What Do Bloggers Need to Know About SEO?

Posted on Jan 15, 2012 | 3 comments

SEO is one of my favorite subjects. I write about it often, and I speak about it at conferences and workshops.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In short, SEO can help your site to show up closer to the top of search engine results.

SEO is a great way to get found, to broaden your audience beyond your mother and your neighbor.

Good SEO means that more people will find you. If they like your voice, if they like what you have to say, they’ll keep coming back.

What Can Good SEO Do For You?

SEO first came on to my radar in 2009. I started optimizing my posts on Feels Like Home Blog, and I increased my traffic from search engines tenfold in 12 months.

From February 2009 to February 2010, I saw a 900% increase in traffic.

Need any more convincing?

The Basics of Good SEO

Good Writing

Are you tired of hearing that content is king? It still is, and it always will be.

Write for your readers first. Write good posts that are useful. Write things that people will be searching for in the first place.

Make sure your writing is good. Make sure it’s not riddled with typos and other mistakes. Make your text clear and concise.

Think about SEO only after you’ve written a killer post.

Searchable Posts

Some posts are more searchable than others.

When I post craft tutorials and recipes, I definitely spend the time to include good SEO.

When I write personal stories, post pictures of my kids, or share lists like Things I Enjoy, I don’t bother with SEO. The odds are low that anyone would search for those posts or that people searching would be interested in what I’ve written.

The one exception to that rule is photos of famous places. If I post a photo of my daughter at the Penn State Nittany Lion, for example, I do optimize it. A photo of the Eiffel Tour or the Grand Canyon or another famous site might get decent search traffic as people are looking for photos before they visit.

Write Good Titles & Headings

Your title and headings should reflect the subject of your post. Period.

The title and headings should not be cute, clever, or a play on words. They should reflect the content of the post.

The content of your post should also include the keyword phrase – the words someone would type into Google if they wanted to find your post – often (but not so much that they’re annoying your readers or distracting from your message).

Use Smart URLS

The URL of your post should reflect the title, headings, and content of the post.  This is a really simple change to make, and it will help a lot.

This is a setting, usually called Permalinks.

Bad URL – http://FeelsLikeHomeBlog.com/?p=134
Good URL – http://FeelsLikeHomeBlog.com/heart-shaped-pancakes

My URLs have the month and year in between the blog address and the post name. There are drawbacks to doing that, but it’s okay to have them in there.

Want to learn more about SEO?

I’ve shared the slide shows that I present at blog conferences. If you want more SEO help, read 10 Tips for Improving Your Blog’s SEO and 10 More Tips for Improving Your Blog’s SEO.

3 Comments

  1. Again, Tara, thank you kindly for the information shared here. It gives rise to more questions, but you offer info in a clear, concise way that even fraidy cats like me can feel like there is hope at the end of the social media tunnel! Whew!

  2. Awesome Tara! Thank you – the part about really focusing on those certain types of posts that people would be searching for is really helpful.

  3. Thank you for writing this, Tara.

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