While on vacation Christine from Christine Everyday is stopping by to guest post. She is sharing amazing information about SEO! Make sure you head over to her blog to check out more of her posts! Thanks so much to Christine for helping me out! Now I will let her take it away….
Do you remember my post on increasing page views? Well, a TON of you wanted more information on SEO, so I’m here to share some with you! Now, I do not claim to be an expert on SEO, but I have been playing with it for a long time now and I think I’ve figured out some tricks. I get custom search engine hits (coming from specific search terms) multiple times every day which I think is a sign that I’m doing something right! There are some really detailed ways to optimize SEO, but today I’m sharing some of the simple ones that apply to any blogging platform (Blogger, WP, Squarespace, etc). Be sure to read all the way to the bottom for a special announcement!
I guess the first thing I should do is explain what SEO is. SEO stands for “search engine optimization”, and is basically a collection of practices that help your blog show sooner in search results, and in results for more terms. It is important to note that we are talking about organic views – not views that you pay for by purchasing ads, etc. Within our blogiverse, SEO has also come to mean optimizing your blog for higher readership in general.
I almost feel like a politician when I blog because I am always looking for “sound bytes”. What I mean by this is that bloggers should use certain phrases in their post to appeal to would-be searchers. Pick a keyword or a few keywords by thinking about what you would use to search for the topic if you were wanting information about it. The more often these keywords or phrases show up in your post, the more likely searchers are to see your page when searching for that keyword. If you use WordPress (you definitely should switch if you don’t), then the SEO plugin by Yoast can help a ton with this!
It is general knowledge that word count is important. You don’t want your posts to be too long, or too short. When looking at my most popular posts, I see that a word count of about 600-800 is the most successful. Word count for title lengths and post descriptions matter, too! I try to keep my post descriptions to about 10-20 words so that the entire description can be read on a search engine. According to CoSchedule, the optimal title length is 6 words, but I’ve found that anywhere between 6-10 is effective.
Speaking of post description, be sure to write one! Don’t just let your platform pull the first words of your post as the description. When people are searching they want to see what the post is about, and most intros don’t give that information in few enough words.
Always, always, always link back to your old posts. As you noticed, at the beginning of this post I linked back to another post. This not only helps your page views, but helps optimize your search engine hits. Links to other valid sites increases the validity of your page.
As every blogger knows, a good title makes for a great post, and a bad title can ruin a good post in no time. One of my favorite resources for blogging is this headline analyzer by CoSchedule. You just plug in different title ideas for a post and it scores them all. It even saves them as you work so you can compare the different ideas to come up with the best one. Post titles like “how to” and “top 5″ typically do really well. My friend Sarah from Seriously, Sarah once mentioned to me that negative titles get the most attention. I’ve tried it since then and she’s totally right. So try things like “how not to” and “why I’ll never”.
Another important note is that you should always title your images. When you save images to your computer, save them with a title that is similar to your post title or mentions the topic. For example, the image I used for this post could be titled “howtoreallygetthemostfromyourseo” or “seooptimization” or anything like that. This increases the chances that when someone searches for these terms, they will find this post. Don’t just let the image be titled “image989979″ or whatever.