Hey, there newbie! How’s that blog of yours coming along? Getting much traffic?
Well as you may have figured out, no matter how many blog posts you create, if no one knows you exist, you’ll never be able to turn those posts into profits. So how do you get the traffic you need to make the money you want?
That’s right…it stands for Search Engine Optimization.
SEO, when done right can be a super sexy strategy that drives traffic to your blog and subscribers to your email list like whoa!
So what is SEO anyways…(I hear you).
Well, in simplest terms, SEO refers to the steps you can take to get your blog posts, videos and images to show up near the top of search engines like Google, YouTube and Pinterest when someone searches for a specific keyword or phrase.
For example, here’s the result for (how to) create and sell ecourse.
And as you can see, my blog post popped up in the #2 spot for that search term.
Just an FYI: All my Google searches were done incognito, so my searches were not skewed by my prior browser history.
Now, just to show you it’s not “blogger’s luck” let’s search for a more general term – “pin instagram photos to pinterest”.
Again, #2 in the results and you too, can rank at the top of the search engines by using a specific keyword or a general keyword phrase related to your content.
When I first started my blog, I didn’t know anything about SEO. I’d just write and publish posts without ever considering the possibility that I was supposed to be doing something else to get them seen by more people.
Boy, what a HUGE mistake. But you don’t know what you don’t know until you do. And as I began to learn more about SEO, I realized it was just something I could no longer ignore. Now, I take the extra steps to ensure I’m leveraging the power of SEO, and as a result, I get tons of targeted traffic from Google, Pinterest, and even YouTube…
Yes, YouTube and Pinterest are search engines. YouTube is a video search engine and Pinterest is a visual search engine where people go to get informational, educational, and inspirational content and when you use SEO to get “seen” on these sites you boost your traffic and email list like gangbusters.
So let me break down how SEO can work for you and key SEO hacks you can start using today to rank higher on Google and Pinterest.
01 | USE LONG-TAIL KEYWORDS
Your blog post is ONLY as powerful as it’s keywords and the smartest way to drive traffic with SEO is to target specific keywords that you want to rank for. A keyword is basically a word or phrase that you would use in your blog post and it’s basically the search term that somebody will type into Google in order to find information on that particular topic.
The best keywords to rank for are the shorter keywords. (Ex. create and sell ecourse vs. how to create and sell an ecourse OR use Pinterest tips vs. Pinterest tips for home based business owners). But…there is a catch!
Shorter, more general keywords are searched for more often, but because it’s general, for bloggers, there is a lot of competition, so ranking for these shorter keywords can be darn near impossible (unless you’re paying) and the traffic you do get is much less targeted.
For most new bloggers, the best way to start ranking on Google is to use what’s called long-tail keywords. Long tail keywords are those three to five word phrases which are very specific to the content you are publishing. For example, if you have a blog that talks about “printables“, just imagine how many people are searching for printables?
The competition for this keyword is super high because there are so many other blogs and websites writing about, selling and sharing information on printables. But if you use the long-tail keyword, “create printable and content upgrades” rather than just “printable” it makes it easier for your content to stand out and increases your chances of getting ranked near the top of the search engines for that particular long-tail keyword. This “specificity” allows you to attract a more targeted audience.
Check out the difference of where I rank based on how specific a user’s search is…
So, I am not even ranked on the first page under the search results for the keyword “printables” but if a user types in “printables and content upgrades” or “create printables and content upgrades” then I rank in the #1 spot and even have two of my videos pop up in the #1 and #2 spots under the YouTube results.
Where to use long-tail keywords
If you are wondering where you should be using your long-tail keywords, let me give you all the places I place them when creating a new blog post.
- I use them in my blog post titles.
- I use them in my blog post URL. (ex. andreabolder.com/best-pinterest-marketing-tips)
- I use them multiple times throughout my blog content. (headlines, sub-headlines and body text)
- I place them in my post descriptions and in my tags.
- I use them in my image titles, descriptions and alt tags.
Where to find long-tail keywords
If you are wondering where you can find these long-tail keywords, here are a few places:
- You can use Google trends and Google keyword planner to find long-tail keywords by simply typing in keywords related to your topic and then in the results section you can swipe the long-tail keywords that Google recommends that will get you to rank higher in the search engines.
