I was nominated for the SEO Award! Thank you to Debby Winter for this; here is my submission…
A few weeks ago, I was nominated for Debby’s SEO Award. Debby works in SEO herself, and kindly nominated me after viewing my blog post on How to Write for SEO. So, without further ado, here is my submission for the award…
Who Am I?
My name is Joanna, and I’ve been working in SEO for a few years now. After just a short time, I’ve learnt so much, and am continually learning more every single day.
I have a First Class BA (Hons) in Ancient and Medieval History at Cardiff University, and I live in Bristol, working as a Digital PR Manager. I love what I do, and everything I learn on the job is implemented within my own personal blog.
If you want to discover more about me, head over to my About Me page, which goes into a little more detail about my journey so far.
My Top 5 Blog Posts
My blog is a real myriad of posts, all surrounding topics that I love, including marketing, fashion, beauty, advice, and more. So, I thought here I’d give you a taste of what my blog offers, on all counts:
My Best SEO Blog Posts
Blog Post Template: How to Write for SEO: this post provides you with a blog post template to follow if you want to write for SEO. These tips are all actions I use when writing on my personal blog, as well as in my career as a Digital PR Manager and Copywriter.
Writing a Blog: Everything You Need to Know About Keyword Research: my blog post template blog is then followed by this blog post, all about keyword research. This goes into the details of how I optimise my blog posts using keywords, including some tips to implement them naturally, and the resources I use to get it right.
My Best Alternative Blog Posts
SOS: What to Do If You’re in a Toxic Working Environment: having previously worked in a very toxic work environment, this blog post provides some information on what constitutes a toxic working environment. If your workplace fits the bill, then the post also provides some great tips for dealing with it.
Reusable Sanitary Pads: My Thoughts on a Sustainable Period: as someone who is always conscious of their environmental footprint, I try to minimise it where I can. Recently, I’ve moved to having a more sustainable period through using reusable sanitary pads. This post will tell you more…
Why I Love Going Braless and How I Style It: as someone who is passionate about dressing well, I also have a number of fashion blog posts. My post on braless style has been the most popular so far, and provides some great tips on how to style the no-bra look with confidence.
My Answers to Debby’s Questions
1) What do you think about the volatile changes in Google rankings due to Covid-19? Since we have never seen such a violent swings in search results before, did you think that this was due to a Google algorithm update?
Obviously, a change in algorithm will have a lot to do with it, but I feel as though it’s changes in the audience that will have mainly affected it. With so many peoples’ priorities changing, and marketing for many companies being put on a standstill, changes in search engine results was bound to occur. This will have caused a dramatic alteration in generic search queries, as well as business efforts to appear on SERPs, which will have changed Google’s prioritisation of sites.
2) What is your favorite SEO software? Do you prefer web based software?
Ahrefs is my favourite. Using SEMRush was great as a beginner, as it gave me an idea of the ways to write and implement keywords throughout. This is because it grades your writing as you go, so you can edit according to what it says.
However, now I know how to write pretty well for SEO, Ahrefs is great, as it provides me with the most efficient keywords to use. It’s also a great tool for someone in digital outreach, like me, as it shows me site DAs at the drop of a hat. It’s also a fantastic and easy tool to use for broken link-building and competitor analysis.
3) Have you used services from famous software companies such as Ahrefs, SEMRush and Moz etc? Do you think these services are worth the money?
I have used Ahrefs and SEMRush, and I would say yes they are. Although they may seem like a great expense, they provide you with the insights and tools to do your work with inside knowledge on search engines. Without all this, it’s a guessing game, really.
For any marketing companies out there, I would highly recommend Ahrefs, and for any copywriting agencies, SEMRush is a good plan. That said, if you’re an in-house marketer looking to boost marketing strategy, it may not be as useful, as you won’t be using it all the time, like agencies do.
4) What is the biggest traffic increase you have been able to generate with SEO campaigns?
In my old role as copywriter for an events company, I was very proud when I discovered my blog posts were gaining traffic. Due to this traffic, more tickets to our show were purchased, which was a proud moment for me.
5) Do you think there are businesses that do not benefit from SEO?
All companies, big and small, benefit from SEO due to their position on SERPs. As long as optimisation tasks are practiced, over time, traffic is sure to increase to the site. So, in my mind, it is only offline businesses who don’t benefit; once you have an online presence, you can always benefit.
6) What is, in your opinion, the most important advice on SEO for WordPress blogs?
Most of the time, your blog will be something you do in your spare time. So, you are unlikely to have the knowledge or the time to link-build and code your site as much as you might like.
