How To Use SEO On Blogger?

Gyula Olah - electrical engineer, author, publisher

Gyula Olah – electrical engineer, author, publisher

Why Blogger?

Nowadays, Google is the King – undisputedly – on the Internet. When you open a @gmail account, you’ll immediately get an “entering ticket” to YouTube and together with it you’ve got your first free blogging platform: Blogger.
Blogger has a great advantage: because you are “near the fire”, your writing will be indexed at once when published. But, it might mean more responsibility for you as well.
Nonetheless, Blogger’s SEO structure is not as sophisticated – in the good meaning – as e.g. WordPress has. This is why you need to add some supplementary elements to your Dashboard and Theme Template.

Let’s see the whole process, step-by-step.
With this simple and easy action, you’ll take the first step towards answering the question, how to use SEO on Blogger. First of all, go to Blogger typing in your browser: www.blogger.com. Then, you will be taken to your own Blogger platform immediately. If you haven’t opened a blog before, you will be asked to open a new one. If yes, you can continue your existing one or begin a new one.
I’ve Blogger blog also, so I’ll show you the steps using my existing one. The link you will choose will be your sub-domain name such as mine: internetmarketingandtrading.blogspot.com. Decide wisely because you won’t be able to change this name – link – anymore, but you can choose another one (if not engaged) instead.

A. How to customize our Blogger Dashboard?

Blogger Dashboard - Basic Settings - How To Use SEO On Blogger?

Blogger Dashboard – Basic Settings – How To Use SEO On Blogger?

Once you are in, you’ll find your dashboard. Now, go to Settings and choose Basic.
On the Basic section you will find:
Basic:
Title: Edit > Your new Title (no more than 60 characters)
Description (max. 500 chars): This is only for you, not for the Search Engines. Leave it empty.
Privacy: Listed on Blogger. Visible to Search Engines. Default is Yes, it is ok.

Publishing:
Here is your blog address. Or, you can choose a Custom Domain name instead. I’ll explain it later.
Permission:
The list of the author(s). Here you can add another persons to your account admin. Take care when you assign the permission level to each person!
Blog Readers: Public and connected to your Google+ account. Recommended.

Now, everything seems to be ready. But not yet.

Here comes setting up your Search Preferences.
Meta Tags:
– Description:
Important! It is the place where you have to give and type in your entire blog’s Description Tag (max. 150 characters with spaces) which will come up when someone searches you blog on the Internet. See the example below:

Blogger Blog - Example Search Engine Listing - How To Use SEO On Blogger?

Blogger Blog – Example Search Engine Listing – How To Use SEO On Blogger?

Errors And Redirections:
– Custom Page Not Found:
you can define how to handle the 404 error (not found).
– Custom Redirects:
it will be useful if you want to migrate your blog to somewhere e.g. to your own WordPress site. Skip this step if you don’t want to move your blog now.
Crawlers And Indexing:
We have just arrived to a crucial point.  Basically, Blogger doesn’t create “traditional” sitemap and robots.txt file. Additionally, it indexes only your last 25 posts. In order to step forward, we have to create a robots.txt file which includes the correct address of the sitemap. I know that this sounds a bit complicated, but it is so in the reality.
So, go to Custom Robots menu tab and choose Edit:

Blogger - Crawlers And Indexing - Custom robots.txt - How To Use SEO On Blogger?

Blogger – Crawlers And Indexing – Custom robots.txt – How To Use SEO On Blogger?

You can see the content of robots.txt clearly. In the 4th line you will recognize that it is good for the first 500 posts, the 5th line is from 501 to 1000, and so on. I’ll repeat this script here in order to help you in inserting it into your own Blogger site. Simply copy it and insert as I’ve done it above, but don’t forget to replace “yourblogname” with your current blog’s name!

