Regina here. Desperately hoping I can make “#SearchEngineSaturday” a real thing, because that’s what I want to talk about today . . . and it’s a Saturday. And honestly, what I really want to do is get at the most important facet of search engine optimization (SEO) for bloggers >> it’s all based on humans >> and spending our lives worrying about techie, crawly, spider-y, secret robots who arbitrarily rank our sites is probably a waste of time. Allow me to expand this point:
I hope someone who knows me just laughed in their head at that and said, “Of course you’re going to expand Regina. You always talk too much. I mean, share such lovely, long details with us.”
So yes, I am going to share the 10 things that over time will make the biggest difference for your blog’s SEO, but in order to do that, I think it is best to explain what major search engines like Google are doing and how it’s really about humans. P.S. I will not be using ANY techie words in this post. This is a post you could share with your grandmother, or your 8-year old, or your awkward Uncle Phil who wants to start making money with the Internets but doesn’t even understand what the Internets is . . . are . . . is/are . . . I don’t know which one to use there.
What are search engines really doing?
Search engines (such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!) are providing a service to humans. They attempt to go out into Internet Land and discover all the pages available. These pages can be actual website pages (like an About, Bio, or Contact page) that give specific information or they can be your individual blog posts. Search engines like to have a record of all the pages possible so that when a human comes along and searches for a specific term, the search engine has a large amount of pages to pull from and show as results.
If you used a search engine to search for instructions on how to change a tire, and you got back results on the best new tires you should buy, or someone’s top 18 pictures of their tire swing, would you get a bit annoyed? Further, if you kept getting unhelpful results from that specific search engine, would you eventually switch to a different search engine to get your answers?
Well, as a company providing a service, Google knows that it needs to give you the best results possible in order to keep your attention and your business. Each search engine seeks to give out the results that will most delight you, a human.
What delights you as a human? Wild guess here: pictures, simple instructions, stuff that actually answers your question, stuff that’s well organized, content that is well written, content that includes the phrases and titles you actually searched for . . . say I’m getting warm here.
How do search engines rank sites then?
Since search engines aren’t actually human, but are trying to imitate human behavior and logic, the creators of search engines have to create guidelines for their software to help give the most human search results.
Google, Bing, and other engines are always trying to modify their software to get to the most pleasing results for humans >> so as a blogger, if you’re spending time learning the 200 new factors that affect SEO each time a search engine updates its software, you are focusing on the dew, which is on the leaves, which are on the trees >> and you might be missing the forest you’re standing in.
Instead, let’s think of search engine software as an imperfect system trying to get closer and closer to what humans like. If you’re doing what humans like on your blog, you’re headed in the right direction. Here are the ten factors that will make the biggest difference for your blog . . . because they’re what search engines are basing their site ranking process on . . . because they are the things that matter most to humans:
1. Well-Written Content
I know you care about this not only because it affects your blog’s SEO, but also because you take pride in your work. Well, search engines care so much about this (and write their software to look for this) because it makes a difference to how much a reader enjoys their search results.
Translation: Write your blog content in a natural, helpful tone. Double check your work. A few errors are okay here and there, but craptacular grammar can easily affect how much people enjoy reading your work. Also, paragraphs that don’t make sense or don’t flow logically can distract people.
2. Multimedia Content
Us humans love when points are illustrated by photographs or drawings, or available as videos, or downloadable as audio . . . we love options. We love pretty things. We love simple things. Search engines know that their users (humans) will be happier with posts that include multiple forms of media, instead of just text, so search engines show more love to those posts.
Translation: If you are making a point that is explained better through a video, make a video. Provide a main blog post image that lets people know what your post is about. However, don’t forget that you can include more images in the body of the post when they relate to your points. For example, I’ll casually drop in the image below because it illustrates how much more interesting a blog post with pictures looks than a post that is just text . . . clever girl.
3. Keywords That Make Sense
Humans use keywords all the time. I shall illustrate this point with some extremely real dialogue:
Hey, I ran into James and Regina the other day,” says Person 1.
Oh, you mean the crazy blogger with curly hair and her sidekick who always wears red tights and a cape?” says Person 2.
Person 2 used all the underlined keywords to clarify who James and Regina were. Keywords are details that help people classify and verify information. If you completely forgot my name and my sidekick’s name, you might search the Internets for “blogger with curly hair and a sidekick in red tights.”
Yes, I could have gone with a more relevant example above, but I think we had more fun with this one. The point is: people will pull out and search the keywords and terms that are most memorable or important to them. Google and other search engines know this. They return results that use those keywords naturally.
Translation: You know the people you want to reach with your website. Think of the keywords and the exact phrases they are likely to use when they search for your type of content online. Use those keywords in your post (and in your blog post title and heading–but that’s information for another point, coming soon). As an example, this blog post is titled SEO for Bloggers, mainly because I feel that you as a blogger might specifically search that. Sure, you might also search for SEO tips or search engine optimization for blog owners, but I felt my title was a good guess.
4. Content That Engages Readers
Have you ever landed on a website that looked like it was last updated in your year of birth? I know I have, and the Internet wasn’t a real, wide-spread thing when I was born . . . so, translation, that’s bad. When I land on sites like that, I leave immediately. Hi, my name is Regina, and I’m a shallow Internet snob. And as a snob, I won’t stay on sites that aren’t engaging. Your design needs to engage and your post content needs to engage. If readers check out mentally after your first paragraph, they’re outta there.
Search engines want to show you (as a reader and content consumer) sites that are interesting and that you will spend a lot of time on. They are paying attention to how engaging a blog’s content is, they are designing their software to identify interactive, captivating sites more and more.
Translation: Engage your blog readers through great content, images, a logical layout, an easy-to-use site, and your stellar personality and jokes. Your blog’s search engine rankings thank you. If you’re able to keep people on your site longer than other sites, search engines love you.
5. Links That Lead to Your Blog
Do you want another epic dialogue example to illustrate a point? Of course you do:
Hey, do you know a good store to get corduroy skinny pants from, Bob?” asks some clearly cool person.
Oh yeah, go to Too Regit to Quit, it’s a new boutique on South 1st Street,” says some other clearly cool person.
What just happened? Old school word of mouth. Well in Internet land, people have these same conversations (where they’re recommending a specific entity or resource) through links on their blogs that recommend something or social media platform shares. The social media thing is the last point in this post, but let’s address links.
When another website or blog links to your site, search engines take that to mean someone is recommending you. More links means more people think your blog is hot stuff. In our corduroy pants example, if you repeatedly hear of this shop, (epically named) Too Regit to Quit, you would eventually go there.
But, here’s the deal: If your successful and popular best friend who has the same taste in clothing recommends a boutique store, that means way more to you than the socially awkward man at the gas station who shouts out the boutique’s name while driving off and bumping Ace of Base. No offense Ace, I think I know the lyrics to all your songs, backwards.
Search engines act the same way as you did in this situation, they will take the link/recommendation of reputable blogs as more valuable than the random link from a site that just popped up last week and still seems a bit awkward. And in general, they will take the link/recommendation of a blog in your same space (ex: fashion) as more relevant than a link from something completely unrelated (ex: a toaster oven blog).
Translation: Guest write posts and articles for established blogs in your general industry. These blogs will typically link back to your blog within your guest post. Also, focus on creating content that people will want to share. Build the best metaphorical corduroy skinny pants you can through your blog.
6. Blog Post Titles That Make Sense
If I ask you for your best social media book recommendations, and you tell me about a book titled “The Girl with Yellow Shoes,” I will look at you with the what’s-in-your-cup-other-than-the-coffee-I-thought-was-there stare. I already feel you’re about to tell me something unrelated and annoying. What’s interesting though is >> “The Girl with Yellow Shoes” might be the best book on social media ever written . . . but the title of the book would suit me better if it made more sense . . . especially if I only have a limited amount of time available to me to decide on my next social media book.
Google knows that if you wrote an epic post on using MailChimp as an Etsy store owner, you might have naturally included “MailChimp” and/or “Etsy” in your blog post title. But, more importantly, Google knows that if a web searcher searches for “how to use MailChimp for your Etsy store,” that person is more likely to click on a blog post titled “MailChimp for Etsy Shops: The Champion’s Guide to Awesome Emails” than “This Girl Still Has Yellow Shoes On, It’s Weird.”
Translation: Title your posts in ways that would cause you to click (if you fit in your ideal blog reader group). Title your posts with keywords that will help people figure out what it’s all about. Title your posts in ways that build excitement and accurate expectations.
7. Content That’s Long Enough to Really Address a Need
Remember that one time you Googled “SEO for Bloggers” and landed on a post that was only 10 words long? No. You don’t. Because it probably never happened. Since you as a human want enough information to actually accomplish your goals (ex: become awesome at blogging, learn how to change your car’s oil, create tasty gluten-free desserts, etc.), you probably prefer content that gives you a full picture. This usually requires more than 200 words.
