Blogging is fun, but it’s also for business. Obviously.
And to be a successful blogger, you need to get noticed. No one will read or buy from you if they can’t find you. True? The question is…how do you get yourself out there – in a way that is easy, natural, and fun for you – so people CAN find you? That is where search engine optimization, more commonly known as SEO, comes into play.
This post is about what SEO is, and how you are going to use it. If you want to know more about why blogging gives you such a search engine advantage, you can read this post.
Search engine optimization, or SEO for short, is a series of tools, or thought processes and tasks completed on your web pages, that help your website or blog to get noticed by the search engines. Notice that both your “thought processes” and your “tasks” are part of your toolbox. Having a good “system” for how you think about and implement your SEO strategy is as important as the actual work itself.
Search engines use clever things called bots and spiders to crawl sites for anything that makes them relevant to search parameters entered by Internet visitors.
Most people either don’t know what they are looking for or they don’t know where to find it on the Internet. They rely on the search engines to do the work for them. (Think: Google)
The words that visitors use in the search boxes are termed “keywords” by Internet marketers. (Read this article for more detailed information about what keywords are.) When you use the same words in various places on your site, search engines will rank your web pages in relation to others using the same keywords. The websites that use research and optimization techniques the best, will end up on top of the list.
Why does being at the top of search engines matter?
Research has found that 60% of all web searchers will click on one of the top 3 sites they are presented with. The majority of those will choose the number 1 ranked spot.
That means if your site doesn’t appear in the top 3 sites, your chances of having someone visit your site have just dropped dramatically. Having one of the top three positions can result in a much greater amount of traffic. It’s not just the amount of traffic that’s important to note, though. You also want to have the right traffic. After the 3rd spot, the response from search engine users diminishes greatly. This means that the visitors that you get from position 4 and below are less likely to become paying customers.
How to Use It
So, how exactly do you get to the top spots in the search engines? There are several tools and resources that can help with creating top notch SEO for your websites. They revolve around keywords and keyword phrases but the problem is what words to use for your particular business niche.
Think like a customer. After all, you own a business but at times you are also a customer. If it were you, looking for what you have to offer, what words would you enter to find the information on your site? Chances are that you also represent your ideal customer, so your habits and intuition will tell you about those of your potential customers. This will be a short list but one that you can start with.
From there, use some online keyword software to get more ideas. There are programs like Overture that can take one keyword and return a hundred more for you to look at using in your content and elsewhere on your website. Many marketers also use WordTracker’s Free Keyword Tool to help them determine which keywords are hot. www.freekeywords.wordtracker.com These keyword programs get their results from various search engines so you can be assured that your keywords represent current parameters.
You can read about additional keyword tools here.
Search engine optimization is useful for content you create, but that is not the only place. Use keywords to get ranked through other places on your site and other sites, too. Here are just a few of the other places you’ll want to consider using keywords:
- Headlines (for each web page and article)
- Anchor text (for links within articles and elsewhere on the page)
- Picture tags
- Tabs (pulldown menus)
Search engine optimization helps you to create a relevant website for the search engines. After you take the time to set up your website with all the information customers will want to see when they visit, use your keywords. This gives the search engines what they need to rank you well so that those customers can find your products or services when it’s most important – when it’s time to buy!
© Copyright 2010 Nina East