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If you have a small business blog, or are thinking of starting one, you should be aware of the ways you can use your blog to drive traffic to your blog. It’s simpler than you think.

The first thing to understand about your blog is that each entry is counted as one web page. Even if you have your blog set to display 10 blog posts on the same page, each of them is counted as a separate web page by the search engines. That’s why it is important to treat each blog entry as a SEO tool. The following tips should be kept in mind for each blog entry:

1. Optimize each blog post around a single keyword
2. Make sure your keyword is in your blog post title, preferably at the beginning
3. Use subheads with or tags that also use your keyword
4. Include 1-3 keyword links (anchor text) in your blog posts
5. Sign every blog post with a signature link that uses your keyword
6. Use bold and italics effectively to emphasize certain keywords and phrases
7. Be sure to ping the directories
8. Include tags for all of your blog entries
9. Use categories effectively
10. Make links appear natural by linking to internal pages

Because each blog entry is a separate web page, the search engines will crawl them and index them. Optimize each one heavily around a specific keyword and that’s an extra doorway into your blog for each page indexed at the search engines. Also, by adding anchor text to a couple of those keywords and pointing those links to relevant internal web pages of your blog you are improving the SEO effect of your blog entry. Don’t give up on keywords and anchor text.

You’ll also want to include keyword tags with each blog entry. Those tags will be used by the search engines to index your pages appropriately for your keywords. Also, social bookmarkers will find it easier to tag your blog entry if they like it and this makes it easier to share among their social group.

Your blog category should indicate an important element of interest as well. Unlike tags, you should only choose one category for each blog post. Don’t use “main” or “uncategorized.” Those are too generic. Use a specific keyword-related category as that will make your blog posts more crawlable by the search engines.

There are more than 100 blog directories that you can ping to let them know you have updated your blog. I suggest you do this every time you update your blog. With WordPress, and several other blogging software platforms, you can input each directory into a field and the software will send out an automatic ping each time you update your blog. If you are not using WordPress you should go to Ping-o-Matic and use it to ping your blog for free.

The important thing to remember about keywords and links is to make them appear natural. The benefits are enormous.

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