This week I’ve been carry out some much needed SEO work on Blogstorm to make sure the site has everything in place to continue to rank well in 2008. Here are some of the tips you can follow to make your site rank higher this year.
Carry out a site audit
Visit Google and do a search for site:yoursite.com. The only pages that come up should be your post/article pages and any other high quality pages people might want to find. You shouldn’t have archives, search pages, category pages, tag pages or any other pages that are unlikely to rank highly on Google. Remove them from the index using the following meta tag:
<meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow" />
Stop keyword cannibalisation
Many large blogs such as and Engadget link to their category pages such as http://www.engadget.com/tag/iphone/ from every iPhone related post. Notice how the tag page doesn’t rank when you search for “iPhone” but a real article ranks in 6th place? That’s because Google wants to rank stories highest and not category pages. If Engadget was to link all posts about the iPhone to a real page instead then they would rank second. If they did the same with all products the effect would be huge.
Carry out some keyword research and figure out what pages you want to rank highly and then make sure any other post referencing that topic is linked to the target post. For example if I wanted this page to rank for the query htaccess I would find every page on my blog mentioning the word “htaccess” and turn each word into a link to the target article.
Optimise your results
Look back at the keywords that have been sending you the most traffic and examine the search results for those keywords. If you aren’t number 1 then point a few more links at the page to improve your rankings.
Next look at the other results compared to yours. Is your title appealing to searchers? Does the snippet make people want to click? Are you even writing about the subject people are looking for?
Change your titles
A blog post title has to fulfil several roles. In the first week it has to attract as many readers and links as possible and maybe get traffic from social media. After that you should look to changing the title to target certain keywords. For example you might publish the “Top 10 Best Methods to Fix an iPhone” which would be good for getting traffic but not so good for ranking. As Graywolf said earlier this week you should look to changing your page title to “Fix an iPhone – Top 10 Methods” but keep the h1 tag as it was before.
Promote top pages
Check your logs to find the most popular pages on your site. Have they all been submitted to StumbleUpon and Digg? Try submitting them with social media friendly titles and see if you can make them even more popular.