Sunday, August 8, 2010

Better Blogging: Search Engine Optimization

Taking a break from all the food and cooking posts, here's an article written by my I.T. department, i.e. my husband. I started this blog as a side hobby almost two years ago, but it has slowly become a hobby for my husband as well. So, "my" blog has transitioned into "our" blog...and I couldn't be prouder of all the hard work he has done.  This is a *brief* overview of everything he analyzes and I am so glad he leaves me to analyze the recipes!

I guess after two years of being involved in the blogosphere, a behind the scenes post on how it has been accomplished up to this point is necessary. My first piece of advice would be to stop working “in” your blog and start working “on” your blog.  Good content and your love for food has done a fantastic job getting you to this point, now it’s time to play in the big leagues where page views, visitors, time on the site, bound rate and a million other things matter to how fast you can be discovered. 

How do you want to profit from your blog?   Think about it.  Are you selling a book, advertising, newsletters, eBooks, recipe cards, or other?  You need to direct people to the exact location of the item you are selling and there are many ways to do that. We get advertising revenue through Foodbuzz and have found that Google is by far our biggest resource for new readers.  They are only good for one hit wonders, meaning that you probably are not going to get a subscriber from a Google Search.   Which may be perfect for you if you are selling books or articles, but our business plan is to provide good content a few times a week and have return visitors again and again, making our advertising revenue go up.  

Don’t forget about Google….  Did you know how much money you would make if you were the number one search result for “recipe”?  (By the way it’s  Well, 68 million people per month search for the word recipe and it averages $.00065 per click.  That’s about $40,000 per month from Google alone.  Now you’re not going to beat out for the number one position and you probably shouldn’t try, but maybe you will have a better chance at a two or three word keyword.   Let’s try “family cooking”, searched 165,000 times per month, or “vegetarian recipes” (823,000 times per month).   If you have a few moments to learn about keywords try using Google Keyword Tool.  

You can search both your blog url and any keyword option you would like.   By searching your blog url you will be able to determine which keywords are already your strong point and if you notice a pattern it may be as simple as using the same keyword terms more often in your blog.

The second feature is to use the keyword search option and the reason why I like to use this is because it will return alternate keywords for every keyword entered.  For example searching:  “chicken salad” will return “chicken salad sandwich” or “chicken of the sea” each with a different level of popularity.  If you do this for your recipes, you can start picking better blog titles that lead to greater Google search results.

If you are selecting an identity for your blog (i.e. Creatively Domestic -  Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking)  where Simple Cooking & Easy Cooking are the keywords and we use them EVERYWHERE. You want to make sure that your competitors are within your reach.  It’s back to the scenario, where it wouldn’t be smart to compete against them on the keyword “recipe”.  So in order to pick keywords where you will be able to compete and hopefully win, you need to run a Google Search for your keywords. 

Rank My Page….   In order to complete this step you need to install an addon to Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome that shows page ranks on your browser window.  

After Google returns the results, open the top 3 selections (underneath the paid advertising) and check to find their page ranks.  (10 being the highest and 1 being the lowest)  It takes a LONG time to get up to 10. is only 7 and I wouldn’t compete with them.  If these websites have less than a 4 as a page rank, then those keywords will be of benefit to you.   Remember:  Everyone starts at 1 and it takes a long time to grow your page rank and your blog.

Increase your page rank -   Google bases its page ranking mainly on backlinks.  A backlink is a link to your blog on someone else’s blog or website.  It tells Google that your blog is relative to this topic and thus important, the more important you become, the higher your page rank will be. There are a few ways to get back links:

 1. Comment! Comment! Comment! – But you have to remember to put your backlink in the comment.  Oh, and Google doesn’t know what is, so don’t use it! They only know the code 

2. Buttons - Not Just A Pretty Picture.  The cleanest way to get backlinks is to share your button.   We’ve created an entire page on our blog to just my friend’s buttons.   If you are interested in sharing your button please send us an email at creativelydomestic[at]gmail[dot]com and we will gladly swap buttons with you. 

In addition we've even added have a widget on my homepage to allow you to add my button to your blog. Please feel free use the code below to add my button to your blog or even to modify the code for your own use.
3. Guest Posts – While my wife has only done one to date, we have just created a goal to do one guest post per month. So if anyone is interested in having her do a guest post, please send us an email at creativelydomestic[at]gmail[dot]com. The benefit of doing a guest post is that you get exposure on a blog with larger traffic then your own and hopefully that leads to more subscribes, sales, and clicks on your own blog and a few backlinks. 

Facebook is a wonderful thing – About 6 months ago we started Creatively Domestic Facebook Page with 4 fans and now we have over 700.  The biggest benefit for my wife's creativity is that sometimes she doesn’t want to write a whole post on a subject matter and only wants to blab a few short sentences. Facebook is that release for her.  It’s also a huge social network that is the 2nd largest resource for new links for our blog.  We love our Facebook Fans and appreciate how loyal they have been to us and our blog.   See what the fuss is all about and join the Creatively Domestic Facebook Page Today!

Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

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