This is a guest post by D. Brent Ruyter of MemoirsOfASingleDad.com. Memoirs of a Single Dad focuses on everything from the perspective of the single dad – from dating, parenting, co-parenting & divorce to photography, life, love all with a sprinkle of technology. Being a fellow blogger, Daniel knows a bit about the challenges presented to ‘small’ bloggers looking to get their message out to a greater audience. If you’re interested in having a FREE discussion with Daniel about SEO for YOUR site, you can visit his Blog SEO page for more information.
What is SEO?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is the collection of tools, tactics and techniques used by webmasters (including bloggers) to rank their sites higher in search engine results listings. Some studies have shown that search results displayed after the first page receive less than 1% of all searches performed. That means that upwards of 99% of all search traffic goes to those sites listed on the first page of the results listings. In other words, if you’re not on the first page, you’re not likely going to get many hits from search engine traffic. Optimizing your site for search engines means that you are doing what you can do to get your site ranked as high as possible in those results and, therefore, more traffic from search engines. Don’t be fooled – you don’t have to be a ‘big’ site to get ranked high in search results. You just have to blog smarter, not harder!
Why Should I Care?
Traffic from search engines is only one of the many ways to increase the quantity of visitors to your site. Going after search engine traffic may not be for every blogger, since it does take some effort, conditioning and a bit of a change in the way you think as a writer. You’re also wise to realize an increase in traffic won’t happen overnight, either. It often takes months to realize the spoils of your victory as you climb in the search rankings.
One common misconception is that optimizing your site requires you to focus on search engines as a writer and make sure you have the correct keyword density, sub-keywords and other fine-tuned, mechanical methods SEO ‘gurus’ obsess over. SEO for your blog simply means optimization should be in the back of your mind while you write. Writing, especially for bloggers, should be more about the quality of the content, the flow of thoughts, readability, all while informing and entertaining your readers than the keyword density and making sure you have the right quantity of terms in your articles. Your blog still needs to be engaging or visitors will leave just as quickly as they arrived.
That being said, even with optimization only in the back of their heads, many writers (just like you!) are easily able to sprinkle enough keyword love into their articles to help their search rankings and, in turn, traffic statistics. If you want more traffic then you should care about blog SEO.
Where Do I Start?
Being aware that keywords matter is a good start! You’re also reading this article – another good start, if you ask me. Most bloggers want to focus on blogging – writing articles, reading & commenting on other blogs, hosting giveaways and other fun blogging activities. You don’t have to give up on the fun stuff and become an optimization robot. I’ve compiled a list of 5 Things All Bloggers Must Do for SEO that I strongly encourage you to read if you’re interested in getting started with optimization but you don’t want it to take over your life. After all, blogging still needs to be fun and fulfilling. Getting more traffic, more readers and more recognition doesn’t have to be a trade-off for what is likely one of your favorite creative outlets.
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