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Site Unseen?

To attract customers near and far, optimize your blog for search engines.

Search engines send out spiders to crawl the web looking for web pages to add to their databases. Blogs are spider magnets, especially if they have freshly updated content and links pointing to them--two delicious ingredients, according to spiders. But with more than 100,000 blogs being born every day, content and links aren't all you need to catapult your blog to the top of search results. Your blog must also be optimized.

Start by putting relevant keywords in the titles of your blog posts. For example, let's say you publish a blog about interior design. An effective title for one of your posts could be "Designer Home Accessories." This way, these keywords will become associated with that blog entry.

The blog publishing tool you use should create a unique web page for each post you write. That means the post title you choose usually becomes that post's permanent URL, called a permalink. For example, the permalink for a post titled "Designer Home Accessories" could look something like blogname.com/designer-home-accessories. See why it's so important to use good keywords?

Wait, it gets better: When someone looks up a keyword in a search engine or blog engine, your post can appear as a top search result. The title of your post becomes the title of the listing shown. And your permalink appears as the URL of that web page. Not only will humans see what your post is about before they read it, but so will those all-important search engine spiders.

But be careful! Don't repeat your core keywords in every post you write. That's considered spam. When optimizing your blog (or website) for search engines, think humans before spiders. If what you write is illogical or annoying for people to read because of your repetitive use of keywords, it's definitely spam--and is not a good way to win customers.

Catherine Seda, a 12-year internet marketing strategist, is author of How to Win Sales & Influence Spiders and dean of LA College International. Get her free "Top 10 Internet Marketing Mistakes" report at catherineseda.com.

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This article was originally published in the July 2007 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Site Unseen?.

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