SEO For Bloggers — An Intimate Dinner Party
How search engines work is Google sending out spiders to crawl your website or blog, indexing in a database and providing searchers with a list of sites determined to be most relevant by a search engine.
Search engines measure relevance and popularity by tracking your fresh and quality content, what individuals do, comment, engage with and link to. Remember, it is not enough to build an excellent website with fantastic content. That content should also be of high quality, relevance and value for it to be communicated and shared by others.
It is not about posting content for the sake of posting. It is about developing relationships, trust and engagement with your followers. SEO, Content Marketing and Blogging strategy success does not happen overnight. It requires patience and a consistent process. You need to create valuable content/blog posts that readers are actually searching for, find helpful, solves a problem and find engaging.
Your content is more likely to be shared on social media which also does wonders for your SEO. Social media marketing and SEO are both strategies that build organic traffic that drive traffic to your blog/website. Social signals (shares, likes, views, re-tweets) show search engines that your content is awesome, relevant and people are finding it helpful. Google will think you’re awesome and boost your search rankings. Add social media share buttons to your blog posts and give your readers a compelling reason to share your content.
Think of your blog as a dinner party you to decide to throw. You put in time, energy, resources and effort into it creating it but you don’t send out any invitations. No one shows up and you end up with a feast for one, disappointed, and throwing the food in the trash out of frustration. What a waste right? Having a dinner party and creating a delicious feast does not mean that people will magically smell the aromas from miles away and show up at your door step. You need to send out invitations and determine the best way to send out those invites.
Before creating a blog post or a dinner party you need to have a goal in mind. Here are some dinner party/goal scenarios:
- You have been single for a while and your friends think that you need to meet this amazing person. They think you guys will be a hit! You decided to host a dinner party and your friends will bring this person along and see if you will hit it off (less pressure and more relaxed than a traditional one on one date too). You obviously want to attract and impress this person with your culinary skills. The goal here is to attract the new person.
- You just landed a new promotion and you start immediately. That’s major and exciting news to share with your friends and what better way to do it than to host a dinner party and share your news when everyone is together. The goal here is to share some news about you.
- You and your partner are expecting a new baby. You decide to host a dinner party and tell all your friends about the new bundle of joy. The goal here is to share something that is going to happen.
- You host weekly dinner parties with friends where you have great conversations and contribute your thoughts on a number of new and existing topics. The goal here is to contribute your thoughts, knowledge and participate in conversation.
- You own a restaurant or a café and just recently launched a new menu. You want to promote your new tasty treats so you decide to offer free samples from your new menu for people to try out. The goal here is to promote.
- The company you are working for wants to win over a new major client and you’re responsibility is to do this. You decide a more caring, sincere and intimate approach is to host a fun dinner party in your home instead of taking them out to dinner. You want to make a great impression and strike a relationship so planning is key. From doing your homework on the client, what they like to eat etc. to conversations. The goal here is to win over the client.
Know Your Guests
Who is your target audience? Who are you trying to reach with your blog and posts? Think about the message you want to share and what you want your audience to know. What specific action do you want your audience to do at the end of your post? Sign up to your newsletter? Download your eBook? Think content/blog posts with purpose.
The Key Is In The Words. Research Your Keywords
Do your keyword research and find out which keywords are most popular for your blog topic. Knowing what keywords your target audience is actually searching for will help your blog/content strategy. There is a number of free keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends that you can use to find out popular keywords.
Optimise, optimise, optimise! Focus on one or two primary keywords for each blog post blog post and ensure to use these primary keywords in your blog post headline, image alt tags, title, meta description and URL.
If you are using WordPress for your website/blog I highly recommend using their SEO plugin called Yoast. It helps with SEO best practices and post optimisation, is very easy to use, follow and comprehend.
Back, Back, Back It Up! Backlinks!
A backlink is a hyperlink from one web page to another website or webpage. A backlinks strategy can be to guest blog high quality, love-able and awesome articles on other reputable websites relevant to your target audience. Link to other quality, relevant and awesome content of your own and link your social media profiles. This can direct traffic to your website and other blog posts on your website. When you create awesome content that people will actually search for and find valuable and helpful they will link to it. Keep in mind that search engines always take into account the reputation and relevance of the website you’re linking. Good links should come from reputable and relevant websites.
Focus on the quality of your back-links rather than the quantity. Having the majority of your links directing to one particular blog post on your website can diminish your rankings. Have your inbound links point to your other blog posts on your website to sustain keyword ranking and diversify your back-link strategy. Outbound links on your blog/website are just as important as backlinks. Having quality, valuable and trustworthy outbound links to other relevant brands/reputable website on your blog posts helps determine website relevancy.
Linking to related posts/pages on your own website through internal linking is another strategy that will help sustain keyword rankings, give visitors additional access to your blog/website content and keep visitors longer on your website. This also helps search engines determine the topic/focus of that page.