Just recovering from an amazing 10 days in the Costa Brava with TBEX Girona, Neil and I are just managing our notes. Neil has 21 pages of them and I’m fussing about my scraps of paper and random *Pages files. We’re not even halfway done with digesting the possibilities but I for one am very happy to share some SEO ideas that other bloggers voted as good practices for easy SEO. For over 18 months, we’ve been feeling our way through SEO, executing tactics which felt right and avoiding strategies that seemed misleading. So after some great workshops and heavy networking, I was truly elated to discover that we had made some great choices in terms of search engine longevity. Last year, I wrote about tips for newbie bloggers and can now add the following to healthy SEO practices.
Regardless of your opinion on monopolies, Google is the monster search engine through which the world wide web lives, breathes, and dies. With its shifts in protocol via Panda and Penguin, it seems the focus is now on the human face behind the published content. After several searches and video tutorials, I managed to boil down the application process to 3 steps. Here’s how it works. G+ users create online profiles, detailing background information as well as publishing outlets. You register the domains for which your work appears. Then on those domains you include in your biography a backlink to your G+ profile. With the sites registered on your G+ profile and your link in place on your article’s bio, Google can crawl these sites, authenticate your authorship, and publish a nifty picture beside any of your articles that pop up during searches.
Alt Description for Photos
I’ve been wondering for a while how best to use alt-description and the answer is: keep it simple! Alt-Descriptions for photos tell a user (and Google) what is in the posted image that you’ve shared on your blog. So if you have a beautifully dressed Otavaleno woman strolling pass the New Cathedral in Cuenca, you can write the description just like that. It’s good for SEO and for your visitors who may be reading your blog in safe mode (without pictures) or who can’t see the picture for another reason. I like alt descriptions because now Neil and I can get a little more creative with our captions without sacrificing SEO punch. Now when we use pictures we give them both a creative caption and a bare-bones alt-description.
The terms “internet” and “world wide web” are interchangeable for the most part. But bloggers should really consider what these terms mean when they blog. Your ideas and articles should be connected, interlocked, and woven together. When someone comes to your site, they should be able to follow the web design and ideas that you’ve composed on your blog. If you write an article about swimming in the Galapagos Islands, then it would make sense (and be helpful for your readers) to have internal links that lead to other related topics such as snorkeling with sharks or what to bring to the Galapagos Islands. Give your reader a reason to stick around and easy avenue from one of your posts to another. So show off what you know. No post should stand alone. Be the expert, link your stories, and share. Besides, internal linking is a healthy practice to help Google index your pages.
Backlink from Guest Posts
It’s always awkward to ask for something when you’re a guest. But buck up and get over it. If you’re writing a guest post for another person’s blog, ask (nicely, of course) to include a discreet back link to a related article on your site. It never hurts to ask and won’t cost your host anything. Some of our guest bloggers don’t have their own website. In that case we offer a backlink to their email address. Also weave in the importance of Google Authorship and include your authorship link in your bio. Update your G+ profile to include this host blog and watch your snazzy headshot pop up on the search results.
After the marathon networking and dawn-til-midnight revelry, I feel lucky that I can even recall such great SEO advice from TBEX Girona or even how to get from Barcelona to the Costa Brava. It was my first travel blogger convention and I have to say that there was as much (if not more) to learn inside the workshops as there was during lunch, cocktails, and daytrips into the golden Costa Brava shores. Looking forward to TBEX Toronto!