"Sometimes I hear the sound of crickets when I stumble across certain blogs written by small-business owners," writes Samantha McCormick at the OrangeSoda blog. "At first glance, the content is good, thorough, and up-to-date, but the page rank is 0 and there are a dozen signs leading me to believe that no one reads this blog."

To accomplish the goals you set for your blog, you need a steady flow of online traffic. To help you get it, McCormick offers optimization advice like this:

Include one of your top keywords in the title. Your post about a "new store in Salem, Massachusetts" would better attract search engine attention, she argues, if you get more specific about the store and less specific about the location—for example, a "new candy store in Boston, Massachusetts." Also, don't assume anyone knows who you are. "Write each title as if your reader has never heard about your company before," she advises.

Judiciously incorporate your keyword in the blog post. If you use a keyword more than two or three times, it will start to seem unnatural. "Four ... is probably the maximum [number] of times you should mention a keyword," she says. Anything over that "will look like spam to search engines and to your readers."

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