December 11, 2007

"Believe it or not, you can use your blogging software's features to instantly increase your ranking on search engines."

You want your blog to be successful. After-all, running a blog that doesn't get much traffic and has nobody subscribed to it's feed can be stressful and feel like a complete waste of time. New bloggers especially have to struggle with reaching for success.

Regardless of whether you're a new blogger or a veteran blogger, there are some ways you can achieve greater success almost instantly. How? Through search engine optimization, of course.

What a lot of bloggers don't realize is that blogs are built practically to rank high in search engines; to gain a lot of exposure online almost instantly. Blogging platforms like Blogger and WordPress are designed to maximize search engine features, and already have practically everything any blogger would need to optimize their webiste.

For whatever reasons, bloggers are not taking advantage of their blogging software's ability to increase ranking on search engines. Believe it or not, you can use your blogging software's features to instantly increase your ranking on search engines, and get more traffic and feed subscribers by doing it. Here's how:

Make an "about" section.

Probably the biggest mistake most bloggers make is not filling out an "about" page or section on their blog. An "about the author" or "about this blog" section is one of the first things a smart search engine would look for, and not having that section - or worse: having that section blank on your blog - is going to hurt your search engine ranking.

Your "about" section should be short and stick to keywords that are related to your blog. If you need a great example, just look over to the right of this page and read Internet Hunger's "about" paragraph.

Not only will having an informative, short "about" section on your blog affect your ranking on search engines, but it will also help new readers to your blog figure out where they are and why they should read what you have to say. Your blog's success depends on having an "about" section, believe it or not.

Use a detailed description.

Another mistake most bloggers make that really affects their success is forgetting to fill out a description for their blog. A description is similar to an "about" section, but much more concise and straight to the point.

Having a description also allows you to easily incorporate your keywords into your blog again without looking like you're trying to spam your readers or overwhelm search engines. Those keywords are what will make your blog appear higher on search engines, and having those keywords listed as many times as possible on your blog means your more likely to appear higher for them.

But don't get carried away. The description of your blog should be detailed, but extremely concise, void of all unnecessary words. As an example, the description for Internet Hunger is in the title as well: "Internet Hunger. Internet marketing - SEO - web design - blog."

What does that description tell you?

What you interpret that description as, and what new readers to the blog interpret the description as, is exactly how search engines will interpret the description of the blog. So keep it simple and use your keywords, but don't overdo it. Save anything extra you have to say for the "about" section of your blog.

Ping feed aggregators.

While incorporating keywords into your blog's template is extremely important to your search engine ranking, incorporating those same keywords into your posts is vital to any high ranking in search engines. But you have to remember that search engines aren't going to know that you've made a new post unless you "ping" them, or tell the search engine networks to check your website.

Not only is it useful for search engines, but also for feed aggregators like FeedBurner and for networks like Technorati.

What a lot of bloggers don't realize is that there is software that allows them to ping automatically with each update. If you're using Blogger, FeedBurner is the way to go. If you're using WordPress, you can have your blog automatically ping services by going to your settings and then Optinions > Writing.

Keep writing.

The biggest way to increase your blog's search engine ranking and overall success is to just keep writing. Everyday, or more than once a day, if you have enough ideas. But don't give up. The more content you provide, the more likely search engines are to think you are important, and the more interesting your blog will become.

But don't just write anything that comes to mind. Write interesting blog content.

While making an "about" section on your blog, writing a detailed description, pinging services, and constantly writing, will increase your ranking in search engines and help build your blog's traffic, they are not the only things you can do to optimize your blog using your blogging software.

If you're interested in learning more, read Thomas Silkjær's incredible post on WordPress and SEO. And if you want to receive helpful tips and insights almost everyday straight to you, you can subscribe to Internet Hunger directly, or in your e-mail by filling out the "subscribe by e-mail" form on the right of this page.