Gregory J. Wright is the communications manager for online news at the American Institute of CPAs and manages @CPALetter_Daily.

Ric Dragon knows his search engine optimization and how to tell a story. In a mythical land where the identical twin SEO beasts live, a wizard (Google) has challenged bloggers with inviting good SEO into their homes, while keeping bad SEO out. But how can one tell the difference between good and bad SEO when they look identical? The simple solution: relevance.

The easiest way to gain dominance in search rankings is to make sure your blog is relevant. Long gone are the days of keyword packing. Even the strategic placing of keywords in page titles, Meta tags and alt text can only get your blog so far in search engine rankings. That’s bad SEO. Keeping your blog relevant and using the language of your customer is the most efficient way to get noticed by search engines, Dragon argues.

Ric Dragon knows about SEO because of his work at DragonSearch Marketing. Dragon spoke to a passionate audience at BlogWorld and New Media Expo last week about more relevant blogging through SEO. Dragon recommended three simple steps to good SEO:

  • Solid research.
  • Relevant content.
  • Strong connections.

There are three free tools Dragon recommends every blogger use on regular basis to make sure they are using the language of their customers and attracting new customers. This is the research step, which ensures that you’re really talking about the topics your audience cares about.

  • Keyword Tool by Google AdWords: This is a handy keyword look-up tool which will display popular keyword alternatives to your search. You don’t need a Google AdWords account to use it.
  • Google Wonder Wheel: Much like a mind map, this will display your Google search with other relevant keywords in that neighborhood. For example, a search on “leadership” displays spokes consisting of “leadership theories,” “leadership styles,” “leadership traits” and so forth. You can find this tool on the left-hand side of a Google search results page.
  • Google Insights for Search: Similar to the keyword tool, this search will provide you with popular searches, but will also show you searches that are on the rise. These could prove to be good topics for future blog posts.

Don’t get too wrapped up in SEO though when you’re blogging, warns Dragon. SEO is constantly changing; each search engine makes tweaks to its algorithms weekly, if not daily. So what may have worked last week, may not work anymore this week. However, one universal constant holds true: Keep your blog relevant and it will remain a high-ranked blog in search results. They key is creating content that speaks to your intended audience, not stuffing your page or your blog title with keywords. Google and other search engines will recognize your content as relevant and superior if you follow these rules.

Finally, make connections with other blogs and websites. We all know that linking and back linking is important, but who you link to or get linked from can be even more important. If you’re blog is about leadership, linking to or getting a link from a computer peripheral store isn’t going to help your search rankings, nor is it going to drive new customers to your site.

Dragon showed how one can slay the bad SEO beast and invite the good SEO beast over. What other advice should one follow to ensure they’re inviting the good SEO beast in?

Image Credit: alexsl, via iStock Photo

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3 Responses to “From BlogWorld Expo: The secret to futureproofing your blog's SEO”

  1. Jana Quinn says:

    Excellent! There are those who refuse to acknowledge the importance of search engine rankings, those that modify their content and design based on every single report that comes out, and those happy mediums that keep an eye on the "logistics" while continuously producing new and relevant content.

    There's a reason why they're called the "happy" mediums. :)
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  2. In the world of SEO and search engines, content is really the king of all kings. As long as you have a relevant and strong content, your blog will be futureproof against almost all search engine ranking updates.

    If you're worried about making strong connection online, you can have one using online social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Digg. In LinkedIn for instance, you can establish strong connections by joining several groups related to your blog or business. It is easy and the best of all it's FREE.
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  3. Google has been consistent in what they want – changes like the Panda update are merely reactions to Grey/ Black hat attempts at gaming the system. Using Google tools to optimise great content will always deliver sustainable results
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