Reading articles and keeping up with what our awesome Fashion Potluck community members are doing is part of our day-to-day. We have seen thousands of articles posted. Some are unique to our platform, others are users trying to amplify an original publication at their own blogs. While others use our platform to express a phase in their lives, an insight, something special. Whatever the reasons for writing, we all want to post something that is as widely seen and read as possible.
That being said, we see various slips from content creators with a meaningful message that fail to take into consideration some SEO fundamentals. Our team has decided to share some of its knowledge to contribute to the quality and most importantly readability of our community’s work.
This should be a self-descriptive and obvious one. However, there are many who do not get the full concept of this. Okay, this is not a sermon. Let’s think of a silly example to make a better point. Imagine that you are going to write a review about mascara “xyz”. Now let’s add to the point of this example and imagine that this mascara is made by a very well-known brand name. If the body of your composition deals mainly with how this mascara does not run or that it is long lasting you must keep in mind that there will probably be thousands if not hundreds of thousands of articles that make similar claims about this same product coming from hundreds of cities around planet Earth. So, some questions you always should ask yourself are: what am I presenting? In what way am I presenting something that is different from other articles already online? It always helps to do a search to see what titles are out there and to read some articles to understand what people have written about and in what way they have written about it.
Also, there are various ways you can present information. Some of them might not seem that interesting, but it is how you use them. Tables or graphs sound extremely boring. However, if Google sees a page with a specific topic and this page has graphs, tables, specific types of images and videos, and helpful links, this will be treated differently than a simple page that only has text and your standard images. The composition of the article might be a J.K. Rowling, a Toni Morrison, or an Agatha Christie work of literature, but Google does not really care. Give your article a variety of ways that you are presenting your information and it will have greater chances of being indexed independently of the platform you are using. Remember that the Internet was largely developed by guys and a specific type of guys. We are unfortunately forced to deal with this and pragmatically navigate these waters to our benefit.
Titles of articles are important
This gets a lot of online content creators. Unfortunately, in our opinion, we live in an era where SEO, as alluded to before, means a lot more than wit or even creativity. You might have written a fantastic article about being in Koh Samui in Thailand. You might have described the amazing beaches and the fun times that you had there. But, if you title the article with something witty and funny that does not contain either the name of the island “Koh Samui” nor the name of the country nor anything about beaches, the likelihood of this appearing in a search engine result page (SERP) can be very low. The title of an article needs to have within it the words that represent the main argument/theme you are writing about. It can be followed by two or three words that add wit to it, but it must contain the point at hand.
Which leads us to talk about something additional to the formation of titles. Make them short. Trying to include everything you are talking about within the title of an article will make your title look more like a small paragraph. You need to ask yourself: if I saw a book at a bookstore (some really awesome ones still exist) with a title that had two or three lines of text would I notice it? Would I remember the title? The answer, unless you have a photographic memory, will most likely be no.
Title tag and description meta tag
Meta what? Title tag? You probably asked. Or maybe you have heard of these terms before. The IT world is made up of some many wannabe fancy terms. Sigh! In reality, this is quite simple. Each page within each site should have unique, we repeat, unique title and description meta tags. These are lines of HTML code that need to state the title of your article and the description of what it is all about. The title tag format is rather simple: <title>This article is about</tittle>. Of course, you probably already figured out that the best thing to have here is the actual title of your article. What is written within this title tag is what Google and other search engines understand as the actual title of your article. Isn’t this a bit silly? But, that is the way it is. The description meta tag has the following format: <meta name="description" content=what is this article talking about. In a short descriptive way>
Here is an example of what the result is of one of our favorite commercial soaps! Ouh là là… c’est Francais!!
The title tag will appear here
The description meta tag might be displayed here
Note: not always do the search engines use what is written in your meta description tag to tell users what your article is about. When they do though, it can make a significant difference whether another woman looking for your Diva content clicks on it.
