Just started a blog? Or perhaps you have been running one for a while but haven’t got around to thinking what to do with SEO yet. Well, the good news is most modern blogging platforms such as WordPress are pretty SEO friendly right out of the box. Despite this though, there are several things you might want to tweak and consider in order to get the best results. Here’s a run down of the most important SEO factors for bloggers in 2012.

  1. Content. That’s right, perhaps you didn’t expect to see this first but the old saying “Content is King” has never been more relevant. SEO is increasingly becoming more about content, the way users engage with your site and less about technical optimization and manual link building. So perhaps this is good news if you already publish interesting content that attracts visitors, or is your blog still limited to company updates?
  2. Author Profiles. You will have probably noticed by now that Google is increasingly showing little pictures of the authors in its search results. This is Google’s verified author scheme. You need to be a part of this as Google has openly stated that it will (or does) play a part in rankings. Build your “AuthorRank” by continually publishing quality content with a link to your profile page (on your site, that in turn links to your Google+ Profile). You’ll also need to add rel=”me” to the link and add your blog to the “contributes to” section on your Google+ profile. If you’re using WordPress there are several plugins that will help you with the process.
  3. Title Tags. This is an old classic, the title tag is still the most important on-page factor so make sure you get it right. Try running a few key words through Google’s keyword tool before you publish to get some highly searched variations. You don’t need to take this too far and it doesn’t matter for every post but it’s well worth considering because as your content grows you want to have an array of optimized posts that pick up long tail traffic and drive business to your site.
  4. Social Media. Along with Google’s new verified author scheme, other social signals are also likely to become more important. Certainly, the way you interact with your Google+ profile is likely to have an effect so ensure you’re not just stopping at blogging and stay active on a couple of social networks. A word of advice – you don’t need to be on every social network on the sun, nor have all the buttons on your site. Many tests have shown content gets shared more when users have less choice! Likewise, it’s better to be awesome on 1-2 social networks than useless on loads so choose the ones where your customers are and you feel most at home and go from there.
  5. Inbound links. Despite all the new hype around social media and author profiles, links are still king when it comes to ranking so ensure you’re working on building them from other sites, especially to start with. Guest posting is a great way to building up some, also ensure you submit your blog to any relevant blog directories and social sites to help get your content found.

About the Author
This was a post by James the founder of JetRank a new SEO and inbound marketing platform for marketing professionals.