Image by Bulb Growing Ideas
With the new year, I see many blog resolutions wanting to grow traffic and optimize search engine traffic. I'm sure for many of you, you're not quite sure HOW to do that. Some sites, like WordPress, claim to be optimized better than others for SEO (search-engine optimization). But within all the platforms, there are ways to optimize your site to build up more traffic. Mind you– I'm no SEO expert, but I put all of these tips in to effect and find that they substantially help drive traffic to my site.
Know Your SEO Vocabulary:
SEO: Search Engine Optimization
Pagerank: A 1-10 scale determined by Google. Algorithms determine your page rank, and it's Google's way of determining where you show up in search results. The higher the score, the better.
Keywords: keywords are descriptive clusters and phrases within the body of your posts.
META Tags: WordPress and Blogger should both have areas within set up where you can enter META tags. META Tags are HTML codes that give search engines information on the site & its contents. So yours might include the city you live in if you're regional, fashion, shopping, eco-friendly clothing, etc.
Anchor Text: The words that appear in a clickable link.
Simple SEO Tips:
Make sure that your Permalink is rich with keywords. Unless you go in and edit it, your permalink typically takes on the title that you give the blog post. Which, if you give your posts artistic titles, musical titles, etc., it won't really do much good for you in search engines. (See below)
Bold, Italicize, & Link. Google places more emphasis on words that are in bold, linked, or italicized. When you link to another blog post, make sure to use keywords–descriptive phrases indicating what the post is about. It's better to write “See Jamie's post on how to curl your hair” than “This post by Jamie is awesome!” because search engines will pick up both the keywords and the linking (called anchor text). See how I've made bold the important first line of each point? That's deliberate, as well as being useful for readers scanning the text.
Use your Alt Tags when posting images. If you post an image through Blogger or WordPress' tools functions, there is typically a box that says Alt Text/Alternate Text. In HTML it would look like alt=”words words”. This allows you to insert keywords in to your image, making it pull up in image searches on those keywords. An image of Kim Kardashian may have something like alt=”Kim Kardashian, The Kardashians, Kim Kardashian style, Kim Kardashian butt”. Separate each keyword by a comma. This will pull your images up in image searches on all the search engines.
Break up content with headers/headings. Like bold, italics, and links, Google gives more weight to the text within header scripts. So make sure to load them up with descriptive information!
Seek out plugins which help make SEO easier. WordPress has the free All-In-One-SEO, and many templates have built in SEO optimizing. Unfortunately, there are no plugins for those using Blogspot (it seems). These plugins typically give you a few categories: like a META Title (which is how your post shows up in search results–like renaming the post title but only in search engines), META description (most of the time the first few lines of your content will come up, but you can change it to make it SEO rich. Google only uses the first 150 characters), and keywords (a way to put in more diverse keywords and synonyms than your post may actually use in the post).
Don't disable any SEO plugins you have & have been utilizing, without looking up some way to transfer or export/import the data. I did this once and lost my page rank entirely. My search engine results for 2 years worth of blogging were lost. And I had no idea. Once I figured out the cause and started to repair it, it still took over 5 months to bring my page rank back to half of what it was.
There are whole sites, e-books, and businesses dedicated to SEO, so covering it all in just one post would be impossible. Here are some great additional resources for you to check out– and if you have questions, or would like me to dedicate a whole post to one area of SEO, please let me know!
Copyblogger's How to Create Compelling Content that Ranks Well in Search Engines (a free e-book)
Stylish Thought's Guide to Search Engine Optimization (a MUST read!!!)
Fashion & SEO: How Sponsored Content Works