SEO Witchcraft: How To Get Your Blog On the First Page of Google in 5 Steps
by Jasmin Romero
Say SEO in front of a mirror three times, and the Google god will appear to grant you a wish.
Perfecting search engine optimization (SEO) may feel like conjuring a magic spell: Google changes its algorithm of top rules, words, and techniques daily. It’s a hard set of spells to keep up with, but I’m here to give you some long-lasting ingredients for your SEO cauldron.
Let’s start with the foundation of search engine optimization: a blog.
How Do Blogs Help SEO?
Blog posts are the easiest way to implement SEO, making them the best free marketing tool for your business. A blog can be whatever you want it to be. Defined simply, a blog is a regularly updated webpage with posts that are written in a conversational style.
For example: if you run a website that sells potions, your blog can educate your reader on different types of ingredients in your potions, or which one of your potions will be most effective for turning their enemies into frogs. That way, you can include calls to actions (CTA's) at the end of each blog post that will turn readers into customers, sharing which products they should buy to solve their problems.
Stuck on how to approach coming up with new blog post content? Ask yourself these questions:
Who are you? Whether you run the show or have a whole team behind you, your customers want to put a face to the name. We want to do business with someone we feel like we can trust. The more transparent you are about your background and interests, the easier it will be for potential clients to connect with you.
Why should clients buy your potions and ancient spells? If you went to the ends of the earth to steal the dead sea scrolls and found ancient words of wisdom written on the back, that's probably a valuable experience your customers want to know about. Your experience and who you are can help shed light on why you run the business the way you do.
What service do you provide? Get into the nitty-gritty details of the magic of your services or products. Explain what you or your company does, how someone could use your products or services, and what consumers can expect from purchasing.
Your blog is a great place to share updates on your potions and any new creations you've got coming up, and you can even share some behind the scenes of you coming up with your new batch of brews.
Where is your business located? Are you on Shopify? Or a website with another e-commerce integration? Or do you have a brick-and-mortar location?
Make sure your blog has links to any relevant product pages, tours of any in-person shops or secret alleyways so that your customers know exactly where they can experience your product.
Why should I choose your service? If you‘re going to answer any question at all on your blog, this may be the most important. Tell us why you're different than the rest. Clients are interested in your values and mission statement. It's hard to stand out among the crowd, and this answer may push you to the forefront.
This is also a great way to flex your expertise through sharing what you know: do you source all of your Blackthorne and Feveroot from farm-to-table? What's the difference in the spell potency with organic materials? Your knowledge about your business is your unfair advantage, so go ahead and flaunt it!
How does your business run? This can be your chance to provide clients with behind-the-scenes info. We all want to be "in the know." You can tell us about your ethical business model, explain how packaging is created, or even give us a tour of your warehouse.
If you sell potions, what experience do you have making them? What got you into creating magical gifts to other people so they can transform into mystical creatures with one drop of your Hair of the Unicorn potion?
SEO: The Magic Formula to Get Ranked on Google
These 5 ingredients will help you conjure up some Google magic and get you ranked on the first page in no time:
1. Stir Up Engagement
Create content that is relevant, engaging, and easy to read. On average, half of the visitors that land on your webpage will spend no more than 15 seconds deciding whether they want to stay.
That's why it's critical to hook your audience early with content you know they want to see. The 5 questions listed above are a great place to start but don't be afraid to dig a little deeper.
Answer The Public is a noteworthy website for researching the kind of content your target audience is searching for on Google. This tool helps you find hundreds of questions users are looking for specific to your keyword, and the exact number of people searching for it.
Engagement varies by service. For a beauty brand, engaging content might mean a written post on the different ways to wear their signature lipstick, with an interactive try-on feature. For a therapist, engaging can mean an in-depth article on anxiety with graphics that show stress-relieving activities. For a potions master, maybe that's offering a mini kit of your most popular serums. Think about what your customers are asking for, and answer it in your blog.
Lastly, your blog posts should be enjoyable to read and written in a conversational style that tells a story.
If you look at our written content here at Kingdom of Ink, you'll see that our freelance writers incorporate a storyline into every piece of writing. In every post, we think about structure and theme. Once we create an outline for how we want to share valuable information with you, we color in the blanks with images and words that are easy to digest.
A professor once told me that all published articles should be written for an 8th-grade understanding. Resist the urge to show off all the fancy words you know, as some people may not understand your message.
2. Think About Mobile Design and Experience
Mobile-first indexing has arrived: AKA, it's time to break out your magic wand and make sure your website is optimized for mobile!
Last year, Google announced they would be shifting their index from desktop to mobile. This just means Google is shifting how they rank content. Instead of looking at desktop sites, they will be gathering SEO information from mobile sites.
For most blogs, this change isn't life-threatening. However, if you hadn't given user design and experience a second thought, now is the time to do so.
Remember, mobile viewing is limited. Make sure ads, pop-ups, and visuals are not taking up the entire screen. Because there is limited space, it is even more important to allow your text to breathe. Avoid cramming your content together. Like a book, paragraphs are broken up into sections. This prevents the reader from feeling overwhelmed and allows them to digest the content they just read.
Think about your design: can users easily access search bars, menus, and internal links? The most important features should be accessible. Additionally, choose your font type, spacing, and color choice wisely.
Remember that comic sans controversy? Everyone loved to hate it. To be fair, it's not a terrible font, but it does evoke a sense of unsophistication. Font and color choice affect how individuals feel about your content If you want to step up your graphics game, Wix has a great refresher on the 7 principles of design.
3. Upgrade Your Images
Every blog post should incorporate creative visuals that are compressed for success. According to Jumpstart, 20% of all U.S. web searches are done on Google Images. This means that the images you choose for your blog can bring in more traffic.
Selecting unique images relevant to your topic will help your blog stand out. The best thing you can do is use original content. This will help set your blog apart, and allow it to feel more personal and credible. If you can't create original content, there are sites like Unsplash and Creative Commons that provide access to free images. It’s time to step up your image game! Just make sure you read the fine print and don’t find yourself in a copyright dilemma. The bridge trolls like to enforce their hold on copyright infringement.
Before you upload your images, don't forget to compress them. HTTP Archive recently collected data that showed 21% of your webpage could be bogged down by images. I'm sorry to say customers will not wait around for your photos to load. If your blog isn't loading at full speed as soon as someone arrives, then it isn't running fast enough. Use sites like TinyPNG and ImageCompressor to get your images ready for publishing.
4. Sprinkle in Keywords
In your search for relevant content, you probably did the bulk of the work in finding the top keywords your post should contain.
Moz defines keywords simply by saying, "in terms of SEO, they're the words and phrases that searchers enter into search engines, also called "search queries." If you boil everything on your page — all the images, video, copy, etc. — down to simple words and phrases, those are your primary keywords."
Keywords are the “key” to getting Google to notice your blog posts. If google can't find you, then potential customers won't find you on their own. Google made it easy and created a Keyword Research Tool to help you stay relevant.
Understanding what makes a keyword special will help you in the long run. Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keywords that users search when looking for something specific.
For example: Let's say you sell candles. Adding the keyword "candles" or even "vanilla candles" probably won't stand out among the thousands of other businesses selling candles. However, if you sell mint-green twisted vanilla scented candles, adding that long-tail keyword to your post will likely attract those looking for that exact product.
Keywords like "candles" have a higher competition than long-tail keywords like "mint-green twisted vanilla scented candles" which are low-competition. If you aim for the lower-competition keywords, then you'll have a better chance of catching Google's eye and giving your SEO a boost.
5. Hire a Freelance Writer
Engagement, design, images, and keywords. The perfect ingredients for your SEO formula.
They may sound too daunting to mix together at once. That’s okay! Harry Potter didn’t perfect his powers in a day, and needed some help from the pros.
If you’re still wondering how do I get my business to come up on Google search, you don’t have to look any further. Our content writers are ready to create the perfect SEO combination for you. Kingdom of Ink is here to help guide you.
We have a talented array of freelance writers for any type of blog post. We'll help you answer the questions your customers are searching for, and make sure they find you. Creating magic requires a little faith, and some guidance from a professional.
Good thing we have the spell book! We’re ready to help you conjure up some Google magic.
Jasmin Romero is a writer and journalist based in Los Angeles. She has used investigative skills obtained at USC to profile Olympians, award-winning chefs, and hard-working community members. Jasmin has written for multiple online publications, lifestyle blogs, and short films. She believes honesty and compassion are key in capturing compelling stories.