Friday, March 20, 2009

A 5 Step SEO Process for Your New Site or Blog

When you are in the planning stages for a new web site or blog, there are a few basic steps you can take to make that site or blog interesting to your audience and attractive to search engines.

These days, when you are starting a new web site or blog, it helps to plan your content so that it is interesting to your audience and also attractive to search engines. One thing that helps to accomplish both is to have unique content. Even if you are reusing your own material from another web site or blog, you should put in a few changes to update it for the audience and to keep search engines from thinking that it is duplicate content that should be ignored.

Making a site more attractive to search engine is one of the best ways to grow an audience since because potential new users will be able to find your site or blog while searching for something related to content. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the big buzz phrase you may have heard about, and if you think you should know something about it, you are right. The 5 step SEO process used when AirSafe Media creates a new site or blog is pretty simple, very free, and after reading this post you may want to use the process yourself.

Step 1: Plan on Making it Useful to Your Audience
Unique content should be the foundation of your site or blog, as well as an understanding of what your audience wants. The basic AirSafe Media philosophy is a simple one--give the people what they want, and just a little of what I think they need. Keep this in mind as you add content to your site or your blog.

Step 2: Find the Best Sites and Blogs on the Subject
Whatever it is you are planning to do, someone else has probably done it before. If you can find the very best sites or blogs in your area of interest, you will probably find excellent examples of what to do, what not to do, and where you can best contribute. Finding the sites can be difficult, or it can be easy. In my book Parenting and the Internet, I laid out a detailed procedure for making that happen. If you subscribe to the Speedbrake Publishing mailing list, your confirmation email will have a link to the free PDF ebook. The details are on pages 163-169 of that document.

Step 3: Find the Hottest Keywords and Key Phrases on Those Sites
Once you have a list of these key sites, put them through Google's Keyword Tool to find out the most relevant and popular keywords or key phrases that are associated with these sites. These top sites became that way in part because the sites ranked highly in relevant search engine searches. If these words and phrases are relevant to your site or blog, then using them will make it easier for a new visitor to find you.

Step 4: Find Out the Trends of These Keywords and Key Phrases
Once you identify keywords and key phrases of interest, you should get an idea of how often people use those terms in searches. Google Trends can easily show what terms are on the upswing and what terms are on the way out. You can even compare two terms to see which ones are doing better. You can use this tool to figure out which of your many alternative words or phrases you may want to use, or if you want to use some more than others.

Step 5: Put These Keywords or Key Phrases in Your Site or Blog
If you have done your work it Step 1, you probably have a lot of these words and phrases already in your content. Remember that you want to make your work useful to your audience, so only add the keywords and key phrases in Step 3 if it makes sense in the context of your work. You should also include these words and phrases whenever possible within the HTML tags for the page title and description, as well as in the 'alt' field for any image tag that you use. Also, try to put them in the heading tags as well as in the body of your text.

An Case Study
While you should go through all the steps if you are designing a new site or blog, you can use parts of the process for a smaller effort within an active site. I was adding a podcasting section to my site, and I wanted to figure out what kind of podcasting related terms I should include on the pages in that section (Step 4 and Step 5). I found out during my research that podcasting was a kind of social media. I did a Google Trends search for phrase 'social media' and the term 'podcasting' and found that the use of 'social media' was on a long term upswing and the second on a downward slope. I also did a comparison of the two terms and found that 'podcasting' was getting many more searches. I originally thought about adjusting the content to fit in the phrase 'social media' but decided against that idea after I finished my evaluation.

Your Next Step
Don't just sit there, take some action. At the very least, sign up to get a free copy of Parenting and the Internet. I guarantee there are at least a half dozen other things in that book that you could use right now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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