After DIYs and tablescapes and home decor, I’m ready to share some lessons I learned at Haven 2019. Every year that I’ve attended, I’ve shared some of the best tips, tricks (OK, there really are no tricks.), and best practices that were discussed in the classes that I attended. Each year is different. I thought how best to share what I learned this year and decided that the best advice I can give you are these 3 SEO lessons Google wants you to know.
A DIY and home decor conference like Haven focuses not just on DIY and craft projects. The main focus is on topics that help bloggers become better bloggers. The range of topics is broad and deep. Although not every single aspect of blogging can be covered in 2 days, the major subject areas do get the bulk of the class attention.
Since I can’t share with you all my notes, or the notes of the presenters ~ that wouldn’t be fair to the presenters or the attendees ~ I can share the highlights of a subject that affects every blogger on the planet ~ SEO. So get ready to take some notes on these 3 SEO lessons that Google wants you to know ~ from an expert ~ not me, but the presenter of the class.
3 SEO Lessons Google Wants You to Know
This year Haven offered many classes on the same topic, such as Pinterest and Instagram, but at different levels, 1 for beginners and 1 for more advanced bloggers. I’ve attended an SEO class every year, even the first year when I didn’t know what SEO meant or why it was important. In 2017, I even wrote a couple of posts on SEO after attending an in~depth class. I’ve gone back and checked them for current compliance.
I decided that this year I was capable enough to attend the Advanced SEO class. As we all know, some things in the blogging world never stay the same. The algorithms for Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook have changed dramatically in a fairly short time. Google Analytics and SEO are no exception. Since we humble bloggers like to focus on creativity (We are the right brain people in the world.), we need the left brain people of the world to focus on the technical, the analytical and the factual for those areas of blogging like SEO. Thank goodness that there are people who love the sort of stuff.
One such person is Jeff Hawley. Jeff, or Hashtag Jeff as he is known on social media, is also known as “That SEO Guy”. He has spent most of his career working with businesses and corporations to expand their reach through digital marketing and his most recent calling puts the focus on bloggers and publishers. His mastermind course helps publishers to become SEO experts with their own sites.
Sounds like an expert to me.
I tend to be a “just give me the steps to follow” kind of girl. Jeff took a different approach. He wants to educate bloggers on the lessons that Google wants us to know and what Google wants bloggers to do.
So let’s get started. This information is NOT a rehash of everything Jeff taught, but the SEO lessons that I think are most important for us bloggers to know.
Overview of SEO Google Wants You to Know
Google is interested in 3 things from blog content:
What does Google want from websites? (Is Google an it or a they?)
- Google want you to be an expert and will rank experts higher
- Google wants a better user experience
- Google wants your blog to be a safe place
- Google will use these practices for the long term
Lesson 1 ~ Expertise
What does this mean to us bloggers? How to show our expertise on our blog topic?
- Google wants you to show what you know
- Google wants you to focus on your content
- Google wants you to be the complete resource
Readers come to bloggers to learn. Our job is to teach, to show, to education. Be the expert and you will gain authority.
Jeff: “Is your last content your best content?” Are you creating an experience on your site for your readers?
Lesson 2 ~ Authority
Think of authority as your resume. Use your About Page to establish your credentials:
- Your name and contact information
- Your qualifications
- Your work history
- Your education and qualifications
- Any additional relevant accomplishments
Google sees signs of authority as being mentioned on other websites, interviewed by relevant publications or being a guest on a podcast. Build your authority and readers will trust you.
Think of your readers as “hiring” you.
To Google, and readers, authority builds trust. According to Jeff, author profiles (your About page) are more important than ever.
Lesson 3 ~ Trustworthiness
When a reader comes to your site, make sure that it is safe and secure. Remember a couple of years ago when Google announced that it wanted all blogs to switch from https to a secure site with https and have an SSL certificate? Jeff said it’s critical that your site is secure both for SEO purposes and for reader trust.
If you are one of those holdouts who has not updated your site to https, here’s an article that hopefully will push you to comply: Why HPPTS Matters. It’s straight from
the horse’s Google’s mouth.
FLASHING WARNING: Jeff said that you should not embed photos from a website that is not secure.
Jeff: “I don’t know” is no longer acceptable in the SEO world.
It’s your job to make readers feel safe and trust you!
Google applies expertise, authority and trustworthiness to the blog site, the author, the content individually (a post) and collectively (the blog).
If you want readers to trust you, ask yourself if you are following:
- Web design best practices
- SEO best practices
- Accessibility best practices
So, no, this wasn’t a to~do list. Jeff’s purpose was to help us understand the “thinking” behind Google and what SEO lessons Google wants us to understand. I hope this post gave you a different perspective on Google. Jeff certainly opened my eyes to thinking about Google in a different way.
NOTE: Jeff did mention that we should all have the Yoast SEO plug~in on our sites; however, don’t be overly concerned if you don’t get all green dots on your readability since we all “speak” in our own voice that may not always be Google~speak. For example, if Yoast tells you that you have too many consecutive sentences that start with the same word, don’t worry.
If you want to get better acquainted with Jeff, here is his website, Hashtag Jeff.
Next week, I’ll be back with 3 DIY projects on 3 different blog hops ~ they all just happened to fall in the same week. I will do my best to show you my expertise, my authority and my trustworthiness.