Just the words “Search Engine Optimization” can make some bloggers freeze up, like a deer caught in headlights. What most bloggers find confusing is the idea that you have to blog one way for the search engines and another way for the readers, but you really don’t. Here’s an easy way to look at SEO: It’s all about building relationships.
Why Is Search Engine Traffic So Important?
Search engine traffic is crucial for every blog because it’s the root of all your traffic. The first visitors who come to your blog will come through a search engine. They’ll type a keyword into their search bar and choose your blog from the index.
If these first visitors like what they see they’ll share your content which brings in referral traffic, and they’ll become repeat visitors which results in direct traffic. If your blog is properly optimized for the search engines you will continually get new, first-time visitors, the root of all your traffic, and your traffic will continue to increase.
Build Relationships to Increase Search Engine Traffic
When we talk about SEO we often get caught up in the mechanics – using a keyword in the title, using a keyword in the first paragraph, using H1 and H2 tags and formatting. But if you stop focusing on the “mechanics” and start looking at building relationships, SEO becomes less scary.
Search Engine Optimization is simply the process you use to build relationships with your readers.
In order to build those relationships, you need to:
Get to know your readers: To get to know your readers you look at the comments they leave on your blogs and other relevant blogs in your niche, you look at your analytics to see how they’re finding your blog and what they’re reading when they get there, and you use the Google Keyword Tool to see which keywords they’re searching for most.
Create the content they’re looking for: When you learn what searchers are interested in it becomes easier to create content that targets your audience. Using keywords becomes less mechanical – in fact, it becomes natural – because that’s what searchers are looking for, it’s not something you’re trying to force them into.
Make it easier for people to find your blog: Off-blog SEO techniques are simply ways to boost your online presence and put your blog in front of more people. Not everyone who has an interest conducts a search. For example, you may need a new microwave oven but until someone shares a link with you and says, “Hey! I found this great microwave oven at XYZBlog” you might not think of looking around online.
To increase your online reach then you can use guest blogging and social networking. It’s also important to make sure your content is easy to share and that you’re creating valuable, useful content that attracts incoming links.
So you see, there’s really nothing technical or difficult about search engine optimization, at all. If you focus on building relationships with searchers, instead of worrying about what search engines are looking for, you’ll automatically be taking care of your SEO.