What is SEO and why does my blog need to do it?

What is SEO and why does my blog need to do it?

Search engine optimisation basics

You’ve read a lot about it over the years, but what exactly is this SEO thing all about?

And as a blogger, why do you need to worry about it?

SEO stands for ‘search engine optimisation’. It is the practice of improving the way a website is built so that search engines can find it more often.

A crude example of SEO:

  • Search engines send out ‘spiders’ to ‘crawl’ the internet
  • Each time a spider picks up a piece of content it ‘indexes’ it and adds it to the search engine
  • Each link shown when you search for a term is called a ‘search engine result page’ (SERP)
  • The more content you add, the more search engines will index your site
  • The more relevant to the search query that your content is, the more it will be displayed

By being found and clicked on more, the more traffic your blog receives. Simples!

google

It’s worth mentioning here that we are talking about natural search results (also called ‘organic’). These are the links displayed in the middle of the search results, rather than the sponsored adverts you might see highlighted at the top or side. That’s called PPC or pay per click advertising.

So how do I optimise my blog for SEO

SEO works on a number of factors. In truth, we’ll never truly know the secret.

The way in which the site is constructed, the actual words on your page, and the way other sites link to your blog are all indicators.

But we need to remember that search engine optimisation isn’t only for the benefit of the likes of Google. It’s all about making a site better for the users too. So don’t just cram your posts with keywords – Google ignores ‘keyword stuffing’ these days anyway.

Yes, there is a technical aspect that needs to be covered off, but a clear focus should also be kept on ensuring it also makes sense to your readers.

So to give yourself the best chances at writing well optimised blog posts, here’s a quick checklist of the main factors:

  1. Pick keywords – Every post you write should target a keyword or keyword phrase that is most relevant to the content
  2. Optimise the post title – Succinct but descriptive SEO-friendly titles include the main keyword / phrase, keep it under 55 characters, and call it something interesting or useful e.g. “how-to…”
  3. Optimise your URL – Always include the keyword and keep between 50-80 characters
  4. Organise the body copy – Make it easy to read for users and also search engines; 1) Break into shorter paragraphs, 2) use bullets, number lists, bold text, italics etc, 3) Include H2 and H3 titles, 4) Include links – both internal and external, 5) include your target keyword but don’t stuff, 6) include calls to action.
  5. Include a meta description – This is the text displayed under the link on a SERP. Always include your target keyword here too.
  6. Include a featured image – And other images throughout too.
  7. Include categories and tags – Keep it relevant to the content topic.

Top tip! If you’re a WordPress user, install the Yoast SEO plugin to gain pointers on how to improve your post SEO.

 

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78 Comments on "What is SEO and why does my blog need to do it?"

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Jo
Guest

Thanks for the helpful tips and for sharing with #marvellousmondays

Natasha Mairs
Guest

great tips! i use the yoast SEO plugin, helps me so much #MarvMondays

Mom Of Two Little Girls
Guest

Thanks for the tips. This is not something I’ve paid much attention to yet.
#globalblogging

Nige
Guest

Excellent informative post well written and easy to understand Seo is a minefield thanks for hosting #globalblogging

Frenchie Mummy
Guest

Great tips! I am not on top of this yet but I am getting better! #GlobalBlogging

Emmi
Guest

Yes, this is or work day by day! And I’m just working on this SEO thing! 😉 Thank you for sharing at #Globalblogging

Katy
Guest

I’ve been using YOAST for a while now. I’m not sure I’ve seen an uptick in anything, but it keeps me on track. And I feel like I finally at least understand why it’s important!

#globalblogging

Katherine
Guest

Finding the perfect keyword seems to be the key to SEO. It’s so difficult to compete with the rest of the internet for Google’s attention! #GlobalBlogging

Fran Back With A Bump
Guest

Ooh some good tips as I am crap and haven’t a clue at SEO!! Thanks for sharing for #marvmondays xx

Jeannette
Guest

Great tips. I try to optimize each blog post for SEO, but it is lots of work. #globalblogging

One Messy Mama
Guest

A very informative read! I myself use the SEO pluggin and have found it very useful. Thanks for co-hosting this week!!

