Blog SEO Tips: Importance of Domain Names & Hosting

When it comes to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) there are so many little things that can affect your blog’s ranking. We’ve talked about headings and titles, META tags and keywords, link building strategies, but how do we put to use our blog’s domain name and hosting to improve our rankings? This “SEO Sunday” episode will explain a few important things you should consider.

Choosing the right TLD

Some say that the TLD (Top Level Domain) – domain name extension – doesn’t matter. Most say it does and from my own experience I must agree with the majority.
First of all, let’s say your writing in your native language other than English. By choosing a country specific TLD (but not exclusively) you’ll tell search engines where your blog is based and to whom it addresses. For English written blogs, a .COM or a .NET TLD will most likely do the best jobs since the .COM is the most common extension and English the most used language online. Also, .COMs are a good alternative if your country specific TLD has already been registered.

Keyword domain names vs. Brandable domain names

A keyword in the domain name will definitely help your rankings for that specific keyword. Still, this doesn’t mean that a well optimized blog using a brandable domain name will not rank well. If your going for a brandable domain, try to play around a keyword, like I did with Blogsessive. It will add a bit to the value.

Dashes and numbers in the domain name

Unless strictly required (numbers are part of the identity, like Hi5), I would suggest to stay away from numbers. SEO wise they add no value. Also, if in the future you’ll be looking to sell that domain name, all the money you’ll get will mostly be based on the traffic that name received and its page rank (if it will be the case).
Dashes are still dropping the financial value, but in regards to SEO, search engines seam to accept them – even if with less value – and with the right on and off page optimization they could rank very well.
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Blog SEO Tips: Using Keywords for Blog Optimization

One of the most basic, yet highly effective things you need to consider when doing blog optimization is using keywords to indicate search engine spiders what your posts are about. The more relevant to the page’s content, the better the search engine ranking.
Keyword optimization is part of on-page SEO, which means that it is a part of the optimization you’ll make on your blog’s code.

What you should know right from the start is that keywords can give your blog posts a boost in rankings or get your blog out of the first and most important search results. It all comes down to how well you’re using them and how relevant they are to your content.

Rules of keyword optimization

Since you’re reading this, I have no doubt that you understand how important well-researched keywords are and that you’re willing to make better use of them. These are some of the most important things you need to consider:
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Blog SEO Tips: SEO Link Building

It’s time once again for a SEO Sunday special, dedicated to links, link building, tips and good practices of linking. It is a known fact that links pointing to your blog are meant to increase its value, not only in the eyes of search engines but also when it comes to authority measuring services like Technorati.

Links are a great tool to increase you search engine ranking and your blog’s visibility, but only when the link building is done smart. Sometimes, people that heard about the importance of link building are willing to do whatever it takes to gather as many links to their websites and blogs as possible, and this is potentially damaging their rankings. So, before going any further, I’ll tell you some things that you should stay away from.

Bad link building practices

More and more link building services are promoted on forums these days. I’m sure that many of you have come across those “1000 directory links for $10″ topics. Well, some people have to make a living, and that’s not to blame, but before paying for such services you should consider a few things.
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Blog SEO Tips – Free SEO Book for WordPress 2.5

Here comes another SEO Sunday, but this time, instead of writing another Blog SEO Tips post, I’m going to review and recommend you a free eBook on SEO for WordPress 2.5 Blogs by SEO and PR consultant Mihaela Lica.

I’ve just finished reading her book and believe me, those 44 PDF pages where really worth it, and the best part is that you don’t have to do anything to get the book. No subscription is required, no commenting contest or link backs. You just click the link in her blog post and start reading.
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Blog SEO Tips – Optimizing Single Posts

We keep hearing about “organic traffic” and how important it is for our blogs. Well, organic traffic is the traffic you receive from search engines, based on the level of relevance and optimization of your blog posts. The more relevant for the user’s search term, the higher the ranking in search engine’s results.

Let’s say that you wrote a very interesting and helpful post. You would definitely want it to rank well, and by doing so, attract more traffic to it. This traffic can generate both comments, a base for advertising and also potential backlinks to your post. In short: It’s important.

So, how can you optimize you blog posts? By doing 3 simple things:

  1. Optimize your titles;
  2. Optimize the post body;
  3. Optimize the internal links.

Optimizing the titles

In one of my past posts I’ve told you about the importance of writing SEO friendly titles with the use of H1, H2, H3 tags. And since on single post pages your titles should be listed with H1 tags, search engines will give them maximum attention.

Your post’s title should definitely use the primary keyword, the keyword for which you want the post to rank higher in search results. To decide on your primary keyword and the best form that you could use, you need to run a bit of research on common search habits of users.
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Blog SEO Tips – SEO Friendly Titles (H1, H2, H3)

Another quiet Sunday in the blogosphere, as usual. This morning I thought about writing another link share post or a WordPress theme recommendation, but later I’ve decided to break the pattern (since it’s all so quiet) and make Sundays the host of a blog SEO tips series. In this first post I’m going to talk about the importance of using SEO friendly titles (H1, H2, H3) and the right way to do so.

