Join Morten Rand-Hendriksen for an in-depth discussion in this video SEO and sharing, part of Blogging for Your Business (2013).
Back in the good old days of the web, you could trick the search engines into giving your website higher preference, by writing your web code in a certain way. And adding extra bits of information on your site. Those days are long gone. And today is the content itself. And how that content is shared that makes the big difference. Search is still important but sharing is quickly overtaking this old method of finding content, so focusing on optimizing your site for sharing should be your first priority. Luckily much of this share optimization will also improve your ranking on search engines.
And in most cases it has more to do with good writing. Then it has to be with tinkering with code. On the technology card, there's a list showing the technical elements of sharing and search engine optimization. And how effective each of these are. These technical elements combined with strategic writing, will help you get your content found. Shared and clicked on. Let's a closer look. A regular blog post consists of three main elements. The title, the content, and the taxonomies.
Many posts also have a fourth optional element in the form of images. All these play into how your content is shared. And how it's indexed on search engines. If you only have your regular title and your regular content. Here's what will happen. When the post is shared on social media, the title will be picked up and displayed in the title field in the preview. Below that, the descriptive field will show the first couple of sentences of your article.
What happens in search engines, depends on what kind of search the user made. The title of the post will be the title in the search result but the description will either be the first couple of sentences. Or it'll be a sentence that matches the search results exactly. This last part is important to know. If you want people to find your content when they make specific searches make sure those searches are actually spelled out in your posts. That way Google and Bing can match them exactly.
For search, the title and the post content, is of medium value. But, for share, they are both of low value because these fields are shortened, and post titles and intros are rarely written with sharing in mind. That's where the meta-title and description fields come in. The meta title and description will only be visible in search engine results and when the content is shared on social media. That means, you can customize these fields to make the content more find able and share able. When filling these fields out, keep in mind that they're short. So put the most important information first.
If the original post title was how massive corp saved thousands on installing solar panels the metatitle should be solar panels saves thousands from massive corp, so the key phrases, solar panels and saves, are at the very front. The description should be short and should ask and answer a question, and be descriptive of the content of the post. All in 160 characters or less. Tricky, but it can be done. The third element is taxonomies or categories in text. Though these have only medium impact on search.
They're still important and here's why. When search engines index your site, they use a spider script that crawls through your entire site. Following every hyperlink that they can find. That means that if you set up a smart taxonomies structure and organize your content well. Google will index your content based on this structure. And this will, in turn, make your content easier to find. There are no tricks here. Simply good organization. So categorize and tag your posts, and you'll see a small return. When it comes to images, there are two main elements that matter. The featured image, and the image alt attribute.
The featured image option usually standard in blogging platforms flags one image in your post for use elsewhere. In your blog this usually means the page appears as a thumbnail on index pages, and the same is true when your post is shared on social media. In the post preview on Facebook and Google plus you'll see the title, the description and the featured image. If you don't select the featured image the services will find a random image on the page and use that instead and that doesn't always work out the way you want it to. The image alt attribute is an overlooked element that can have a great impact on search ranking.
We'll go over the alt attribute later in the course but here's the just of it. The alt attribute is the alternative description of the image displayed if the image is not displayed. This text gets indexed by search engines meaning if you put relevant information about the post and the image in the alt attribute, searches on Google will turn up the image. Let me give you a practical example. If I was a Realtor for Burnaby British Columbia, and I posted my photo on my blog with the alt attribute set to Morgan Ran Hendrickson only people searching for my name would find that image.
But if I set the alt attribute to Burnaby Realtor Morgan Ran Hendrickson. Any one searching for Burnaby realtor will see my face in the image search, simple and effective. Just remember that alt attribute is the description of the image. If you start putting other information in there intead that is not related then Google police will come and get you. Like I said, share and search optimization is more about good strategy than it is about technology. By writing share-friendly meta-titles and descriptions, organizing your content well, assigning a featured image, and setting descriptive alt attributes, you will boost your blog's presence online with minimal effort.
- Why blog for business?
- Defining goals for your blog
- Deciding where to host a blog
- Picking a platform
- Creating a content strategy
- Designing the blog
- Scheduling posts
- Promoting posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks