Think SEO: Day 23 of the 2015 October Platform Challenge

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Believe it or not, we barely have more than a week left of this challenge. Let's make it a super great final stretch!

Think SEO

For today's platform-building task, slow down and think a little about SEO (which is tech-speak for search engine optimization, which is itself an intelligent way of saying, "what gets your website/blog to display at or near the top of a search on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.").

So this task is actually multi-pronged:

  1. Make a list of keywords you want your website or blog to be known for. For instance, I like my Poetic Asides blog to be known for terms related to poetry and poets. This blog is more focused on topics like blogging, platform, and other business-y subjects. Think big here and don't limit yourself to what you think you can actually achieve in the short term.
  2. Compare your website or blog's current content to your keywords. Are you lining up your actual content with how you want your audience to view you and your online presence? If not, it's time to think about how you can start offering content that lines up with your goals and the needs of your target audience. If so, then move on to the next step, which is...
  3. Evaluate your current approach to making your content super SEO-friendly. If you need some guidance, check out some of the tips below. There are very simple things you can do with your titles, subheads, and images to really improve SEO.
  4. Research keywords for your next post. When deciding on a title for your post and subheads within the content, try researching keywords. Google them ahead of time to see which sites appear in the results. When possible, you want to use keywords that are searched a lot but that have relatively low competition. These are the low-hanging fruit that can help you build strong SEO for your website or blog.

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SEO Tips for Writers

Here are a few things to keep in mind that will really help you build better SEO on your site:

  • Pick a main keyword (or phrase) for each page. If you're wondering, the main keyword for this page is "Think SEO." Once you pick one, here's how you handle your post:
  • Include the keyword in the URL. You'll notice that the URL for this post has "think-seo" in it.
  • Place an image with the keyword as the title of the image file. I actually didn't do this for this post, but it does actually help. A lot. Separate words in your keyword phrase with underscores.
  • Include the keyword in the title of your post. The closer to the beginning of the title the better; look at this post for reference.
  • Include the keyword early in the actual post--preferably in bold or as a header. Look at this post for reference.

If you have an SEO plugin that requests a Focus Keyword, include it for that specific post. Also, remember that specificity is super important for SEO. Pick one focus for each post, and you'll be on the right track to building SEO.

If you have a chance to link to the post in the future, try using the keyword as the hyper link. For instance, I really help out my keyword for Day 14 with a link like: Create a Time Management Plan, because that was the keyword for that day's post. Check it out if you don't believe me.

There are more advanced things writers can do, but these tips will get you ahead of most writers and bloggers right out of the gate.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which includes editing Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market. He regularly blogs at the Poetic Asides blog and writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine. He also leads online education, speaks on writing and publishing at events around the country, and does other fun writing-related stuff.

roberttwitterimage

A published poet, he’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53) and a former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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Catch up on the first three days of the Platform Challenge here: