How to Make Mummy Money: SEO and Keyword Rich Content Explained
I just wrote a “keyword article” about Hummus for LIFEHACK.org – a website that is driven by keyword rich content. For those of you to whom that is gobbledygook, stay with me. I will explain.
Firstly, let me assure you that it was ALL gobbledygook to me 6 months ago…and much of it still is. I am learning!
Below, I explain what keyword rich content is, and how it can attract visitors to your site. I will also provide you with a couple of clear examples to demonstrate my point. Like this article…and that Hummus article.
Most websites, like LIFEHACK.org make their money in part from advertising clicks. They get a few pennies every time someone clicks an ad. But, in order to drive traffic to a site (i.e. attract visitors who may click) a website needs good content: a collection of images, articles or posts.
Connecting visitors or “traffic” is what Google is all about, and generally, we trust Google’s reliability.
It is important that the textual content is rich in what we call keywords, so that the when Google robots trawl through the site, they will pick up relevant words, categorize the site, and send the most appropriate customers in the right direction. And yes, there really are robots, like spiders, crawling every site on the internet, every minute of the day, collecting and analysing data. Mind-blowing, when you think about it.
There are many ways in which Google decides how to connect users with websites. Their formulas and criteria are actually secret, but some are known.
SEO: Search Engine Optimization
This is where SEO comes in.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a series of rules and techniques for ensuring that YOUR content is noticed by Search Engines like Google. In other words, it ensures that you have the optimal chance of being “picked up” by a Google robot.
The ultimate goal for any blogger is that your website show up in the first or second page of a Google search, so everyone can find you…and read your wonderful content, and click on a few ads.
There are ways you can jump the queue in this process (Adsense for example), but it costs money. For today, let’s concentrate on the organic process.
To attract the robots, you use keywords. If your site has lots of instances of a keyword, it is called “dense” in keywords.
For this article, my keyword (phrase) was “keyword rich content”. In order to make everything gel, I had to use my keyword in the title, and in the body of the text. I also had to write a little description for the web, something that will show up in a google search. WordPress (my website platform) makes this all really easy for me.
I also have a little thingy (a plugin) on my WordPress dashboard that I downloaded. It’s called a plugin. Specifically it is “WordPress SEO by Yoast” plugin. Although some web experts don’t like Yoast, as a newbie, I really do, because it is literally teaching me about SEO, as I go along. Here is what it shows me, as I write:
and also this: a complete list of what SEO criteria I should follow, and how my site adds up:
Here is that list as text, so you can see it better:
|X||The keyword doesn’t appear in the first paragraph of the copy, make sure the topic is clear immediately.|
|X||The page title contains keyword / phrase, but it does not appear at the beginning; try and move it to the beginning.|
|X||The keyword / phrase does not appear in the URL for this page. If you decide to rename the URL be sure to check the old URL 301 redirects to the new one!|
|The copy scores 69.8 in the Flesch Reading Ease test, which is considered OK to read.|
|The images on this page contain alt tags with the target keyword / phrase.|
|This page has 2 outbound link(s).|
|Keyword / keyphrase appears in 1 (out of 1) subheadings in the copy. While not a major ranking factor, this is beneficial.|
|The keyword density is 1.02%, which is great, the keyword was found 5 times.|
|The page title is more than 40 characters and less than the recommended 70 character limit.|
|In the specified meta description, consider: How does it compare to the competition? Could it be made more appealing?|
|The meta description contains the primary keyword / phrase.|
|There are 498 words contained in the body copy, this is more than the 300 word recommended minimum.|
|You’ve never used this focus keyword before, very good.|
For the hummus article, the keyword phrase was “make hummus”. As you read that article, note how many times I say “make hummus”. Now, when someone types in “how to make hummus”, my article has a good chance of coming up in a search…. depending on how many OTHER articles there are out there that use the keyword “make hummus”- and there are plenty! So you see, it’s not really that straightforward…
The reason LIfehack wants loads of keyword articles is to drive lots and lots of traffic to the site. You will notice, if you browse around the Lifehack site, that they actually have about 5-6 articles on the health benefits of hummus, in addition to my recipe. Their goal is to attract customers who like hummus. You see? Every article brings a new reader to them. That was my job as a writer- to draw in the readers.
One downfall to this is that sites like Lifehack are really focused on quantity. I was a little concerned when their editors didn’t pick up a typo I made… although that was totally my responsibility. Shame! (Read my opinion on typos here)
I also did an article for ScaryMommy.com recently. In comparison, the ScaryMommy editorial team went through my copy with a fine tooth comb, shortening it, ironing out the typos and aso cutting out some Canadian references to make it more universal (well, more American).
As a trained journalist, and self-respecting writer, I kind of cringe every time I write big lists, like “10 ways to keep your relationship healthy“. These days the internet is all about lists, and everyone is just borrowing from eachother (you didn’t think I invented the hummus recipe did you?). This is why as a teacher, I always advise caution when reading online. And as a mother too. A lot of web content is just regurgitated lists: the same old “light” stuff, over and over again. It’s dangerous. Anyway, I digress.
Keywords are not the only way to get tease and please those Google robots these days. In fact, if you use too many keywords, it rings alarm bells for them, and Google could disable your site. Seriously. (Big Brother? Um.. yes!).
Today SEO is largely driven by social media shares, the quality of your backlinks, your Google Authority and content.
-Lisa Irby, of 2createawebsite
Backlinks are links TO your website/blog FROM other sites. Backlinks are another important element of SEO.
One of the important things that Google looks for is how many backlinks point to your website, but more importantly, which websites do the pointing. For example, a reputable website like www.ScaryMommy.com, gives you more credit than a backlink from a low-traffic website. Backlinks from a spammy website could cost you your reputation.
One reason I wrote the article for Lifehack.org was to provide a reliable backlink to my own blog and website, from a website that I know gets a lot of traffic. Same with Scarymommy. Free advertising, if you like.
Here is the backlink in the flesh: a nice little snippet all about me, at the end the article.
So- there you have it. How to Make Hummus in 3 simple steps: behind the scenes!
I hope this post has helped you decipher some of the jargon surrounding SEO and keyword rich content.
Please comment below to set me straight on anything I got wrong, and please also subscribe to my blog. I promise lots more fun articles about motherhood and the media. Every few posts you will see an article in this series, which is called How to Make Mummy Money (through blogging).
Cheers. Happy blogging!