User-agent: *
Disallow: /search
Allow: /
Sitemap: http://yourblogname.blogspot.com/atom.xml?redirect=false&start-index=1&max-results=500
Sitemap: http://yourblogname.blogspot.com/atom.xml?redirect=false&start-index=501&max-results=500
Sitemap: http://yourblogname.blogspot.com/atom.xml?redirect=false&start-index=1001&max-results=500

As you can see, this sitemap is good till 1500 posts.

Custom robots Header Tag: here you can adjust “noindex” attributes within the Head tag. Read the accompanied documentation if you want to use it.

How to define custom description and keywords for your blog post? Please see it later, at the end of this article.

B. How to customize our Blogger Template and why is it good for us?

Blogger - Template - How To Use SEO On Blogger?

Blogger – Template – How To Use SEO On Blogger?

We are ready with the Dashboard, but we have to customize the basic Blogger template as well. Why? Because – as you could recognize it – we haven’t defined any keywords till now and we are facing other issues such as the same Title for  all pages with your main Title, Duplicated Meta Description tags for Home page and the Posts. I’ll show you how to get out of this unpleasant situation.

1. How to solve the “Title” issue (such as: Main Page Title | Post Title | Page Title)?

Once I recognized, that Blogger likes to apply same the Title for all pages and posts as your main Title stands + their individual Titles (divided with a divider “|”, or “:” sign(previously)). I also discovered, that the titles of my pages and posts look like this:
a. Main Page (when someone arrives to my main, that is Home Page):
My address is: internetmarketingandtrading.blogspot.com
Title: Internet Marketing Techniques And Trading – The Techniques You Need
It is ok.
b. I created a post. Then its Title will look like this:
Title of the post (nowadays there is “:” instead of “|”): Internet Marketing And Trading – The Techniques You Need | My Post’s Title
Can you see the divider between the Main and my new Page’s Title (I bolded and marked it with red)?
The same will happen with the Titles of your Pages, Search and Archive  – resulting very long, almost unreadable and may not considerable to SEO-friendly Titles.
I wanted to solve this problem, and begin to search the Internet for the solution.
Heureka! I found an author struggling with the same issue: . I read his article about this (http://www.bloggertipspro.com/2012/02/how-to-customize-blogger-page-title.html) and applied the methods he suggested. You can read it too if you are interested. Or, you can follow me:

First, search the following code  (Template>Edit HTML, it is usually in Line 11 ):

<title><data:blog.pageTitle/></title>

Now, replace it with:

<b:if cond=’data:blog.pageType == &quot;index&quot;’>
<title><data:blog.pageTitle/></title>
<b:else/>
<b:if cond=’data:blog.pageType == &quot;archive&quot;’>
<title><data:blog.pageTitle/></title>
<b:else/>
<title><data:blog.pageName/></title>
</b:if>
</b:if>

And, you can see the results immediately:

a. Main Title=Your Main Title
b. Post Title=Your Post Title
c. Page Title=Your Page Tile
d. Archive Title=Your Main Title <<link to search>>
e. Archive Title=Your Main Title: Date

2. How to avoid duplicated Meta Description Tags?

Go to Template section and choose Edit HTML. Before doing anything, create a backup from your current HTML code!

OK. If you are in, find the following lines in the <head>…</head> section (Note: if you don’t find the code, simply add the new code only. It depends on your Theme if Blogger uses it or not):

<b:if cond=’data:blog.metaDescription != &quot;&quot;’>
<meta expr:content=’data:blog.metaDescription’ name=’description’/>
</b:if>

Now, replace it entirely (or simply add it if the above code is missing) with the following code:

<b:if cond=’data:blog.url != data:blog.homepageUrl’>
<b:if cond=’data:blog.pageType != &quot;item&quot;’>
<b:if cond=’data:blog.metaDescription != &quot;&quot;’>
<meta expr:content=’data:blog.metaDescription’ name=’description’/>
</b:if>
</b:if>
</b:if>

3. How to define Meta Keywords for the Home Page?

Because it is also a part of the Meta section, it has to be placed between <head> and </head>, after the Title (please replace the red with your keywords):

