SEO is never a one-and-done idea, more it’s a type of philosophy that you must adapt to be successful in your endeavors. Everything you do, every sentence you write, every graphic you create and every content marketing plan you follow should ALL start with SEO.
- What exactly is SEO?
- What does SEO optimization mean for you?
- Why is SEO so important?
- Being SEO Flexible.
- How To Create Your Own SEO Strategy.
- How To See If You’re Strategy Is Working.
- Your Own SEO Planner.
1. What Is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is the science of making your content rank high in the search engines of today.
The official definition is this:
According to this piece of MOZ SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
What goes into SEO?
To understand the true meaning of SEO, let’s break that definition down and look at the parts:
Quality of traffic. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they’re coming to your site because Google tells them you’re a resource for Apple computers when really you’re a farmer selling apples, that is not quality traffic. Instead, you want to attract visitors who are genuinely interested in the products that you offer.
Quantity of traffic. Once you have the right people clicking through from those search engine results pages (SERPs), more traffic is better.
Organic results. Ads make up a significant portion of many SERPs. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don’t have to pay for.
2. What Does SEO Optimization Mean For You?
It’s a strategy or plan that you create that will continue to build on SEO as you go along, by using:
- image titles
- image descriptions
- Cornerstone Content
- social media posts
to consistently rank higher in search engines. This strategy works best when created at the very beginning, but can be improved along any step in the process.
3. Why Is SEO So Important?
SEO is important because it keeps the search results fair. It reduces the ability to manipulate these results as much as possible so that the sites appearing for each search are there because they deserve to be there. Hard work and a website that appeals to visitors correlate with high search engine rankings, so if your site meets these criteria, you’ll have a better chance of showing up in the results.
Users trust search engines and achieving a top spot in search engine rankings signals to searchers that your site is a credible source. The higher you rank in results pages, the more clicks and traffic your site will generate. SEO also improves user experience, making it more likely for customers to become repeat buyers. According to this piece on WEBFX.
4. Being SEO Flexible
What does being SEO flexible mean? It means that you take several key factors into consideration when making your SEO plan. Such as:
- Current Events
- Special Dates
- Longtail keywords
- Pivoting when things aren’t working.
No one ever sits down and creates the “perfect SEO plan” because honestly, it doesn’t exist. Being SEO optimized is an ongoing strategy and taking in these other key factors will only improve your rankings.
Taking into account the keywords you have chosen for your brand messaging you should also find ways to create with these four ideas in mind.
Ellen is a food blogger and she uses these 4 keywords as her foundation.
Now using the previous considerations she might use these sentences or keywords.
- How To Keep Your Holiday Desserts Gluten-Free
- How to Bake The Ultimate Organic Holiday Meal.
- Baking Thanksgiving Desserts For The Dietary Challenged.
- Your Christmas Baking Taking To The Next Level With These Organic Recipes.
- Ten Things That You Could Be Doing To Completely Ruin Your Easter Baked Goods.
5. How To Create Your Own SEO Strategy.
Now comes the easy part, because I’ve actually done the hard work for you. I created the FREE SEO PLANNER STRATEGY PLANNER and it’s a step by step guide to build a strong SEO foundation and to scale that plan as you grow.
On-Page SEO Tips
- Make sure that your URLs are clean:
- Think ahead
- Be consistent
- Use keywords
- Avoid any special characters. As they show up as “%20” which is unattractive.
- Length should be 50-60 characters
- Make sure your title is attractive:
- Start with keywords.
- Mind the length.
- Make it sell.
- Meta Descriptions:
- 150-160 characters.
- Don’t overstuff with keywords.
- Schema Markup: Structured data can do wonders for your SEO strategy.
- Use a Schema Markup Plugin
- You can also use Google’s, Markup Helper.
- How to check- use Rich Result Test.
- Optimized headings (h1-h6)
- H1 headings- Technically each of your pages has 2 titles.
- The title tag is displayed in search snippets.
- H1 tag benefit: Unlike title tag no character limitation. Use more keywords.
- H2 headings- Split page into high-level section mini titles within your content.
- H3-H6 headings- Used to mark further subsections within the content. Don’t overload keywords.
- Use keywords earlier in the copy. You should be using keywords within the first 100 words.
- Go beyond “exact matches” add more related keywords.
- Content length changes from year to year and is currently around 2,000-word posts do best.
- Want to make your content more compelling? Check out this piece from MostlyBlogging.com
C. Visual Aids:
- Fill in your “alt” tags.
- Compress your files.
- Use descriptive filenames.
D. Above The Fold Content:
The top part of the page visual when it’s first loaded.
- Remove distractions.
- Optimize For Core Web Values
- How fast it loads
- How stable it is while loading.
- How soon it becomes interactive
E. Mobile Friendliness:
You should check your site on all mobile search engines and make changes based on your results.
F. Internal Links:
- Should flow from one link to another.
- Pass authority from popular pages to less popular ones.
- Move users down a funnel.
- You need to always consider this: Whenever you create a piece of content you should always consider where the reader should go next.
G. Outgoing Links:
- Link to larger, more established sites.
- Each piece of content should have relevant links.
H. The Comment Section:
Make sure that your comments are set up as “no follow”. If you use popular comment plugins they take care of this for you.
6. How To See If You’re Strategy Is Working:
If you see that your backlinks are on the rise, your SEO efforts are working properly. If you see that the number of organic keywords on your website are also increasing, it’s safe to assume that you are targeting the correct keywords for your industry and using them successfully in your content. WebFX
I’ve created your very own SEO Planner to help you keep your brand message on point. Sign up for my weekly newsletter (Sunday morning’s) to get a copy for your very own, plus you’ll get full access to the Resource Library, deep discounts, and amazing tips to help you succeed in your online business or blog.
You might also like these other resources:
“What You Don’t Know About SEO Could Hurt You”
“Simple SEO Practices You Can Establish To Be Search Engine Attractive
”How To Improve SEO & Increase Pageviews In 2020”
Every writer has a story to share about the blogging mistakes they made at the beginning of their careers. Seasoned bloggers say there’s no such thing as a mistake, only lessons learned. Let’s put the words of wisdom aside for a second and help you to avoid some of the early day blunders if you can.
