A few weeks ago on a #bbloggers chat I gave some information and tips about SEO for blogs. I was very surprised at how many bloggers came back to me not even knowing what SEO stood for. So, I thought it would be a good opportunity to write a little post for you about, as a introduction to SEO. I’ve written a few posts on SEO before, so do check them out.
As I’ve said before, I’m not claiming to be an expert, I just want to share what I’ve learnt and I apologise to anyone who finds this tediously basic, it’s a beginners guide and I hope it helps some of you out.
What does SEO stand for?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, SEO is the act of attempting to influence where a website is ranked in a search engine. Research shows that most people don’t click past the first five results on a search engine search and rarely go onto a second page. So, using SEO techniques you want to aim to rank on the first page for relevant keywords to improve your traffic.
How does SEO work?
Google accounts for 90% of search engine usage, so that’s the main focus for more SEO practitioners. Google wants users to find the most relevant websites when they search for keywords, so they use a series of ever changing algorithms to identify the best results for the user. So in essence, Google don’t want us to be able to influence our page rank, because it plays against what they are working towards.
Here’s some of the key elements that influence your search engine ranking…
- Relevant keywords in copy.
- In bound links from quality sites.
- Natural content i.e. clearly written for an audience and not search engines.
- URLs that are keyword friendly.
- A clear flow of pages which link together correctly.
- Social media- Google+ is the key to the future of SEO.
What can I do to improve SEO on my blog?
I’m not going to lie, SEO is mega complicated and ever changing, so it’s hard to keep on track with it. However, there are some simple steps you can take to get a head start of improving SEO for your blog…
Get Relevant Inbound Links from Quality Sites…
A link to your site from a quality site tells search engines that a quality site considers your website as valuable and relevant to the content on their site. So, you’re looking for a link to your site from a website that has a good value SEO wise that is also holding relevant content.
The old school way was to do a link swap with other bloggers, but search engines got wise to this, so now link swaps cancel each other out.
Here’s my tips for getting in bound links…
- Guest blog and include a link to your site on other relevant sites.
- Submit your blog URL to blog directories such as Technorati. Google free blog directories, there’s lots and they all count as good inbound link.
- Ensure your URL is present on all of your social networks, this also counts.
Relevant Keywords in Copy, Image Descriptions and Titles…
Well, that title sums it up. There are online tools you can use to research which keywords are most competitive and useful. However, if you don’t have time to do that just think about what keywords you would want your article to turn up under. Use these keywords in your title, URL, image descriptions and within the copy of your post. However, don’t go overboard, spamming your post with keyword links will give a negative effect.
Create a SEO Friendly Design and Layout…
Search engines will be looking for a site hierarchy: a homepage with multiple pages linking off it. You need all of the pages within your site to link from a homepage in an easy flow. I don’t know much more about this, but it’s something that you might want to look into in more information.
Social Media and SEO…
As social media grows, it’s becoming more important for SEO. The main design idea behind Google+ was to enable search results to become more personal, the premise being if you searched for something the fact that one of your friends had given it a +1 would mean it would be more likely to turn up in your results. However, this hasn’t quite caught on yet.
At this time, links on social media don’t have the same power as a link on another website. However, it’s clear that social sharing is influencing SEO and this is the future, so keep an eye on this area.
Want to Learn More About SEO?
There’s this great thing called The Internet, search for SEO and you’ll find a whole bunch of useful stuff on the subject. I would say, be wary though, not all of it is accurate, so cross check anything you read. As I mentioned earlier, SEO is always changing, so you want to find the latest news.
There’s a great beginners guide to SEO on SEOMoz, a website that sells SEO monitoring tools. Their guide is up to date and very easy to under stand. Give it a read here.
My husband works in SEO and PPC, so if you have any specific questions, please tweet me or leave me a comment and between the two of us hopefully we can help!
What are your SEO tips for bloggers?
What else would you like to know?
Comment, share or tweet me @JayneJRead