Simple SEO Tips for Beginners: Building a Better Blog
By: Ashley Robison

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With the new year, I see many blog resolutions wanting to grow traffic and optimize search engine traffic. I’m sure for many of you, you’re not quite sure HOW to do that. Some sites, like WordPress, claim to be optimized better than others for SEO (search-engine optimization).  But within all the platforms, there are ways to optimize your site to build up more traffic.  Mind you– I’m no SEO expert, but I put all of these tips in to effect and find that they substantially help drive traffic to my site.

 

Know Your SEO Vocabulary:

SEO: Search Engine Optimization
Pagerank: A 1-10 scale determined by Google.  Algorithms determine your page rank, and it’s Google’s way of determining where you show up in search results.  The higher the score, the better.
Keywords: keywords are descriptive clusters and phrases within the body of your posts. 
META Tags: WordPress and Blogger should both have areas within set up where you can enter META tags.  META Tags are HTML codes that give search engines information on the site & its contents.  So yours might include the city you live in if you’re regional, fashion, shopping, eco-friendly clothing, etc.
Anchor Text: The words that appear in a clickable link.

 

Simple SEO Tips:

Make sure that your Permalink is rich with keywords.  Unless you go in and edit it, your permalink typically takes on the title that you give the blog post.  Which, if you give your posts artistic titles, musical titles, etc., it won’t really do much good for you in search engines. (See below)

 

Bold, Italicize, & Link.  Google places more emphasis on words that are in bold, linked, or italicized.  When you link to another blog post, make sure to use keywords–descriptive phrases indicating what the post is about.  It’s better to write “See Jamie’s post on how to curl your hair” than “This post by Jamie is awesome!” because search engines will pick up both the keywords and the linking (called anchor text).  See how I’ve made bold the important first line of each point?  That’s deliberate, as well as being useful for readers scanning the text.

 

Use your Alt Tags when posting images.  If you post an image through Blogger or WordPress’ tools functions, there is typically a box that says Alt Text/Alternate Text.  In HTML it would look like alt=”words words”.  This allows you to insert keywords in to your image, making it pull up in image searches on those keywords.  An image of Kim Kardashian may have something like alt=”Kim Kardashian, The Kardashians, Kim Kardashian style, Kim Kardashian butt”.  Separate each keyword by a comma.  This will pull your images up in image searches on all the search engines.

 

Break up content with headers/headings. Like bold, italics, and links, Google gives more weight to the text within header scripts.  So make sure to load them up with descriptive information!

 

Seek out plugins which help make SEO easier.  WordPress has the free All-In-One-SEO, and many templates have built in SEO optimizing.  Unfortunately, there are no plugins for those using Blogspot (it seems). These plugins typically give you a few categories: like a META Title (which is how your post shows up in search results–like renaming the post title but only in search engines), META description (most of the time the first few lines of your content will come up, but you can change it to make it SEO rich. Google only uses the first 150 characters), and keywords (a way to put in more diverse keywords and synonyms than your post may actually use in the post).

 

Don’t disable any SEO plugins you have & have been utilizing, without looking up some way to transfer or export/import the data.  I did this once and lost my page rank entirely.  My search engine results for 2 years worth of blogging were lost.  And I had no idea.  Once I figured out the cause and started to repair it, it still took over 5 months to bring my page rank back to half of what it was.

 

There are whole sites, e-books, and businesses dedicated to SEO, so covering it all in just one post would be impossible.  Here are some great additional resources for you to check out– and if you have questions, or would like me to dedicate a whole post to one area of SEO, please let me know!

Copyblogger’s How to Create Compelling Content that Ranks Well in Search Engines (a free e-book)
Stylish Thought’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization (a MUST read!!!)
Fashion & SEO: How Sponsored Content Works

Comments

  1. Avatar of Jennine Jacob

    great tips ashe! i know it’s hard to think about SEO but once you get into it it really helps. i didn’t give SEO the time of day until starting working on eat sleep denim, and it really helps build traffic, by a lot.
    :)

  2. Great tips Ashe! I would take it a step further and say that knowing what keywords you are optimizing for is integral. Using free keyword tools to find out search volume and competitiveness will help in targeting the less competitive terms. http://www.google.com/sktool/

  3. Sophie says:

    I will definately refer back to this! Hope I can make use of your great advice in the future.