Search engines realize that 2,000 words will give users/searchers a more complete picture of how to do something epic than 500 words. It’s based on a human need, and it’s translated to how their search engine software treats all the posts in Internet land.
Translation: Use headings, and images, and bullet points to keep your text interesting, but then make sure there is enough text and content to really help and engage people.
8. High-Frequency Content (Also, a Lot of Content)
A friend recently explained to me how he used to start every morning of his life . . . he woke up and grabbed his phone to check the blog of one of his favorite music artists. The days that the music artist posted something were the best days ever. The days the artist hadn’t said anything new, were days where he probably searched the web for other interesting content. He was devoted. But, that music artist eventually stopped adding new stuff, and my friend eventually stopped visiting that website.
Frequent posts, and a lot of past posts to browse through, give people the confidence to fall in love. They feel the blogger is around to stay. They feel the blogger is in it for them as the readers.
Search engines know that consistency and options (multiple past posts to choose from) really influence our enjoyment of a site. Therefore, search engines are more inclined to load their top search results with blogs that honor the frequency concept (and also blogs that have a large library of posts).
Translation: Publish new stuff consistently. Search engines love it because people love it. Build trust. Build up your library/archive of past posts that are epic.
9. Blog Post Headings That Make Sense and Organize Your Information
Imagine this post without any of these numbered headings. How would you keep track of what point you were on? Would you finish the article and go back and count to make sure there were actually 10 points as promised? Do the headings also help you know what I’m about to say? Do they help you get mentally prepared?
Your blog’s search engine optimization is affected by the headings you choose to include. Do they make sense? Do they have keywords in them? If so, that means your reader will be happier. And as we’ve said through this post a bagillion times, happy readers is what search engines want to create. You’ll never have a reason to use anything but the search engine that consistently delivers useful results.
Translation: Use headings. Organize your content. Do you remember those keywords and phrases you thought of that people might enter into a search engine to find content like yours? Make those words part of your headings.
10. Content That’s Popular (on Social Media Platforms)
‘Member that corduroy pants example from #5 above? Well, it applies here too. If you see friends, and perhaps even tons of strangers, talking about this one thing/store/blog/item, you’ll want to know what it’s all about. The term “social proof” means that something has enough attention from Internet land/people to get new people to notice it. When you see that 1,000 people like/share something, you take that more seriously than if 0 or 10 people like it.
Search engines can read the links and content from most social media platforms. They’re able to tune in to conversations and see what/who is hot right now. They may return some of those social media posts or Pinterest pins in search results, but they also use the mere existence of all the shares and links to figure out which blogs are the best to return in search results.
Translation: Don’t ignore social channels. First, make content and images that are simple to share on social media sites. Provide people with clear buttons and sharing options (ex: the buttons at the bottom of this post before the comments area . . . you can just click on your favorite platform and share). Join social media sites where your readers spend their time and become active. Start conversations about anything interesting. Promote your stuff, promote other stuff you like, socialize with others . . . people will notice that you are there and helpful.
So, how do you feel about SEO for your blog as it relates to human interaction? Are there any areas in which you might incorporate new tactics? I gotta say, it was a bit hard to not use words like “algorithm” and “sitemap” in this post, but my intent was to communicate the foundations of SEO for bloggers in a non-techie way. These are the core concepts you can follow to help your blog get noticed by search engines.
Sure, there are definitely other factors like site speed, clean website code, a mobile-friendly site, and perhaps using a great plugin like the one I use, SEO by Yoast (if you’re on WordPress), but the 10 items above are the real places to begin your search engine optimization strategy. Everything stems from how people use/like your site. Speed is important because people are impatient, pictures are important because people like visuals, etc. With every decision you make for your blog, ask not what search engines would like, but what actual humans would like.
Hi human. Thanks for reading. Any questions or epic thoughts? Would love to hear them below, because I too am human.
Thank you, Regina. This is exactly what I was looking for 🙂
Vanessa, wow, thank you for commenting. Also, oh my goodness, that Thug Kitchen trailer on your recent blog post . . . I could not stop laughing. Haha. Thank you for being awesome.
Would you also mind sharing what plugin you use for recent and popular posts? I’m having trouble with the one I installed and I love the look of yours!
Amy, I used to use the Advanced Recent Posts Widget. I don’t have one anymore on this new site. Sorry for seeing your question so late.
