Today’s article, part two of my series on SEO, is more of an exercise for you to perform. Over the next several weeks, I’ll walk you through improving SEO on your website. I’m no expert. But from my research and by implementing the basic fixes I’ll introduce you to, I’ve improved my SEO drastically.First, let me explain how a search engine finds your site among the billions on the internet and then how those search engines ranks your site. A internet crawler, or web spider, is a bot that lists the URLs and hyperlinks on the World Wide Web and then visits those sites and links to rank them in relevance. What determines relevance is the use several pieces of data. I explained one of those pieces last week—backlinking.Today I’m introducing the second important aspect of the puzzle—keywords.
There’s a lot of information out there on the importance of keywords. Whole books and articles have been written about them. So, needless to say, I’ll be talking about keywords and what you can do with them for a few weeks.
What Are Keywords:
Simply put, they are the words or phrases that describe your brand or product. What phrases and words describe you or your books? For me it’s “contemporary western romantic suspense, cowboy romance, Texas romance.” You notice this isn’t a tag line. But it is a branding statement.
What basic words describe your brand? In other words, if a reader is looking for a western romance with some suspense, she might go to Google and type into the search bar “contemporary western romance suspense.” If I used my keywords properly (and I’ve optimized other areas of my SEO), my website will pop up on the first or second page of the search results. Ideally it’s within the first three listings on either page one or two. Research has shown that the rate of click-throughs (people clicking on the links Google lists) is nearly the same for sites listed in the top three on page one or two.
Where to Place Keywords:
I’m only going to list the places keywords should appear. Each one of these will be either a separate blog, or part of a blog within the coming weeks.
1. Your keywords should appear in the title of each page of your website (I will admit, I fail terribly at having the keywords in my titles. To me it’s almost impossible.)
2. Your keywords should appear in the titles of your blog articles and you use a H1, H2 or H3 tag. (Again this seems almost impossible)
3. Make sure your keywords are in the URLs of your pages.
5. The metadata of you site and pages should contain your keywords. Don’t fear, I’ll explain what metadata next time, and believe it or not, it’s not that scary.
6. Make sure you are labeling your photos with ALT text, descriptions and accurate titles. Again, I’ll explain ALT text.
7. Use your keywords within your content. And here’s probably the hardest for those of us who hate to blog, but update content often.
The last few articles of the series will touch on some of the pitfalls and myths of SEO and on registering your website with Google and Bing, again not as scary as it sounds.
Okay, now for that assignment I talked about at the beginning. I want you to come up with at least five to seven keywords that fit your brand. Thank like a reader who is looking for a book to read, but has never heard of you. But don’t just have the keywords “romance author.” It’s too broad and nearly useless. If it helps, Google authors who write in the same genre as you or has a similar brand. For example, for me it would be Linda Leal Miller, Kat Martin or Joan Johnston. Try to figure out what their keywords might be.
So, next week we tackle the first four items—titles, tags, metadata and URLs.