Explore the ways that SEO can help you experience positive blog growth. Anyone can learn and understand the basics of SEO (search engine optimization).
“S-E-What?” my husband said. His eyes may have rolled back into his head a bit.
“I took a course on search engine optimization, you know, SEO,” I said.
“That doesn’t help. Can you speak English?”
I gave him a playful nudge and said, “You know, like Google? When I write posts for my blog, I try to do things to help Google search engines discover my posts.”
How SEO Works for (and Against) Us
As bloggers, though, we need to explore the subject of SEO. It won’t kill us, and once we have a basic understanding, we can use it as a tool for blog growth.
SEO and keywords act as a system of checks and balances to make sure we say what we promised to say. Let me explain. Suppose I write a post about getting the ring out of our toilet bowl and I give it the title, “How to Avoid the Monster from the Black Lagoon.”
On the other side of the world, some frightened child starts exploring the Internet to figure out how to avoid monsters. She pulls up Google and types in, “How do I avoid the monster from the Black Lagoon?”
Google will go through millions of posts that have the child’s keywords in them: monster, avoid, and Black Lagoon. It will put the posts that seem most likely to answer the child’s question at the top of the search results list.
Unfortunately, my post won’t score very high on this list because I didn’t use any of those keywords in the text or headings of my post. My clever headline had to do with toilets, not monsters.
If you want search engines to find your posts and rank them, you’ll need to make sure that you coordinate your title, your keywords and what you actually write in the post to help Google help you. I know, writing a catchy title comparing the drudgery of removing toilet rings to monsters probably makes your writer’s heart giggle. But Google won’t get your sense of humor. And Google has a whopping 92% share of search engine traffic.
What You Need to Explore Before You Write
Before I even start writing a post, I explore two websites to guide my writing. First, I go to Wordtracker.com where you can start a free account and explore. You may discover that you want to purchase a subscription.
Just type in a keyword (or string of words) you might write about.
The results look like this:
Once you change the columns to show you KEI (you have to deselect IAAT first before you can click KEI), you’ll see how your keyword ranks, as well as other possible keywords.
Next, I take my two or three best keywords or keyword phrases and hop over to CoSchedule’s free headline analyzer. I explore different combinations of keywords and messages to discover the best headline for my post. Sometimes I type in 27 different headline combinations before I find one that scores above 65.
Time to Write!
Once you’ve spent time exploring WHAT people want to read, and how best to catch their attention, you can sit down and write your post.
Make sure to include your keyword (or keyword string) in your headline, a least one subheading (yes, you need subheadings, see this post if you don’t believe me), and naturally throughout your post.Check out these two free hacks you can start using today to increase your blog traffic. #blogger #growth #write28days Click To Tweet
I’ve used this system for the past eight months, and have experienced steady growth in visitors who search on Google. With the ever-changing algorithms of Facebook and Twitter, bloggers can’t rely on people clicking through from social media. Pinterest, if you prepare your graphics correctly, acts as a visual search engine, and it will help you increase your blog traffic.
But we’ll talk about that tomorrow.