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How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines

Posted By Darren Rowse 24th of November 2006 Search Engine Optimization 0 Comments

So you’re looking to increase the profitability of your blog for the Christmas period (and beyond). You’ve optimized your AdSense, Chitika and Affiliate programs, you’ve even written a little seasonal content…. but there’s one missing element…. Traffic.

Unless you actually have people viewing your blog it is very difficult to actually earn anything from it.

So how do you drive traffic to your blog?

I’ve written quite a bit of this previously in a number of posts (for example here) but want to spend a little time talking today about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Why SEO?

When you are looking online for information on a topic where do you go first?

While I’m sure there will be a variety of answers given to that question – the majority of average web users would answer with one word – ‘Google’.

Every day Search Engines like Google send many millions of web users to websites in their index. While there are plenty of Web 2.0 web indexing services around that are increasing in popularity – the fact is that search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN are still the biggest source of traffic to websites on the web.

As a result – learning how to be indexed and ranked well by them seems like a no brainer.

Writing for Search Engines and Humans

Some bloggers have a problem with the idea of optimizing a blog for search engines. They argue that rather than writing for search engines a blogger’s sole focus should be that they write quality content for humans.

I personally don’t see that writing for humans and search engines have to be mutually exclusive things – in my opinion both can be achieved without compromising either.

Some bloggers argue that if you write for humans that SEO looks after itself. To some extent I agree with that – if you do write quality content that others like you will find that they link up to your site (a key in SEO) – however I would argue that incoming links from other sites is just one part of climbing the rankings in Search Engines (an important part but not the only one).

There are other factors that come into play also and I believe that by knowing them and naturally incorporating them into your blogging you can increase your chances of being found by readers in Google, Yahoo and MSN.

Of course – some people become a little obsessed with SEO and forget the human reader, don’t fall for this trap and keep a balanced approach and you’ll benefit both from traffic from the search engines as well as a loyal readership who keeps coming back for more quality content.

Basic SEO tips for Bloggers

I’ve written previously on this topic so rather than writing the same thing again in a slightly different way will republish some of my previous tips below. I hope you find them useful.


About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. […] How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines ProBlogger on How To Optimize for SEO (tags: seo) […]

  2. Hi Darren,

    Your blog is wonderful :)

    I have just started a food blog and I think your tips will help me, carry on with your good work as you really do know what your talking about.

    Your blog has been a great read, feel free to come over to my blog anytime to have a look at my daily recipes which I make each day, your very welcome.

    best wishes
    Food blog.

  3. This piece and Steve Pavlina’s articles on blog promotion are the best I’ve seen. Thanks. :)

  4. […] So how do you drive traffic to your blog? continue reading […]

  5. great tips – thanks for these!

  6. […] 4. Optimize your blog for the search engines. […]

  7. […] 4. Optimiza tu blog para los motores de búsqueda. […]

  8. […] 4. Optimiza tu blog para los motores de búsqueda. […]

  9. […] 4. Optimize your blog for the search engines. […]

  10. […] How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines (tags: SEO Blog Advice) […]

  11. […] How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines […]

  12. […] off, go read the Problogger article they linked to in this step, How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines. Darren Rowse is one of the preeminent bloggers on this subject. He first speaks of one of the most […]

  13. Search engine positioning, optimization, and increased website traffic are critical elements of a successful Internet business solution. High visibility of your website can make the difference between driving a high volume of sales leads and targeted traffic to your company’s website or being lost in “cyber space.”

    With the burgeoning popularity of the internet, new developmental tools are created daily. With these tools come new challenges, marketing, design, cross-browser transitions, etc. All of these can be a daunting task for those web gurus who aren’t well-versed in the W3 Standards.

  14. Mmmm very informative article, It really made me focus on some important SEO tactics that i was paying less attention for all this time. Thanks Darren

  15. Yes, your post is still alive even if it has been a whole month since the last comment was made. Well, I must say you are doing something correctly because I did a Google search for “how do I submit my blog to the search engines” and I think you were number 2 or 3. Kudus to you!

    I am new to blogging…having just launched our blog 4 days ago. I have added this page to my favorites as I am sure I will be using it as a checklist in the weeks to come. My husband also ordered the SEO book for me (now if he would only read it for me and tell me exactly what to do I’d be a happy camper..haha).

    Because I am new to blogging, I am COMPLETELY lost with all the options in WordPress & Feedburner and what I should do and what I shouldn’t do. I also cannot get my template to work correctly, but hopefully we will get that resolved soon. I would love to see another lengthy post of yours detailing what every blogger should know about which widget, plugins & other options to turn on in their blog because I haven’t found a post like this yet. If you want to do a post in “interview” format, I would be happy to be your “interviewee” and tell you where I’m having problems or things I am clueless on so that maybe you can help other people out there that are having the same problems as me.

    Whatever you decide to write about next, keep up the good work and don’t worry about the length, I think your post was one of the best spelled out & easiest to follow (and understand) posts I’ve read yet!!!! :o) – Stacy

  16. I’m afraid a large percentage of your information is outdated and just plain wrong.

    For instance; submitting to search engines has been a no no for quite a long time. One can actually be penalized for this and at the very least, indexing will be delayed significantly.

    Blogs are not included in Google (as are NOT “normal” websites”) for “registering your url for a lengthy period” and it is still questionable if this ever was detrimental. 1 year is plenty and the registrars want you to believe this lie so they can make more profit. None of the SE’s cares about how long the initial registration is for and few even have the algorithm to check it out. Google doesn’t even go to this trouble any more.

    I know large numbers of successful bloggers who started and are even still in their first year of “registration for only 1 year” with their url. I have 3 blogs that are less than 8 months old, registered for just 1 year, that are bringing in 4 to 6oo hits daily, with page 1 indexing for most keyword “long tail phrases” (which you also don’t talk about).

