Day 21: Improve Your SEO

People are looking for you online, both by name and as they generally search for freelance writers. It’s important to make yourself easy to find online, which means making sure you show up in the search results on Google and on other search engines. The ways of doing just that are known as ‘search engine optimization’ (SEO).

There are some debates on just what SEO techniques really work, especially because search engines don’t share how they rank search results. However, some approaches have been shown to work particularly well.

Link Building

One of the best ways to rank in a search engine, especially in Google, is to have as many links to your site from other sites as possible, preferably with anchor text (the text of the link) set as your name or any term you want to rank for, like ‘Maryland freelance writer’ or ‘real estate writer.’ You may not have a lot of control over what other sites link to you, but a couple of the marketing steps we’ve already discussed can give you a head start.

If you’ve got a blog, you’re actually well ahead of the game. Even some fairly basic promotions for your blog, like sharing posts with your friends on different social networks or submitting your links to blog carnivals can help you quickly build up some great links. As long as you’ve got interesting posts, people have an incentive to pass them along and link to them from other sites. Oth methods of promoting your blog can also help improve your search rankings. By writing guest posts or posting to other sites and including a link or two back to your own site, you create relevant links back to your own site.

Any resources you pass along can also help build links for you. Even if only a few sites link to your resource, they’ll improve your search results, especially since they’ll probably link using anchor text that describes your resource and the niche it is meant for.

A presence on social networks can also give you a couple of automatic boosts to your links. Because Google and other search engines know how big sites like LinkedIn or Facebook are, they’ll rank your profiles on those sites high in the search results for your name.

Keywords

If you look at the information a lot of SEO experts provide, they encourage you to have high keyword density of your website — that is, you should use keywords that relate to your niche as much as possible. While this used to be true, most search engines do not seem to take keywords into account nearly as much as they used to. You should still make a point of using keywords, but only to the point that you would normally use them in writing about just what it is you do.

  • Write about what you do, and why it works. Try to use language that a potential client would use while searching for you.
  • Write about the projects you’ve completed and post testimonials. From an SEO point of view, the absolute best testimonials will clearly state what you did.
  • Actually mention your name once or twice on your site. You’d be surprised how few people do that.

Don’t stress keywords. Write for your potential clients and you’ll probably hit an ideal level of keywords without even trying.

What sites link to you? What text do they use in the links?

Just joining us? Check out where we started with Setting Your Goals!

6 Comments

  1. Mary Jo Campbell   •  

    I have a question. My blog is set on Google alerts and I’ve been getting frequent search alerts for the link to my blog (the whole url), however, someone else’s blog is coming up as the found link. My name or site is not mentioned in any of her posts, but my blog is on her blogroll. Does anyone know why this is happening?
    As grateful as I am to be on another blogroll, I don’t necc. want her posts to be first in the search when people are searching my url. Her posts are pretty random and disorganized and I’d hate if that style is linked to my work. Help!

  2. thursday   •     Author

    @Mary Jo, While there isn’t a way to eliminate the mentions of your blog on her blogroll, it’s unlikely that she actually shows up very high in a search for your URL. I’d suggest typing your name and your website into Google (not Google Alerts) to see just what comes up.

    The reason that the site keeps showing up in your alerts is that Google views each blog post as a change to the site, making it seem like the whole page has changed to the software Google uses.

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  4. Mary Jo Campbell   •  

    Thank you, Thursday! That makes sense. I’ll google my blog and name and see what comes up…

  5. Pingback: mjcwriter (Mary Jo Campbell)

  6. Pingback: thursdaybram.com » Blog Archive » Wrap Up — Market Your Freelance Writing In 31 Days

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