Category Archives: writing

SEO- what I’ve learned so far

I’ve been researching search engine optimization (SEO) lately. What I have been learning is not what I expected to find. 

I didn’t know much about SEO, but I imagined it as a series of technical steps that I could follow to make my website more visible. It’s about ranking higher in search engine results, right? So it should be like a game that I can learn to play, or so I thought.

The goal of search engines is to help people quickly find the information that they are looking for and to direct people to sources that are accessible. In the past, it was possible to trick search engines into ranking your site higher by using an excessive amount of keywords, links, and other tools. But as search engines become smarter, these strategies no longer work because they do not provide visitors with a positive user experience. To rank higher in search engines, you need to do something that you should be doing for your site anyway: provide content that is helpful and accessible.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t need to do some technical work; you absolutely do. You need to make sure that search engines are crawling the right pages of your site, and there are keywords and links that actually will help you. But search engine optimization is a lot more than that, too.

One of the most important aspects of SEO is putting your audience first. You need to think about what content people are actually searching for and craft your content to serve their needs. You can’t do that overnight; it takes time and practice. But when you succeed at putting these skills into practice, not only will your site rank higher in search engines, but your audience will actually have a better experience on your site. Isn’t that what you wanted in the first place, anyway?

I’ve learned that SEO is a means to an end, not an end in itself. I’ve also learned that I still have a lot to learn. SEO is not something that you can pick up in a day or two; there’s a lot to it, and it’s constantly changing.

If you’d like to begin learning about search engine optimization, I have found this site to be helpful:

https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo

I hope to continue developing my skills on this topic. I’ll keep you updated. 🙂

Updates

Several months ago, I changed the focus of this blog from my personal life to the arts and mental health.

This was exciting for me. However, in the past several months, I’ve changed my career goals quite a bit. These changes have affected how I felt about my blog, too.

I used to be a clarinet performance major. I wanted to pursue a graduate degree in clarinet and build a career out of performing and teaching. Since then, I realized that I don’t actually want to leave my home state to pursue my studies. I also discovered that I love my minor in professional writing even more than I thought I would. Later, I developed tendonitis in my hand and wrist from my clarinet practicing.

Following these realizations and the pain in my hand, I changed my major to a bachelor of arts in music, allowing me to have more room for writing classes and to give my hand a break. Post-graduation, I hope to have a job in technical writing, editing, or grant writing and I’m super excited.

As my career focus has shifted away from music (and my physical ability to practice has decreased), my personal relationship with music has changed. This change exposed an unhealthy mindset that I had developed as a musician. I’m still wrestling with that now, but I’m learning how to accept music as an enjoyable hobby rather than as a career, and it’s good for me.

Since I’m still wrestling with what it means for me to be a musician and artist, I’m opening this blog up for other personal content again; especially faith. But the blog will still be different from its early days.

I’ve had a lot of thoughts in the past year about the benefits and costs of being personal online, and more often than not, I feel that the costs outweigh the benefits. So many people share intimate details about their lives online for all to see, but I think it’s worth it to trust people before becoming super personal; a difficult, if not impossible, thing to develop on the internet.

However, I realized that I can share my thoughts on a variety of topics and discuss what I’ve been learning and/or thinking about without giving too much personal detail. That’s what I’m gonna do.

So here I go again with changing the course of this blog. Ope.