Momtrepreneur 101: Using Search Engines For Your Mommy Blog
Launching a new blog is hard enough, understanding all the nuances of how to be successful on the internet doesn’t have to be another part of the puzzle. Whether you are starting fresh or working on an existing site, improving how your website appears in Google will increase the number of visitors to your posts and grow the number of followers you have.
Google (and Bing, Yahoo, and all the other search engines) use algorithms to determine what their users are most likely looking for and serve relevant content. With strong content and an eye for search engine optimization (SEO), you can help increase where your site appears.
Today, we’ll share some best practices for how Mommy Bloggers can create a strong foundation for search engines and bring more readers to your posts.
Think about how people search for things
Someone searching for first birthday gift ideas might type “1st Birthday Gift Ideas”, and it’s unlikely that they would type “First Birthday Gift Guide”. As you work to establish SEO on your site it is important to think like the person you want to read your content.
Before starting a new post, pick a phrase you’d like your blog to rank for. Each post should have one term or phrase that you focus on. In the example above, the phrase you want to rank for is what you expect people to search – 1st Birthday Gift Ideas. This is the keyword you will focus on for your post.
If you want to see how many people search for your keyword, you can use the Google Keyword Planner to check how many searches happen per month. For businesses, search volume is key to driving more traffic. For a blog, it’s more important to have good quality content that draws your readers in. Phrases with low search volume will have a more highly targeted reader who might be interested in sticking around for other posts in the future.
Use keywords intentionally
Once you’ve selected a keyword, use that phrase 3-4 times throughout your new post. Follow the checklist below to ensure that your keyword is properly integrated into your post.
- Title and URL
- First paragraph
- Photos [in the file name and alt tag]… see example below
Write good content
Google ultimately wants to help people find the answer to what they are searching for. Writing good content is the most important piece of that. At a minimum, you want each post to be 300 words long.
Longer posts are acceptable for Google but remember that the average attention span is short. If your topic is robust, you might benefit from breaking up a 3,000 word post into a series of posts that drive people to return back to your blog later.
Follow the rules for sponsored content
Both Google and the FTC have been keeping an eye on bloggers creating rules and recommendations to ensure that the public knows when an influencer is posting authentically or on behalf of a sponsor.
Paid content should always be properly disclosed and all links to the sponsor’s website should be marked as ‘no follow’. Websites that accept paid placements without using no follow links may be considered link farms and may be marked as spam.
What to do with tags and categories
A lot of bloggers use tags and categories as a place to add a ton of possible keywords, when those areas are intended to help organize your blog and make it more effective to find what you are looking for.
When optimizing a post for search engines, be sparing with your tag usage. Limit yourself to 3 or 4 tags that are related to your chosen keyword. For the first birthday example above, you might use the following:
- Birthday gifts
- Gift ideas
- 1st birthday
For categories, select only one. Categories are for organization and often used to help create navigation for your blog. Marking a post in multiple categories might make it difficult for you to determine where it belongs later.
SEO can seem like a daunting topic at first, but over time, with practice, writing for search engines will become second nature.
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Annie is a lifestyle blogger from the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains. She lives just outside Denver with her husband Drew and their Corgi Rogue. Offline she works as a marketing manager specializing in digital marketing and social media. You can find Annie, and her passion for all things Colorado, DIY, Cooking and Decor at RockyMtnBliss. or on Twitter at @RockyMtnBliss.