take, thank you!
    By Blogger osovictoria on July 17, 2011
  2. I really learned so much from this post. I will try to follow your tips and hope it will be effective on my blog.
    By Anonymous White Label SEO on July 25, 2011
  3. All six are good onsite SEO techniques, but I do not think that these are overlooked Techniques for bloggers e.g. adding anchor text to back link is a very common practice among SEO experts, but overall well written article. I myself is using some techniques for my wholesale sweets website and will implement what you mentioned in your article.
    By Anonymous John the wholesale sweet guy on July 31, 2011
  4. Great post! The tips are great... I will surely learn a lot from this blog! Thanks for sharing!
    By Anonymous Anonymous on August 04, 2011
  5. Love the information... Thanks for sharing it... I really learned something very useful... I will definitely try this and see where it would take me... Thanks for sharing...
    By Anonymous Anonymous on August 08, 2011
  6. Do Follow links are advisable for blogs that are still building up their readership, though. It can be like a bargaining chip for new blogs because it helps other sites cement their authority.
    By Anonymous MicroSourcing on August 11, 2011
  7. This is very informative post, I was searching for SEO tactics after Google Panda. thanks for sharing
    By Anonymous IT Pakistan on August 19, 2011
  8. very usefull subject, thnks
    By Anonymous wordpress master on August 22, 2011
  9. Fantastic advice and very clear, thank you!!
    By Anonymous Deborah on September 02, 2011
  10. Very informative. I have practiced most of the techniques you mention here. I just have one question. Does it make a difference if we will enable a do follow comment and not no follow?
    By Anonymous Avance SEO on January 05, 2012
  11. I'm not quite sure I understand your question entirely, but, yes it makes a difference... especially if you want to better control the pages search engines crawl, index, and rank. A Michael pointed out, you can ensure that your login-type pages aren't included in the search engine's index.
    By Blogger Unknown on January 05, 2012
  12. I agree that keyword density is important for helping search engines determine the theme of your content. However, I think overfocusing on this can result in lower quality content which is also against Google's guidelines, especially now that Panda has rolled out. With that in mind, I always write an article for readability first then when editing I'll sprinkle in a few keyword terms. Never loose focus that you're writing for readers not just search engines :)
    By Anonymous Jesse Kanclerz on January 11, 2012
  13. Hi Jesse. I would agree 100%. Thanks for sharing!
    By Blogger Unknown on January 11, 2012
  14. Great advice! Keyword density is important in content creation. Also, URLs must be readable for humans. Thanks for the info.
    By Anonymous Dan Rombus on April 25, 2012
  15. Thanks for stopping by Dan!
    By Blogger Unknown on April 27, 2012
  16. Wow! I can't believe that I'm doing the right thing for my blog.. All of your advices here are actually what I'm doing.. Great!
    By Anonymous Ken on April 27, 2012
  17. That's good to hear Ken. Thanks for commenting!
    By Blogger Unknown on April 27, 2012
  18. Great info! Not enough businesses are taking advantage of using a blog on their website.
    By Anonymous Ryan Bilak on April 29, 2013
  19. I agree Ryan. Thanks for commenting!
    By Blogger Unknown on April 29, 2013

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