Make Blogging and RSS Pay Off by Driving Traffic and Sales Through Optimized Blogs and Feeds
In the intensive session I led during the ACCM in Boston on May 21, the overriding theme was that search engines judge a site’s worth on its inbound links. Translation: No links = no rankings.
Blogs, meanwhile, are great at attracting links from the blogosphere, because bloggers are rather cliquish and mostly tend to link to each other. So you’ll earn links as a blog that you wouldn’t normally earn otherwise.
Nonetheless, intentionally work to boost your link popularity; don’t just expect links to your blog to come on their own. One of the best ways to do this is by building relationships with bloggers by posting thoughtful comments on their blogs, by networking with them at real-world conferences like the Blog Business Summit and BlogHer, and by blogging about them. They’ll be more likely then to follow your blog and give you “hat tips” when they piggy-back on something interesting you’ve found online, and hopefully even include you on their “blogroll” (a link list of favorite blogs they read).
Internal Hierarchical Linking Structure
You pass all that hard-earned link popularity (PageRank) down through your blog’s archives through the blog’s internal hierarchical linking structure. Internal linking is one of your secret weapons, so make the most of it. Create a Top 10 list of your best posts and link to those posts from your blog’s home page. All your posts should include “Next Post” and “Previous Post” links, as well as a linked list of related posts. When writing blog posts, get in the habit of referring to any relevant old posts sitting in your archives.
Don’t use “click here” or “permalink” or “read more” in the anchor text of your internal links, because the search engines associate that underlined anchor text with the page to which you are linking. The engines will start to think all your pages are about such bizarre things as “click” or “here.” Given that, you’ll want to include important keywords in your internal links. The post’s title makes for a great anchor text, so make sure your post titles are clickable links.