<meta content=your overall keywords, separated by commasname=’keywords’/>

4. How to insert Custom (e.g. Tracking) Codes into your Blogger Template?

All custom codes  – what I am talking about – will take place in <head>…</head> section. Google Analytics code is before the </head> tag.
Let’s see an example for e.g. Alexa and Bing Tracking codes (please replace the red ones with yours!):

<meta name=’alexaVerifyID’ content=‘your Alexa Verification Code’/>
<meta name=’msvalidate.01′ content=‘your Bing Verification Code’/>

Another Custom Codes (please the red ones with yours!):

<meta content=’global’ name=’distribution’/>
<meta content=’document’ name=’resource-type’/>
<meta content=’all’ name=’audience’/>
<meta content=’general’ name=’rating’/>
<meta content=’en-us’ name=’language’/>
<meta content=’USA’ name=’country’/>
<link href=https://plus.google.com/u/0/your Google+ Profile ID/about’ rel=’author’/>
<link href=https://plus.google.com/u/0/your Google+ Profile ID/posts’ rel=’publisher’/>

Explanation: you can find above some other useful parameters referring to your country, language, document type, publicity, your role in the process. I suggest you collecting all <meta> elements together and place it raw-by-raw that is in order.

Placing Google Analytics Code (please replace the red ones with yours!):

<head>


<script>
(function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i[‘GoogleAnalyticsObject’]=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),
m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m)
})(window,document,’script’,’//www.google-analytics.com/analytics.js‘,’ga’);
ga(‘create’, ‘your Tracking Code (begins with: UA)‘, ‘your Domain Name (without http://)‘);
ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’);
</script>
</head>

These codes are additive ones, so you don’t have to replace anything but add them only (if you want).

C. How to define custom Description, Keywords and Permalink for your blog posts?

Blogger - Dashboard for Post Settings - How To Use SEO On Blogger?

Blogger – Dashboard for Post Settings – How To Use SEO On Blogger?

Within your Blog Editor on the right, you will find another dashboard, called Post Settings. To ease your work, I’ll find my existing post’s data. You can easily recognize the following expressions:

a. Labels: It means place for your custom keywords

b. Published on: The data when published (it was among my first posts on Blogger)

c. Permalink: Your Post’s link. You can choose between Automatic/Custom Permalink. I suggest you choosing the Custom Permalink option, because you’ll get the chance to write in your own version. Once you published your post, it is impossible to change it, so decide wisely.

d. Location: You can define a Location using the built-in map.

e. Search Description: This is THE Custom Description of your post. Take care not to exceed the max. 150 characters (incl. spaces).

f. Options: You can allow/don’t allow Reader comments, choose between HTML modes (interpreted or literal) and the mode how you “create” line breaks: traditionally with inserting <br /> between the lines manually, or simply pressing the Enter key (semi-automatically).

D. Conclusion and Summary:

Now, you can see how to use SEO on Blogger Site. I don’t want to say if it was easy, but it is not impossible. Never forget one thing: if you change your Template, your customization will be lost! I mean, you have to insert all scripts into the new Template. Always create a backup copy of your original Template, store your summarized changes in a different file and also make a copy of the new Template – for your further reference. It will also ease your work in the future if you forgot something.

How to test your results?

Go to http://scrubtheweb.com and select the Free Meta Tag Analyzer. Then, you will see your Visibility Score (the higher the better), Title, Description and Meta Keyword Tags. If you were not satisfied, change your parameters and check the results again.

I do hope I could help you in this work. I wish you endurance and muck luck for making the necessary changes!

Thanks for reading!

Gyula Olah electrical engineer, author, publisher, the owner of SEO Service Guide site.

P.S.: If you would consider the way how to use SEO on Blogger to too complicated or you would need some help in your action, please don’t hesitate to Contact Me. You can hire me for this job as well.


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