SEO Basics for Bloggers

This post was originally published on Likeable Daily. 

SEO Basics for Bloggers

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) seems confusing, but once you get a hang of it, you’ll see that it isn’t so difficult–and will really drive traffic to your blog or business. The other day, my dad marveled at how fast he could find results on Google. He asked me if gnomes run all of the searches (I’m fairly certain he was joking but he did just recently learn that a Blackberry is a phone and not just an email device, so who knows). He wasn’t far off: Search Engine Spiders crawl the web to understand websites and prioritize how they show up in search. SEO is a huge topic–there are courses on it, books about it, and a plethora of research–but I’m going to off with a few simple tips.

Here are the SEO basics for bloggers.

Offsite SEO Techniques: If other bloggers, companies, and websites link to your site, it is good for your SEO. It indicates that you are producing quality content that other people want to read. According to Pro Blogger, it is especially beneficial if the inbound links are from high ranked sites, are relevant to topics that you’ve written about, and use relevant keywords in the link. There are a lot of ways to increase offsite SEO, but my biggest advice is to produce quality content, form relationships with other bloggers, and guest post on other blogs and online publications.

Onsite SEO Techniques: As the name indicates, these are techniques implemented on your site. They include: post title, meta links, and keywords.

Post Title: Your blog posts should have titles that make people want to click and read your post. A best practice for titles is to think about what words you would search for to find the post. Titles should be catchy, intriguing, and descriptive. Include keywords early in the title so that people know what the post will be about. Make it clear what the reader will find when they click the link–you will be rewarded for having people stay on your site instead of leaving right away.

Permalink: This is a link to a specific blog post. Unlike the post title, a permalink is optimized for SEO rather than readers so it can be something simple like “seo-basics-for-bloggers.” Put hyphens in between words and use lowercase letters. Include a keyword early in the permalink so that the topic of the post is clear.

Keyword Rich Content: Keywords are the terms that people will search for to get to your blog post. Pro Blogger recommends thinking about how you would want people to find the post in search engines, what people will type into a search engine to find your topic, and the results that come up when you type the keywords into a search engine. There are a lot of details regarding the placement of keywords in a post, but the most general rule of the thumb is to include them a few times throughout the post. Just be careful not to dilute your content–the post has to make sense and the reader’s enjoyment has to be your main priority. Don’t spam your readers with keywords.

Interlinking: This is linking to other posts and pages on your blog or website. When you post a link on a post or page, the spider will crawl to it. Perhaps more important, your readers will be more likely to go to your other posts. One tactic that has exponentially increased page views for my clients’ blogs is including “recommended reading” at the end of every post, linking to similar and relevant posts.

Outbound Linking: Linking to resources and other sites is helpful for your readers and for increasing SEO because it shows that your site is a beneficial resource. I recommend having all links open in a different tab so that people stay on your site and continue reading.

Domain Name: Your domain name is the name of your blog. Choose it wisely. It should be descriptive, easy to remember, and relevant to your content.

Description: Your description is a short description of what your blog is about. If you search a blog or business in Google, the description will appear. It should be short, descriptive, and relevant.

Images: If you optimize your images for SEO, they may come up in image searches. This will also benefit your SEO on Pinterest.

  • Alt-Tag: Google uses the Alt-Tag to understand what the photo and post is about. Alt-Tag is really important for bloggers because it’s what the Pinterest description will be when someone pins directly from your site. The Alt-Tag should describe the image or the post. For example, for this post I would make the Alt-Tag, “SEO Basics for Bloggers by Likeable Media’s Elana Lyn Gross”.
  • Image Title: An image title shows up when someone puts the cursor over an image.
  • Image Filename: Instead of naming the image DSC1000.jpg, you should give it a descriptive name that the spider can read and understand. Use keywords and hyphens to separate words. Instead of naming an image “Recipe1,” I’d name it “spaghetti-squash-mac-and-cheese-recipe.jpg.”

Content: The most important SEO tips don’t involve titles, tags, or keywords. The best way to increase your SEO is to consistently write original content that provides value to your readers. You will have more information that will then come up in search results. Plus, you will create a loyal following of people who come back over and over to read your posts and learn from you.

What other SEO tips would you add? I’d like to cover more blogging tips (someone recently wrote to me asking about Twitter tips) what should I write about next?

Image: Adapted from Lola and Leopold.

Sorry Not Sorry!

How many times have you caught yourself apologizing for something that you shouldn’t actually be apologizing for? I catch myself saying it all the time. It has become a reflex reaction for many women and it should stop. There are times when it is necessary to say sorry but there are also times that we are saying sorry when there is nothing to be apologizing for. It can make us seem less confident, poised, or authoritative which affects how we are viewed inside and outside of work.

I loved the Pantene commercial, “Not Sorry.” I did a bit more research after finding the video and I found a press release explaining that the video is part of a more robust campaign and initiative. I also enjoyed the Time article, I’m Sorry, But Women Really Need to Stop Apologizing. The well researched article ties in the opinions of leaders like Sheryl Sandberg as well as prominent researchers.

