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Blog TipsSEO

10 Ways to Improve Your Blog’s SEO

By Sep 11, 2010July 3rd, 2014226 Comments

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As I write this, another day of networking and education is taking place in the City of Brotherly Love.  Our Philadelphia Bloggy Boot Camp stop happens today and brings together Tiffany, Mama Kat, and many other of my most favorite people in the blogosphere.

If you’re like me and will be watching the #BloggyBootCamp hash tag from the sidelines today, we can still reap the rewards from the information being shared.  Tara from Feels Like Home is giving two talks today, both focused on SEO, and has generously passed along her presentations to us.

Unraveling the mysteries of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be daunting, but it really doesn’t need to be.  By following Tara’s step-by-step approach, you can learn how using SEO can boost your traffic, readership, influence, and income in blogland.

Tara’s first talk focuses on 10 ways to improve your blog’s SEO, including:

  1. Get Your Own Domain
  2. Research Key Words
  3. Use Smarter URLs
  4. Name Your Posts Correctly
  5. Rename Your Photos
  6. Use Keywords in Your Posts – But Don’t Overuse Them
  7. Use Headings
  8. Use Your Blog’s Meta Tags and Descriptions
  9. Use Your Post’s Keywords and Descriptions
  10. Keep Track of Your Stats

Today, we’ll focus on Tara’s first recommendation:

Get Your Own Domain

Translation: Own your space in the blogosphere!

Rather than being under the umbrella of a “blogspot” address and giving your good SEO to another company (like Blogger), strike out in the world and register your own domain name.  A short, memorable domain name can make the difference between creating a successful web presence and getting lost in cyberspace.

An example of a not-so-searchable domain name: www.thesitsgirls.blogspot.com
An example of a SEO friendly domain name: www.thesitsgirls.com

There are millions of sites where you can register your own domain, such as GoDaddy, Dreamhost, and Bluehost.  Use their search function to find a website name that hasn’t been registered yet and that is personal to you.

If it happens that you cannot get the domain name of your choice, then you have two options:

1) Tweak your idea!  Try manipulating the URL by adding words such as “the” or “my” to the beginning of the website address.  That’s what we did for SITS.  Our web address is www.thesitsgirls.com, rather than simply www.sitsgirls.com.

2) Buy the domain name from the current owner: Check the “whois” information for the domain, and contact the person listed to see if they’re willing to sell it.  You should know that they are likely to charge a higher fee than you would normally pay when buying a brand new domain name.

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It’s Sharefest Saturday here on SITS!  Link to your favorite post you wrote this week and then go and visit the SITStah’s link ahead of you in roll call.  Let’s see some of that comment support in action!

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Interested in becoming an official SITS Girl and being featured on our website? We’d love to showcase your blog! Read how to get involved here.

And, as always, when you see this button:

Be sure to support your fellow SITStah & leave a comment!

About Francesca

Francesca has an extensive background in content marketing, public relations, and social outreach. She oversees all Operations at Sway Group, including our robust metrics capabilities. Prior to joining the online world, Francesca oversaw viticulture and oenology at various wineries in both California and Italy, and managed regulatory affairs and facility approvals at the biotech company, Genentech. Francesca has been featured on CBS Sacramento and Food Blogger Pro’s podcast. She has also hosted an AMA webinar and spoken at Social Media World.

226 Comments

  • Awesome series girls! Can’t wait to dig in to all the topics!

  • I like it! Simple and straight forward. I shared the link to this post w/ my facebook fans. Thank you!

  • Kelly says:

    I absolutely love the advice we get on here! Thank you!!!!

  • teylor says:

    thank you for this… finally my first step into learning SEO…

  • Catherine L. says:

    I’ve been thinking about switching to a self hosted wordpress blog, but just can’t afford it right now.

    Thanks for the great tips!

  • Texan Mama says:

    All fantastic tips. I can’t say I actually understand them all, but they are great none the less!

  • Anastasia says:

    Good advice. Excited for this series!

