Goal 8: Start learning the basics of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), keywords, and SEO friendly blog titles and images

SEO seems like a totally foreign language to me as a new blogger, but I have learned that there are things that can make a difference in marketing your content.

So, so far I have grasped three key lessons in this regard…

  • Start with a well-written title.
  • Explore keyword options.
  • Organize for readability.

1.  Start with a well-written title.

Five times as many people read only the title as read the actual content of your article. The title of the article is what actually determines if either the reader or the search engine will continue reading your article. 

Don’t spend all of your time creating content, monitoring social signals and consumer reactions, and tracking analytics…only to write a mediocre title.

Your content may be valuable and well worth reading, but if your title does not convey a specific idea as to what the article is about and the relevancy of your content to whatever the reader or search engine are looking for, your article will be overlooked.

Here are three tips as to writing your title…

  1. Always try to include a number if it makes sense. 
  2. Include your keyword in the title, preferably within the first 65 characters.
  3. Write your title before writing the body of your article.

2.  Explore keyword options

Keywords are the most important aspect of SEO and are normally categorized into three groups…

  1. Head Keywords…single words that have insane amounts of search volume…articles based on these keywords face intense competition 
  2. Body Keywords…2-3 word phrases that have large amounts of search volume…articles based on these keywords face less competition…Focus primarily on “Body Keywords.”
  3. Long Tail Keywords..very specific phrases of at least four words that do not get much search volume as a group, even though each  individual word within the phrase makes up the majority of searches online

Tips for Using Keywords

Conduct keyword research before you start writing so that you can write about topics that people are already searching for information about. Adding keywords in after writing the article may sound forced.

Focus on specific terms, such as “bed and breakfasts in Mississippi,” instead of catch-all terms such as “hotel” in order to sell your particular area of expertise.

Keep the focus of the article narrow enough to actually spend time optimizing for just one or two keywords that you have carefully selected.

Tools for Finding Keywords

There are several tools that can help you choose the best keywords for your article. These include… 

1.  Content Forest is an “idea generator” that provides a list of previous posts about your chosen keyword. For example, I typed in the keyword “biscotti” and found the following article listed first.. .Entertaining Idea: Biscotti Bar from Cupcakes and Cashmere.

2.  Google Correlate finds associations between your chosen keyword and current search trends. Biscotti is most often tied to the term “English toffee,” and most often in the New England states.

3.  Google Shopping shows the most trending products based on your keyword…in the case of biscotti, Nonni’s rules.

4.  Google Trends collects data from Google Search, YouTube and Google News and then ranks the most searched for stories. These “top stories” shown as soon as you open the site can be about any topic or category……

  • Location—Google Trending shows the popularity of the topic in searches by geography—a certain city, the entire US, a different country, or worldwide…
  • The Latest Topic-–The hottest topic on Google Trends for January 1, 2017 is NFL Green Bay vs Detriot. Choosing this topic takes me to a dashboard showing relevant articles on the topic, a trending video, changes in interest in the topic over the past few days, and interest by subregion….
  • Time—You can also see minute-by-minute data about your topic from different time periods. The interest in biscotti maintains a regular cycle…based on times when more people are baking, such as Christmas.
  • Top Related Topics-–This shows the related topics that are most commonly searched for….in the case of biscotti, the three top related topics are palm oil, quinoa, and royal icing.
  • Related Queries-–This shows other topics being looked for that are most related to the topic that you are looking for. In the case of biscotti, the related queries are biscotti nuttellotti, imperial biscuit break, and olio di palma.

5.  HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator–-Input three different nouns…get five blog topic ideas that will get those creative juices flowing…I typed in the words “biscotti, baking, and cookies” and the five blog topic ideas that I was given were…

  1. Why We Love Biscotti (And You Should, Too!)
  2. 7 Things About Cookies Your Boss Wants To Know
  3. 20 Myths About Baking
  4. 5 Tools Everyone In The Biscotti Industry Should Be Using
  5. The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Cookies

Keyword Niche Finder from WordStream showed biscotti most often paired with the word “chocolate.”

Portent Title Maker…my search for the keyword “biscotti ” resulted in three 

  • 5 Reasons the Amidh Were Right About Biscotti
  • Why Biscotti Is On Crack About Biscotti
  • Why Biscotti Will Make You Question Everything

SEO Pressor Title Generator is another Blog Title Generator similar to Portent Title Maker…My search for “biscotti” resulted in the following five titles…

  • Things That Make You Love And Hate Biscotti.
  • 5 Awesome Things You Can Learn From Biscotti.
  • Seven Ways Biscotti Can Improve Your Business.
  • All You Need To Know About Biscotti.
  • The Worst Advices We’ve Heard For Biscotti.

Tweak Your Biz…This title generator, and in fact this site, is probably the most useful and interesting tool on this list…My search for “biscotti” came back with tons of ideas for blog post titles divided into categories such as List, Best, How-to, Questions, Love, Sex, Celebrities, Secrets, Snarks, Business, Motivation, Problems, and “The Kitchen Sink.

    3.  Organize for readability.

    • The content in your article should be organized in a logical way, not only for readability but also for SEO.
    • Make sure your writing is easy on the eye by leaving plenty of white space. Use short sentences. Lists are usually a good idea also.
    • Break chunks of text into subcategories.
    • Headings structure the entire page and help both readers and search engines grasp the main topics of a long post.
    • Subheadings lead people, help them scan your page, and clarify the structure of your articles.
    • As far as keywords…
    • Place keywords early in the article. 
    • Use keywords in subheadings, bold or italicized sections, andbullet points. 
    • Use your keyword at least once in your conclusion.
    • As far as length…Google gives priority to longer articles, but if it’s too long, you’ll lose readers. Make your goal around 700 words, with 300 words being a minimum.

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