Once you find a niche, you have to go about creating your blog. One thing most people forget is planning to make their website SEO friendly from the very beginning. Many people just throw together a website in their niche and then begin the process of building backlinks. However, that is only scratching the surface of good SEO. In order to make your blog SEO friendly, you should start from the very beginning.
Pick a good domain name
The first step begins before even turning on your computer. To maximize your SEO potential, you want to pick a good domain name. Put pen to paper and brainstorm up a few names. You want to choose a domain name with some keywords that are relevant to your niche. However, avoid overstuffing your domain with too many keywords, making it long and cumbersome. Ideally, you want a short domain with one or two of your keywords, otherwise it will be hard for people to remember the name of your blog and you will lose traffic.
An example of a good name if your were in the health and diet niche might be: healthydiet.com.
A bad example would be: healthyfooddietexcerciseweightloss.com
Also, you want to try to avoid hyphenated URLs if at all possible. These urls are not as attractive and a single word and there is some suggestion that they may signal poor quality to a search engine, possibly lowering your clickthough rates.
Finally, you want to pick a good top level domain. There is some data that suggests that the unpopular top level domains (.biz, .tv, etc…) are treated with lower priority by search engines than the more common choices such as .com, .org, and .net. Generally, you want to get a .com if at all possible.
Designing your Website
After you’ve picked a good name for your blog, you want to design your site in an SEO friendly manner. If you are a programmer, you’ll likely know the basics as far as creating good clean code.
However, for the non-programmer, you want to pick a simple theme. You also want to ensure that you are able to add meta data as needed to your content. While blogspot does have the backing of google, I’ve always felt that they were not the strongest platform in allowing complete control over their themes. Partially, this is a product of their effort to be too user friendly.
Many people prefer using wordpress to create their blogs because many of their themes are already extremely SEO friendly. With the combination of thousands of plugins to enhance your site, it’s is very easy to make your blog SEO friendly.
That’s just the first step. You still want to keep SEO in mind when you put together your blog, even with WordPress.
First of all, you want to keep your URL structure SEO friendly. Don’t add too many levels to your pages when you are putting together your site. At most, you want to go two levels deep with your URL structure to make it easier for the search engines to crawl your site. You also want to change the permalink structure of your blog to use the names of your posts instead of ID numbers. So long as you are using your keywords in the titles of your posts, this will give you more keyword juice.
Another issue that comes up with content is over duplication. Some websites tend to duplicate their own content within the site. They will repeat content on several pages of their blog, particularly if it is a product page. However, this can cause a duplicate content error with the search engines. As much as possible you want to keep your content unique, even within your own website.
Finally, you want to make sure that you include all the common meta data tags for each of your pages. I put this last because it is the easiest to fix and the most well known technique to make your site optimized. In wordpress, there are a number of plugins that are designed to simplify this process. You may want to take a look at all-in-one-seo plugin, which is by far the most popular wordpress SEO plugin.
Besides having an efficient theme the best place to start for having a speedy website is with a good host. After much trial and error, I’ve found hostgator to be a fast and reliable hosting provider.
You can try hostgator now for a penny for the first month.
Rolling out your Website
Now that you’ve designed your website and made the pages themselves all SEO friendly, you want to properly roll out your blog. A mismanaged campaign can cause a several month delay in getting search engine rankings.
The first step is identifying the most trusted sources of information. You want to find the best web directories, trusted blogs in your niche, the biggest search engines, etc… When you launch your site, you should immediately submit your site to the biggest and most trusted directories and search engines.
Next, contact the owners of the influential blogs in your niche. Participate on their blogs. Leave good constructive comments and get to know the key players in your niche. A good way to generate some links and hype for your blog is to send out some beta invites to the launching of your site. Have some good content written up that you can post right away to your blog. Too often, I see brand new blogs with only a single post. While, it’s likely they are creating content as they go, it’s better to write out several posts and post them to your blog in the first couple of days. Ideally, you have enough content that you can trickle in a post 2-3 times a day for the first 5 days. That way, new visitors to your site will be able to spend some time and read more of your blog’s content.
These are just a few starting tips to making the content and your blog SEO friendly. The process does not end after you launch your site. You must keep SEO in mind as your create new content. There’s also an entire process of getting your presence out on the web which is a subset of SEO. As you progress forward with your blog, continue your SEO campaign with your long term goals in mind. Now you are ready to start!