4 SEO Tips for Beginners

by Heligirl on June 2, 2011

in Beyond Mommyhood,Blogging,Daily Ramblings

Practicing a little SEO, search engine optimization, is one powerful way to help your blog stand out among the thousands online today. While the topic is deep and multi-faceted, not to mention constantly changing, there are a few SEO basics you can do regularly to help boost your blog’s rankings, especially for those looking for your blog’s theme or your post topic.

SEO works kind of like this: constantly evolving and automated search engine web crawlers are out there looking for relevant content when related to searches people make on those search engines. These robots will look at your data at the top of your post’s page. This meta data, or basically the Cliff Notes version of your post, plays a big part in your rankings, among a few other things. Here is a look at how you can help those search engine crawlers learn about your post immediately and increase your chances of higher rankings during other’s searches.

1. Keywords

Once you’ve written your post, look through it and identify a handful of keywords (sometimes two and three word phrases can be better). If you were searching for the topic of this post, what would you type into Google? Those are your keywords. More isn’t necessarily better. Be focused.

For example, with this post, I’d use the following keywords: SEO, SEO basics, blogging SEO, SEO tips, boost your blog’s rankings, search engine optimization, and SEO for beginners. My best guess is people looking for the content of this post are going to search for these items.

When it comes to your blog itself, the same rule applies. What are people looking for that you can help them find? Look at this site as an example. Heligirl’s keywords are: Parenting advice, positive discipline, positive parenting, fostering high self esteem, mommy blog. Short, to the point, and certainly searchable.

If your blog software allows you to add keywords (there are several good, free SEO plugins for WordPress for example), this is where you include in those keywords. There’s argument to how important keywords are but this article breaks down why you should use them.

2. Title

The title of your blog and each post should include keywords people would most likely use in searching for your blog’s content or a post’s content. For instance, I write a mom blog about how I put my positive discipline training to work at home. My blog’s title is Heligirl: The Positive Discipline Mommy. People looking for Positive Discipline insight will type a part of my title right into their search.

When it comes to posts, you want to take the same tack. This post is titled “4 SEO Tips for Beginners.” Anyone searching for SEO tips, beginner SEO or any other combination of those words will hit on the title words.

I have to admit this has been a hard one for me. I love writing catchy, intriguing titles that will get my readers reading more. But that won’t help the post’s ranking. Use the catchy hooks in your Twitter and Facebook promotions of your post.

Now none of the above will help much if your blog software automatically names your posts randomly, like “http://www.myblog.com/2100-05-24″. Make sure you’ve either set your software to title your posts with your headline, or, if it is offered in your SEO plugin or blog software, enter the post title yourself. You want it to read “http://www.myblog.com/10-great-decorating-ideas” or another way that uses your post’s title.

3. Description

Many blog software applications and SEO plugins give you the chance to enter the description of your post. This is 150 characters and when your article comes up in a search engine, it’s the description under the post. You’ll also see it pop up when someone posts a link to the post on Facebook. You can be a little catchy here, but be sure to put some of those almighty keywords in there as well. If not, it’ll just take the first 150 characters in your blog post.

4. Body

Remember those keywords. We’re not done with them yet. You’ve used them to identify the post’s theme and you’ve used them in the title. Now be sure they’re in the post.

To give your post yet another boost, use some of those keywords in the top couple of sentences of your post. Web crawlers will see the keywords, then the title, then the first few sentences. If there is repetition, the post is deemed valuable to those keyword searches.

All Together Now

For me, when writing a post, I find it easiest to just write the post. Then I’ll go back and give it the SEO once over. I’ll come up with the best keywords for the post, edit that first paragraph to put a few in there (you don’t need them all by any means). Then I’ll come up with a title for the post. The last thing I usually do is write a description, because I’ve pretty much got that post nailed down and keyworded well by then.

These few things are only a handful of many things you can do to boost your SEO, but if you only do this to start, you’re well on your way to increasing your search engine optimization!

I originally wrote this post for MomComm.com and it appears here. I am reprinting it here as a list to help spread the word. Happy SEO-ing everyone!


Diane @ OhDiane
Twitter: Oh_Diane
June 2, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Great list of SEO tips for beginners.
Diane @ OhDiane recently posted: 10 Ways to Keep Your Kids Active This Summer

Twitter: Heligirl
June 2, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Thanks Diane! I was doing research on how to do better with SEO and figured I should share what I learned. 🙂

Eileen Ludwig
Twitter: eileenludwig
June 2, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Love this simple but accurate post for beginners with simple directions on SEO. I have included SEO pack plugin as one of my Top Free Wordpress Plugins to have on your Wordpress blog http://www.socialmedia-school.com/top-free-wordpress-plugins/
Eileen Ludwig recently posted: Social Media Jobs- skills- future- ROI- and what do you really want to know

Twitter: Heligirl
June 4, 2011 at 5:57 am

Thanks Eileen.

Kostas @ moserlx June 3, 2011 at 9:40 am

I think the most important are tags and body of your page. Also beginners must avoid keyword spaming, and they must always follow the rule: CONTENT > all

Nice tips Heligirl, I could recommend this for every SEO starter

Twitter: Heligirl
June 3, 2011 at 1:38 pm


Kristin @ Intrepid Murmurings
Twitter: sunfrog
June 3, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Thanks for this — great tips! I struggle with some of this — like the blog title thing. I like having a unique blog title (and post titles) but I know they are not descriptive enough to clue folks (or search engines!) into what I am writing about.

Are keywords like tags in terms of blogging software? I generally enter my keywords in the tag section of my blog (wordpress) but haven’t looked into whether I should get some different plugins for this kind of thing…
Kristin @ Intrepid Murmurings recently posted: Happy 3rd Birthday Elsie and Delia!

Twitter: Heligirl
June 4, 2011 at 6:01 am

I hear you Kristin. It took me a while to move away from the fun titles, but I did see a significant increase in organic Google traffic (meaning people came to me after searching for my keywords).

Keywords are not tags. Tags are a way to organize your blog. Keywords are imbedded in the header so search engines can find them. My blog theme, Thesis, comes with SEO features. One really good plugin for Wordpress I recommend is the All In One SEO Pack Plug-In: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/all-in-one-seo-pack/.

Hope this helps!

WAHM Hosting
Twitter: wahmhosting
June 4, 2011 at 9:49 pm

I love this post! You really get right into the basics and do it in a way that makes it so easy to understand.

I especially liked the tip about catchy titles not working well for SEO. I always see advice about titles that pull people in, but then find they aren’t all that relevant.
WAHM Hosting recently posted: Why Blogs are Good For Business

Amy @ A Little Nosh June 8, 2011 at 6:38 pm

Very helpful info, thanks! #CommentHour
Amy @ A Little Nosh recently posted: Teriyaki Turkey Burgers

Twitter: gomexicoguide
June 8, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Thanks for making this very easy to understand. I’ve always avoided doing much with SEO because it seemed difficult and time consuming – even though I know it’s really important. I already have the plugin installed so I’ll have to start adding keywords and descriptions, that doesn’t seem too tough. 😉 Great tips!
Laura recently posted: Dish of the Week- Pibil Pollo

Micha June 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm

SEO is something I need to work on. I have the hardest time with SEO friendly titles.
Micha recently posted: Simple Pleasures Volume 4

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