SEO: Why It’s Important & How to Make it Work for You

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When you hear the term ‘search engine optimization,’ what comes to mind? There’s a good chance you’re thinking ‘what in the world is it?’ or you know what it is, but you’re slightly intimidated by it.

If you’re a blogger, business owner, or any kind of content creator, search engine optimization (SEO) is a very important concept to understand. Essentially, if your site has good SEO, it will bring in traffic and lead to more conversions!

Here at Bloguettes, we understand how scary SEO can seem, but we also know the benefits of having a well-optimized site! So, for our 2018 Workshop, we’re bringing in expert Kristen Poli from Contently! Kristen is an SEO whiz, and at our conference she’ll be leading a session all about SEO and how to make it work for you.

We recently had the chance to sit down and do a quick Q&A with Kristen, so keep reading to get to know her and get a sneak peek at what her SEO session will be like!

Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got to where you are today!

I’ve always had strong interests in both in writing and technology. At NYU, I majored in Media and Communications which allowed me to practice writing for a digital audience but also gave me the opportunity to work on cool data analysis projects. NYU has a special computing lab especially for data exploration and research…I loved it.

When I was in college, I did a ton of interning, mostly in the fashion industry. I worked for major fashion houses, publications, and independent designers…but what really stuck with me wasn’t the clothes. It was how analog the industry still is! In a way, that experience inspired me to look for jobs at tech companies when I graduated.

Let’s talk SEO. What is it, and why is it so important?

People use the acronym in so many different contexts, but SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of making content hosted on your website as visible as possible to search engines.

Search engines determine how the majority of us experience the Internet – so it’s really important! If you’re hosting fantastic content but it’s invisible to search engines, or it’s buried in the results pages, then you’ve wasted a lot of effort.

 

"If you’re hosting fantastic content but it’s invisible to search engines, or it’s buried in the results pages, then you’ve wasted a lot of effort."

How can having great SEO benefit businesses?

SEO is a supremely powerful marketing tactic that can benefit nearly any business. It takes hard work and patience, but good SEO brings traffic to your site that money can’t buy – literally.

You can pay to be featured on a search engine results page (SERP) for a particular keyword, but users are far more likely to click on an organic result than a paid one. It can also give your business a reputation for trustworthiness and an advantage over new competitors who are just starting to produce content – because SEO is a ‘long game’, you’ll have a home court advantage.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to improve their site’s SEO, but doesn’t know where to start?

Go straight to the source! Google, the world’s largest search engine, has developed a ton of tactical tools and educational content to help you optimize your site. Start by taking a lesson about search at Google’s Digital Garage, one of their many free e-learning courses, then spend some time with Google Search Console to check for technical issues on your site. If you want to get inspired, look at Google Trends to find out what people are searching for worldwide.

What are some common misconceptions about SEO?

The biggest misconception that I run into is that SEO and content marketing are separate disciplines. These two disciplines need to work together in order to be effective!

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SEO success doesn’t necessarily happen overnight. How can a brand evaluate if their efforts are working or not?

That’s true. SEO is not an overnight solution to your problems or a one-and-done audit. It’s an ongoing effort, but one of its advantages is that it’s relatively easy to prove its value over time.

If you’re succeeding with SEO, you’ll see increased numbers of traffic, and if you’re targeting the right terms, you should see an increased amount of conversions as well. There are lots of services that make it easy to estimate how much that additional traffic would be worth if you used PPC, which make proving ROI easy (especially if you’re not paying for an outside agency to help you)!

"If you’re succeeding with SEO, you’ll see increased numbers of traffic, and if you’re targeting the right terms, you should see an increased amount of conversions as well."

Give us a sneak peek at what we can expect from your SEO workshop!

During my hands-on session, I’m going to be teaching attendees how to use smart tools to help inform your SEO strategy and techniques you can use to make your content more accessible even if SEO isn’t your full-time job.

When you’re not busy working at Contently, what can we find you doing?

I try to make sure I’m taking some kind of class to stay creative…last Fall, I did a great creative nonfiction course, but I like to mix it up. I love reading contemporary poets and just ordered Ana Bozicevic’s new book, The Joy Of Missing Out. I love taking classes at New York Pilates. I’m lucky enough to live near a bunch of indie movie theaters, so I go there often too!

Want to attend Kristen’s SEO session at The Workshop? Tickets are going fast, so be sure to grab yours today!

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