In this post I’m going to talk to you about how to use SEO in your blog effectively so that it gets ranked by google and found by your audience.
If you haven’t started your blog yet and are looking for a little helping hand, download my free Ultimate Starter Kit for Brand New Bloggers. It includes a full hour long video guide to show you the exact steps you need to take to get you up and running.
Or if you’re already off and running with your blog and have a little idea of SEO but just don’t know how to use it properly, you can get my Lazy Gals Guide to SEO here that will talk you through exactly what it is and how to use it effectively to get your blog ranked by google.
For those who want to find out what SEO is, why it’s important and why you need to use it, read on…
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What is SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a term that is used to explain how search engines use words and information contained in your blog or website to figure out what it’s about and show it to people searching for that information.
For example if you were looking for (and therefore keyed into Google) monuments in Washington DC you would be presented with some results. The results are decided upon and shown to you based on their contents relevance to the words you keyed into the search engine for example “monuments” and “Washington DC”
Placing the right words in the right places within your blog or website will help the search engines determine what your site is about and also what the content on each page or blog post is about. This will, in turn, help them to present your content as a possible result to the searcher.
These words, or phrases, are called keywords and are a very important part of SEO. There are also a lot of other criteria that the search engines use such as loading speeds, quality of images, ease of navigation, bounce rates and times on site. In fact Google has over 200 criteria that your site needs to meet for it to be completely optimized.
But don’t worry. For the moment we are just going to make sure that you are doing at least the basics to get your site found.
What are keywords
Keywords are the words (or phrases) that people use to search for information, like the monuments in Washington DC example we used above.
There are short tail keywords such as “monuments” or long tail keywords such as “the most visited monuments in Washington DC”.
A long tail keyword will attract much less competition which means you have a higher chance of your content being shown as a result. This is because far fewer people would key into a search engine “the most visited monuments in Washington DC” than would key in “monuments in Washington”.
For your little blog to stand a chance of appearing on page one or two of Google, or other search engines, you will need to be clever about how you use your keywords.
Where to find appropriate keywords
Keyword research is a big part of blog writing. You need to make sure that you are using words that your audience would probably be searching for. I have used SEO as my main keyword but I have made it into a long tail by changing it to “how to use SEO in your blog”.
My blog helps other bloggers to get started so I know that I want to attract bloggers. I therefore need to use a word such as blog or blogger or blogging as my keyword. You can see that I have used “blog” in this post. I wanted to talk about SEO and teach people what it is and how to use it so I needed to include the term SEO as a keyword too.
Finding keywords can be tricky and there are many ways that you can find them including using Google’s Keyword Planner tool.
But, as a very easy way to get started you can simply put into the Google search bar, a keyword that you think is appropriate. Then have a look to see the results it shows you. Look at the words in the titles, in the couple of sentences below the titles (called the meta description) and see if there is a better one or a less competitive one that you could perhaps choose.
You can also scroll to the bottom of the page where Google will show you the exact phrases that people have keyed into the search engine that relate to your keyword. Boom, you now have a long tail keyword that you know is being searched for and that will probably be less competitive than the one you first thought of.
There is a very detailed description of how to do this on my post “how to write a great blog post“.
How and where to add them in your blog
You need to add your keywords to the title of your blog post. Then you need to include them in the first sentence of your post. You also need to include them in the last sentence wherever possible.
You can scatter your keywords within your content but only where you feel you can add them and the content still makes sense. Don’t keyword stuff, this means adding your keywords lots and lots of times so that it becomes annoying for the reader. Aim to mention them at least 6 times within the body of your post.
You can also add them to the alt tags or alt text of your images. This will help the search engines to know what your images are as Google bots don’t look at the images but just read the descriptions, alt text and captions.
There is also a tags section on the right hand side of your WordPress website where you can add the keywords that you want your post to be ranked for. These might be words other than those you have used in the particular post.
For example if you are a local business you might want to add your locality as a keyword but don’t want to actually mention the locality in the body of the post. You can add this to the tags section and then Google will be able to see this if someone keys in your locality as a keyword into the search bar.
For instance, let’s say you are a florist in Birmingham. You might write a blog post about blooms for June and talk about the seasonal flowers that you can make bouquets from this month. You don’t want to mention that you are in Birmingham in the actual post as it’s irrelevant. However, if someone is searching for a florist in Birmingham you want to be sure to show up. Adding Birmingham to the tags section will sort this out.
Get a full and detailed explanation of SEO and how to use it.
As how to use SEO in your blog is a bit of a complicated subject, I wrote a whole guide about it so that those who are new to SEO can follow through it and make sure their site is optimized.
You can get a copy of my Lazy Gal’s Guide to SEO here. It’s totally free and full of actionable steps and suggestions. You don’t even need to give your email address, it’s my gift to you to help you get started with SEO. Just click on the image below and it will download straight to your device.
I really hope that you have found this post and it’s attachments useful and if so I would love it if you could share it so that others can learn about SEO too. I have included some popular social media icons so please just click away.
I will be back in a few days with some other useful tool, tip or tidbit, usually free, so make sure you look out for me. To make sure you don’t miss something great subscribe to my blog now and I’ll drop you quick email next time I publish something.