The following is a guest post by Tara Gentille, editor of Scoutie Girl and Handmade in PA. She's offering some simple SEO tips to help get more traffic to your blog, which is something we all can use, I'm sure! Thanks Tara!
Indie biz owners: why do you blog?
Is it to connect on a personal level with your customers? Perhaps to give yourself another creative outlet? Maybe you blog in place of an email newsletter? Or to develop relationships with other bloggers?
Here's the technical reason you blog - whether you know it or not - blogs equal content and content equals more pages, posts, and information for search engines to index and more indexed content equals more hits to your site!
While no one knows for sure the equation that search engines use to order sites in search results, you can take advantage of certain elements to not only improve your search engine optimization (SEO), but improve your communication with your readers.
Here are my top 5 ways to improve SEO for indie biz owners. If you need a bit of help with basic HTML check out W3 Schools.
- Keywords - To take advantage of the other 4 tips below, you must have a grasp on your site's keywords! Keywords are simply the words & phrases people will search for that you'd like to bring up your site as a result! Make a list of 10-15 and use them regularly - but naturally - in place of vague or less specific words & pronouns.
- Post Titles - Post titles supply an important piece of information to search engines. Don't try to be clever or elusive with your titles, use straightforward phrases that incorporate keywords for your business.
- ALT - within the code for each image you use, there is an element called "ALT." This element determines the text that appears while the image loads or if the image is unavailable. It has two functions: lets the reader know what's coming and tells a search engine what is in the image.
Image searches drive immense amounts of traffic to sites. Don't miss out on this by not specifying ALT text! If you have a picture of a bracelet you made, simply use ALT text like this: alt="handmade beaded bracelet with copper wire" or another appropriate description.
- Links - Links are the gold of the interwebs. Both your incoming and outgoing links tell search engines something about your site. In your posts, your outgoing links should be centered around keywords in the text - i.e. "SEO advice for indie biz" instead of "click here." They should also make use of the "TITLE" element. Within your anchor tags (a href...), specify where your link is going. Linking to Scoutie Girl? Then use this: title="scoutie girl" to let readers - and search engines - know where the link will take them.
- STRONG - "Strong" is the HTML tag for bold. Simply placing some keywords - selectively - within the "strong" tag can help search engines index your content. As a bonus, it will also help readers move through your text and identify key points.