Because I write websites for a living, I tend to take SEO for granted. Incorporating it into my content (at least in my working life) is second nature to me.
But last weekend, I talked to lots of people who said they didn’t have any idea how to do SEO for blogs. Some thought it sounded scary. Others were game, and thought they might like to incorporate SEO into their blogs, but had no idea how to even begin.
So I’m going to teach you.
Not all at once, of course. But for the next little while (or forever, if you guys like it), I’m going to devote Saturdays to sharing SEO tips for blogs. Content-based fundamentals that work for all blogs. Mom blogs, coupon blogs, tiny blogs, giant blogs – the principles we’ll talk about here are genre and size agnostic.
Ready? Then let’s get started.
Lesson One: Good Keywords Don’t Exist
It’s true. If you’re trying to optimize (i.e. get your blog to show up on the first page of the search engine results) your blog for a single, specific keyword, you’re doomed to fail.
Why? Well, because people don’t search for single words. And that’s what a keyword is: the word (or words) people type into the search box on Google to find what they’re looking for.
Think about it. When was the last time you searched for, oh I don’t know, cake? That’s it. Just the word cake. Probably never, right?
You’re much more likely to have typed “chocolate cake recipe.” Or “best chocolate cake recipe.” Or “how to make a chocolate cake.”
That’s how people think. And search.
Here’s what you get when you search for cake:The Google search results for the term “cake.”
Not very helpful, right? Unless of course, you actually are looking for the music group Cake. Or you have no idea what cake actually is.
But for a blogger trying to break into the top five search engine results, single word terms like this are practically useless.
Introducing Today’s Vocabulary Word: the Keyphrase.
Here’s what I want you to do. Whenever you start to think or say “keyword,” replace it with “keyphrase.” In fact, go ahead and erase “keyword” from your vocabulary. You don’t need it anymore.
A keyphrase is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the phrase that people type into Google (or their search engine of choice) to find what they’re looking for.
And picking the right ones can greatly increase your chances of being found.
What Makes a Good Keyphrase?
That’s going to depend on your subject. But, in general, your keyphrases should be:
- Steadily trafficked
- Relevant to your post
So, not cake, but easy chocolate cake recipe.
Not Pinterest, but how to use Pinterest to promote your blog.
Not dresses, but blue retro dresses.
See what I mean? The more specific, the better. Not only will choosing really specific keyphrases make it easier for people to find your post, it will:
- Reduce the number of sites you have to compete against
- Increase the likelihood that the people who do find you actually want to read what you have to say
Those are both really good things. Things that will improve your rankings, increase your traffic, and lower your bounce rates.
So how do you figure out which keyphrases you should use? And where should you use them?
I’ll tell you. Next Saturday. To make sure you don’t miss it, you should probably just go ahead and subscribe now. It’s what all the cool kids are doing.
Until next Saturday…write strong and prosper!