A few weeks ago, I received a call from a very large direct selling company about my social media consulting and training services. “You were easy to find,” the gal who called me said. “If you Google “direct sales social media” you’re the first thing that comes up.” I went and checked, and she was right. Both this blog, as well as the wordpress.com blog where I started writing, come up on the first page.
Now many posts with this type of title will teach you all about advanced SEO techniques to achieve this in a few weeks. I didn’t do any of that. Instead, I focused almost exclusively on providing focused, valuable content that would be of interest to my niche. And I’ve done it consistently for several years. As a result, I have that placement on Google.
And you don’t need advanced degrees to do it. While I have a basic understanding of how SEO works, I am far from an expert. Here’s exactly what I did:
- Blog Title. I chose a blog title with the main keywords people might use to find the kind of content I write about. It’s no accident that my blog comes up with a search for direct sales social media, because the title of the blog is “Direct Sales & Social Media.”
- Titles and 1st Paragraphs. The titles and first paragraphs of my posts use keywords too. I try to use a mix of the terms most used by people in my target market, when looking for my type of content. Now I must stress I don’t do it all the time. It’s content first for me. But whenever possible, I do use those terms, and it helps.
- Daily Articles. This is a biggie. Google ranks fresh content the highest. I write an article every weekday. This certainly helps.
- Incoming Links. I have a great many incoming links to my site. Some of these come from Twitter and Facebook when I share my posts. Others come when other people share my work, or link to it from their sites. And why do they share it? Because it’s valuable, and relevant to their contacts. Consistent value is the key. I’ve also registered my site on blog sites such as technorati.com. These also help.
- Tags. I make sure to add relevant tags to every post I write. These help a bit with SEO.
- Length of Domain Ownership. I’ve registered this domain, jenfongspeaks.com, for 10 years. Google takes the longevity of domain ownership into consideration as part of its ranking algorithm.
- A Little Bit of SEO. I use a few plugins on my blog to help with Search Engine Optimization. These include Google XML Sitemaps and SEO Title Tag. I’m sure there are more I could be using to increase my SEO rank, but as I said, I’m a lot more focused on content and my audience than my Google rank.
Now of course, I’ve been at this for years. I wrote my very first post on January 11, 2009. And I wasn’t on the first page of Google my first day. 🙂
If you want to do organic search engine optimization, the main things to keep in mind are consistency of message, valuable content that people will share, and making sure people know about your content by sharing it yourself through your social networks. It takes time to build up a blog following. But by sticking with it, your site will rank higher, and the people will come.
Do you take search engine optimization into account? What tips can you share? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments!