Even Accounting Majors Can Master SEO

This past week has been quite the learning experience for me. I was faced with the challenge of learning the concept of “Search Engine Optimization” (SEO) and then applying it my personal blog site. Although I had a plethora of questions and concerns, I appropriately utilized my class reading material, my knowledgeable instructor and the Google search engine to conquer the assignment and learn a new skill.

In doing the assignment, I learned from the book The New Rules of Marketing and PR by David Meerman Scott, “that many excellent resources can help you learn even more about the complexities of search engine marketing and especially search engine algorithm factors such as the URL you use, placement of certain words within your content, tags, metadata, inbound links, and other details” (Scott 300).  The advice I learned from Scott’s book encouraged me to fully utilize the weekly resources I had been given by my class instructors. Therefore, I watched “Search Engine Marketing,” a keynote presentation video, by Kai Blum and read the weekly reading assignment to fully understand SEO. Below I have broken down the key lessons I learned from Blum’s presentation and other class resources on how to optimize my blog site.

Choose a unique keyword Phrase

In Blum’s presentation I learned how to use the free Google Adword Keyword Tool to identify those keyword phrases that people are actually using to conduct an Internet search. In Scott’s book he states, “optimize on and advertise with a small number of words and phrases that are widely targeting to try to generate huge numbers of clicks” (Scott 301). Essentially Scott is saying that you should select keywords with both a low competition rating and a high number of searches/month. Therefore, I used Adword Keyword Tool to identify two separate keyword phrase. The first was for my overall blog. My blog is about living healthy, so I searched the keyword “living healthy” and found it was a great pick because it had a low competition ranking and over 200,000 monthly searches. The second keyword phrase I searched was “Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance” because it is the topic of one of my best blog posts that I wished to optimize. Again, the search showed me that the phrase had low competition and a high number of monthly searches (about 74000/month).

Edit Title Tag

Blum said in his presentation that if you can only do one SEO modification to your website that is should be changing the title tags to reflect your keyword phrase. Title tags are what makes people decide if they want to click on your website and also helps search engines better classify the topic of your site. Therefore, for my overall blog I adjusted the blog description so the title tag was concise and contained my selected keyword phrase. I decided that using “A beginners guide to living healthy” as my title tag would help me optimize my blog.

Use Keyword Phrases at the Beginning of Your Post & Several Times Throughout

It is suggested that you use your keyword phrase in the first sentence of your blog posts and then again multiple times within the body of the post. Again, this practice helps search engines classify and tag your post. Using your keyword phrase several times throughout your post ensures that you are getting the most out of the keyword phrase. For my blog post about gluten intolerance I used the keyword phrase “symptoms of gluten intolerance” in the opening sentence and then again a few times throughout the post to ensure  search engines would recognize my efforts.

Internal Linking of Keyword Phrases

From Richard Cole and Derek Mahraban’s book The New Media Driver’s License: Resource Guide, I learned about the resource titled “25 Tips to Skyrocket Your Search Engine Ranking” (NMDL 217). This resource taught me how internally linking my keyword phrases is a great way to bolster SEO. Therefore, I created an internal link for “living healthy” (located at bottom of post) that would bring readers back to the homepage of my blog and then an internal link for “symptoms of gluten intolerance” that links readers to the related article.

External Linking with Anchor Text

External Links PictureUsing your keyword phrase as an external anchor text link on an external site that both relates to the subject matter of your site and is a credible source is a great SEO practice. When you have the opportunity you should always ask others to set up a link using your keyword phrase that directs users back to your site. This not only drives traffic to your site, but it also will increase your ranking on Google because the link gives you “link juice.”

To practice this SEO technique I first created a Squidoo lens about how to "Choose a Healthy Lifestyle," which relates to my blog, and inserted both of my blog keywords as links. The link “living healthy” direct visitors back to the homepage of my blog and the keyword “symptoms of gluten intolerance” directs visitors to my blog post about that topic. Additionally, I reached out to another student in our class who also has a blog about health/fitness and asked if they would set up an external anchor link for me using my keyword phrase "living healthy." (I am still currently waiting for a reply)

Google Analytics

Finally, I set up a Google Analytics account and connected it to my blog. Connecting the application to my blog will help me evaluate if my SEO savvy blog is actually working and increasing traffic, as it should. Consistently checking the data the application collects will help me better understand if my keyword phrases and anchor text links are functioning as they should.