What Makes our Content Google Friendly and SEO Savvy?

February 22, 2018
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To be honest, we have no damn clue. But, we are learning. Our recent session of “Let’s Talk SEO” two of our favourite people Nishadha Silva and Nisal Lakmal, the latter of whom is now Head of Digital at Yoho Bed *woot woot* spoke to us and shared their insights on how to write better for Google and some SEO writing tips to take away.

By the end of this article while we do anticipate all of you to think and breathe SEO, we still want to desperately preserve the art of storytelling. Because after all, stories and its people do sell.

So, what is SEO?

SEO for those who don’t know, stands for “Search Engine Optimisation”. The Blog Tyrant puts this together very nicely however, simply put, it as the manner in which you write to rank your blog or website #1 on the “Search Engine Ranking Positions” (SERPs). The acronym was also new knowledge, ladies and gentlemen.

SEO becomes important for us as it yes, help with the SERPs and helps the website or blog grow organically. Money can buy lots of good things but once you are able to increase your ranking organically, Google will most likely let you stay there.

Let’s Talk about Keywords

If you’ve heard of SEO, then you’ve obviously heard of keywords. It means what it is, there is no fancy explanation behind it. If there is, you know where to find it.

Keywords are crucial and HubSpot tells us that Google handles approximately 40,000 (or thousands more) keywords per second. WHAT! The figure is an important one as it gives you an indication of the competition you are up against. No longer are you Creators competing with other travel writers locally, but a gazillion of travellers or those related to the travel industry worldwide most of whom might be searching for the same thing. Hence, it is important that your writing has been optimised for Google and your piece of writing in fact is able to be ranked within the first few search results.

One of the important factors that determine a good keyword is its relevant. If you don’t consider yourself to be news savvy, Google (obviously) has a tool for that too.

So, How Do I know what Makes a Good Keyword?

Well, trial and error was where we were at, initially.

But then we also resorted to making the life of our digital guys M-I-S-E-R-A-B-L-E.

But miserable we shall make them no more.

For we are heroes in our own making now.

hero

There are actually a few tools on the Internet for dummies like ourselves. We don’t mean it with any offence really. For us, what matters is good writing that is relatable and narrates itself like a beautiful story.

But we have learnt the hard way that this is not sufficient. At least, it doesn’t bring any money.

So here are some of our favourite tools so far. Some which we’ve been using and a few we are excited to use.

  1. We are not sure if it was Nishadha, but we have been waking up every morning and changed our loo scrolls from Instagram to the Moz Blog. For reals. Moz even has a keyword tool. How bloody amazing.
  2. The keyword tool (how unoriginal a name) has been a favourite of ours since day zero. But there is only a certain amount that allows you on the free edition. But if you are willing to pay, no one is stopping you.
  3. This tool is a new discovery, which we haven’t used but hopefully will be in time to come if Moz fails us. Or we fail them.

How to Subtly but Effectively Insert Keywords

Okay so we don’t have any tips on this one. Really, we don’t. We usually pick out our favourites and then work on integrating them into the writing. However, the experts tell us to write first and the keyword-fy the article. Either way, try to find a method that suits you. HubSpot on the other hand tells you to be natural. Whatever that means.

Also, very important: don’t for the love of God, overcrowd the article with keywords also known as “keyword stuffing”. Google is too savvy for that and might list it out as spam. Two to four would be ideal.

Life beyond Keywords

If you thought that SEO was limited to keywords, haha, keep dreaming.

Turns out, there is a tonne of more things you can do to optimise your writing.

Main Title

Does your title talk about what’s in the article? Is it vague? Would you realistically click on this article if you see it on Google? Is it actually WORTHY of being ranked #1? Also, does it have your main keyword? Our in-house guru recommends to use a tool to see if your headline or main title fits the bill.

Headings

besides the body of the article, it’s always good try and have your keyword in your headings. Also using the “heading 1, 2, 3…” option on WordPress or whatever platform you are using is also great. But remember that Heading 1 is only for the main title of the article.

Permalinks

Don’t freak out. We did too. Permalinks according to Blog Tyrant are “how people locate your blog and its internal posts and pages”. Basically, we don’t want people reading a www.yohobed.com/blog/123456 but rather read a https://www.yohobed.com/blog/bars-in-colombo/. On our blog, we try miserably to change this but sometimes we get lazy or we forget. But no more!

Image alt text 

See Google is smart but not too smart. Basically, Google is not capable of reading images. Instead what we do when uploading images is to describe what the image is, which would then appear on a Google image search, which in turn would drive traffic to our website. VOILA!

Share on social media 

If we haven’t been desperate enough, hear us out. It’s important that we all share our content via social media, WhatsApp, email and tell our family, friends and neighbours of the contributions we are making to the World Wide Web.

SEO trends change often. We can’t stop it. We don’t know when it happens. Maybe someone does but we are not in that memo-list. Keep reading, stay informed and look for relevant information. Don’t forget to ask either. You can holla at either Nishadha or our in house experts Charana Randeni on [email protected] and Nisal Lakmal for questions, clarifications and solutions to all of life’s problems.

We are also sharing presentations of Nisal and Nishadha and an event article done by our friends at ReadMe.

On another note, have you ever been stuck for ideas? Well, here’s a little tip that we want to share.

HubSpot has been a go-to tool of mine and this beautiful site also gives you an idea generator! I’m not kidding! Have a look at it yourself.

References:

Here are also some stellar pieces of writing that were referred to during the course of this article. We suggest you read them too: