----------------------------------------------- Build Better Blogs

Notes about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

What are SEO tools, and how can these internet tools help to bring more quality traffic to your Blog? There are many free online web tools that webmasters can use to find out more information about their sites, like Statistical tools, page rank checkers etc, and several pay-to-use or subscription packages that can optimise these processes for you, but most webmasters will tell you that the holy grail of attracting new, targeted traffic is to use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) methods.

A good definition of SEO is: a method or process of improving and optimising the ranking of a website in search engine results.

There are potentially millions of pages of search results returned for any given keyword, or even key phrase, and webmasters of course want to have their website appear among the first few pages listed (think about when you use a search engine to look for something - how often do you look further than the first few pages of results?) The higher the position - or ranking - the greater the likelihood that internet users will visit your site. This Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) concept is no different from a high street shop where location and visibility affect how many customers will pass by, and hopefully drop in for a visit. On the internet, your virtual site deserves a good location and visibility, and SEO consultants believe they know how to achieve this.

A good way for bloggers and owners of new websites, who will naturally begin with a very small presence online, to boost their position in the rankings is to try and use your keywords as often as possible whilst still making the text of your site readable. Take a look again at this post - how many times have I typed the phrase 'Search Engine Optimisation' or 'SEO'? Anyone of you who found this page by typing SEO into a search engine will perhaps understand why I have typed this phrase so often - when the search engine crawls the web, it will look for instances of your search parameter and pages with more instances of those parameters are more likely to be returned higher up the rankings.

This is of course only one of the ways in which search engines rank pages, the others including number of pages on the site, number of backlinks etc, and the precise way by which each engine ranks it's results varies from engine to engine - the algorithms used by each company are a closely guarded secret, to prevent abuse.

Nevertheless, most larger companies, and blogs with high readership and search engine rankings, who do not want to pay a fee to be listed as a 'sponsored link' (which attracts a fee everytime someone clicks on your page, meaning that small sites and inexperienced advertisers are likely to go bust rather quickly!) use some kind of SEO tool.

Most SEO providers will charge a fee for their services, but it's worth checking the links to these sites I include below, as (at the time of writing) at least one of these companies is offering a free membership draw, and several of the others include free tips (hint - if you navigate their sites you will find some of their secrets without having to pay a penny) to help you improve the layout and content of your site, thus increasing your visitors and readership.

Some of the most popular SEO Providers:

SEO Elite

Utimate Ranking Loophole

SEO backlinks (I use this on one of my other blogs, a very good value tool)

Web Tools Now SEO (free offer at the time of writing)

Webcomp Analyst

Keyword LSI Spy (free trial at time of writing)

Insider SEO Revealed

Web Traffic Machines

SEO Codebreaker

SEO Cockpit

SEO Automated Link Builder

There are of course many other sites, but these are the ones I feel are offering the best user experience, at the time of writing. As I said, if you navigate through their sites, you may be able to pick up a few hints without paying a penny. Good luck!

Get help with sharing your content

A great way to increase the circulation of your blog's content is to trawl through the web adding your site to blog directories, and making sure you ping them everytime you update.

Unfortunately, as I can personally attest, this takes for ever and is incredibly tedious.

Why not get help from your readers? By adding a social bookmarking button to the footer section of your blog, you can give your readers the option of sharing an article they like with others in their networks.

Go to Add This to get a free 'add' this button, that will allow your readers to submit your posts to facebook, twitter, myspace and many, many more social networking and article syndication sites.