So, this is the first post in my series Google SEO and All That Jazz.  I have so many random ideas floating around, that I thought an introductory post would be a good way to begin.  As if Google SEO isn’t complex enough, I also am so obsessed in perfecting the technical side of blogging, that I might be covering additional topics – so just feel free to ask ANYTHING! 
 

What is Google SEO?

Google SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization” and basically determines how sites are ranked in Google.  Have you ever searched for something and wondered how certain sites are always displayed first?  Some searches even have a hierarchy of links under them.  And many display the author’s bio and photo next to them.  All of these things are determined by SEO.  If your blog dominates social media, and every blogger out there knows your url, but you aren’t reaching the BILLIONS of people that use Google, then you need to improve your reach.  I am a SUPER new blog, and don’t have a high referral rate.  But, the minute I started working on my SEO, my views, hits, and following grew rapidly.  It was a noticeable difference, because people could find me on Google!

 

How does SEO work?

Well, I wish we actually knew the Google algorithm.  But we do know that Google SEO is determined by a few things:

  • The keyword phrase in the title tag
  • The keyword phrase in the H1 heading
  • The keyword phrase in the page text
  • The keyword phrase in the alt text of an image {via}

This makes sense.  In order for Google to find you, you must tag the correct keywords that you want people to search.  Google SEO is also calculated by how many links back to your site exist.  The broader your scope – the broader your reach.  There are several means to achieving this goal – and we will be going into all of these over the next few weeks.  But, here are some ways to get started.  Before you do anything, do the following steps first!

 

Analyze Your Site

Before you do anything, it is helpful to know where you are starting from.  Chances are, your site has amazing SEO!  Here are a few tools to analyze your site:

Open Site Explorer – This is a great site to analyze the links to your site.  You can enter your site and see how it ranks for links.  You can also enter up to 5 competitors sites and compare to them.  Helpful if you are a competitive business.

WooRank – This is my favorite site to analyze SEO.  Sign up for a free 7-day trial and get your site totally analyzed.  It is awesome to watch – and will spit out an instant report.  This is a good starting place to improve SEO.  Apparently, with this site, the score isn’t everything.  Don’t focus on the fact that you got a 54/100 (even Google just got a 83/100 on WooRank!), just use the site to give you a punchlist of things to work on :).

Want to know how your marketing (social media) is doing?  Run your site through Hotspot’s Marketing Grader.  It will give you a pretty accurate grade, and a simple “to do” list for your marketing and social media.

 

Have one Google Login For Your Site

This might seem obvious, but believe me, it is critical!  Establish one login for your site.  You will use it for Gmail/Blogger/Google/Google Plus/Analytics/Webmaster Tools/Feedburner – everything.  (Of course, if you are already using a login, don’t change it!  Just make sure it is the same login for all Google sites.)  You can sign in as yourself, or use a generic login, like me (I am officially Mod Commonplace).  Either way, it will be your official login.  While you are at it, make sure you have a Google Plus account.  This is vital for good SEO.

 

Add Your Site to Google Webmaster Tools

This is a must – and is very easy.  Login to Google Webmaster Tools and click “Add Site”.  Login and add your site. When it asks for you to verify your site, definitely choose to verify it by connecting it to your Google Analytics account.  This is pretty important for you to be the verified author.  If you don’t have an Analytics account, you can come back to do this, but be aware early on that you want them connected!  Webmaster Tools  is the ultimate site analyzer.  I will do a whole post on just Webmaster Tools, but to start you need to add your site.  Play around with it!  It might give you good questions to ask later!

 

Download a SEO Plugin

There are many different SEO plugins.  I use WordPress SEO by Yoast.  Another is the All In One SEO Pack.  I think these are the top two.  I will also do a whole post on these – but make sure you download it and play around with it first :).

 

Submit your Site to Search Engines

Search Engines can pick up on your site and just “know about it”, or you can jump start the process and submit your site.  You definitely want to submit it to Google – and probably Bing and Yahoo.  This is a great guide to doing that!

 

I hope this gave you a good start working with your site’s Google SEO.  Come back next week for an in-depth look at your SEO Plugin’s features.  Your homework?  Download that plugin!  See you later!