Guest blog written by Harry Brumleve
So you’ve set up a blog that you’re passionate about and you’ve written your first few posts. Who has seen it? Your friends? Who is going to see it? Your mom? Likely if you’ve taken the good time to post your thoughts, opinions, and feelings, you are looking to share them with the world. Or at least the world who also cares about your passion.
There are only so many people you can tell. You only have one mom. How can you get more people to read your post, to keep coming back, to leave comments, and to tell their friends?
Wouldn’t it be great to get Google to help you find those people?
Well I have a surprise for you …
Hooking into Google and getting listed on their search result pages is easier than it seems, but it does require an hour or so of work. Tailoring your blog to be picked up by Google is called Search Engine Optimization or SEO. Here are a few basic tips to get started:
1) Go to the Google Webmaster site and login using your Gmail account information (if you don’t have one, you’ll need to create one). In the middle of the page is a button that says, “add a site.” Click on that and add your blog URL. Then follow the directions to get your site verified. If you need help, this is a great video that walks you through the process.
2) Optimize your content. Sure, you should write what you are passionate about, but there’s nothing that says you can’t cheat a little bit to attract more readers. All you have to do is find out what people are searching for on Google and incorporate it into your posts.
With the Google keyword tool, you can enter a few key phrases from your blog post and find out which terms are being searched, then nudge your post in that direction … go on, try it. It’s fun. There also is a tutorial to help you figure out how to use this tool and you can find it here.
3) Recently Google started placing tweets near the top of its search results and is beginning to index Twitter users’ homepages more frequently … that means you need to not only use Twitter (Gini will tell you how to do this next week), but also optimize your tweets.
Just like in the second step, you should tailor your tweets to use popular search terms. Here is a great set of tips from Mashable on SEO for Twitter. Optimized tweets will send more people to your Twitter account and likely to the links you post there. Which brings us to …
4) Measurement. Most blogging platforms, such as WordPress or Blogger, will let you add Google Analytics to your site so that you can track who comes to your site and what they do once they get there. There is a big blue box that says, “Access Analytics.” Underneath that is a link that reads, “sign up now.” Just like the Google Webmaster tools, you’ll need a Gmail account. Enter that information and it’ll take you through the steps to add your blog. Here is another tutorial.
With these simple steps, you’re well on your way to attracting readers who search Google for your blog topic. It’s not hard; it just takes a little bit of time.
For those of you already optimizing your blog, what would you add to this for beginner bloggers?