SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a mystery to most bloggers. I don't claim to be an SEO expert -- far from it -- but knowing a bit about how search engines work and how to find and use appropriate keywords for your content is useful (some would say critical) for creating an effective business blog.
Recently I reviewed a training program called Wordpress SEO Secrets created by my colleague Michael Martine (@Remarkablogger on twitter). Like the title says, the program is directed primarily at bloggers who use Wordpress, but in my opinion, much of the content is important for all bloggers to know, regardless of the platform you use.
The tutorials however, are all created for Wordpress. And since I know there are millions of Wordpress bloggers and some of them actually read this blog (even though it's on TypePad! :-) ) I thought it important to share this program with you.
When I work with clients, one of the first things I talk about is the fact that if you want to be found on the web by your ideal client, there are a few things that will greatly help:
- Publishing a blog
- Optimizing the blog for your keywords
- Write valuable, relevant content that your readers want
Once the blog is set up, then the question of keywords comes up. As Michael Martine writes:
In Wordpress SEO Secrets, Michael covers the critical elements of how to find keywords (keyword research) and how to use them to title your blog and the pages, in your blog post titles, in headings through your post and in the content of your blog post.
Keyword research is critical and often overlooked because many bloggers don't want to take the time to figure out the works their readers actually use (vs. the words the blogger thinks are important). We recommend you start your keyword research using Wordtracker's free tool.
Michael shares a number of tips on how to really drill down to get a working list of keywords that are relevant for your subject.
I'll confess that I've been known to be lazy about keywords. I rely on the fact that if I write about my subject and I pay some attention to the words I use in the post title and the content, then my results will be pretty good. However, after reading Wordpress SEO Secrets, I realize that I can be a lot more strategic about my blog posts and it won't take much more time when writing the post.
Michael's style is very easy to understand, but he doesn't talk down to the reader. I was impressed with the depth of content, from the basics of SEO to detailed how-to instructions. If you use Wordpress and want to improve the results you get from your blog, then this program is an excellent investment in your business. A cursory understanding of SEO will put you ahead of most of your competitors.
Along with the ebook, you get 5 audio programs on SEO, 3 video tutorials for Wordpress, an ebook on how to plan a new blog and a bonus ebook on how to use Twitter.
One thing I appreciate about the program is that Michael stresses that you have to write for your readers. You have to know what your readers want. You don't want to optimize your blog to the point of making it useless to the reader. It's a dance between optimizing for the search engines and making sense to your reader. Michael understands that. As he says, "Create content for people, but tweak it for search engines." I couldn't agree more.
Some may wonder why I'm recommending a competitor's blogging product. Frankly, my goal is for you to get the best information about blogging so you can get the best results. I'm not an expert in SEO and don't pretend to be. I haven't studied SEO for a decade like Michael Martine has. I learned some new tactics from the Wordpress SEO Secrets program and I think you can too.