Blogging 101: SEO Basics for your Blog Posts

SEO Basics

SEO Basics

I have not written a Blogging 101 post lately and figured it was time. After watching my hits soar to about 10 times my normal traffic on January 1st (thanks to 1 post) a few friends asked me to share my SEO tips. So, here is a quick how-to on SEO Basics to set up your post to be SEO friendly.

Google longtail

Title:

Search for the Google longtail and try to incorporate that into your title. For instance, when I begin to type “photo a day” into Google, I am immediately given these results:

  • photo a day challenge
  • photo a day instagram
  • photo a day ideas

Therefore, I now have 3 Google longtails to choose from. I chose “photo a day challenge” for my title.

SEO keywords

Keywords:

Now that I have my keyword/phrase, I want to make sure it stands out to Google when it crawls my post. I call it out by using H2 tags, bold, italics, and alt tags on images. Plus, I want to use my keyword within the first 100 words of my post. I normally use it in the title, use it in an initial H2 tag, and then within the first 1-3 sentences of the post. I will also bold it to make it stand out.

alt tags

Then, if the picture warrants the same keyword, I will use it in the alt tag for an image or two. If it does not really go with the picture, I will choose another SEO friendly, keyword rich phrase in its place.

Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO:

Finally, I use Yoast SEO as my SEO plugin. I have used another but found this one to be the best. Therefore, in my focus keyword box I will once again enter my keyword. I then copy and paste the title in the Meta Description and add more keyword phrases into a relevant sentence after the title. The image above was not a content heavy post so I did not feel the need to do so. Finally, I copy the title of the post into the SEO Title and add hashtags that may be relevant. This will help them automatically be pulled into the social shares… but not displayed in the title.

SEO tagsThat’s it. Other than my tags… which I try to limit to certain categories and use less than 4 of… this is how I SEO every post. I was thrilled to see my January 2013 Photo a Day Challenge post do so well. (Which reminds me… using backlinks within your own posts is also a good way to utilize SEO). I hope that you were able to at least get a little help from this quick tutorial. My post on Tuesday generated a almost a half a month’s worth of traffic and the best part? Over half was organic traffic from search engines!

What SEO tips do you have? Or what is your greatest SEO challenge?

Disclosure: I am by far an expert but I do enjoy sharing information I have found to work. I cannot guarantee results. I simply know what works for me.
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