Search Engine Optimization : Liam Decides To Go Global By SEO Optimizing His Blog
Curious Family, Chapter 3: Search Engine Optimization
liamlewis.com became a hit in the school. Liam with his kids blog became a star among his friends. This is the story of how he and his dad Lewis took his blog to the next level by SEO optimizing his blog.
Lewis: Son how is your blog going?
Liam: Good, I’m kind of popular in school dad.
Lewis: Cool, what do you write about?
Liam: I write about video games, Music, comics….kids stuff!
Lewis: Feel great ain’t it?
Liam: Yeah!….its kinda cool.
Lewis: Liam your readers are mostly from your school?
Lewis: How about we take it to the next level?
Liam: What do you mean?
Lewis: How about getting more readers to your blog?
Liam: What kind of more?
Lewis: Say a ton of people from around the globe.
Liam: Yeah right!
Lewis: I’m not joking kid. I’m talking about Search Engine Optimization.
Liam: What is that?
Lewis: Come, I’ll teach you.
Lewis: Son, when you do a google search. You get the result in the form of a list. And that list is usually a very long list. Could be hundreds of pages long.
Being part of that list is undoubtedly essential.Because about 75% of the traffic to a good website comes from search engine results. To be a part of such list, these search engines must know that you have a website and it exists on the internet. And the process by which search engines find websites and its contents is called as Indexing.
So the first step in search engine optimization is making your website Indexing ready. Or in other words, configure your website so that search engines can index your website and its contents.
For a WordPress powered website, the process is simple. All you need is a free plugin called Yoast SEO.
Note: Watch this video from fellow blogger Harsh Agrawal of shoutmeloud.com to configure your website to be indexed by search engines.
The second part of search engine optimization is On-Page and Off-Page SEO.
Now you have a website configured to be indexed by the search engines. But that’s not enough.
- We want search engine bots (computer program used by search engines to index websites) to visit our website and index the contents regularly. So that our contents are listed in the search results as soon as it is published.
- Being listed in the search result is not enough. Especially if you want to be on the first page.Preferably ranked first and on top of the first page. Because people rarely go to the second or third page of google search result.
For this purpose, we need On-page and Off-page SEO.
On Page Search Engine Optimization
The first thing to remember is to check whether your permalink structure is set right. If you are on a WordPress website you probably would have set it properly while configuring the website for indexability using the Yoast plugin. To make sure go to Dashboard-Settings-Permalinks and check whether the option box next to post name is selected.
Next is a set of to-do things while writing a new blog post.
Find a focus keyword
A Focus keyword or a target keyword can be a single word or a group of words also known as long tail keywords. There is virtually unlimited number of websites and web posts on the internet. So when a person is looking for, say “how to cure headache” how do search engines like Google or Yahoo find the websites that contain answer to that specific question? They find the relevant web posts by looking inside their indexed data for the keyword, in this case, “how to cure headache” (long tail keyword) and “headache”. Now you know why you need a focus keyword. (There is a process called keyword research to find the perfect keyword for your post. Which we will discuss in coming posts)
Placement of Focus Keyword
Next thing you have to do is to place the focus keyword at some strategic positions in your blog post. The title of the post must have the focus keyword. The meta description must have focus keyword in it. The URL of the post must have focus keyword in it. Repeat focus keyword 4-10 times in the main body depending on the total words count. But make sure you place focus keyword naturally and keep the density under control.Do not unnecessarily stuff Keyword in the body, otherwise, Google may penalize your website for abuse of focus keyword. Watch this video by Matt Cutts to know about keyword density.
Simply put, LSI keywords are those keywords which are similar to the focus keyword. We use LSI keywords as filler words. Which means Instead of over placing the focus keywords we use related keywords or LSI keywords. LSI Graph is a free website to find LSI keywords. (There are also, other ways to find LSI keywords. Which we will discuss later in coming articles ).
Quality and Quantity of content
Make sure you write quality content. By quality, I mean original content. Do not try to copy paste contents from other sources. Proofread to avoid spelling and grammar mistakes.Google penalize for that too. By the standard, you should have at least 300 words in a post. But you should try to have 500 words minimum.
You should have links in your blog post. Links can be internal (meaning links to your other posts on the website) and external (links to other websites and posts). Search engines love links. It not only allows the search engine bots to dive deep into your website through internal links also it will follow the external links and try to understand what your blog post is all about.
Images are a must. Try to place relevant images in the post.Make sure to type your focus keyword on the “Alt” tag of the featured image and type LSI keywords on the “Alt” tag of other images in the post.
Lewis: What happened Liam? You look confused
Liam: Dad, you are saying I have to do all these things to get on the front page of search result. Seems a lot of work.
Lewis: Son don’t worry. You remember the SEO plugin I mentioned earlier? Which we used to configure our website for indexebility.
Liam: Yeah, Yoast SEO.
Lewis: Yost will help you write perfect SEO ready blog posts.
Note: Watch this video to understand how to use Yoast Plugin.
Off-Page SEO Optimization
With On-Page SEO, You have given the search engines a clear idea of what your website and individual posts are about. So when a user does a google search about a specific subject, Google knows where to look for the answers. But the problem is, there might be thousands of websites and posts about that particular subject.
Do you remember? I mentioned about a process called Keyword Research earlier. Keyword research is one of the ways to solve the problem I just mentioned. ie, there might be thousands of websites dealing with same subject matter and using the same keywords.Which basically means, that specific keyword has high competition. So getting on the first page and ranking high for that particular keyword is going to be difficult. With keyword research, the idea is to find those keywords which have a high search volume in Google(being searched by a lot of people) and at the same time having low competition (meaning there is only limited number of websites dealing with that subject matter). That being said let’s shift our focus back to off-page Search Engine Optimization.
The next way to solve the above-said problem (having too many websites dealing with same subject matter) is to let Google know that your website is the authoritative website for the subject matter your website deals with. This is the whole purpose of Off-page Search engine optimization.
So how do we do that?
We do that via Backlinks.
We talked about the importance of links earlier isn’t it? and you know that there are two types of links basically, internal and external links. External links are those links from your website to other websites. And for those websites to which you linked from your website that link is a backlink. Or in other words, you have a backlink when an external website links to your website from one of its posts.
So for instance, assume your website is in the Health Niche.You write articles about health-related topics. And you have a ton of backlinks from other authoritative health websites. What that means is that when search engine bots visit those authoritative websites it follows that backlink to your website and assume that your website has some value in that subject matter. Because you are linked by authoritative websites in that particular niche. More the backlinks more the value and your website become an authoritative website. As a result, you will rank higher in the search results.
There are different ways to get backlinks.
- Comment backlinks
- Social Media shares and likes
- Social Bookmarking
- Forum Backlinks
- Guest post backlinks
Note: At first you concentrate on doing On-page Search engine optimization. After having about 25-30 posts start building backlinks.
Backlinking is a vast subject. So we will discuss it in coming articles.
Lewis: That’s it, now you have an idea about how to Search engine optimize your website. Now you go and implement what I have taught you in your blog posts.
Liam: Thanks, Dad.
Liam just learned about Search Engine Optimization. If you did so please subscribe and share this post by clicking the share buttons.
Check out this book to get an in-depth knowledge about SEO