Top SEO Tips for SEO Haters
So I have a colleague who hates Twitter. She’s being serious.
I have a similar disdain for SEO. If you’re a content marketer and are anything like me, you’ll probably tell colleagues that SEO is a necessary evil. In addition to being a content writer and subject matter specialist, I’ve been my team’s social media maven for a while now and they all know how I feel about SEO.
Now before all of the SEO fan club members start sending me nasty emails, let me give you some more information here. This is my take on SEO in a nutshell. Google likes to change their algorithms like you and I change our underwear. So how are bloggers and marketers supposed to keep up with all of the newest trends? Also why are many of them named after animals that belong at the North Pole, not in my blog posts (Although we happened to like the fact that they used “Penguin” as the name of one of their updates)? Go figure.
My point is that I’m writing this blog post as a content writer at a B2B inbound marketing agency and not as a self-proclaimed SEO expert. That means it’s going to be easier to follow for all of those SEO newbies and folks that, like me, aren’t such fans of SEO in general. Ready? Here we go!
Two things you should know before you continue reading this blog:
- WordPress is the leading Content Management System. Almost all of our clients have WordPress. Live it, love it, and learn it if you are a content writer. This blog was written with WP in mind.
- Make sure you already have your focus keywords in front of you when writing.
Without any further ado, here are my top SEO tips to becoming one of Google’s darlings:
1. The Name Game
Early words on a blog post’s title get more rank love, so put your focus keyword there! People searching for that word or topic are more likely to see it if it appears earlier on in the title too. Make it easy for people to find what they’re looking for. Makes sense, right?
2. Getting “Meta”
Your meta descriptions should contain your focus keyword at least once. Don’t use an automated meta description and don’t make the first sentence of your blog the meta description. It’s possible that you don’t mention your keyword until later in that sentence or that it’s just an intro sentence that has nothing to do with your actual post. Example: The first sentence of this blog post is “So I have a colleague who hates Twitter.” See my point? We’ve included a handy dandy screenshot below so you can see exactly what we mean.
3. Getting the Picture?
When using an image, use good alt tags to describe it. Don’t just say what the image is - explain it a bit. It should be as concise as possible. Also, don’t use your focus keyword here. If the search engine doesn’t find it to be included “organically”, it will actually mess up your rankings a bit.
4. Breadcrumbs: Not just for fairy tales anymore
As a child, you might remember the story of Hansel and Gretel, two kids that left breadcrumbs behind them to help them find their way out of the forest. So breadcrumbs on blogs are key to if you want to help Google’s bots find their way around your site and show them where to go next. On a more practical level, it also helps readers find their way around as well. For an example of breadcrumbs, take a look at the top of this post. You’ll see this: “Penguin Strategies/Blog/Top 8 SEO Tips for People who Hate SEO”. Those are our breadcrumbs. In case you don’t want to scroll up, you can see them here in the middle of the page “Penguin Strategies/ Blog/ Website Redesigns: Responsive or Bust.”
5. Who has time to wait around?
This next point may not seem to be SEO related, but it is. We all know how annoying it is to have to wait for a website to load. Make sure your site loads quickly and easily. Search engines rank you based on how many pages their “spiders” or “bots” can climb through each day. A website that loads quickly helps the search engines and it helps you to keep visitors on your site. Sounds good, right? Note: If you need to see how long it takes your site to load, check this great resource from Quicksprout!
6. Get your head(ings) out of the clouds!
As the SEO spiders move through your site, they’re trying to figure out what’s most important and what’s not on your site. They also want to know it’s all connected. It contributes to their ranking process. Help ‘em out! Make sure your blog titles are in H1 and that your subheadings are in H2 or H3.
7. Remember your keyword ratios.
If you see you’re getting lots of hits on a particular blog post, and more importantly lots of comments, consider turning that post into an actual page on your site. Comments on your blog show a high level of engagement with your readers and that’s great, but they can also mess up your keyword density ratios as they will be adding words to your page. A great way to solve this problem is to create a static page around the popular post. A static page will remain exactly that- and no additional comments or words will change your keyword density ratios. An added bonus to having a static page is that you can write a blog post whenever that page is updated or rewritten. That way you have new content to include AND your keyword density ratios remain intact.
8. Sign me up!
You’re more likely to get link backs and other traffic (including repeat traffic) from regular subscribers. Make it easy for people to subscribe by adding a sign up form to your blog if you don’t have one there already.
As you can see, writing SEO-friendly posts doesn’t have to be hard, even for those of us who don’t exactly love SEO. Have you learned something? Have you successfully confronted your SEO demons? We’ll be writing more posts of this type, so feel free to subscribe to our blog to learn more about SEO, social media, content writing, and of course, inbound marketing!
If you’d like more information about how to make your content more SEO-friendly or if you lose your breadcrumbs and need help finding them, shoot us a quick email – firstname.lastname@example.org
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