As most of you know, this blog of mine is a labor of love, not an attempt to get rich, or famous, or even a bunch of free stuff. As a result, I feel free to ignore most, if not all of the rules for getting your little blog noticed by the Google Gods and the marketing firms who worship them.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to do it. As a matter of fact, optimizing websites and telling people what they should do to get on the first page of google results is part of what I do for a living.
So, since I know a lot of you out there do want a place in the google sun, I thought I’d share some of what I know with you (also, I’m really tired, and writing a list is way easier than trying to be funny).
So here we go. Five things you should do to drive up your search engine rankings:
Decide what keywords you want to rank for. You know what keywords are, right? They’re the terms people type into google to find you. So think about it. What do you want to be an expert about? What topics do you want to be known for writing about? Potty training trauma? Stupid mommy tricks? It’s all up to you.
Go write yourself some meta data. That just means the title and description that show up as your search listing in google. Your meta title should contain the name of your blog and a keyword or two—think of it as your headline. Your meta description should be just that—a description of what you offer, written engagingly and with your keywords in mind.
Every blog system and theme package is going to have a different way of getting to your meta data—and the whys and hows of that are too complicated to get into here. But if you look a bit, it should be relatively easy to find.
Now, write. But not just any old post. Start writing about whatever topics you’ve decided you want to rank for. So, if you want to show up on google for “crafts for kids,” well, write about crafts for kids. If you’re going for “fashion for mom,” find some cute mom jeans and feature ’em. You get the picture.
Sprinkle those keywords like fairy dust. The trick is to use them strategically. Too much, and your post will sound terrible and no one will want to read it (and, yes, the google gods will know). Too little and you might as well not bother. Try to be natural about it—write your post so that they seem to belong there.
Want extra credit? Put your keywords in your headline and start and end both sentences and paragraphs with the most important words and phrases.
Don’t forget the power of pictures. People like pictures. And google likes you when you have what people like. So try and include images—and always, always write a caption, description and illustrative alt text. Oh, and including video? Gives you approximately 63548993485 bonus points. So do that when you can. Cross-post it on YouTube while you’re at it. And tag it appropriately (YouTube is the second biggest search engine, after all).
So there you have it. Five tips from the SEO writin’ side of my brain. I hope they help you in your quest for Dooce-squashing success. And if they do? Don’t forget who helped you get there (I wouldn’t mind a free dishwasher or a trip to the White House or something).
What do you guys think? Was this helpful? Would you like me to do more of these types of things? Or would you rather I go back to my regularly scheduled programming and never write about writing ever again? Be honest. I really want to know.