Ok here is the deal Regina. It is early, way too early and I have already been on my computer for over an hour (and I only just brewed my first cup of coffee). I read the first 3 paragraphs of this post, then just HAD to scroll to the bottom to comment. I promise I will go back and read your “expanding” in a minute but….I just have to say. I love your style girl. I am so glad I found your blog and I look forward to your posts. They are always so helpful and engaging, but more than that they are fun to read. You inspire me. Somehow I am going to find a way to inspire you so we can be bloggey buddies 😉 That’s all….back to the top to learn about SEO. Happy #SearchEngineSaturday.
You’re amazing Sarah. And oh my goodness, you and Sammi are the most adorable, helpful, fun people ever. I totally just watched your video on “why are you guys doing this? and are you making money?” Love it.
Your blog DOES inspire me. I can tell you love what you’re doing. I have something major in common with you that you mentioned in your video, but I’ll leave that as a comment on your post.
So glad for this post. I really must start thinking of this more when I write my contents.
Do you know about some good recources for free and pretty stockphotos? Been seaching on Google, but it’s hard to find pictures that fit well with my blog who is about home interior, lifestyle, fashion and small business:)
Jeanette, such a great question. I love this post on Erika Madden’s site on free stock photography. I haven’t specifically looked for interior/style images on those sites, but I think you’d definitely find some really amazing images there.
Thank you for the link. Will check it out right away. Please check your email later, cause I have an idea which I would like you to join in:)
Per usual, great post Regina! The only thing I would add is for people that have a picture heavy blog (like personal style or food bloggers), rename your photos before you upload them. If someone is looking for a photo about red dress and you’re wearing one in a post, that will help them find it. Google cant search images, but if you add red dress to the name, it makes it more likely to come up in a search. Some bloggers are lucky and they instantly had great traffic success but for those that are building, this will really help. I took pictures for a friend and renamed her photos (and added some keywords to the file but that’s more complicated) and she started seeing a boost in traffic.
This is one of those things I keep meaning to go back and fix in all of my posts, but I’ve been dreading because of how many images I have. Knowing this is worth it definitely helps!
Kimmie, thank you for the comment. You are so right and so smart. I’m going to do a more techie post on actual actions us bloggers will want to take with each post–and that’s a big one.
I love your story of your friend. That makes it so real, right? Back when I was doing web design with a partner, we once had a client say she found our site through a Google image search. We’d labeled all our website portfolio and blog post images with what they were (ex: “modern website design for . . .”). I became a believer in changing the title and alt text after that. Before that moment it just sounded good in theory.
This is a great place for bloggers to start, Regina! SEO is such a “scary” world for a lot of bloggers because it tends to be where the gamer boiz hang out. But it’s my world & I love it! (Helps that my brother & the five guys who practically lived at our house growing up fell into that category)
I’m offering a beginners SEO course for bloggers that deals with the specific technical stuff that ever blogger needs to implement at the end of this month! I’m really excited to teach one of my favorite skills that I do every day in my consulting work. You can find out more about it here: http://www.bearandbeaglecreative.com/beginner-seo-course-for-bloggers
Regina, your articles are so cleverly written. You some how made SEO fun!
I think the reason why SEO is so important is because its a long-term strategy for traffic, instead of the 30 minutes of traffic you would get from Twitter.
Something you didn’t mention is that your SEO strategy should not only be targeted at Google, Bing, & Yahoo, but also Pinterest! I BARELY EVER use Google’s search any more, because I do all my searching on Pinterest. This is because they have so much more raw & valuable content from actual bloggers (like you). I much more likely to find one of your posts on Pinterest’s search that Google’s.
For example, when I search “blogging” on Google, I get a WikiAnswer page. When I search “blogging” on Pinterest I get tons of useful posts from actual blogs. Your blog is within the first ten results. These results are also long term, and have been there for a while.
Thanks so much for the great post!
I totally agree on this point! I’ve also noticed that when I search really long-tail keywords and very visual topics (like craft ideas or types of outfits), someone’s Pinterest board will show up in the first few Google results. So optimizing your actual pin descriptions for keywords, along with Pinterest board titles and descriptions, can help your overall brand get seen in search too.
I love SEO! and I love that search engines are requiring a more social approach to being ranked as well… it puts that added incentive and pressure to create great content.
Great post… but that’s to be expected 🙂
This is a great post and totally relevant to my 2015 blogging/business goals. I’m wondering how important is it to research keywords, i.e. monthly searches and such?
