When I first established London Beauty Queen four years ago, I didn’t even know what SEO meant. An acronym for ‘Search Engine Optimization,’ SEO essentially means ‘getting the most out of search engines.’ We’re a nation of googlers, inputting key words and phrases into search boxes numerous times every single day. It’s the lazy option when we really want to find an answer, read a useful article, research a product or get top tips from experts. The higher up your website or blog appears in search results the better, as this is where people are likely to discover you and your content. You’ll know from past experience that you rarely click through to page two, three or four of search results, so ensuring your on top is important if you want to increase traffic to your site organically. However, SEO is a complicated business and companies pay agencies a small fortune to implement tactics that aid their search engine performance. Although I am by no means an expert, there are a few things you can do to give yourself a fighting chance in the world of SEO…
1. Have A Useful Title
Although quotes from your favourite poem may sound great, search engines have no way of matching your content about a Topshop clutch to a Shakespearean sonnet. Naming your blog posts with descriptive text of what you’re actually talking about will generate a much higher probability of being found. I used to use creative phrases, puns and quirky descriptions as titles for blog posts, but since I’ve started using a product name (or key words I know people will look for,) the traffic I receive from Google has doubled.
2. Integrate Key Words
If you’re reviewing a new Clinique foundation, make sure you include the full product name at least twice. Add in lots of descriptive words too, using your intuition to include key words that you think people may be searching for. For example, adding in words such as ‘coverage, foundation, makeup and concealer’ will help identify exactly what the post is about. Although this type of SEO is an art, not a science, it can help the ‘spiders’ searching for great content pick your site out of 100 others.
3. Label Your Images
Re-naming the images you use in your posts (rather than keeping them as DSC009873) will also help the SEO wizards pick up your blog as a potential resource. I always name my images after the blog post, using key words and the full product name to further help the blog post appear within search engines. Although this does take a little time, if you’re editing your photos it’s definitely a good practice to get in the habit of doing.
4. Anticipate What Works
You know your blog, your audience and the products/topics that work the best. If you know writing about London Fashion Week generates the highest amount of hits and a great level of engagement, then write more around this topic. If you know that people are crying out for advice on managing acne, then write a post using your knowledge or the expertise of others. Anticipating content that will work well for you is one of the easiest ways to keep SEO strong.
5. Link It Up
Google loves a link, especially when you link to other blog posts or pages within your own site. Utilise your own back catalogue as much as possible; if you’re talking about spring fashion trends, why not link back to the post you wrote this time last year? It’s easy to do, plus it gets your readers digesting more than one blog post at a time! Furthermore, linking to other blogs, websites or online shops will not only benefit
your reader’s experience, but it will also help your SEO. Google loves
it when you link to third party sites, as it digests this information as
you being an information source.
6. Find The Best Length
There’s a lot of evidence that search engines disregard articles or blog posts that are less than 250 words, as they simply don’t percieve them to be lengthy enough to be ‘valuable’. Find a length of blog post that works for you, but be mindful that a sentence or two and a couple of images won’t necessarily do your site justice.
7. Update Regularly
The more you update your blog, the more often search engines will send their ‘spiders’ to your site to establish its value. This means new articles could appear within search results after only hours, rather than weeks if you don’t update as regularly. This is a natural benefit of blogging, so make the most of it and keep your site bursting with great stuff.
8. Content Is King
Although there are a million different tips and suggestions on SEO, the key thing to remember is that content will always be king. Google has its own algorithm that determines the value of a piece of content, based on the way it’s constructed and the language that’s used. If you write great content, that’s providing real value, then this is the most important thing you can do. No blog is worth changing drastically for SEO, as it then becomes a different entity entirely. Always weigh up the benefits with the drawbacks when thinking about optimising your site – there’s little point in getting a new reader onto your page, for them to click straight off again.
Search Engine Optimization is a complicated and ever evolving business. There’s no magic answer to getting the top spot on Google, but there are many ways in which you can tweak your site and content to make the most of SEO. The key is to find what works for you and your blog. Do you have any other top tips for making the most of SEO?
Next in the series: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging
Want to catch up on the rest of the series? Check out all the previous posts here.