Dear rookie bloggers: you need to know about search engine optimization
Dear rookie blogger,
Welcome to the blogging world. Whether you are working on your own, for a company or as a ghostwriter, you are in for a wild ride and you have some major responsibilities to assume. First of all, you have to make sure your content is original enough to draw a crowd but not gimmicky. Your creativity will definitely be put to the test as you go along. Secondly, you must do everything possible to complete deadlines, even if you are working for and by yourself. Finally, you definitely have to ensure that your post or article is optimized for search engine optimization. Why are you looking at those last three words with that deer in the headlights look? What do you mean you have to optimize content for search engines if you are writing for human beings to read and not machines? And what in the world is search engine optimization anyhow and how do you go about it?
Excellent questions my rookie blogger. Answering them will give you the information you need to put out awesome content that will get you on the map. Let’s take a look at them in more detail.
Question 1: What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization or SEO as it is mainly known is basically everything the person or company in charge of running someone’s digital content does in order to make sure their client appears on the top results pages for the most important search engines. In other words, it’s what can be done to make sure a company or individual gets to the top rankings of Page 1 of Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other popular search engines. That’s a pretty basic, but concrete explanation of SEO. For more essentials of SEO, take a look at the post SEO: A basic guide for newcomers to get a better and more detailed idea of what optimizing for search engines is really about.
Question 2: Why optimize for search engines when getting people to read my stuff is what matters?
You are a correct grasshopper. Getting people to read your posts is what matters in the end. It’s the goal you want to achieve. However, unless you get to the top of search engine results pages, you are going to have a difficult time getting it done. You may think that word of mouth and getting friends to recommend your stuff will do just fine and you would be right if you already had thousands of followers who could share your content by just asking them to. The truth of the matter is that seldom happens. Search engines have these things called crawlers that go through a website’s content and they determine just how high they should be ranked on results pages. The better prepared your post is for these crawlers, the higher the chances are of appearing at the top spots. Which leads us to your next question.
Question 3: How do you optimize for SEO?
Search engine optimization for bloggers is more about paying attention to detail than anything else. Some things that will help make your article optimized are:
· Include keywords in your title: Keywords are essential to SEO. Including them in the title is of great aid to search engine algorithms when they are trying to categorize and rank content. A tool like Headline Analyzer will help you create catchy headlines. Just make sure that you incorporate the main concept of the article into them.
· Add relevant images: Images add more depth to an article. They can often help you support your idea or give readers a better idea as to what you want them to know. A normal article is about 800 words long and has about two or three spread out images. The more experienced bloggers know that images and the information you tag them with are vital to SEO success.
· Don’t go overboard on keywords: This can get a little tricky sometimes. Keywords should feel like a natural fit within content and not forced. Crawlers have become increasingly more agile at detecting when a blogger is pushing it a little too far with these essential words and they tend to punish the writer for doing so. Make sure that when you add a keyword it is because it’s truly needed and not to add to the word count.
· Refer to other sites: Your article should take your readers to about two or three more sites where they can find more information on a certain section you are writing about. We did a while back when this same article referred you to another article on the importance of images in search engine optimization. It’s important that you link to quality articles and if it’s possible to industry leaders.
· Pay attention to grammar: Search engine algorithms are getting better at understanding languages and syntax. This basically means that they are learning how to detect whether an article is written well or if it is full of grammar mistakes and has little cohesion. The quality of your content will have a direct influence of how high up the rankings you can get. Therefore, grammar affects SEO.
There you have it. As a blogger, you are a vital part of getting a company or client to the top of rankings. Make sure you go about it the right way by optimizing your posts for search engines.
Kind regards and best wishes,