Patricia, amazing question. Though it really depends on your blog goals and your overall traffic strategy, knowing keywords that appeal to (and are searched for by) your audience is super important. I’m going to write a post that involves more of your daily/weekly/monthly SEO tasks, which will hopefully break down some useful things we can all do to increase our SEO. But my general answer is that it can be very helpful; I just also believe that are a lot of other things that are equally or more important. I’ll make sure to hit on those in my new post. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. Please forgive any autocorrect errors. I’m using Siri.
Thanks again Regina, I’m looking forward to #SearchEngineSaturday every week!
I cannot describe how awesome this is. I. Just. Can’t. Shared it with my blogger people. 🙂
Love love love this. Thanks for such a great resource!
Great post as usual Regina. I pinned it before even reading one word!.. 🙂 Question on point #4. How does a search engine know if your content is engaging your readers? Does it measure engagement by the number of comments on a blog post or number of shares to social media?
Google (and the other search engines) don’t disclose all of their ranking factors, but recent research by SearchMetrics suggest that social media is becoming more and more important as a ranking factor:
The search engines have looked at links for a long time to determine to popularity of a site and how engaging it is to users. But then the bad guys, aka “black hat SEO” practitioners, tried to game the system by buying and selling links and creating “link farms.” Backlinks are still a huge part of SEO, but links & shares on social media are basically another piece of that pie.
I haven’t seen any evidence that Google and other search engines look at the number of comments on a blog post / page as an engagement factor, but the evidence does seem to point to them using social media shares as a factor.
Hope this helps!
I couldn’t find a date on the comment, so I hope I’m not terribly out of date. One thing that I’ve found helpful is looking at the posts that get the most search engine hits. I go to Google and search my chosen SEO term and see where it lands. If it is the first or near the top for my term or related searches, I try to replicate some of what I did in those posts. I know search engine rankings can change a lot, though.
Krystal, my understanding is that it is usually done by bounce rate and time on site. I like MOZ as a source (what Mallory linked) and this chart as a general techie overview. Another excellent piece to read is this one by MOZ.
Such a great post, as usual! Thanks for a straight forward explanation. I just started adding SEO to my blog in the fall (I know, I’m late to the game). As I`m slowly but surely seeing an increase in traffic as a result.
As per usual, epic, easy-to-understand, implementable (is that a word?), fun to read. You’re amazing. xo
Holly, haha, thank you and implementable is definitely my new favorite word.
Very helpful! The theories that go behind the algorithms are much more important than the algorithms themselves. Thanks for the great post, sharing!
Ohh perfect post, Regina! This is my area of specialty so I was so happy to see this! I just started a series on SEO basics to make it easier for bloggers to understand and do themselves.
I can’t even describe how useful this post is/will be. I’ve always been slightly confused by SEO and how I can properly implement it- especially ever since I moved over to WordPress. But I LOVE how you break things down in this post. I think I’m going to write this out as a list and work on each item for each post, because this is just so comprehensive. <3
I'd definitely love a daily/weekly/monthly SEO checklist kind of thing if that's in the works.
Thank you so much, Regina!
Yay. Thank you so much for your kind words and your feedback. I’m working on the checklist. It’s actually a printable/printed list that will be laminated so you can use dry erase markers and check it off for each post you create.
I appreciate your comment so much Aneeqah.
I love the Yoast plugin! It’s so much easier to deal with a monolithic topic like SEO when I can just move down the little checklist it organizes for me. Aside from getting that little green dot on my dashboard, I just try to make the writing good–and for bloggers that really want results, that’s all they should care about at the end of the day. Content is king, right? Great post!
Loved reading this, very well explained and useful (and easy!) tips. I liked point 8 specially; when I started my blog I had NOBODY come from search engines, but as I keep building my library I get more and more visits from Google and other search engines!
I don’t know if you know the answer to this, but let’s give it a shot. I noticed that when I look at my analytics, most of the times the keywords that people used appear as “not provided”. I read that it might be due to the fact that the person was logged into his/her Google account and Google keeps their privacy, but do you know any way of finding out what keywords people are using in this kind of situation?
Hope it made sense!
Carla, that’s a great question! Google Analytics used to share a lot more data, but in the last couple of years, they’ve been lumping more and more data under “not provided” or “not set.” (It’s not just keyword data either, geographic and other demographic data gets filtered like this too.)
G.A. has a paid version of their service now that is pretty expensive and made for big corporations. (I work in SEO by day, and none of our clients use the paid version, because it’s so pricey.) So in addition to privacy settings, I think this has a lot to do with why we’re seeing less specific data in G.A. these days.
