This is the second post in a series on SEO. I recommend checking out Book Marketing: SEO Tips and Tricks for Blogging Part 1 before reading this post.
Okay, so you’ve got your site set up and optimized for search engines. Great work! Now it’s time to begin to apply SEO to your daily blogging. The setup is important but you have to keep it going.
(Also let’s take a quick timeout before we get started to define two blogging terms. Though people often use the words “blog” and “post” interchangeably, they are different. Blog is short for “web log” and it means the site where you write your content. Post is the actual content on that site. Therefore, it’s not correct to say, “Oh man! I created 10 blogs this morning”–unless you got up this morning and founded 10 new blogging sites. You could say, “Oh man! I created 10 blog posts this morning.”)
3) The Title of Your Post: Now that your blog is optimized for search engines, you’ll want to ensure that each post is also. Ideally, you’ve optimized your blog for the larger themes you write about. Each post should then be optimized for specialized subtopics under your big-picture keywords.
Let’s take this series of posts for example. My blog is optimized for several big-picture keywords, one of which is “book marketing.” In my mind, this series of posts about SEO falls under “book marketing” because blogging is usually a promotional effort for authors. Therefore I have optimized the title of each post with this in mind. In addition to including “Book Marketing” in the title, I’ve also thought about what people might Google to find a post like this and included those secondary keywords in the title: tips, tricks, blogging, and SEO.
If you’re ever not sure what someone might Google to find your post, just open up Google and try searching for similar posts. You’ll quickly see which keywords have more search results.
4) The Topic of Your Post: This next section is somewhat controversial but I think there’s a right and a wrong way to employ this strategy. Companies who are really into using SEO practices to get traffic on their sites are now writing content specifically to rank higher for certain search terms.
For instance, if they’d like to rank on the first page of search results for “cheap Vegas vacation” they have two ways to do this. The first option is to simply buy the keyword term in Google AdWords and appear in the top or right-hand sidebar as a paid advertisement on that page. But for a highly searched term, this is very expensive.
Actually, let’s Google “cheap Vegas vacation” now and see what happens. Everything circled below is a paid placement. The others are the actual search results. As you can see, The Venetian and Orbitz are paying to show up on this page.
The other way to show up on this page is to create enough content around the search term to naturally rank on the first page of the search results.This is what Expedia and Cheap Tickets have done.
This is a fine strategy but in the world of blogging you want to balance SEO practices with good content. Why? Well, it’s very unpleasant to read content that exists only to rank a page higher for a keyword term. This content is sometimes described as being “keyword stuffed” and it generally sounds like this:
Want a cheap Vegas vacation? Keep reading for how to find cheap Vegas vacations and flight deals. We offer the best cheap Vegas vacations for every traveler.
(This is made up copy. It’s not the copy you see when clicking through on any of the search results on the sample page above.)
I believe there is a way to identify a keyword terms within the themes of your site and create content around that keyword without having it sound like spam. Ask yourself what specialized knowledge or info you might have that offers value to your readers and create an optimized post around it.
Real content around smart keywords will help you grow your audience. If you simply optimize a post but it doesn’t ultimately have good content on it, you’ll get lots of traffic–but the bounce rate will be really high.
(Bounce rate is just a term that describes when people land on a post and leave again within seconds. You know you’ve done it yourself. You click on something that looks like the perfect answer to your question only to jump off the page again after realizing it’s just ads or non-relevant content.)
Bringing in tons of new traffic to your blog doesn’t matter if you’re not serving them good content once they’re there. The goal is to convince this new reader that your blog is a place they might like to visit again–and the best way to do that is to give them great content relevant to the keyword term they were searching.