  • Simone says:

    BTW I have switched from a blogspot to a domain with my pkids photo comp
    http://kidsclickfun.com
    and it worked very smoothly changin over from blogspot. So I know it will be fine once I can find the right name 🙂

  • Simone says:

    I am still bummed that somebody has parked the name I want for my domain and is not using it and has not responded to my emails. Boo.
    I want greatfun4kids.com but it’s parked.
    I don’t want to be greatfun4kids.net
    My only other option seems to be greatfun4kidsblog.com
    Any other suggestions???
    I really want a domain, but I want it to be the right one.
    xx

  • Sado says:

    I kinda have my hands tied when talking about a user-friendly domain….i’ll end up creating a new blog if i change the address :/

  • Melissa says:

    oooh sounds like fun.

  • Jill says:

    do you have to be logged into comment luv for it to work on here?!

  • Jill says:

    So excited about this post and the upsomming ones! I was just looking at domains the other night…. ugh the one I REALLY REALLY want…. WAY too expensive! lol

    Favorite post this week: http://sublimebynature.blogspot.com/2010/09/operation-beautiful.html?showComment=1283543448564#c2211383097969478964

  • Tammy says:

    I am curious if you change your domain name, will your Page rank go down? I have heard so many people have this happen. I have worked too hard to have it go to a zero!

    • Francesca says:

      The answer depends on whether you want to talk about short term or long term. In the short term, there’s no question that changing your domain name will adversely affect your PageRank at Google. Your rank for a given search is essentially a popularity vote by others linking to your site. Change your domain name, and all those links vanish.

      Fortunately, there are some things you can do to mitigate this effect. First off, you can figure out which sites are linking to you and email them asking for their links to be updated to the new domain name. Second, having quality content on your site and following best practices for adding new material with some regularity also helps in assuring that in the long run your new site will pop right into the search engine and continue its climb up the rankings.

      Hope this helps to answer your question, Tammy!

  • greedygrace says:

    Hope everyone’s having a fantastic Saturday night!

  • Tina says:

    I bought my own domains through Blogger quite some time ago…and if you do so through your Dashboard there, all the traffic from your blogspot.com domain DOES go to the new domain you register. Worked just fine for me. I like having my own domains, for SEO and because it looks better. LOL

  • kathy says:

    Im excited about this weeks posts! I have sooo much to learn:)

  • Andrea says:

    I have the same concerns about owning the url. What does it change about my blog that’s already been created and established? I’m so worried about the switchover that I do nothing about it! uggh

    • Francesca says:

      Here is the response that I left for Dee. She had a similar question to yours, Andrea. I hope it helps! If you still have more questions, let’s definitely discuss…

      You only need to migrate old posts from one site to site, e.g. from Blogger to WordPress. If you are thinking about buying a domain name, there is no transfer of posts that needs to happen. It is simply an update to your URL.

      Re the second half of your question, when you change from Blogger to WordPress (for example) you will lose your Google page rank and have to start over. Thankfully, with the recent changes to Google, the search engine is now crawling blogs and other social media outlets daily now. What this means is that you have the potential to build your page rank back much more quickly than in years past.

  • skye says:

    I will definitely have to do this and I am excited I found this group. Yay for sharing and support!

    My fav post I wrote this week is: http://ndnspeechmom.wordpress.com/2010/09/04/go-diego-go-a-belated-tweet-baby-story/

    It is about live teeting my sons birth 🙂

  • Janet says:

    Great information, and I look forward to learning more in future weeks!

  • Carrie says:

    I OWN The 5th girl! Not to sound like a creep or anything.

    Carrie

  • WOW!! Great tips….THANKS!!!!

  • Tonya says:

    I look forward to hearing more tips. Thank you for doing this series!

  • Stylestance says:

    Great tips; I look forward to more. Happy Saturday night to all you lovely ladies 🙂

  • Janet says:

    I’ve been wondering about SEO, so I’m happy you guys are doing this topic!

  • ElizOF says:

    This SEO focus is just what the blog doctor recommended. I’m all ears and eyes and will be seriously attentive to following the recommendations.
    Happy SITS Day all!
    Elizabeth

  • That’s one of the first things I did before I even did my first blog post…own my domain name:)

    Happy Weekend!

