How Google Analytics, SEO and Keyword Research Nearly Kicked My Ass
When I decided it was time to etch out a living as a writer, I explored all possibilities. My focus soon narrowed in on content writing for business owner’s websites. After all, how hard could it be to write and sell quality blog posts to fired up entrepreneurs?
I was also (rightfully so) shocked at the low quality of blog posts containing grammatical, syntax and even spelling errors, as well as just not providing valuable information in an interesting way. This was going to be a breeze.
What I hadn’t counted on was how much technical knowledge was needed to actually do this effectively. Writing an interesting, fresh, pertinant blog post for a an electrical contractor, a realtor, a family law attorney or whoever was easy. But learning how to write blogs in a way that someone would actually find them and just as importantly, act on them, was another matter entirely.
That was the beginning of my long, often overwhelming education in this ever-evolving science, and this is what I’ve learned.
What Is Content Writing Supposed To Do, Anyway?
Before my self-proclaimed writing genuis can even be appreciated, it has to be found. This involves the use of keywords. Keywords are words or phrases that the search engines look for across the entire web that match as closely as possible to the words or phrases the potential site visitor types into a Google, Bing, Yahoo or other search engine search bar.
But wait There’s more!
Organic Keywords vs. Pay-Per-Click
Organic keywords are words or phrases that you use in your website content specifically because they are likely to match up with what your target audience will use to search for your type of business. The more these words or phrases appear on your site, the more the web crawlers (search engines) will likely rank you higher on the page within these searches.
Example: Investment Homes Las Vegas
Pay-Per-Click are mini ad campaigns that you launch within Google that also utilize keywords, except these you pay for every time someone clicks on your site after typing in these words or phrases.
What Almost Kicked My Ass
If you ever want to turn your brain to instant mush try going on one of the sites like Semrush or MOZ and delve into all of the criteria and analytics they use in their intricate logarhythms to help determine which keywords would be the most optimal for your purpose. I’m confident you will soon realize, as I did, that this is a science that requires years to properly utilize. And it’s changing and growing by the hour.
Search Engine Optimization
I thought SEO was complicated enough, until I embarked down the deep path toward understanding keywords. SEO deals more with how your website is arranged, again so that it will most likely be pulled up as close to the first page on a search engine when a web searcher types in keywords pertaining to your business or offering.
Even after you build your website and be sure to include lots of words or phrases you just know your potential customers will be typing in, don’t think you’re done, because….
Wait! There’s more!
A Tag Is No Longer Just On That Shirt You Bought At Ross
There is a certain order to things, or at least there very well better be, in the way you organize your content on your website.
A tag is no longer just a price tag on that shirt you bought at Ross. A tag is a heirarchial organization system that make it easier for a search engine to identify what your site is about and make an accurate determination if your site is relevant to the search words or phrases a person types into their search bar.
They are organized from T1 down, with your website name usually being in the first slot, the page title in the second and on down through the content of each page on your website in an effort to organize your content and match it up to potential searches.
You can design a website that is absolutely stunning and brilliant, but if you haven’t paid attention to the tag organization, you, your buddies on Facebook and your immediate family members will likely be the only visitors to your site.
And Blog Posts? Simple, Right?
Not exactly. In fact, not at all. I have seen a slew of bad blog posts on some of the most well developed sites. They can be particularly ineffective in two, distnict ways.
Either they are written packed with keywords placed to attract the search engines to the point that the post is cumbersome to read or they are well-written but lack any keywords, so no one ever finds them.
So What Makes Great Content?
Whether it is web content itself or an actual blog on your site, every word on there should be written with these goals in mind.
Help search engines find your site under a relevant search query.
Once found, the content should be engaging enough to keep the reader there.
The content should move the reader through the sales funnel to “click conversion,” (a fancy word for getting the visitor to engage in a further commitment.)
The content should establish the site owner as an industry expert and build trust in the reader.
Encourage the visitor/reader to return to the site for further valuable information.
Enable the site owner to gather important marketing data on visitors and provide a way to further engage them toward becoming repeat customers.
Be error free, engaging, memorable and fresh.
It’s a lot for content to accomplish. It has been a lot to learn and it is an ongoing learning process.
That is why great blog posts take a while to write and why it makes sense to invest in truly well-written, planned out content.
It almost kicked my professional ass. But just as with life itself, it is an ongoing learning process that never ends, always presents new challenges and feels like a major home run when you begin to get it right.
© 2017 Elisa Fortise Christensen