Because of this, the main way you can implement SEO throughout your page is to optimise your writing. You’re writing blog posts anyway, which takes up time, so you may as well optimise where you can, killing two birds with one stone. In the blog posts I’ve listed above, there are some really great tips for you to utilise throughout your blog for this.
7) Do you use plugins such as Yoast for optimization of your blog? Why?
On my personal blog, I don’t, as I haven’t paid for the business plan, only the premium plan. With all my knowledge and expertise from my career, I have learnt how to optimise blogs for SEO without much help.
That said, I do use some aid for choosing keywords, including Ahrefs and Keywords Everywhere. This way, I can utilise keywords within my blog posts that have minimal competition, but are searched often. After all, there’s no real point in posting a blog post if no one is searching for these terms.
8) Do you think it’s better to focus on a niche market or have website that focuses on a variety of topics?
For a blog, I think a variety is better, as you can reach a greater audience this way. Focusing on just one or two niches can limit who you reach. What’s more, blogging is all about writing about the things you love most, and this couldn’t possibly be limited to just a few things. Why limit your organic reach, after all?
That said, if you’re blogging for a company, having a niche is really important. When you’re selling something, you need to have a clear audience and target market too. It really just depends on your business and purpose.
9) Which SEO, Digital Marketer or Professional Blogger do you admire most? Why?
Well, in all honesty, the only professional Digital Marketer I know is Neil Patel. However, I’ve always followed Zoella on Youtube. Although I wouldn’t say she’s a marketer, her empire is something I’d love for myself.
10) Where do you get your information to stay on top of algorithm updates, new SEO software and changes in the search engine industry?
A lot of what I’ve learnt so far has been through my jobs. I first started writing for SEO when I took on a part-time freelance role as a copywriter for Clever Touch Marketing during my final year at uni. We had a detailed list of guidelines to follow in every piece we wrote, and this helped me to become more natural in writing for SEO as I went along.
With this knowledge, I managed to get a job as a full-time copywriter straight out of uni, and I learnt even more from my colleagues, who had been in marketing a few years longer than myself.
Now, as a Digital PR Manager, I implement all of these little pieces of knowledge daily. I also implement them throughout this blog too.
Working in a marketing agency means industry updates are posted in our group chat all the time. This is where I get the majority of my information from, but also from following sites like Moz.com and Ahrefs, which provide fantastic knowledge too.
11) ** BONUS QUESTION ** Are you up to date with Google’s core algorithm update which rolled out yesterday May 4th?
I am, yes. Working as a Digital PR Manager means I write optimised guest posts all the time. Because of this, I have to always be up-to-date with this sort of thing. That said, I find it extremely interesting too, so I think I’d try to stay in-the-know, even if I didn’t do it as my full-time job!
My Questions for My Nominees
- When did you first learn about SEO?
- Do you implement SEO throughout your personal blog?
- Do you work in SEO as your career, alongside your blog?
- What’s your biggest SEO achievement so far?
- What are your goals for your personal blogging site?
- What SEO strategy have you found most useful for boosting traffic to your site?
- How do you stay up-to-date with changes in the world of SEO?
- Do you have any brilliant free sites or app recommendations which help you with keyword research or SEO on your site?
- Once you started to implement SEO on your site, how long did it take you to notice any changes in traffic and rankings?
- Do changes in Google Algorithms usually help or hinder your site, and why do you think that is?
- It’s all About Inspiration
- Jenny in Neverland
- Mostly Blogging
- Housewife Hustle
- K.L. Wightman
- Geek Mamas
- The Art of Blogging
- The Australian Business Network
- Mental Health at Home
- New Lune
I’ve nominated these people due to their brilliant blog posts about SEO strategy. That said, if you want to get involved, then go ahead, and be sure to tag my site in your submissions; I’d love to see your answers.
- Copy at least one SEO Award logo and place it on your website
- Thank the person who nominated you and link to their website
- Introduce yourself and describe your top 5 blog posts
- Create at least one new image (SEO, Digital Marketing, or Pro Blogging related)
- Answer the 10 questions from the person who nominated you
- Create 10 new questions for your nominees
- Nominate at least 10 digital marketers, SEOs or Bloggers and let them know of the nomination by commenting on their site or sending them an email
Ready to Submit Your Answers to the SEO Award?
Thanks for reading! I hope you’ve learnt something new about me, about SEO, or about yourself along the way.
If you want to know more about optimising your site for SEO, feel free to head over to my marketing page, which is always being updated with new tips and tricks. Or, if you want some advice or help with SEO, my business page is the place to be. Otherwise, thanks for reading!