Naming your multimedia assets
What do “20170808_143933.jpg” and “IMAG3436.jpg” have in common? How about “VID-20180528-WA0010.mp4” and “6H4A4688.mov”? Well, the first two have in common that they are image files and second that they are video file names. What you can tell as a woman about these media files by looking at their names is, exaggerating a little, a similar thing that Google and other search engines can tell about them. Artificial intelligence has come far in identifying what is within an image. This will likely improve going forward. However, the difference that can make naming the picture of your new awesome high heels going out shoes “brand-name-sophisticated-heels.jpg” is a big one. You are telling search engines, literally, what the image is about. The same thing for videos. It is better to name a travel video “Koh-tao-beach-bonfire.mp4” than to use the automatic numbers + letters nomenclature that your camera or phone gives it.
One last thing that we can say about naming any type of media file is to also try and keep it short. You are not trying to tell the story of the picture, video or sound file. You are trying to be accurate yet minimalistic in its name formation.
Security and the SSL certificate
Starting in 2017, Google published that it was changing the priority they gave to sites without a valid SSL certificate. SSL stands for secure socket layer and simply put, it allows for the cryptography of web pages and the information that is inserted in them. Information such as logins, passwords, and messages. Information within pages is “scrambled” and cannot be intercepted by third parties. Not easily, at any rate. And so, if your blog or content site does not have an SSL certificate, Google will “punish” your site, by probably giving it less relevance in the search engine result pages SERPs.
Purchasing an SSL certificate and installing it can be a bit of a pain. Honestly, if you are not tech oriented, thinking about searching for one, buying it, and implementing it can be the same as someone telling you to learn Mandarin all in one day. Thankfully though, companies such as Word Press that provide CRM solutions sell the certificate and its implementation. If you purchased it via a CRM provider that does not have this service, the great majority of times, the company where you host your blog site will sell you the SSL certificate and take care of its installation. What is the point in creating amazing content if Google will just gloss over it and look the other way?
Duplicate content and broadcasting your message:
This is a topic that honestly, deals more with effort. Here’s the thing. Google and other search engines do not like duplicate content. That is, having the exact same content in different locations on the Internet. Their reason makes a bit of sense. When a search engine presents a result about a topic which includes your article and those of others which one should it choose? If you are copying and pasting your work all over the Internet, Google might think you’re a Spammer and that your content is SPAM. And, here is where the effort comes into play. What you want is for people to know about you and the ideas you are sharing. When you are broadcasting your message across different platforms, makes sure there is something different that you write in each article. Something of value added that you write in one and not on the other. Or, write about it in a different way.
On this note, keep in mind that it is a terrible idea to just write two or three lines of text in a platform you want to use to broadcast your message, upload a picture, a link, and leave it at that. This might seem initially like a good idea. But, it is a self-defeating idea. First, search engines, on average, do not pay attention to a few lines of text. Why? There is no value in them for Internet users. Second, it burns you as a content creator and author. For example. What happens in Fashion Potluck when a user clicks on your post and only finds two lines of text and an image? Response, annoyance. They do not think: “Wow. These three lines of text are amazing. Let’s click on the person's blog page and go there to read the full article!”. What statistically, usually happens is that the user hits the back button or closes the browser. If you do this long enough, users begin identifying your name or profile picture with a lack of value and inspiration, and stop clicking. And so, you don’t get the SEO juice and people don’t get to know you either.
Try, try to write more and try to add something different to your articles on each post so that it makes sense to the reader. Notice how we did not mention the term search engines in that last sentence. You need to write for the user, for the reader. Realize that wherever a user encounters your content, they want value out of it, information, entertainment as well. This only happens if you communicate well. The search engines will reward you for it.
Alright ladies, this article has become way too long. We hope that it was useful for all of you going forward. Being a content queen requires a following. And, in this Internet, Google dominated world, a following requires some SEO fundamentals and marvelous, useful, witty, gorgeous content. Let’s create together and also importantly, have fun while doing it. ♥
The Fashion Potluck Team