Two online friends of mine asked (or got) advice by me recently about optimizing their blogspot (aka blogger) blogs.
Blogspot is a much simpler platform than WordPress. WordPress has two types of pages: posts and pages. Blogger has only blogposts. WordPress has two ways to organize your posts: categories and tags (and an extra option I don’t understand, so I won’t explain it here). Blogger only has labels, another word for tags.
Alright, so that’s the basis: we have a platform with only blogposts, and only tags to organize things. So how do we make sure our content is interlinked well and the right keywords get into the page? That’s the issue here: how to SEO a blogspot blog.
The Blogspot / Blogger Title Tag
Like WordPress the default title of a blogger post is ‘blog title | blogpost title’. You will want that reversed. In WordPress I’d tell you to pick the right theme or install and SEO plugin. In blogspot you’re forced to edit the code of your Template. Luckily if you screw up, you can ask blogger to put the original template back.
- So, go to the HTML editor of your template
- Find the line that says: <title><data:blog.pageTitle/></title>
- Replace it with:
<b:if cond=’data:blog.pageName == ""’>
<title><data:blog.pageName/> | <data:blog.title/></title>
- Click ‘save’
- Check your blog to see if you screwed up
[Hat tip to 911 need code help]
Tell your users who you are: about page
I know, there is the option to use feature your blogspot profile on your blog. However, that profile is not very useful for SEO purposes. Anyhow, Blogspot has just introduced the option to create pages for your blog, and I advise you to use it. Create an About Page. On it you should have:
- A picture of you that’s reasonably flattering, or in line with the image you want to portray on the blog (you know, funny hat if it’s a funny blog etc.)
- Some personal information about you that’s relevant to the blogtheme
- Some links to related stuff you’ve done online and where you can be reached on say twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook etc.
That’s it really.
The reason you don’t want to use the blogspot profile is that it has rel-nofollowed links in places where you really want your link to be followed. So instead put up a picture widget and a link to ‘pages’ – aka your about page – below it.
Interlinking related stuff on your blog and getting keywords in there
This part is in two: you need to use the right tags (aka labels) on your posts and you need to add related links at the bottom. I’ll start with the related links. I have not actually tried this, so I’ll refer you straight to an online tutorial I found: How to add a related posts widget to your blogger blog.
Now for the really hard stuff. No, it’s not more code. It’s using labels to organize your posts. This sounds so easy, but I’ve seen too many people mess up their tags, and have had enough trouble keeping my own tags in order, to know it only seems easy.
So here’s another try at explaining how to do tags. On a blog you don’t have to worry about using tags other people are using: it’s all your blog after all. But you still don’t have much reason to want to create tags that are only going to be used by one post. Why? because a lonely tag is a page that’s a LOT like the original blogpost. That’s duplicate content and search engines don’t like that.
So, if you can, always select your labels from the labels you’re already using. Blogspot makes this easy, simply select that option when you’re writing your post.
But how do you choose your post? I’m afraid it takes some analytical thinking. Think about how a library or a shop would categorize what you’ve just written. Is it fiction, is it a book review, is the movie you’re writing about fantasy, romantic comedy or something else… In other words: think about categories that describe what your post is about, that are more general than the post itself. After all, you want other posts (past or future) to ALSO be using that label.
Oh, and you get bonus points for using words searchers use when looking for your content. Don’t let that determine your tags though. Even if you have no chance at ranking for say ‘Buddhism’ (a very competitive niche), if you’ve written 5 posts about that, they should definitely all be labeled ‘Buddhism’.