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Blogging Tips – SEO Keywords

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We are back with more of our best tips on growing your blog. Today’s topic – how to increase your traffic by using SEO Keywords.

SEO Keywords

One of the common pain points that is discussed among bloggers is the topic of SEO.  There’s obviously a lot to say about it, so we are going to break it down into a couple posts and start with SEO Keywords!

SEO Tips for Bloggers

Hearing the term “SEO” can seem daunting, right? If you’re like me, you started your blog as a creative little hobby. Chances are you never heard of SEO before transitioning into a small business. There are a LOT of things to learn, and I used to think SEO was best left to the professionals. But I learned quite quickly that SEO is really not that hard! Here is the break down of what we’re really talking about when we reference “SEO”.

What is SEO? 

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

What does SEO mean? 

SEO is the way you prepare your blog posts to help Google and other search engines find your content. When Google finds your blog post, it will rank your article with other similar content it finds on the web. The most relevant and better content will be seen at the top of Google’s list.

Why does SEO Matter? 

When “Rhonda Reader” does a search for something that you might have an answer to, the list that Google created will pop up for Rhonda. Rhonda can move down this list looking for her answer and most of the time, she’ll find what she’s looking for on the first page of Google’s search results. So even if your Pancake Recipe really is the very best, if it isn’t on the first page of Google, it isn’t even being seen by most of the people searching for “The Best Pancake Recipe.” Which means being at the top of Google’s list (or at least on the first page) will increase your chance at readers clicking on your article and coming to your site.

The higher you are in the search results, the more likely that Rhonda Reader will click on your link, visit your blog, and become your faithful follower forever.

Why should you care about SEO?

Besides the fact that Rhonda is now your new BFF for life, we all know that traffic=money.  The more page views and engagement you have, the more marketable you are to brands, and the more money you’ll make from the ads on your page.

 

How to Increase your SEO Ranking

The job of a search engine is to search for and produce the MOST RELEVANT RESULTS for whatever someone types in the query box.

As content creators, our job is to make it as easy as possible for the search engines to discover that our post is the most relevant post on the entire internet about that topic. So we have to ask ourselves the following question –

For example,

Let’s say you wrote a post about how to make some easy DIY Stacking Bracelets.  Your job is to convince Google and its brothers that when someone is searching for instructions on how to make stacking bracelets, your post is the most relevant and best thing for that person to view.

How do we do that?  Well, there are a lot of things that go into optimizing your site, but one of the most important things to have working for you are KEYWORDS.

SEO KEYWORDS

What is an SEO Keyword?

A keyword is the word or phrase you think someone will type when they’re looking for what you’ve got.  So, for the post we were just discussing, you’d ask yourself, “What would I type in the search box if I wanted to learn to make or buy stacking bracelets?”

(We will go into how to set your keywords in your blog post below, so keep on reading!)

If you get too long and complicated with your keyword, the odds are much slimmer that anyone will search for it.  “Stacking Bracelets” is going to get you better results than “How to make your own DIY Stacking Bracelets.” If you go more simple, your post will still be relevant no matter what someone types as long as “stacking bracelets” is somewhere in their text.  Focus on whatever it is that you’re writing about; don’t try to be clever.  Search engines don’t understand cleverness and creativity.

Where do I put my keyword? 

Here is a checklist to use to make sure you’re getting your keyword in all the right places to better your chances at being found by those engines:

  • Your title –

Your keyword should appear in your title. Period.  That’s one of the first places search engines look.  Early on in my blogging career, I posted about a monogrammed pillow I made for my son and decided to be funny and call it “Pillow Talk.”  Of course, when someone searches for “Making a monogrammed pillow” my post isn’t going to be in the running, right?  It may seem boring for those of you who come from a creative writing background, but the best way to get found is to just call it what it is.  Are you making stacking bracelets?  Call it “DIY Stacking Bracelets.”  Writing about a recipe for pumpkin scones?  Call it “Pumpkin Scones Recipe”.  This post you’re reading?  It’s about Blogging tips and SEO Keywords, right?  So, it’s called “Blogging Tips – SEO Keywords.” Help the engines so they can help you!

  • Your blog link –

Another one of the first places search engines look. Your link should be your keyword too!