That said, if you set up Google Webmaster Tools and link it with your G.A. you can also use the “Search Queries” feature to get more info about keywords that your site is showing up for in search.
Hope this helps!
HI Regina (and Mallory? Mallory – are you a new addition to Regina’s team?)
First of all, when this arrived in my inbox, as always, I said to myself, REGINA, YOU ARE THE BEST. Because you are. That goes without saying. However, I was left with the same question about SEO 201 – what about those darn keyword searches? Because my #1 is hidden, looking at my Google analytics it seems as though almost no one is finding me on organic search.
My sense is that I need to do a better job of putting some keywords into my SEO plugin, or my page names, etc. Any thoughts on all this? (And no, I don’t have Webmaster tools hooked up yet, but I have my techie working on it. )
Nope, I’m just another fan of Regina’s site too, but I happen to work in SEO by day, so I knew the answer to the question!
If you use the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin, you can set a “focus keyword” for each blog post or page – when you start typing in that field the plugin will also give you keyword suggestions, and once you set it, the plugin will help make sure you’ve optimized your post/page around the keyword.
Beyond that, you can actually do your own keyword research in a few different ways. The auto-generated keywords / phrases that appear when you start typing something into Google (or other search engines, including Pinterest) are a great place to start for ideas. You can also use a free tool that is part of Google Adwords called Keyword Planner. (You don’t have to run ads to use this tool, but you do have to set up an Adwords account.) There are also lots of 3rd party keyword research tools out there as well.
I hope this helps!
You’re so super duper helpful Mallory. Thank you so much for your epic answers and your time.
I can’t thank you enough for this post! I got lost in techie-SEO land earlier this week; it felt like every “for beginners” guide was written for someone far more advanced than I am. I had the good sense to get the Yoast plug-in, but wasn’t sure if I needed to concern myself with keyword searches and campaigns.
Your post was a simple, easy to understand rationale for doing what “felt right” before I read all those techie blogs: write guest posts on more influential blogs; craft clear/useful titles; and use enough descriptors (keywords) so that people can find what they need.
Spot on as always.
P.S. My Epic Blog editorial planner arrived just 3 weeks ago and it’s already earned a prominent place on my desk. Fantastic guide! Happy to spread the word.
Many thanks Regina for the excellent post!
I am new to the blogging world and I very much appreciate your helpful tips.
I was in the middle of writing a post when I stumbled upon your entry and I must say, I went back and changed a few things.
Thank you again,
Just want you to know that I’m using your site and your products as the foundation and inspiration for building my blog. You explain things in a way that’s easy for anyone to understand. My hub is the techie one around here, but I feel like I can really do this because of the information I’ve found here.
Thanks so much! I will keep coming back.
Well, this article was certainly a reminder that I need to get back to SEO! This is such an important subject for any blogger – too bad so many (myself included) shy away from applying it properly.
Thanks for the reminder! (Also, love your writing style!)
Thank you for this post! I’ve always wondered what SEO was all about. Super useful information! =)
Learned more from you than in the last 2 years researching and trying to understand SEO. Thanks you! ~muwah~
Gah! Your posts make my posts look like a paragraph. I love this post though. I’ve been working on building my SEO up using WP plugins and trying to figure out all the techie stuff. I never thought about all the non-tech stuff I could improve on! Especially more images & videos in my posts, those would probably be really helpful. I love your blog and as always your post is ah-maze-ing.
Hi Regina….and thanks. I had that wonderful feeling of being in school again….in front of a very good teacher. My five week old blog and I are forever in your debt.
Suz and the wild DIY ideas….at The Chelsea Project Blog
I scrolled through the comments and I don’t think anyone has asked this, yet. If they have, just direct me to the answer!
About number 4–Does that mean that search engines are looking at bounce rates on posts/the entire blog? I try to make my blog easy to navigate, link to the most recent and popular posts (with pictures) near the top of the sidebar, etc. So, are search engines actually looking at how I keep people there or the fact that they stick around?
Sarah, yes it’s about bounce rate and time on site in general, not so much about exactly how people are drawn in to sticking around. I love this chart as a general techie overview. Not that it answers you exactly, I think it is one of the clearest pictures of SEO on the Internets though.
