My New Year’s resolution in January was to set a new goal for each month throughout 2010 in order to make improvements in my life on a consistent basis. Since I summarize at month-end, did I achieve my monthly goal for August, and what is my goal for September?
My monthly goal for August was stated:
SEO has never made a lot of sense to me. About a month ago I downloaded a 27-page document that my category manager at examiner.com listed in a newsletter as something she recommended we read. I read two to three pages at which time my brain slipped into hibernate mode regarding SEO, and I haven’t looked at the document since.
During the month of August, I plan to read one page of that 27-page document each day, and then reread that page at least five times. By the end of August I WILL have a better understanding of SEO.
I‘ll report back at the end of the month, when I hopefully will be more SEO-savvy.
Did I meet my monthly goal for August?
Yes, inasmuch as I carefully reviewed the 27-page document, and I do have a better understanding of SEO. However, the document turned out to be a sales promo for someone wanting to sell the reader his SEO service that analyzes the content of web pages, blogs, etc. for a fee based on numbers of evaluations per month! It wasn’t the learning tool that I had hoped that it would be.
Throughout August I have given considerable thought to the whole SEO topic, and have concluded that achieving optimization is a process that takes time, patience, ongoing study and perhaps even an element of luck. By reading one article or even dozens of articles I won’t suddenly be transported to the top of the Google ranking list.
But I have also realized that we writers subconsciously learn as we go (at least most of us do). We know that we need to write good content for an article to attract readers. Likewise, we know that keywords play an important role to enable the search engines to find our material. Titles hold our attention, but we often don’t know what to do with them.
After reaching my goal for August, I took time to read pertinent articles that are showcased within AC’s tutorials section, and other articles on SEO that I found through a Google search. After that, I devised my own “6-point plan of action” to help me learn more about the topic:
1) Although I didn’t find this spelled out, it seems best to me to put keywords into my title, subtitle, first paragraph and concluding paragraph (everything I read indicated that “stuffing” keywords into the article is a big “no-no”).
2) Study the impact of “linking out” from my writing and being the recipient of “linking in” from others to my writing.
3) Improve on my titles (one suggestion was to not exceed 72 characters) and have key words close to the beginning of the title. There was lots of emphasis on skipping the catchy title as the search engines need to match the title with what the article is about.
4) Learn about social media news sites such as Digg or Reddit, and about social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. I have been reluctant to devote time to such sites, but perhaps I should.
5) Learn more about “meta-descriptions” which are the snippets of copy below the search result – it seems these might be more important than I realized.
6) Learn more about blogs and how they fit into the picture, including guest writing for other people’s blogs.
My monthly goal for September, 2010
I have been writing online for 11 months, plus I have recently created some blogs. It is time for me to achieve a better balance between my six writing sites (AC, examiner.com and four blogs) and also within my personal life. I purpose to analyze my time spent on writing to find the balance that I desire.
I accomplished my August goal, and learned there is plenty of free help available regarding SEO for anyone willing to do some research and then apply what is learned. The topic of SEO is beginning to make more sense to me and I’m inspired to learn more. If I search on SEO, linking, backlinking, keywords, etc., I will find lots of reading to amaze and mystify me!
And I look forward to achieving my goal for September!