SEO For Blogging: 101 SEO IS A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT, PEOPLE. Presenter: Alicia Magda Nepa Blog Con 2012
SEO: Another acronym for me to learn?!Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The science of applying tried and true techniques to your blog and blog marketing to increase your blog’s visibility in the natural search engine results. The art of crafting those techniques in a manner to be engaging and interesting to both human visitors and search engines.
But why should I stay and listen?70-80% of users ignore the paid ads, focusing on the organic results. - SearchEngineLand.com75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results. - HubSpot.comCompanies that blog have 434% more indexed pages. And companies with more indexed pages get far more leads. - SearchEngineJournal.com81% of businesses consider their blogs to be an important asset to their businesses. - SearchEngineJournal.comA study by Outbrain shows that search is the #1 driver of traffic to content sites, beating social media by more than 300% - SearchEngineLand.com Statistics gathered from http://www.searchenginejournal.com/24-eye-popping-seo-statistics/42665/
Before you can run, you need to learn how to walk.Know the terminology: Organic/Natural/Nonpaid search engine results Search engine algorithm Search engine spiders Keywords H tags Meta tags Sitemaps Anchor text SEO copy Link building (Backlinks) Web analytics
Keyword Research – your starting line.Keyword Research Tools: Google Keyword Suggestion Tool (free = yay!) https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool SEMRush.com (freemium) Wordtracker.com (paid) KeywordDiscovery.com (paid) SEOmoz.org (paid, within their Pro Tools) WordStream.com (paid)Using the tools: Type the keyword phrase into the tool. Use “exact match” if the option exists. Select “closely related keywords” if it exists.
It’s all about balance.Strike a balance between: Monthly Search volume Depends on industry. “Moderate” in some industries may be 9,000. In others, it could be 150. Competition volume Also depends on industry. “Moderate” in some industries may be 700,000 results. In others, it could be 125,000.Oh, there’s that thing called relevancy. No matter how good a keyword seems, if it doesn’t directly relate to your products, it’s a no-go.
…And we’re off.Blog Platforms: Wordpress, TypePad, Blogger, Moveable Type, Tumblr, etc (FYI: This presenter prefers Wordpress for SEO.)Choose a domain name + hosting. Choose reliable hosting w/ “1 click” blog installation. Choose a memorable domain name. Think about keywords, but these days, memorable matters more.
The gear doesn’t make the blogger, but it sure helps.Top SEO Plugins: Top Social Media Plugins: Platinum SEO Pack The Floating Social Bar All-in-One SEO Pack Get Social Wordpress SEO by Yoast Share This/AddThis SEO Ultimate Socialize SEO Wordpress SharePress
Success is in the structure.First, create an SEO plan for your blog.Keep keywords in mind: Blog title/headline Static blog pages Posting schedule Blog categories Blog post tags Blog post urls Meta tags
Shakespeare, you’ve got this one wrong.What’s in a name? That which we call a blogBy any other name would be…just a website. What’s in a blog name and headline? Everything.
Some things will never change.And that’s okay! Embrace static blog pages. Use for “About Us”, “Contact Info”, “FAQ”, “PR Friendly/Media” , etc Integrate keywords into page titles and copy Ex: “About Nepa Copywriter”, “Contact Freelance Writer”
One of the hardest parts about blogging is,Blogging. Create a consistent posting schedule to keep your blog alive for readers and search engines with fresh content. Set calendar reminders, alarm alerts, post-it notes, tattoos, etc – whatever will keep you posting!
Can’t I just make categories as I go along?Creating SEO-friendly categories from the start gives search engines the time to crawl and index them, upping the likelihood your blog will rank for relevant keywords in…this lifetime.
Tag, you’re it!Blog post tags + keywords = <3 Does your blog allow for tags? If so, I’d better see you using relevant keywords – tags were made to be used for keywords!
K.I.S.S. (Keep it short and sweet.)Blog post urls should be no more than two “folders” deep.Preferred: DomainName.com/Blog-Post-Title/ DomainName.com/Category-Name/Blog-Post-Title/Only one url should exist for each page. Check your chosen SEO plugin for this option.
Tagged, again?!Meta tags: Meta-title Meta-keywords Meta-descriptionHave no fear, you have options. Can let your SEO plugin pull from the post’s content. Can create custom meta tags for each post: Ex. Meta-title: Blog Post Title | DomainName.com Ex. Meta-keywords: keyword phrase 1, keyword phrase 2, keyword phrase 3, keyword phrase 4, keyword phrase 5 Ex. Meta-description: Two attention-grabbing sentences meant to give searchers a reason to click your search result. Your only chance at ad copy in the natural search results.
Write, and then think.Do keyword research before you write,But write before you even think about keyword usage. Insert keyword phrases appropriately after you write the post, otherwise it may not sound natural. Use 1-2 keyword phrases per paragraph Use 1 keyword phrase as “anchor text” per paragraphCardinal Rule: Never sacrifice blog post quality for keywords.
[Cue ominous music.]Welcome to the mostdifficult part of SEO:Link Building.
Make some friends.It’s all about the connection. Personally email, Facebook comment, or tweet related bloggers and ask them to mention (link) to you. Let them know you’d love to also link to them / mention them in a blog post. Offer to write a guest blog post for their blog, limiting the work they need to do. Compliment their work & thank them for their time. If they don’t respond, let it go.
Say hi to your blogosphere neighbors.Comment on other blogs, whether the links pass value or not. Contribute thoughtful opinions – not comments just for the sake of a link. Can potentially increase links and traffic to your blog.Be an active social media contributer. “Like” other blogger’s Facebook Pages, “Follow” on Twitter Comment/@reply/retweet their social media posts Regularly post interesting content on social media sites Link to your blog posts via social media
Be brilliant.The best way to gain links? Create link-worthy content. Think: Would I link to this? Write for you – not anyone else. Do “blog post round-ups” to highlight other bloggers Create a blog post series based around a newsworthy topic Create a top 10 list of related bloggers/websites
No one reads my blog.Really? Bet you’re wrong.Install Google Analytics (made easy via Wordpress plugins) to your blog. Check “Traffic Sources” to see: Direct Traffic: Visitors who type your site name directly into their Internet browser to access your blog. Referring Traffic: Visitors who access your blog by clicking on a link to it from another website. Nonpaid Traffic: Traffic from the natural search engine results. Can drill-down to see what keywords they searched on.
And now, it’s time to run.Youve learned the tips, youve got the gear, and youve mapped out a plan– so SEO it!Questions?