Welcome, welcome, welcome! This is the beginning of a new little series (yes, a series!), the Bloggers Guide to SEO which has been in the making for a long time. Within the series we are going to cover everything, from the beginning of what even is SEO?! To changes you can make within your posts, changes on your websites, plug ins, tools, resources – seriously everything you need to know to start using SEO effectively on your blog. So much content I couldn’t fit it into 1 blog, so I have 5 planned so far:
- What is SEO and Why Do I Need It?!
- What Can I Easily Add to My Posts to Increase My SEO?
- The Deal with No Follow + Why You NEED To Be Using It
- What Blog Changes can I Make to Increase My SEO?
- Tools/Plug Ins which You Need to Increase SEO
These will be popping up every weekend, so be sure to stay tuned.
I recently held a twitter chat all about blogging tech, and although a lot of bloggers are aware that SEO is a ‘thing’ and that it will help with gaining traffic, it’s not super clear what SEO actually IS. So first of all, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. But what you really need to think SEO is, ‘Things which make Google like my blog and put me higher in search results’.
Now real basics here, what is a search engine? When we refer to search engine, we are pretty much completely referring to google – it makes up 90% of internet searches. What google does, is that it uses super complex algorithms (like a fancy computer programme) to scan all websites which are hosted on the indexed internet. This algorithm looks at a huge host of different factors on your website, basically to decide how awesome it is. It then takes what it finds through the algorithm and ranks your website.
This rank determines where your website sits when you search for something, such as if you search for Jasmin Charlotte, the first rank position is this lovely little corner of the internet (well for me at least… we’ll get to that soon). The question google essentially continually asks is ‘Will this website benefit the person who is searching for it?’ – it then ranks based on it’s findings.
So what is SEO? SEO looks at the complex algorithm that google has created, and figures out what factors google looks for on your website in order to rank it. SEO is used to increase those factors on your website to help your website appears higher in the ranking. In simpler terms, Google looks for some specific things on your website, so by increasing those things, it makes google think you’re a better website and shows it to more people when they search for something.
Right, now we know what SEO is – why do we need to care about it? Well, honestly, you don’t have to care about it – but if you are wanting to drive more traffic to your blog then SEO is key. SEO will ensure your blog is shown to more people on google, and more people will click through and view your blog each day. Since I started focusing on SEO, search engines are by far my highest referrer, and ensure even on days that I don’t write a new post or promote – I’m still getting a steady stream of traffic. SEO means your blog should eventually look after itself!
Now, time for a little history lesson of SEO. When google first started using its algorithm, it focused on certain quite simple aspects of websites, such as key word density. This led to a heap of SEO agencies popping up which offered ‘SEO advice’ such as packing your blog full of a key word. However! Google is continually updating its algorithm, it’s estimated 500-600 times a year. And trust me, now it’s smart. Key words won’t cut it. Google now looks at more on your website and tailors all results for YOU. This means, SEO has in turn got a lot more complicated.
So there we have it, our SEO introduction – what SEO is, why you need it, and why SEO is not as simple as some people make out.
Tune in next week where we start getting into the real details, what easy actions you can take within each blog post to help google love your website! Make sure you are subscribed on bloglovin to stay up to date!