The demise of search engine optimization (SEO), where writer’s can improve the chances of getting their blog to the top of search pages using specific keywords, has been greatly exaggerated.
It’s more difficult, for sure. But with a little clear thinking, incorporating keywords and keyword combinations can make a significant difference to the relevant traffic coming directly to your blog from search engines.
The other day, I noticed that one of my blog entries is far more successful than any other. 20 tips for writing the perfect horror story has had around 27,000 views and 32 comments. That got me thinking (I do a lot of that). This is just one blog post, not the whole site. How would it be if all my posts had a similar response?
Was I missing something important?
I have mostly relied on social media such as Twitter and Facebook, which have thriving writing communities, to drive traffic to my site. It works up to a point, but I wondered whether I was losing out in not properly optimizing for search engines.
Keyword combinations have value
What is search engine optimization (SEO)? Simple: It’s using keywords in your site text to get you to the top of the search engine listings. So, when someone types in “writer’s blog” you appear on the first page (if you’ve done your job properly). There are no prizes for coming on the second page here. It’s first page or nothing.
The problem is that all the good words in SEO are taken and have been done to death. That means it is difficult, well-nigh impossible in some cases, to get to the top of the search engine listing for one of those keywords which have high volumes of searches every month. Too many sites have got there before you.
That’s where keyword combinations come in. Most content SEO nowadays is about finding keywords that, used together, bring enough relevant traffic to your site, combinations that haven’t been so over-mined that you stand a chance of getting on that front page.
And, if you look hard enough, there’s a good few still out there.
You should find keyword combinations that have a small but significant usage. For instance, the search term “e books” has over 4 million searches on Google per month. You won’t have a chance of making it to the top of the listings for this keyword. Horror, writing, short, story keyword combinations, however, give me first page billing with a cumulative search of around 2,000 per month.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
By careful choice of keywords you could be driving a significant amount of relevant traffic to your site. And the important bit here is “relevant”.
Google Adwords help you find keyword combinations
How do you find out whether these keyword combinations are worth the effort? Google Adwords provides a free keyword search tool. You can type in all sorts of combinations and it will give you the number of searches per month.
How do I use keyword combinations?
As a simple rule of thumb, once you’ve selected your keywords you need to incorporate them into your blog entry. Use them in the title, and the first few lines of the blog and the last few, and don’t forget to put them in the tags.
Be careful not to overuse throughout the text so that it sounds like you’re spamming and don’t be afraid to give the blog a tweak every so often to see whether that makes a difference to your page ranking.
Be warned: This is not a cure-all panacea. Search engine optimization doesn’t happen overnight and you may not always succeed. Check your search terms every so often to see how you are doing.
So, to recap: Remember, my search engine listing was for just one blog entry. Imagine if I can optimize, say, another ten posts on my writer’s blog. That would make a significant increase in relevant traffic.
And we all love people visiting us don’t we?
A useful article on SEO keyword searching for writer’s can be found on Rachel Reuben’s YA fiction site.
If you have any useful comments or tips for optimizing your writer blog, then please share in the comments section below.