Alex Lysak shares some of the best tips to keep in mind as you grow your blog. He’s a trusted SEO specialist and a regular guest writer on various blogs. You can learn a lifetime worth of wisdom from him and the Scanteam bloggers.
Let’s take a page from the experts on blogging for beginners and avoid the common pitfalls.
1. Choosing the Wrong Platform
It’s understandable; free blogging platforms have fantastic marketing campaigns that make it very enticing and convincing to fall for. Most of it also offers free plans that most new bloggers need when they’re starting.
Providers like Weebly, Wix, and Squarespace do sound easy to set up and offer loads of free templates. It’s not a wrong place to start from, but in the long run, you’ll end up wishing you invested a bit more for the usability offered by WordPress.
The essential cost of setting up on a WordPress platform is currently at about $65 per year, and worth planning for if you’re serious about your blogging career. When you pay for hosting platforms, you’ll end up with a more professional looking blog and have plenty of tools to help grow your blog. Free hosting sites will fill up your space with ads and popups, trying to cover its expenses of offering you open space.
2. Choosing a Difficult Name
Your domain name should be easy to remember. If a potential follower searches for your domain and gets it wrong the third time, they’ll get frustrated and search for something else.
Keep it relevant and catchy without using unusual grammatical or spelling methods. Less is more when it comes to selecting a domain name.
3. Broad-Spectrum Topics
We get it; as a new blogger, you want to share as much as you can, trying to capture your audience with informative content. What the old-timers will tell you, however, is that readers enjoy bite-size chunks of information more. Your content should pack a punch of knowledge with as little words as possible.
- Choose a precise and well-defined topic
- Be concise and don’t play around with words to fill a page.
- Give your readers value for their time and high-value links to your affiliates.
Some excellent tools can help you nail your blog topics, such as automated topic generators. Don’t be shy to use whatever is available to help you streamline your blog.
4. Trying to Write for Everybody
You’re not chocolate; you can’t please everybody. One of the most common mistakes new bloggers make is writing about everything. The best advice we can give you is to find your niche. When you write about what you know and have a passion for, it will never seem dull.
If your interest and knowledge are about plumbing and sanitation, don’t waste time writing about kitchen equipment. Focus your time and your energy on your area of expertise. In that way, readers will know where to go when they’re looking for advice on how to fit their new taps.
5. Making the Blog Too Personal
Your blog’s personality should have a life of its own and not be a copy of yours. Yes, it’s heartwarming to share some personal tidbits now and again, but write a novel if you want to publish a diary.
Readers should get to know you through your writing style, not by personal accounts of your day-to-day life. If you’re blogging to build a career from it, you’ll focus on your niche markets and consumers. People read blogs to learn impressive new facts about a specific brand or product. Teach them well with valuable information, and they’ll keep on returning to your page.
6. Writing for SEO Points and Not for People
You’re writing for people, not algorithms. It’s essential to stick to the blogging tips shared by expert SEO guru’s, but keep it real. Readers will know if you’re writing for them or only to maximize your affiliate links.
When you write, imagine that a good friend is sitting across the table from you and using words that are part of your everyday vocabulary. Don’t try to sound like somebody you’re not. You won’t be able to keep it up, and your audience will see right through it.
7. Not Being Consistent
You must write and upload content consistently. If needed, set up a calendar to remind yourself when your audience expects to hear from you again. Planning is a part of your blogging career. Long before you post your first article, you should have a few week’s worth of content ready to upload.
With this said, don’t spam your subscribers daily. Publish good quality content at regular intervals. You want your readers to get excited when they receive a notification from your blog, not annoyed.
8. Publish Without Editing
Blogging is a very personal way to communicate with an online audience. The quality of what you publish is a direct reflection of how much you value your audience. If a reader has to find mistakes continually, it’ll make them feel unvalued.
There’s no reason to publish content with unnecessary mistakes. Online tools such as Grammarly and Hemingway are but two of many products that’ll help you edit and perfect your writing.
9. Not Proving Your Point
If you’re writing about a specific topic that you had to research, link your research to your article or cite your sources for your audience. Without it, your readers will lose trust in what you’re stating.
When you link your researched sources, it increases your website authority with your readers, and ultimately with Google. It’ll increase your online visibility in the long run, so this point should become a habit when writing blog posts.
10. Writing Each Blog in a Different Style
Although there are various types of blog posts, your template should remain recognizable. You can create a set of templates for a variety of topics you write about. You can create a template for reviews, one for a “how to …” blog, and so forth.
Once you’ve created templates and section headers, it’ll become increasingly easier to find the content of value. Your template outline also helps you focus on the core ideas or information you want to share and narrow down your research.
Each blogger will make mistakes in the process of becoming a great writer. Some of these tips might help you get there a bit quicker. Your blog is your business and should represent your brand well. The sooner you can work out the little kinks, the sooner you can start connecting with your audience in a valuable way and increase your following.
Your ultimate goal is to build lasting relationships with your subscribers for affiliates to want to be associated with you. Blogging is an excellent way of sharing your passions with the world out there and making a living from it. Persevere, learn, adapt, and change until you find your perfect style and audience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Alex Lysak – CEO of ScanTeam / Digital Marketer. Alex is working in online marketing since 2011, his main areas of expertise are marketing research, social media marketing, and SEO. During 9 years of experience, he has helped many products and startups to develop marketing strategies and to implement them further.
SEO is the ban of a blogger’s or small business owner’s existence, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as some make it out to be. Search Engine Optimization is the science behind making search engines like Google or Bing find your article relevant enough to push it to the top of search requests.
Think of it as a dating service. The reader puts in keywords looking for information on a certain topic and Google or other search engine matches it with a list of pieces of content that come closest in keywords matches. Then from that Google compares how many of those links are current and how many of those links are used throughout your site. It’s comparing your expertise within your niche to give their reader the best content.
Is it’s considered “Cornerstone Content”? Cornerstone Content is described in the great blog post by SEO by Yoast.:
Cornerstone content is the core of your website. It consists of the best, most important articles on your site; the pages or posts you want to rank highest in the search engines. Cornerstone articles are usually relatively long, informative articles, combining insights from different blog posts and covering everything that’s important about a certain topic.
