22 In Blogging

Basic SEO for Bloggers…Things I’m Learning

Hey All!

Up until about 5 minutes ago I thought it was Wednesday. I’m not sure why I didn’t know it wasn’t, especially after my post yesterday specifically involed the Geico Hump Day Camel. Either way, Happy Day! Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike. Ha, come on, if you’ve seen that commercial you’ve got to chuckle. And if you’re interested, I finally got around to posting our 4th of July Party pictures. Feel free to check them out!

I wanted to write today about something we ALL need to work on and be informed about. After all, we’re in the same boat! And while I’m on this blogging journey, I may as well think out loud 🙂 I’ve spent countless hours reading dozens of opinions on the matter. It’s something I never thought I would care about, but since I run two blogs, I figured I might as well suck it up, embrace it, and learn all that I can, whether or not I choose to implement everything or leave it by the wayside.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization

Since Google really runs the world as we know it, it’s no wonder they kind of run our blogs too! And by kind of, I mean yes, yes they do. Google is amazing, and all of its’ intricasies never cease to amaze me! I got so caught up last night reading about tips and new concepts that I just shut my computer off and went straight to bed because my mind was about to explode with ideas and confusion.

I wanted to share some things that I’ve learned, in hopes that maybe you’ll learn something too! Or maybe you’ve known these things for a long time now, and if so, I’ve been living under a rock and that’s okay too.

1. Figure out what “niche” you’re in, and blog about THOSE things. Don’t overwhelm your blog with all topics from A-Z. Google likes to see your consistency.

For me, THIS blog is about my fitness journey, as well as my blogging journey. I hope to try and stay on that path, and surround myself with similar bloggers. My photography blog is more of a lifestyle/photography blog so topics are maybe a bit more broad, but still more surrounded upon photography. If I suddenly started posting about knitting on my running blog, not only would I lose a few (if not all) readers, but Google would be extra confused.

2. Figure out what categories and keywords would be best to use. They say that Google can better find your blog if your categories also contain those keywords that web searchers might use when searching for your “niche” of blog. Also be sure and “tag” your posts appropriately.

About as creative as I’ve gotten with this so far are my Blogging, and Running categories. Pretty straightforward. I’ve read that it would also be helpful for LOCAL traffic if you also added a category for the town you live in. So, I could add a Running in Arkansas category, or Little Rock 5K Race Recaps category. For the longest time I didn’t know what box down there on the right even meant, the one that says Tags and has a space to “add” something. Now I know, and I tag every post with as many applicable, and consistent, keywords as possible. These tags will pop up in your “cloud” as well, making it easy for readers to find a topic, click on it, and easily see all posts related to that one subject matter.

3. BUY YOUR OWN DOMAIN NAME FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE.

Not only does it look more professional, but it’s MUCH easier for search engines to find it. So instead of using, thisismyblog.wordpresscom, or thisismyotherblog.blogspot.com, try going to a hosting company like Bluehost or GoDaddy and checking to see if thisismyblog.com is available. If it is, buy it right now. If it’s not, look into purchasing it from whoever DOES own it. Getting into self hosting is a whole other can of worms, so I will leave it as that 🙂

4. Rename the images you post on your blog. Instead of uploading DSC_1234.jpg, rename it to Cute Black Lab Puppy.jpg or Healthy Strawberry Smoothie.jpg. Search engines will see these much easier than the mumbo jumbo default labels. That’s one reason why when you google a picture of something, sometimes photos from some of your favorite bloggers will pop up in the results.

 This is something I ALWAYS forget to do! I so WISH I had known this when I started my photography business. Even if a handful of photos had been labeled “little rock wedding.jpg” there’s no telling how much more traffic I could be getting. So my new project is to rename my images from here on out, and go back and pick a few to re-rename!

5. Link to posts within your own blog. Not only will it create more traffic for some of your older posts, but it make your sight look more active.

6. Take advantage of the free widgets that WordPress offers. Some of the ones I use are the Most Popular Posts, the Sharing is Caring social media one (haven’t activated it yet), the Pinterest hover pin button (still trying to figure out how to get it to show up on my pictures), Comment Luv, NRelate, and the All in One SEO pack. These widgets will help move your traffic around, and help get you MORE traffic. So they say. I’m still learning 🙂

7. Be on social media to help increase your KLOUT score. I just learned what Klout was last night, and I was quite intrigued by how it determined your amount of “influence.” This isn’t neccesarily SEO, but I still just learned about it and thought it was something useful to know!

8. If you’re on WordPress, change the structure of your Permalinks. Instead of looking like wordpress.com/post/9358309dsflkjc084 basically like a foreign language, you can change it to look like this, wordpress.com/basic-seo-for-bloggers. You do this in Settings > Permalinks > select custom structure or PostName /%post name %/

9. Change the URL of your actual pages. I had never thought about this until I read it earlier! So like when you go to my “about” page, instead of the URL saying “sweetmiles.com/about” it would be more beneficial to have it say, “sweetmiles.com/arkansasfitnessblogger. Make sense? I think I read this on the SITS girls website, check it out, they’re FULL of knowledge about blogging and SEO!

10. Link to places that might link back to YOU. Google loves this. It’s called Backlinking. The more links out there that are sending people to YOUR domain, the better. I haven’t learned much about the whole backlinking thing, but it seems somewhat complicated. I first read about it on Smart Passive Income’s Blogging section.

11. Use titles that are not only creative, but that also either use keywords from your niche, or just MAKE SENSE.

This is something that’s hard for me. I love coming up with witty, creative titles that catch people’s eyes. I feel like that’s something that determines if people read your post or not. But if it doesn’t make sense at all, is completely random, and has nothing to do with your blog, then why would Google want to read it? My goal is to try and be a little more strategic with my post titles.

