Honest Reviews ... No Spin

Improve Your SEO Ranking by Using Tags on Blog Posts

You’ve probably heard that Google is punishing bloggers for overusing and abusing keywords, right? In other words, if you load your blog posts with an unreasonable and unnatural amount of keywords, you’re going to get Google-slapped. Your rankings will drop like a rock if you don’t have valuable content on your site and instead have just crammed it full of keywords.

search engine optimization SEO

Great Way to Insert Unnatural Keyword Phrases

However, there are ways to improve your SEO rankings by stuffing your post tags with keywords. This is a great way to get those unnatural keyword phrases like “need electrician Dallas” or “weight loss Dr. Oz” into your posts without looking like your blog posts were written by an imbecile. Tags are still magically Google-proofed – meaning Google will let you pile up unnatural sounding phrases in the tags.


How Do Tags Work For SEO?

When a post gets indexed by Google for post tags, it will show up as “archive for post tags” – but this often will bring you to the first page of Google, leapfrogging you over all those keywords people stuffed into actual blog posts.


When entering post tags, be sure to separate each tag with a comma. Unlike keywords, you do not have to have the exact phrase in the text of your blog post. This frees you up to enter keyword phrases that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to work into your blog post.


What Website Frameworks Work Best?

You’ll see that some webpage frameworks are easier to work with than others. I’m a fan of Genesis themes because their blogging structures allow you to post tags and do other behind-the-scenes SEO work that other themes might not support.


WordPress themes in general are the boss, but Genesis themes are a step up in usability and functionality, plus they rock style.


Not Sure How to Choose Keywords?

You might think you can just intuitively pick the right keywords, but you’ll be missing out if you don’t do your keyword research.


I personally like to recommend Scribe for new bloggers because Scribe has a keyword research tool built into the program.


Scribe will also evaluate your blog post for readability (checking the reading skill level required to understand your blog post – this is helpful especially for technical or informational blog posts.) Scribe will also give you advice on how to improve your SEO rankings by making small tweaks to your blog post.


Scribe is especially valuable because it is always changing along with Google’s changes. The good people at StudioPress stay up on the latest Google algorithm changes and build these into the Scribe updates. This means you won’t have to pay attention to what Google does – Scribe will do it for you.


Here’s a money-saving tip: If you buy Scribe at the lower level, you can use it to evaluate your first several posts each month, and then use the information you gleaned from those first few posts to apply the guidelines to the rest of your posts. This is a great way to use Scribe (and take advantage of the Google ranking updates) at budget cost. Remember to write off your Scribe membership costs on your taxes – it will more than pay for itself if you pay attention to the updates provided.


How Much Tagging is Too Much?

This is a good question. Right now you can get away with tagging your blog post with multiple tags, but you will want to watch out for over-tagging. Chances are that Google will eventually start punishing bloggers who over-tag, whatever they decide that is. Keep your eye out for information about new Google SEO algorithm changes related to tagging.


In the meantime, go back through your old posts and add appropriate tags to every post. You’ll see your old posts showing up on Google in a week or so.

Protect Your SEO Rankings and Avoid the Google Slap

If you’re a blogger, you know the truth: The Almighty Google giveth, and the Almighty Google taketh away. Your Google rankings are always at jeopardy thanks to the ever-changing Google algorithms. This means you might rank on the first page today but get Google-slapped to page four tomorrow if you’ve broken any of the ever-changing Google rules.


The following are current strategies (July 2013) for avoiding the ever-feared Google-slap. I’ll post updates to this whenever there’s a change in Google algorithms and will update the date so you will know how up-to-date this advice is. As you probably already know: old news is not helpful in this rapidly shifting Internet landscape. I’ll do my best to keep you current on the best advice for protecting SEO rankings.

Tip #1 – Post Truly Useful Content

A lot of bloggers make the mistake of posting crap on their site. If you aren’t offering good material, Google will catch on to you and slap you to the ground faster than you can say “Please don’t give me the Google slap!”

Good content is either:

  • Informative
  • Entertaining
  • Inspiring
  • Useful

If you post content that actually delivers value, you’ll rank well with Google and will develop a real following.

After all, there’s more to ranking than just fooling Google. Your bounce rate will drop if you provide actually useful or entertaining content, since you want to do more than rank well. You want readers to actually act on your content.

Tip #2 – Don’t Overstuff Your Blog Posts With Keywords

Yes, you want to make sure your posts have keywords in them, but you do not want to stuff them with so many keywords that the post reads unnaturally. Aim for a natural sound. Use behind-the-scenes techniques to stuff keywords into tags and images instead of stuffing your posts.

It’s better to write multiple blog posts on individual topics (and use a naturally-occurring number of keywords in each post) than to stuff a zillion keywords into a few posts. The Google people are smarter than any of us want to believe they are. They reward bloggers who do the work and produce lots of content; they Google-slap the fools that load keywords into a few posts and think they should get on the first page.

