SEO (search engine optimization) is one of the most talked about topics that bloggers hear about. Whether we want to understand it or not, bloggers need to be aware of the basics of SEO. If we choose to ignore it, we’ll either miss the opportunity to get free organic search traffic or (even worse) risk being de-indexed by Google completely.
Today, in this episode of my #FridayFinds series, let’s take a look at some of the basics of SEO. My first find is chock full of SEO tips for publishing on LinkedIn and my second find recaps a roundup of eleven articles from bloggers including Dr. Peter J. Meyers (MOZ.com), Christopher Ratcliff (eConsultancy.com), David Shiffman (SEMRush.com), Garrett Moon (CoSchedule.com), Danny Sullivan (SearchEngineLand.com), Jayson DeMers (AudienceBloom.com) and Rizvan Ullah (Ranktactics.com).
You’ll also find some videos from Matt Cutts and John Mueller. Some of these posts are older but (I believe) they’re evergreen.
LinkedIn and SEO
Do you publish on LinkedIn? If you do, you’ll want to check out The Linkedin Publishing Platform and SEO by Paul Shapiro on SearchWilderness.com. While this post is a little older than those that I usually include in my #FridayFinds (published on 10/13/14, it’s still worthy of being included. After all, it is based on a data analysis of “3,000 posts to see what works in the SERPS” (search engine result pages).
In all you’ll find the answers to these eight questions:
- Based on the audience that you want to attract, what level of education should you be writing for?
- What’s the optimal number of images to use to generate the greatest number of backlinks?
- Should you embed multimedia into your LinkedIn posts?
- Are “How-to” posts or posts that ask questions popular?
- Are headings effective in attracting views and backlinks?
- How does word count affect the number of backlinks and views that a post gets?
- Does the tone of your post (neutral, negative or positive) have an impact on the average number of backlinks?
- How many characters should your post title be?
Paul’s article (originally posted this article on OkDork.com) included this great infographic:
SEO – Simply Said:
One of my personal favorites (and one of my most often shared articles) is Does SEO Confuse You? I have to admit it’s a post that I wrote here but it’s also from my #FridayFinds series.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with my “Friday Finds” series. They’re roundup posts where I find some of the best (and often in-depth) articles on a topic. Then, I give you the “Readers Digest” version by bullet-pointing the highlights, elaborating on anything that I think may need an introduction and then encouraging you to explore those articles that you want to learn more about.
It’s a great way to introduce you to some of the best resources on the web (and it doesn’t hurt for me to link to authority sites). Although, not all of the sites fall into that category, many are up and coming blogging stars.
So, (without further ado), here are the highlights of the 11 articles that I shared in that post:
- Basic SEO Tips: The article a SEO Beginners guide by Christopher Ratcliff (on Econsultancy.com) was published a year ago (and Google Authorship was still intact) but it’s well written and definitely a good start. If you’re new to terms like anchor text , xml sitemaps and bounce rates, you may want to bookmark this one.
- Semantic Search: Are You Confused by Google Semantics? is a guest post that Jeannette Paladino (of WriteSpeakSell.com) wrote for my readers. What makes this article deserving of a share is that it is written by a social media writer and blogger. Rather than trying to impressing us with her knowledge of SEO techniques, she focuses on using phasing and keywords as we write.
- Post Title Length: The importance of the length of your post titles came into light after Google redesigned their SERP (Search Engine Result Page) format. Dr. Peter J. Meyers’ post New Title Tag Guidelines & Preview Tool (on MOZ.com) was published in March of 2014. Although there have been many articles written about this topic since, this one will shed some insight that you may not find elsewhere. (The preview tool is nice too.)
- Headlines & SEO: In his post, The Real Reason Headlines Are Important for Improved Rankings, David Shiffman (on SEMRush.com) shares five actionable steps that should help you start writing headlines that will increase the number of shares, clicks and comments to drive more traffic back to your site.
- Headlines & EMV (Emotional Value): Those of you who know me, probably know that I’m a huge fan of the EMV (Emotional Marketing Value) analyzer tool (more of that in #6). I had already been using that tool for a while when I came upon Garrett Moon’s post with proof that emotional headlines get shared more (on CoSchedule.com).
- A Tool for Analyzing your Headlines: I’ve been using the Advanced Marketing Institute’s free tool to write better headlines for almost two years now. (If you have a different favorite tool, please tell us about it in the comments.) Meanwhile, if you’re interested, here’s more about the EMV anlalyzer tool and other tips to improve your blog.
- Google Panda 4.1 & Quality Content: Google Panda was first rolled out in February of 2011. It was when Google Panda 4.1 rolled out (in September of last year), that I published Google Panda 4.1 & Quality Content. The bloggers I featured that week included: Danny Sullivan (com), Jayson DeMers (founder & CEO of AudienceBloom.com) and Rizvan Ullah, (the founder of Ranktactics).
- Writing Quality Content: I was turning into a big Jayson Demers fan at the time I wrote this post. Jason had recently published 12 Essential Elements Of High-Quality Content, (on Forbes.com). The twelve elements include: content length, embedded media, grammar & spelling, page & text formatting, readability scores, authoritative content, guest authors, social signals, internal & external links, domain quality, comment quality and value.)
- Manual Web Spam Actions & Backlinks: Anyone remember Google’s manual web spam actions back in March of 2014? Many well-known and respected bloggers found themselves totally de-indexed by Google and some never recovered. This post included two Matt Cutts’ videos about algorithmic penalties and manual actions due to unnatural links. It also included some tips from me including how to add the nofollow attribute tag. While this all seems in the past, there are a lot of lessons to learn here.
- Spam Comments: Most bloggers get their fair share of spam and bloggers who use the CommentLuv commenting plugin, seem to get more than our share (usually from spammers looking for backlinks on DoFollow enabled blogs). This Matt Cutts video (from August 2013) is still one of the best explanations I’ve seen/read on unnatural links.
- SEO & Link Building: My final share is the article Why Google Says Building Links Can Harm Your SEO Efforts by Joshua Steimle (published on Forbes.com on 2/17/15.) The gist of his article is that it’s not link building that can harm your SEO efforts but building bad links. Joshua embedded a video of a Google hangout with webmaster trend analyst John Mueller in which his answer to the question “is link building in any way good?” was “In general, I’d try to avoid that.” Bottom-line, we shouldn’t force building links. We should be building links naturally.
Over To You:
Do you find SEO exciting, confusing or somewhere in between? What are some of your favorite SEO resources? Did you find Paul Shapiro’s post about publishing on LinkedIn helpful? Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comments. As I always say, we can all learn from each other.
If you would like to connect with this week’s featured authors on Google+, you can find them here: Paul Shapiro, Christopher Ratcliff, Jeannette Paladino, Dr. Peter J. Meyers, David Shiffman, Garrett Moon, Jayson Demers, John Mueller, Joshua Steimle, and me (Sherryl Perry).