Well, hello there! I'm back today with another blogging tip... I'm certainly no blogging expert, but after having learned so much at the Haven Conference, I thought I'd dutifully report back to all of you with a little something something about what I learned and what my experience has been with it thus far.
Previously, I shared my two cents on how to beef up your blog's social media. Did those tips seem to help you? I've loved them so far, so hopefully they work for you too!
Today, I'd like to share some info I learned about using key words. Specifically, how to use key words to bring new readers to your blog.
Ever heard of "SEO?" Well, then you're smarter than the average bear! Before Haven, I had never heard of this little acronym, which stands for search engine optimization. The gist of this concept is to make your content as accessible and searchable as possible to non-readers. Basically, you want those non-readers searching Google (or Pinterest!) to somehow come across your blog based upon the terms they're searching for. So you have to make your blog searchable!
Luckily, there are a lot of ways you can spruce up your blog to drive up your SEO.
1. Use key words in your post titles.
I'm as guilty of this as the next blogger... have you ever named your post titles with something silly, like "For Some Reason I Have Decided to Embarrass Myself" or "Cooler Than A Polar Bears Toenails?" Um, yeah, those are titles from two of my previous posts.... While titles like these are funny (at least to me!), they really don't tell the reader what the post is about. And they certainly don't help a non-reader on Google search the content on your blog, since your post title (and, thus, your URL) aren't very strong.
Of course, I can't give up the ridiculous titles, so I've taken to sort of having two titles on my posts lately- one portion with some key words and one portion "a la Michelle."
You can also add alternate words (or even spelling variations! Ex. mantle vs. mantel) in parentheticals if they make more sense to include for searchable purposes. For example, most people don't call their living room a "slate room" like we do, so my post title on making over the space included both variations of the word for searching purposes.
2. Use key words throughout your post.
Apparently the simple use of some of the same searchable key words throughout your post will drive up your SEO, as well. I haven't focused on this too much, since I always want my content to remain pretty organic. I don't want to feel like I'm throwing words out there just to drive up my SEO! But the addition of key words in the body of your posts (especially as headings or in bold) will help!
3. Watermark your photos.
I think we've all pretty much caught onto this trend by now. While this little trick supports your searchability on Pinterest more so than Google, it is really a smart idea no matter what. Basically, the idea is that you need to tag your photos with your blog title, URL or other way to let non-readers know where the photo came from.
As of now, I haven't started watermarking all of my photos, but really just the ones in posts that I think people will want to pin or highlight down the road. While some bloggers have a beautiful custom watermark (almost like their button!), I don't use a logo or even my blog name, but just a quick URL in the corner of the photo. The most simple way to watermark your photo is to edit the photo in PicMonkey. You simply add text to the photo through their program. Or if you want to be snazzy, you can add your fancy watermark in as an "overlay." I did a PicMonkey tutorial for those of you who are interested!
See that little tag in the bottom left corner? Just a heads up so any non-Ten June readers who come across this picture can say "Suhhhweeeeet paper art, man. Who made this and how can I get to her blog?" Ha.
4. Rename your photos with searchable terms.
Yeah, I had no clue about this one. Apparently the title of your photographs is considered a searchable term in Google and can help drive up your SEO. Sooooo, all of those times I named a photo IMG_7685, I was basically throwing away a chance for someone to search and find Ten June. Oops.
But this is an easy fix. Just start naming your photos with searchable key words! I have tried to use something similar to the post title and then label each photo for the post as 1, 2, 3, etc. Like so:
That seems like an easy enough step to drive up some traffic, am I right?
I haven't tried this yet, but apparently you can check your Google page rank to see where you lie in terms of your SEO potential. You can also see, in your Google Analytics, what terms non-readers are searching in Google that get them to your blog. That might be a good place to start to learn about which key words will be helpful to you and your blog. It's really fascinating!
I hope some of these little tips and tricks help! Do you have any extra advice for driving up blog SEO?