When you take a look at your analytics, where is most of your traffic coming from? For many blogs, as much as 50% of traffic can come from search engines. With IFB, 44% of our traffic comes from Google organic search, and 4% comes from Twitter. A majority of fashion bloggers (myself included) tend to focus on social media to build traffic. Social media is wonderful but it's time consuming, needy, and when compared to SEO, the return on investment is quite dismal.
Social media is wonderful, but it’s time consuming. When compared to SEO, the return on investment is quite dismal.
Not only that, Social media tends to bring in more returning visitors… our “New Visitor” rate among social media sources hover around 30%, and SEO brings in nearly 70% new visitors. Traffic that comes in without constant attention. So in a sense, when half your traffic is coming from SEO and it's reaching 70% new visitors… it's a marketing tactic that reaches a new audience can't be ignored.
Don't ignore SEO…
It's complicated. Technical. Often times the best resources are written using a lot of jargon. It makes my eyes glaze over, to tell the truth. Kind of like flossing, it's one of those things that isn't hard and I should do it, but don't do it as much as I should. When the numbers “without trying” so hard are looking good, why not try maximize the benefits by tweaking content?
But not to worry! There are ways to jump in to the SEO game. I recently found the Beginners Guide to SEO which had a lot of great information, not to mention great ways of thinking about search engines to improve my tactics.
Think about how YOU use search engines
If I'm treating Google as the source of my answers, why not treat my posts like answers to those questions?
It's funny that we think of SEO is a technical thing, but at the same time it's a tool we all use. I search for specific content on search engines every day. From asking dumb questions like, “What's the difference between a food processor and a blender” to finding reviews on beauty products to decide what to buy, Google answers all my questions. If I'm treating Google as the source of my answers, why not treat my posts like answers to those questions? The Beginners Guide to SEO, broke it down like this:
Search engines are answer machines. When a person looks for something online, it requires the search engines to scour their corpus of billions of documents and do two things – first, return only those results that are relevant or useful to the searcher’s query, and second, rank those results in order of perceived usefulness. It is both “relevance” and “importance” that the process of SEO is meant to influence.
The guide goes in depth into keywords and linking, which is vital to SEO, but I feel like when starting out, it's good to create authentic content that's also SEO friendly. If you're thinking about how to position yourself in a place to be found on the web, it changes the way you think about your content. It doesn't have to change, just tweaked.
Look at your site like a search engine
I'm a visual person. You can explain all you want, ie, search engines don't see photos or flash files. But seeing how your site looks to a search engine certainly changes the way you look at your site. All those untitled images? Vague post titles? One wake up call for me was checking IFB on seo-browser.com
Here is how IFB looks like to a search engine:
I noted which content is being pulled and how the search engines scan the site. Note how the navigation is right on top (a reason to pay attention to navigation). IFB needs work, but scrolling down, it was good to see the links, and looking at the links bare on the page helped to visualize the importance of being specific (and appealing) with your post titles, and any link really…
Obviously, there is so much more to optimizing your blog for search traffic, so please read the Beginners Guide to SEO for getting in depth from experts. But in the mean time, start approaching your blog's SEO like an an answer to be found, and you'll start seeing the difference.