Charlene McCraney is a blogging coach and SEO strategist that teaches bloggers how to grow online and beyond social media, so they can turn their blog into a business and stress less over likes and followers. In her 5 plus years of blogging, she has been able to generate consistent high traffic to her website creating passive income and monetizing through a variety of mediums.
Hi Rising Tide Community! I’m Charlene McCraney, Blogging Coach and SEO Strategist, and I teach bloggers how to grow their audience beyond social media so they can stop stressing over likes and followers and actually drive traffic to a platform they own, i.e., their blog.
So, I am passionate about everything blogging, about SEO, and helping not only bloggers, also business owners, really understand how they can capitalize off SEO, drive more traffic to their website to get more readers, and more customers, and all of the things. So I’m really excited that I am working with the Rising Tide today to bring you some really, really great content and some tips.
So let’s jump right in!
Today, I’m going to be sharing three blogging SEO tips that you can do to help start driving traffic to your website right now to come out of COVID-19 stronger because that is the goal. We all want to come out of this thing stronger and we really want to put our businesses, our platforms, our websites in a position where it’s going to continue to pay out for us long after the coronavirus is over. So let’s jump right into these tips.
What is SEO?
So first things first. What is SEO, right? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it is the process by which you create content and make improvements to your website so search engines like Google can easily refer your websites to others. Remember, Google’s main goal is returning valuable information to people who are searching for things on their platform. So everything you do with your SEO helps to make that process easier.
The biggest thing I want you to understand about SEO, however, is that it is a long-term strategy. So if you don’t get improvements and if you don’t see success right away, don’t worry. It usually takes months before people start to really see the benefits of SEO and start to see it drive dramatic and significant traffic to their websites. So if at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again, and know that everything that you’re doing right now is laying the foundation for you to continue to reap the benefits of SEO for months and years to come.
Let’s get started and jump right into these tips.
So tip number one is all about content improvement and outreach. If you are a blogger and you have existing content on your website, you definitely want to go back to see what you can do to improve this content and to make it even better. The thing about SEO is that it favors written content. You want to make sure that you’re writing these very in-depth articles, long-form content, that’s giving the readers a lot of value until you can really optimize whatever keywords you are using inside of the blog post.
If you are a business owner, you’re like, “well, I don’t have a blog. I haven’t written anything. I don’t have anything on my website about blogging,” this is the perfect time to create some type of content, some type of written content, centered around your business. And you may be thinking well, ”I’m not a writer. I’m not a blogger. I don’t have time for that.” This is the thing–think of blogging as part of your content marketing strategy. Use this as an educational opportunity to educate people around the key things in your particular business.
So for example, if you are a product photographer and you’re trying to figure out ways that you can improve your SEO and you can drive more traffic to your website, maybe you’re going to put together the “Ultimate Guide to Taking iPhone photography at Home.” You’re going to optimize that blog post for keywords. You’re going to do everything in your power to make it long form content so Google can refer your website and you can improve your SEO that way.
If someone is on the web, if someone is on Google, and they’re searching how to take amazing iPhone photography at home or how to take amazing product photography at home, you want your blog post to show up on the first page of Google. And also, when it does and you’re driving that traffic to your website, you want them also to see that you offer product photography as an actual service and maybe they’re thinking to themselves, ”Why am I spending all this time? Trying to figure out how to do iPhone photography by myself when I can just hire this person to do it.”
So think of blogging not just as something that you don’t have time to do but I actually think of it as a content marketing strategy.
Here is a common myth that a lot of people believe about blogging. People think that you need to blog three times a week, four times a month, you need to do all this blogging when the truth is you don’t need to blog every day, three times a week. The main goal of when you blog is to make sure that you’re actually blogging and writing about content that your audience is actually searching for on Google.
So even if you write one blog post a month, but it’s an “Ultimate Guide,” it’s a it’s a long-form content, and it’s given the reader a lot of value, and you’ve optimized the content for your keywords, that is going to serve you way better than writing three or four a blog post just to say that you wrote a blog post.
If your website is used with WordPress, you can download the Yoast SEO plugin that’s going to do 90% of the keyword research for you. I mean – the keyword optimization for you. If not, if you use Squarespace, for Wix, or anything like that, you want to make sure that you’re using the proper platforms and apps and you’re updating your descriptions and your meta descriptions and your keywords, you’re doing all those things to optimize any written content that you have on your website.
