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Smart SEO Strategy

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Let’s admit it. Most farm blogs are small potatoes when it comes to the internet blogosphere. How can we compete with all the internet marketers promising riches or wikipedia or even Huffington Post. The good news is, we are not competing with those sites. We are wanting to attract readers who are looking for the information that we provide. So, to get those readers we’ll have to be smart about using SEO. Right?

What do I mean by smart?

Remember in a previous post I talked about using the right words in our titles that had a higher search volume than other words. Well, this time we are talking about being realistic with which words or terms we can actually rank for. If our site doesn’t show up on the first page of the search, it’s very unlikely to be found. My intention with this post is to increase the chances of our sites showing up on the first page.

Let’s say the term Agriculture is what we want to rank for in google. It applies to our ag blogs. Right? At the time of this writing, agriculture has been searched 2.7 million monthly local times. Not a bad number. It would be nice to get a piece of that. But to even touch that word you would have to smack down the likes of USDA, wikipedia,, and look there even the Huffington Post.

Now it is not impossible to over come those behemoths. It would take a long time ( years) and about every title would have to have “agriculture” in it.

So let’s be smart about this. If it’s a broad term it is very hard to rank high in the search engines because so many others are using it also.

What to do?

We will be looking to rank for specific phrases. Also called long tail keywords.  These specific phrases have fewer searches but it is much easier to rank higher for them. Thus more likely to be on the first search page and get more click throughs. Think of it like this: Do you want to be a little fish in a big pond or a big fish in a little pond.

Let me give an example: I have a post titled “Make Hay While the Sun Shines“. It used to be on the first page of google (’til Pioneer Woman put up a post on FoodNetWork with the title and knocked me out. She’s not the only reason but it’s fun to blame her.) In the summer I would get a decent amount of traffic for that term. Why? Because it was a specific phrase, low competition from other sites, but there was still a number of people searching for it. At this time this term gets 1000 searches per month.

The choice is do we want nothing out of 2.7 million or something out of 1000?

Here’s the Strategy Part

Use keyword tool to choose the best words. Decide the phrase you want to rank for. Then use it

  1. in the post title
  2. throughout the body of the post
  3. in a header
  4. in the description and alt text of image in post
  5. Link to it from other posts

Depending on the competition for the term, we should rank fairly high. Don’t forget to link to it with in your social media accounts. And like I said before, you don’t have to go through all this for every post. But why not give that extra little effort for the posts that you put more time and thought into. We can turn small potatoes into awesome fries.

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  • IpjRobson

    This is funny because I was just thinking about something like this. 
    Do many farmers have a hard time with the technical aspect of blogging? I mean like SEO, SERP, Niches etc

    • @IpjRobson No more than any other demographic starting to blog. It takes time and searching to learn this stuff. My aim is to cut their learning curve short with everything I have found out.

      • IpjRobson

        @farmnwife It makes perfect sense. 
        Sorry for the double post by the way. I had trouble commenting. You tend to focus more on the blogging side here it seems. 
        Besides blogging, what else do you focus on here for farmers I mean?

        • @IpjRobson I also help small ag businesses with creating a website for themselves. I get into the why they should be online.  I would say most of my readers have a personal blog for their farm. They want to reach consumers and educate them about the source of food.

        • IpjRobson

          @farmnwife Cool. 
          There seem to be many old school farmers still around who don’t embrace websites or blogging or any of that, so I am happy that you are looking into that more. 
          Are there many small ag businesses that have that type of problem? getting on line?

        • @IpjRobson Not getting online more questions about what to do next. A couple of ag business blog owners I have talked to are Gothberg Farms and Aust Cover Crop
          I also have done website critiques for members of FarmOn

        • IpjRobson

          @farmnwife Thanks for pointing out Farm On out to me. That is a pretty neat website. 
          Gothberg Farms website is nice. Text size is a bit small for my liking, but it looks homie.
          Many people have no idea what to blog about. It is a constant problem. Sometimes a little bit of research can solve that problem to find out what people are looking for.

      • IpjRobson

        Many bloggers have a ton of questions. If there can be whole sites dedicated to it,  there must be questions. 
        Other than blogging what else do you focus on here for farmers?

  • IpjRobson

    This is funny because I was just thinking about something like this.
    Do many farmers have a hard time with the technical aspect of blogging? I mean like SEO, SERP, Niches etc

  • jill_heemstra

    Thanks for this reminder! I try to train extension staff on using SEO in their writing, but the more I learn…the less I know.

    • @jill_heemstra Same here, Jill. Glad you stopped by.

    • @jill_heemstra Same here, Jill. Best thing is to keep it simple.