Tip #3 – Post at Least 350 Words

Alright, alright – I know some of you are posting funny pics or images or comics and you can’t write 350 words in addition to the stuff you usually post. That’s cool, and I get it. However, you will need to add in lengthy posts from time to time to prove to Google that you are a real deal kind of site. You need to get the respect of the Google Overlords who decide where your page should show up in searches.

This is especially important if you are trying to sell a product or service or are running an informational site. Comedic or artistic sites don’t need so many words per posts, but sites that are out to convince viewers to buy something need some serious content creation.

Tip #4 – Use Multimedia

Google loves to see that you are more than a writer. Post images, videos and audio to show Google you are not a one-trick-pony. Google likes the idea that you are making your site friendly to viewers who prefer audio or video instead of just posting one type of media.

If you’re not sure how to find professional images online (and get permission to use them), check out my posting on using images to increase your Google rankings here and then check out istockphoto here. I use istockphoto for my images because they are professional and they offer a wide variety of types of images and photos.

Tip #5 – Keep Your Content Fresh

Google won’t give you the respect you deserve if you don’t keep adding new content to your site. Review your static pages once in a while and tweak them, refreshing the content. Add a blog post every week, showing Google the site is active.

Make sure you change up which keyword phrases you optimize for, showing Google you are wide in breadth and scope.

Protect Your Google Rank

Follow these simple steps to protect your site from a drop in rankings. I’ll keep you posted as I follow Google’s changes.

Five Pieces of Blogging Advice You Can Trust

As  you already know, there’s a lot of blogging advice out there about the topic of making money off your blog. Unfortunately, a lot of the advice available is either impractical, ineffective or just plain promises unicorns and rainbows without delivering suggestions you can realistically do to build a solid business. The following are five pieces of blogging advice that is really works:

Blogging Advice #1 – Take Your Time

If you want to make money off your blog, you’re going to have to blog often.

A lot of people will tell you that you just need to prop up a site, post a few times and slap up some banner ads, but the truth is you need to build trust with your readers or they won’t buy from you. What’s the best way to do that? Post often, and post reliable information. But that’s blogging advice piece number two…

Blogging Advice #2 – Post Only Quality Content

Do your research, write carefully (or hire a copywriter to write for you) and edit your posts. No one trusts someone who claims to be an expert on a topic but then writes like they failed the 5th grade. Make sure you know what you’re talking about, and then write about it intelligently. If you want some great ideas on how to come up with great content ideas and write quality content quickly, click here for more expert advice.

Blogging Advice #3 – Make Sure Every Post Offers Value

Even one poor post can chase off readers. Don’t waste your reader’s time. Instead make sure every post has a purpose and delivers at least one of the following three things: entertainment, valuable information or educational material. If the post doesn’t offer value, revise until it’s something worth reading.

Blogging Advice #4 – Prove Yourself to be Trustworthy

For example, you’ll notice I post about VOIP (voiceover IP), which falls into the informational and educational categories. People can learn how VOIP works and get practical information about how to switch to VOIP, how to choose a VOIP provider and what to expect from VOIP.

Why do I post about this topic? Because I’m a satisfied VOIP user and I know a lot about this topic. (BTW, you can Click Here for the absolute best price on VOIPo.) The same goes for hosting providers, blogging software and other web how-to products and procedures. I blog about the things I know and have tested, so my readers know I’m reliable and trustworthy.

You need to build that kind of trust with your readers, too.

That’s why you need to make sure you choose topics you truly understand and can blog intelligently about. Or, if you are providing entertainment, make sure your posts are truly funny, beautiful or otherwise entertaining. Stand out from the competition. Be the blogger people can trust.

Blogging Advice #5 – Learn SEO Practices

Your content needs to be good, but you also need to learn how to get found on the web.

If you want to show up in search engine results, you have to learn how to play the game. Unfortunately, the rules of the game change often, so you need to stay on top of these changes. If you don’t like to read up on SEO or find it overwhelming, use a plug in like Scribe from Copyblogger that is automatically updated with new SEO rules as changes as made. (Scribe is not the only SEO tool out there, but it’s a solidly good one. I use it from time to time to check to make sure I’m on top of SEO changes, and you can take Scribe on a Risk-Free Test Drive.)

Some bloggers hire SEO gurus to help them rank on search engine pages, but most of us can’t afford to hire someone. Don’t worry; you can rank if you choose a few keyword phrases to focus on, devote time to writing about those topics and learn to be patient. To help you out, I’ve scoured a TON of content on SEO, and recommend you click here to grab your free SEO report from Copyblogger.

Devotion pays off in the blogging world. It’s not a get-rich-quick type of industry (even if a lot of people try to say that is possible.) It is, however, a build-a-solid-business type of industry, if you’ve got the patience to write good content and learn how to play by the rules.

For more solid blogging advice, check out this fun blog post from blogging expert Sonia Simone from Copyblogger.