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Hello loyal readers,
This is a very exciting , but nerve racking day for me, as Catherine Lawson and I are guest posting on each other’s blogs. Although my post on her blog, can’t match the caliber of Catherine’s writings, I’m hoping I haven’t made a complete fool of myself.
I am honored share with you, the first guest post on BWAB, authored by a favorite blogger of mine, Catherine Lawson. So without further ado…

Increased search engine traffic means more people reading your content. But, if you’re lazy, like me, trying to get more traffic to your blog, without spoiling your content may seem too much like hard work.

Until recently I didn’t bother trying to drive search engine traffic to my blog at all. Then I discovered that it’s quite effortless, and you don’t need to ruin your content at all. And now I rank on the first page of Google for many keyphrases and you can too. Just follow these simple steps:

Concentrate On Keyphrases As Opposed To Keywords: Optimise for keyphrases, not keywords. Eg: Instead of cookery, business or money, choose “cookery for dummies”, “improve business growth”, or “making money at home”.

Remember, each time you write a post, you can choose a different phrase according to your content.

Titles Are Important: Aim to include your keyphrase in your blog post/article and somewhere in the first paragraph of your post. But, don’t worry about including it in the remainder of the post. If you choose your phrases carefully, you won’t need to do any more to compete.

Have The Title In Your URL: Does your title appear in your URL like this: http://cathlawson.com/blog/2008/02/28/5-business-writing-tips-you-can-profit-from/ If not, go into WordPress and change your settings. Click “options” then “permalinks” and change the settings from default to date and name based.

Keep It Real: Don’t optimise every single post for the search engines. Remember that you also need titles which will appeal to social networks and your regular readers, who will be viewing them through a feed reader. Also, write the post first then look for a suitable keyphrase. This way, your writing will appear more natural, as you won’t be trying to write a post around a particular phrase.

Who’s Looking For you? You need to know what keyphrases people are searching for, before you can optimise your titles. I use Wordtracker (www.wordtracker.com) as it brings up hundreds of different options.

What’s the Competition Like: Wordtracker will tell you how much competition there is for each keyphrase, but you want to know how good that competition is. Since it’s your titles you’re optimising, you need to know how many competitors have that keyphrase in their title.

Here’s how to do that:

To discover how many websites have optimised the title, type the following into Google search:

allintitle: keyphrase

allintitle: florida weddings

The search results show that 34,100 websites have the search phrase “florida weddings” in the title.

But wordtracker also shows that a lot of people are also searching for “florida beach weddings”

And if I type:

allintitle: florida beach weddings

And I discover that only 2210 sites have that phrase in the title. And when I click on the first few results, none of them have the phrase in their first paragraph, which is even better. So, this is obviously a better title to choose.

Make The Title Appeal To Real People: Remember when you’re optimising titles for search engine traffic, you still need real people to click on that title. Now, having the keyphrase close to the beginning of the title will give you a better chance of ranking higher, but it won’t necessarily attract more clicks.

You could simply use Florida Beach Weddings as the title. But, you might attract more clicks if you use: Florida Beach Weddings: The Ultimate Guide; or Planning Florida Beach Weddings: 10 Must Do’s.

And that’s it – it’s not complicated and it works. Have a go yourself and keep checking your stats to see where your traffic comes from and how you’re ranking. Then you’ll begin to get a feel for how good your competition is for particular phrases and what works and what doesn’t.

If you have any questions – please feel free to ask in the comments section.

Useful Resources

All In One SEO Pack is a useful plugin if you have a WordPress blog. I’m too lazy to use it to its full potential though. So, if you want to take it a step further, check out this excellent guide by Ciaran. How To Herd Organic Search Traffic To Your Blog

If you want to learn even more about SEO – check out Aaron Wall’s SEO book.

And if you want to get all the SEO tools and gadgets you can lay your hands on – here’s 136 SEO tools

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  1. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    I’m not just saying this because I’m a fan of the blog host and guest, but that’s really easy to use advice that even an idiot like me can understand and apply.

    I rarely think about titles and have never pre-searched with a view to getting traffic through SEO.

    But I’ll try it. I know commenters and particularly bloggers too easily say they’ll bookmark a post, but this one is truly worthy.

    I’ve read, or should I say, started to read lots of posts on SEO. And quickly switched off because it loses me too quickly.

    This was a crisp read I want to come back to next time I’m writing or planning a topic.