This also includes your “About” page. Business owners, remember your “About” page is important. You want to optimize your “About” page for all of the keywords that you want your website to rank for. Whether you are a photographer, a florist, a-a um, a blogger, a small business owner, whatever the keywords that relate to your business, you want to make sure that those are optimized on your “About” page as well and your blog description.
So, I know that was a lot, but it’s okay.
Outreach For Your Blog
Also, outreach. You want to see if you’ve been featured in some publications, if you can partner with some other platforms, they may want to feature some content that you have going on, or feature your website with some cool things you have going on. You want to see how you can do some outreach and get some other websites to link back to your website is what we like to call backlinks in the SEO community.
So, anything you can do for outreach and getting other credible websites to link to your website is going to help your SEO search rankings because every link back to your website is like a vote and is going to help to improve your rankings in the Google search because the ultimate goal is getting to page 1 in Google.
So, the next thing we’re going to focus a little bit more is keyword research. I mentioned this a little bit in tip number one, but let’s dig into this a little bit more. The thing about keyword research is that you really want to to focus on things people are actually searching for in your niche. It doesn’t make sense for you to spend all this time blogging about things that people don’t really want and they don’t need.
So, one really, really cool tool that you can use is actually something that you already have in your arsenal and you probably don’t even know the power of it, right? It’s called Google auto-populate. So, if you go to Google right now and you type in the word bakery, or a photographer, or wedding planner and you see those other words that are coming up after that – Google is already telling you the things that people are searching for. So that’s part one of your keyword research to see – what are people actually Googling online and how can I incorporate some of that content, some of those keywords, into the content that I’m creating?
You can use other free tools, um, like Keywords Everywhere. Keywords Everywhere is a Google Chrome extension and you will apply it – you will install it or download it to your Google Chrome – and then when you go to Google, and you type in the word, it’s going to give you all the related keywords associated with the thing that you’re Googling, so you can know different ways to incorporate those keywords in your content as well.
It’s already giving you what people are searching for. Don’t play the guessing game trying to figure out what you should be blogging about. Do keyword research so you know.
There’s a difference between blogging as a hobby and then blogging as a business. If you’re blogging as a hobbyist, it’s fine for you to, just, you know, willy-nilly, write whatever is on your soul that you feel so inclined to write. But when you’re blogging as a business owner and you’re blogging is a business, it’s about being strategic, and being strategic means you need to blog about the things that people are actually searching for online, everyday.
The last free tool that I suggest that you use for keyword research is called Ubersuggest. It’s a free platform. You can go in there, enter your website, and learn more about the keywords that you are actually ranking for, and actually learn about the keywords that, maybe, some of your competitor websites are ranking for as well. You can use those keywords to your advantage to create content, as well.
Get Friendly With Google
The last tip that I have is called “getting friendly with Google.” It’s all about your data in your analytics, right?
A lot of people are so scared to know about their analytics. They think that it’s going to be overwhelming. Here’s the thing – in order for you to know and improve your search traffic, you have to know where you’re starting from.
So the first thing I want you to do is connect your website to Google Analytics. This is a no-brainer, you guys. You have to know how much traffic that you’re currently getting, your current demographic, and it’s a way for you to really understand your traffic base and who’s visiting your website right now. Where do those people live? What type of pages are they clicking on? What months are you seeing the most traffic?
So you can really start to understand the trends of the traffic that you’re getting to your website.
After you get your Google Analytics set up, I want you to submit your website to the Google Search Console. This is really important because this allows Google to know more about your website and this is also where you’re going to submit your sitemap to Google, as well, so Google can more intelligently crawl your website. The amazing thing about the Google Search Console is you can also use it to see what keywords people are searching on your website everyday; and it also send you reports every month to show you what type of technical improvements you should be making to your website for the best user experience.
You guys, the biggest thing that Google loves is an amazing user experience. You want your website to be mobile optimized. Google has made this an SEO ranking factor a couple of years ago and it’s more important than ever. You guys, It’s 2020 – if your website is not optimized for mobile, really, what are you doing?
So get friendly with Google, submit your website to the Google Search Console, submit your sitemap to Google Search Console, and also install Google analytics, just so you can really understand your data and your traffic.
Overall those are the three SEO tips: content Improvement, keyword research, and getting friendly with Google. I hope you found this video valuable. If you have any questions, just let me know. I’ll be glad to help.