Heather just wrote a wonderful post on Editing and Formatting Photography for Blogs and over at Cashmerette, some great tips for better photography were had. I love seeing informative posts pop up for sewing bloggers, and felt that it was time to jump on the bandwagon and pay forward my online geek knowledge of web development and marketing.
The bottom line is, that when you have a blog numbers and keywords matter. Or at least it’s interesting to look at even though it’s not always something that’s simple to understand. When you write on the internet, especially about things that a fairly large group is writing about, you want to be seen and not lost at see on page 80 of a Google search. Working directly with SEO and SEM, I always come across the same question.
What’s the difference between SEO and SEM. Are they the same? They sound the same. Their acronyms are closely related by but one letter.
It’s actually simple. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is using organic (or unpaid methods) to affect the visibility of your website and content. It’s putting your site’s best foot forward in order to be found based on relevant information to your site.
There a lot of best practices that can translate on to different blog platforms, but since I use wordpress, my examples will be wordpress based. One of the easiest methods is to always rename your images according to your post. For example all of my images on this post will be renamed accordingly to what they are starting with the name of my site, which is the format I usually use. So Love-Lola-understanding-seo-1.jpg.
One of my favorite plug-ins, is All in One SEO Plug-in that you can download for free via the plug-ins link on the dashboard and looks like this in case you are wondering.
(for the purpose of this post, all images are clickable so that you can see the tiny tiny letters)
Now the reason that I use a plugin is because WordPress and well as other blogging platforms make it a little difficult to tweak the meta information unless you’re a developer capable of knowing which database wordpress uses in your hosting solution to save Post information.
So here’s how the plugin looks in the wild once activated.
It should be underneath the text area where you write your posts, or a few options under, depending on whatever else you have installed or your theme carries. In case you can’t see it, head on over to the top and un-hide your screen option settings, select the SEO pack and your set.
Your title should be revelant to your post, but you obviously knew this. So for example I’ve chosen : TECHTALKS: Understanding SEO to illustrate my post. I’ve added it to both my wordpress regular title as well to the SEO plugin title information.
As a description you’d want it to be an excerpt or post summarization. Kind of like twitter there is a 160 character max. Basically your description is picked up by Google and displayed in the following format on the search engine. I’ve ran a search for one of my posts which was the drop waist dress I blogged about earlier.
Now for the most important part. KEYWORDS!! Here is where the most relevant part of SEO comes in. The keywords that you use on your post are what will have your post show up on google searches. For example if your post is related to a dress you just made out of a grainline studio pattern, using chambray, your keywords might look like this: grainline studio pattern, grainline studio pattern chambray dress, me made chambray dress, etc. Remember to keep your keywords relevant to your post. Nothing is more annoying than searching for something and not finding what you need quickly because someone decided to hog all the keywords.
Plus, the end goal is that every time someone does a search for a keyword, your post comes up and it’s clicked, that keyword will help your rankings and bring you up towards the top of the page where organic and not paid advertisements are displayed.
Lastly, to understand how your keywords are working and generating traffic to your site, use Google Analytics or Webmasters Tool to see the data. I’ll get more in depth in another post, but if you have Google Analytics setup, head on over to Acquisitions -> Search Engine Optimization – > Queries to take a look of some of your keywords that have come up in searches.
It’s broken down by impressions, which is the number of times your site has appeared when that specific keyword has been entered, and clicks, which obviously is the number of times someone has clicked on your link when searching for the keyword.
Next up I’ll talk more about Google Analytics and WebMasters tools and how to get the most out of them. Hope this post has been helpful and stay tuned for the next installment in a few weeks.