Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all!
The holidays are a very difficult time to concentrate on anything -- except eating!
I'm new to HubPages, and want to start off on the right foot, so I have been working through the learning center, studying SEO, etc. The learning center referred me to Moz "Beginner's Guide to SEO".
That was a struggle to wrap my brain around this topic. I found this book to be the most poorly designed I have ever attempted to read. The type was thin and there was insufficient contrast between the pale blue type and the bright white background. They layout was convoluted. This publication seemed mostly interested in selling Moz tools and services.
Thanks to coffee, Starbucks, and my Ipad reader mode, I finished it. Now I'm not confident I know what to do next.
I'd like to ask the experienced hubbers what they wished they had known when they started, or what has been the most valuable SEO approach for them. Was it keyword research? Was it link strategies? Was it measuring success?
Please respond with a quick summary of your most productive SEO tactic or practice.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Charles, sorry you wasted all of that coffee. The suggestions in that book are most likely outdated, since things change so often around here that by the time things are published they are outdated.
The best way to get page views, in my opinion, is to write great original articles. When people read your article they will share it on Facebook, tweet about it, put a link into their blog, etc. Those natural links are what the search engines are going to notice, and your article will get a better position in the search and you will get more page views.
I also go onto forums and answer questions from dog owners. Sometimes I will provide a link to one of my articles, but you have to be careful as a lot of the forums will think you are spamming them and ban you for adding links. If you have a specialty and are writing about a specific niche this is a great way to expose your article to new readers.
Welcome to HP. Glad to see you're taking the time to do some research before trying to write.
Everything Dr. Mark said is great advice.
As for SEO, I never did quite get the hang of it...too technical for me. What I do is try to come up with a good title by using this headline analyzer https://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer. Then I use Google Adwords Keyword Tool to see which keywords that fit my topic pay the most and try to use them in the title.
I create a main photo and use most of the title words in it
I use the title words or synonyms for them in my first and last sentences
I use some of the words or synonyms in each subtitle, making sure that the subtitles follow a distinct order and also make sense.
This has worked fairly well for me. However, you have to be careful about not repeating your keywords too often. A good thesaurus can help you with that.
If you do these things along with what Dr. Mark told you to do, the views will come. However, depending on your topics and titles, they usually come slowly at first, so don't be discouraged.
Use the early time to hone your writing skills. Read work from other writers to see how they organize their work.
I typically advise people to stay away from physical books when it comes to online writing and SEO because, as Dr. Mark said, everything changes so fast. However, Moz is a pretty good resource and you can get a solid SEO education if you read the blog regularly. In addition to regular posts they have a short video tutorial called Whiteboard Friday every week that doesn't take up a lot of time and can really help you piece things together.
When I was first starting out my top three resources were:
Copyblogger - For learning about the actual writing part of writing online.
Moz - For SEO
Search Engine Land - For keeping up with news
I still try to read these blogs when I can.
My best piece of advice is to be ready and willing to learn and roll with the changes. Too many people come here complaining that they don't understand this or that. Everything you need to know is out there on the internet. There are no secrets. Be willing to spend the time to educate yourself and find the information you need to succeed. Good luck!
I consider keyword research the most important factor in SEO. A well-crafted title with use of keywords, that are used by people on the Web, will bring traffic, typically. Finding the most effective and simple ways for pinpointing keyphrases is necessary as far as I'm concerned.
These days I forget about everything and just write for the reader. After the article is "done", I then go back and SEO it before publishing.
Here are my top 5 SEO tips:
1. Write about a topic you have EAT (Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness). You should be an expert or enthusiast in this topic and show your passion in the article. Go into detail around the topic. Use words around the topic that show you are an expert.
2. Google your main topic. See what Google is showing in the top results and visit those sites. You need to write better content than what is already out there. You have a better chance of ranking if your topic is long tail (specific.) It will be very hard, if not impossible, to rank for head terms where you are competing against major brands that have a lot of authority.
3. Write a conversational, specific title and follow it up with specific subtitles. Answer the question of your title clearly and close to the top of the article. If you have questions as subtitles, answer the question at the top of the Text Capsule.
4. Research Featured Snippets and People Also Ask features. Can you compete and show up as a FS? (Follow directions in #3 to give yourself the best chance.) If you are ranking #3 or greater, it is easier to get the FS than it is to go to #1. If your topic has a FS, what FS is showing. Try to format your article to answer the question with that type of markup, e.g., table, bullet, paragraph, numbers.
5. Edit, improve, and add to your content consistently! This is huge. Google wants your content fresh and relevant. With online writing, you are never done. To compete, it takes work and effort.
Remember, most readers are on mobile, so your article should be broken up and easy to read for the mobile reader. If readers hit the back button because you have long blocks of text, it will hurt your ranking.
Good luck and welcome to HubPages!
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