- You can use the Pinterest guided search bar to find viral blog posts and suggested keywords. Take note of the URL of the blog posts associated with pins that rank at the top of the smart feed.
- You can use BuzzSumo.com. Before you pick a keyword to start working with, research if it is relevant to your audience or not with the BuzzSumo app. Check out the viral content suggestions and see which keywords and keyword phrases others bloggers have used to rank near the top of the search engines.
The goal is to give your blog posts a fighting chance of ranking by using a combination of short, general keywords, long-tail keywords and as well as related words.
But, long-tail keywords just one type of metric for SEO and in my course, Pin It Perfect, I teach you the ins and outs of leveraging SEO the right way to drive a constant stream of traffic to your blog posts, videos and product pages from Pinterest.
02 | PUMP UP THE PINTEREST SEO
The question I always get asked is how do I get my pins to show up in the Smartfeed and in the search? Well, the quick answer is…
Pinterest has been making a lot of upgrades and feature changes to put more focus on pinner engagement which means when you save a new Pin to one of your Pinterest boards, it will be shared with your followers first. From there, Pinterest will see which of your Pins are getting the best engagement and then it will quickly share those Pins to a much broader audience than just your own followers — by recommending Pins in people’s home feeds, and by boosting your Pins in the search results and related Pins pages.
So, what can you do to expand your reach on Pinterest?
- Engage. Engage. Engage. Make sure you are creating compelling pins that link to quality content your followers are interested in. Your Pinterest followers are the key to your success because they are basically qualifying the quality of your content by how they engage with it.
- Pin and participate on Pinterest using SEO best practices so your pins can easily be identified as relevant to your target pinning audience. If your content resonates with your followers but your SEO is lacking, the smart feed will not reward you as graciously.
Pro Tip: One of the things I did was to make sure the first five pins of each of my boards were my most pinned and engaged pins.
Where should we use keywords (on and off Pinterest)
On Pinterest, you do not need to be as specific with your keywords as with Google, but you do want to incorporate keywords in a way that makes it easy for the average user to find your content. When looking to get to the top of the smart feed on Pinterest, you want to include keywords in the followings areas of your pin:
- Your board titles, board descriptions as well as your profile description. You want to make sure you are not keyword stuffing but using descriptive sentences to explain what your board and pins are about. Adding board descriptions is a best practice and while you may see boards that don’t have descriptions, they may have other factors (high engagement, quality Pins, etc.).
- Your pin descriptions. Probably the most important place to add keywords, Pinterest wants to make sure your Pin description matches the content on the blog or website it links to. Continuity and relevance are important, so focus on using the same keywords in your Pin that you use in your blog post or page (including the post title).
- Your pin hashtags. You can use up to 20 hashtags in your descriptions, though I will typically use 3-4. While a lot of people do not necessarily use or know about the #hashtag search feature, it’s good to get into the habit of using them to add another layer or relevance and to position your pins the best way you can.
At the end of the day, it’s all about relevance. Focus on covering all the ways a person might search for users, boards, and pins like yours. The more information you give Pinterest, the more descriptive, the better your pins will perform because now Pinterest will have a better understanding of the Pins on that board, which helps your content get seen more.
How do you find keywords on Pinterest?
The easiest (and best) way to find relevant keywords is to use the Pinterest guided search. Simply type in your search terms, and Pinterest will make suggestions below the search bar. Don’t ignore these because they are words that people are already searching for!
So if you type in the keyword phrase “grow your blog” Pinterest also suggests the words “With Pinterest,” “How,” “Traffic” and “Tips” just to name a few (see the colored tiles). The tiles show us that in connection with “grow your blog,” people are also interested in those phrases too!
SEO is your friend. You want to create binge-worthy content, evergreen content that is SEO friendly, uses long-tail keywords and strive to get inbound links. Use Google’s free keyword planner tool, Google Trends and the Pinterest guided search bar to find your long-tail keyword and variations you can use in your posts.
While SEO is not a magic pill (you may not see the full benefits for several months) trust that it’s working and search engines like Pinterest and Google will easily become your top traffic sources.
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