There is no one answer, but I’ve created a system that works for me and today I’m going to share it with you. There are a few steps to make this work properly, but just like any recipe the proof ingredients.
When you create a blog post SEO should be involved in every single aspect.
- image titles
- image descriptions
- Cornerstone Content
- social media posts
For example, we’re going to write a piece of content for our food blog:
You’re creating a post all about potato salad. (I love me some good potato salad!) So we’ll use the list above and start with the title. I like to use CoSchedule’s free headline analyzer when I’m creating my titles, but let me tell sometimes I think that we “overthink” it. I like to come up with 3 different headlines and see which one scores the most, maybe tweak it a little bit. So a potato salad title:
- This Is The World’s Best Potato Salad & You Won’t Believe What’s In It!
- The Potato Salad Everyone Will Be Begging You To Make Over & Over.
- Summer Isn’t Summer Without This Potato Salad Recipe.
Below are each of the headlines analyzed:
Keywords are important not only in search engines but also in social media platforms use it as well. I like to keep my post keywords to between 3-5.
- Potato salad
- summer salads
Those keywords should be in your title, description, excerpt, social media posts, categories, tags, and even in the title and description of the images. Now you can’t just go in there packing in keywords like you’re trying to shove a weeks’ worth of clothes in a carryon bag. It needs to be natural. Think of ways that you can use longtail keywords within the post such as:
- This potato salad was my mother’s and it is always at the top of my summer salad recipes.
- I make potato salad every year and we always use mustard in our recipe.
- Potato salad recipes are everywhere and each one has it’s own variations.
Then we come to images. This is where for most people SEO goes right out the window. I see it all of the time. Naked images. There are a few places that keywords can be used.
- The image itself should be relevant to the post. Don’t put a picture of an elephant in the potato salad post.
- When you upload your image into WordPress there is a box for the description. Now, this is a description of the post, not the image itself. Something like: “This is my favorite potato salad recipe. and I’m showing you step-by-step how you make it”.
- The “alt text”. GOOGLE WILL PENALIZE YOU FOR NOT FILLING THIS OUT. This section is imperative so that visually disabled people can still enjoy the internet. If you’re using relevant images this is another place where you can build SEO. Is the image of your recipe? So for the alt text, you could use, “an image of my summer potato salad”. Which is “exactly” what it is and also included a few keywords.
- The link to your current post, of course.
Each little piece of this puzzle makes up the whole. A complete strategy also uses “categories” and “tags”. Using these two things consistently does a lot for your SEO. Don’t give them cute names use keywords:
- Summer Salads – category – Potato Salad recipes – tag
- Salad Recipes – category – Potato salad, Summer salads – tags
Social media is also a great place to use keywords. Pinterest especially because it is a visual search engine, not a social media, but I’m grouping it with them because people share their content with the platform. When people go to Pinterest they’re looking for something. So they search…just like Google. This again is where that image SEO kicks in.
So in conclusion, no one thing will work to help you build your SEO successfully. Each little piece goes together much like the ingredients of the potato salad. You can’t just throw a couple of potatoes in a bowl and call it potato salad. It’s the combination of all of those things that will make you consistently ranking.
Of course, you know that I’ve done it for you.
Get Your Own Blog Post SEO Checklist
Fill one out for each blog post and remember SEO is created by:
- Great content.
- Good structure.
- relevant images
P.S. Bonus points if you use keywords
in your free incentive pieces!
People love stories. That’s a fact. There is something about that compelling narrative that makes us want to know more. So, if your blog embodies personal storytelling you are on the right path to win over an audience. However, besides the powerful form of storytelling, you need great content writing to keep the audience engaged.
Your blog can exude with impressive stories but without a good content writing strategy, it won’t reach its full potential. Are you ready to boost your personal blog storytelling? If the answer is yes, then keep on reading and employ the following content writing tips.
Express Your Voice
Authenticity is what the audience seek for. Give your blog authentic form by finding and expressing your voice. People will memorize your stories and link them back to you if they recognize a specific type of writing each time.
You can notice this in different types of content writing. Successful brands have a unique voice that makes them recognizable. That’s what gives a more personal tone to the content.
Your voice should present your personality. Everyone is unique in its own way so the easiest way to find your voice is to simply let your personality shine in your stories. The consistency of using the same voice will make your blog wholesome.
Grab Attention with the First Sentence
The first sentence is the crossing point. A good one will lead the reader further into the story and the bad one will make them give up on the post instantly. There is no SEO strategy that can help you acquire more readers if you ruin the first impression.
There are several ways of creating a good start for your story:
- Quote – A relevant quote will tickle the readers’ imagination and give them a sense of what your story will be about.
- Anecdote – Anecdotes can make the readers’ laugh or educate them. Either way, they are always interesting to read.
- Question – Questions have the power to get people to keep reading as they subconsciously need to get an answer.
- Statistic – Statistics give credibility to your story.
Have a Key Message
Ask yourself: What’s the moral of this story? This question should resurface in every new blog post. If you don’t know why you are telling that story neither will the audience. That’s why defining the message is a good start.
Use your stories to convey the message that carries some sort of solution or revelation. Each story you include in your personal blog should have a purpose. This is what all content writers do. Whether they are writing a brand copy or video script, they form a message that will be conveyed.
The message of the story can be in the opening or closing part of the post. If you include it in the beginning, it will give the readers a reason to read it. On the other hand, if you form it as a conclusion it will sum up for the audience what they can learn from that story.
Incorporate Elements of a Good Story
Storytelling is a method that is popularly used for different purposes. From website content to promotional material, it can be found everywhere. What we can learn from various uses of storytelling are the elements of a good story.
A good story is:
“By analyzing numerous storytelling content, our team has come to the conclusion that you can spot the same elements is all of them. It’s important to mention that we only considered successful storytelling campaigns and content forms. Using elements such as good structure, authenticity, everyday language, and relatable stories, you will increase the effectiveness of your blog,” says Cara Gordon, a senior writer, and editor at writing service TrustMyPaper with years of blogging experience.
Easily relatable stories such as a different crisis that most people go through will not only make boost your blog but they can truly help people. Be honest, speak from experience, and focus on delivering a story that speaks to people.
