Last week, we shared with you our top secret cheat sheet for YouTube, proving that data can be your most important tool when it comes to success online. This week, we take you even further, with some insights into SEO and help you to optimize your blog.
Social media influencers know lots of stuff. Or rather, they know lots about the stuff they’re interested in – whether that’s beauty, food or a new kind of gym routine that will make ordinary people weep.But a lot of the experts on social media aren’t always experts in social media. And one of the more common gaps in knowledge is around SEO (or Search Engine Optimization).
But there’s actually nothing wrong with admitting you don’t know the ins and outs of optimizing your blog for search. There’s a lot of hugely experienced marketing professionals who don’t know an awful lot either.
The first step is simply understanding why SEO can be such an important part of attracting more of the most relevant and valuable followers. By optimizing your blog posts you make your site more visible to people who are searching for certain keywords on Google.
Basically, it’s about having a good instinct for what people are looking for online – and using a few simple tricks to make sure they discover your content at the beginning of their search.
The simplest place to start raising your SEO game is in the bit you know best – the creative.
Just making sure the written part of the blog contains certain keywords is instantly going to score you some SEO points.
But remember, this isn’t about stuffing keywords into every sentence until your blog becomes unreadable, but rather choosing one or two essential keywords and using them in the most impactful spaces – such as your headline, sub-headers, URL and meta description (i.e. the short summary that tells search engines what your blog is about).
And it isn’t just about getting the words right. Search engines will also favor content with images that contain alt text – which is basically a feature that allows you to describe the image and help your blog show up in search results around that description.
Ok, we’re about to tiptoe into slightly less familiar territory but, trust us, if you can write a blog that thousands of people love to read, this bit will be a breeze.
We’ve already touched on the meta description, which is the summary that appears on the search engine’s results page. In other words, this is your big chance to persuade them to click on your link instead of the others that came up.
The other big focus should be on links. Internal, or inbound links are the links you put into a blog article that take the reader to another relevant article on your blog. And, as well as helping your readers to spend longer browsing around your site, internal links also earn a small SEO boost.
Follow links link to your website from other sites, and these count as link points (or ‘link juice’ which is more fun) and boost your page higher up the search results. Effectively, this kind of link tickles a Google metric known as PageRank which adds up your points/juice and decides where you should appear on the results page.
Meanwhile, no follow links (stay with us) were designed as a sort-of spam-busting link that you include in your blog that you do not want to be counted by PageRank.
This could be because the site you’re linking to is actually ‘low quality’ in Google’s eyes, or simply because you’re including loads of links in your content (which Google also doesn’t like). Either way, you add rel=”nofollow” to the URL and that makes sure this link won’t be counted and therefore won’t harm your SEO ranking.
And, if this still all seems slightly baffling, you can always download Linkparser which is an amazing tool for testing links in your blog. Simply open your blog post, run the tool and it will show your follow links in green and the no follows in red.
(And, just because Google isn’t interested in your no follow links, that doesn’t mean they can’t help your blog. No follow links can drive huge amounts of traffic to your site, for various reasons – which are probably better explained in this excellent Whiteboard Friday feature from moz.com.)
Finally, WordPress…With WordPress you can easily upload and create amazing blog articles. This platform is also one of the most recommended free personal publishing platforms which you can use for SEO optimization. In fact, they will even create a check list for you when publishing content, which makes sure you’re SEO savvy. See below.