Good day you lovely lot! Today we have something very different than our usual fashion witterings for you. Since we started our little blog back in May, we’ve noticed a lot of talk about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and you all seem pretty interested to know more about it and how you can apply it to make the most of your blog.
Lauren and I work in a marketing agency and SEO is a big part of our daily jobs, so we thought we could put a couple of posts together to give any of you who are clueless about it a very basic overview. I will state that we’re both in the early stages of our careers, and so aren’t claiming to be in any way absolute experts in the field. Our own blog isn’t even SEO’d as much as it should be, mainly because we can’t really be bothered and like to do this more for fun. But there are a few simple steps that we follow to add some SEO benefit to our blog that you can also do to your own.
This first post is going to contain SEO tips in relation to your own blog, but we also have a second one planned. That will be focused on how SEO agencies are approaching bloggers, and what you need to know about sponsored posts, do-follow links and all that jazz – this is something else which we’ve seen spoken quite a lot about on Twitter and various sites recently, and so can help clear up one or two points there too!
So without further ado, let’s get this motherbitch started.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. To put it basically, SEO is about making your blog as search engine-friendly as possible. Ever wondered why some sites always appear at the top of the search pages in Google? SEO is the main driving force behind this.
The two main prongs of SEO are on-page optimisations and off-page optimisations. On-page, as the name suggests, is everything on your blog that can help Google to ‘see’ you and rank you higher in results. Off-page is what goes on outside of your own blog that can still help you, such as having links to your blog on other people’s websites and blogs.
What Can You Do?
Choose Your Title Posts Wisely
You fashion and beauty bloggers are a creative lot, and something we all see a lot are blog posts with imaginative titles. Song lyrics that sum up your mood or outfit are nice from a creative point of view, but don’t help you much in terms of SEO. Try to include some keywords in the title of your posts. For example, if you do a review of the Barry M Gelly Polish, then title your post ‘Review: Barry M Gelly Polish’. We know it’s pretty Snoresville, but people search Google using those words and so your blog is more likely to come up in the results. Quite a bit of our traffic comes from search engines, and we think this is largely down to our boring-but-literal titles.
Also, think about how you personally use search engines. A lot of searches start with phrases like ‘how to’ and ‘what do’, so incorporate these into our post titles if you can. For example, if your outfit post features you styling a pair of dungarees then titling this post ‘How To Wear Dungarees’ or ‘What to Wear With Dungarees’ could really help you.
Include Some Keywords
Similarly, you should try to include a few key phrases within the body of your post. If you want your review to rank higher, then including a few instances of the phrase ‘review of [product]’ ‘[product] review’ can help. This doesn’t have to be difficult or impact on your writing style – just an introductory sentence such as ‘Here’s my review of [product]’ can help.
Avoid the temptation to start over-stuffing keywords into your posts though. ‘Here is my [product] review. I hope you like my review of [product]. I enjoyed writing this [product] review. [Product] [product] [product] REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW’ will make Google HATE you (nothing personal, Google just hates people very easily).
A lot of beauty and fashion bloggers love guest posting on one another’s blogs. Not only is it a great way to reach a new bunch of readers and spread word of your blog, but it’s also got SEO benefit. Search engines take into account how many sites link back to your blog – it’s generally considered that the more sites linking to you, then the more important your blog must be, and so the higher you’ll rank. So writing a guest post for someone else and linking back to your blog is really useful.
However, there is a focus on quality not quantity. Spamming sites with your link won’t get you anywhere – in fact, sites and blogs that have a lot of backlinks from really low-quality sites, or ones that are completely irrelevant to your niche, can be penalised by the big G (Google, not God… we don’t know where he stands on spam).
Use Your Google+
Some of you may have Google+ and dismiss it as the most boring and useless of the social media accounts. Most boring? Definitely. But most useless? Definitely not. There’s a lot of buzz around at the moment that suggests that the more authoritative someone’s G+ profile is, the higher that whatever they write will rank. This is because they’ll be seen as somewhat of an ‘expert’ in their field, so Google will push their posts to the top. Linking your G+ account to your blog can make your face pop up in results pages, like this:
Yes, I do feel famous sometimes.
We hope you’ve found some of these tips useful, and feel free to share this post out to other fashion and beauty bloggers who might be a little baffled by this SEO business. There are a few other articles dotted around the net that you might find helpful:
Stay tuned for our Part 2!