Let’s talk about SEO.
Not the super technical bits, because those are confusing.
Let’s talk about what it really is so you can actually understand what the hell is going on.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. But maybe you already know that. What you DON’T know is what the hell that actually is. Seriously. What is it?
At its core, SEO is how likely it is that someone will see your blog come up in a search engine result.
Okay well let’s think about that for a second.
Imagine that you search for something in Google. What usually happens? For me, it’s something like this:
- I type in my search.
- I give some SERIOUS consideration to the first few results (like the top 3).
- If one of the titles of the top results catches my eye, I click on it.
- If those top results don’t answer my question, then I go back and look at some of the other results on the first page.
- If I still don’t have my answer at the end of the first page of results, I search for something else. I revise my query because maybe I didn’t search for the right thing.
What can you take away from that information?
- People look at the top results first.
- People rarely go beyond page #1 of search results.
Once you understand that, you realize that “SEO” is all about ranking as high as possible on search engines.
If SEO is all about getting SEEN in search results, then that means you have to be in a place that people are likely to read and click on. That means page one. More specifically, it means the top half of page one. Ideally the first result.
But how do you actually get to #1?
The suspense is killing you, isn’t it?
There is no “trick” or “hack” or “technical method” for getting to the #1 spot.
There just isn’t. Period.
Yes there are a few small technical things you can do that will help, like having a catchy title, using keywords in your post, using headings, blah blah blah.
Yes that stuff helps. But to help you understand the REAL way you rank #1, let’s think about Google as a business.
What is Google’s goal?
Google is a search engine, right? So their #1 goal is to get answers to peoples’ questions. If someone types in “how to make perfect pasta” then goddamnit Google is going to find them the best damn article about making the best damn pasta. Google is going to scour the internet to find that one recipe that helped millions of people walk away with perfect pasta that they love.
Google wants to help you find the BEST and MOST RELIABLE answer to your question or problem.
So if you think about it like that, you’ll realize that you can’t use techy tricks to have the best content. No amount of stuffing “perfect pasta”, “perfect pasta”, “perfect pasta” into your post is going to create a real recipe for SERIOUSLY PERFECT PASTA.
Because it’s not about the words in your post—it’s about the results, right? Having the words “perfect pasta” in a blog post doesn’t give you perfect pasta. A really awesome recipe is how you get perfect pasta. And Google knows that.
That’s why SEO isn’t about “techy hacks” or even “keywords”. It’s about providing the best damn content you can.
It USED to be about the techy bits (like keywords and headings and stuff) because years ago, Google wasn’t smart. It needed you to put in keywords for it to understand what your page was about.
Now, Google is smarter. It doesn’t need a lot of help to figure out what your post is all about.
That’s why the #1 way to improve your SEO is to write great content.
- Pick a topic. Not a general topic like “how to make money”, but a specific topic like “how to make 1 million dollars selling perfect pasta recipes on your blog”. Specificity rocks.
- Then write the hell out of that post. Pour YOUR EVERYTHING into it. If you want Google to love this post then you need PEOPLE to love this post.
- Love your post. Share your post. Get those other people who love your post to share it too.
- If you prove to the world that your post is really seriously awesome, Google will recognize that. Google will see it as THE ANSWER TO PEOPLES’ PRAYERS and see you as the authority figure for how to make serious profit selling perfect pasta recipes. Even if your images suck and you forgot to fill in the alt text (sigh), Google will be like, “This girl ain’t got technical skills worth shit, but dude, she knows her pasta. Look at all the people who loved this post. It HELPS PEOPLE. Throw that post up there! TO THE TOP!”
Real, actionable steps to create great content.
If it’s all about making your post as epic as possible, then let’s go over a few tips to create some seriously awesome content:
Be specific. I talked about this before, but I need to reiterate it. The more vague you are, the harder it’s going to be to compete with ALL THE OTHER VAGUENESS. This can be as simple as: “how to start a blog” versus “how to start a book blog”.
Everyone and their mother is a blogger, but there are a lot less book bloggers. And realistically, if someone’s looking to start a book blog they’re probably going to include “book” in their search. So by catering your post to THAT SPECIFIC PERSON rather than everyone and their mother, you have a better chance of finding the right audience and having them love your post.
Write longer posts. Data shows that a huge portion of the #1 ranking sites are LONG. They’re wordy. Like 1500 massive words.
This is probably because longer posts tend to have more value. They dig more in depth and therefore solve problems more thoroughly. If someone is indeed looking for a solution to their problem, they’re going to want ALL THE INFO. More info = more value = more love for your post.
That being said, don’t make your post longer just for the sake of it. Don’t fill it with waffle (I love waffles though). Instead, ask yourself this: can I add more REAL VALUE? If so, add it. If not, then don’t. You want to add more content if there’s more to say. You don’t want to add it for no reason (like just to rank higher—because then that’s a stupid way to try to trick Google and it won’t work).
Solve problems. Not every single post has to solve a problem. Some posts can exist just for entertainment, and that’s fine. But when people are Googling for stuff, it’s usually because they have a problem they want to solve or they want a question they want answered. I don’t know about you, but most of my search queries start with “how to…”
And what do you know.. my most visited pages on my entire blog also start with “how to”. Check them out:
- How to Choose a Good Blog Name (96,108 page views)
- How to Add a Drop Down Menu Navigation in Blogger (43,049 page views)
- How to add an Image Slider to Your Blogger Blog (28,387 page views)
So if it fits in with your site, start solving problems. Answer questions.
But if the purpose of your site is entertainment then this whole point proooobably doesn’t apply to you.
Good SEO means writing awesome posts and having a blog that PEOPLE love.
Don’t write your posts in a certain way to try to please Google.
Write your posts in a certain way to try to please PEOPLE.
If you make the people happy, Google will be like, “Party over here on Nose Graze! The people are FLOCKING!” and send you up to the top of the rankings so more people can party with you.