Every day it seems like there are new algorithms for the many different social sites that bloggers use. From Pinterest to Instagram to the big kahuna, Google, keeping on top of these web traffic controllers can really take a toll on one’s energy and budget. We at Tastemaker strongly encourage investing in SEO for the health and wealth of your blog, and have tons of resources from our family of digital experts to steer you in the right direction with pro, personal tips. But we also ask you, before you invest, to figure out a long-term SEO strategy that works for your site. By keeping your values, your mission, and your knowledge at the forefront of all of your content, the fluctuations of the day-to-day can become more manageable and, like your recipes, stay classic and clear.
What might a long-term SEO strategy look like? Consider these tips for how to best spend your time.
- Buddy up: Consider how you can use different platforms’ SEOs to boost each other. According to Lena Gott, in an episode of the SimplePin Media Podcast, Pinterest and Google SEO can go hand in hand. By optimizing image sizes and niching your content on Pinterest, you can drive more readers to your pins even if they seem more specific at first. And starting from Pinterest will actually be more effective than going straight to Google. Remember that SEO is a digital version of the human brain, so if you think about what a real person would want to search for, you can easily see how to phrase your keywords to match those questions in all their varieties.
- Do Your Keyword Homework: Don’t just guess on what those questions from readers will be! Google makes it easy to analyze keywords with this nifty tool. Learning Google-speak can be a life-long endeavor, but just like any language the more you familiarize yourself with it the more fluent you’ll become! But before you start hedging on metrics, get out your pen and paper and just free write all the words and phrases associated with your blog and/or post. Don’t hold back—what’s the craziest scenario in which someone might be looking for your content, or happily stumble upon it? Remember, too, that a keyword like “food blog” or “dessert” is not going to be of much help to anyone these days, with the amount of content there is online you won’t stand out (no offense). However, “foraging blog” or “no-bake gluten-free banana dessert” is getting closer to the kind of specific you want. Both shorter and longer keywords will be essential to getting your material to rank.
- Pay attention to trends: True, trends don’t have to, and shouldn’t, be the be-all-end-all of your content creation. But being aware of them will allow you to take advantage of ways your existing posts could benefit from whatever is #trending. The new Pinterest Trends tool is one way to play around with not only what is trending but when, something that previous keyword trackers did not provide. This allows you to see past and present data about when the terms for your no-bake gluten-free banana dessert might be more likely to be searched for; even if it’s not trending now, you can plan ahead for when it will be during the year, to give it a reboot on your social channels or tweak it with a new variety, to fit with that trend. Gott also explains that if you’re able to predict trends in this way, you can also feel more assured if and when traffic to your site slows—it’s just the ebb and flow of (online) nature.
What’s most important for all bloggers to remember about SEO is that it is a means to an end, not an end itself. In other words, you are not in the business of creating search terms, but rather in the business of creating awesome content (and food!) that’s just found via search terms. Channel the organic process of your cooking when you hop online. The skills you have in the kitchen—trying a little of this, a little of that, not messing with what works but maybe playing with what’s only OK—have stood the test of time and will continue to stand up to all the changes in our media landscape.
If you want more pro-tips on how to start your long-term SEO strategy, check out:
- Lena Gott’s Traffic Blast e-course
- Kate Ahl’s episode on Pinterest Keyword 101
- Tastemaker Friends Tailwind and Hashtag Jeff help you traverse SEO-land efficiently
Photos: Pexels—kaboompix.com; ThisIsEngineering