Saturday, 16 April 2011
Optimising Your Blogger Fashion Blog - A Beginners Guide
I have noticed a growing interest amongst fashion bloggers in ways to improve their blog and get more traffic. This post is aimed at those with a fashion blogger on blogger who want to grow their traffic but are not sure how.Optimisation is just one way that you can do this. There are plenty more ideas and tips on other ways on IFB.
Whilst for those who are setting up blogs for serious business purposes Wordpress is probably the platform of choice, there are quite a lot of others who chosen to have fashion blogs or are going to choose to have fashion blogs on blogger. I use both for various different blogs that I have worked on but think for a beginner Blogger is the quickest, most cost effective and easy to use. That said, there are a few annoying little things about it especially when it comes to optimising for the search engines.
Why optimise your fashion blog?
This is a question that have pondered over and over for some time with regard to Style Eyes my personal fashion blog. Whilst optimisation will help you to rank higher on Google for certain search terms bringing more traffic to your site, which without a doubt makes sense for commercial organisations, I have at times struggled with the point of this for my fashion blog. I sway between deciding to optimise my blog and trying to get more traffic through referrals and social networks instead as I tend to think these people are more likely to want to read a personal fashion blog than more general search engine traffoc. The referrals and social networking does however have a double benefits as not only will you get the referrals but it will also help to optimise your site on Google and other search engines.
I guess whether you bother to optimise your site is a personal choice. SEO can be hard work and sometimes feel a bit pointless but it can also increase traffic for your site which will in turn increase revenue through both advertising and affiliate marketing. One thing I would say though is that when you choose your keywords try and make them as relevant as possible to your blog as then your visitors are more likely to stick around.
Do blogger blogs rank better on Google?
Apparently not as even Google employee Matt Cutts uses Wordpress. It seems that content and the choice of keywords and onsite and offsite optimisation strategy are what is really important regardless of which platform you are using.
What are the issues with blogger and how can you fix them?
Generally speaking the setup of Wordpress lends itself to optimisation much better than blogger it is more easy to change the setup and there are lots of plugins available to help. With a few techie tweaks though, it is possible to make your blogger blog much more search engine friendly.
1. Adding blog title tags - a title tag is what tells a search engine what a blog is about. Consequently have a particular word in your title tag can help your blog rank higher for this term. You can add a title tag for your blog by going to settings and inputting the chosen words which should start with your blog title and be no more than 6 words.
BEFORE MAKING ANY CHANGES TO THE CODE OF YOUR BLOG ALWAYS BACKUP YOUR BLOGGER TEMPLATE FIRST
2. Adding individual post title tags - Blogger does not automatically add a title tag to your blog posts. With a slight change to the code you can get it to automatically generate a title tag using the title of the blog post. The benefit of this is that each of your blog posts will be individually optimised for different keywords (vital if you want to get lots of search engine traffic). You can find simple instructions on how to do this in this post on Lead Inspectors blog.
3. Duplicate metatag descriptions - a metatag description is the short description that comes up on search engines and explains what your blog is all about. I am guessing that most people like me do not write individual descriptions for each of their posts and so Blogger will automatically use the general metatag description that you have (hopefully) written for your blog in the settings. If the same metatag description is used for every post Google will consider it duplicate content (even though it is not) which is not good for optimisation. You can find out how to fix this in this post on Blogger Stop.
4. Keywords in permalink - Blogger will only iuse the first 40 characters of your blogger title to create a permalink. This is the url for the individual blog post and the keywords contained in it are important for search engine ranking. This is a really simple one to fix, either just make sure you get your keywords at the beginning of the title. If you want you canfirst publish with them at the beginning then go back and change the title to what you want and republish your blog eg first publish with title as 'red maxi dresses' then change to 'my top ten all time favourite red maxi dresses'
Tag your images - as most fashion blogs have lots of images, you can utilise these to help optimise your blog by adding alt tags. Basically these tags should describe the image but this should also in some way contain a few keywords. You can find out how to do this in this post on Web Training Wheels.
Usability - It doesn't matter how much you optimise your site if people don't like what they see when they arrive on your site. There are some simple things that you can do to make your blogger blog more attractive and I think Where's Harriet's eight steps to a better blogger blog has some great tips.
Choosing keywords - before you do any of the above, you need to decide on which keywords to have for your blog. As a general rule your keywords should be as relevant as possible so perhaps a list of clothing items or trends or brands that you particularly love. The Google keyword tool is great for analysing keywords and generally you should look for keywords that strike a balance between search volume and competition. You can read more about choosing keywords for fashion sites on my online fashion marketing blog.
For those interested in fashion, this post will probably seem really long, technical and boring. However putting some time into this side of your blog will help to bring in the traffic, allowing you to monetise your blog and justify all that time that you sepnd writing about fashion.
Any ideas, suggestions or thoughts? please leave a comment
With warmest wishes