So there are 10 fun things I’ve been reading about and learning about lately. Hopefully you didn’t finish this post and say to yourself, “Duh Sarah, where have you BEEN?!”

Ta-ta for now!

If you could give one piece of SEO knowledge to bloggers, what would it be? Or do you have a question that you want me to research for you? I’m kind of a nerd like that.

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama
    July 11, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    This is chockful of AWESOME information! I installed the WordPress SEO tool, and I can really tell a difference on views coming from Google search terms. Another great tool is the Comment Reply Notification, which sends an email when you respond to a comment so the submitter knows you responded. Flickr – Pick a Picture is also a great plug-in and lets you search for pics that you can use on your site.

    Another great way to get people coming to your site is to do a link round-up and share some of your favorite posts from around the blogosphere. It’s an easy way to link to other blogs, and they’ll usually stop by and return the love.

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      July 12, 2013 at 10:27 am

      Nicole- Yes!! I always forget about that one! I still need to install it! The Flickr one sounds interesting too, I’ve never used Flickr believe it or not, even after all my photography time! And I do like link ups, I need to find the time to put one together 🙂

  • Reply
    Jana @ Happy Wife Healthy Life
    July 11, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Awesome post girl! I learned so much and am pinning this post and making ita favorite so I can reference it often. I especially like the idea of renaming photographs because I never ever do this! It is definitely an easy change that I can work on! 🙂

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      July 12, 2013 at 10:26 am

      Jana- Oh YAY! I’m glad it was useful!

  • Reply
    Kim
    July 11, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Thanks for sharing the types. I really don’t have much of a clue about the whole SEO thing. I pinned this to read later – like in the morning when I’m more fresh and can focus!!!
    Kim recently posted…Are you Scared of the Dentist?My Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      July 12, 2013 at 10:34 am

      Kim- Glad you checked it out!

  • Reply
    Beth Sheridan (Sugar Coated Sheridan)
    July 11, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Great tips! I am still relatively new to the blogging world, so I love blogs like this that help me out!!

  • Reply
    Beth @ Mangoes and Miles
    July 12, 2013 at 8:53 am

    About the title thing–because you use the SEO Pack, you can set YOUR title to whatever you want, but enter a different (more relevant) title in the SEO place, and that will be what search engines look at.

    Just a little add-on. 🙂 Great tips!
    Beth @ Mangoes and Miles recently posted…Thursday Thoughts on Friday: I’ve gone completely bonkersMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      July 12, 2013 at 10:25 am

      Beth- Yes ma’am! I actually already do that, it’s definitely an awesome added bonus!

  • Reply
    Terikay
    July 12, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Excellent post! I have just begun my blogging journey. Well I’m still a “stealth” blogger at this point b/c I have yet to publish a post. I’ve been a writer for ions but finally decided I want to dive into blogging because I was inspired by my friends and fellow runners.

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      July 12, 2013 at 10:36 am

      Terikay- Girl, you’ve got to hit the publish button! Can’t wait to read! I’m sure it’s fantastic!

  • Reply
    Anna @ Running On Plenty
    July 12, 2013 at 10:21 am

    What a legit post! It’s so nice to have all of this information in one area and in language that I can understand! Thanks a ton for this!
    Anna @ Running On Plenty recently posted…Pink Sweat is HotMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      July 12, 2013 at 10:37 am

      Anna- Thanks girl! I knew I wasn’t the only one that needed things explained in an easier way! If I write things down in my own words it helps me actually LEARN it 🙂

  • Reply
    Jenn
    July 12, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Great tips. Although, it’s almost like being a blogger has all these complicated rules ya know? Blogging should be fun and a way to share with the world.

  • Reply
    Leslee @ Her Happy Balance
    July 12, 2013 at 11:38 am

    This is such an great article! So many awesome tips, especially the name your photo tip! I will definitely be going back and trying to rename the thousands of photos I’ve uploaded as “Img_23879” or whatever haha

  • Reply
    kelly @ racesrepsramblings
    July 12, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    These are AWESOME tips! Sometimes making sense of all that really technical stuff can be overwhelming. Thanks for sharing these…I’ll definitely have to remember to start using some of these.

  • Reply
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama
    July 12, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Jumping over from Work In Sweats Mama, great tips! I hate SEO but it is a necessary evil 😉 thanks
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama recently posted…How to Create An Easy Google Plus Cover Photo using PicMonkeyMy Profile

  • Reply
    Kate
    July 15, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Perfect post for someone like me who has been out of the blogging game for years. When I was a regular blogger it was before social media played a huge part it in, I was the only one of my friends to even know what Facebook was back then. Now, it’s huge. And I have a blog again and I’m like errr… SEO? WUUUUTTT??

    I particularly liked the points about changing your permalinks, that makes total sense to me. And re-naming your images too. I’m annoyed I didn’t think of those sooner! Bookmarking for future reference, thanks for sharing 🙂
    Kate recently posted…Know Your Body ShapeMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      July 15, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      Kate- I’m so glad you stopped by and found it helpful 🙂

  • Reply
    Laura Martin
    January 13, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Pinning this. Thank you!!
    Laura Martin recently posted…NEC AwarenessMy Profile

  • Reply
    Vicki M Taylor
    January 13, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Owning my own site makes so much more sense than squatting on Blogger. I have to see if my husband agrees. He probably will as he always thinks we should have more control over our sites. I will post the idea to him this evening. Thanks for these tips. I’d prefer more Blogger tips, but I understand you know WordPress much more. Have a blessed day.
    Vicki M Taylor recently posted…Be Joyful onto The Lord and RejoiceMy Profile

  • Reply
    Martha
    January 13, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Great tips! 🙂
    Martha recently posted…Seven ways to grow your blog, part two: Fix your info!My Profile

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