Saturday, March 8, 2008

31 Days to Building a Better Blog: Day 24

Another big task for Day 24 of the 31 Day Blog Challenge: to do a search engine optimization (SEO) audit of my blog. In other words, look at how I can write my posts in such a way that I will get them recognized in search engines and get a high ranking so that people will find me quickly.

I certainly try to be careful about how I title my posts ensuring I write them in such a way that they will get noticed by search engines but I probably do not worry much beyond that. For example, look at my previous post. Initially, I titled it 'old health education films'. As you can see, it is now titled 'old sex education films', with the rationale that 'sex' is more likely to turn up in the search engines. That certainly has been true about the post I wrote about my experiences in Second Life which I titled '....naked flying men'. I also pay attention to how I label my posts, using terms I think will attract readers and queries in search engines.

Problogger, who devised this Blog Challenge, has written a detailed post about how to do SEO. The key things I have taken from this are:
  • link with the people who are the key bloggers in your area
  • try to get the key bloggers to link with you - this requires you to write politely to the key person and explain how your post may interest them and their readers
  • pay attention to the key words you use in your post because these will be picked up by search engines
  • use the key words in your label, title and frequently in the first few sentences of your post.
These are all things I try to do as much as I can but I do not have the time to be too obsessive about it. Not only that, but I write for a small niche market and will never get a huge audience. And I believe that if I spend all my time thinking about what will attract readers, I will miss the whole point of my blog, which is to write posts that will inform readers and encourage discussion and networking.

When Sue Waters did this challenge, she advised people to register with Technorati, which is a blog search engine. I have followed Sue's advice and now have an account and icon on my blog which allows people to add my blog to their Technorati account. The key is to remember to use as many of my Technorati key terms as possible in my posts, such as 'midwifery', 'eportfolio', 'blog' as possible. You'll be glad that I haven't made 'sex' as one of my key words!

Image: 'Key in Ignition'

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