As visual beings, we tend to navigate towards content that is enhanced with images. Complete your stories with appropriate imagery and you can bring them to life. When readers get the help of images to visualize what you are writing about, the story will be more memorable.
Try to avoid stock photos in your personal storytelling. Instead, include the photos you took or images of quotes. You don’t have to add images that portray you, just take original photos that will complement the story. If you’ve been using stock images it’s time to re-evaluate your visuals.
If you want to build your social media presence through the blog, adding your Instagram feed to the website is a good option. It can give users a glimpse into your world and add some color to the website.
When you combine strategic content writing with an amazing story you’ll have all you need to build an army of followers. Apply what you have learned from this content writing tips to your blog and you’ll be able to boost the effectiveness of storytelling. Remember that success demands strategy just as much as it demands talent and authenticity.
Dorian Martin is a professional content creator who writes the best essays for expert academic services. In his free time, Dorian runs his own blog and reads publications from fellow writers.
SEO seems to be one thing that confuses most people and it really doesn’t have to be a great mystery. SEO stands for SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION which is simply making your website or blog post as appetizing to search engines as you possibly can. The easier it is to read, the higher your rankings. SEO is your website’s currency.
Keywords Are The Secret Sauce
There are several tools that can help you achieve this elusive mix of great content & relevant keywords. Keywords are the secret sauce in this recipe. From the very beginning, before you even build your website you probably had a niche. Maybe it’s food blogging, or building sales funnels or even dog grooming.
After deciding on your niche (even before naming your site) you should be thinking about 8 -10 important keywords that you know are the very basis of your website. Using the three examples above let’s see what we come up with.
Once you choose the top keywords in your niche you should start building the site with these words in mind. In your name, in your blog posts, in your social media posts every time you put something out there it should be with this strategy in mind.
Simple Strategies Already Provided
That’s not to say that these are the only words that you can use. On the contrary, it should be used as a guide to build on. WordPress is built on this system and by incorporating the use of correct headlines tags (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6), proper categories, and relevant tags consistently you will build a foundation that is search engine friendly.
A Well-Established Website Can Still Tighten It Up From Time To Time
Even if you have a well-established website you can still tighten it up from time to time and to use all of the options open to you to get the most bang for your buck. Go into your analytics and start with the top 10 posts and then just clean it up and I also suggest taking the bottom 10 and find ways to make them better. Do one a week, do them all at once whatever it’s just normal content maintenance. (it’s a thing!)
I use the SEO by Yoast plugin on any website that I build. It works, it’s easy to set up and it’s compatible with just anything. (plugin conflicts are the #1 reason for website troubles). BUT I don’t see people using it to its full potential and it confuses me. Why bother creating content if you’re not going to make it easy for search engines like Google, Pinterest, etc to find you?
It’s not just setting up the plugin, there are certain steps you need to take for every single blog post, page, etc. When I’m in the backend of a website I see these important bonuses left empty time after time so I thought I’d make a quick video showing you how to use your SEO by Yoast to its full potential.
If you’re a business owner or blogger then you probably know what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is & why it’s important to the success of your website. It doesn’t have to be so mysterious. You can put a plan in place to improve not only your SEO but also your pageviews and your Domain Authority (DA).
What is Domain Authority (DA)
DA is a search engine ranking score developed by MOZ that predicts how well a website will rank on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). They range from 1 to 100 the higher the number the greater the ability to rank. Want to check yours? Go here!
So, how can you improve all of these things? Well, I’m about to drop some knowledge on you!
5 Tips To Improve Your SEO, DA & increase traffic and pageviews
Page freshness –
Dates do matter and it’s beginning to count for even more. I’m sure that you’ve searched for something started reading about it only to find out that what your reading was from a decade ago and is no longer relevant. It drives me crazy & Google doesn’t like it either. I include the date in my breadcrumbs at the top of every post.
In layman’s terms, an internal link is one that points to another page on the same website.
These type of links are useful for three reasons:
- They allow users to navigate a website.
- They help establish information hierarchy for the given website.
- They help spread link equity (ranking power) around websites.
- Use keywords in your titles.
- Use the year in the title (also signals freshness).
- Use a headline analyzer tool like this FREE ONE!
Use Post Hierarchy
- Make content easy to read by breaking the text up into small chunks. Short sentences, short paragraphs.
- Use the <H1>-<H6> tags purposefully. Break up large chunks of text with bold and italics to make it even easier to read.
Filling Out Your Yoast Keyword Block Completely-
Filling out the keyword block completely on every single post with your Yoast plugin is the best thing you can do to build a good SEO strategy. Depending on your theme it can look differently from site to site. I have a couple of examples here:
This first one from my Wandering Web Designer website and on here it asks for my “FOCUS KEYPHRASE“. For this post, it was 101 Travel Tips.
In this example, I edit the snippet which is the small amount of context that shows when you share on social media and search pages.
Either way, this should be filled out completely. On both examples, you can also turn on “Cornerstone Content” which are posts that are your core messages. It consists of the best, most important articles on your site; the pages or posts you want to rank highest in the search engines. … Cornerstone content can be either a blog post or a page.
With a little bit of planning and a couple of extra steps, you can create your own SEO plan.
Keywords are the terms your ideal client is plugging into Google or another search engine when she needs an answer. “Life coach in Alberta” and “business coach for virtual assistants” and “how to upload a book to Kindle” are all examples of keywords.
Knowing the keywords you’d like to be known for is critical for attracting “organic” traffic to your site, but that’s only one part of the equation. You also have to use your keywords strategically.
- Page Titles or Subjects
If you’re tempted to use cute, clever blog post titles, keep this in mind: The subject is the keyword field to which Google and other search providers give the most weight. Don’t waste that space with a clever turn of phrase. Instead, be clear and concise, and say exactly what your article or post is about.
Everyone today is in a hurry. We rarely read an entire article from start to finish. Instead, we “skim” it for the most important points before deciding if we want to invest the time in a more complete reading. If your post or article is more than a few paragraphs long, be sure to include sub-headings to give the skimmers an overview.
Not only are you providing time-pressed visitors a birds-eye view but sub-headings also tell the search engines what your content is about. Be sure to use your keywords strategically in your sub-headings so Google (and others) know how to classify your posts.
