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What is SEO & How Does It Work?

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SEO is always in a constant state of chance; however, researching keywords remains a constant and critical part of  optimizing your blog and website for content search engines. To find the best keywords, you must put yourself into the minds of your consumers. What do your customers search for when looking for the products/services you provide? Just what is SEO and how does it work?

People are all different, of course. What one person might use to search for a book or editor may be different than the keywords used by another person. Because it is near impossible to predict exactly what someone might call a book genre or favorite read, it may seem daunting to pick ideal keywords for SEO strategy.

Have no fear! There are some simple steps that you can use to ensure your research is thorough. We’ll look at focusing your efforts to achieve a goal to target more consumers and get better results starting with your next blog post.

1. Understanding SEO = Vital

Only search engine traffic can increase the number of visitors to your blog or website. Getting new visitors and eventually converting them into regular and consistent readers should be the goal of every blogger.

To do so, you must be familiar with SEO basics. If you’re just starting out a beginner and your knowledge of SEO marketing is little to nothing, you should know firstly that you need to have a domain and hosting. I recommend that, to be taken seriously, you have your own domain. Having a personalized domain is something you must purchase. Many hosting services offer personal domains to purchase. The moment you decide to start blogging or your own website, purchase a domain and hosting service. When you’re ready to produce and upload content, you are ready to go and already one step ahead on the SEO marketing path.

Google is designed to function as an assistive research device to provide searchers for the most relevant and useful results. Your job is to make sure you create original content for SEO Google to crawl. By “original content” we mean to create original posts and website information, as well as photos, videos, plugins, podcasts, tools and anything else you might think your reader will enjoy on your site.

Original content yet different in small ways like images, etc., means faster results on  SERPS (search engine ranking positions), as well as more sharing.

When talking about SEO, we’re talking BLM – backlinks matter. A backlink is when a website or a blog link’s back to your blog from their site/blog. This is why you should build relevant backlinks and use as naturally as possible within the content. Backlinks should be both internal (to your own blog content since they count as well) and external (to leverage other blogs/websites’ SEO marketing and audiences.

In addition, you should ensure your blog theme is SEO optimized. Doing so will make Google recognize you as a trustworthy website. It also separates your from your competition.

2. Optimal keyword research

Poor keyword research gets you poor optimization, and that gets you poor results. To avoid that, think about credibility. Search engines are set up to rank the most credible, comprehensive results for provided keywords.

“Keyword optimized content” is when large groups of people are searching for specific keywords or content and the search engines pick up on those keywords as the leaders in that field.

However, keep in mind that if your keyword is too popular or an overused buzzword, the chances of you ranking well are low. You should opt for more specific keywords to boost your blog and site rankings.

Avoid keyword stuffing since Google frowns on that and your content is likely to get penalized. Instead, you need to use LSI keywords – phrases and words that highly correlate to your topic that Google will crawl. Here is a great resource for creating LSI keywords.

3. Don’t count on tools for keywords

Technology is there to support us during long or tedious jobs, when our attention to create content is too great to catch mistakes or issues. While tools that can help you find keywords that exist, they are not 100% accurate or precise. Your blog or site can end up being hindered by relying on tools to do all of your keyword research for you.

Data from keyword tools can be inaccurate and the tools have no way to know what keywords are the most accurate for your content. You know your content and intent best. But be careful of using low-volume keywords also. Doing so can damage getting larger audiences to your channel.

Keyword research tools only give you the best guess on search volume numbers, which is based on the information your tools have access to. But you can still utilize keyword tools to your benefit. For example, use the data gathered for comparison.

Using multiple keyword tools is good. You can easily scan through your keyword lists in order to filter out phrases which might be better than others. Overall, the more data you have, the better

4. Content length

Content is everything to SEO optimization. When you want to achieve visibility, you have to ask what is good content? A big factor to determine that is the length.

Consider having no fewer than 700 words in your content. Doing so allows you to include alternatives to your target keywords and to provide a sufficient amount of info for your readers. However, sometimes less is more. Many well-ranked blogs often only have 300 words.

Medium, a popular online social blogging platform, suggests that the ideal blog posts are 7 minutes long. In 7 minutes, an average visitor will read about 1,600 words. So, sometimes, even longer posts have done well.

What it boils down to is to to write what you feel is the appropriate length for the content you’re producing. If the content is longer or shorter, you need to find creative ways to naturally insert long tail keywords and their variations throughout the post.

Sit down and write. If your writing is good then your audience won’t mind if it is too long or too short. Good writing can’t be measured by length or time spent reading alone.

5. Quality

Lastly, focus on having a good quality score for the keywords you select. New keywords added to your account get a  Google-assigned quality score of 6, as a starting point. Then, numerous factors determine whether your score increases, such as landing page experience, expected CTR, and relevance.

Quality Score is used by Google to determine relevance and quality of your page in relation to a specific keyword. That is then used to calculate your cost per click (CPC) and ad rank. Your ad rank and how much you will have to pay whenever someone clicks on your ad highly depend on your Quality Score.

Quality keywords are divided into 4 groups – low intent, high intent, brand, and competitor. Low intent keywords are navigational or informational searches and a good quality score for them is 7. High intent SEO keywords are those that are commercially relevant, and a good quality score for them is 7-9.

You want to keep your brand keywords above an 8, while an ideal competitor keyword would be a 3+. Of course, you want to find a keyword with a good score that still sounds natural and a part of the content. Develop paragraphs around your keyword(s) so that they don’t stick out.

I recommend using only one or two keywords. Trying to use a lot of keywords when writing a blog post can be really tough if you want to sound natural. If you are a professional writer who writes all day long, it can be even more difficult. Writing consecutively each day may make it hard to figure out what is natural and what isn’t natural sounding in writing.

Try to use keywords so that they are hardly noticeable. Don’t repeat yourself. Don’t write more than you meant to just so you can use a keyword in your text. If you’re still not sure whether or not your text sounds natural, try reading it out loud to yourself and see if it sounds funny or weird in any way.

Basically, if you want to keep everything natural (even if using a lot of data when it comes to blogging and keywords) follow these tips and you will find long tail keywords that are better, more precise, and then can incorporate them into your blog posts.

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About BC

BC Brown grew up in Vincennes, Indiana, and moved to Phoenix, Arizona, in 2013. She started blogging in 2006 about one year before publishing her first fantasy novel under the pen name B.B. Walter.

After committing nearly every bad deed in the proverbial book of how to be an author, BC began studying marketing and public relations. She now provides common sense marketing for authors that is simple to implement. She continues to write and publish in the urban fantasy, contemporary fiction, and transgressive fiction genres (see more). Readers will also find her blogging on a number of social justice issues, nerdy fan content, and her obsession, karaoke. BC also blogs frequently about Deaf culture and being differently-abled.

She set up Fantastically Weird Media in 2010 to publish her second novel when she realized she wanted to independently control her own publishing as well as offer editing and marketing services to fellow writers. You can interact with BC online via her blog at www.bcbrownbooks.com on Facebook and Twitter @BCBrownBooks or Instagram @BCBrownBooks