The Basics of SEO

This week we have a guest post from the amazing Kimberly Herrington. She’s going to share some of her SEO expertise to help keep you on the right track.

SEO is a topic most writers shy away from because it’s not approachable and can get technical very quickly. Even some of the most experienced digital marketers have a hard time dealing with SEO. But as a writer, you have a major advantage when it comes to SEO and it’s time to start using it. SEO stands for search engine optimization and is the process of making websites search engine friendly and encompasses everything from how content is created to technical website things.

While SEO can be daunting, authors know more than anyone else that writing for a specific audience in mind is one of the keys to great writing. This gives you a huge advantage to make SEO more approachable! Have you considered that part of your audience is Google? Google is a reader of your website and makes up a large part of your audience, even if you’ve never thought of it from that perspective before.

Think of Google as an Audience Member

Google’s search engine is essentially an intelligent machine. It uses tools like artificial intelligence to judge the value of content and websites. Above all, Google wants you to use their search engine to find what you need because that’s how they make their money through advertising. If you get frustrated because you can’t find what you want on Google, you might decide to go use another search engine.

Google’s search ranking criteria, called a ranking factors, act as a weighted checklist to test the value of content and websites. Above all else, Google wants to find content that fills searchers’ needs. Think of it this way: Google is your most needy, demanding audience members combined into one person. It’s your job to make Google happy because that means pleasing the hardest to please in your audience.

How to Make Google Happy

Making your website Google-friendly with SEO is a long, ever changing journey. But at the very core, defining your audience and their needs is the center and lifeblood of successful SEO. As a writer, you’re likely already great at being creative and coming up with ideas of how to solve problems with your writing. You have the ideal SEO toolset already.

Take a few minutes to think about what your audience wants. Why are they searching for you or what you offer on your website? How can you answer that need in your website copy and digital marketing?Creating content that answers these needs on your website is the first step to successful SEO.

At the beginning of starting SEO, don’t worry about keyword optimization, fighting with your website’s code, or any of the more in-depth parts of SEO. Instead, focus in on narrowing down those audience needs and creating content that answers them. If you’re doing well, you’ll quickly discover that your audience responds, engages, and your SEO benefits from it.

Kim HerringtonKim Herrington is an SEO & Analytics expert who helps digital entrepreneurs get found online, learn how to use SEO to gain more traffic, and create better content that sells. You can get the latest SEO news with actionable tips plus a one-hour challenge to create an opt-in by subscribing to Kim’s weekly SEO newsletter.

Connect with Kim on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


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