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Myself and DJ Adams organised a Google User Group recently on SEO techniques and the use of Google Keyword searches. Whilst some of what was discussed was aimed at Web Site layout, a lot of what we learned can be used to help get your SCN Blog Posts up the Google rankings. This will also improve the visibility of your blog and the total number of readers you get. As in Jason Lax’s SCN Blog Update on New SCN Results in Google it is now more important to be conscious of SEO when writing blogs. We would like to thank Katrina Gallagher from award winning SEO Agency PushOn for taking the time to share some of her knowledge with us at the Google User Group meeting.

Katrina told us that Search Engines algorithmically rank web pages based on authority and relevance to the search query being entered. Factors used to determine which pages are ranked higher than others are Code, Content, Connections and Conversion. Whilst we do not have much control over the code behind our blogs, we do have an influence on the other areas. Here are some tips for writing “Search Friendly” content.

On Site Optimisation:

There are a number of “On page” signals that Google or other search engines look for when visiting a web page:

Content: Make sure your content is relevant and uses Keywords connected to the subject. For example if you are blogging on SAP HANA also refer to IMDB or In Memory Database within your blog. You are writing for people not search engines but it is still important to know how pages are indexed. Content that is regularly updated or commented on will also score higher than content that remains static.

Page Titles: It may sound obvious but the Headline Title of your blog page is very important so it needs to contain the Keywords relevant to the actual subject content.

Structure: It has been suggested that content in the earlier parts of a page is ranked higher than at the end and some people suggest writing conclusions first. For SCN Blogs it may be more appropriate to write your synopsis, what you are going to be talking about or your argument first.

Internal Linking: Links to relevant web sites connected to the subject will always help in a page’s ranking. Use Anchor Text rather than a raw URL as the text is indexed as well as the URL behind the text.

Off Site Optimisation:

Although you can get some quick wins with the search engines by following the on site optimisation, external links or back links are judged as being one of the most important contributing factors for SEO.

If you write an interesting blog, get the link out on Twitter, Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn. If you run your own personal blog then write a paragraph on the subject and include a link to your SCN Blog. Ask friends or associates to include the link in their own web content or better still, people will find your content useful and link from their own sites without being asked.

It is important not to get distracted by this and stop writing for people and writing for “robots”. Remember, content is key. If you have an interesting subject and write your blog well using the tips above the rest will take care of itself. People will comment, others will post the link in Social Media and your blog will increase up the Search Engine rankings.

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  1. Jason Lax

    It’s really encouraging to see other SCNers recognizing the value of SEO and engaging in these types of learning activities.  A few simple tweaks go a long way in terms of increasing the visibility of your content, which in terns brings more engagement and opportunities for innovation!

    If I can add anything to the great tips above, please have a look at blog SEO: The Devil is in the Detail

    Jason

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  2. Jason Lax

    One more point specifically for SCN blogs: your titles are used to generate its URL and URLs are a very valuable place for keywords.  This should give you more reason to be very careful when crafting your titles.

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  3. Chip Rodgers

    Excellent and really important blog Tim!  Well done!

    One thing I’ll reinforce is to choose your blog title carefully.  You may have noticed that with the new SCN, the title of your blog post is actually used to create the URL for the blog.  Keywords contained in URLs is another very important factor search engines use to index content.  So having the right words in your title not only gives you the right indexing from the title, but also from the URL used for the blog itself.  (And BTW, if you edit the blog and change the title, the URL does NOT change, so think carefully at the beginning before finalizing your title.)

    Chip

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    1. Tim Guest Post author

      Thanks Chip, it seems the advice from everyone is to think carefully about blog headings / titles. I hope this post and comments helps people with their own blogs!

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    1. Jason Lax

      Thanks for sharing.

      Links are important: links represent a vote of confidence in a URL. Of course this can be abused and Google has gotten better at weeding out the link farms and black hat spammers.  Beyond the abuses, the next biggest challenges for Google in terms of links is figuring out how to interpret all the generic text people use to anchor their links with: “click here,” “learn more,” “find out more,” etc.  The internet is rampant with these!

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    1. Jason Lax

      Generally speaking, Google will include results for alternate spellings of words: it’s figured out long ago that some words have alternate spellings.  Searching for a string including the term organise will retrieve results for both organize and organise.  You may notice a note from Google on the search results that it’s including results for both and provide you the option for searching just one version of the spelling.  The same happens for other variations between American and British spellings such as colour/colour, labor/labour, etc. 

      However, context is also important (location, if using local version of Google).  If I’m back in my hometown of Montreal, where we have railways and celebrate Labour Day, I will likely see more local results having the same spelling of words I used in the results.  For example, if I search for organise closets, most of the results will be local with organise appearing.

      I can go on but, in short, it more important just cater to your audience and be consistent.

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