SEO and Keywords

Search engine optimisation (or SEO for short) is a dark art – the Googles of this world apply constantly evolving algorithms to tell their users “what’s hot”. I’m not an expert on this, but I can give you some quick pointers:

Firstly there are keywords and descriptions you can use. These are only visible to search engines so they’re hidden in the code. Have a look at the free All In One SEO plugin which gives you options for ever post and page, as well as your entire site. This plugin will generate such code for you. Pick 5-8 keywords per post max, and make sure your descriptions are no longer than 150 characters (they’re the ones underneath Google search results).

Once his code is in place, you need to tell the search engines that something has changed and send them to discover your it. There’s a handy tool by the makers of WordPress that’s called http://pingomatic.com – it will send your link to several search engines at once, which in turn will come and read your code. When you write a new post it gets send there automatically (if the option is enabled under Settings – Writing).

Each page you write is about a certain topic – say you’ve been on holiday to Texas and have visited The Alamo. Your keywords for such an article would be “texas, us, united states, alamo, fortress, holiday, road trip” for example. Depending on what is contained in your article you may choose to include these things, say “history, weapons, siege” or any other topic.

The description could be “This article describes my recent trip to The Alamo, where I’ve learnt all about the history of Texas”.

Once these keywords are in place, you can submit your URL to Pingomatic.com. By URL for this particular article I don’t mean www.yourdomain.com but the specific long URL (such as www.yourdomain.com/blog/visiting-the-alamo). Pingomatic will then tell search engines that your article exists.

But keywords and descriptions aren’t the only drivers of traffic and they become less and less important these days. Fresh content ranks higher than a post that’s been there for several months – however if a post is older and popular, then that’s better than a fresh post that’s not visited very much. This is why Twitter and Facebook are so important as people may recommend your link to others and drive traffic to it. So using those is important too – not just by submitting your front page, but by submitting each individual link to each post over time.

Each time you write a new post, you generate a new backlink opportunity into your site. Say one day you write about marriage, then next you write about dating. Those are two topics, hence two different opportunities for people to link back to your site. The more backlinks you have coming to you, the higher you will rank. Spreading word about those articles in Forums will generate those backlinks.

Commenting on other blogs is another great way to build readership. Readers from other blogs will come and visit your site if your comments are valuable to the discussion thread.

And of course the most important thing: your own content is king. Write well.

In a nutshell: there’s no one-click solution for this. Even though there are people who offer this service, they’re usually liars… yes, you can spend £200 per month for an extra 200 unique visitors – but those are probably not the visitors you want.

Julia is currently thinking about her bio.

Julia is currently thinking about her bio.