  4. Kristina says:

    Thank you so much for this article – I’m new to SEO and really want to work with that. But do you know how I can rebuilt the permanent-link in blogger? Or does anyone know a website which shows how to do SEO especially in blogger?

    Love,
    Kristina

  5. Christina says:

    Great post! I happy to know that I am doing most of these, except optimizing the permalinks. I would also add including keywords in the title of your posts. It helps out tremendously. I read about SEO EVERYDAY, and have found all of these tips to be very useful. The All-in-One-SEO pack is a must! I have seen my traffic double since I started using it.

  6. Nhuc Tran says:

    This is a great, easy to understand overview of on-site optimisation.

    Off-site optimisation is just as important.
    You should aim to get as many relevent incoming links AKA backlinks to your site. This is the number of website pages which link into yours. If many sites are linking to yours, search engines will see your “important” and will rank you higher. I find swapping blogroll links is the easiest way to build backlinks.

    Also, if you can, make sure the anchor text, in the incoming link, is the keyword you are targetting. EG if I wanted to rank really well for “fashion blog” then I would swap blogroll links and request my anchor text says “nhuc tran – fashion blog”.

  7. Justyna says:

    Great Tips. A great resource is also http://websitegrader.com/. It will tell your websites score and give you tips on how to improve it. HubSpot overall is an amazing tool.

  8. Nnenna says:

    Wow, these are great tips! I’m still a bit confused though about how to add alt text to images in blogger..?

    • Avatar of Ashley Robison
      AsheMischief says:

      Nnenna, if you’re in Blogger and go to HTML view, you’ll see something like so what you would do is add it in, so it reads words words

      Does that make sense?

    • Avatar of Ashley Robison
      AsheMischief says:

      ahh. It took out my html.

      In HTML View, you’d see the following code with < *> around it. (No *)

      so it’d say img src=”link link*” inside the arrows. you’d add the alt text so it’d read img src=”link link*” alt=”words words*”

  9. eyeliah says:

    Thanks AM, great post! PS You won my giveaway! I’ll message you :)

  10. Christy L. says:

    Great tips, I’m really bad (read: never)consider SEO. This article really got me thinking about ways I can incorporate it.

  11. Thanks, Ashe. I did not know about the keywords for the pictures. I will use that tool from now on.

  12. Hmmm… certainly things to consider. unfortunatly I still find HTML confusing, I know its got to be fairly simple but I just can’t get into it. my loss I guess! One day!

  13. This is so helpful, thanks Ashe! SEO is one of the areas I want to improve on in 2011, and this is a great place to start.

  14. Azalea says:

    Great tips.

  15. Great post! Its so rich with info I don’t even know where to start. You helped me a lot with the Alt tag and seo plugin info. I had no idea that deleting a plugin could affect your blog that way. So glad I learned it now.
    Thanks!

  16. vanessa says:

    Thank you for sharing all the info with us. I’m so new to blogging anything really helps. Thanks for the links to the other sites as well!

  17. SEO has always been confusing to me. Thanks for breaking it down a little bit better.

  18. turisuna says:

    SEO is something mysterious for me, for all this time I was only counting on content and backlinks, I’m not a technical person. But it’s nice and simple tips anyway :)

  19. Gemma says:

    great tips! especially about the bold text, I didn’t know that. Thanks!

  20. Thanks so much for this, such a great post! I’ll be implementing these tips ASAP!

  21. Jen says:

    Really good tips! I had no idea about the bolding and header stuff. Thanks!

  22. Tamra says:

    AsheMischief,

    Here is another simple SEO strategy for beginners. Create back links through commenting on other blogs.

    When commenting, first make sure that you are allowed to leave your website url. Find sites that you do not have to be logged in.

    Write a comment that is relevant to the post, add value and do not spam by leaving one liners like “Great Post!” Those that moderate their comments will just delete the spam.

    Thanks for the additional tips.