  • Mama Llama says:

    Great advice– it was so exciting to get my own domain!

  • Meredith says:

    I’m glad I decided to go ahead and start with my own url instead of wanting to switch over later and having that hassle/worry.

    Can’t wait to hear more…I could use some help in this department.

  • Miss Rhei says:

    thank you for this… finally my first step into learning SEO. thank you so much and more power!!

  • Janet says:

    I’m looking forward to learning more. I do have my own domain but this is one area where my knowledge is limited.

  • Elyse says:

    Not my favorite post to write, but my favorite to eat! You must try these!

    French Toast and Bacon Cupcakes
    http://bylittlehands.typepad.com/by_little_hands/2010/09/french-toast-and-bacon-cupcakes.html

  • Torie says:

    Great information! Thanks!

  • Dee says:

    How hard is it to transfer your old blog posts over to your new domain?

    Won’t you lose your page rank and all the other benefits you gained like ranking for keywords from posts on your old blog?

    Wish I was in Philly.

    • Francesca says:

      A quick point of clarification, Dee. You only need to migrate old posts from one site to site, e.g. from Blogger to WordPress. If you are thinking about buying a domain name, there is no transfer of posts that needs to happen. It is simply an update to your URL.

      Re the second half of your question, when you change from Blogger to WordPress (for example) you will lose your Google page rank and have to start over. Thankfully, with the recent changes to Google, the search engine is now crawling blogs and other social media outlets daily now. What this means is that you have the potential to build your page rank back much more quickly than in years past.

  • Jessica says:

    Does anyone know how to update/change the little picture that shows up on the right with comments?

  • Jen says:

    If my blog really takes off and I get a good amount of viewers, I will look into buying my own domain. For right now, blogspot will do.

  • Jessica says:

    I have been reading up on how to create a website. The next step is to dive out there & get a new domain. However, I’m wanting to gain a larger following with blogspot to take over to my new domain. This way I know that purchasing a domain will actually be worth it. I’ll get there one day though, I’m hopeful! 🙂 Happy Saturday to everyone!!

  • Crystal & Co says:

    Great tips.

    I bought my url almost a year ago and I have seen great improvement.

    PR companies take me more seriously.

    My stats have increased.

    People are searching on google, aol, yahoo for crystalandcomp, crystal and co, etc and it sends readers to me!

    I think it shows others you are serious about blogging. In other words, you are in for the long haul.

    Great tips. Eager to read more about SEO and Meta Tags and keywords.

  • Jayme says:

    I loved Tara’s SEO presentation in Baltimore, so sad I couldn’t make it to Philly!

  • This is a great topic. I’ve been really working at my blog/website. This is one of my goals. I’m looking to really focus in on this in the near future. I have to divide my time as I work as well as blog. Patience is my strength.

  • Hope everyone is having a great Saturday. We are thinking about where we were on 9/11/2001 and remembering the heroes of that day – the thousands of people who lost their lives in NYC, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania, the loved ones they left behind and all the amazing people who risked their own lives to help their fellow Americans. We will NEVER forget!

    WHERE WERE YOU?

  • I bought my domain name and I was super excited! I bought it from GoDaddy and I am pretty happy!

    I am watching the Notre Dame game!! Let’s GO ND!

  • Andera says:

    Such great tips as always. Off I go to work on them!

  • So excited about this series. I have a lot to learn in this area!

  • Happy Saturday my SITStas!

  • Lynn says:

    My favorite post this week is my most recent.

    Find out why I can’t enter the Real Simple magazine essay contest….

  • Tammy says:

    I REALLY want to get my own domain but I am concerned about links to my blogspot address that I have used as a part of my profile at various community sites I have joined. Does anyone know if these those links will be forwarded?

  • I think it’s time I got my head around SEO, so this series of posts is just what I need.

    Hubby’s flight has landed and I’m patiently waiting for him to get home after a week away. I’m looking forward to a happy family Sunday. Hope everyone else has a great day!