Last week’s Media Mondays department, Expats Love Social Media in China, marked the first day ArchitectureTravelWriter went live with bona fide SEO. It wasn’t, however, as easy as 1 2 3, as ScribeSEO said it would be. It was instead yet another harrowing experience in the blogging life of this freelance writer.
First I bit the bullet and bought a ScribeSEO plan. The damned tab had been open on my browser for almost a week, so it was time to just do it. Monetization and SEO are irrefutably imperative factors for someone who’s started her own blogzine and spends 20 hours weekly on it.
ScribeSEO, evidently, requires a plug-in that I didn’t have. Scribe’s first recommendation is WordPress SEO by Yoast. I advise anyone who blogs to steer clear of that bloody plugin– unless you have a PhD in computer programming or you’re a specialist in SEO.
I don’t know what a meta description is, nor do I know how to write one. Do you string a few words along or actually write prose? I don’t know how to create custom titles. Is that the title of my post or the blog or is there a third title I create so you can find the keywords?
I go to Yoast’s site seeking answers. There are none. I link on the ‘Contact’ page only to find his site generates an error message. I seek answers on WordPress. My password isn’t working. Neither does the new one they email me. I go through FAQ and Help pages. I send an email to customer service, practically pleading for assistance. I go to ScribeSEO’s page and watch demo videos on how to use the blimmin’ product. I look up how to change a template as that solution had repeatedly appeared. Nothing resolves the issue.
Finally, I opted for a tabula raza. I deleted Yoast’s plugin and installed ScribeSEO’s second recommendation: All in One SEO. With just a few short fields to fill out– the post title of fewer than 60 characters, a description of fewer than 160 characters, and some keywords– rather than seemingly endless fields to fill out, as was the case with Yoast’s plugin, it’s 20 seconds later, the ‘Analyze’ button appears on my post, I click it, and I’m done.
Take a breath. Actually allow a giggle of relief escape from my throat. And look at my new terrific report: a 100% SEO rating.
The key lesson is that sometimes when blogging, especially on WordPress, it’s necessary to try a few plugins until you find one that works exactly on your level. I needed a plugin to make ScribeSEO easy enough for an idiot, and I found it. It’s also happened to me when installing plugins for a Twitter feed, subscriptions, and analytics. My head’s missing a few patches of hair now and I think another wrinkle formed on my face, but I feel much better knowing I’m doing my blog some SEO good.