Search engine optimization is important because without it, your audience may never find you. But SEO depends on how the search engines determine what will rank. (Or not.) How do they do it? They know their job. The search engine’s job is to send your audience results that they consider relevant and useful.
If you want a search engine to drive traffic to you, you need to know how they work. Unfortunately, the way they work often changes, but only because there are always people out to trick and take advantage of the system. They make the search engine results less useful to users. To avoid problems—and slower traffic due to algorithm changes—focus on creating content and using terms that are familiar to your audience.
Learn about On-Page & Off-Page SEO
On-page search engine optimization is anything that happens on your website and blog. Off-page SEO is activity that happens with search terms and links to your site, landing pages, and blog. You should get links/backlinks to your website in a natural way. Post blurbs with a link to your blog posts. Repost your email messages on Facebook groups (that also link to a CTA on your website).
Focus on One Keyword Per Page
Don’t stuff one page on your website (a blog post is considered a page) with one keyword. Keyword saturation should be no more than 2% of total words. You can use keywords in titles, the first paragraph, in header text, and bullet points. You can also use keywords in menu items. But, be careful and don’t go too crazy. Use of keywords should feel and look natural.
Know Your Audience
Know your audience and know the types of words and terms they like to use. The better you know your audience, the better you’ll be at picking the right words that will get you found by search engines.
Encourage User-Generated Content
When people respond to blog posts, social media updates, or emails, it signals that you’re a legitimate authority. You’ll get more traffic than someone who doesn’t appear as authentic.
Focus your efforts on bringing your audience into the fold and you’ll more easily rank at the top of search engines. Your audience is considered number one at all times. Understanding their language—and how they prefer to digest content—is an important part in relating to them better and helping them more.
Images Are an Important Part of the Conversation
Everyone (really, everyone) has a different learning method. Some do great with plain text while others learn better through pictures. No matter what, everyone learns better when they’re presented with both words and images. That’s one of the reasons video is so popular. But when you decide to add images to your content, think about where it’s going to be, what you’re attempting to say, and who you’re trying to teach.
Tips for choosing the right images:
Who Is Your Audience?
This is super important. If you’ve created an audience avatar (which you should have) and you decide to use images with people, choose images that can represent your ideal audience member.
If you pick an image that doesn’t have a person, think about the colors, scenery, quotes, words, and values that apply to your avatar. Keep what you’re trying to teach them in mind. What are you trying to get them to imagine? What emotions do you want them to feel? Excited, happy, sad, or something else?
Using Images Properly
Make sure you get your images from a reputable source and that you follow their terms of service. You can’t just snag an image from a Google search and use it. You also cannot buy any image from a stock photo site and use it however you desire.
Name the Image Correctly
No matter where you use the image—social media, website, or blog—use a good naming convention. It should take into consideration the opportunity for search engine optimization as well as your reader. The image should have a name that includes keyword(s) and also describes the image well.
Fill in the “Alt” Information
Alt tags are important for two reasons: 1) they help with SEO and 2) your user may not be able to see the image but will see the name of the image and its alt tag. Being descriptive in the alt info helps the reader. Instead of just saying “book cover,” state the book’s title and author name, especially if it’s relevant to your content.
Language and conversation isn’t only about words. Make sure the images you use online match your text to increase the reader’s understanding of the information. You want them to absorb the information, not be distracted from your message. Your audience will have a good grasp of the concepts, and search engines will also find your images and bump up your visibility when the pictures use keywords, image name and descriptions appropriately.
Want to know even more about your target market? Want to figure out what makes them tick and–more importantly–buy? Make sure you grab your copy of Find Rabid Readers: How to Identify Your Target Market today!