Does the term “search engine optimisation” <SEO> freak you out? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It used to scare the absolute bejesus out of me. (I’ve written about SEO before. You can read about the 9 on-page SEO factors you need to know about here)
But you what? There’s actually nothing to be scared about … nothing at all. And it’s really not as complicated as everyone makes out … when it comes to your blog.
Yes, SEO is a complex topic in the scheme of things … but it’s not so bad when it come to your blog. Let me explain.
Before we get started, let’s define the important term: SEO. What is the point of it and how does it work? SEO is basically a process that allows your content to get noticed by search engines. In order to get to the root of this you need to think like a search engine, such as Google.
Search engines perform well when they return accurate results to queries. In regards to your site, search engines mainly look for sites that are easy to navigate and user-friendly, sites that have content with a clear purpose and sites that have “authority”, another term for legitimacy or credibility.
It is extremely important to your content and is something I teach in my blogging workshops…Did you know more than 93 per cent of online experiences start with search engines. So let’s have another look at how to master the basics of SEO!
- Write Relevant Content
If you run a food blog, keep your content confined to food. If you run a blog on elephants, resist the temptation to write about ostriches. Writing relevant content is one of the best ways to keep readers coming back for more and to rank high in search engines.
This is why some multi-topic blogs fail – the authors are trying to cover multiple topics without establishing authority in a particular area. Creating relevant content is crucial for getting noticed online.
- Use Images with Labels
If you spend time on a stock photo site, you’ll probably notice that some of the pictures have ridiculously long descriptions. A snapshot of a girl sitting on a bench may be described as “girl with red hair wearing a blue sweater sitting on a bench in the park next to children playing with a ball”.
Why is the description so detailed? This connects to a fundamental SEO principal: descriptive images are more likely to pop up in search results than images that have filenames like “img_2983”. Use images throughout your posts, and give them accurate descriptions so that they’ll show up in searches.
- Use Relevant Links
Linking to relevant websites is a great way to apply SEO. If you read blogs often, you’ll probably notice that some posts are peppered with links to outside sources. At first it might seem odd – why would a blogger want to give a reader so many opportunities to navigate away from their site?
The truth is that linking to other authoritative sites can boost your site’s credibility, bring in new traffic and help you rank high among search results. This is why it helps to have relevant, working links throughout your content.
- Utilise your Keywords
Keywords are probably one of the most well-known aspects of SEO. Remember this: You need to do keyword research before writing your content. What is keyword research? Basically, keywords help you see the most-searched-for terms on a search engine in a given period of time. If a lot of people are running searches for “healthy diet abroad”, this might show up as a keyword during your research.
PS – please just pay someone credible to do your keyword research for you. Then you know you are getting work done by a professional and you know it will work. Email me and I’ll give you my guy. He’s awesome and well priced.
Once you’ve found a keyword, you need to use it! You might be tempted to place it in your content multiple times, but this practice, known as “keyword stuffing”, is a no-go. A BIG NO NO.
Search engines know when you’re trying to pull a fast one by placing keywords all throughout your content. You can accomplish better results by placing the keyword in your headline and URL.
- Write Clearly
Have you noticed that sometimes you’ll ask Google a question and the answer will show up in a box beneath the search bar? This is known as a “direct answer”, and it’s a concept that has prompted writers to cut jargon and to axe technical terms. If you can give direct answers to questions in your content you might find your site at the tippy-top of Google’s search results.
Come and learn more about how to write for your readers and search engines – preferably at the same time! Join me in a city near you for one of my blogging workshops … you’ll love it!