Tracey
Guest

I always hear about SEO but it seems really complicated, the tips above seem pretty straightforward though!

Eva Katona
Guest

I’m so rubbish with the technical part of this! Good read, very informative.

Emma
Guest

Eek I still haven’t go try head around this! Thanks for sharing this, it has actually helped this evening. I just need to sit down and actually do it now!!! #MarvMondays

mainy
Guest

I always like to see these tips so that eventually it will sink in for me. I still find it a bit confusing, I guess just because it is. Your guide has helped, thank you:)

Mainy

#GlobalBlogging

Jaki
Guest

Great post. I didn’t have a clue what I was letting myself in for when I started blogging. I’m impressed with how much I’ve learnt. Thank GOD for Yoast!!! 🙂 #marvmondays

Sam - Stressy Mama
Guest

This is brilliant. SEO really confuses me but I actually understood reading this. Thank you! #marvmondays

Nicole - Tales from Mamaville
Guest

Useful and simple explanation. Thanks!

Jessica - A Modern Moms Life
Guest

Your checklist is great. I do most of those things so hopefully I’m doing it right! I do use Yoast on my blog and it’s a great help.
~Jess
#GlobalBlogging

Lucy | Leaning In
Guest

Very informative. I’m clueless about this stuff and Yoast has been great help to me. It’s so easy to use too. #GlobalBlogging

Kirsty Hijacked By Twins
Guest

Great tips that we should all brush up on now and then! Popping over from #GlobalBlogging x

Laura Edwards
Guest

This is really great and easy to digest info. I’ve been blogging for about 18 months and seo is still a nightmare for me! Im getting better but it’s work in progress x thanks for the tips #globalblogging

The Tale of Mummyhood
Guest

Fab tips, it’s great to learn more about how we should be doing things!

#TwinklyTuesday

Barrie
Guest

Thank you for these tips. SEO is so confusing! #twinklytuesday

Helena
Guest

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on SEO. #GlobalBlogging

emma me and b make tea
Guest

Some lovely tips here for begginers 🙂 #twinklytuesday

Alana - Burnished Chaos
Guest

Great tips. I’ve had Yeost for a while but only just getting to grips with it. I’m now obsessed with getting the double green light!
#GlobalBlogging

Adrian
Guest

Great succinct advice. It took me ages to understand the basics of SEO and I don’t always follow the rules – usually because my post is less a How to and more of a think piece and I don’t always want to focus on key words. It’s great that the bad old days of ‘gaming’ SEO are over and Google now looks for reader-focused content over keyword and link building. Of course an inbound link from the BBC would always help! #twinklytuesday

Helen @talking_Mums
Guest

Great tips and well explained.
#GlobalBlogging

Alison
Guest

Great tips, but as a hopeless technophobe it still went over my head! My bad, not yours! I shall revisit when I’m more switched on! Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Alison x #StayClassyMama

Hayley @ Mission: Mindfulness
Guest

Very informative – thank you for the advice. #globalblogging x

Kelly
Guest

Useful tips, thank you! #BlogCrush

Rouge
Guest

Thank you! I’m at the stage of wondering what to do to make it all come together…the ideas are there, people tell me they are interested….BUT HOW DO I GET PEOPLE TO THE SITE WITHOUT TROLLING THEM? This will help, thanks so much! #stayclassymama

Lisa (mummascribbles)
Guest

Great tips. I use Yoast and I’ve been getting green lights recently! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

Pat - White Camellias
Guest

This is great and so well explained. I get really anxious about the more technical aspects of blogging and SEO is no exception. Thank you for sharing at #StayClassyMama

Wendy
Guest

Great tips, I have yoast and always try to get it green but really struggle on some of my more personal posts as there isn’t always an obvious keyword to choose. Thanks for linking this up to #BlogCrush xx

Susie at This Is Me Now
Guest

I’m trying hard to go through old posts and make sure they are SEO’d correctly. Such a bore but so important! #TwinklyTuesday

jade the parenting jungle
Guest

These are fantastic tips! My SEO is always in the red or orange so I really need to go through my posts and make then a little more friendly! These tips are amazing, I didn’t quite get it to begin with and am still trying, these tips are great!xx #stayclassymama

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