Best Practices for Home Business Bloggers

ways to get your blog found onlineIf you’re blogging to promote your brand or home business, you want to get found online, right?

There are different ways to get people to visit your home business blog, but one key part of the mix is visitors from search engines. When someone visits Google and searches for a business or content like yours, you want to be found in as many of those searches as possible.

Best practices for search engine optimization have started to change recently, due to shifts in the way that Google interprets all the data they have on hand about your blog and the different ways that you’ve promoted it in the past. Some of the primary ways to increase traffic include building links back to relevant content on your blog, and in the current environment you have to be more cautious about how you do this.

Traditional methods of SEO promotion (such as publishing content across the web and article marketing) are not dead, by any means, but you have to approach them differently. Quality rules now.

The latest Google update, Penguin, penalized blogs that appeared to be over-optimized just for ranking purposes. Can’t blame bloggers for wanting to get found, you just have to think about things in a different way now. Here are some common factors that apparently have caused many blogs to lose ranking in recent months, particularly since the Penguin update was implemented in late April.

Poor Bounce Rates

Bounce rate is an indicator of how long visitors stay on your blog, and how engaged they are with your content. If a visitor lands on your blog and clicks away in a few seconds, that is a 100% bounce rate for that visitor. Google factors bounce rate in determining your site’s relevance for specific searches.

Bounce rate can be determined in various ways, including data that is collected from people who use the Google Chrome browser (a very good browser by the way, and gaining in popularity). The solution to poor bounce rate (say over 50%) is to create your content to engage your readers and encourage them to stay longer. Encourage them to visit other pages on your site. Additional video content can help with this, as well as focusing on providing solutions to the problems and desires that people visit your site to fulfill in the first place.

Slow Loading

Blogs that load slowly (say over 4 seconds) can potentially be penalized in search rankings. Slow loading can be caused by lots of images, excessive plugins, or slow loading widgets that pull images and content from external sources.

Here are two free tools you can use to check your site load speeds, and both will give you helpful tips and suggestions for improving this.

Here is a popular plugin that I use to help improve the loading time for my blog.

Excessive Optimization

If you are using a plugin or following some sort of SEO checklist when you create your posts, you may be over-optimizing for your keywords. If you follow instructions to put your keywords at the front of your title, include it in the first sentence, bold it in the body copy a couple of times, etc. you know what I mean.

These types of things have always worked well and helped search engines discern the meaning of your content, but in today’s environment overdoing this can have a negative effect, at least in Google search results. So, be careful and mix things up more. Make your content look more “natural” and not so structured and optimized.

Over-optimization also applies to external content you’ve created (articles posted to directories for example). If you decided that you wanted a post on your home business blog to rank for the keyword phrase “home business success”, and you created and submitted hundreds or thousands of article variations with that exact anchor text and destination URL in the link, that would now be considered serious over-optimization.

The exception would be if you also created thousands more links to the same post or page with non-optimized anchor text (“Click Me”, “”, etc.) but most people didn’t do that. It’s the percentage of identical anchor text that seems to trigger ranking penalties or not at this point.

Few or No Social Media Signals

Google (and Yahoo/Bing I feel sure) take social signals more and more into account now. This is one huge way to help determine the popularity and relevance of your content. Social signals include tweets, Facebook likes, Google Pluses, non-spammy bookmarks, comments, etc.

If your blog is not getting many of these signals, you need to put some attention on increasing this. Some ways to do this include visiting leading blogs in your niche and make thoughtful and helpful comments (this will encourage visitors who may visit and share your content), joining blog commenting tribes where people share each others content across the web, and the like.

Thin Content

Finally, thin content can be a factor in decreased ranking. Thin content can be interpreted in different ways, including blog posts with a small amount of text on the page, keyword  loaded, with lots of ads surrounding them (obviously designed to get clicks in searches for certain keywords so people will see the ads and buy something).

Short posts with just a few sentences (say under 200 words) can be interpreted as thin content as well. I know this isn’t always fair, as I’ve seen good bloggers provide more value in 200 words than many others provide in 1000, but remember the interpretation is almost always by automated robots and not human reviewers.

The Bottom Line

None of this means that SEO is dead, nor is optimization no longer desirable. Marketing and promoting your blog with external content is still good. The key is to avoid overdoing it and appearing spammy.

I cannot recommend using mass content marketing tools, for example those that automatically create Web 2.0 properties and post spun content with backlinks to sites you want to boost in the search engine rankings. Or “juice them up” so they have more authority for linking directly to your main sites. These tools all leave footprints, and the hunt is always on for ways to devalue the links and junk content they create.

Focus on creating quality content, connect with people socially, give social love to other peoples’ content and encourage them to do the same for you, avoid doing anything to promote your home business blog that appears spammy, and you will be able to build a stronger and more authoritative site in the long run.

Did you get some value from this post? If you did, I would really appreciate you sharing it with others! And, your comments are welcome below!

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Eldon Beard, Home Business Success Coach

If you have a home business and are happy, that's good. If you are looking for the right opportunity, the right mentor, and something you can build online, I would enjoy the opportunity to share what I'm doing. Click here and let’s explore the possibilities.

About Eldon Beard

Making money with a home business should be fun! I help others create a profitable global business from anywhere using an Internet connection and a phone. Send me a message and let's talk! Connect with me on Google+.


  1. This is very helpful! Since I started working at home this kind of techniques in optimizing my business is very helpful. Thanks for this!

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