Blogging Tips: Improving Your Traffic (Part 2)

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Blogging Tips

Blogging Tips: TrafficThe last traffic improving tip in this blogging tips series discussed some basics and meta tags. Now we’ll discuss links in your blog.

You’ll notice on most blogs you visit then when you click a link to view a post that the URL is something like: http://www.site.com/2010/12/article-title. It can vary blog to blog, and some blogs don’t use a format like this at all, which is naughty. Some blogs may have a URL like this instead: http://www.site.com/index.php?id=235. The difference is easy enough to see, one uses dates and/or words in the URL while the other uses a numeric identifier for the article. The reason using the latter is bad is that your URL does not contain any reference to the material of the article. When your URLs use words and dates in them then search engines will pick that up and that’s good.

Here’s an example, I’m searching for an Ork Tactics article and I enter that into my search: “Ork Tactics”. The search engine does its thing and the results that list at the top are going to be results that have a higher weight. There’s a lot of things involved in your weight in search engine results, one being those meta tags we talked about, the other is general content relativity. The more your article uses the keywords and phrases people are searching for the more relative your article is to what the searcher wants. If an article only contains the words “Ork” and “Tactics” once then it will be weighted lower than another article that contains those words more than once. Additionally, the URL of an article will add weight, so if your article contains the words being searched for and the URL to the article also contains those keywords then you have an even higher weight in the results. So, you can see why having URLS with stuff like: id=235 aren’t going to rank as well in the results.

Now, again I use WordPress, and WP has a feature called Permalinks. It’s under the Settings menu. That’s where you set how the URLs to your articles will be created. I know Blogger creates these type of URLs but I don’t know if it’s a default or an option you can set. In any case, make sure your URLs use a format like this.

Knowing this and how your URLs can improve your search engine ranking, it becomes obvious that the title of your article is very important. If the title of your article is part of the URL then you want to make sure that title is relevant to the article. Don’t use a title like “How to Kick Ass” if you’re writing an Ork tactics article. Instead you want something like “Ork Tactics: Deployment Tips”. The title contains obvious keywords someone will use to find an article.

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Relating to all this is categories and tags. With WP you can create categories to put your article in, I’m sure Blogger does too. In addition, you can add tags, or they may be called labels, to your article. Tags are used to help further define your article beyond just the title and category you add it into. An Ork tactics article may be tagged with: Warhammer 40K, Orks, Tactics, Deployment, Deffkoptas, Big Mek, Kustom Force Field, etc. You’ll notice we used tags that are included in the title, and possibly the category too. This is again to add relevance and weight to where you show in search results for these words.

These categories and tags generally show below your article depending on the design of your blog. These become links that people can click to find related material. In some cases a category may be part of the URL to your article. So, make sure your have appropriately named categories for your articles and that you use relevant tags as well.

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