SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” It is a term bloggers and business owners use to describe how they try to get their sites as close to the front pages of search engines as possible. For example, when searching for “pretty hospital gown” Annie & Isabel – a company that makes designer hospital gowns – benefits from being one of the first sites google brings up. (FYI, that link was me loving them, not paid or anything)
Bloggers benefit from SEO because we write useful articles and deserve to be clicked when people are searching. I recently posted some HOP the movie coloring pages that is one of the first five pages google brings up and I received a lot of search engine traffic from it!
Bloggers, how do you get your posts to go higher in search results?
Very good question.
Let’s start at the very beginning with the terminology.
Meta-Tag: A Meta-Tag is the title of your blog and your post title. It helps search engine crawlers know what your post is about. The meta-tag is found in the html of your blog. WordPress users can use a plugin for meta tags, blogger users must go into the html of their template in insert meta-tags manually. (This goes for meta-descriptions and meta-keywords too)
Meta-Description: A short description of your blog post. Sometimes search engine crawlers use the meta-description as the short blurb under you link when it gives people results. Again, you put the meta-description in your template html for blogger and use a plugin in WordPress.
Meta-Keywords: Keywords people might use and find your post. Example: for this post my meta-keywords might be “beginner SEO” or “how to SEO a blog post” or even “blog SEO.” This also goes in your template html or use the plugin for wordpress. And yes, blogger blogs require you to insert the meta-description and keywords manually.
Blogger users: Here is an example of the html to insert in your template for a post you want to SEO:
<b:if cond=’data:blog.url == "http://www.YOURBLOG.Blogspot.com/PostTitle.html"’>
<meta content=’SEO for Beginners’ name=’description’/>
<meta description=’How to SEO, SEO and blogs, blogging SEO, SEO for dummies’ name=’keywords’/>
Please note: You don’t have to do this for every single blog post. But if you are writing one that you think is super valuable and really great for googlers to find (tutorials and reviews for example) then by all means use the html. And for a really detailed tutorial for adding Meta tags, check out “how to add meta tags for single posts in blogger“)
How descriptive does the description have to be? Most search engines use a maximum of 160 characters in their “blurbs” so keep it short, sweet and to the point! A great way to know what to write in the description is to pay attention to what you read in the “blurbs” under the post titles when you google something.
The best WordPress Plugin for SEO
WordPress users: Download and activate the “All in One SEO Pack” plugin. At the bottom of every post you write, you can type in the title, description and keywords for your post! Saves so much time and is so easy. Even better, if you happen to forget to enter the keywords and description at the bottom of your “edit post” screen, it pulls from the post title, category and tags you used. Seriously, this plugin rocks! If you have questions about how to use it, feel free to contact me, I’m willing to help!
Next, use keywords in good places in your post. You can use that plugin or put html in your template, but don’t forget to use those keywords in your post, and put them in naturally too! My title here is perfect for search engines, it is something people might type directly into google. Use other keywords in the first paragraph and bolded headings in your post too. The first sentence of this post is a perfect example of good use of keywords early in a post. And my headings in bold are too, so use this post as examples for that.
SEO those images! When people do a Yahoo or Google Image search, they can find your photos and therefore find your blog! This works really great for product review images or tutorials. WordPress users, this is easier for you. When you upload a photo, put a “google worthy” keyword in the “title” field and your post title in the “description” field.
Blogger doesn’t have these fields when you upload a picture so blogger users will have to go the html tab and edit the html of the picture to look like this:
<a href=”http://the_google_URL of the image Blogger gives you here.jpg”><img title=”Keyword” src=”http://the_google_URL of the image Blogger gives you here.jpg” alt=”Blog post or other description here” width=”300″ height=”300″ /></a>
One last tip: Write frequently about a few main topics and categorize and tag them and place that category in your nav bar. I get lots of search hits on cloth diapering so I make sure to post about cloth diaper tips and all my posts are easy to find up on my nav bar. This not only helps with search engine traffic, but helps readers depend on you for content on that topic and eases the maneuverability of your site too.
This is not an exhaustive post by any means! Please ask questions in the comments! I will answer them and write a part two if enough discussion is generated! What are you curious about with SEO? What baffles you? What have you learned recently that works?