Exclusive Industry Tactics: Insights from Influencer Summer Wind
On March 20, 2018, the Pursue and Persuade offices had a visit from Sydney Carver, better known as fashion blogger Summer Wind to discuss SEO strategies and answer a question everyone is asking these days: How do social media influencers/bloggers achieve such high levels of popularity and success?
By: Tori Stevens
The idea of achieving ‘internet fame’ and making a career as an influencer is very enticing to many. Everyone thinks the job consists of taking pictures of yourself, posting them on instagram, and going on lavish vacations. They get sent gifts from companies and never really work a day in their life, but somehow, they have a huge following that shows up out of nowhere and they're better than the rest of us, right?
Well, not exactly. The life of an influencer consists a lot more of sitting behind a computer for 12 hours a day, conducting research and making sure their websites and accounts are optimized. Sydney Carver, the mind behind popular fashion and lifestyle blog Summer Wind, provided some insights into how bloggers build their audiences and earn a living, which can be broken down into three categories.
The most basic key is affiliate links. Affiliate links are links someone posts referring to something they either discussed or wore in a post, a photograph, or a video. When a user clicks the special affiliate link and makes a purchase, the original link poster earns a small commission off that price. However, affiliate links can only work if there is an audience interested in clicking through and making purchases.
How do you differentiate yourself and get the most clicks, visits, and returning visitors on your website? Sydney says that you have to find your niche. Find your own audience, learn what they are interested in and searching for and go from there. This means trying a lot of different things before you can gather enough information on who is continuously coming back and engaging with your posts to define your audience. Luckily, Sydney also gave a few examples of content tactics you can start with to begin building that audience!
During peak shopping seasons, such as the Nordstrom sale, instead of trying to capitalize on the keywords "Nordstrom sale", find smaller, more detailed key phrases that everyone else won't be capitalizing on. Everyone will try to be the top result for "Nordstrom Sale", but what else are people searching relevant to the sale? Sydney gives the example of Gucci loafers. Gucci loafers are a popularly sought after item during the sale, and after doing keyword research, found that they were popularly searched for as well. So, during the sale, she optimizes her blog posts to include the phrases "Nordstrom sale Gucci loafers" and she will be the top result for sale shoppers looking for that specific item. However, she does not simply saturate her blog post with keywords. Instead, she took those keywords and used them as the inspiration for her actual blog posts, about how to style the loafers and her opinion on them. Keywords only work when you keep your content relevant.
This concept is consistent with another type of content Sydney discussed, which was evergreen content. Evergreen content is content that will always have relevance, regardless of how many years pass. It's essential to have blog content that people will actually want to read back on and that, yes, while all of your content should be up-to-date and fresh, you also want pieces that you can link back to within your newer blog posts. Sydney added this to her blog by way of a Christmas movie masterlist, complete with links and listings for where and when you can watch every single Christmas movie ever made. While others had done lists of their personal favorite movies and movie suggestions, no one had done the details like she had, and she successfully curated one of her most popular blog posts to date.
Sydney also gave us the following SEO checklist to make sure your site is optimized:
Is your site easily navigable?
How is your site speed?
Are you linking internally?
Are you linking externally?
Are there any dead links?
Is your content unique/high quality?
Are you updating consistently?
Are you answering your audience's question?
Is your site mobile-friendly?
Does your title, meta description, and imagery names correspond with your written content?
The answer to every question should be yes before you consider your site optimized. And remember, SEO is not a ‘set it and forget it’ strategy. It needs to be constantly monitored and updated to make sure that you stay optimized. Google’s algorithms and search trends are constantly changing.
Though we may not all want to become influencers or bloggers, these are still industry tips anyone who wants to have an online presence can utilize. Brands can understand how to successfully partner with influencers and keep their website optimized for what people are looking for from them. Search Engine Optimization is the key to being popular and findable on the internet. In our oversaturated, cluttered internet of things, it's just about the only way to be found at all, which is why everyone should at least understand these basics.
We hope you learned something new! Happy optimizing!