How Can SEO Grow My Audience?

By: Kelly Beall. Photo by: Justin Hackworth 

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is kind of a big deal. In case you're unfamiliar, SEO refers to a site's ranking in an organic (unpaid) search on an search engine such as Bing. There are several scientific and mathematical considerations that go into the ranking of your blog (and every site), but there are also things you can be doing to get higher up the ladder. And when your blog is more visible, guess what? Chances are it's growing! Here are five ways to optimize your SEO.

1. Reserve your domain for a longer period of time. 

I know, it sounds weird. But the next time your url is up for renewal spring for the three year option instead of the one year. It's a small investment that requires little on your part and will contribute to the considerations that will help jack up your ranking.

2. Create post titles with keywords.

For example, 10 Summer Pies instead of I Love Pie In the Summertime. I'm completely guilty of ignoring this one, sometimes a good catchy title just gets the best of me. Unfortunately, it doesn't rank well. The more pared down and keyed in you can be the better.

3. Use anchor text links.

This one is super simple and effective. Never link to a work like "here" (as in click here), it will yield zero results because it's just so darn vague. If you're writing about an artist link through their name, etc. This easy action will make your post pop up higher in searches.

4. Make sure your site is loading fast.

I just saw a crazy fact saying 68% of people won't visit a site ever again if it doesn't load quickly on the first try. And it's true! Just think about your own experiences. You want to keep your visitors coming back, so test out your blog with a tool like Pingdom to make sure everything is lightning fast.

5. Write about hot topics.

Now I realize, these may not always be applicable to the topic of your blog. Buuuut, sometimes they might be. Sift through Hot Searches to see what's hopping and see if there's a place for you to bring something to the conversation. This sort of piggybacking will boost your numbers.