While many bloggers spend a great deal of their time focusing on their social media marketing efforts, trying to increase the reach of their blog, there is one area of marketing that goes vastly overlooked. The number of searches increase each year, and at this time approximately 6,586,013,574 searches occur each and every day worldwide (Allen, 2017)!
If you are taking the time to write quality content that you believe will help others, not taking the time and effort to boost your blog’s likelihood to show in a search result is a missed opportunity. This is a topic that has risen in importance in the marketing industry with experts focusing on how to maximize both paid search and organic search.
So, what does this mean for you and your blog? Most bloggers aren’t prepared with a budget to fund paid search advertising, however, there are several steps you can take to maximize your standings in organic search results.
“Paid search equates for just over 5% of all traffic, with organic hovering around the 95% mark” (Allen, 2017).
While there are applications and plug-ins that can be added to your blog to assist your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, the bloggers who are succeeding in this area are those that have taken the time to learn the tips and tricks first hand. While there are professionals who will spend years just scratching the surface of all the fine details of SEO and its inner workings, an understanding of a basic overview will be invaluable in your blogging efforts.
What is SES, SEO, and SEM?
Search Engine Strategies, or SES, are the plans that a company puts together as part of their overall marketing plan, focusing specifically on trying to maximize their marketing efforts in the area of Search Engines, including both paid and organic searches. This includes a thorough understand and evaluation of keywords and phrases, meta descriptions, alt tags, link backs and where you currently show in search results.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, refers to “the process of improving traffic to a given website by increasing the site’s visibility in search engine results” (Business Dictionary, n.d.)
SEO refers to the organic search component or the unpaid search results. There was a time when understanding the algorithm used by Google was relatively easy, allowing efforts to seamlessly predict how they would show up in searches. As businesses began to realize the power that SEO carried, they began to find ways to ‘game the system’, taking advantage of the predictable algorithms to come out on top.
This pushed Google to have to make some drastic changes, with adjustments under the names Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird. “As the less-than-savory characters began dominating Google’s search by supposedly gaming the system, Google had to act or risk losing its relevancy. These algorithm adjustments were intended to both weed out the spoofs and scammers, while also fine-tuning its semantic search” (Adams, 2016).
Search Engine Marketing, or SEM, is defined as an “Internet marketing method that focuses on purchasing ads which appear on the result pages of search engines such as Google” (Business Dictionary, n.d.).
This is the paid component discussed above. These ads are often seen either above or to the right of the search results. How prominently the ad is presented on the page relies solely on the amount of money paid. For companies and individuals with health marketing budgets, this may be a viable way to drive traffic back to your site, however for those that do not have the funds available their efforts would be better spent focusing on their organic search.
Follows These SEO Tips from Hubspot to Help You Succeed:
- Focus on 1-2 long-tail keywords
- Include these 1-2 keywords in specific parts of your post
- Headers & Body
- Meta Description
- Make sure your blog is mobile-friendly
- Optimize the Meta description
- Optimize your images
- Don’t use too many similar topic tags
- Use URL structures that help your visitors
- Link internally when possible
- Use Google’s Search Console
For more information, check out this article from Hubspot.
What techniques are you currently using to help improve your SEO? What apps or plug-ins have you used, and did you find them to be effective? Let me know in the comments below!
Adams, R.L. (2016, November 29). SEO 2017: 8 Crucial Rules for Dominating Google’s Search Results. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertadams/2016/11/29/seo-2017-8-crucial-rules-for-dominating-googles-search-results/#5172fdf74158
Allen, R. (2017, April 13). Search Engine Statistics 2017. Retrieved from http://www.smartinsights.com/search-engine-marketing/search-engine-statistics/
Business Dictionary. n.d. Web. Retrieved from http://www.businessdictionary.com/
Kolowich, L. (2016, July 26). Blog SEO: How to Search Engine Optimize Your Blog Content. Retrieved from https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/seo-friendly-blog-post-checklist-ht