This post is originally from my book, ‘Blogging for your Business’. If you haven’t read it, you can grab a few excerpts at Infinarium.Com. Back when I was writing this particular chapter, SEO was still around in the form of classic ground work. You know the usual elements, such as, but not limited to, guest posting, article submission and etc.

I’d say these techniques are Vanilla SEO techniques. Some of them work; some of them don’t. The inclusion of Google Keyword tool in the content below was not necessary. For one reason, the Keyword Tool does not exist in the same form as it once did several years ago, and there has been critical changes in the algorithm since then.

However, I can’t shake off the appended chapter because it is still important. These SEO techniques DO work, but you are going to have to improvise a little bit. Feel free to look around, cross check and run your own research to make amends and improvement to the tips I have shared below.

SEO, Social Media Presence, WordPress Plugins – What You Need To Know About Them?

Search Engine Optimization, WordPress Plugins and a strong Social Media presence play an important role in defining the success metrics of your blog. In this chapter, you will learn about all these three elements from a beginner’s perspective, so that you have enough knowledge about a few important things to implement the basic strategies.

SEO – How to Get The Most Out Of It?

Over the past few years, Search Engine Optimization has gone through a lot of changes. Needless to say, there are always two sides of a blog – The side that readers see and the side that blog developers really care about, to bring in all those readers.

Assuming that your blog is about Natural Weight Loss, you would want it listed in the first 2 pages in Google US search results. That is, IF you are planning to hit the U.S. traffic counters on the internet. ‘Natural Weight Loss’, right now at the start of year 2012 is an extremely competitive keyword. You are going to have to add a bit of variance to it, in order to climb up the Search Engine Rankings ladder.

–          I use Google Adwords Keyword tool to check in on my keywords at the start of any project. You can type down “Google Keyword Tool” in Google search bar to access this phenomenal free service page.

If you are having trouble finding this Keyword Tool page, the following link will directly take you there:

A look at the old Google Keyword tool

As you can see in the above figure, I circled “Natural Weight Loss” in Blue color. The square brackets [ ] around this keyword show the “Exact” number of searches performed for this keyword, every month in Google. Notice that I also tick marked the checkbox next to “Exact” in the top left side bar.

The total number of exact searches for “Natural Weight Loss” is 5,400. It also says that the competition for this keyword is “High”. What “High” really means is the number of people bidding for this keyword and the number of thousands of blogs, and websites, which are already based on “Natural Weight Loss”.

The top 10 websites in Google’s first page are always carrying a high degree of back links. These backlinks, depending on their level of quality and diversity, define the ranking of the website for a particular keyword. Also, the AGE of the blog/website matters a lot in defining what kind of rank it’ll eventually end up with.

Circled in Red color, are the keywords:

–          Natural Weight Loss Tips

–          Natural Weight Loss Supplements

–          Natural Weight Loss Pills

Against these keywords is the exact number of searches that’s performed by users every month. This so-called “Exact” number is not completely accurate as Google is using its recent data to come up with these numbers. More or less, either the search volume for desired keywords will be a little more, or a little less in actuality.

–          The next step is to create a blog post or an entire website about any of the three keywords. Some people use a combination of long tail and short keywords to properly define their SEO strategy. However, before going ahead with creating anything, it is best to check out for the top ranking websites for the keywords that you are considering.

–          Install trial version of Link Assistant’s SEO SpyGlass, or use Majestic SEO online for checking number of backlinks for your competitor websites. It will tell you about their strong presence and extensive profile on the internet. So if you are going to be beating those guys, you will have to have roughly the same number of backlinks, OR a considerably low number of backlinks coming from High Page Rank sources.

On Page and Off Page SEO Games

New bloggers complicate the philosophy of On Page and Off Page SEO. Let’s be clear about it:

–          One Page SEO is optimizing your websites for particular keywords, by taking care of post format, writing style, keyword placement, image text, headers, tags and stuff like that.

  • On Page SEO defines how the Search Engine Crawlers will approach, read and finally index your website.

–          Off Page SEO is all about where your blog is getting its back links from. So to say, if the links are coming from Twitter, Facebook, .Edu, .Gov and such other credible domains, you are in good hands. More importantly, it is the actual value of links and the page rank of the websites, which really matters.

What is Link Value?

This topic has never been touched that much. I mean, people rarely talk about it for any apparent reason. Maybe a lot of “gurus” don’t know about Link Value. Most of the search crawlers rank each link on the basis of a 4 integer value.

Lets say, one link from a Page Rank 4 Weight Loss website is pointing to your blog and another one is coming from a Page Rank 1 source. The crawler will rank both values in let’s say; 0.127 and 0.002 values. As you can see that “0.127” is a lot higher than “0.002”, which means that higher page rank backlinks will matter a lot than the total number of backlinks you are getting.

At this point and level of understanding, this theory might not make any sense to you, but it really does. You will learn about it over the course of your blogging experience. Anyhow, to continue with On Page and Off Page SEO tricks, read on….

