After BlogHer, I mentioned wanting to learn more about SEO, or search engine optimization. So when Christine, an SEO expert, reached out to offer her expertise, I was thrilled!
1. Content is KING! This is true in any website, search engines can’t read pictures and video as readily as they can read text, so it’s important that you TYPE what you want search engines to find. Textless Tuesdays and Wordless Wednesdays can be fun, but if your best content is delivered in the form of pictures and video, you are missing tons of traffic. Consider writing a blurb about what is contained in these other media forms right below. Bonus here, for our readers with impaired vision, they may not be able to see the pictures, but they would have a special program that could read your blurb.
2. Use KEYWORDS in Titles. Have you ever tuned into an interview and learned about a restaurant you are dying to try? As they talk about the food and the atmosphere, you hear your tummy grumbling. But they keep saying “we” and “us” instead of the restaurant name, and the interview ends without the much needed information to satisfy your craving. Think about your blog that way too. Don’t name your posts, “My new favorite dish”; name it “My favorite fried pork chop recipe”.
*Don’t go back and edit all your past titles, it will hurt more than help. You CAN edit past content.
3. Use KEYWORDS in Content. Watch keywords in your content, here are a few examples:
- Bad: This recipe is really cool, first you season the meat, and then you dredge it in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.
- Good: This Fried Pork Chop recipe is yummy! First season the pork with salt and pepper, then dredge it in flour, before coating it in egg and seasoned breadcrumbs.
- Annoying: This Fried Pork Chop recipe is the best pork recipe I have ever had. First season the pork chops, then coat the pork chops in egg, then coat the pork chops with seasoned breadcrumbs. These pork chops will be the best pork chops you have ever eaten!
**Not only is this annoying, it’s called Keyword Stuffing, and isn’t looked upon favorably by the search engines, or your readers.
4. Add GOOGLE ANALYTICS to your blog. How will you know what to do in the future if you don’t know what has worked in the past? Adding Google Analytics to your blog will show you a ton of info about your visitors, including who has come from a search engine, and what keyword got them to you. You will need to get an account and enter the URL you want to track. You will receive a code to install on each of your pages. If you use BlogSpot (Blogger), this should be quick since you are using 2 Google products. Check out this article on installing analytics.
If you are a WordPress user you have 2 options, if you host your own blog on your own domain, then you can ftp this plug-in. Activate it on your plugin screen and enter the code you received from your Google Analytics account. If you are a wordpress user that hosts on the wordpress server, i.e. www.mydomainname.wordpress.com, then WordPress automatically gives you some of the stats you need. You can go here for more help.
If you are on another platform, just Google how to install Google Analytics, it’s easy to find the help you need.
5. WRITE what your visitors want to see. I will just use myself for example; I wrote a fun little post on making flat marble magnets. You know those clear flat ones that are everywhere; I put a fun typewriter font behind them, glued them to a magnet and wrote fun words on my fridge. Since then, nearly half of my search engine hits have been from keywords relating to those magnets!! What does this say to me? MAKE MORE MAGNETS! It’s what the people want. As you see what your blog is ranking for, and what people are searching for, and how long they are lurking on your site, you can start to develop a plan.
6. Get/Give some LINK LOVE. Links are a big deal. There are a several types and differing levels of “love” from Google.
- Big Link Love: External links (from a site that isn’t your own). So all those favorite people I have linked to on my site, they are getting the most link love.
- Some Link Love: Internal Links (from your own site). So when I write another post about flat marble magnets, I should link it to the first one too. It’s helpful for visitors and sends you love from Google.
- Some Link love: Reciprocal links. This means that we all hold hands and link to each other. While this does give love, it doesn’t give as much as option a. So the better idea is for A to link to B and B to link to C and so on, instead of A linking to B and C, and B linking to A and C. Don’t take this overboard though, if I like your blog, I am going to link to it, it’s better not to try to work the system.
- No Link Love: Link Farms. Sometimes I am searching for something and end up at a site full of links, it is so annoying! This is called a link farm, and while it may give a little temporary love, the search engines aren’t too keen on this tactic and it could involve a hand slap or timeout for your blog.
When you link to one of your favorite bloggers, you have a few options. You can have a link, link with icon, link with latest post, etc. While it can take up a bit more space to show the latest post title, it gives 2 links to your friend, one that is their name, and the other is the title of their latest post. THIS IS HUGE! It helps them rank for those specific keywords. So if you as an author have written good titles, and your linkers have added your post title, you are getting a lot of love. Here is what my blog’s links look like:
I hope these tips serve you well in the blogging world!
Christine is an interior designer, web designer and SEO expert! Her amazing ideas, photos and tricks can be found on her design blog, Great Oak Circle!