Tuesday, 28 October 2014

blogging tips for SEO traffic

SEO - the 3 little words that strike fear and hatred in the hearts of bloggers. A lot of bloggers are scared of SEO, because it sounds complicated. I still don't understand it completely, but I soak in a lot during the SEO bootcamps that I run with Dana from Talk About Creative. Here's a few 101 blogging tips for SEO success.

Definitions

SEO {Search Engine Optimisation} making your website easy for search engines to find
yoast a wordpress plugin recommended to help with SEO note - yoast is a tool, you still need to understand how to use SEO to make yoast work. That's why I disagree when "everyone" says you must be on wordpress and use yoast if you want to make money from your blog.
keyword words your audience type into search engines when looking for your content.  These are 2-6 words long usually.  The first two words are usually the "head" keyword (eg: meatball recipe) and then additional words that narrow down the search make them a "longtail keyword" (eg. meatball recipe gluten free). Longtails have less but more targeted traffic.
Anchor text the words used in a hyperlink (for example - at the top of this post "Talk About Creative" is hyperlinked, therefore those words are the anchor text)

Why is SEO important?

If you want to grow your blog and build a business from it, then SEO is important because it's one part of how your blog is found by new readers. You solve a problem for someone, they decide they like how you helped them and stick around to read some more. For your posts to be found by that reader, you need keywords in your posts that search engines can find. 

How does google pick my post?

Google looks at the HTML coding of your post and assesses whether it answers the query posted. To do this it looks at keywords in your post title, the post URL, the ALT text of images, post tags, meta description and the first paragraph of text. It looks at over 200 different things but these are the basic, must-do things for bloggers.

How do I pick keywords?

Keywords come from the content you write, so the best way to figure them out is to write first, then determine your keywords. {Keywords can also come from your over-arching blog themes and catagories} If you want some help picking content, you can use google search, or google adsense to guide you. Here's a great post from Blog Ambitions that shows how to use google adsense. Keyword research can be extremely complex, especially if you're going after very competitive terms.  A quick, easy way to do it is to Google what you'd Google when looking for your new blog entry, make sure the results are "on par" with what you've written and then check what other "suggestions" Google makes for you.

Should I always worry about SEO?

The short answer is no. If you worry too much about keywords and SEO, then you'll lose your authentic voice and forget why you started writing in the first place. Google is getting better at analysing the tone of sentences, and can pick up if you keyword-stuff your posts, too. My favourite blogging tips for SEO - write for the reader first but don't forget about Google, after all, it loves a good blog post too!
 
Some great tips for optimising your blog
SEO tips for bloggers  |  A Dose of Paige
Simple SEO for bloggers  |  Mrs D plus 3
Is it possible to have good SEO just by having great content?  |  MOZ
Getting SEO just right  |  Search Engine Land
SEO for bloggers  |  The Fresh Exchange
Creative blogs and simple SEO  |  Madigan Made
SEO for creative bloggers  |  The Blog Builders
15 simple SEO tips for bloggers  |  Campfire Chic {newsletter sign up}


1 comment:

  1. This is great Cate! Thank you so much! I don't understand it all, but I am a little at a time. I have only been blogging 11 mos, so I need to give myself a break..lol. I appreciate all the help you have given to me in the group!

    Have a great Sunday!

    Valerie

    ReplyDelete

I love reading comments from you. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. xox

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