OMG- this was just so great + comprehensive and I just stumbled upon you recently but LOVEEEEE your posts! They’ve been so helpful 🙂
Just to clear up your cute little confusion: It’s “Internet is”, but even with the plural form, it would still be “is”; “Internet” is capitalized because it’s a proper noun—there’s only one Internet, but there are many Internet providers, thus “Internet providers” does not necessarily result in being capitalized. 🙂 Also, I feel like a total nerd for pointing this out. 😐
Anyways, I love that you posted this! I tried to put all of this in words before, but I lost the patience/lack the ability to put things into simplified terms unless, of course, I’m making some kind of walk-through to go along with it.
The only thing I wish people would also do with their multimedia content is put in transcripts of what they’re saying in the video, because YouTube’s CC doesn’t always translate accurately, and sometimes it’s the video that I can’t tolerate (as an Aspie, video-related things such as webinars, conferences, etc. really don’t work for me/mess with my senses). Wouldn’t it help bloggers SEO-wise if they included a text version of their video as well—that is, if search engines tend to favor posts with multimedia content?
my favorite topic since I run an SEO non techie blog! I love that you are covering content as SEO now a days is a three part thing, you have the techie aspect of optimization, then the branding aspect is becoming bigger and bigger then you have the content part which means be a great resource for your ideal audience, help out and it will be noticed
Thank you!!! This post is epically amazing.
This is so, so useful! Thank you so much for writing this 🙂
Hi Regina, Love this post! I’m really curious about keyword research. I am a new blogger and for some reason I am completely overwhelmed by this! Some people say you need to use something like spyfu to research keywords and your competitor’s keywords. Well, that’s nice in theory but it’s $90. I’d love to know which tool/tools you use to do keyword research. Can we get the job done (well!) with google keyword research? And maybe on to something fancier later after we’re actually making money?!
thanks so much!
If it isn’t obvious by my social media stalking (lol) I ADORE your content. Thank you for putting out useful content always. You are literally like my fairy blogmother!
Blog || http://bit.ly/LoveMavinBlog
Youtube || http://bit.ly/1wI3JAr
I loved this post, Regina! I already knew some of the tips listed before, but it was still refreshing to read it in a non-techie way.
A quick question: How about those follow/nofollow links though? When should they be used?
Wow! This was great. Thanks so much. I definitely need to make my blog headings SEO friendly.
What a fantastic post. Well done. As a web designer and SEO I do struggle to explain to clients the in/outs of basic SEO without using techie jargon. This is just the ticket. If they can grasp this guide then I can get past the on site “keyword stuffing” they think SEO is. Again well done and clearly it’s a popular post judging by the number of comments. :-)… I’ll be coming back for more tips.
A great read again. Thank you!!
I’ve just spent two hours trying to figure out some SEO stuff and this made my life so much easier. Thank you so much!
This is such a useful post, SEO can be tricky if it’s new to you but once you get going it’s pretty easy to get to grips with. I really liked the way you explained key words.
New to blogging and trying to understand how this SEO thingy works. This is a great help from noobs like me! Thanks! (doesnt hurt that your writing is witty as hell :))
This post was so incredibly helpful! Having just started a blog and kinda, somewhat entering keywords this post makes it so much easier to understand. Thank you so much Regina!
Ok Regina and her devoted flock of readers (Regites? Reggickites?),
I’m trying to be brave here and make my first comment EVER and in so doing hopefully leap from #5,000 to #4,500 on some obscure search engine for newbie fibromyalgia bloggers. (I know for darned sure I’m not even in the top 10,000 on Google or Yahoo lol!) Anyway, thank you for another inspirational post Regina! I’m a nurse practitioner who’s brand new to blogging but have really high hopes for expanding my reach to help fibromites (hmmmmm… is that a key word?) everywhere gain access to quality healthcare. People with fibro/chronic pain/chronic fatigue are really getting the proverbial shaft in medical care right now, and I know an alarmingly high percentage of you hometrepreneurs out there fall under one of those categories, because it’s hard to work full time outside the home with these illnesses! While I have great confidence as a medical provider, I am still a shy little newbie blogger, but I’ve been diligently following Aunt Regina’s advice and downloading her workshops etc. Thanks to you, Regina, my humble little website looks 20 times more branded and professional than it did a month ago, with more improvements to come. (Like a professional photo of me instead of a cute iphone pic of my great dane). I’m sharing your site and pins to my medical colleagues who are branching out into blogging, and also to my disabled patients who are trying to eke out a living from home with their small Etsy shops and blogs. You are indirectly making a difference in the online face of fibromyalgia Regina, thank you! And my lesson from today’s post is to run and download Yoast for my website STAT. Many thanks from me and my patients…. Medea
Oh I’m such a dope, I just learned that because I have a newbie little WordPress.com hosted site that I can’t get Yoast, the SEO stuff is already included! yay! But I wouldn’t have learned it if the ByRegina post wouldn’t have sent me on that awesome SEO research mission. I know so much more now thanks to Her Highness Queen Regina 🙂 God forbid, if you ever end up with fibromyalgia, I’m your gal! (What a tacky thing to wish on someone, I know. Medical nerd.)
