Ah yessss! We began a discussion on search engine optimization this week with a fellow blogger, and since then, the question was presented:
“What is SEO and how can we use it for our benefit?”
Let me preface this by saying, I’m no expert. My blog has only been active for 4 months, but I have found several articles on search engine optimization to be rather helpful. We ALL use search engines! Whether it’s google/yahoo/bing etc, we’ve all used one at some point or another.
What is SEO?
Google defines it as the process of affecting the visibility of a website/webpage in a search engine’s results. Keep in mind that these results are not paid advertisements. They are organic results of the word/phrases used in your blog that can bring direct traffic to your website.
SEO is now popular in the marketing world as businesses struggle to drive viewership to their websites. As a blogger, you may want traffic to your site for various reasons. Maybe you are branding yourself as a business. You could need traffic for ad revenue and advertising dollars. Many of us just enjoy sharing our thoughts/ideas/knowledge with others and want as many viewers as possible. Whatever your reason may be, understanding SEO can benefit you in many ways. With that in mind, there are a mob of SEO articles online, classes, and workshops available for your learning eyes. I would like to share a few SEO tips that I am trying out and a few sites to get you started in your journey.
- Pay attention to current events and blog about them. Things are happening all over the world…every second of every day. These are the things people are looking up in various search engines . To me this is one of the easiest tips to drive traffic to your site.
- Use keywords and keyword phrases when titling your post. This is the “be clear” tip. If you are blogging about Shark Attacks, make sure you aren’t adding unnecessary words that would break the phrase into something less specific. Search spiders may find ‘South Carolina Shark Attacks’ better than ‘Shark Attacks in My Area’…unless ‘My Area’ is trending for some reason.
- Use captions with your images. Search spiders are looking for words, not necessarily images.
- Use hashtags and tags. I have no idea when the hashtag became such a huge deal but it changed the way we find our information. I use hashtags a lot on my twitter, but now I see them in use on other social networking sites that can link to your site. Example: #BlackLivesMatter started on twitter but takes you to their site. No spaces. If you’re crafty, start your own hashtag and use it in every post, even if you are blogging/writing for another site. It’s a great way for you to show up, even if your name is common, or the article is not from your blog.
- Links, links, links! Add links, share links and make sure to cater your post to influential bloggers that may relate to you.
That’s my introduction to SEO. Again, I’m no expert, but I hope this post was helpful to someone. If you have any tips, SHARE! Also, check out these articles that can really give you a deeper understanding of search engine optimization. Happy Blogging!