Daily Writing Tip: Basic SEO Tricks

Basic SEO tricks to improve Google rankingEver wished no-HTML SEO, like no-bake cake, were possible? That optimizing your blog for search engines without technical gobbledygook could be done? Turns out it’s always been possible (go ahead and laugh, whatever) but, see, not a lot of folks know about it. So we’re sharing a few basic SEO tricks that are so unbelievably simple you can do them hanging upside down. (Don’t try that one.)

Consider the following as your baby steps towards getting your blog decent Google ranking. Of course, it’s no guarantee for that coveted first page, but realizing how effortless these are will egg you to get started pronto.

Keyword/s in your title. If your post is about “best summer wear” use that phrase in the title and tag your post with those keywords (more on that later).

Use your keywords in the first paragraph. I’m gonna spare you from the techie speakie, but suffice it to say, this is an important place to put your keywords.

Edit your URL. Make sure that your URL contains the appropriate keywords of your post.

Image filename and tags. Believe it or not, it actually makes a difference. So, whether you’re downloading it off the net or uploading it from your own collection, make sure to rename your image file with your keywords. And once uploaded, make sure to tag it via alternate text or caption, if appropriate, with your keywords as well.

Tags, you’re it! WordPress and Blogspot both enable keyword tags so use this feature wisely. Use the same set of keywords in the title, the URL, and the content. Be strategic in choosing keywords and mindful of the kind of keywords people would use to search for the topic of your post.

One Caveat: Spiders, those thingies that read websites and decide where you rank, are programmed to ignore spammers and you get flagged as one when you stuff your site with too many keywords. It’s just suspicious and Google (as do other search engines) won’t look too kindly on spammers and keyword-stuffers, so don’t be one. If you think getting spanked for being a brat when you were five was horrible, try getting whacked by Google for being a spammer and get buried in page 145,983.

Link back to yourself. Once you’ve archived several posts, you can and should link your new posts to your previous ones. Needless to say, this should only be done if it makes sense. Don’t go around making senseless links that will only annoy and turn away your readers.

Create a Sitemap. Done correctly, this can be your website’s best ambassador to Mr. Googlebot. It is the one page in your site that can be easily read by the spider. So, do it right by minimizing the number of clicks it takes to navigate your site.

Update your content. If it’s a personal blog, blog away all you want, and if you can do it every day, that’s great. Every other day would be fine as well. It’s important to keep your content fresh to keep the search bots interested. As for corporate websites, it makes sense to create an executive’s blog. This will not only keep your site on the radar but also give your site a friendly, approachable persona, which is a hit for B2C companies.

Social Media Links. Use your social media accounts to share your site. This is a no-brainer. It’s simple, it’s free and, most importantly, it works.

BIGGEST TIP: Write for humans. People first, spiders later. Good posts will get shared but great posts will get shared a lot more. That’s one sure way of getting your rank up and to keep your content readable.

So after you’ve been such a good site admin and applied these techniques, it’s time to see if they worked. There are a lot of measurement methods that experts use but one free and, again, simple DIY is through Alexa.com. It gives you free global metrics, shows you how popular your site is across the web, which terms your competition uses to generate traffic, where they’re coming from, and lots more.

To get your ranking, go to www.Alexa.com, click the Site Info tab at the top, type in your sites’ URL and search. The next page displays a bunch of information that gives you an idea on how influential your blog is. Admittedly, if you’re starting out, these details can get you a bit emotional. Or not. In any case, there’s a chance your blog platform has its own built-in analytics tools as well so take advantage of those.