by Rachel Cool | Featured Contributor
Search engine optimization. Those three words can be daunting to some bloggers, but SEO can actually be your best friend. When you understand how you can use SEO on your blog, you will benefit from more site traffic and a bigger following, both of which can add a lot of value to your business.
1. SEO Doesn’t Bring Immediate Results
SEO is not a quick fix and it doesn’t bring immediate results. While you can definitely start optimizing your blog and getting it in shape to earn rankings right away, it could take several weeks or months before you start seeing results.
Search engines crawl and rank sites periodically, and when you update your site often you are inviting them to crawl your site. Be patient and willing to wait to see if your actions are bringing rankings before you change strategies or give up altogether.
Also keep in mind that SEO is only part of the puzzle when it comes to building a successful blog, but it can complement other promotional efforts.
2. Don’t Work Around Keywords
The days of keyword stuffing and producing content just for the sake of ranking are over. Search engines now favor relevant content that is high quality and helps users. They also penalize sites that use keywords unnaturally, so don’t try to force them into your posts.
Always start by writing posts that are relevant to your readers and bring genuine value to your market. As you do this, keywords will most likely naturally fall into place in your content. They will be used as they should be and you won’t be tempted to overuse them, which could hurt your rankings.
3. When Readers Can’t Resist Sharing, You’re on the Right Track
When you don’t have the time or resources for a comprehensive SEO or link building campaign, rely on your high-quality content. Focus on producing content that offers real value, keeps your readers coming back for more and that people can’t resist sharing.
Of course, as people share your content you will get more traffic and grow your following. But, you will also be benefiting from organic links that will help you optimize your site and earn rankings. Whenever someone links to your blog from their own website, a forum, a blog comment and in some cases, social media, your site is being optimized.
In fact, these kinds of links can be more helpful than artificial links you build because they tell search engines how valuable and relevant your content is.
4. You Need to go Beyond your Posts
It’s important to make sure your blog posts include keywords naturally, are of the best quality and are shared online. But, to truly see SEO results your entire site needs to be optimized.
Things like your copy, URL, title, meta descriptions and menus all need to use keywords when possible and make your site accessible. This will ensure search engines can properly read and rank your site and make it easier for your readers to find and share your content.
But, the benefits of an optimized site go way beyond rankings, as your site helps you build your brand, tell your market that you are a reliable source and strengthen your online presence.
Don’t let the idea of SEO overwhelm you. Start optimizing your site with these basic tips and then continue to publish high-quality blog posts that are relevant and helpful to your market.
As you add more optimized posts and make sure your site is optimized, you will start to gain rankings for keywords that will help you target your market and grow your business.
Rachel Cool has a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations. She has experience working in public relations, journalism, Internet marketing and search engine optimization.
Rachel’s passion is writing and she loves helping brands tell their stories, reach their markets and influence their audiences. She feels that a business’ copy, whether it is online or print, is an integral part of its marketing and communications strategies.
When she’s not writing, Rachel loves to cook and get lost in a mystery novel. She also likes to get competitive over a good card or board game, watch movies, fish and spend time outside.