- Image Titles and File Names
Search for nearly anything on Google, and you’ll see images appear at the top of the search results. These images will almost always have file names and titles that correspond to the keyword you’ve searched.
You can—and should—make use of your chosen keywords by naming any images appropriately and setting the titles and alt attributes to clearly describe what the image is.
- Meta Descriptions
The meta description is the snippet of text that shows up below a listing in Google and other search engines. With WordPress, you can either explicitly declare a meta description with the use of a plugin such as WordPress SEO by Yoast or let Google decide what to use.
While the meta description itself has no weight when it comes to your search results placement, it can have a great deal of impact on whether or not someone clicks through to your site. Take care to write a compelling description that contains the keyword you want to be found for.
- Inbound Links
As you’re creating new blog posts and pages on your site, it’s a good idea to link from one to another. This serves two purposes: it helps readers learn more about a subject, and it helps the search engines find and explore other content on your site. In both cases, it’s helpful to use keywords as the “anchor text” for these links. It’s a clear declaration to both human and non-human readers that the content linked to is about a specific subject.
It should go without saying that including keywords in your content is important not only for search engines but for readers, too. But don’t make the mistake of using the same phrase over and over again. Doing so will turn your readers off.
Instead, use variations of your keyword throughout the text of your article. You won’t bore your readers, plus you’ll reinforce your main point with the search engines, which are now smart enough to recognize synonyms and rank your content accordingly.
Don’t worry if you don’t get your SEO perfect right out of the gate. It can take time to properly optimize a website for search—and some would argue that it’s a never-ending job—but do keep these 6 areas in mind for every post you make and your site will be much easier to find in a search.
The internet has an insatiable appetite for information. Billions of searches are conducted every single day looking for everything from how to bake an apple pie to why zebras have stripes. For anyone who conducts business online, these searches represent a steady flow of potential customers who are looking for what you have to offer.
A blog is an easy, cost-effective method of being found by the exact people who most need, want, and are willing to pay for your services. But only if you have a good strategy in place first.
Know Your Keywords
These are the search terms your ideal client is using to find answers to her questions. When you know what your keywords are, you can easily create blog posts that will:
•Attract the right visitors to your site
•Position you as the expert in your niche
•Make it easy for your ideal client to find—and get to know—you and your services
Write for People
While it’s important to know and use keywords in your blog posts, it’s even more important that you write your content with people in mind over search engines. Your blog should be engaging, informational, and even entertaining, but above all else it must be readable.
Content marketing—and blogging, by extension—is very much a numbers game. The more content you produce, the greater your results will be. That means setting—and sticking to—a content production schedule is a must.
For most websites, a weekly schedule is both attainable and sufficient to build a steady stream of traffic.
Keep Long-Term Goals in Mind
Blogging is not a fast business-growth strategy but it is excellent for long-term sustainability. Those posts you write this month will continue to work for you many years from now, bringing in more and more traffic and potential clients.
Use Good SEO Practices
Aside from keywords, great bloggers know there are many techniques you can use to bring in more readers, including:
• Link out to authority sites from within your blog
• Link internally to other, related content on your own sites
• Use graphics and sub-headlines to break up long text passages
• Take the time to write compelling meta descriptions
• Create content that other sites will link to
Get the Word Out
Each new blog post is an opportunity to be seen, so take the time to share your content socially, and encourage your readers to do the same. Share your post on your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and anywhere else your ideal client is likely to see it.
Mix It Up
Not every post has to be a 3,000 word article. Include other types of content as well, such as:
• Curated content
• Short opinion pieces
Have Fun with It
Above all else, have some fun. Inject your personality into your blog. Not only will you more easily attract your ideal client but you’ll enjoy blogging a lot more if you use your authentic voice. And the more you enjoy it, the more likely you will remain consistent as well.
If you are an entrepreneur or blogger that means you are always struggling to find the right tools for the job. So, I’ve decided that once a month I will cut through the BS and bring you valuable tools or services that can help get you where you want to be.
*This post contains affiliate links. This means that I will earn a small commission if you decide to purchase these products. It will in no way affect the price you pay.
Do you want to have a professional logo created for your brand? CrowdSpring wrote a terrific article about what consumers think and feel about your brand. Did you know?
- It only takes consumers 10 seconds to form a first impression of a brand’s logo, but it takes 5-7 impressions for consumers to recognize the logo.
- First impressions are incredibly important to develop loyalty; 48% of consumers report that they are more likely to become loyal to a brand during the first purchase or experience.
So, according to this research, it’s more important than ever to have a professional logo. My friend Greg at Logojoy can help!
A professional theme is also a must-have. Free themes are fine for your personal blog, but when you’re trying to run a small business you are going to want to depend on a premium theme that offers so much more. I ALWAYS use the powerful Genesis Framework when I build a website followed up by a premium child theme from StudioPress.
I use certain plugins with every design. These I consider foundational plugins. You might want to check out my post There’s A Plugin For That which is a comprehensive look at some of the plugins available. These plugins that I’m listing below are all free (they do offer premium services, but you don’t need that)
You’ll also need an email service provider. TIP: If you have less than 2,000 subscribers you can use MailChimp for FREE. The free plan now includes automation. So you can have that welcome email sequence or that challenge you’ve been thinking about. I see a lot of people get swept up in the ConvertKit movement when really they don’t need it and at $29 a month it seems like a no-brainer. Not to dis ConvertKit, it’s a great program just unnecessary for the average entrepreneur or blogger.
I’ve always loved Google Docs, but lately, it’s been hard to use if you’re using the newer version of windows because you can no longer add it to your desktop files. For this reason, lately I’ve been turning more and more to One Note files and Word, but I still use Google Docs for so much. Microsoft (if it’s not included on your computer can be purchased for $6.99 a month) Google Docs is free or you can have access to all of the APPS Google offers for $5 a month.
Images are so important in today’s marketing world. According to an article I found on Hubspot:
When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.
So you need to find relevant images for every post, but where do you find those images? There are lots of free stock photo sites like. While using images are important using them correctly (legally) is also really important. Not sure what’s legal and what isn’t? Check out my post The Essential Stock Photo Guide to learn all the ins and outs.
