If you just started a blog (or you are still a new blogger) you’ve probably seen the term SEO pop up, a lot. I am not an SEO expert (yet), but I’ve put together a simple description on what SEO is, why you need to pay attention to it, and compiled a list of helpful SEO resources.
What is SEO?
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. It means that a blog or website is built with search engines in mind. For a blogger, it means that you are not only writing awesome content for your readers, but you’ve optimized it for search engines to find you and that you are actively promoting your blog. Just like Waldo’s red and white stripes make it easy for kids to find him in the book, SEO makes it easier for your readers to find your blog in search.
Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo can bring a lot of traffic to your site. Think about it, how often do you google something? Every day, right?
Why you should pay attention to SEO for your blog.
If your blog is optimized for search engines, you are more likely to show up towards the beginning of search results.
The first months of being a new Mom, I was on Google ALL day. “Why is my baby spitting up? How do I change a baby’s diaper? How much sleep do baby’s need?” etc. Through my searches, I was able to find answers to all of my new Mommy questions (maybe too many answers). I was in a hurry, and almost always clicked on the top 1-5 results. I didn’t scroll to page 10 to see what was recommended for my baby on that page.
The point I’m getting at is: if people are searching for answers related to your blog topic, you want to show up in the list of results – near the top. It doesn’t happen naturally, and it doesn’t happen overnight, but it can happen; pay attention to your SEO.
I remember when I launched my first website for my wedding floral business in Rexburg, ID. (I thought blogs were tacky, and opted for a static website, more on that later.) I would go to the library every day and use a different computer to search in Google for “Rexburg Wedding Florist” to see if I was further up on the list yet. Haha. (I might have had too much time on my hands.) Rexburg’s a small, old-fashioned town, so I did move up the list but it did take a while. Then we moved.
Helpful SEO Resources
To help get you going on optimizing your blog, I’ve created a list of websites or articles that I have found helpful when trying to improve my SEO.
The very first resource I recommend reading is Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide. Basically, Google wants you to create a great blog with content that is well formatted. This document doesn’t necessarily tell you how to implement their suggestions, but is very helpful for understanding what search engines are looking for.
- Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide by Google
- Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List by Brian Dean
- The MOZ Beginners Guide to SEO by MOZ
- WordPress SEO by Yoast (I don’t use the Yoast SEO plugin, because I have a Genesis theme, but I do like this article.
- Good SEO is Just Good Blogging by me
- The 9 On-page SEO Elements you Need in 2014 by Jayson Demers
- The Top 7 SEO Trends Dominating 2014