    You did not include anything on social networking or web2.0, a major influence on potential traffic.

    There are a number of other “out of date” entries here, which leads me to thinking you are just a little out of touch with what is going on now.

    Time to “re learn” the fundamentals so you don’t teach the “wrong stuff”.

    Will this entry be posted? I doubt it.

  17. Hey, “Lare”?

    Did you stop to check that this post was written in November of 2006 before you ranted like that?

    Darren would never delete a comment that voiced an opinion unless it was purposely crude – but that doesn’t stop others from noticing that you’re the one who’s decided to attack something without even bothering to look at the publish date. web2.0 was barely around then, for one thing.

    That said, you’re incorrect in much of what you said… submitting a site to Google the PROPER way isn’t going to hurt anyone. Doing it every day for months and spamming your way in will.

    I know plenty of blogs that are included in Google’s “normal results” – not sure what you’re talking about there.

    Once again, no one talked about “long tail” in ’06 so your point is irrelevant.

    Let’s remember too, this isn’t “The 100% Foolproof list of absolutely every single thing you need to do in order to optimize your blog for search engines – Updated daily.”

    It’s a starting point.

    Maybe you could’ve gently suggested that Darren make some updates to this post, but since you couldn’t be bothered to look at the date, maybe you would’ve not thought of that either.

  18. Lare – thanks for your comment. Like Lara points out – this is a post that is approaching a year old. That’s the nature of blogs – with over 3500 posts on this blog it’s not possible to keep going back through them all to update them all.

    In terms of the registration for 1 year – I’m not saying that a long registration will ensure high rankings – however around the time that I wrote this post a Google patent document said that it was a factor. I doubt it’s a major factor – but these things add up. I’m sure there are many blogs out there that rank well with 1 year registrations – however if it has a chance of increasing my blog’s rankings even a little bit and it only costs me a few dollars extra then I don’t see the problem in a longer registration.

    In terms of social media – you’re right, I don’t mention it in this post – but do a search of my blog and you’ll find hundreds of other posts that do. You can’t possibly write every tip in every post. This is actually a post about optimizing a blog for ‘search engines’ (hence my title is ‘How to Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines’ – so I kept the content focused upon that.

    I guess all I’m saying is that a blog needs to be read in context with the date a post is written and the rest of the entries on that blog.

    Like Lara says – if you want to critique me – feel free to do so – but perhaps you could be a little constructive about it. It’d also be nice to know who you really are – if you’ve got a blog why not link to it and show us all how someone who knows what they are talking about does it?


    My apologies.

  20. Great post. I do believe, personally, that many factors are becoming obsolete. Keyword density is not as much important as the way it is laid on page and its varieties. This is also true about the anchor text that should be diversified for more of a “natural” linking behavior,Even if dealing with the same page and same keyword.
    Thanks again and keep up the good work!

  21. I agree EITAN about the anchor text that should be diversified for more of a “natural” linking behavior and thanks for made me focus on some important SEO tactics .

    Alex Bell.

  22. Finished reading, now time to work. I was ignoring this for a long time, and it cost me so much. Great post, thank you.

  23. wow.. thanks for that. :) i am relatively new to all this blogging and seo.. it has been very informative!

  24. Darren, great blog… Lots of great information. Thanks!

  25. Just on the point on buying links, I personally would advise against this. We once bought links off a site, which actually reduced a Google Page Rank on one of our sites.

    Good SEO is like wine, it matures with time. Be patient.

    Web Efforts

  26. […] Wall and Wendy Piersall have talked about it. Darren has also been known to create a post here or there on the […]

  27. Once again thanks for the information. I was searching Google for ways to increase search engine traffic and once again your blog was at the top. I have signed up and used two of the sites you listed in this post.

  28. Well Darren – your advice speaks for itself. You had the #1 spot for “add blogs to search engines.” Thanks for your help.

  29. Thanks for those wonderful tips.. I just recently start blogging and I was directed to your page when i search for “how to optimize a blog”.. Good work and I’m very impressed..

  30. I appreciate the helpful tips. I’ll have to use these now that I just launched http://www.imablogger.net
    Thanks and I’ll continue to read!

  31. Copyscape Alert says: 09/23/2008 at 12:33 am

    Just to let you know – this douche is copying your content

  32. I want to promote my website in SE’s can any one say me some tips to do the same.
    Thanks in advance.

  33. Awesome post…. i was just doing some research before starting my blog, this was an excellent piece of information. thanks for all the help.


  34. I need to apply all of these to my blog. Thanks!


  35. Excellent post!! I’ve purchased some SEO materials in the past and they weren’t as helpful as this post. Would most of the same steps apply to a regular html/php site? Anything particularly different that should be done with a regular site? You should teach a course on SEO….

    Thanks for all your help.

  36. Wow! I must say that of all the websites I’ve come across since venturing into the blogging world, yours has been one of THE most informative. Great, great information, thanks for sharing. I will continue to take advantage of your advice. Thanks!

  37. I was just hunting for some On page stuff and I came across this excellent article, I think this is really gonna help a lot for me as for as the SEO of Blog is concern. After going thru so many articles I came to know that to make a blog is very easy now a days and to get it optimized is also bit easier then before. thank you very much for sharing this information.

  38. Nice tips, I mean this is info should be a must for every blogger.

    Craig Miller

    internet marketing seo

  39. Great Tips, Its really helpful to increase a traffic on the blog..

  40. You really get under the skin of this one… excellent. Particularly the emphasis on not sacrificing content/quality for SEO. If it’s relevant and it’s well written, it’ll fly.

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