Welcome to the third post in the ‘Blogging Behind The Scenes’ series. Throughout the ‘Blogging Behind The Scenes’ series both myself and a group of bloggers will be sharing our experiences and advice upon a range of blogging related topics, this week we are focusing upon Search Engine Optimisation otherwise known as ‘SEO’.
What Is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is the art of ensuring search engines are able to easily locate a website or webpage through the use of keywords and phrases relevant to the site.
In a nutshell readers are more likely to place links to a particular website site should it offer high quality, engaging content. Likewise, Google (the Worlds leading search engine) then recognises this interest and in turn will rank the page higher as they wish to display authoritative, compelling pages within their results
Does SEO Really Matter?
If you have a website, blog, online shop or business SEO is vital to your businesses success. Readers tend to trust search engines and if your site has presence within the top few positions for particular keywords it is therefore more likely to be viewed as a trusted site which readers will make use of resulting in business growth.
To put it bluntly, SEO is the key to success for any website whether it be a business or a blog!
How To Get The ‘SEO Green Light’
There is a huge range of plugins specifically designed to aid bloggers in achieving SEO success. Being a WordPress user, I personally use ‘Yoast SEO‘, a free plugin which I find seems to do the job pretty well. Whilst Yoast offers a free plugin they also have ‘paid for’ versions of the plugin which offer more preferences to users, I may look into this in the future but for now I’ll stick with the ‘cheap and cheerful’ option!
Yoast uses a traffic light system (red, amber, green) to highlight whether a post/ page has effective SEO. It also provides guides on how to improve your content, SEO information and such like to achieve success.
At first I found it quite tricky to hit the ‘green light’ when writing posts as I found it difficult to make use of keywords and phrases throughout my posts. Over time however things seem to have become a little easier and almost 99% of my posts usually get the green light before being published.
Playing The Google Game
SEO may seem tricky to tackle at first but really it boils down to ‘getting google onside’ simply by :
- Researching and placing strategic key words and search phrases throughout your site.
- Creating keyword based page titles which establish a theme and direction.
- Creating descriptive meta tags
- Developing sitemaps for search engines including Google and Bing
- Submitting your site to search engines/ directories
I asked other bloggers how they implement successful SEO within their site, here are a few of their responses:
“I use Yoast. It’s a fantastic tool and since spending some time studying SEO and practising, I now find it really easy to get that green light. One tip would be to use the key word naturally at the start of your post and in any images you use. I also always add the title within the meta description and that helps my green light to come on quickly.”
“I use Yoast and have just started making a conscious effort to get the green light. But my blog titles are often “creative” and wordy and to Yoast, sod all to do with the focus keyword. When I write how I truly want to write, Yoast hates me!”
“I hate it that it doesn’t let you have three sentences beginning with the same letter. I like three consecutively starting sentences when I’m trying to make a point. Just me being picky but drives me crackers”
“I use Yoast too and it’s forever telling me I talking in the passive voice too much and my sentences are too long. I need to work on those, at some point! “
Should you fancy being part of the series and sharing some of your own ideas or expertise then please feel free to join the ‘Blogging Behind The Scenes’ Facebook group’, we’d love to hear from you! Alternatively you can get in touch via email, drop me a message via social media or add your comments below.