Hello, my name is Philip Rudy. I work as a Digital Consultant at Traffic Digital Agency, as well as for some of our clients 1800LAWFIRM, Spartan Hall of Fame Cafe, 8004BLINDS, and many more. Since Mom blogs are a huge niche on the Internet, the space can be very competitive, and though what usually wins a large audience is great content that people come back to time and time again, the extra edge of leveraging that content is called search engine optimization (SEO) - and that is what I am here to talk to you about today.
First off - What is search engine optimization?
Simply put, search engine optimization is the attempt to increase your rankings through optimization of the 200+ signals that Google looks at when calibrating a website and determining it's overall rank in their organic search results. There is off-site and on-site SEO.
Ethics & SEO
Everyone has their own opinion on SEO ethics. A lot of it has to do with intent, but basically everyone makes up their own mind. Why is this issue in the SEO space? Because a lot of what SEO is can be considered "gaming" the search engines, or manipulating the algorithm in the favor of your website - most of the time this is done through link building. But keyword stuffing, content scraping, and duplicate content copyright infringing are all issues when it comes SEO and ethics. As of right now, there is no "webspam" tactics used by SEO experts that are illegal. Everything in the SEO space (aside from hacking, which unfortunately happens sometimes) is considered legal and fair game. Right now it’s pretty much up to society what is considered ethical, and up to Google to consider if what you are doing is fair game or not.
I could go on for days....
But let's get to the tactics....
Onsite Page & Content Optimization
Really there is no better SEO plan than to have your content come from the heart, and learn to gain a following without having to rely on Google, but if you are trying to optimize for certain keywords (I always recommend doing the optimization throughout the process while maintaining quality and overall content value) there really is a quite simple formula for onsite keywords. Your most important onsite factors usually go something like this...
1. Overall URL. In the mom space, this is usually the least optimized factor. Exact match domains (EMDs), Partial match domains (PMDs), and domain names under 16 characters are usually what work best. Need some proof? Do a few Google searches on random keywords and see how many times the domain name is the exact keyword.
Sequencing Keyword Phrases and how it relates to your URLs:
Optimizing your URLs and how you set them up for each page is completely up to you. Remember that you should not always think about SEO when it comes to optimizing your site but you should keep a healthy balance between optimizing for the user (what I like to call search experience optimization) and optimizing for the robots (traditional SEO).
Example: Does your page content express views that are very relevant and attached to the release date of the article? In WordPress, there is a format option to have your date in the URL of the article. This can be very useful to people looking for specific time frames when doing their searches, but it is necessarily the best way to optimize your URLs.
So what is the best way to optimize your URLs? Here are a few rules:
o The shorter the better
o Use your main keyword once
o Don't repeat keywords
o Use underscores for exact sequencing (example: Google a few book titles - notice that a majority of them have underscores in the URL)
o Use hyphens when your targeted keywords usually can come in a variety of sequencing
2. Overall Page Structure. Your title tags, meta description, header tags, and keyword density all play their role when it comes to onsite optimization. Keyword density usually plays a role in simply not over doing it. Don't hit your targeted keyword in your content too many times (Keep it under 5%) otherwise Google might see your over-mentioning as a sign of spam (otherwise known as keyword stuffing). Out of these four, your title tag is pretty much the most important thing. That said, if you look in the HTML, your overall page structure should look something like this....
3. Link Building. Link building is the trickiest of all of the ways to optimize a site and it is also the most controversial. Some SEO experts place way too much emphasis on link building and its value in the SEO world. (Read: Why Are You So Hard On Link Builders) However it is undeniable that links are one of the biggest factors in your websites position in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
There are many important aspects of link building that you have to take into consideration, each of which ultimately deserve its own article, but the idea is to have as many links pointing to your site from other sites as possible.
Ways to build links:
o submit to directories
o local outlets (like Patch.com)
o press releases (Using a service like PRweb)
o guest blogging
o citation building (like yelp)
o reciprocal linking
o contests & giveaways
o trending and evergreen content
o widget building (like this widget from Zillow)
o paying for links (against Google's policies)
There really is no better list of complete link building strategies than from link building master Jon Cooper of Point Blank SEO. Here is the guideline, and if you notice, it follows the coding techniques in terms of onsite page optimization to a 'T.'
There are so many other best practices about SEO that you can build hold websites around the topic. Or without further ado, here are some SEO resources and tools for those who may not be familiar with the practice:
Once you learn about SEO, you begin to see the Internet in a whole other light…