Do those three little letters cause panic whenever you think about Search Engine Optimization?
How does a non-techie travel blogger optimize a site without writing text that sounds artificial and spammy?
What if SEO advice appeared conveniently in the WordPress dashboard?
Travel bloggers, meet Scribe, the online SEO tool that helps optimize your blog. I’ve been experimenting with Scribe since earlier this year. As a Thesis theme user, I was offered a discounted subscription when Scribe first went on the market.
Since then, I’ve seen my Google search percentages increase and my brain is beginning to automatically think SEO.
So, how does it work?
Scribe concentrates on three important elements: content optimization, keyword research and link building.
Before I begin writing a post, I check the Scribe Keyword Research box. Entering a keyword, I have the option of matching it to the terms: broad, phrase or exact. If I click the Review button, a screen appears giving me the annual search volume for the word that I’m considering. I can also click the blue, Get Keyword Ideas which brings up a list of relevant keywords including the annual search volume for each word.
The analyzing tool in the Scribe Content Optimizer has been the biggest help to me in understanding and improving the SEO at My Itchy Travel Feet.
Once I’ve written my post (with keywords in mind), I drop down to a box below the text to enter a Custom Title (meta title), Meta Description, and Meta Keywords. After I’ve clicked ‘Save’ on the WordPress sidebar, I choose the blue Analyze button that was installed when I downloaded the Scribe plug-in. The software reviews my post for title, description, and content, giving me a percentage SEO score with 100% being the highest.
Scribe provides a review box that tells me what I’m doing right or suggests items that need improving. The analysis and recommendations section advises on:
- Length of title
- Primary keywords in the title
- Placement of keywords at the beginning of the title
- Number of words in the description
- Number of keywords in the description
- Placement of keywords in the beginning of the description
- Number of words in the content
- Keyword density in the content
- Number of hyperlinks in the content
- Flesch Reading Ease Score
Tabs at the top of the box allow me to look at a keyword analysis, ideas for changing keywords to make them more or less prominent, alternate keywords, tag suggestions and a look at the post’s SERP (so I can see how the meta title and description will appear in Google). Another tab allows me to review important SEO practices.
If I haven’t scored 100%, I make the changes that Scribe has suggested, then click the Analyze button again, coming as close to 100% as possible. Of course photo essay posts or a post that only points to a YouTube video is never going to rank 100% in Scribe’s SEO analysis. Why? Those types of posts usually do not include enough text.
After my post has been analyzed, I can also click the Research button on the Scribe Link Building tool. After entering my keyword or keywords in a box, Scribe makes suggestions for external links, internal links and social media links.
The external links tab shows other sites that would be prime sources for authoritative links to my content. It is up to me to determine if this should be by commenting, guest posting or establishing a direct relationship with the site.
The internal links tab suggests cross-linking from within my blog to other internal pages that are optimized for the primary keyword. The idea is to edit the pages, which are sorted by importance, to add hyperlinks to the new page using the anchor text that Scribe highlights.
Scribe also provides social media suggestions, in real time, on people who are currently talking about my topic. Their twitter account is provided so that I can engage them in conversation about the topic.
I’ll be honest. I have not used the link building tool. I prefer the Insights plug-in; however, it is not compatible with the Scribe software.
Using Scribe has definitely added to the time it takes for me to write and publish a post, but the increase in my SEO has been worth it.
Users have the option of logging onto the Scribe online site or downloading the software into WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. I prefer using Scribe directly from the WordPress dashboard. Scribe offers three pricing plans, and also offers a risk-free trial period.
Why not sign up for a finite period of time, train your brain to think SEO and improve your travel blog’s search engine rankings?
How do you ensure that your posts rank well with search engines? Share your advice!