The SEO Rule of 3 is fairly simple yet amazingly powerful for producing high rankings on ALL search engines. If you don’t remember anything else about SEO for blogging remember these 3 rules.
Because it is called the SEO Rule of 3, everything in this article will happen in 3’s. The first step in the process is picking keywords. You want to pick 3 keywords or phrases that you want to own. For example this post on How to Solve Flash Error 1009 follows the SEO Rule of 3. If you do a Google search for the keywords “Flash Error 1009”, “AS3 Error 1009” or “Actionscript Error 1009” you will see that in each case this blog comes up first or second. Google has a fantastic little tool that you can use quickly to find out the most popular keywords. Read “7 Tips to Get People to Read Your Blog” to find out what this simple tool is.
Be specific enough that you will be able to get the top spot but not so specific that only 3 people will ever search for it. For example “The Rule of 3” links to several Wikipedia articles about story telling and why 3 is the magic number for story telling like in the example of the 3 bears. Google shows (as of the time of this post) that there are "About 833,000,000 results (0.26 seconds)" yet if I type in “SEO Rule of 3” there are only "About 15,100,000 results (0.13 seconds)" which means I have 818MM fewer sites to compete with. 15 million is totally doable to capture a top search term like "SEO Rule of 3."
Once you have determined what 3 keywords you will own, let's jump right into The SEO Rule of 3. Here are the 3 SEO Rules one more time: 1. Hierarchy, 2. Density and 3. Popularity
Hierarchy – The key concept here is to put the keyword into each of the 3 steps in the Google search hierarchy. Google starts with the URL, next is the Page Title, and then the header. Of course Google also searches the body text but these have much less gravitas than the hierarchical order that Google uses. We address the body text in the next rule.
URL – Make sure that the URL has the most important keyword in it.
Page Title – This is the title that displays in the top of the browser.
Header – When blogging this is the post title. Put the keyword exactly how you want it in the title.
Density of Keywords – Google will rank you higher if you have the appropriate amount of keywords in your post. The structure below will provide that density. You can actually overdo the number of keywords and Google will penalize you for it. This guideline will be effective but also keep you safe from negatively impacting your posts.
First Paragraph 3 times
Body of article 3 additional times
Write the keywords in 3 slightly different ways
Flash Error 1009
ActionScript Error 1009
AS3 Error 1009
Popularity – One of the way Google ranks sites is based on what other sites think(or link) of them.I know this may be reminiscent of High School elections, but in this case Popularity is extremely important. Post to at least 3 different sites that rank high for the keywords you are targeting. Simply do a Google search for the keyword and start at the top of the results. Make sure that your comments are relevant and germane to the conversation. People like it when a linking comment provides additional content or a unique perspective on the subject. Be descriptive in the comment and link back to your site with the keyword linked. For example don’t say I have a cool site click here to check it out. Instead say, “This may help you with your SEO ranking” or “Here is another perspective on how to rank high on search engines”
A different yet popular blog
News site that is covering the topic
Popular site on the topic like a product site or support forum.
To sum up the SEO Rule of 3 is simply giving Google (and the other search engines) the food they hunger for, specifically Hierarchy, Density and Popularity.
Everyone wants Google rank their blog high in searches. Another important key is to get people to read your blog repeatedly. Here are 7 tips to writing effective blogs.
Don't write just to write. Have a purpose and give people what they are looking for.
Be Consistent (Reliable)
Write regularly. Keep to a schedule so people know when to come back. Seth Godin is the master at this. I find that the more I am consistent, the more people read my blog. If I get to busy and break a schedule then my numbers in Google Analytics drop. Schedule a time to write your blog every day or week, let your users know about that time, and then consistently post to your blog at that time.
Keep It Short
Don't write a diatribe. In today's lightning fast world people want a quick peek at something of value.
Answer a Specific Question
Use Google to find what keywords are most popular. One very easy way is to just start typing in the Google search box the term you want to focus on. This field will auto-populate with the most popular terms. See the screen-shot below.
