Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the elements of online content which cause a web page to rank higher (appear toward the top) of search engine results. Google, Yahoo, and Bing are the top 3 search engines in the United States, and although their algorithms vary slightly, the principles for search ranking remain similar. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you compose blog articles to help your work reach the largest number of viewers.

Keywords and Keyphrases

These are the handful of words that sum up the content a viewer would find on a page. When writing an article, think of 1 or 2 words that you would like to stand out, and include them in your title and around 3 times toward the top of your article, including the very first sentence if possible.

Get it in Writing

Any images containing important text should have a written description or implied description adjacent to the image. Consider transcribing, quoting, or otherwise highlighting important topics included in embedded videos as well. Search engine technology is not currently able to judge the value of rich media to search results without text to reference.

Include Links

Connecting your stuff to other stuff is important. It strengthens relevancy of your content when similar content is referenced. Make sure links to other site truly add value, however. Simply mentioning a band, does not warrant the external link to their website or profile. A reader should have an idea of what's on the other side of a link, and they should want to click it based on the merit of the information you provide in context. Internal links are great too! Pointing to other BB blog posts is a good way to retain readership.

Be Mindful of Readability

Keep your sentences and paragraphs to a reasonable length. Only use jargon when you have defined it or implied its definition. We are a blog covering the music industry and targeting music industry readers, but a lot of our traffic will flow from outside. If a reader finds your content confusing, they are not likely to stay. When a viewer visits a page then leaves shortly thereafter, our search ranking suffers.

Don't Overdo It

Search engines have been working on their algorithms for a long time. They know the tricks and shortcuts people attempt to take. "Keyword stuffing," "link directories," and duplicate content all hurt our ranking in serious ways. Overall, it should be your goal to keep the reader in mind. Search engines share that goal, and serve it by presenting high quality content while protecting from poor quality content. What do viewers want to see and have access to? Be honest and mindful with your delivery.