I watched the new Google Chrome ad featuring the Cambridge Satchel Company late on Friday night and absolutely loved it. Chrome ads have a tendency to make me a) cry, b) feel inspired or c) all of the above - I love the personal journeys they depict and the clever way they show how integral the internet is to small businesses. And obviously, I love this particular one because I adore Cambridge Satchels.
Such a lovely ad. One thing I didn't spot, however, was an appearance from this very blog. Lovely Hayley pointed it out in a post and after watching more carefully, I realised A Little Bird Told Me plays a tiny role in the story of the Cambridge Satchel Company. Can you spot it?
Pause it at 0:27...
When the ad shows a Google search for 'uk fashion bloggers', the top result is an article from The Telegraph. We only see a snippet of the title tag for the second result, but it kinda looks like...
(I pinched this image from Hayley)
Me! I'm pretty sure that's my title tag, cut across two lines because the search is performed on the narrower screen of a mobile.
That prestigious second place comes from the search engine optimisation (SEO) I do on my blog (and also because Little Bird is hosted on Blogger, which gets preferential treatment in the search ranks as its a Google-owned company). I get asked about SEO quite a bit - it's a pretty tricky concept to get your head around and many people feel frustrated with it because it's hard to understand. But really, the core of SEO is simple - Google will show the most relevant sites for the search term first. All you have to do is get Google to notice you.
Here are a few very simple tips
- Use an image host like Flickr (NOT Blogger's own!) and tag your photos with relevant keywords, like 'Primark AW12 collection' if the images are of the new Primark drop.
- Use keywords in your hyperlinks, like this - 'a beginners' guide to SEO' rather than this - 'for a beginners' guide to SEO, click here'.
- Give your posts relevant, informative titles, like 'How to Wear American Apparel Disco Pants'. Song lyrics are terrible for SEO!
- For Blogger blogs - search your blog HTML for 'meta' (using ctrl + f) and insert some keywords into the <title> and <description> tags. For Wordpress blogs - download the SEO 101 plugin and use it to insert meta data into all your posts. This is the crux of SEO as meta data is what Google looks for when it's trying to determine how relevant your blog is to the search it's performing.
If all that sounds a bit like gobbledegook, I recommend doing some research into SEO. There are thousands of articles on the subject and when you have a grasp of the basics, you can start playing around with keywords to see what works. My advice is don't buy a book or hire a pro - the best way to understand SEO is to do it yourself. It's all about trial and error, giving it a go and constantly tweaking things.
This isn't a guide to SEO because I'm not an expert and frankly, it is all a bit dull, but hopefully these tips will help you get started. Well-optimised blogs are beautiful things!
Have you tried to get to grips with SEO? How did you find it?
PS - If you do a search for 'uk fashion bloggers' and see different results, that's okay! Google will show you results based on the sites you like to visit, to make your search more relevant to you. If you want to check I haven't Photoshopped these images, try searching in a fresh browser with no history.