Wouldn’t you like Google to start sending crowds of people to read your website?
Of course, by sharing your posts on social media, you’ve already taken one of the most important steps. For example, getting mentioned on Twitter does improve your ranking in Google search results.
But a lot of what you read on the topic of SEO is complicated and difficult. For example, it’s tough and time-consuming to get a lot of other people to link to your website, and do you really want to learn how Latent Dirichlet Allocation works?
Instead, here I’ve super-simplified some advanced techniques for writing blog posts that will help Google send more visitors your way (known as on-page SEO). (To see the full advanced video this is based on, I’ve included it at the end. Or for a transcript, go here.)
The basics of on-page SEO include things such as learning the words people use when searching for your topic (keyword research) and including those words in your title, first sentence and elsewhere. But there’s a lot more you can do, and it’s easy!
1. Too Much Hyper-Focus Is Bad
Ensure that you talk at least a little about things very closely related to your topic. If you talk about “Twitter” you should probably also talk about something like “tweets,” “social media,” “followers” or something similarly closely related at least once somewhere.
I don’t just mean use more synonyms. Just make sure that you expand at least a little on closely related topics once or twice. It makes it more plausible that this is a real human writing, rather than a machine generated page. If you want exact tips on what to talk about when writing a post, or to measure how well you’re doing, try this advanced optimization tool.
2. If You Wander Off, Make Sure You Come Back
Make sure that if you get off topic, or stop using words that related directly to your topic, that you at least get some of those words back into the middle and end of your document. If you start talking about one thing, and then appear to switch to another topic, Google may not be able to decide which topic you’re REALLY talking about.
So use words related to your topic in the title, first paragraph, somewhere in the middle, and near the end to help Google KNOW that your page is indeed about that topic.
3. Link To Good Stuff
Link to the best stuff you can find elsewhere on the web. When the New York Times starting doing that more on some pages, Google started sending more people to those pages. When I find a great post, I tweet it, and I consider whether I might want to say something about the topic myself. If I do, I always link to the great content.
Google in essence wants to reward pages that link to good stuff by sending more people to them.
4. Make Visitors Happy
If you expect people to do something (read to the end, click a link, register, stay on the page a long time) and they’re not doing that thing, fix the page or try something else. Google keeps track of how happy visitors are with a page and a website, and they get more clever all the time at figuring out how happy people are.
5. Be More Unique
A simple way to do this: add one more thing.
No media? Add an image or video. No analysis, analogies, related stories? Write in a little uniqueness. Of course, if you favor wordplay and clever titles, that will help, but it may make it a bit unclear what you’re talking about…so don’t overdo it!
Google rewards content that is more unique. The simplest (but not easiest) way to achieve this is to write really long posts, and so adding something to a shorter post is often helpful.
But one of the easiest ways to achieve this appears to be by using the occasional big word here and there (suitable for a more advanced reading level). So keep that thesarus site bookmarked! (But don’t overdo it—simple words are better for helping people understand your meaning.)