Most website owners understand that writing blogs is very important for seo. But the effects each new article has on your day-to-day traffic is less understood. So I've decided to monitor the impressions and clicks my own site is receiving based on a few different factors: the length of the post, keyword density and social media shares and I'll track all of this through Google Search Console. Some posts are optimized, meaning they've hit the 1600 word count and 2.5% keyword ratio. Some are much shorter while others do not have a great keyword density. For the shorter and keyword variant posts, I'll share them on multiple forms of social media. Since the longer, more optimized articles are already geared for the best seo results, I'll only share them on LinkedIn.
I tend to use LinkedIn more often than any other social media platform because of the b2b nature of my company and I have a fairly large network there and seo is always a trending topic. In the future I will be looking into Facebook and Twitter to see how they compare. I don't have a following on either site, but feel free to help me grow those followings by checking out my Facebook and Twitter pages. If I get enough of a following, I will start posting there more often.
Google Search Console has a nice feature that lets you examine your traffic over a variety of time periods, including a custom time frame that lets you decide the exact range. Since I want to track the most recent results for this seo experiment, I will only focused on the 7 day performance. I'm not going to look at how the individual posts track, I'm more interested in how the websites overall seo will be effected as a whole.
This idea occurred to me when I started noticing a couple of posts I made a few months ago doing very well, one even ranking on the first page of Google for a time. I don't typically use this website for seo purposes and I haven't always been interested in increasing my rankings. I just try to share tips and tricks for businesses to increase the ROI of their website. But since I am getting more action off the backs of those posts I thought it would be a great time to experiment on my own site, which doesn't rank particularly, well and share some useful information with the rest of the world. Seo can be tricky for new or unranked websites, but hopefully this guide will give you a baseline of what to expect from the money you spend on your seo campaigns.
As I said, I don't use this site for search engine rankings; its more of a projects / contact page and not much seo goes into it. However, I've been helping other companies manage their seo for years now. When I work with websites that are not ranking highly on the search engines there are two or three main reasons. With newer sites there isn't usually very much content which is incredibly important for strong seo. Older sites might have a ton of content but with no focus and no back-links will find themselves at the end of the search results, and no body wants to be there! No matter how much time you spend on seo, if you're not doing it right you won't get anywhere.
Admittedly, this first post is a little bit of a stream of consciousness (though it has been editted) and the rest of these posts will have more substance. The reason for the format of this post is because there are better ways to learn about the fundamentals of seo. What I am trying to do is give people an experiment they can use once they've learned the basics of seo. The title of this post is "The Basics of SEO" but really it should be "How To Use Your New Found SEO Skills," but that's a little longer of a title than I want, plus I think you can learn something from this experiment even if you don't have any prior basic seo experience. (edit: I decided to go with a better title - The Basic SEO Experiment)
This seo experiment is starting on Tuesday, October 15th 2019. I am going to write three blogs per day; one with strong seo content and two without. Using the search console, I will be able to see how Google is ranking my site and using Google Analytics, I will be able to see how my social shares bring in visitors. The first post will be this one and if you haven't noticed by now the keyword I am targeting is seo. Seo is actually an extremely competitive search term. There are thousands of seo and marketing firms on the internet, and they all want your business (and so do I!) so ranking for the term seo is going to be quite the challenge.
As a shameless plug, I am monitoring my keyword density and word count with a tool I made to do just that. If you want to follow along with me, head over to the Handy Little Blog Helper Tool on my website.
Each day will have a separate keyword from the other days. However, each of those day's blog posts will focus on the same keyword. For instance, all three of today's blog posts will focus on seo. Tomorrow I will probably go into optimizing your page speed, which helps basic seo tremendously also happens to be related to basic seo which helps keep my posts focused.
For the most part, I am going to stick to those rules. But since this is an experiment I will switch things up a few times to see what kind of effects unfocused content has on basic seo rankings and to see how quickly we can begin to rank on new topics. On day five, I will go off topic completely and probably talk about how awesome my new pasta maker is. Day six I will bring it back to discussing seo and marketing, but each of that day's posts will be on a different topic.
And, as mentioned many times before, I will be tracking all of this with Google Search Console. This is what my seven day and one day traffic looks like as of today.
Every day will have a few more pictures of my sites performance along with one more image of what keywords I'm ranking for. As of now, that information isn't relevant but you can see that my Windows server posts are doing pretty well. It was those articles that got me thinking about this little basic seo experiment.
Promoting your content is very important. I believe the smaller less keyword dense posts will give my site a huge rankings boost. Part of Google's algorithm depends on the number of clicks and links your website gets. Since this experiment is focused on seeing results in as little time as possible, and helping struggling sites get ranked. By promoting smaller and potentially more digestible content through social media and forums I think I will see some nice results. I will also link all of these posts to each other so they should all be crawled at the same rate.
In the long run, I know my longer posts will hold up over an extended period of time and will be the content that rise the highest over time. But because the shorter posts will also be linked to the longer posts, I should see pretty good results across all of the content.
As for the two days where I veer away from the standard format, I don't expect those posts to do very well. I really hope the pasta maker post doesn't hurt my overall ratings, but hey, its for science.
For one, this is going to take a lot of writing. I do have a built in advantage because my site has been programmed to be extremely fast, mobile friendly and easy to use. Not everyone will start with the same foundation that I have if, for instance, they are using something like a WordPress theme or SquareSpace. Those types of sites don't usually have very good coding standards since they are meant to be easy to get up an running. I will get into that a little more in tomorrows blog post so stay tuned!
If you are interested in learning more about the basics of seo and seo fundamentals, check out my this page that's full of links to places that give free and paid seo training. If you're interested in making passive income, read this. There are also links to things like Google Search Console and Google Analytics which if you're not using now, you really need to start.
Finally, I am going to focus primarily on Google search rankings. Because Google has the most stringent algorithm and the most competition, I think its a better idea to hyper focus on them. Not to say that Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, DuckDuckGo or any of the others aren't an import part of any basic seo strategy, because they absolutely are. But in my experience, following Google's guidelines will also help you rank on the other search engines. I have a few sites that are on the first page of Bing, but page 3 on Google. Its just that much harder to get your content noticed by the big Google machine. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org or request to connect on LinkedIn. Just tell me you read (at least skimmed) my post on the basic seo experiment. Happy rankings and good luck!