Thursday, August 1, 2013

How to do SEO

How to do SEO you ask?

For the completely uninitiated,  SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and put simply, relates to the techniques you can employ to achieve a higher page rank in searches for information relevant to your blog or website.

Do you feel like throwing your hands in the air and leaving it up to the SEO Gods to straighten it out for you?  I hope you answered 'no' to that, because SEO is very very important for the growth of your blog or website.  Like most good things in life, they don't come to you whilst you sit around and wait for them to happen, you have to chase them down.

I have slowly been chipping away at getting a handle on SEO and how to use it to improve traffic to my blog.  I am very happy to share some of the things I have learned along the way.  A few small changes to your blog and you will notice an increase in traffic almost immediately.

1. Google Authorship

This is the hottest thing over at Google right now.
Google is all about credibility.  They want relevant, up to date information which is descriptive, trusted and original and they will reward you for this, with bums on seats so to speak, if that is what you are providing on your website.

Google Authorship helps you stand out in a search by placing the avatar (a head shot of yourself) next to the information about you. If you are prepared to put your name and face to the content on your blog, then Google sees that as credible and highly values your authority by bumping you closer to the top of a search.  

As always great content is the key, but this strategy helps you get it out there to a wider audience.

 You will need a Google plus account in your own name and you need to link it to your blog.  It takes a couple of weeks to appear next to your searches once you have the authourship in place, but once you do, your avatar will appear in searches against your blog like this one of my blog and you should see a lift in traffic before long.  

Here are Google's directions on how to proceed with Google Authorship.  If you can't manage it, get your blog designer to do it, as I did.

2. Search Description.  Use terms people are actually searching.

Make your post title a description of the content, not a catchy headline which is unlikely to be searched.  This became crystal clear to me recently when I met two bloggers who had fabulously large followings on Face Book.  One was called Stay at Home Mum and the other Cooking for Busy Mums.  These are terms which mums search all the time and even though these are the actual titles of their facebook pages and related blogs, it hit home to me how important it is to use words in your post title, that people are actually searching.

3. Keyword Tool

So how do you find out what terms people are searching?  You go here to keyword tool,  where you can see searches which relate to your content, how often they are searched per month and the competition from other websites using those key words similar to yours in their titles and content.

 It can be very enlightening.

Here, I was writing a post about paint color choices, so I searched those exact words.   It is clear I would be better served by using the title "Paint Colors" for the post.  Those words together have only medium competition and are searched the most on a monthly basis.

You need to think about your "long tail keywords'  as well, when you are giving your post a title.  Those are the terms used to refine a search and may help you to stand out from the crowd.  For example 'Digital Camera' may be your main subject, but other refining words like 'point and shoot' or 'best small' may help to drive specific searches to your website.

4.  Fill in your Post's Search Description Box

This refers to the search description you want, using the key words you have decided on from your keyword tool search.  So not only are you using them in the title of your post, but you are describing your post using those key terms as well.  If you are on Blogger and have an archive of posts that you have not done this for, you can go back and fill in the description box over there on the right and Google will eventually pick up your search description.

I think for wordpress you need to fill in some meta tags for each post.

4. Put your post title before your blog name

Recently I had my designer change my blog so that the title of my post comes before the blog's name.

For example the search result should look like this with Desire Empire at the back end.  The default position is that it appears at the front.

Google gives more weight to words on the left hand side of the title than the right, so it pays to make this change so people can more easily find your content.

5. Social Media
Other social media is important to make Google sit up and take notice of the main game, which is usually your blog or website.  Every click that comes in from yours or others Twitter, Facebook Pinterest,  Linkedin,  instagram and Google plus accounts is important, because it gives your blog the credibility and trust Google is looking for.  Google plus is actually very important and you should be Google plussing lots of other peoples posts in the hope they will Google plus you back, as again it suggests credibility.

Rest assured if you Google plus me, I shall do the same for you.

 There are not that many people over on Google plus yet, but it is worth dropping in each day to Google plus a few posts of your own and others.  A Google plus on a post is akin to a Facebook 'like' and gives your post credibility in Google's eyes.

Also don't forget to install the share icons at the bottom of your posts as well, so you can Google plus and generally share your own posts to all your social media platfomrs with ease.  It makes it easy for others to share them as well.

And don't fret about sharing the same post many times per day on your social media, especially on Twitter.  It is so fast and different segments of your audience read it at different times of the day.

6. Pinterest
Put a Pinterest Button on your blog, so it shows up on every shot when you move the cursor across the photo.  It looks like this, with the "P" in the centre of the photo.

It is better than a 'pin it' button over in your sidebar, as the reader does not have to navigate around to find it and by clicking on the 'P', it takes you straight through to this

All the pinner has to do, is add it to the correct board and press 'Pin it'.  Since installing this, I have noticed my traffic is up from Pinterest.

7. Update your blog regularly with killer content.

Google likes up to date information and updating regularly suggests to Google that the info is just that, current.  You will notice the big bloggers update daily and often more than daily.  I can't manage that, but the more you update, the better chance of improving traffic to your blog.

8.  Comment early on the bigger blogs.  

A blogger told me once if she comments early on Ree Drummond's Super Blog, Pioneer Women, then she get lots of hits just from that.  I've never tried it with Ree, but I do notice when I comment on some of the big blogs I like to read, if I do so early, I get more hits from them, than if I comment a day after they have published.

