I recently started really paying attention to the SEO of my posts on this blog. Of course I’d always known about SEO but I wasn’t fully optimising all my posts. But then I installed Yoast’s SEO WordPress plugin and the change in traffic was immense. In less than 2 weeks my traffic has risen by 250%. A lot of that is down to fully optimising my posts and I haven’t even gone through and optimised all my posts yet. I’ve written more than 600 posts so optimising them all may take a while. In this post I am going to go through and explain the steps you need to take to optimise your own posts. One or two of the steps may not be possible on Blogger but the majority of them will be. If you’re on self hosted WordPress I’ll link to some SEO plugins that will make the process a whole lot easier. 1. Select your keywords for your post. Keywords are an important aspect of SEO. These are the words that are typed into the search engines to garner results. Choose your keywords carefully. Use Google’s keyword tool to find out how many searches are performed for your keyword and how much competition there is to rank for those words. Ideally you want a keyword that is searched for a lot but which has low competition. 2. Make Sure Your Keywords Appear in the URL of Your Post I.e Say you’re writing a post on Nail Art and your keywords are nail art. A good url would be http://fashionbeautyetc.com/nail-art. 3. Image Alt Tags Should Contain Your Keywords When you write a post and attach an image an alt tag is added to the HTML for the image. Usually the alt tag would be the name of your image. Change to the HTML screen for your post. Locate your image and add your keywords as the image alt tag. For example this is a post I did yesterday where my keyword is mascara: <a href=”http://fashionbeautyetc.com/2012/08/mascaras-from-budget-to-blowout.html/attachment/011″ rel=”attachment wp-att-7740″><img title=”011″ src=”http://fashionbeautyetc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/011.jpg” alt=”mascara” width=”700″ height=”467″ /></a> 4. Ensure Every Post Contains at Least One Outbound Link Linking to one of your own posts does not constitute an outbound link. You need to link to a site that isn’t your own. For example, if you’re writing a beauty review you could link to where the product could be purchased. 5. Keyword Placement If at all possible make sure that your keyword(s) appear in the first paragraph of your post. Search engines like this and it will help you rank better. 6. Keyword Density This one is a balancing act. You want to have your keyword in there a few times but you don’t want it in there too many times as it won’t read well if you try and stuff it in everywhere and google will see it as spam if you overdo it. It should be in there at least twice though with one of those instances being in the first paragraph. Do not put it in twenty times in a two hundred word post though. 7. Post Titles One of the most important places to have your keywords is in the post title. this is why I avoid song titles, sayings etc as my post titles. Post titles should be descriptive and give readers an idea of what the post is about. Also keywords should appear as near to the start of a post title as possible. Lastly, post titles should be between 40 and 70 characters long. 8. Word Count It is advised that post content should contain 300 words or more. Thus posts that contain a lot of images but not a lot of text are less likely to rank well. 9. Meta Description A meta description is the short description that appears beneath the post title in Google searches. If you’re on WordPress most themes give you the option to handcraft a summary of your post. Make it as enticing as possible so that searchers really want to click on your link. Also if possible make sure your keyword appears in the description. If you choose not to add your own Meta description Google will pull the first 140 characters from your post and use that instead. Blogger users don’t have the option to handcraft their description though I’m afraid. i hope all of that was easy to understand and implement on your own blogs. If you’re a WordPress user the following plugins help simplify the process: SEO Friendly Images WordPress SEO SEO Smart Links 12 Responses Lauren August 15th, 2012 Great tips! I already knew about SEO, but honestly never really bothered with optimizing much of anything, but I’m going to look at some of these plugins! Reply Lauren August 15th, 2012 Huh. I just realized you still have Google Friend Connect and you’re running WordPress.. I thought they did away with GFC for non-Blogger sites, I know mine disappeared months ago. Reply Xixia August 15th, 2012 Oh wow…this was such a great post. I knew about some of these points, but now I know to utilize the alt tags for my images. I usually just skipped over that due to laziness. XD I just stumbled upon your blog, and I really love it! It has a great feel and your posts are useful and sweet. Hope we can keep in touch. ♥ x i x i a | thisisxixia.com Reply Stylonylon August 15th, 2012 Great post – thankyou! Extremely helpful and good motivation. I keep meaning to do this properly then never do… Do you think wordpress is better for pulling in more traffic than blogger? X Reply Em August 15th, 2012 Thank you for all of this great information! I am not only blogging about myself now, but also my husband that is a musician. I was using the “alt” tags already and didn’t realize they were important! Reply liloo/@tsunimee August 15th, 2012 not fair. why can’t blogger people handcraft their titles. boooooo liloo/@tsunimee xx Reply Courtney August 16th, 2012 This is such a great and easy to implement article on SEO – seriously one of the best I’ve come across! <3 Reply Courtney August 23rd, 2012 Great tips! I didn’t know about the Alt in images or about outbound links. One thing I would recommend is not to break your links by renaming them unless you setup a plan to forward them to the new link. If you change the link name to include keywords, you run the risk of sending people to 404 errors when they come from other sites. Reply Courtney August 23rd, 2012 ALSO! I learned this about wordpress: when you upload an image via WordPress, it creates a page for each image. This, as I understand, is horrible for SEO! I’ve been going through all my entries and reuploading photos to a different folder in my domain. Some were on Flickr even from when I first started, which means I was totally missing out on clicks from google searches. Reply dea win August 29th, 2012 GREAT TIPS!!!!!!!!!!! Reply Juliet November 8th, 2012 This was really useful, thank you! Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Name* Email* Website Comment Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.