Why Content Will Always Be King For Google

a couple of months ago
‘Good content brings traffic’ is something you will hear a lot if you start researching blogging, and whilst this is very true, good writing needs very good SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to ensure it can be found by the people who will enjoy what you have to write. 
 
I will cover in more detail later blogging communities – but for now we are focussing on Joe or Jane Bloggs who are doing a bit of internet surfing hoping for something interesting to read. Your blog posts should be:  
 
Well written with punctuation 
In a sans serif font 
Have pictures and/or videos of them if appropriate 
Be spell checked 
Be proofread by you at least twice before you publish. 

 

The above may all sounds rather basic, and actually it probably is, however a quick trawl about the internet will reveal some blogs so badly written I am sure even the blogger themselves upon reading  back would have little clue of what they had written.  
 
There can be a level of derision at times for those of us who try and use punctuation – some considering it to be old fashioned and unnecessary.  
 
However, they are probably not new bloggers wanting others to read their blog!  Your writing and punctuation do not need to be perfect – mistakes will always slip in – however if you write and never read back what you have read, and have no clue where the comma (,) or the full-stop (.) buttons are on your keyboard, now is the time to mend your ways! 
 
ALWAYS proofread your posts before you post them and ALWAYS press the spell check button (if you prefer, posts can be written in Word first and copied and pasted in (sometimes this can cause a problem with some blogging services but most will cope with it).  
 
Search engines like Google love an authoritative site, sites with really good true content will get higher rankings and that is your goal.  
 

All the techniques in the world cannot beat having good content. Be prepared for your first few posts to get little or no attention from anyone apart from your spouse, your mother and whoever else you have excitedly told about your new blogging endeavour. 

 
However – keep at it – those first few posts are a little like throwing pebbles into a pond,  the more pebbles your throw, the more ripples you create spreading your reach, all of which is very necessary in the development  of not only your blog but also the content.  Nothing says ‘don’t read me’ like a blog with hardly any posts, so don’t be disheartened, keep writing and keep posting. 
 
A blog post is a little like a very short story; so aim to have a starting paragraph with enough of a hook in it to make people keep reading and press the ‘read more’ button, a middle which tells the main thrust and narrative and then an ending which closes off the post, inviting comments. 
 
The length of a good blog post cannot really be measured, because a blog in its simplest form is an online diary, anyone who regularly writes a diary will tell you that some days they have more to say than others, and the same is true of blogging.  
 
During any one seven day period you may write one, two, three or even more posts, each one probably different in length to the other.  A good post can be just one snappy succinct paragraph, or it might be up to a 1000 words or even more telling your story.  But, however long (or short) your posts are, try and keep them to the point with a clean easy to read style. 
 
Remember to proofread, if you are not confident, have someone else look over your first few,  grabbing a second opinion can make all the difference (do remember though that writing and writing styles are objective so don’t be too offended if someone else might have “oh I wouldn’t have done it like that”)! 
 
 
It is because writing is so very objective and personal that trying to tell you how to write your blog posts successfully is virtually impossible.  For every bestseller written there will be plenty of people who pick it up and say “oh no, I didn’t finish it, couldn’t get into it, wasn’t my thing”, as perhaps there are those totally in love with the book.   You may be reading this guide thinking it is very helpful and easy to read, or you might be thinking you that you won’t be finishing it! 
 
The best advice I can really offer you when setting about the really important bit is to always read what you have written a few times and if you have (like me) a tendency to be over wordy, do your best to keep it to the point! SEO – Search Engine Optimization – basically refers to ensuring your blog ranks as high as possible in search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing etc).  When I say ranks as high as possible, I mean without you having to pay anything, so your blog appears as high as possible naturally. Why? 
 
Because this will greatly and vastly help your blog grab traffic and not just any kind of traffic, the holy grail of all website traffic – that which is organic!  By this I mean visits to your website direct from a search engine. How?
 
Grant McArthur Glasgow SEO says that effective SEO is a multi-pronged approach, and as a start-out blogger, using specific blogging services, you may find your options are somewhat limited to just keywords (and long tail keywords) and meta tags (the other methods used include, ensuring the blog is set-up to allow web crawlers access and amending the HMTL and CSS of the site to optimise). 
 
Whatever blogging service you choose to use, each will have fields and sections for you to complete with keywords and tags.  So I am not going to cover each service separately, but explain what keywords are, so you can determine the best ones to use each time you write an article. A keyword is a single descriptive word, and long tail keywords are a phrase or short sentence of three words or more.  For the purposes of this chapter – I am lumping both in as keywords.  
 
Keywords are so utterly critical, because they are what search engines use to match your website (blog in this instance) to a search string (i.e. when someone says “Google It”).  
 

Keywords can be included in your blog description: Example – your blog is called – IloveLabradors.com 

BAD Site Description: ILovelabradors.com /A Pet Blog GOOD Site Description ILoveLabradors.com/Labrador food – Labrador toys The first example gives a search engine almost nothing to work from, whereas the second description gives enough keywords to give you a half decent chance of appearing on a search engine page when someone searches using one of the terms. 
 
