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SEO 101 for Bloggers

Where does the majority of your traffic come from? If it’s not from search engines, then you’re missing out. Search engines, Google in particular, can be a fire hose of free traffic. You have to design your site and write your posts with the search engines in mind though if you want to stand a chance.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the aptly named process of optimizing your site to rank in the search engines for certain keywords. Keyword selection is a topic for another post, but in general you want keywords with relatively high levels of traffic with relatively low levels of competition.

On Page SEO

On page SEO is the process of optimizing you page for a specific keyword. There are four primary areas to focus on to make sure the search engines know what your page is about.

First and most import is the title of the post. The words in your title will be weighted more heavily than any other factor on page. The keyword phrase you are trying to rank for absolutely must be in the title of your post. It’s nearly impossible (and would be silly to try) to rank for a keyword phrase if it isn’t in the title of your post.

The second most important element is the URL of your post – known as the post slug in WordPress. It’s not essential that your keyword be in the URL, but it helps tremendously.

The third area to target is the subheadings of your post. Again, it’s not essential to have your keywords in the subheadings, but it helps.

Finally, you want to make sure you include your key phrase in the text of your article. But don’t try to stuff it in. Just use it naturally and include it the best you can.

The whole point in all of this is that you want to make sure Google knows what your post is about. To determine what your post is about, they look at the words you use in your title, URL, subheadings and the text of your article.

Off Page SEO

Off page SEO is the process of promoting your post. Off page SEO is what tells Google that your post is the best post on that particular subject.

You aren’t going to find a key phrase that hasn’t been used before. There may be thousands or millions of other pages competing to rank for that keyword. Obviously, only a small number will rank on the first page of the search engine results for any key phrase.

The biggest part of off page SEO is building backlinks. Backlinks are essentially votes for your page. If your on page SEO is done right, then the site with the most votes wins.

One of the best ways to build good strong backlinks is by guest posting on other blogs. One backlink from an authoritative site is far more powerful than dozens of links from low quality sites.

Another good source of backlinks is from Web 2.0 sites like Hubpages, Wizzley, Infobarrel and dozens of others.

Enough books have been written on SEO to fill bookshelves and an endless number of websites are devoted to the subject. It’s easy to get bogged down in the details, but everything boils down to picking your keywords, optimizing the onsite factors and promoting the content with backlinks.

Jeremy Waller blogs at Personal Finance Whiz and has been doing internet marketing and earning an income online for over 5 years. 

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8 Responses to SEO 101 for Bloggers

  1. Derek says:

    SEO is a mystery for quite a few people in the blogging world. Many of them just write and hope people will find their site. Thanks for laying out the basics!

  2. Great post, SEO is an area I really need work on. While I know the basics, I rarely think about it when I write a post as a post just comes flowing out of my head and I don’t always stop to think about the SEO aspects of it!

    Thanks for the reminder!

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  4. I’ve been a lot better about keeping SEO at the front of my mind when publishing a post. Using Genesis has also been beneficial in helping me to remember, and better craft the SEO aspect of my site. I just need to keep plugging away at it. :-)

    Thanks,
    Timothy

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