Organic traffic is what every website owner wants to have as high as possible. And to increase it, many go to great lengths trying to improve SEO.
By optimizing the website and its content for search engines, the goal is to have your page (or post, in our cases) listed as high as possible in the rankings, when certain terms (keywords), or better yet entire expressions are searched for.
I've seen an initiative started by @paulag to write more for the outside of Steem than for the inside, and improve the SEO of our content. While I generally write about Steem-related subjects more than anything else, I believe it is worth exploring the limits of SEO from our interfaces, and push them further, where the case requires.
Before one can optimize content for search engines, they should research the keywords (or rather expressions) they want to optimize for.
There are more "professional" ways to research keywords, competition for them, and how much are they targeted for paid content.
But here's an easy way. Google the terms. Let's say you want to research something about old comic books. Write that in Google Search and see what are the 10 suggestions it offers you. They are the 10 most searched for expressions which start with old comic books. Here's what Google suggested me:
If you had only googled comic books, which is a less specific expression, you get a completely different set of suggestions. Here is mine, influenced by my location it seems.
If you want to see the list of suggestions based on a word added elsewhere in the expression, just go with your cursor where you want to see the suggestions and hit space bar. In my first example, for my expression old comic books, I wanted to see if there are any suggestions based on a word inserted between old and comic. I moved the cursor after old and hit space bar. That's the list of suggestions I was given:
I hope you get the picture, it's not complicated.
There are certain techniques one would use to improve the SEO, one of them being on-page optimizations. That's the main type of optimizations one can do in an environment he or she cannot control, like we are here on Steem, most of the times. But I believe this one deserves a separate post.
There may be ways to improve SEO with different techniques regarding your domain name and possibly also add custom branding and still use Steem, with a project like Engrave. But you'd have to dig deeper for that, I haven't used it.
SteemPeak also has some nice SEO features that I know of:
- the possibility to set the meta description for the post (for search engines or when sharing it on social media or other places like discord)
If the meta description parameter is not set, the first sentence and maybe more or less words from the beginning of your post will be used. But sometimes you begin your posts in a way that makes no sense as a description of a post, and will look amateurish (that is if you are interested in SEO).
- the possibility to define a custom permalink (a short, keywords mainly, no stop words permalink is preferable)
For example, the default permalink for this post is: important-seo-tips-for-steemians-who-want-to-optimize-content-for-search-engines
It's a long title, I know, so even a more important reason to have a short and relevant parmalink for your keywords. seo-tips-steemians-optimize-content.
The permalink should be easy to read by humans, not by bots. No numbers or machine-generated string.
- not a SEO trick, but still a great advanced feature is the possibility to change the cover image to any of the images from the post, not only the first one
But you should know that there isn't really a perfect interface for SEO to post from on Steem, as far as I know. Some interfaces are better in some ways, others in different ways.
For example, SteemPeak's loading time is not great, and that is an important factor that can penalize a website / page, or in our case - post, to rank high. Any website which takes longer than 3 seconds to load these days is considered slow. Any additional second will make more visitors leave and never return.
Steemit.com doesn't have SEO options you can use as an advanced user, but its domain authority is most likely the highest from the Steem ecosystem (at least 85/100, using different website authority checkers), which can weigh a lot in the final rank of a post.
Domain authority is given by the number of authoritative websites linking to a website.
Also, if a website is not optimized for mobile, or at least mobile-friendly, it will take a considerable hit in the rankings these days.
In the next post on this theme, I'll get into on-page SEO, specific to Steem, because it has some particularities/limitations compared to the possibilities you have on your own website.