Usual Coding Patterns in WordPress Themes

If you’re even a bit familiar with the WordPress themes, by now you’ve probably took a look at your theme’s files. Blog pages are rendered through an association of a few PHP files with standard names (index.php, archive.php, single.php) with different templates of the theme, based on the content type.

The index.php file usually stands for your home page, also being capable of replacing any other template that hasn’t been already defined. So, if you don’t have a template for search results (search.php), the index file will take over and render your search results page.

Each of these templates includes smaller pieces of code to build up the final result. The most used are header.php, sidebar.php and footer.php.

For now, we’ll limit our attention to the following files in your theme’s folder:

  • header.php
  • index.php
  • single.php
  • page.php (not every theme has it)
  • archive.php, search.php (not every theme has them)

Optimizing the Header File

Having your primary keyword present at the top of you page it’s very important.
Considering the fact that most themes come with text based logos instead of graphics, we’ll be looking for the <h1> tag in the header.php file.
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Is ShoeMoney Right? “SEO Has No Future”?

I was reading ShoeMoney’s post – SEO Has No Future – the other day and I really felt the need to express my views on the matter, and since I have enough to say, I’ll do it in a post, rather than a comment.

ShoeMoney stated clearly that he’s not a professional SEO, and neither am I, but I am certainly a SEO enthusiast. In short, my answer to his statement would be: You’re wrong, and let me tell you why I think so!

I believe in SEO

I really do! Search Engine Optimization has been a very effective way to make our websites and blogs stand out of the crown. Do you know how old is this blog? I’ll tell you. The domain name was registered on March 3rd, this year, and the blog was added about one week later.

For almost a month I did not find enough time to take proper care of its design and SEO elements. I only had some time for writing, which I did. For almost a month, Google kept me on page 32(!) for my targeted keyword, which happens to be a relevant keyword for many of my articles: Blogging Tips.
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How to check and improve your WordPress SEO

You’ve finally got your WordPress blog online and your hopes up. You’re writing articles and expecting readers to drop-in soon, but time passes and nothing happens. You know your articles are a good reading, so why aren’t readers showing up? That’s because you need to improve your online visibility, your WordPress SEO score.

In my past article, Better Blog SEO Plugin, I’ve presented a tool to help you easily manage your SEO needs. Now it’s time to explain how to test the results, and if the results are not as good as expected, how to update your content and SEO accordingly.

Let’s say you’ve optimized your home page and/or post page for some keywords, but still search engines refuse to index you higher and searches for those keywords aren’t providing you with any visitors. Most probably, that’s because your content is not relevant in relationship with the provided keywords. At this time, you have 2 choices:

1. Rethink your website’s keyword list and meta tags

Scan through your posts, find the most common and relevant keywords and modify your keywords meta tag accordingly. Use these keywords in the page’s title tag and for the description try to get a small paragraph that uses in a logic and readable way the provided keywords. The closer this description comes to a text paragraph available on the page, the more relevant it will be.

2. Rebuild your most recent content around the old keywords.

This option is the most time-consuming, but if you know you’ve got a good keyword list, with good search engine results (only not for you), then it should worth the effort. Always keep in mind how much competition you have for that keyword list, and how powerful that competition is. Otherwise you’re efforts will be in vain. It’s always better to fight for 1.000 relevant results and get the most of it, that for 10.000.000 results and get none.

Once you’ve done one of the above steps, the best thing you can do is to check the results with one of the following free available online SEO tools:

DomainTools.com – The Whois tool available on this domain provides users with a SEO rating of the queried domain, as well as with a SEO browser to analyze you page from a search engine’s point of view. It also makes suggestions on the things that still need to be done to increase your SEO score.

SEOCentro.com – SEO Centro provides user with a very helpful, free online meta tag analyzer. This way you can learn more about your meta tags, their relevance and also the most popular keywords found in your blog’s content.

There are of course many more online SEO tools, but these 2 should be enough to help you find your way around your blog’s SEO.

Better Blog SEO Plugin

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is vital for every online presence. If you’re looking to attract a large number of visitors to your blog, you should consider a tool to help you manage the important elements of your website in a SEO-friendly way. One of the most powerful and configurable WordPress Plugin that you can use for your blog’s SEO is Uberdose‘s All in One SEO Pack.

This wonderful plugin is available for free download on WordPress’ plugin archive and Uberdose’s personal website.

Main plugin features:
– Custom meta tags;
– Automated meta tags based on your posts’ content;
– Separate SEO for each post/page if required;
noindex option for duplicate content pages;
– all in a user-friendly administration environment.

Grab this useful tool and start making your blog visible in search engines!