For most businesses, implementation of a blog is a core component of a content marketing strategy that is designed to attract more and more visitors who can be educated through blog posts and converted into customers. While the creation of great, compelling content is a key aspect of that strategy, it’s also extremely important that your blog is optimized for search engines. The best blog post in the world is worth nothing if no one knows about it and can’t find it!
I recently found an infograph entitled “Blog Design for Killer Search Engine Optimization” which did an outstanding job of covering the important points in making sure that your blog platform is as good as it can be. Unfortunately, the infograph itself was designed very poorly. You’ll find it below and I believe, like me, you will find it extremely hard to read due to the design and color choices. So, I decided to take the time to transcribe the points being made so that they can be more easily communicated.
Blog Design for Killer Search Engine Optimization
01 Beauty Counts
Professional Design can reduce bounce rate, increase page views and earn more links.
Your design should also be carried through to your other platforms and social networks for consistent branding.
02 Search Box
Make it easy for visitors to search your site.
Don’t assume that visitors will automatically know where to go within your site to find what they’re looking for.
03 RSS is Alive!
Encourage RSS subscriptions with well-placed buttons.
There are approximately 7,784,292 websites using RSS, and 21% of the top 10,000 sites use RSS.
Used by visitors for navigation and by search engines to help categorize your content.
Breadcrumbs are particularly useful if you have a website where visitors will click through several successive pages that carry them deep within your site. If your site really only has one or two levels of links, tags and categories may provide more intuitive structure.
Flash should really be discouraged regardless of usage.
Keep the sizes optimized to reduce page load times. Use alt text attributes and define width and height.
Utilize thumbnails and lightbox scripts whenever possible.
07 Keep it Above the Fold
Place important content where visitors can see it without scrolling.
For most users and desktop browsers, this means keeping within the top 768 pixels.
08 Link to Your Best Content
Create unique category or hub pages to feature your best posts.
.12 is the correlation between the # of internal links on a page and higher rankings.
09 Don’t Overdo Links
Too many [links will] dilute your link juice and may cause crawling issues. A limit of 100 per page is a good rule of thumb.
It’s also confusing and overwhelming to visitors! Avoid blogrolls and sidebar archives.
10 Watch Your Ad Space
Don’t let ads outweigh your unique content. Too many ads may hurt your rankings.
Again, it’s also overwhelming. If a visitor comes to your site and finds a site filled with ads, it may be difficult for them to view your content and find actual value in your website.
11 Encourage Comments
Comments build a sense of community, attract links and provide free long tail content.
Read more: How To Manage and Encourage Comments
12 Sharing for Everyone
Make your content easy to share via social sites and email.
Sharing produces 10% of all internet traffic. 51% of content is shared on Facebook, 11% on Twitter and 7% by email.
13 Test for Speed
Reduce page bloat by optimizing images, combining CSS into external files and enabling caching.
02.90 Seconds is the median page load speed. Make sure your site loads at least that fast.
14 Crawl and Validate
Test your blog using online SEO tools to crawl and validate your site.
Work with your web developer to ensure that search engines (and visitors) won’t encounter any errors with your site.
15 Pick a Powerhouse Platform
|Domain Authority||Platform||# of Linking Domains|
The problem with this ranking is that is it trying to compare major blogging platforms based on the authority of the system’s domain name. However, Drupal and Joomla sites (and many WordPress sites), are self-hosted. That means that you are using your own domain name for your website, rather than byname.wordpress.org. Since we recommend that every business use their own unique domain name for their website and blog, the authority of the system’s domain is irrelevant.
For self-hosted websites, WordPress is our primary recommendation.
Factors that May Cause SEO Problems
- Pages that are all images without text
- Heavy use of Flash
- Content hidden behind form submissions
- 100s of links
- Hidden text
Here’s the original infograph:
How many of these factors have you already incorporated into your own blog? Would you add anything else?