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Search engine optimisation (SEO) technology is incredibly fluid, and my experience is that I have to spend a lot of time researching just to keep pace with the changes. So I felt it would be helpful to less experienced bloggers if I made a list of some of the current SEO techniques:

1. Tags no longer play a vital role in SEO – gone are the days when populating Meta descriptions with variations of keywords will guarantee a high page ranking. However, a thorough research and use of unique keywords in titles and descriptions can still help in your quest for better ranking.

2. Your domain name is very important, and it’s advisable to include your keywords in it. I suggest you use dashes to separate the keywords; instead of one long domain name that might be difficult to read, for instance “handmadewomensclothing.com”, choose “handmade-womens-clothing.com”. And it’s highly recommended that you choose a .com or .net domain.

3. Links and backlinks are the order of the day in current SEO technology. Every effort should be made to seek backlinks to reputable sites. You must be mindful that although backlinks are very important in achieving a high page ranking, it’s the quality, not the quantity that counts. Not only that, the relevance of the link is important. Search engines can even penalise you if your blog design is deemed to contain excessive number of irrelevant backlinks.

4. Having a backlink from a top ranking site, for instance Wikipedia with a PR7, is highly beneficial because the algorithms that the search engines use dictate that your site must be very important, if Wikipedia was linked to you. Essentially, your blog is awarded a proportion of their PR value. Matt Cutts from Google, gave a talk some time ago about SEO in which he discussed, at length, the importance of backlinks. Incidentally, part of the talk was to endorse the effectiveness of WordPress. You can watch the full length video of the discussion by clicking here.

 5. If possible, link to .edu and .gov websites, because they’re valued by search engines. You can produce a list of .edu site by entering the following query term on Google: inurl:.edu/forum. This will return a list of educational establishments that have forums in which you might want to participate, and consequently get linked to.

6. Personally, I’m not enthusiastic about purchasing backlinks, the obvious reason being the quality of them if invariably poor. If you must, then I recommend that you check the cache date of the page on which your blog will be located in Google. The newer the cache date, the better. You can check the date on Google by entering the search term: “cache:URL”, where URL is the page to which you will be linked. If the date is older than a month, or the page doesn’t exist, then it’s not worth purchasing.

7. Submit comments and posts on as many high ranking blogs as you possibly can. A method you can employ to indentify blogs that permit posts and comments submission is to enter this search query on Google: inurl: blog “your keyword” “leave a comment”. This will return a list of blogs (relating to your keyword) that accept comments from readers.

8. In your blog design, be mindful that the number of images and Flash must be kept to a minimum. Put simply, search engines crawl text, and not images.

9. Submit your URL to search engines, using one of many SEO tools, including the free version of CEO. The tools give you a selection of search engines you want your blog submit to, and it makes bulk submission.

10. Post new content on your blog frequently. I suggest at least 3 times a week. That gives your blog more chances of being crawled. Ensure that you include keywords in the title and body of your posts.

11. Optimise the text in your RSS Feed by including keywords in the titles and descriptions. Remember not to clutter the description with keywords, but to give it natural flow and make it understandable.

12. Blogs design in general should have a sitemap. It makes it easier for search engines to navigate your blog. You can use XML sitemaps.

13. Diversify the content of your blog… include podcasts, videos, news, social media contents – preferably not all on the same blog. That might have an adverse effect on the performance and loading time of your blog.

14. Give your visitors to leave comments on your posts. Moderate them promptly, and reciprocate their action by visiting their blog if they have one, and leave a comment.

15. Finally, write about things you know, care about, and have a passion for. Visitors who read and enjoy your posts are likely to return, right?

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Filed under: SEO Tips & Tricks