How to get started with SEO

How to get started with SEO

Today’s post is written by Danielle Zeigler

Being an introverted entrepreneur can be tricky, especially when it comes to marketing your business. I can bet that hearing the phrases “cold calling” and “networking event” make you cringe and want to hide a little bit, right?

Thankfully, we have websites and blogging which give us a chance to represent ourselves without always having to step outside of our comfort zones or exhaust ourselves trying to explain what we do in person.

This is one reason I became interested in search engine optimisation otherwise known as SEO. What do people do when they have questions? They Google them.

Having a website or blog isn’t enough on its own, however. You need people to actually be able to find you when they head over to Google. So to help you on your way I’ve summarized some of my basic tips for getting started with SEO to increase organic search traffic.

With that said, let’s dig in!

What is Search Engine Optimization?

SEO means optimizing your posts for search engines like Google and Bing so they can better understand what the post is about and what questions it will answer for readers. A nicely optimized post will rank better and reach a wider audience.

Organic search traffic” means visitors who find your blog through typing a query into a search engine.

When you’re thinking of optimizing your posts, you should be thinking of how to help your target audience, not just how to rank better or reach more people in general. Start thinking like your audience. What do they want to know? What questions are they asking?

How to optimize your posts:

First, let me stress that shareable, engaging content is more important than keywords. However, following a few easy steps can help increase your organic traffic and reach more relevant readers.

1. Keywords

Choose a keyword phrase or two that best represents your post idea.  For example: “How to Network as an Introvert”

Use Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends to find the most popular (most searched) way to phrase your keywords. Compare multiple phrases to see which has the highest traffic (low-medium competition is best). There are tons of keyword tools out there, but these are quick, easy and free, so start here.

For the example above, other search phrases might include “Online Networking for Introverts” and “Networking Tips for Introverts”

2. Title

Your post title is possibly the most important aspect of your blog post. This will entice people to click, shows up in social media sharing, is usually your H1 tag for SEO, etc. Titles with the most clicks often include: “How-to”, “Mistakes,” “Secrets,” Questions (people are typing full questions into Google more often now) and lists.

Examples include: “3 Ways to Network Online,” “The Secret to Building an Online Tribe,” or “4 Mistakes Introverts Make with Online Business.”  Keep your title under 60 characters and be sure to include your keyword phrase. This will most likely be used for your title tag.

3. SEO Plugins: If using WordPress, grab a free SEO plugin. WordPress SEO by Yoast is highly recommended.

4. Title Tags: Google will show about 60 characters. Include keyword phrase(s), but don’t overdo it.

5. URL: Include your keyword phrase(s) — you can shorten it to use just the main keywords, use dashes rather than underscores, and use all lower case letters.

6. H1 tags & Header tags: The H1 tag is usually your post title. Make it engaging and include your keyword phrase(s). Secondary headers are a great way to break up the content. They also cue readers (and search engines) in on what your post is about if they quickly scan it. Use closely related keywords in the header tags.

7. Meta-description: Google shows about 160 characters. The meta-description is not used for ranking in search engines, but what you put here will encourage people to click on your link. Use an alluring snippet from your post, a call to action, or write a short introduction to the post, such as, what problem will reading your post solve for readers? Google won’t always use what you enter. Sometimes it will pull text related to the search query, but it can still be a good idea as a backup.

8. Content: I mentioned having engaging content. Make sure you also use your keyword phrases within your blog post. You only need to use a few related phrases once or twice. Focus on your writing and don’t keyword stuff*. Use phrases to link to other posts you’ve written, too. This will keep the reader engaged in your blog longer and will signal to search engines that your blog is cohesive and organized. Make sure to have the link open in a new window.

In no time you’ll get the hang of optimizing your posts and be able to draw more organic traffic to your blog.

*A note on keyword stuffing: Keyword stuffing is when you use your keyword phrase as much as you can. Not a good idea! Google has evolved and it’s now recommended to use similar phrases so Google can get an idea of what your post is about.


my headshotAbout the author

Danielle Zeigler is an IIN certified holistic health coach with a background in internet marketing. By blending these passions she helps wellness-minded entrepreneurs grow their business, enhance their online presence and in turn, change more lives. She does this through search engine optimization, social media management + creating cohesive branding strategies. To find out more and connect with Danielle head here.

 

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