Freelance In 40 Days [Day 30]: A Little SEO To Promote Your Website

Posted: November 24th, 2009

Photo by Luke Redmond (Flickr)

Photo by Luke Redmond (Flickr)

This is Day 30 of the Freelance in 40 Days series where you’ll learn to freelance just by taking it one day and one task at a time. Today you’ll have a simple lesson in search engine optimization to promote your website.

Some of you may be familiar with the old days of search engine optimization, or SEO. To give you a refresher, there was the “bag o’ tricks” that could be done to get your website on the first page of Google that included:

  • Keyword stuffing, or cramming a search phrase repeatedly in a page to where it became awkward to read.
  • Multi-Keyword stuffed pages, repeating the above using a unique search phrase for multiple pages on a website.
  • Reciprocal linking, or getting every website you can to add a link to your website while you do the same in return.

Well, times have changed and search engines have become increasingly sophisticated to do one single thing: give you exactly what you are looking for when you do a search. In other words, not keyword stuffed fluff containing a million links to irrelevant websites.

Use Your Blog  To Do Your SEO

Your own freelance website will contain at least a portfolio, an about page, a contact page and maybe a few more. Unfortunately for Google and her sisters, Yahoo and Bing, these pages alone won’t be enough.

The reason is that having only a handful of pages lacks the amount of content needed for your website to become relevant in the search engines. So what to do?

Well, that’s why we have the advantage of our blog to do the SEO work for us.

To explain, search engines simply give higher rankings to websites with a lot of good content. Search engines love blogs because new content is constantly added and, over time, a blog essentially becomes a very large website when you consider that each post is equal to one page of a website.

So by making the blog the focal point of your website and, of course, consistently writing posts, your website slowly grows in size enough to where it becomes relevant in the search engines.

Keep in mind that while your portfolio and contact pages may not be the focal point of your website, you actually gain more exposure to them through the blog since that will become the main source of traffic to your website.

A Few Simple SEO Tips

  • Register your domain for two years or more. According to WebsiteGrader.com, search engines tend to penalize websites with domains that expire within a year since most of these are considered spammy sites.
  • Use keywords in the title of your blog posts. Try Wordtracker’s free keyword tool to come up with keywords often used in search queries. Note that not every single post you create has to be specially keyworded but a majority should be.
  • Don’t bother with reciprocal links to other websites or blogs. Although search engines value other websites linking to yours, that will come naturally as you gain more visitors to your website.
  • Do, however, link to other similar websites inside the content. Also, as your blog grows, refer to and link to other posts within your blog. The links contained in your website do add to it’s relevance in the search engines.
  • Don’t worry about having to keyword the content inside of posts. If your title is keyworded and your content stays within the meaning of the title, then keywording will come naturally within the content anyway.
  • Keep writing and be patient. Visitors don’t come overnight and it could take up to a year or more before you start to notice even a page 15 ranking in the search engines. This takes time.

What Should I Write About?

The most difficult part about having a blog is easily coming up with something to write in it. In the next tutorial, I’ll give you some ideas that will fill up those posts and will generate visitors in the process. So stay tuned!

More on the author, Johnny Spence
Johnny is the founder of The Freelance Rant and a freelance web programmer with 8 years in the business. Have a visit at his company Oscarrr!web or see what he's up to on Twitter.

1 Comment. Join In!