    Tamra

  23. Ashley says:

    I never realized what SEO really was until this post. Its not something I had ever heard before and I am glad it was brought to my attention. Key words, phrases,tag backs none of the those things crossed my mind. I plan on going through this post a few times in hopes that I may understand it more. Thanks for the tips!

  24. learned a lot from this article…thanks for providing such a useful post..

  25. Scott Parker says:

    Also putting your keywords in the and tags are a bit of help with SEO if you can do it and still keep the flow of the site. There are tons of plugins that can help you with the on page, or on article seo,practice makes perfect.

  26. Thanks for such a great post. For newbies you have set everything out really well and explained some complex terms. SEO is always changing in an attempt to keep up with the increase in social media and Google changes. I usually use Ezine articles for increased page rank, with their threat to change all of their links to nofollow I think that this will change the whole article marketing arena substantially. It is great to have blogs like this that teach online marketers simple to use strategies that work.

  27. Thanks for the info. I use the following SEO plugins in WordPress which may add some value: Robots Meta: This allows you to add robots meta tags to your pages and feeds, disable unused archives and nofollow unnecessary links. External Links: With one click mark outbound links as such, with various effects (e.g. NoFollow) that are configurable under Settings / External Links.

    Thanks,

    /Brian

  28. Its really nice SEO tips that you have mentioned in your post which I agree helps alot in getting a good ranked blog in search engines eye.

  29. The goal is to make a site easy to find, easy to follow, and easy to read for search spiders and live-visitors, with well written topical content and relevant incoming links. While basic SEO can be time consuming in the early stages, the results are worth the effort and set the stage for more advanced future work.

  30. This post abut Simple SEO Tips for Beginners: Building a Better Blog is quite informative. I for one am a beginner and this is very helpful.

    Thank you for sharing this post! All the best!

  31. Harry Mae says:

    The use of SEO tips and techniques by SEO experts that helps to develop the online business effectively. London SEO experts uses different tips that can help to get effective results.

  32. Great article! I too am interested in all aspects of SEO.

  33. Alex Gold says:

    Even though bolding words is a good idea for seo purposes don’t over do it because it could make you look bad in front of the search engines, at least that’s what I’ve heard.

  34. SEO Magazine says:

    oh great tip, im researching about it :)

  35. Najeeb says:

    Thanks for sharing the great information about Blog

  36. Daphne says:

    I loved the tips, ill try it

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  38. Alex Iuonut says:

    I love this site. It is very usefull.

  39. this is just aw sum, and very very cool for the beginners too

  40. J. Ramirez says:

    These are great tips for new bloggers about SEO. I became familiar with these ideas and strategies using a service called Majon International. Majon taught me how to optimize my results by learning how target an audience to draw in more viewers and even offered services like permanent links and banner advertising. I highly recommend these kinds of tools if you’re looking to direct more traffic and find more followers.

  41. Hemen says:

    thanks for the great SEO tips. I have learned quite a few useful tips. Is there anyone who has used Seopressor. I have heard that it is great plugin for on-page SEO. Can anyone throw some light on this plugin.

  42. Thank you for your sharing. I am interested in all aspects of SEO.

  43. eco friendly says:

    What a fantastic site and informative posts I definitely will bookmark your website

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  45. Imani Talib says:

    Awesome info!! Thank you so much! This is helpful because at the moment I’m not hosting my site. I will soon though!

    Imani Talib
    http://InspirationsMuse.wordpress.com
    Fashion by Faith Seeker

  46. Great post! This can actually be pretty useful for our new clientele. I was wondering, can I share this post!? Simply Amazing and very informative for those perplexed in SEO

  47. Thank you so much for giving out this helpful information. I was doing a project and for that I was searching for relevant information. Several of the points are very useful. Do share some more content if you have on this topic.

  48. Stephanie says:

    So helpful! Thanks :)

  49. Avatar of Vanessa Almeida

    Awesome post! So much info that I didn’t knew… Wow, learned a lot! Specially about that “alt-image” thing, I have heard of it before but it wasn’t very clear.
    I’m definitly going to put all of this in practice!

  50. Piece of advise, don’t leave the keyword/phrase hanging without other text before or after it. It will look spammy and may be deleted by moderators when you do blog commenting. I think Google will disregard those kind of links too.

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