Search Engine Optimization Terms
Get Creative in Your Titles One of the most attention getting headlines I saw recently was from an associate at work who wrote, "My Dog ate my Blog". Make it catchy, relate-able, and you can even use things like lists in your title. Something like "7 Tips to Get Humans to Read Your Blog"
Stick To a Theme
Become the expert in an area and write about that. Do this for several months before changing topics. You may notice that my blog comes up for the search terms "Flash Errors", "Flex Errors", and "ActionScript Errors" as well as Marketing, photography, and technology.
Many people often ask how I get so high in the search rankings for terms like "Flash Errors", "Flex Errors", and "Actionscript Errors". I have been posting Flash and Flex errors for a while now and have steadily seen my traffic rise. To answer the question on search engine optimization - here are the seven things I do with every blog post.
Determine beforehand the one to three keywords I want Google to find. Before you type a single line, determine which keywords you will target with your post. In other words, what do you want people to type into Google to find your blog post. Once the keywords are decided move on to step 2 for high SEO.
Put at least one of the three keywords in the title. If you want great search engine optimization and Google to list you with a high ranking for the word "Leadership", an appropriate title would be, “Leadership for the Next Century.“
Make sure that WordPress is setup to create each new link as the title.(or whichever blog platform you use)
In WordPress (the most common blogging tool which this site is using) Go to Settings >> Permalinks >> and choose either "Day and Name" or "Month and Name". The URL is critical to search engines.
If the link says www.myblog.com/Google-Food vs. www.myblog.com/?p=123 it will be Google Food and Google will eat it up.
Wordpress Permalinks Make Google Food
Making your links into Google Food
Caption all images with the keywords chosen. If your term is "Google Rankings" then insert an image that portrays how to get on the first page of Google and then give it a title and caption such as "Google Food" in it. Notice the caption of the image above. The title reads nearly identical.
Make sure that your Categories, Tags, Excerpt and Metadata are in line with your keyword terms. Include several variations of the keyword terms in the tags, categories, and excerpts. For example - Leadership in Action, Corporate Leadership, Organizational Leadership, etc...
Keep to a theme Give your blog a theme and keep things organized within that theme. Don't write about your dog one day, your favorite recipe the next and U.N. Diplomacy another day. Make sure that you are consistent in what you post. It is OK to have a few related themes but no more.
Post a link from at least three other blogs Do a Google search on the keywords that you are trying to target and start clicking. Find a way to comment on each of the top sites in a meaningful way and make sure to include a link back to your blog. Search engine optimization includes more than just your site. Google measures how many meaningful links there are to your blog.
Determine Beforehand the 1-3 Keywords You Want Google to Find. Before you type a single line, determine which keywords you will target with your post. In other words, what do you want people to type into Google to find your blog post. Once you have these keywords put them all over in your post in different variations. You will notice that throughout this post I will include the terms; "Google Food", "Search Engine Indexing", "Google to Index your Site", "High Rankings in Google", "SEO and Google Ranking", etc... (Oh look I just added them again)
Put at Least One of the Three Keywords in the Title. If you want Google to list you with a high search ranking for the word “Leadership”, an appropriate title would be, “Leadership for the Next Century.“ For Google to index your site, the way you want it indexed, you must have a title that contains at least one of these keywords. Because of the font size of the Header it will increase in importance according to Google's algorithm.
Make Sure that WordPress (or whichever blogging software you use) is Setup to Create Each New Page URL the Same as the Title. In WordPress (the most common blogging tool which this site is based off of) Go to Settings >> Permalinks >> Select >> and choose either “Day and Name” or “Month and Name”. The URL is critical to search engine indexing. If the link says www.myblog.com/leadership vs. www.myblog.com/?p=123 it will be Google Food.
One way to get Google to Read Your Blog
Caption all Images with the Keywords Chosen. If your term is “Leadership” then insert an image that portrays leadership and then give it a title and caption that has the word leadership in it. Notice the caption of the image above. The caption and title of this post reads nearly identical.
Keep to a Theme Give your blog a theme and keep things organized within that theme. Don’t write about your dog one day and U.N. Diplomacy another day. Make sure that you are consistent in what you post. Google loves reading blogs that not only have appropriate keyword density on a page but keyword density across your whole site.
