John made it to Maryland on Saturday and the movers arrived yesterday! We don’t get internet until today, so I’ll update you as soon as possible about how this weekend played out! Until then, Sara is back with another informative post today! She taught us last week how to keep our site healthy with helpful wordpress plugins and today she’s going to provide us with some awesome SEO tips!
Search Engine Optimization Tips for any Blog
You’re back! You might not be able to see or hear me, but trust that I am absolutely elated that you wanted some more knowledge about turning your blog’s performance all the way to 11. Now that you have the necessary code (i.e., plugins) to complete SEO best practices on your WordPress blogs – lets get down to SEO Theory!
First of all, SEO stands for: Search Engine Optimization. It is an amalgamation of strategies you use on a website to help said website rank higher for certain keywords in the search engines. Even though SEO is important, it is also important to combine it with other web marketing strategies (that I will touch on in a few paragraphs).
You want your site to be high in search engine results pages. The higher you are, the more search engine visitors you’ll get and the more you will grow. Direct visitors are great – that means you have a loyal user base. Having lots of search engine visitors is even better – that means you are growing!
Secondly, go to SEOmoz.org and read THIS. The geniuses at SEOmoz.org wrote and are now providing this guide free of charge. Read it. Rinse and repeat. (If you don’t feel like getting through all of it, at least get through the first section.)
Now that you have had (at least part of) a crash course in SEO, my tips might make a little more sense. Hopefully. Maybe. … Fingers crossed.
1. Create GOOD CONTENT
This might seem like a no brainer, but before you start throwing bricks at my car, just remember this is free advice. You want to write content that a.) users will want to read and b.) search engines want to promote. These two usually go hand in hand. Google’s mysterious algorithm was created (and is kept updated) around what Google thinks users will want to see. So if you are writing content that is providing value to users, you write it on a schedule and you stick to that schedule, you’re already on the path to success.
2. Optimize Your Posts
Helpful tip within a tip: SEO isn’t rocket science. Optimizing your posts as you write is a lot easier than it seems. Sure, you can do keyword research to determine what phrases are often searched for and the least competitive… but you’re not an SEO agency. You’re a blogger, darnit!
You can use the simple All In One SEO Pack to help you optimize every page that you add to your site. All you need to do is fill out your page title, meta description and meta keywords field with relevant keywords. The search engines will pick these up, determine the page’s theme and you might just rank for some of the keywords!
For example, if were optimizing this post, I might put:
Page Title: Simple SEO Tips to Optimize Your Blog
Meta Description: Use these SEO tips to make your blog rank higher in the search engines. Our search engine optimization tutorials are completely free to use, so start reading and good luck!
Meta Keywords: seo, search engine optimization, blog seo, seo tips
Also, don’t forget to use SEO Friendly Images to optimize any images you place within your post!
3. Build Links to Your Site
Getting links pointing to your site from other relevant sites shows the search engines how awesome and important your content is. The more back-links you have, the higher you will rank in the search engines. It’s not a direct causation for ranking higher, but it is one determining factor for how high you rank for keywords.
Most bloggers are great at networking and getting reciprocal links, but (please, no more brick throwing!) those aren’t the type of links you really want. They don’t hurt if they are coming from a relevant site, but they aren’t going to do you any big favors either. What you want are one-way text links to your domain. The best way to do this is by writing guest blogs, asking for one-way links on relevant sites, paying for links on other sites, article marketing or simply writing really damn good content that people would organically want to link to.
It’s not easy. It’s not fun. It makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry some days. But it’s essential, like showering or doing your taxes. Just let me reiterate one strategy that will work (although it may take a long time to work): write GREAT content. People in the SEO world call truly linkable content “link bait.” Think of any list article you recently read (Top 10 Ways to Save Money on Christmas Shopping This Year). That, my fine-feathered friends, is link bait. People want to read it; therefore people want to link it.
4. Complete Other Web Marketing Strategies
There are many ways to promote your site online; SEO is just one of the many! Sure, it’s a big, basic one that will ensure your site performs well long-term… but as they say, there is more than one way to skin a cat. (Who the hell is in the cat skinning business nowadays anyway?)
If you feel you have your SEO bases covered, try one of the following strategies to promote your site! I apologize in advance for not explaining them in detail; I have run out of moderately funny things to put in parenthesis.
- Newsletter marketing
- Article marketing
- Custom link building
- Guest blogging (for links back)
- Paid links on related sites
- Social media campaigns (I cannot stress enough that any social media work you do must provide value to your users, otherwise it’s pointless. … still fun, though.)
- Facebook ad campaigns
These strategies aren’t free and some of them are downright complicated, but if you are feeling full of pep one day, do some research and try it out! I’m sure someone older and much wiser than I said it first, but: on the road to success you’ll fail many, many, many times – and it just takes one good idea to make it big.
Work hard at making your site search engine (AND USER!) friendly – and then you’ll be on the road to completing some of those original goals you set for yourself. Maybe you’ll build a large readership, make more than $500 a month, or get more than 1,000 search engine visitors a day. Now, get to work!
Good luck & happy blogging!
Thank you Sara! John and I are excited to see you this weekend!