May 032014
 

As a follow up to Writing for SEO: Does it Ruin Good Writing?, I’d like to illustrate some painless tricks to elevate your Search Engine Optimization that will have minimal impact on your article content or writing style.

Give Search Engines Information about Your Image(s)

Easy SEO Tricks aren't magic

Easy SEO Tricks are simply ways of helping search engines understanding your content.

Two easy SEO tricks are setting your image file name and image description. When you place an image on your page, the source code of your post offers text for search engines to evaluate. If you upload an image with the filename of pic.jpg, Google finds no added value in that.

If your image is directly related to your content, help search engines out by giving your image a relevant file name. For instance, if your post is an interview with author Stephen King, your image file name should be something along the lines of Stephen-King-Author.jpg. (This is especially true of your own author photo. Always name your photos with your full name followed with the word “author.”)

When you upload and select an image to place in your post, you also have the option of setting a description for it. Most platforms call this an “alt text” or “alt title.” By including your key word phrase in your alt tag, you give Google reason to believe that your image is relevant to your content.

For example, in my article Writing for SEO: Does it Ruin Good Writing? my keyword phrase was “Writing for SEO.” To show search engines how my image related to my article, I set my alternative text to “Writing for SEO gets google results.”

Consider Using Your Keyword Phrase in Your Caption

You can use your caption to drive home a point as well as to give Google reason to find your post. The more specific your keyword phrase is, the more awkward it is to work into your content. However, including your keyword in your caption doesn’t affect the flow of your article and it often serves to highlight a major point.

Whether it’s in the body of your article or in a caption, Google regards that repetition of the keyword as evidence that your content is indeed about that topic.

Permalinks

Make sure your keyword phrase is in your permalink. Most, if not all, platforms allow you to edit URLs. If you see that a word has been eliminated (WordPress, for example, likes to eliminate prepositions), add it back in.

Avoid keyword phrases with apostrophes when you can. Because there’s no way to include them in your permalink, keyword phrases with apostrophes can limit your SEO optimization.

Other Easy SEO Tricks

1. Use your keyword phrase in a heading, such as H2 or H3.

2. Add an external link (a link to an outside website) to your post. In External Links, Moz.com has a good description of why this is important to search engines.

3. If it works, place your keyword phrase at the beginning of your article title. In the “Writing for SEO” example, Google ranks “Writing for SEO: Does it Ruin Good Writing?” higher than “Does Writing for SEO Ruin Good Writing?”

4. Construct a good meta description. Search engines use meta descriptions aEasy SEO Tricks include setting meta descriptions s a summary of content. If you don’t set one, search engines will look at the first 156 characters. In addition to being used for ranking, these descriptions are the blurbs potential readers will see when they search. Give your readers a taste of what to expect from your post.

Share your thoughts

Aside from providing good, well-written content, have you found any easy SEO tricks? Please share!

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LAURA HEDGECOCK is an author, freelance writer, speaker, and webmaster. Her passion is telling stories and helping others tell theirs. That passion led to her latest book Memories of Me: A Complete Guide to Telling and Sharing the Stories of Your Life and her website and blog, TreasureChestofMemories.com. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two nearly-adult sons (and her Springer Spaniel), playing soccer, nature photography, and finding her roots—which might explain her messy house.

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