Link to and From at Least Three Other Sites Do a Google search on the keyword that you are trying to target and start clicking on the most popular. Find a way to comment on each of the top sites and make sure to include a link back to your blog. Also, throw an update (with link) on Twitter. Within your blog link over to other sites (including within your own site and other domains you own or use) that will most likely link back to you. The more links you can get the higher your "popularity" and Google is like a teenager the way it cares about popularity. Another great site that has a lot of great info on SEO and Google ranking is my friend's site called Nick's Traffic Tricks
I am excited to say that I will be speaking at the E-Learning DevCon. E-Learning DevCon is arguably the best Flash E-learning conference around. This is one of those hidden gems that people talk about long after they are gone. Some of the most respected E-learning and Interactive Instructional designers will be at this conference. Sign up quickly because it is filling up fast.
FLOOGLYTICS = Flash + Google Analytics
Flash and Google Analytics = FLOOGLYTICS Flash has always been considered the ugly step sister in the world of SEO and Analytics. Well now Flash takes "Center Stage". Using Google Analytics data can be extracted from Flash that could never be pulled from HTML. This session will explore the ins-and-outs of how to setup Google Analytics to work most effectively with your Flash files and how to set up Flash to work most effectively with your Google Analytics account. Go beyond just seeing what users did. See what users meant to do or even wanted to do but didn't. The most important part of the equation is how to refine this gold that Flash and Google Analytics provide. Walk away from this session armed with the tools you need to implement Flooglytics and make your site effective.
I am excited to say that I will be speaking one month from today at the FITC Unconference at Adobe MAX. FITC has always been one of the leading Flash conferences and has expanded to locations all around the globe.
Flash and Google Analytics = FLOOGLYTICS Flash has always been considered the ugly step sister in the world of SEO and Analytics. Well now Flash takes “Center Stage”. Using Google Analytics data can be extracted from Flash that could never be pulled from HTML. This session will explore the ins-and-outs of how to setup Google Analytics to work most effectively with your Flash files and how to set up Flash to work most effectively with your Google Analytics account. Go beyond just seeing what users did. See what users meant to do or even wanted to do but didn’t. The most important part of the equation is how to refine this gold that Flash and Google Analytics provide. Walk away from this session armed with the tools you need to implement Floogylitics and make your site effective. Combine this session with the MAX session announcing the new developments at Google Analytics and you will be miles ahead of the competition.
Where: FITC Unconference at Adobe MAX in San Francisco
When: November 19th 3:30 P.M.
So sign up for MAX and I will see you on Wednesday.
The other day I consulted for the largest Agency in the state about Flash and SEO. Specifically how to get Flash on the top of the Google Ranking. As part of the presentation I described the 2 types of results that you want to score high on. The first is "Most Popular" searches and the second is the long tail results. Through this I gathered some data about the CurtisMorley.com site and thought it would make an interesting post showing what results this site has been able to produce. It also gives quick reference to some of the errors.
*Disclaimer Google Search results change daily this information is accurate as of the day of this posting.
Most Common Google Search Terms for Flex /Flash Errors
Thank you everyone for voting for my new logo. I had a great response. This is the winner. Using Google Analytics and Flash I was able to tell how many people voted, how many voted after viewing all the logos and how many people voted prematurely. I can tell how much time people spent on each logo, whether they preferred black-and-white or color and of course which logo was voted most popular among my readers. Look for the tutorial on how to do this with Flash/Flex coming soon.
I am going to post every day this month. Most posts with be ActionScript Errors but I will also include tutorials and Flash SEO and Google Analytics reports and info. Sometimes just for kicks I will throw in some marketing and random thoughts. So look for daily post in May.
FYI - Because Sunday is a special day for me I will not be posting on Sundays but will make up for that on other days.
Thanks for your help in picking a new logo for my site. This experiment is a follow-on to my posts about integrating Google Anayltics and Flash. Thanks to Clint Rogers for the opportunity to present my findings at BYU on March 27, 2008. There are many things to consider when considering how to Integrate Flash and Google Analytics. With your help I can test my assumptions. This will gather data and tally votes using nothing more than Google Analytics.
I want to give a special thanks to my friend and fantastic designer Larry Lee Lentz II for his help on these logos and design.