Friday, July 23, 2010

Improve Your Blog

I got Capability:Mom, DesignTrackMind and GreenCollarEconomy to go over their blog graders from Website Grader in order to unearth tips and tricks for improving our blogs.

This is what we collectively figured out:

  • Our blog grade seems to be driven by amount of posts and we think that 3 posts a week is the minimum.
  • Inbound links and retweets count, but that doesn't seem to be the driver for the Blog Grade.
  • None of us were using Google Buzz but, as GreenCollarEconomy, says, "Never count Google out."  We need to get on Google Buzz and figure that out.
  • Inbound links are important -- DesignTrackMind thinks her links are from her images.  She labels them all using Alt Text.  I need to figure that out.  We all should be labeling our images. She recommends using Writer to create blog posts and for ease of use in labeling images.
  • Google Indexed Pages - we think our number count is coming from the comments we make on other blogs.  GreenCollarEconomy says to make 5 comments a day (day in and day out). Not all of us are, but it helps in so many ways:
    • We learn more about the topics we are interested in.
    • We find great content to link to.
    • We make new online friends.
    • We become part of a bigger online community.
    • Yes, very time consuming but very important!
  • Readability level - We are seem to be secondary/high school.  Lower is actually better.  No big SAT words or overuse of fancy punctuation!
  • Metadata - I posted previously on how to do this.  Wordpress blogs need this meta description HTML code inserted into their blogs if your template doesn't already to it.  You will know:  when you google yourself, is the text under your URL your blog description that you created or some random stuff?  Random stuff means you need to insert said code.  I think Blogger does this for you.
  • Image summary - again, alt text label your images.  (I need to do this!)
  • Domain Info.  This is an easy one to score brownie points.  Just buy your URL for 3 years instead of 1.  You get a better deal per year AND it makes SEO happy because you seem more committed.
  • MOZ rank.  We don't know what this is and we're not worrying about it too much.  GreenCollarGuy says that our 4/10 is acceptable.  He says only Amazon, Google and Yahoo get 10/10.  Even Martha Stewart isn't likely even a 9/10.  We don't really know how to raise our score significantly.
  • Inbound links.  Yes, make comments and create great content so that other blogs want to link to you.  Very important!
  • Twitter Grade.  We all did fine here.  Keep tweeting and building your followers (same as usual).
  • Final caveat.  Website grader gives your report for free (and is owned by Yahoo, so things in the report are skewed towards Yahoo products).  But the goal of Website Grader is to get you to pay THEM so that they do things to improve your score.  You will get emails when your score goes down with offer of help from them.  Just ignore!
The good news is that just doing the above stuff will get you in the top 3-4% of traffic rank.

Pragmatic Mom
Type A Parenting for the Modern World

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