    Ian Denny’s last blog post..Campaign Against Rude Bloggers – And A Call To Action

  2. bizsugar.com says:

    Increase Search Engine Traffic for Lazy People | Blogging Without A Blog…

    Any small business with a web-site or blog should heed these words.

    Getting traffic if you are lazy is easily achieved. If they’d added “…for Lazy People AND IDIOTS” then it would apply to me because I’m a bit slow when it comes to marketing on…

  3. Barbara – How fun! You and Catherine home-swapping for a day in cyberspace. Thanks for sharing this post.

    Catherin – I thought I knew quite a bit about google and seo, but I wasn’t aware of the allintitle parameter. Thanks for the info!

    sterling | bizlift’s last blog post..Fishing With David Lynch: Creating Value From Nothing

  4. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for the kind intro Barbara – but you’re far too modest. Your guest post on my blog is excellent. By the way – I forgot to give you the link for Wordtracker – it’s: http://www.wordtracker.com Sorry.

    Hi Ian – I’m glad you’ve found it useful. It seems far easier for a blog to rank highly than an ordinary website and it’s much quicker too. And I find it a whole lot easier to do it this way.

    I would also check out Ciaran’s article – as he does give plenty of extra things you can do and you’ll no doubt get even better results. But I haven’t tried them yet as I’m too lazy.

    Hi Sterling – I’m glad it helped. It’s a useful way of checking what the competition is like.

    CatherineL’s last blog post..How Radar Can Improve Your Business

  5. Catherine,
    Again another wonderful post. i keep running into you on the internet and everything I read, I love.

    You’re just chock full of great – wonderful advice.

    -kb

    Kelly @ Small Business Guru’s last blog post..Sam Carpenter – Author of Work the System (Spotlight Interview)

  6. John HoffNo Gravatar says:

    Excellent idea there, Catherine. I’ve used phrases before but I can see how they are extremely important after reading your post.

    I got a little discouraged though when I used the allintitle attribute for “web hosting.” There’s something like 7 MILLION titles out there. I think keyword phrases will be my best bet in the meta tag.

    Great article and idea!

    John Hoff’s last blog post..The Art of Persuasion (Part 2 of 3): Knowledge, Timing, Listening

  7. SEO for Lazy People!?

    Now you’re speaking my language!

    I’m a big fan of your final point – optimising your title tags for “real” readers, not for search engines.

    Search engines measure click through rates, and use this as a ranking factor. Ever noticed how searches on some well-known “gurus” will give you a “{Guru’s Name} is a SCAM” title?
    These titles get phenomenal CTRs.

    Keyword inclusion in the title tags is another no-brainer. You just have to do a Google search to see the strong correlation between keywords in title tags and rankings

    Anyway – great post Barbara.

    Brent

    Brent Hodgson’s last blog post..Traffic as an SEO Factor

  8. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Kelly – thank you very much.

    Hi John – web hosting is a competitive phrase. If you check out wordtracker you’ll find plenty other ones you can use. Just one word on the metatags though – they don’t really hold much weight with the major search engines anymore.

    Some people still put them in, as you never know if things are going to change, but I can’t imagine it. It’s just too easy for people to stuff a load of phrases into the metatags. It’s better to concentrate on using your keyphrases in your content and title.

    Hi Brent – it’s funny you should manage that – but I rank number one for one of the gurus names and the word scammer. But, it wasn’t deliberate and I don’t even believe that person is a scammer.

    But, it’s easy to see why those titles have a good clickthrough rate. People keep trying to find reviews and get nothing but glowing ones from affiliates. Then they type in the word scammer and they still get nothing but glowing reviews.

    CatherineL’s last blog post..Business: Do You Think You Know It All?

  9. NezNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Since I’m subscribed to both yours and Catherine’s blogs, for a moment there I couldn’t remember which blog I was reading!

    Anyway, great article with a great, catchy title.

    Nez’s last blog post..Why People Love a Good Mystery

  10. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi All,

    My paying job has kept me away from my blog, but it’s great to see that Catherine’s post was so well received. When you get advice from someone who has been blogging for two years, it holds a lot of value.

    I feel honored to have had Catherine take the time to guest post here at BWAB. Maybe I can talk her into doing it again sometime soon. :)

    Barbara’s last blog post..Increased Search Engine Traffic For Lazy People

  11. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Nez – like you said in your post a little mystery goes a long way.

