Spicing up your blog
Imagine you just cooked an awesome meal it tests so great, you know this because you have tasted it while you were cooking. You know that everyone else is going to like it, but how will you make other people want to eat it.
You know that even though it tastes great, it doesn’t smell as much. Until someone tastes it, they will never know how great it is. Then you discover something, ‘if I add a little spice, its going to smell great and other folks will definitely want to have a bite!’
That’s how SEO works, it’s the spice to your content. Even if you post great articles on your blog every day, its not a guarantee people are going to wanna read it. You need to spice things up, put some SEO init!
What is SEO
SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization, that is the art of making your site appear on top of the organic Search Engine Results page. Note that I put organic there, its going to come in handy later, but first I have to explain something…
Whenever you search on Google, you will see different website links showing up, this page is what we call the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and usually on this page, the first 3 – 4 results of your search are adverts labeled with the Ad symbol. These ads are paid for by other individuals or organizations who wish to appear on top of the SERP, this is what is called paid search results. There is no other way to appear here other than placing a bid with Google Ads, check out this article for more!
Do I pay to do SEO?
What SEO guarantees you is organic reach. Which means its free, you don’t have to pay Google to be on top of these results, although you may need to pay experts to do it for you or buy plugins like Yoast. If you do your SEO well, you are most likely heading for the top of the organic SEO, its not usually number one but its free and if you are in a competitive industry and manage to land on top of organic SERP, well you are saving a tone of mula, but its not magic to get there.
Search engines like Google use robots to view your blog, that is, it sees the website different that humans do. It scans the code that your site is written on and extract the results to show searchers. Your site is a bunch of code like HTML, CSS etc, that browsers decode to know what to show users.
Wikipedia describes metadata as data (information), that gives information about other data. On your website your metadata is your Page Title (Title Tag), Meta Description and your Keywords.
You need to pay attention to these because this is how Google determine what your site is about.
A good Title Tag includes a small description of the type of business; don’t do the mistake most website owners do of having a homepage titled ‘Home’, that’s a rookie mistake in web terms. You homepage should include the name of your company and what it does eg ‘Vinny Cements – Buy Quality Lasting Cement Oline, Delivered Countrywide’ is a better option for a title tag. You could also include your location in your title tag to make sure your website is shown to the right location. This sure makes it easy for Google to know what your business is all about.
Description – A good Meta Description is one that includes all the important keywords for a business. Meta Description is the part you see on the SERP just after the title of the page. So Vinny Cements, which is an online seller for local cement brands would like to make sure that their description includes words such as buy cement online, delivering countrywide, free shipment, cheap, affordable cement etc.
Keywords – websites contain what is called Meta tag something that looks like meta name=“Keywords” content=”your keywords”, this is where you are supposed to list all the keywords that will be associated with your site. This used to be of great importance, but since Google constantly improves the way it searches the internet a better way to rank for these keywords is explained below.
Google is becoming intelligent when it comes to searching websites, where people used to fool it by just listing a bunch of keywords and hope to rank higher for it, the competition has just upped with over a billion websites out there, just throwing in keywords isn’t enough anymore.
These days if you really want to rank higher on Google, you need to constantly produce useful content. This is part of the body economics of your website. You need to make sure the body part of your website actually adds value to users.
This is why websites with blogs updated regularly are most likely to rank higher on Google.
If you are just starting out your blog, you need to start by investing in niche topics. These are topics that have little to no competition but are most likely going to add value to your customers. For example Vinny Cements could invest in content that focuses on everyday fixes that could be done using their cement, that will most likely show up when users search for things like ‘how to close a sink hole’.
I don’t know how to say this so that it sinks in, if you really want to matter on Google or any other search engine you need social proof or link proof. That is, important websites in your industry having links to your site is so important.
Google determines the usefulness of content on your site by how much other important sites refer to it. So make sure you have links that point to your website on other important sites.
How to get backlinks
Never buy links on sites that promise to increase your rank on SERP, these are most likely scams, remember the reason I kept saying you need links on important sites is because Google can smell a scam when it is. Buying links means your backlinks are coming from black hat sites that probably have a thousand other links and no content. Which is bad?
To get backlinks you need to identify sites that matter in your industry, usually blogs, ask them for a guest post, where you write content relevant to their site and ask them to post it, some will do it for free while others will ask for a fee, its all good as long as you determine they matter.
After following these steps you need to remember, traffic will not increase to your site overnight. Be patient and keep on finding ways to improve your site.
Other ways to increase traffic include sharing on social media and printing your site on all your business materials, cards, flyers, calendars etc.
After you have done all of the above, congratulations, your site is ready to pop! Good luck!!!