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SEO behind the Blog … or is the Blog behind SEO?

blogs and seo As an Internet Marketing Specialist, some of the things I work with are blogs and blog posts. I get clients to start blogs, suggest topics for blogs and work with the bloggers and/or writers. I am by no means a writer, I love my life as a techy geek, but I have [cough, cough] been known to write for blogs too – but, you won’t find me because I use an alias! I don’t want to take on that responsibility!!

For the most part, bloggers are writers and not normally (emphasis on “normally”) technically inclined. They are not always aware of how search and the search engines work, they just know that it does work. I am technical – a geek…whatever! I know a lot about what makes the search engines tick. I work in the online space every day and for a variety of clients and help with their websites for better rankings, better traffic, and better sales. That gives me an edge when working with content writers, bloggers and other marketing staff.

So, you ask, if you are a technical person and you can actually write, do you write for the blog or do you write for SEO? Is SEO behind the blog or is the blog behind SEO?

Good question, I say! And, the answer is yes to both and yes to all of it. The best content, for a blog or anything else, is content that says something interesting, is easily understood, makes sense, is creative, uses its words well and brings value to the website.

With all my years in internet marketing, the best information for online use is initially written with a topic in mind. That topic generally comes from keyword research done with SEO in mind. Keyword research you say? Yes, I say! Because if no one is asking for the information then how will they know to go looking for it! And, I say, keyword research is done in many ways, not just with the use of a keyword research tool like Google adwords keyword tool or others, things like news, other blogs, or online trends can play a huge part in picking a topic to write about.

The next best step is to have a creative and talented writer available to do what they do best, and that is write, write about the chosen topic, and… to write what comes naturally for them. About the only thing that should be discussed with the writer at this point is any voice, tone or business requirement that might be necessary to know about along with that main topic.

If the writer understands the strengths of a good internet marketer then they will gladly turn over their work for review and editing by them. This is the time when the SEO elements can be put into place, knowing that there is a science behind the semantics – and that’s not just good English and grammar!

Content Keywords:
SEO items for a blog include things like the use of more than one keyword or keyword phrase if it is appropriate. The keywords used should reflect on the actual topic. Keyword density and distribution can play a part here too. Proportionately, the main keyword phrase should occur more than any other word or word phrase in the post. But, the use of all keywords used should flow nicely and be distributed in the post so they make sense.

Linking:
Linking should be looked at in a strategic fashion for SEO and with good anchor text for those links in place. A good SEO will know how and when to include a link in a blog post and when to have internal and/or external links and how the words used to anchor those links should be incorporated. It really is not just about having a link because you think it might be useful or resourceful. Links, internal and external along with the anchor text used can say a lot to the search engine spiders about what is important for the post and the pages the links reference. Certainly, if a link helps the reader, by all means give it to them. But, don’t be surprised if the SEO changes when and where you decide to put that link.

Meta Data
It is at this point that Meta Data for the blog post should also be created by the SEO. It should work hand in hand with the blog header and its content. If for some reason your blog doesn’t give you control over your meta data try to find a way so that you can have that. Meta Data, especially the Title and Meta Description can be another effective and useful part of a blog post if strategically written.

URL – Permalink – Slug
The URL, permalink or slug that some blogs call a page name is an important part of your blog too. Incorporating SEO knowledge in the URL can be very useful in all kinds of ways for your post and for others who might reference it. Some basic standards for a good URL is to have a keyword or keyword-phrase in the name and to keep it as short as possible. No need for dashes between words unless the words can’t be parsed properly or can be parsed incorrectly. My favorite example is this word “mens-exchange”. Take out the dash and put the words together and read it again! Yup…nope, not necessarily what you might want.

Now, it is ready to go live! Wahoo! But, one more thing you might want to make sure about and that is to add it to your XML sitemap file. This makes it easier to alert the spiders to the new post for possibly quicker indexing.

Ok, so if you didn’t quite get it, the best blog has both writers (or bloggers) and SEOs in place, with SEO coming before, during and after to make it the best, most effective blog post your site can have! Don’t forget that you are writing for your readers but if the readers can’t find you then you need the search engines to help! So, let’s get the team together and start writing!

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