Once you have the perfect image it needs to be resized according to the theme you’re using. If you don’t know that size go to SETTINGS>MEDIA and find out. Resizing used to be much simpler, but recently PicMonkey did away with their free service and now they charge $7.99 a month. Canva is a terrific choice and they have a free and paid version. If you pay a monthly charge you can save all of your branding and fonts so that they are there when you need them. I find the free version works just fine. My research found another free one called Fotor, but I don’t have any experience with it. There is also a new option available for photo editing. I’ve used it quickly & I like how easy it is to understand and of course FREE! CanvasPrints.co.uk/photoeditor/ UPDATED 6-18-19
You have your image now you need great content to go with it. Use Grammarly to make sure your writing is mistake proof! It’s an invaluable service that I use every single day. Need a place to store your notes? Try Evernote although I prefer One Note because it’s easier to get to for me I like Evernote for some things. It’s easy to use and offers a free version and a premium version.
Looking for hosting comparisons? Try this piece by Who Is Hosting This.
Need to speed up your website? I found an amazing resource by Tung Tran at Cloudliving.com called “22 Tips To Speed Up Your Website“.
Need social media automation? Try this post I recently wrote “How To Know If You Are Using The Right Social Media Scheduling Tool For Your Business“
A food blog can be a remarkable way for you to indulge your passion in food. Not only can you brainstorm and collaborate with like minded individuals but you can also make some money if your blog becomes popular. However, what is really difficult is making your blog stand out from the thousands of food blogs that are out there.
Food blogs are actually one of the 5 most popular blog categories with more than 12,100 searches a month! While the demand for food blogs is swelling like anything, the supply is beyond imagination. The internet is literally flooded with food blogs. So, if you are planning to start one, you better be prepared with some good skills and a lot of energy to make your blog popular. Here are the 3 most important things that you need to know before you begin your journey as a food blogger.
- A good cook is equal to a good food blogger, doesn’t work
Cooking is one of the most difficult yet loved form of art. A good cook can win the hearts of all! Mastering this art is also no cake walk. Extensive knowledge, experience and food love make a good cook. While cooking itself requires efforts, food blogging becomes a whole new thing. Some people get into food blogging simply because they are amazing cooks. That is definitely a pre-requisite but that is not all that is required.
You may love baking and nothing in the world could match your delicious cakes but that doesn’t guarantee you success as a blogger. This is because you need to have a lot of other skills as well for blogging. You should be a good writer to put your recipe in fluent words, you should know how to make your food presentable and get good pictures of them, you should have some knowledge of marketing and have a thousand other skills. You should be ready to cope with all of this before you start your food blogging journey.
- You need to work a good deal with technology
I know technology can be bothersome but when it comes to food blogging, there is no escaping from it. There are a lot of different aspects that require some technical knowledge and all you can do is work on it. Some of them are:
- You need to work with a sophisticated camera and some good editing software for getting good pictures.
- You need to know the technicalities of SEO to get a good search engine ranking.
- You should have some good knowledge of Social Media Marketing to spread the word about our blog.
- You should also have some proficiency with working with the blogging platform so that you can manage the themes, styles, templates and other things related to the blog design.
All of this requires a lot of interaction with technology. Though you can always hire professionals to take care of everything, it doesn’t sound feasible for a beginner. Doing it all on your own is the more affordable and convenient option.
- 3. Food blogging can be your hobby or profession, but never both
If all of this seems way too exhilarating to you, let me tell you something – it is not all totally essential.
Before you begin your journey as a food blogger, you need to answer this question –
What do you expect out of the blog?
Do you want to be a professional and earn money and fame out of your blog? Or do you want to just blog for the sake of it and share your knowledge with whoever is interested? Clarifying and thinking your goals out is extremely necessary. Only then can you make some important decisions that will have a strong impact on the results to come. Say for example, if you want to start a professional blog, having a premium blogging template along with your domain name is more advisable than going for a free one. However, if you just blogging for your interest, you don’t need to make any investments.
The point is that if you want to go professional, you need to show that dedication right from the start, working hard in each and every aspect. If it is just a hobby, you can go at your own sweet pace without worrying.
Tanya Sen quit her well-paying job to follow her dreams and become a writer. She is now creating and managing digital content to build relationships with organizations and individuals. An avid traveler, having visited more than 40 countries. She loves to cook and try different cuisines. She now lives in Goa, India.
I’ve been creating lots of cool new things for the resource library and I wanted to share the latest one with all of you. Below are 135 terms that every blogger or small business owner should know. I’ve tried to think of as many as I could, but there is no way of getting it all.
If you think of a term that isn’t included and I’ll add it to the list. I hope it comes in handy for you! You can find this and other great resources in downloadable form by signing up for my weekly newsletter. I accidentally sent two emails out this week and I wanted to apologize for that.
I’m working on the best days and times to send it, but right now I’m sticking to Saturday morning right after my post is published. That’s it once a week. I know how it is to have an overrun email. I have two of them…okay three, four…Next Saturday we’ll be talking about stock images. Does, don’ts, and where to find them.
Above the fold – A newspaper term the refers to the top half of a website.
A/B Testing – Testing of an advertisement, sales page, or piece of content by creating alternate versions and seeing which ones visitors respond to the best.
Admin Bar – A floating bar that contains useful administration screen links such as add a new post, see pending comments, edit your profile etc. It can be extended by plugins to add additional functionality, for example, SEO and more.
Affiliate marketing – A way for bloggers to monetize their sites by special links to other website’s products or services for a fee.
Alexa – An analytics website often referred to when comparing websites against one another. Provides a ranking and information on traffic, audience demographics, and inbound links.
Algorithm – The formula that determines how a blog’s pages or posts ranks within a search engine’s search results.
ALT. TAG – AKA: Alternative tag/Alternative text/attribute – The field tied to an image for the purpose of describing an image. An alt tag is helpful to both users and search engines should the image not fully render. Alt text is a word of phrase that describes an image on the web.
Anchor text – Used to anchor a URL to some text on a web page. When users view the web page in a browser, they can click the text to activate the link and visit the page whose URL is in the link.
API – Aka Application Programming Interface. The set of programming instructions and rules by an application that allows other applications to communicate with it.
