Thursday, August 30, 2012

Helping your blog posts be found by Google


A common refrain I hear around the blogging world is, "How do I get more followers?" And while there are many ways to attract new readers, let's consider delving into the murky waters of SEO to answer this question today. Let's assume for a second that you hope to gain readership to your blog. Even if you don't want tens of thousands of readers, you probably like the idea of preaching to more than just your cat. And while I'll be the first to admit that I know far less about this topic than I should -- in fact, I'm not even entirely convinced that SEO is a real thing -- I will try to pass along a few little tricks here that seem to work just fine for me.

Titles

First things first. Pick a title that gives a little hint as to what you're writing about. This not only jogs your memory in the future when you're sifting through your archives, but it allows your blog posts to be more searchable on Google. (And unless you're blocking them, yes, your posts are searchable by Google.)

Your title should grab attention, pull someone in, and most importantly... be searchable by someone who might be interested in your topic.

I used to try to be artistic and title my posts along the lines of: "Preaching to More Than Just Your Cat" --- which tells you exactly what I'm writing about, right? Sure it's cute and pulls a line from my blog post, but it absolutely doesn't inform anyone what I'm writing about.

The cool thing about blog posts that you have to remember is that they can continue bringing in traffic to your blog long after you write them... if they're titled in a way that attracts interest to your topic. "Helping your blog posts be found by Google" is a title much more suited to being clicked on today, tomorrow, and five years from now.

Images

Did you know your images are searchable? No? But I mean, it makes sense right? Where do you think the Google Image Search gets it's images?

So... it stands to reason then... that if you name your image files someone searchable before you upload them, you're utilizing another great form of Google search to bring traffic to your blog. Instead of naming a photo: kjo2340978023462l.jpg, name it apple-sitting-on-a-desk.jpg instead. Much more searchable.

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And with that... I am at the end of my SEO knowledge. That, and along with my sleepiness and my forgetting to write this post ahead of time, mean a super short post for you today! I think the main thing to remember on this topic is to think of how you would search for your article if you hadn't written it. What is the main point? What question do you want to have answered by this post? What draws you in to wanting to read it? Use those answers to title your post and your images, throw in a few relevant tags, and call it a day.

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Even though we're nearing the end of this series, it's still as good a time as any to catch up on the previous topics!

Week 1: Making a More Efficient Blog Layout
Week 2: How to Set up an RSS Feed
Week 3: Taking Better Blog Photos
Week 4: HTML Basics
Week 5: Interacting with Your Followers
Week 6: Making Friends with Other Bloggers
Week 7: Giveaways, Guest Posts, and Promotions
Week 8: Building a Grab-able Blog Button
Week 9: Sponsors & Swapping. Where to start?


Come back next week when we'll be talking about we'll talk about writing interesting and engaging blog posts. And if you haven't already, don't forget to subscribe to this blog so you know when the next edition of the blog series is ready!

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Grab a button and spread the word!

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