Today, we are going to discuss search engine optimizations or SEO. We’ll briefly cover what it is and why your blog needs it. This post is only an introduction to SEO, we’ll get into more advanced techniques in subsequent posts.
What is search engine optimization?
To understand search engine optimization, one must first understand what a search engine is. Chances are, you found this blog by typing “seo sem ecommerce” into the Google search bar. Hopefully, Digitalsapien.com was one of the top results for this search. You then clicked on the search engine listing and found yourself here. Google is a search engine. Search engines are tools that find and index documents (usually web pages, but may also include PDFs, images, etc) on the World Wide Web in order to help a user locate the information they are looking for. Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Ask are four of the word’s best known search engines. In brief, search engine optimization is a branch of online search marketing in which marketers attempt to influence the factors that search engines (such as Google and Yahoo) use to rank results in response to a user’s search query in order to drive targeted traffic to their website. In order words, the goal of search engine optimization is to get a website as close to top of the Google results as possible for a relevant body of keywords. Because it is a discipline within marketing, search engine optimization is both an art and science. Search engine optimization is not to be confused with paid search advertising (also called PPC, pay-per-click). Paid search advertising is exactly as it sounds – website marketers pay search engine to post an for a keyword in the search results. We may address paid search advertising and how to use it to market your blog at a later date. The graphic below shows how Google displays paid advertisements and natural (or “organic”) search listings.
Search Engine Optimization and Blogs
Blogs are a type of website. As search engines are a huge source of free traffic, generally all website (including blogs) should employ at least the bare minimal SEO tactics. For many, “natural search referred traffic” (traffic that comes from a search engine’s natural results, not it’s paid advertisements) will provide the largest source of traffic to their blog.
Building a Keyword Strategy
Since search engines depend on users to type in keyword phrases, the backbone of an effective search engine optimization campaign is a well-developed keyword strategy. You should start by brainstorming a body of keywords that aptly describe your blog topic. For example, let’s say you just set up a blog about making homemade ice cream. Now it’s time to build your keyword list. You undoubtedly want your website to rank highly in the SERPs (search engine result page) for the search phrase “making homemade ice cream”, but there are tons of related terms you may want your website to appear for in the search engines. Here are some keywords you may want your blog about making homemade ice cream to rank for:
- “make homemade ice cream”
- “homemade ice cream”
- “homemade vanilla ice cream”
- “homemade vanilla ice cream recipe”
- “how do you make homemade ice cream”
- “how do you make ice cream at home”
- “how to make homemade ice cream”
- “make homeade ice cream (*note the common misspelling)”
- “making homemade ice cream”
Of course you want to select keywords that searchers actually use to search for the information you offer on your blog. The Google Keyword Tool is a great free keyword discovery application. The Google Keyword Tool aids you in in finding new keywords by:
- Scanning your websites and suggesting a body of appropriate keywords
- Multiplying your list of keywords quickly by recommending other related keywords
- Offering estimated search frequencies
I’d highly recommend conducting a round of keyword research using the Google Keyword Discovery Tool and assembling a list of 20 – 50 keyword phrases related to the topic of you website.
Adding Keywords To Your Blog
You’ve completed your initial keyword research, so what’s next? Next you want to do the following:
- Place 1 – 2 of your keywords in the title tag (