You may have heard the expression “niches are riches,” and providing that valuable, authoritative content for your audience is more important than ever before. The goal of most search engines is to deliver an optimized, accurate set of results which means they are becoming more aggressive about penalizing websites that provide little to no value, such as sites that are too ad dense (more than 30% of a page), have thin content and/or poor site structure.
And so the impetus to create and share richer, deeper and more compelling information takes on new urgency.
Turning passion into profit is a subject that Internet entrepreneur and SEO specialist Chloe Spencer knows firsthand. She started her first online business – a fan site for Neopets – when she was just 14 years old. With help from her SEO expert father, Stephan Spencer, she monetized her site and was soon earning much more than she would have in a typical teen job like a paper route or babysitting. Today Spencer runs an international SEO consulting company, working with clients to improve their search engine rankings, build traffic and improve their site health.
We caught up with Spencer at BlogHer and asked her to share her expert advice on monetizing your passion, her favorite SEO tips, and things she’d tell you about SEO (but traditional SEO experts might not). Read on after you view the video!
Build your online authority for better SEO
It begins with taking your passion and building content. But don’t stop there: To establish your site as a trusted resource and to become easily discoverable online, you’ve got to make it your mission to build relationships with influential and authoritative sites in your niche and cultivate those valuable backlinks. Spencer recommends trying to contribute articles or posts or being interviewed as an “expert” on high quality sites.
Keep it simple
While highly technical “how-to” advice for optimization best practices is easy to find online, Chloe says that trying to follow complicated tips may be overwhelming for new publishers. Her advice is to focus first on tackling the basics. Then once you’ve set up a site with solid structure and smart linking practices in place, you can build on it with rich content that delivers real value to users. Spencer also urges you to also check the source of the SEO advice you’re following, as there is a lot of misinformation and outdated content online, or hire a consultant who has strong references and doesn’t make empty promises (i.e. “we’ll get you to the top of Google’s rankings in a few weeks”).
The top timeless SEO tip
According to Spencer, tags are perhaps the most important aspect of your on-page SEO. The title tag is the snippet of words you see at the very top of your browser window or the title of the tab if you have multiple tabs open. Because of this primo placement and also because search engine bots that crawl your site give title tag keywords the most weight, it’s crucial that you include your site keywords in title tags. Avoid using default titles like “welcome” or “blog,” because they don’t have keywords.
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