Over the last year or so, many of my blogging friends and social media clients have been asking me for SEO advice. If you are like me, you had no idea what SEO even was up until recently. As a history major, turned sales rep, turned mom I never had any reason to learn about “Search Engine Optimization”. I assumed that once I hit publish on my blog posts that the Google Gods would automatically be notified and my content would be readily available for the world to see.
Nope! You need your content to stand out to Google and let them know you are there.
Your goal? Be on the first page of a Google search for your particular keyword search. Why? After that first page, most of our readers will have found what they are looking for and have no real reason to keep searching.
Many of my clients and blogging colleagues are often turned away from SEO because of the costs associated with it. While there are many websites out there that can provide much more extensive information at a cost, we all have access to one completely free tool: Google’s Keyword Planner. Larisha at We’re Parents has a great article on how to use the Keyword Planner for optimal SEO.
Now that you have found your keywords, let’s talk about using them!
- Use 1-2 keywords per blog post. Anymore, you will find yourself creating content that is not organic.
- Always, use your keywords in your Blog Post Title. Always. This is the first place to tell your readers and Google what your article is about.
- Use your keywords in a “Heading 2” text in a subheading for Google to see it loud and clear.
- Continue to use your keywords throughout your article. You want to use your keywords in an organic, natural way.
- Keywords should also go into your URL.
- The Meta Description is where Google and your readers will find out what your content is about. You want to give readers a reason to click thru to your post and this will be where your reader decides to click thru or not. Once again, keywords go here as well!
- One place where I see the lack of keywords very often is in the alt text of images! Think about it this way. How many times do you search for an image in Google? If you have an image with an alt text of “Picmonkey Collage” how on earth will your post come up in a Google search if it is a “Angry Orchard Bread Recipe”?
- Continue to use your keywords in Pinterest and YouTube, both which are SEO optimized as well.
Keywords are not all that goes into SEO. Once your post is optimized what can you do to keep Google bringing traffic to your website?
- Keep your blog relevant. Meaning, post regularly! If you post once a year, once a month or less, Google will find you completely irrelevant and low quality.
- Update your blog posts with new information and republish them for the current date.
- Link older blog posts to new posts.
- Have incoming links to your website. Back links from higher ranked websites are preferable. This shows Google that you are worthy of their traffic.
- A low bounce rate. Your bounce rate is the percentage of 1 page visits to your website. You want Google to see that your readers are visiting more than one page regularly.
- Keep traffic coming to your website with an authentic and organic social media presence.
It is no surprise that many of my top Pinterest posts are on the first page of Google!
What are your SEO questions?