Avatar – An avatar is a photo, graphic or image that represents you across blogs and other social-networking sites. This is not required nor used by all and is sometimes displayed within the profile or comment sections.
Backend – The part of the website where authorized users can modify content.
Backlink – a link one website gets from another website. Backlinks make a huge impact on a website’s prominence in search engine results. This is why they are considered very useful for improving a website’s SEO ranking.
Bandwidth – The amount of traffic and data that is allowed to occur between your web site and the internet.
Blog – a type of website or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual or group of people.
Blogger – 1. A person who blogs. 2. A free blogging platform owned by Google.
Blogpost – An individual post on a blog.
Blogosphere – The community of all blogs and bloggers on the Internet.
Category – One of the predefined taxonomies in WordPress. It is used to sort and group content into sections.
Click-through rate – The number of times an ad is clicked on.
CMS – This is short for content management system. It is a software program that allows you to add content to a website more easily.
cPanel – A web-based hosting control provided by many hosting providers to website owners allowing them to manage their websites from a web-based interface.
Child theme – A sub-theme that inherits all of the functionality of its parent theme. Child themes are a safe way to modify a WordPress theme without actually making changes to the parent theme’s files. See also theme, parent theme.
Conversion rate – The percentage of visitors who convert visits or page views into some type of action, such as signing up for a newsletter, or purchasing an e-book.
CPC – Aka Cost-per-click. The amount earned each time a visitor clicks on an ad.
CSS Stylesheet – Aka Cascading Style Sheets – A style sheet language used to define visual appearance and formatting of HTML documents.
CSV – A type of file that stores plain-text data (such as newsletter subscriber information) made up of records and fields. Each field is separated by a comma or tab.
Database – A structured, organized set of data. A software used to organize and store data. WordPress uses MySQL as its database management system.
DNS – Aka Domain Name System – A system that points a domain to a physical IP address. The purpose of DNS is to use easy to remember domain names for websites instead of their numeric IP addresses. It also enables website owners to change their web hosts without changing domain names.
Domain Name – A name used to identify a website on the internet.
Default theme – A default theme allows you to display the front-end of a website. It is the first theme that you see when you first install WordPress. It can then be changed to any theme.
Dedicated hosting – Web hosting packages that provide a dedicated server with dedicated resources to a single client. Ideal for WordPress websites with a large number of visitors.
Dofollow links – Allows google (all search engines) to follow a link and reach your website. Giving you “link juice” and a backlink. If a webmaster is linking back to you with this link both Search Engine and Humans will be able to follow you.
Editor – A pre-defined user role in WordPress. An individual with editor roles can write, edit, publish, or delete blog posts. They can also moderate, approve, and delete comments.
Embed – To place content from another website within your own blog’s post or page.
Evergreen – A type of post that does not date quickly, and is therefore as relevant today as it will be in years to come.
Excerpt – An article summary with a link to the whole post.
Favicon – A small graphic, typically your logo or other representation of your website that appears in a browser’s address bar, favorites or bookmark lists. In HTML it is referenced as the following rel= “shortcut icon”, and should be saved or uploaded as favicon.ico.
Featured Image – Aka post thumbnail – A WordPress theme feature that allows theme developers to add support for using a representative image for posts, pages, or custom post types.
Feed – RSS standing for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary – Provides users with frequently updated content. Content distributors syndicate a web feed, thereby allowing users to subscribe to it in RSS reader or via e-mail.
Filters – Functions that WordPress uses to pass data through. Allows developers to modify the default behavior or a specific function. Functions used to filter data are called hooks.
Fluid Layout – A layout that uses proportional values as a measuring unit for blocks of content, images, or any other item that is a part of a WordPress theme. This allows the web page to stretch and contract relative to the user’s screen size.
FTP – Aka FILE TRANSFER PROTOCOL – An internet protocol used to transport files across the internet from one computer to another
FTP CLIENT – A software that runs your personal computer and allows you to transfer files from your computer to and from your web server.
Functions.php – Aka theme functions – A template used by WordPress themes. It acts like a plugin and gets automatically loaded in both admin and front-end pages or a WordPress site.
GPL – Aka General public license/GNU GPL – The most commonly used free software license. This software can be freely used, modified, and redistributed by anyone.
Header – This is the top part of your blog, and appears before any pages or posts. Headers generally include items such as logos, taglines, and navigation menus, which are meant to set the tone or theme of your blog.
Header widget – Usually the widget area to the right of the logo or header.
Heat map – A map of your blog, showing which areas of a specified page are clicked on the most, usually represented using colors where one color indicates a high number of clicks while another represents a low number of clicks.
Homepage – The main page of a website.
Hooks – Aka webhooks – Functions that can be applied to an Action or a Filter.
.htaccess – A configuration file read by the server. It is able to override many server configuration settings and can be used for authorization, cache control, website optimization, and URL rewriting.
HTML – Aka Hypertext Markup Language – The language used to write webpages.
Hyperlink – Clickable content within a web page that takes the user to another page, website, or within part of the same page.
iFrame – An inline frame used within a web page to load another HTML document inside of it.
Index(ed) – The process by which search engines find your content and then make it available to users by storing it and displaying it in search results.
Inner wrap – What sits behind your posts and sidebar.
IP address – A unique string of numbers that identifies every computer that’s connected to the internet.
.jpeg – An image file format used to compress information within a photo or picture. The most widely used.
Keyword – A word or concept of great significance. A word that acts as the key to a cipher or code. An informative word used in an information retrieval system to indicate the content of a document.
Landing page – A dedicated page on a website created with the intention of converting visitors into sales leads or e-mail marketing subscribers for a particular product or database list.
Loop – PHP code that displays WordPress posts.
Malware – Short for malicious software. Code or scripts designed to disrupt software or collect of information such as passwords.
Media – 1. A tab in your WordPress admin sidebar which is used to manage user uploads such as images, audio, video, and other files. 2. Any image, literature, audio, or video.
Meta Keywords – The most popular and well-known element describing the content of a web page. Search engines realized that this piece of information was often inaccurate or misleading and frequently lead to spammy sites. As such this tag is no longer followed by search engines.
