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Blogging 101: SEO for Beginners

Posted 2 months ago by April S

If you’re new to our blog, you may have missed the other posts in our “blogging 101” series. They covered popular topics like how to start a blog, what blogging entails, writing quality content, creating a blog schedule and Google Analytics. The series is designed to help our customers learn more about blogging in the 21st century.

So, your blog numbers are not where you would like them to be. While there are many potential reasons, one of the most overlooked relates to keywords and SEO. What’s the main goal of any blog strategy? First and foremost, you want to ensure people find your content online. After that, you’ll need to figure out ways to attract the right customers if you want to convert leads into sales. While this may seem like a lot, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you can start small and build on your knowledge. Start by understanding the basics, then figure out how you can use your newfound knowledge to help improve your blog, website or business.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is an intimidating term. What does it mean? Why should you care about it? And what do you really need to know to implement a sound strategy?

When putting together content what is your goal? You want people to find your blog, right? How do you do that? By writing quality content that helps customers in some way and by integrating strategic keywords in all the right places. When done right, your content will rank higher in organic (or unpaid) search results. Before that will happen, you’ll need to learn more about SEO and how it works.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. According to the MOZ website, SEO is “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.”

Say what?

To the average person, the mere mention of SEO may elicit a confused or baffled look. While at it’s most basic level the concept of SEO isn’t that difficult to grasp a lot of people don’t know how it works. To get a better feel for what goes into SEO, let’s break down the elements:

Quality: The quality of blog traffic refers to attracting the right customers. You want to attract people interested in the products or services you offer. So, if you have a baking blog, it’s a good idea to attract people looking for baking recipes and not people interested in buying baked goods (unless you also run a bakery).

Quantity: At the basic level, the quantity refers to the amount of traffic to a blog or website. However, an increase in the number of quality leads is better than simply increasing the amount of traffic from SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).

Organic results: Refers to any traffic coming to your blog or website you don’t have to pay for with advertisements or Adwords. SEO done right will improve organic results and in turn save you money.

Optimization: One of the parts of SEO is optimization. This is the part that’s a little easier to understand. Basically, when creating content it’s important to think about both search engines and potential visitors to your blog. By optimizing your content, you’ll improve rankings and attract more people to your blog.

Search Engines: Start by putting a lot of thought into the structure of your blog posts to help search engines understand and index your content. To do this, you’ll need to incorporate relevant and descriptive keywords in your title tags, meta descriptions, headings and alt text.

Visitors: Ultimately, visitors or potential customers are the ones that really matter. When creating blog content it’s important to consider how visitors will react to your content. Will they like what they find?

There’s a lot more that goes into Search Engine Optimization and rankings. This blog post only scratches the surface of what SEO entails. We invite you to delve deeper into what’s involved in keyword research and SEO by taking advantage of the resources listed below.

Learn More About SEO:

Use Lynda.com to expand your knowledge or expertise

Lynda.com provides for people with varying levels of knowledge. You’ll find short videos, courses and learning paths designed to help users become an expert in their field of choice. Use your Toledo Library card to access this great learning tool 24 hours a day.

Recommended Lynda.com courses:

  • SEO Foundations with David Booth
  • Improve SEO for Your Website by Sam Dey
  • SEO: Keyword Strategy with Matt Bailey
  • Local SEO with Brad Batesole

Additional Online Tools:

Recommended Books and Audiobooks:

SEO for Dummies
by Peter Kent

Don’t let the name of this series fool you. These books are popular for very good reasons. The dummies’ books tackle a variety of topics and are geared towards non-experts. And you can count on them to include an abundance of helpful tips and tricks. This book is recommended for anyone interested in learning more about the basics of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, and how it is essential for the success of any blog or website.

In this book, you’ll learn how to: create and maintain a website that ranks at the top of search engines, use social media to boost your profile, develop an effective search strategy, analyze results with tracking tools and maximize content marketing strategies.
SEO: The Ultimate Search Engine Optimization Guide for Marketers and Entrepreneurs
by Mark Robertson

This audiobook will help you gain a firm understanding of how SEO works and how you can use it to rank better and boost traffic to your website or blog.

After listening to this audiobook, you’ll be able to answer these questions: What is Search Engine Optimization? How do you select keywords for SEO? What website factors affect SEO? Why is important to build backlinks? Are there any SEO tips for small business owners?