Right away I am ready to do my breakfast, after having my breakfast coming over again to read
Thanks for explaining this in simple terms. I’ve been blogging 9 months and am getting good views from social media (which I’ve sussed)..I just don’t or didn’t get SEO… Now I understand it a little better. I’m going to try and keep learning but now I feel a little more confident. I think I need to read it a few times for it to sink in though.
Angela from daysinbed x
Hi Regina, this was a much needed post..thanks for sharing such helpful information. These are all basic things that we usually tend to forget while in a hurry to get the post published [at least i do 🙂 ]
I’ve been blogging for a year and I’m truly not sure if I’m using SEO effectively. I do use the Yoast plug-in and try to write good content and titles but it doesn’t seem to draw attention. How can someone who’s doing the work be objective about all of this to critique mistakes?
Thank you so much for writing this post for this non-techie gal. I’ve been wanting to understand more about SEO for some time now but years ago I stepped off the technology train and haven’t been able to grab a ticket for my next ride. LOL Thanks for making this so much easier to understand. 🙂
Thank you!!! This exactly the resource that I have been looking for! Someone who speaks my ‘non-tech’ language!! I’m now feeling super confident in my SEO now that I actually understand what it is! Thanks a million!
Great article, thanks for all of the great pointers! My theme Jasmine in WordPress, is supposed to be “optimized” but I really don’t know if it is! So these tips are certainly going to help move things along. ?
Wow. Dumbed it down for me and I appreciate that. 😉
Thank you. I bow to you.
I am a ‘newbie’ and your article helped a lot. I’m glad I ran across your site. Great tips! I’ll be visiting quite often! (Any feedback for me would be awesome if you have the time). Thanks!
You make it sound so easy!! 🙂 All the other posts I’ve read on this topic might as well be in elvish. Thank you for the non-techie version of SEO optimization!
Regina THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!
I was searching the net on watts to understand SEO and you nailed it girl.
Fantastic post! Thank you!
Thanks for this! I’m just starting out again but with a more serious note and SEO was always something I avoided because I figured if I wasn’t 100% serious.
This is exactly what I needed to get my blog start getting organic traffic. Really love how you explained how SEO works. I thought its my doomed since my blog is not getting good traffic. Now I know and hopefully I can hit the target audience using these tips.
Great content for the creative! SEO doesn’t have to be crazy technical to be effective. Thanks for the info!
Great article. I’d like to recommend SEO Post Content Links Plugin. It’s an automatic SEO for websites and fully supports internal linking for all languages.
Thankyou Regina. It helped me a lot. You’re amazing.
I’ve been working on starting a blog and I’m almost ready to make it public. This post was so helpful to me! Thank you!
Wow. Thank you for making this not only easy to read, but funny too. For the first time, I actually understood an SEO post. You’re a fantastic resource for new bloggers like me! Thanks!
Hi! Thanks for the great tips and the translations – really helps a lot because SEO can seem intimidating. Love this post and how relatable you made the subject – thanks!
This is the best explanation of SEO I had seen using real world situation. Nice one Regina
Thanks Regina! My artist recommended this article and I very impressed with how non-techie you were since I have a rudimentary understanding of SEO. Very helpful!
I really enjoyed how you tackled SEO from the non-technical perspective. SEO can be a really scary topic that many blogger and general website owners would rather ignore. You have succeeded in teaching SEO strategies in a way that is easy to understand and implement. Great Job!
This was the post I was looking for!! I have been reading a lot on SEO, and it all seemed like it was written in Greek or would tell you to do something, but not give any examples. I’ve been pretty mystified by SEO and not really sure if any of the things I was doing were actually helping me and my little blog get noticed!!
Thanks for spelling it out plainly 🙂
Thank you for this…I’ve been blogging for two years now but not focused much on the technical side which I am now starting to investigate so this is exactly the level and article I need.
Also thanks to all the commenters as they’ve been very helpful too and FYI I found this on Pinterest!
Thank you so much for sharing your tips and tricks! Loved your witty comments!
Thank you! This blog was amazing and exactly what I was searching for!