    Hi Barbara – I definitely would like to swap again. It’s a great change isn’t it and your post was extremely popular on my blog also. Plus, it’s great fun confusing folks like Nez.

    CatherineL’s last blog post..Business: Do You Think You Know It All?

  12. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    You’re on Catherine….

    Let’s plan another one in the near future. :)

    Barbara’s last blog post..Increased Search Engine Traffic For Lazy People

  13. It’s great to see a guest post from Catherine. Maybe you two should switch blogs every other post to really confuse Nez!

    bizsugar suggested the title “Increase Search Engine Traffic for Lazy People AND IDIOTS,” and maybe that’s what I need because I still don’t get it. :)

    If your post is about Florida weddings in general and not specifically beach weddings, then you can’t put Florida beach weddings in the title because it’s misleading. On the other hand, if your post is about Florida beach weddings, then you’re probably going to put that in the title anyway.

    Maybe the lesson here is to write posts about more focused topics instead of general topics. Narrow topics should lend themselves better to keyphrases that have less competition relative to the search volume than broad keywords. Is that the right idea, or am I missing something else?

    Hunter Nuttall’s last blog post..Lessons From The 2008 Congress Of Jugglers

  14. BarbaraNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Hunter,

    Switching every other post would confuse Nez,(but only for a short time…he’s bright so he would catch on fast). But it sure confuse me even more. I would forget if I’m suppose to be writing about blogging or about business. We will guest post on each others blogs again, but we’ll let the next one be a surprise again. :)

    I emailed Catherine and she’ll come by and answer your question.

    Barbara’s last blog post..Blogging Etiquette – The Unwritten Rules

  15. CatherineLNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Hunter – that is a great point. It was probably quite a lazy example, because as you point out, it would be really misleading if you hadn’t actually written about beach weddings.

    Definitely focusing on narrow topics makes sense, but you really need to check what phrases people are using to search, or nobody will find your posts.

    CatherineL’s last blog post..Why You Probably Need A Facelift

  16. Mrs. MicahNo Gravatar says:

    Excellent post, Catherine. :) One way I try to figure out phrases that’ll work is by using my statcounter and finding out what people have searched for. Seeing if maybe I can answer it better.

  17. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Mrs. Micah,

    Good to see you over here. Didn’t Catherine do a great job on this guest post?

    Thanks for sharing the great tip.

  18. rockstaNo Gravatar says:

    thank you for sharing such great ideas!

    rocksta’s last blog post..Smartphones versus Blackberry

  19. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Rocksta,

    Welcome to the community here at BWAB.

    You’re welcome for the kind words. :)

  20. GlennNo Gravatar says:

    Catherine – your post was very helpful, it was written in plain English so that a layperson can understand what you are saying. There are some bloggers that write at a level that one needs a PHD to understand what they are saying.

    The techniques you explained will definitely be employed or deployed by myself to raise the level of my blog posts.

    Now I just have to find your blog for future readings via a feed.

    Again thank you.

    Glenns last blog post..Real Estate News 04/28/08

  21. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Glenn,

    Welcome to the BWAB community.

    This is a great guest post Catherine did, isn’t it? I love the way she writes – it’s so easy to understand and the information is so helpful.

  22. GlennNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – Thank you for the welcome to the community. I agree with you that it was a great guest post and I like how she writes. Think we think alike about her ability to communicate.

    Glenns last blog post..Real Estate News 04/28/08

  23. […] Several months ago, Catherine Lawson did a guest post on my blog, and wrote an article titled: Increased Search Engine Traffic For Lazy People. […]

  24. A great post and quite informative. You write very well and keep it “simple”, easy, yet direct. Keep up the great work.

    BlogMeTheMoneys last blog post..Adsense Alternatives: Part 4 of 4

  25. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Blog Me The Money,

    Thanks for coming by and commenting. This was a guest post done by Catherine. I, too, like the way she writes. Even I can understand it. :)

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  29. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Wow,
    I can’t seem to get off this blog today…I am just learning so much. Maybe this idea will help to get me more comments and traffic?

    Thank you so much. A day is so lovely when there is something new to learn

    Patricia’s last blog post..Scary School Supplies

  30. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Patricia:

    ***smiles*** Stay as long as you would like. That’s what I’m here for.

    You’re welcome! :)

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