There's two things I want to reveal right now. It's 25th December, 2018 - and I have a goal: beat my previous record of visits to the blog! This is so, so close - and it's getting me whetted! Exciting!
Second one is that the 'SEO afterburning' is a term I just made. I don't know whether it's "taken" or not, but I mean by SEO afterburning that you've written a bunch of articles, perhaps hundreds, without any eye for SEO - and then afterwards you start doing SEO. Is this a vain effort? I don't believe so. Just remember: any changes you do right now to your blog, will be shown in search results within the next weeks and months, not immediately. Google adapts the search results - not immediately, but in a damped way (averaging over time). For details, see the PageRank (Wikipedia).
I had written quite a lot of blog articles during 2008-2017. Then, in 2017, I fused two blogs together, since my Blogspot (by Google) blog space simply was adrift without my attention. Now Jukkasoft is running in a WordPress "hosted", ie running the latest WordPress blog engine. It's a 200 bucks per year plan, and for me, worth every nickel.
There's a crew called "WordPress happiness engineers" working at Automattic, and they help out if there's any sort of emergency with the tech. I've only had one incident, and it was fixed super fast. Few minutes - all online. I opened a chat with the team, got help, and the fix was to the point. I'm really happy with what kind of service WordPress provides.
Administrative tasks aside, I could concentrate 100% on creating quality content.
However, one major issue: I realized that a lot of even very basic SEO tricks had passed my radar. I didn't simply plan the interweb of articles when I started blogging. Instead, I kept producing more. More. More. Without a thought for..
- internal link structure in my blog
- mobile design
Let's go through the above points a bit more.
Internal link structure in a blog?
As obvious as it sounds now, I had not paid any attention to interlinking my various articles. So I had a forest of offerings, around 400+ articles, but no paths between them. This is bad for a couple of things:
- people tend to have a critical moment after reading an article, where they can easily bounce from your site, if you don't offer a natural continuation (a link)
- Google as a search engine gives your site's articles a weight called Page rank. It's a score, by Google, indicating how worthy your pages (and site as whole) are.
Is 'link juice' real?
The score that Google deals out to your (blog) page, often called "link juice", however, has been a subject of controversy. PageRank per se is real, for sure (although its exact ingredients, the way the algorithm has been implemented, is a trade secret). But what about the link juice? Ie the thing that the PageRank is dealt to any outgoing links from the said page?
Proponents of the link juice tell that the PageRank score gets used (spread) to outbound internal links, so it's useful to have the internal links. Those who say there is no such thing as link juice basically point out that Google's universe of PageRanks is like a closed thermodynamic system: the amount of energy (your site's total PageRank) is constant - whatever you do inside the system, ie your own blog's domain, doesn't change the course of things.
Mobile. For me, it brings a lot of thorny issues. Let's carve out the details, also, so as to speak from the same point of view.
Mobile means the appearance and behavior of your blog post in a smartphone's web browser.
I am dichotomic on this one; having been quite a fan of all things mobile, since about 20 years ago. I did technical development (programming) for the very early smart mobiles in 2000. It was Java all way long. Not much to do with user interface design, if any. Then, from 2014 mobile tech started touching my daily work much more again. This time with the UI involved heavily.
Stuck in details?
With blogs and mobile there's a real danger of getting stuck in technical nitty gritty. Why? If you think about it logically, you might first say "Because of orientation - mobiles can be portrait or landscape". True. So that would imply that your blog (CSS) needs to have responsive design targeting both orientations; but wait! So should the design for ordinary desktop browsers, although often they're only in landscape mode (wider screen dimension than the height of the screen).
Mobiles come in a variety of screen dimensions. Good responsive design can slap two flies with one go - but it usually takes some extra effort. Many of these things depend on what your blogging platform (tech stack) for creation is. If you're flying with an automatically adapting high-end blog engine, it doesn't take much effort for being truly a par with mobile in mind.
If you're low on experience with CSS and mobile design in general, the tinkering can grind your creative juice almost to nil. As I said, take care - pay attention, and know what you like to do!
In mobile design, first settle to a good stable known position (TM). Then tinker onwards with little steps. Learning mobile design isn't a waste of time, but it can be daunting.
I personally like WordPress a lot, and one of the reasons is that I can really just concentrate on writing - the rest is taken care by WordPress engine.