9.  Link up to parties or memes.

Again it's better if you can do this early.  If you have some great content it can go ballistic if you link it up early.  If you are in my blogging...... you can check out the bottom of my posts for the ones which drive the most traffic to my blog.

10. Create No Follow Links When Working with Brands

When working with Brands for money, make sure the links you create to their product or service are 'no follow' links.  Google frowns very severely on sites taking cash for back links to brands, by pushing you down in search rank.  If you are linking back to brands who are giving you sponsored work, make sure you set those links up as 'no follow'.

Here's how to do it on blogger, just click the box to check it, as shown.  I believe with Wordpress you need to learn a little bit of code to achieve the same result.

And a bonus tip

11. Install Google Analytics to monitor your progress.

There is no point in trying to improve if you don't know where you are starting from.  Google Analytics allows you to create all sorts of reports about the performance of your website.  It is not retrospective, so the sooner you install it the sooner you will know how you are going.

I hope you found this post helpful and if you want some more of my blogging tips go here:

10 things I wish I knew when I Started Blogging

Quick Tips To Improve Your Blog

How to Approach Brands and Getting Your Blog on the Radar

Two Must Haves for the Growth of Your Blog

The Power of Blogging

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Feathered Nest Friday
Show and Tell Friday
Weekend Wrap Party
Sundae Scoop
Sunday Showcase
Inspire Me Tuesday
Metamorphosis Monday
Take a Look Tuesday
Wow Us Wednesday
Transformation Thursday
No Minimalist Here


  1. Thank you Carolyn for this info. I think I will print this so I remember the steps. I definitely need some help and maybe update more often.

    Enjoy the upcoming weekend.

  2. Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home

    THANK YOU for all the great advice and tips!
    Have a great week,

  3. Thanks for the information. I have a lot to learn.

  4. Very interestting and good tips! Thanks for sharing. I'm still such a noob with SEO stuff :p

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  5. Bookmarking this post, some great tips here!

  6. Great timing for me Carolyn, in my other hat, as a freelance writer, I'm currently writing content for other people's blogs/websites using SEO keywords that my colleague gave me, but not sure how to do it myself! I have opened this in another window and plan to use soon :) Emily

  7. Awesome tips here. Thank you so much. I have a google plus account, but haven't done much with it at all. I will definitely amend that now. I also like point number four. I'm not sure how to do that, but can see why it works. I will give it a go. Thanks again.

  8. So much I don't know.... Thanks for sharing.

  9. Lucky you feel knowledgeable enough about the topic to do a post on it. I'm still working it out, and half the time I still don't know what I'm doing. Great info.

  10. Oh wow. Lots to learn. Need to come back and re-read it so I take it in properly. Thanks for the tips.

  11. Great info for an L plater like me, lots of things to do and figure out!

  12. Thank you for sharing this info. It looks like I have a lot of work to do this weekend! Hope you enjoy yours:-)

  13. Some great advice,I really need to get onto fixing my pin it buttons on my photos!

  14. Thanks for the tips ... there's so much to learn with blogging! I have never heard of the 'no-follow' rule with sponsored posts, I'll look into that one further. Many thanks, Alison #FYBF

  15. Great tips n hints on how to grow a blog for SEO purposes....I think another great tip is making sure you comment on a blog post with using the words from the Title :)
    Eg: How To Do SEO is so very important for those that are serious about growing a blog stronger on google ;)

  16. Hello, very valuable run through of all the main points. Have just Google+ ed... I must talk to you about the online SEO course that I am doing through when we next meet.

    I have been going back through old posts and changing titles etc etc Made a real hash of SEO for years!!

  17. Great tips. Have been trying for a while to get the google authorship with a photo thingy working but no luck yet. Will have rotary again.

  18. Lots of wonderful tips! I'm not savvy at all on all this. I just blog and hope for the best. :( Thanks for sharing!!

  19. This is really great info! I thought I had my Google authorship all squared away, but it turns out I didn't. It's all up and running now. Thanks for the post!

  20. Wonderful info Carolyn, thanks so much :)

  21. Thanks for the great info! I am definitely going to get a google+ account now. Will google + you when I do :-)

  22. Fabulous ideas, thanks for sharing. I recently started a blog but I'm not very experienced with all this computer knowledge so this has been very helpful.

  23. Great tips, Carolyn!I love that you link to the authorship tutorial so we can learn how to do it. I did it a few months ago, but something must've gone awry because it still doesn't show. I'll have to read your link and try it again.

  24. Fabulous tips and we all want more traffic. Thanks so much for sharing at Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  25. Thanks for the good advice. I'm still learning about bringing traffic to my blog.

  26. Great info thanks Carolyn. It will take me some time to get my head around! x

  27. So helpful Carolyn. Good on you for getting organised and up to date with it all! x

  28. Thanks so much for all this infos. I pinned your post and I'll get back to it.

  29. Valuable information, Carolyn! I've got it pinned to start going over each idea. Thanks so much for being so willing to share! Have a great day!

  30. I'm a bit late in reading this, Carolyn, but it is a brilliant post. Off to share it on Techie Mum.

  31. Oh Carolyn this is exactly what I needed! You've explained it perfectly. Now I just need to figure out how to do the pin button on my pictures! Thank you xxx


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