SEO ? What is that? You’ve seen it mentioned, vaguely heard about it and that it is important. But what the hell is it and how do you do it? Why do bloggers need to know about SEO?
Well SEO is a massive topic and there are experts and companies out there in the inter-world that make their living doing nothing but SEO for companies and websites. The subject is vast enough that you could fill a shelf with big thick books on the matter. We are only going to cover the very basics here – just enough to give you a simple understanding of what it is, why it’s important and what you should do about it.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
Search engines such as Google and others, help connect internet users with appropriated internet content and webpages based on the words or phrases they are searching for. You probably use a search engine at least once a day every day to search for content you are interested in. Search Engine Optimisation – SEO – is the method of improving the visibility of your posts so they show up more frequently in search results.
Search Engines scan through webpages and analyse the content paying particular attention to words in bold, headings, link text, the URL itself, image names etc. Those words are then identified as the KEYWORDS for that particular site or page, and are recorded on their server.
When you type in words in a search box, the search engine then attempts to match those words to the keywords from the webpages it has analysed in order to deliver you the most relevant results for your search. The results will be ranked, or ordered, according to several factors including how many other sites think those pages are valuable by linking to them.
Why should bloggers care about SEO?
If your site has a higher ranking, it is displayed higher in the search results and is therefore more likely to be seen than lower ranking pages. The more often your page is offered to readers, the more visitors you will get. More visitors means more page views, more subscribers, more clicks on your adverts, more sales, more income for you. Simple as that.
That is why understanding the basics of SEO is essential. Isn’t it your dream to feature on the front page of Google search results?
How can bloggers use simple SEO principles?
- Write awesome and unique content. It goes without saying that this is critical for the success of your site.
- Think about what your post is about and try to sum it up in a few Keywords or simple phrases that readers might search for. Use these phrases in the content of your post, bold them or use them as headings if you can.
- Always use the ALT TAG description for your images and use your keywords and phrases to describe them. If using several images, try a different phrase on each one to give you a good chance of being seen over several phrases.
- Use these keywords and phrases in the title of the post and in the URL which can be different to the title.
- Link to other relevant sites with good content and encourage those sites and others to link to yours. The more awesome your content, the more links you will get and the higher your search engine ranking.
- Optimise your post and site for your readers and the content first and foremost, and for SEO second. Don’t make your posts read poorly for the sake of trying to stuff them with keywords.
What difference does SEO make to your traffic?
Let’s take a look at my two websites.
First, my sewing blog at So Sew Easy. My posts are naturally keyword rich without me having to try too hard because the phrases I rank for are common in my posts such as free sewing patterns. Here is my analytics traffic report. 31% of my visitors to my sewing blog come from looking up my keywords in a search engine – primarily Google. Nearly 8,000 visitors in the last month. Nice.
For this blog the results are very different. The site is very new, I’ve blogged on a number of different subjects, I have no backlinks from other sites, and I’ve given NO thought at all to SEO as I’ve written and published those posts. So what does Google think of this site?
Oh dear – Google doesn’t send people to this site – only 23 visits in the last month. I clearly need to work a LOT harder to attract those readers and decide what my keywords should be. I’m also in a more competitive marketplace for my subjects so it will be much harder to rank highly when I am up against the big bloggers with their SEO expertise.
Do you have any SEO tips for bloggers that you use on your own site?
Authored by: Deby at Moms Make Money