  • Throughout the body of your post –

This just helps the engines by showing them, “Look!  This post says ‘SEO Keywords’ five times!  It must really be relevant to that.”

  • In your post headings –

Unlike what I used to think, headings do more than just change the font size of the text in your blog post! Headings set a nice break in your paragraphs that organizes your content… and Google LOVES organization! You’ll notice in this post I have text that is bold and different sizes – those are different headings that are working in my favor! I was told that Heading 1 is for your most important keyword, Heading 2’s are slightly less important and so on. Your title is usually your H1, so use other similar and relevant keywords as H2, H3, H4 etc.

  • On photo titles –

Every image you include should have a title and alternate text that includes your keyword.  If you’re on WordPress, click on the “edit” icon on the photo  If you’re in blogger, you have to do it via the html code. Why do we do this?  Because sometimes people search for images.  If I label every photo in my bracelet post to include the words “Stacking Bracelets” my image and blog post have a great shot at being found when someone does an image search for stacking bracelets. If all my images come straight from my camera and are left named DSC2387940563, my chances of being seen in an image search are close to none!

  • Your meta description – 

(What’s that?)  It’s the little blurb that appears right underneath a title when you do a Google search.  Like this:

seo3c

{Not gonna lie, I was pretty excited that when I went to google and did a search for “stacking bracelets” and this showed up on the first page.  Whew, street cred!)

How to Set Your Meta Description

For Blogger users or those without plugin capabilities, the first sentence or two of your post will automatically appear as the meta description.  So be sure you include your keyword right away in your post!

For WordPress users, you should download the Yoast SEO plugin. With this plugin you can set your meta description to say exactly what you want. Yoast SEO is a free plug-in.  Download it.  Install it. Fall in love with it.  Here’s how it works:

Once installed, scroll to the bottom of the post composition screen on your dashboard. You’ll see a place to enter your keyword, and a place to enter your meta description. You can change the title and see a preview of exactly how it will look in a Google search.  There’s also a handy little checklist that will tell you if you’ve done all you can to optimize your post.

At the top of your dashboard where you schedule your posts and publish them, you’ll get a little light that appears as red, orange, yellow, or green. Always shoot for getting a green light and you’ll be good to go!

More Helpful SEO Keyword Tips

 

My Favorite SEO Course –

A few months ago I paid an SEO guru to do a site audit on Somewhat Simple. His findings were extremely helpful! (I am already seeing some great traffic results after fixing some of what he mentioned.) This SEO guy has become an invaluable blog resource as I continue to learn more and do better! His name is Jeff and he recently started an SEO course that is specifically aimed at helping bloggers (newbies and experts alike) learn more of the good SEO practices and what can help drive traffic to our blogs. You guys, my husband and I are doing this together and I have to say, we are both learning a TON and having so much fun!!! (I love seeing sometimes instant results for improvements we make to this blog!)

I love the entire set up! Weekly tutorials you can watch at your leisure, plus a group FB page where Jeff himself answers any questions you have. Currently this course is only $30 a month and new content is being added almost every day! (The value is unlike anything I have found!) If you’re serious about learning more, I’d join right away before the price goes up and/or he closes the group before it gets too big and overwhelming.

Click HERE for more info and to enroll today!

 

Keyword Planner

One of the things Jeff recommended in his SEO course was to pay for a program called SEMrush. This is quite pricey, ($99/month) but there is a free trial that I tried and now I can’t imagine life without it! Jeff has a ton of SEMrush tutorials in his SEO course. They are very helpful in learning to navigate SEMrush- especially if you are a newbie like I was. Before SEMrush, I would just guess at what I thought a popular keyword might be. I now use SEMrush every time I sit down to write my blog posts.

Click the image below to try SEMrush for free

… and if you love it like I did, it might be worth the monthly investment! 

SEMrush

. . . . .

We will have more on the topic of SEO very soon, so stick around!

ABOUT THE AUTHORS – Amy is the original author of this post and most of the words here are from her tutorial that was first published on Somewhat Simple in 2013. Amy is the creative blogger from One Artsy Mama and was a favorite monthly contributor on Somewhat Simple. In 2017, we did a refresh on this post, adding more relevant content and updated tips. We hope you found it helpful! 

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