Tag Archive | SEO

Learning SEO, HTML & CSS

SEO Infographic

Running my Websites

Now that I have a couple of websites up and running, I am finally learning about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I am Tardy for the Party on this one because while SEO is a term that’s been around for several years, I am not a techie and had no real reason to pay attention to it until now.



I bought two domains recently — marladshepard.com and marlashepard.com to establish a digital identity and distinguish myself in this crowded job market. The sites are real basic right now, and I mainly wanted to have a place to park my resume and contact information, but I did already have a blog on WordPress that I used to ease my way back into writing. WordPress is so easy to use that you really do not need much technical knowledge to create a blog, and working on that blog has been a lot of fun.

Having a website with SEO tools has been an awesome learning experience. It shows you how certain phrases and keywords can improve your search engine rankings and get your content to a wider audience. No matter why you’re on the Internet, getting more people to view your content is probably one of your goals, and SEO helps you accomplish this.


SEO Meme


Upgrading my skills

In addition to helping me find my way as a relatively new blogger, learning SEO is also helping me to develop a marketable skill which is crucial in this challenging economy. In just scanning job descriptions, I have seen SEO listed often and not just in jobs that having to do with the Internet or e-commerce. This was reinforced for me by an article by the Levo League that I found on Pinterest of all places.

Because I’m always searching for ways to make myself more marketable, earlier this year I decided that I was going to learn how to code. I have been studying on TeamTreehouse.com and Code Academy.com which are two good sites that will help you learn the basics – Code Academy is even free. I was also inspired by groups like WomenWhoCode and GirlsWhoCode – non-profit organizations whose goal is to increase the number of females working in technology. Technology is an attractive field because there are many jobs available and these jobs tend to pay very well.

I learned quite a bit from those sites, but like anything else, you have to put new knowledge into regular practice to retain it which I have not been able to do for a variety of reasons. I have a grasp of the basics, but I think it would be more productive for me to take an actual class with an instructor and other students in a physical space.

HTML & CSS, Coding

Learning to Code

I am combining all this new knowledge into the work that I am now doing on my websites. I can use my limited HTML skills in WordPress because although there are templates, there is still a space in there where you can edit your blog using HTML and CSS.

I’m far from an expert, but I am on my way to a better understanding about the Internet, and that is a good thing.


What I learned this week


What an interesting and productive week this has been for me.

I’ve been in a rut lately doing the same thing each day and not really getting any results, so I finally accepted that I needed to try something different. I’m a very social person, but I moved a little while ago and do not know many people in the area other than relatives. This is a problem because as much as I love my family, a girl needs a life. Plus, I’m looking for a new job and have learned that a huge part of even getting an interview depends on having contacts who can vouch for you. It really helps if you know someone who can make an introduction or at least pass along your information to the hiring manager.

Determined to make some things happen sooner rather than later, I put on some real clothes and my business wig – don’t judge me – and headed over to a Women’s Power Networking Cocktails and Contacts event that was held at a local winery. Not only did I have fun, but I also met some wonderful ladies who were friendly and helpful. The wine was not bad either. I am usually not one for small talk, but I made an effort and it paid off. The ladies meet weekly for coffee at a local restaurant, and I will be joining them again to make even more connections.Thumbsupblackwoman

Now I of course already understood the importance of networking which is why I’m on LinkedIn. Still, there is no substitute for meeting someone in person, looking them in the eye and shaking hands. You want to make an impression to separate yourself from the crowd, and you can do this more easily face to face rather than from behind a computer screen.

The next thing that I learned is the importance of enhancing your digital presence by owning a URL that contains your full name. You can use this URL to promote your work, post your resume or just post pictures of your pet if that is all you want to do. The URL gives you a digital home and improves search engine optimization (SEO) so that you can influence what comes up first when people Google you. Also, a recruiter explained to me that a lot of companies do not want to pay to view resumes, so if you have a resume on a web page that is easily accessible it will improve your chances of gaining a hiring manager’s attention. He explained this during a seminar about searching for hidden jobs – the ones that are not advertised to the public.

I purchased http://www.marlashepard.com and am working on creating a professional site right now. Domain names are really cheap and you can get one for as little as 99 cents for the first year so long as you check around. Web hosting is a little bit more but again, you can find a good deal if you shop around.

I feel good about what I’ve done this week and believe that it will pay off. This calls for a happy dance!