Here is all the info you need to know!

CINCINNATI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Pantene (NYSE: PG) evolves its global Shine Strong campaign with the launch of the global Shine Strong Fund and a new thought-provoking video that tackles a common but unconscious behavior many women engage in everyday: over-apologizing.

“We are certain this evolution of the Shine Strong campaign and roll-out of the global Shine Strong Fund will inspire action and change. We believe the message of the “Not Sorry”

Pantene’s Shine Strong campaign first took shape in December 2013 following the worldwide success of a viral video titled “Labels,” originating from the Philippines, depicting gender labels in the workplace (more than 46MM YouTube views to date). Pantene’s latest video titled “Not Sorry” is designed to spark a dialogue about how women unknowingly minimize their strength with the subtle, yet powerful behavior of unnecessarily saying ‘sorry,’ when there is no reason to apologize.

“Pantene is committed to helping women across the globe be strong and shine both inside and out,” said Colleen Jay, President, P&G Global Hair Care & Color. “We are certain this evolution of the Shine Strong campaign and roll-out of the global Shine Strong Fund will inspire action and change. We believe the message of the “Not Sorry” video will resonate with women, encouraging them to be more aware of this diminishing behavior and, in turn, prevent any bias they may be unconsciously creating.”

The Pantene Shine Strong Fund:
The overwhelmingly positive response to the Shine Strong campaign inspired Pantene to continue the conversation, ignite change and help more women in more ways through the creation of a new global Shine Strong Fund. The mission of the Shine Strong Fund is to educate and enable women to overcome bias and/or societal expectations so they may reach their full potential, as well as celebrate the many strong women in the world who exemplify the essence of Shine Strong.

In the U.S., Pantene’s Shine Strong Fund will kick-off with a collaboration with the American Association of University Women (AAUW), a top-rated charity that has been empowering women on campus and in the work-place since 1881. The fund will underwrite monetary grants and give access to influential leaders to enable women to be strong and shine, whether on college campuses, in the workplace or in the community.

“Pantene’s commitment to raising awareness about unconscious bias and stereotypes is a perfect link with AAUW’s core mission,” said AAUW Executive Director and CEO Linda D. Hallman, CAE. “We look forward to further exploring these important topics and seeing how our student members bring the conversations to life within campuses and communities across the country.”

In the U.S., the Pantene Shine Strong Fund will provide women with resources in several areas:

  • College Grants Program: Beginning in August 2014, students will apply for the AAUW and Pantene Shine Strong Campus Action Project (CAP) grant program. The program is designed to challenge women student leaders on college campuses throughout the country to initiate change and tackle harmful gender biases and stereotypes that permeate our culture. Grants will be awarded spring in the semester and Grantees will present their work at AAUW and NASPA’s National Conference for College Women Student Leaders in June 2015.
  • Professional Training Programs: Pantene will provide professional women with various tools and resources for bias awareness and prevention, including a monthly web chat series, hosted by female leaders from across several industries, to help them succeed in the workplace.
  • Giving Back in the Community: The Pantene Beautiful Lengths program is one way the brand will connect with women in the community. Pantene provides free, real-hair wigs to women undergoing cancer treatment to help them feel and look like themselves and overcome some of the biases associated with cancer.

More details about the Shine Strong campaign can be found at www.pantene.com/shinestrong.

ABOUT PANTENE® PRO-V:
The Pantene® Pro-V line includes 21 collections that help provide all women with healthy, beautiful hair. The current Pantene® Pro-V offerings include: Expert Collection Advanced+ Keratin Repair, Expert Collection AgeDefy, Anti-Breakage, Aqua Light, Beautiful Lengths, Classic Care, Color Preserve, Curly Hair Series, Daily Moisture Renewal, Everlasting Ends, Expressions, Heat Shield, Ice Shine, Nature Fusion, Repair & Protect, Smooth, Stylers, Volume, Truly Natural, Truly Relaxed, and Ultimate 10. Pantene Pro-V technologies advance with the help of the Pantene Hair Research Institute (PHRI). The Institute, established in 2012, is the modern incarnation of Pantene’s commitment to partnering with leading hair health experts by joining 12 leading independent hair scientists with 7 senior P&G scientists to further what is possible in healthy hair care.

Pantene products are available nationwide at drug stores, food stores and mass merchandisers. Pricing is at the sole discretion of the retailer. Suggested retail prices for products range from $3.99 to $18.99 each.

About AAUW:
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Our nonpartisan, nonprofit organization has more than 170,000 members and supporters across the United States, as well as 1,000 local branches and more than 800 college and university partners. Since AAUW’s founding in 1881, our members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political. Learn more and join us at www.aauw.org.

What do you think of the campaign? I’d love to hear your thoughts!