Since this month’s article is on blogs and SEO, it makes sense for me to evaluate an etailer’s blog for this month’s SEO Report Card. Zearth.com’s staff operates a blog at Zearth.blogspot.com, although they are relatively new to the concept. They’ve had it up for just a few months. They signed up for a free Blogger.com blog, which wasn’t ideal as you’ll soon discover.
The traffic into the blog is only a trickle, but they have received a couple thousand dollars in sales because of it, so it’s a start. The blog only requires a few hours per week to maintain, so it’s not at all a “time sink.” Let’s give Zearth a hand at supercharging their blog.
They should have a domain for their blog they can control. If they ever want to leave Blogger, they will have to forfeit their zearth.blogspot.com URL or post a “We’ve moved” post with a link to their new URL.
Each blog post title should be a link to the permalink page.
Posts really should be organized into categories (although I know Blogger.com does not support categories at this time).
Technorati tags should be included in posts. Claim the blog on Technorati to improve how the blog is displayed on that search engine.
The blog has a very low PageRank score of 3, which is due in part to the fact that they aren’t even linking to their blog from their Zearth.com or ComfortChannel.com home pages. In fact Yahoo! isn’t finding any links apart from two internal links within ComfortChannel.com. I’m surprised they are receiving any traffic at all.
The name of the blog, which is “Journey to the Center of Z-Earth” is repeated at the beginning of every title tag, diluting the keyword focus in the title tag, e.g. the permalink page for the patio heaters post is “Journey to the Center of Z-Earth: Patio Heaters” instead of leading with “Patio Heaters.” The name of the blog sounds kind of cute, but there isn’t a single good keyword in it. The post titles themselves are keyword-rich but they are not compelling to searchers. For example, would you click on “Journey to the Center of Z-Earth: Patio Heaters” if you saw it in the Google SERPs?
None of the links included in any of the blog posts link to sites other than those owned by Zearth, which makes search engines suspicious that the blog might just be a splog (spam blog).
Not necessarily an SEO issue, I still want to bring this up as a weakness: the posts are completely focused around Zearth products. What makes a blog seem “real” is when it contains noncommercial, thought-provoking opinion, commentary and insight, even rants. The voice and personality of the author should shine through. The Zearth blogger who isn’t speaking in a first person voice isn’t inviting any dialog; indeed comments aren’t even enabled and the blogger doesn’t have any “About” information that gives you a sense for who the person is behind the blog. An effective blogger soft-sells their products, services and company, rather than hard-sells.
The URLs are good (other than the fact that Blogger.com owns them!). They don’t have any stop characters in them (ampersands, equal signs, question marks).
Due to the limitations of Blogger.com, I strongly recommend moving your blog off their service. Otherwise, you won’t be able to have categories, tag your posts, link from post titles to permalink URLs or use your own domain name. Host the blog on your own server and install a copy of the free WordPress software on it, migrate all of your posts over and leave nothing but a “We’ve Moved” post on your Blogspot blog.
SEO Report Card
Home Page Content: B-
Inbound Links and PageRank: F
Internal Hierarchical Linking Structure: D
HTML Templates and CSS: B-
Secondary Page Content: B-
Keyword Choices: A
Title Tags: C
OVERALL GPA: C
Request a site grade by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.