On Page SEO – Factors That Define Your Blog’s Popularity To Search Engine Robots:

The following practices have been personally implemented by me. Every SEO expert has his/her own approach. You will probably find a lot of variance in SEO tutorials on the internet. It is a good move to go through them, to get the hang of On Page SEO.

–          When writing your Blog Post, Use the Main Keyword in the H1 Heading. Usually the title of the blog post is written in the H1 Heading format.

–          In the first paragraph, your Keyword needs to be bold so that as soon as the Search Engine Robot starts reading your site, it will recognize the keyword.

–          Somewhere in the blog post, you should also convert your main keyword into a Clickable link. This link can either point to another relevant post in the blog, or the same page.

–          If your article is using sub headings, don’t forget to use H2, H3 and H4 Tags with your keywords in them.

–          Sprinkle all your keywords loosely within the article.

–          By the end of the post, your keyword needs to be Italicized.

–          For Images in WordPress blog posts, use Keywords in their descriptions and Main titles/ Alt Titles.

–          Add keyword enriched description of your blog post in your SEO plugin for WordPress. I use SEO Yoast or All In One SEO Pack. (More About Plugins In The Next Sub Section).

That’s about it for On Page SEO techniques. Let’s move on to Off Page SEO techniques; something that you can easily implement and work on.

Off Page SEO – Effective Tips for DIY SEO:

The topics of Off Page SEO are very loosely defined. Every SEO expert has his/her own tricks to follow. Mind it, no one shares them completely. But still, you could learn a lot by following Free and Paid Off Page SEO tutorials on the internet. It is just a matter of pursuing success in the online world. If you are really willing to push yourself for a cause, you will find a hundred different ways to become successful.

These Off Page SEO techniques are very simple, very common and can be done on your own.

  1. a.    Blog Commenting:

One of the most obvious link building techniques is blog commenting. To do this, head over to different blogs related to, and NOT related to, your niche. Look for a comment section in their posts and post a comment that point backs to your website.

–          While blog commenting, your first priority should be adding value to the content/ on going comment discussion.

–          If possible, try using your main keyword in the comment as an anchor text. It is a great way of adding more value to the degree of “regard” that a search crawler will give to your blog.

–          If a lot of comments have been deleted; it is a strong indicator of the blog admin’s strict policies against spammers.

–          Never use your real name for blog commenting. Or, NEVER use the same name for blog commenting. Why? Usually at Stop Forum Spam and many other Anti Spam websites, the names, emails and IPs of popular spammers are listed. You should always add a bit of variance to avoid getting blacklisted on such websites.

–          If your main keyword for which you are trying to rank for is: How to Lose Weight, your comment could be something like this:

  • Great post. I learned a lot of new stuff from your article. By the way, here’s another article about ‘How to Lose Weight’ – you guys should check it out as it gives a more detailed insight on the same topic.
  • ‘How to Lose Weight’ in the above comment should be your anchor text.

Article Submission:

  • Develop a schedule to submit articles to different networks.
  • Start with unique submissions to Squidoo, Ezine, ArticlesBasem Linked In and many other networks.
  • At the start of your blogging career, refrain from using Article spinner software. Even though these programs give a “unique” edge to the articles, the sentences make no sense. They are beyond your wildest dreams. Most SEO experts use these programs to submit articles to junk directories – more like a junk link building technique.
  • Squidoo articles should be a little lengthy. Whatever you write about, try to relate it to the theme of your entire blog, or your most recent post.
  • At the end of your articles, don’t forget to add your website link.

Forum Commenting and Profile Back Linking:

  • Forum comments, when coming from high page rank forums, are like little nuggets of deliciousness. Set a specific forum commenting day for every week.
  • Try to post 10 – 12 comments in different forums, with a link back to your website or a web page, in the signature link.
  • Also create random profile at random forums and leave them be. You should have 100 different profiles with 4 – 5 different email addresses at different blogs and forums.
  • Deletion is part of the game. If your comments or profile is removed from a forum, don’t cry over it. Move on to other forums – rinse and repeat.

Press Releases:

  • Press Releases are a great back linking technique. Both paid and free press release services are used by Search Engine Optimizers to rank a particular blog for a particular set of keywords.
  • Send 2 – 4 press releases to different websites each month. These press releases HAVE to be UNIQUE.
  • Even if you write down 2 press releases each month, for services embodied in your blog, or a particular post, you will have 24 of them by the end of a year!

Guest Posts:

  •  Guest posts are another invaluable tool for link building. Go to different popular websites and blogs to invite people. Convince them to write an article and post it on your website. Share this article online and you will have two benefits:
    • Google will regard this guest post highly if it is coming from an aged High PR domain.
    • Your readers will love reading the article.

You can also use the guest post method to write blog posts for other people. Always remember to ask them about giving you credit for the post in the form of a link to your website or a specific page of your website.