How To Set Up Your Website/Blog: Lesson: SEO
Lesson: An Introduction to SEO For Rental Owner’s Website or Blog
Some think that SEO is something that can just be ‘done later’ but SEO goes into the way your blog is setup and into everything that you write – so it’s a good idea to get it right at the very beginning. Going back to correct mistakes later can be difficult, if not impossible, in some cases.
Why Bother With SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search engines are an excellent source of free traffic that continues to pour in for years to come, but it normally takes a long time for a brand new site to begin getting traction in the search engines – another reason why it makes sense to consider it from day 1.
Here is an important point – blogs can build up a significant amount of search engine traffic over time, even if that blog does not naturally lend itself to SEO, due to the fresh content that gets posted to a blog.
New articles every adds up over time. In a year you will have around 60! Every single one can separately rank in the search engines and even though they may not all be individually optimized for specific keywords, they can bring in traffic.
The Importance of Backlinks
On-page optimization is where you make sure that your post is optimized towards your chosen keywords. But that is only one (less-important) half of the SEO process. Off-page optimization is probably more important.When Google has two pages that are equally optimized for a keyword how does it decide which to rank higher? There are several factors(including load speed of your site) but one major factor is the number of and quality of backlinks to each page – links from other websites.
Grow your backlinks as much as you can to rank higher and higher. Quality is important, so NEVER buy links from a linkfarm (Google will then penalise you).You’ll attract some backlinks naturally from your posts – but you can generate more by posting yourself on relevant forums and discussion boards.
SEO is a huge subject, and it’s complex. It’s an an industry in itself, with SEO consultants charging thousands to optimize websites because of the power it has to draw so much traffic.
The first step in optimizing is knowing what keyword phrase you want to target. It is possible to target more than one but the more you go after the more difficult it gets to rank. Writing about your property makes sense to optimize it to something that would be searched on in Google. Greece. Athens. Pelion, Meteora, Delphi as local places to visit. Villa. Spacious. Aegean sailing. Greek cooking. And, so on.
Pick the main keyword. There are several places where you need to ensure your keywords go:
1) The title – at the very beginning if possible. This is the single most important element.
2) The post content – you need to make sure you are writing about what you want to target! Don’t overdo it but make sure it appears a handful of times throughout.
3) Tags – WordPress and other blogging platforms allow you to add tags to posts and this is a great way to add keywords to any post.
4) The URL – if you are using WordPress then this is very easy to do because it has a feature to allow you to convert your post title into the URL .
These are the most important places to put your keywords and this is all you really need to know when you’re starting out.
What If You Have An Established Website or Blog?
If you already exist and this is the first time you have thought about SEO there are some things that you can do to tweak things. One thing that you shouldn’t do is change your post URL’s because Google will still be indexing the old ones and if you change them you will have broken links (the effect will be visitors will go to a page and see the horrible 404 error message!)
What you can do is change your titles and the copy text in your posts.
You can go back and tweak old posts if you like. You can also check through the post itself making sure the keyword appears a few times and if your blogging software supports tags then make sure you tag it with your keyword.
Once you make changes it can take a while for Google to pick it up and act on it so don’t expect results overnight!
Note that if your URL’s are not optimized then it is possible to restructure them to better ones and do something called a 301 redirect to tell Google that the link has changed. However, it’s needs to be done carefully and it’s complicated: If you need help on this, email me to point you to resources where it’s explained well.
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