NOTE: try to restrict your long tail keywords to just two in blog description, because the folks at Google will penalise you for overuse of keywords! Keywords can be included within your copy (I.e. your blog posts). This can be slightly tricky, and when you are trying to ensure your posts are as well written as possible (remember – good content is king), it is not always easy to slip your keywords in unnoticed – but slip them in you must!! 
 
I think the title of the post is often a good place to pop your keywords in. 
 
Example – taking Ilovelabradors.com again! A blog post about a new dog food you have been asked to review – called Canned Spam! BAD blog post title Canned Food for Dogs GOOD blog post title Canned Spam – brand new dog food, great for Labradors By including the name of the dog food in the title – you are instantly improving the blog post’s chances of being picked up in a search, the rest of the title is a bit of a mish mash of hoped for keywords – i.e – Labradors, new dog food. 
 
The other place to include your keywords are actually in the body of the blog post, and as I say above, that can be tricky, however it is worth trying as the first paragraph (150 to 170 words or so) of your post will (unless you tell the page to behave differently – see below) become the meta description (also a set of keywords) for that post (not the whole blog!). 
 
Search engines use the meta description when fulfilling search requests – so if your keywords are in there, you have more chance of being found by searches. Writing your own meta description – being able to do this, will depend upon what blogging service you have chosen as to how much more in-depth customisation you will be able to perform.  
 
So therefore should you see a text box when you are writing posts, which calls itself meta description, if you wish you can compose a short  descriptive paragraph about your post, including your keywords. 
 
Example A blog post on ILoveLabradors.com – the review of Canned Spam dog food. BAD meta description A review about a new food for pets, I have tested the food, for the last two weeks, and my pets have loved eating it.  So much so, it’s on my permanent shopping list. 
 
With a high meat content and made especially for those who can be fussy.  Read my review to find out more, and where you buy some for your fussy ones. GOOD meta description Canned Spam Dog Food Review.  Tried and tested, a new dog food. 
 
Canned Spam is made with a high meat content and is a quality dog food.  New on the market, read my review to find out where you can buy Canned Spam for your dogs, and also some great dog food special offers, with money off vouchers. 
 
My Labradors love it! Both are quite short.  But the first one doesn’t include the actual name of the dog food, or any keywords which may be used in a search string. The second one on the other hand, includes the name of the dog food, plus it includes some search terms which could (possibly, hopefully) be included  in a search on the internet; i.e.
 

Canned Spam, quality dog food, dog food special offers, 

money off vouchers. SEO is far more involved than just making sure your keywords are correct – however in terms of a first blogger, they are your best route to success. Below I note in brief two more strategies which can be used.  
 
Search Engine Submission – even if you are using a blogging service, it is always a good idea to submit your blog for submission to search engines. 
 
It is very easy to do – stick with the big ones – Google, Yahoo and Bing. They make it easy for you, using the links below follow the instructions. 
 
Google  http://www.google.com/submityourcontent Bing/Yahoo http://www.bing.com/toolbox/submit-site-url (Bing powers Yahoo). Backlinks – the holy grail for SEO. SEO experts spend a lot of time (and money) getting backlinks. 
 
So what is a backlink? A backlink (in terms of SEO) is a link on another website which links to your blog. They are used by search engines to help gauge your blog’s popularity and also, of course, you will get some traffic. 
 

So how to get backlinks?& It all depends how much time you want to put into it! As a blogger a really good way is to become a hard core comment-leaver – on other blogs

, on forums, on websites and answering questions (Yahoo questions). Why? Because you can leave a link to your blog, that includes your keywords in the comment.
 
It may take a while on forums for you to become a trusted member, and be able to write a personalized signature including your blog address, but it is worth it.  Other blogs are often a little more relaxed; as they themselves are doing the same thing and may well comment on yours, leaving their backlink! 
 
SEO falls under two categories – Black Hat and White Hat. Black Hat refers to the practice of using unethical techniques to improve your site’s SEO.  As time and technology march on, it becomes harder and harder to fool search engines and if you are discovered using black hat SEO, you will possibly be de-indexed (removed from the search engine entirely). 
 
As a blogger the only Black Hat SEO you should probably be aware of (and of course if you are actually aware and happily employing other black hat techniques – you won’t be reading this guide!) is filling your posts with huge lists of keywords, and not much else; or even putting long lists of keywords in white text against a white background, to try and fool search engine spiders (web crawlers – internet bots which crawl the web indexing pages and sites for inclusion within search engines).  
 
Personally, I just don’t think it is worth it to use these techniques, they may initially garner you some extra hits, but in the long run you are more than likely to fall foul of the search engines. White Hat SEO unsurprisingly refers to techniques used which are ethical, which all described above are! 
Darleen Prangue

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Darleen Prangue

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