Bloggers tend to shudder in disgust, confusion or just plain fear when they hear these three daunting letters. There’s nothing to be afraid of though – in fact SEO can very easily work to your advantage, differentiate you from others, increase your readership and even make your blog profitable. Understanding at least the absolute basics of search engine optimisation will become crucial for bloggers in 2017 and beyond. Instead of throwing all those dreadfully scary words at you again (as I tend to do every Saturday) I’d like to draw a very simple picture for you – one that shows why YOU should spend 15 minutes every week learning about SEO.
WHAT IS SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION GOOD FOR THEN?
If you’re not sure what SEO means then read this previous post on SEO basics (I promise you it’s only a couple of sentences in the very first paragraph).
?️ SEO helps you understand your value & your worth
Knowing what your Domain Authority and Google Page Rank is together with an awareness of what the increase in your traffic has been in the past month can help you establish your worth. There are tools (I like using SEO Review Tools – click here) that help you compare similar websites to yours in terms of all these factors. You will also be able to understand when to increase your rates and you’ll have stronger grounds for negotiating them. If your DA has grown by 10 in the past year then a client wanting to place a do-follow link in one of your posts should be made aware of this and your rates should be raised accordingly. You’ve put all the hard work in, haven’t you? So why undercut yourself?
?️ You can improve your blog very easily with some super easy SEO basics
Optimising your blog is not difficult (there’s a lot of scarecrows out there making it sound like a rocket science, but trust me – the very basics take 15 minutes to go through to gain a rough understanding of them). I’ve mentioned 6 simple ways to do this before however if you google ‘SEO for bloggers’ you will get some solid basic material to kick start your journey.
?️ It will help you boost your traffic
It doesn’t matter what you blog about and where you promote your blog posts – a good chunk of your visitors will be arriving from Google. Be it a girl looking for ‘Rimmel Rita Ora lipstick swatches’ or her boyfriend looking for an ‘IKEA shelf hack’. Knowing what those millions of people are looking for and then optimising your blog post to this knowledge means that next time they’re Googling their life changing questions your blog might be the website they click on because it will be at the top of the search engine results page.
?️ Keeping SEO in mind ultimately improves your writing skills
Google is all about conciseness and being to the point in 2017. Just the awareness of this makes you avoid all your waffling about, stories about your extremely delicious (but completely off-topic) dinner last night and how adorably fluffy your cat is today. If your blog is not just a form of diary writing and you actually want to get a point across (about a new fashion trend, swatches of that new Maybelline lipstick range or just a simple salad recipe) then keeping the ramble off your pages can only be a good thing!
You will also score extra points from Google when using a wide range of niche vocabulary. Use a keyword search tool or even just a thesaurus to give you synonyms and related words to your topic. I imagine that 2017 will also bring new tools which will help us with finding vocabulary lists on different topics – a great way to broaden your language skills!
?️ You will impress the pants off brands & digital agencies
Being able to offer optimised blog posts is something digital agencies will be looking for more and more this year. Why haven’t they been so bothered pre-2017? Paid pre-written content is the answer. You know those e-mails offering you pre-written posts that you can post on your blog for $20? For exposure? Or even free of charge? That’s the trick up their sleeve – having an SEO expert write a blog post for them guaranteed all the desirable keyword stuffing and 4327029 do-follow links attached to richer than a beef stock keywords. Oh, and don’t disclose the post, okay? Google in 2017 will be able to pick up on these even more which means they’ll disappear into the abyss of out of date algorithms. Being able to optimise your blog posts for search engines is the new black. Or green, as Pantone would suggest.
?️ It’s hella satisfying
Being able to add value to your blog that not everyone and their cat can is incredibly satisfying. Seeing your traffic rise to the sky, your readers enjoying your blog posts more than ever because they flow easily and contain rich vocabulary and your blog popping up on the first page of Google results makes blogging that one little bit more satisfying. A little victory at a time – plus it feels like a little naughty secret that only you and Google know!