Meta tags – A comprehensive term that is comprised of meta titles, descriptions, and keywords. These three items are referred to as meta tags. The tags are elements that provide information about a given web page, most often to help search engines categorize them correctly.
MySQL – A database management system that is used by WordPress to store and retrieve all of your blog information.
Navigation Menu – Aka Primary navigation, menu, Sub navigation, or footer navigation – A WordPress theme feature that allows users to navigation menus by using the menu editor found in the admin dashboard. Users can add posts, pages, or custom links to a navigation menu.
Niche – A subset of a market.
Nofollow link – A link attribute which prevents links from being crawled by search engines. As a result, no SEO credit gets passed from one page to another.
Open Source – A term used to describe a computer program with their source code available for everyone to study. WordPress is an open source software and anyone can use, change, and redistribute its source code.
Outbound link – A link that points to an external website or webpage.
Parent theme – A theme that is declared parent by another theme (child theme). Allows users to make modifications to larger more robust WordPress themes by creating a child theme. See also theme, child theme.
Parallax – A web design trend that involves the background moving slower than the foreground when scrolling, giving a 3D effect.
Permalinks – The permanent URL of a individual piece of content on your WordPress site.
PHP – A programming and scripting language to create dynamic interactive websites.
Pingback – Allows you to notify other bloggers that you have linked to their article on your website.
Plugin – A piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to your WordPress website. They can extend functionality and add new features.
.png – An image file type that unlike JPG doesn’t lose quality when editing. Usually, having a transparent background.
Podcast – A digital file available for downloading to a media player (such as an iPod) or computer.
Popup – A form of online advertising displayed in a smaller window that appears upon visiting a site, or performing an action (such as submitting details). May include an ad, encouragement to sign up for a newsletter or enter a competition.
Post meta – Aka custom fields – Allows users to add additional information when writing a post.
Post slug – The user-friendly and URL valid name of a post.
Post status – Allows users to set a workflow status in WordPress. The 8 default statuses are:
- Auto draft
Primary Menu – See Navigation Menu
Quickpress – A compact post authoring displayed on WordPress admin dashboard. Allows users to quickly create posts without opening the full featured post edit screen.
Redirect – An alternative URL used to direct a user to a different location. A 301 permanent redirect is applied when you change the URL of a page.
Responsive theme – A theme that provides optimal user experience across various devices and screen resolutions.
Robot.txt – A text file which allows a website to provide instructions to web crawling bots.
RSS – See feed.
Screen options – A button located at the top right corner of your WordPress admin area. Screen options menu shows options to configure the view of that particular page in the admin area.
SEO – Aka Search Engine Optimization – The practice of optimizing a website for better representation of search results.
Shared hosting – Web hosting service plans where multiple websites share the resources of a large web server.
Shortcodes – Little bits of code that allow you to do various things with little effort.
Sidebar – A widget-ized area in WordPress to display information that is not part of the main content.
Sitemap – A public directory to help users easily access pages of your website. This is a page on your site where you tell users about key pages of your website by listing them in an outline format and then linking to those internal pages. This makes your content easier to find by users including search engines.
Slider – A slideshow added to a web page.
Slug – See post slug.
Spam – Unwanted user content
Splog – A blog created for the sole purpose of linking to other associated websites.
SSL – Aka Secure Sockets Layers – Encryption protocols used on the internet to secure information exchange and provide certificate information.
Static front page – A dynamic blog-style front page. Used to show customized content.
Tag – A predefined taxonomy that is smaller in scope and focused on specific topics.
Tagline – A short phrase or sentence, like a slogan, describing your blog or your mission.
Taxonomy – Used as a way to group posts and custom post types together. See categories, tags.
Template – Defines part of a web page generated by a WordPress theme.
Text editor – 1. A computer program for editing code. 2. One of 2 post edit screens. This one requires you to manually add any formatting like italics, alignment, and spacing using HTML.
Themes – A collection of templates and stylesheets used to define the appearance and display of a WordPress powered website.
Theme editor – Located at Appearance<Editor in the WordPress admin dashboard. Allows you to modify WordPress theme files.
Theme framework – Refers to a code library that is used to facilitate the development of a theme. Also considered a parent theme. See parent theme, child theme, theme.
Theme options – A page in the admin area that allows users to modify theme setting without modifying theme files or touching any code.
Thumbnail sizes – Any images can be defined as thumbnail sizes. Once a new size is chosen then WordPress will generate a copy of each size. It only applies to new images, not to ones previously uploaded. Use regenerate thumbnails for older images.
Trackback – A method of notifying a blogger that another blogger has written something about their blog post and linked to it.
Updates – Informs users when a new version of WordPress, themes, or plugins becomes available.
Unique visitors – An analytical term that represents the number of visitors who visited your site during a certain time frame.
URL – Aka Uniform Resource Locator – The addresses of individual pieces of information that can be found on a web page. Images, posts, pages, document.
URL Shortener – A tool that creates a shortened version of a URL.
User roles – Defines permissions for users to perform a group of tasks. Editing, publishing, etc.
VPS Hosting – Aka Virtual Private Server Hosting – Allows each hosting account to be as its own machine with its own resources and operating system.
Visual Editor – One of two edit screens inside of WordPress. It is a WYSIWYG editor which means what you see is what you get. However, the content shows up on your display is exactly the way it will be when it is published.
Vlog – A video blog.
Webinar – An online seminar, workshop or presentation.
Web server – A computer containing software for hosting a website.
Widgets – A small block that performs a certain function. In WordPress, you drag and drop the widgets of your choice into the predetermined widget areas.
Widget areas – Certain areas of your WordPress website that allow you to display custom contact in predetermined spaces according to the theme.
WordPress.com – A proprietary blog hosting service provider. It is not related to WordPress.org While it uses the WordPress.org core there are certain limitations to it. Offers limited theme support. NO plugins allowed.
WordPress.org – An open source CMS software. Allows you to create customizable websites. Offers full theme support. Plugins allowed.
Wp-config.php – One of the core WordPress files. It contains information about the database including the name, host, username and password.
Wrap – Sometimes considered the background it is the area behind your content.
WYSIWYG – Stands for What You See Is What You Get. This refers to what’s being displayed in your post editor corresponding with what appears when the post is published.