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SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
This basically means that there are certain things you should do/add to your blog and blog posts, for them to rank higher in search engines (ex. Google).
If you have a blog, you want to start using SEO from the very start. And if you want to learn, there’s nowhere better than the SEO for dummies guide!
Although at first, you will not rank very high (as your blog will be new), but using basic SEO from the very start, will help you build the foundation for later on.
Then when you’re more established and you want to focus on your SEO game, the ground work will be already laid out.
The SEO For Dummies Guide
There are a few things you should be doing while you’re still new:
1. Download the Yoast SEO plugin. This is free btw.
2. Get search engines to index your site.
3. Use long tail keywords.
4. Link to your other posts.
5. Get blogs which are more established than you, to link back to your blog.
Yoast SEO is a very easy-to use plugin.
You absolutely NEED to add this plugin to your site in order to increase your search engine optimization.
This plugin is the very basis of SEO for dummies.
Index Your Blog With Yoast SEO
With this plugin, you can make it easier for search engines to index your blog.
After you install the Yoast Seo plugin, you should enable the XML Sitemap feature.
Huh? What? What is that? And how do I do that?
It is a map of your blog. Your posts, categories, pages and everything are listed in this map.
To do this: first, you need to select the Yoast Seo> Dashboard> Features.
Then you have to enable the advanced settings page.
Then you can go back to the plugin menu:
And select ‘XML Sitemaps’.
Right at the top of the page, you will see this:
Make sure it’s ‘Enabled’.
Click on the ‘XML sitemap’ link.
A new window will open. Copy the part of the URL highlighted below:
Then you have to go to your Google Console account (read a tutorial on how to open one here).
Select Crawl> Sitemaps.
Now, if you look to your right you should see this:
Paste the URL you copied.
And now your sitemap should be submitted to Google.
PROTIP: Please note that after submitting your sitemap, it could take a few days for any indexing results to appear.
Blog Post Optimization With Yoast SEO
The plugin has a variety of features which make sure you have optimized your blog posts for SEO and readability (grammatical optimization).
When you have Yoast SEO installed, at the bottom of your blog post editor, you will see this:
This feature is the readability optimization part. It gives you pointers on the presentation and the reading ease of the blog post.
Having a green circle on the tab means that the text is optimized enough.
Then you can switch tabs to the keyword section. You will see this:
In here, you have to type in your blog post title.
PROTIP: Making sure you make this catchy enough to attract attention!
The slug is the URL. This is usually a shorter version of your blog title.
And the meta description. This usually appears here:
PROTIP: Filling in the meta description does not mean that Google will choose to display it under the title. Sometimes Google just shows other parts of the text!
Then if you continue scrolling down, you will find the keyword section:
You can enter the focus keyword in the space given.
In the ‘analysis section’, you can find all the things you need to correct in the post to make it optimized for SEO.
Make sure to read the analysis section well, and adjust all (or almost) the points in red.
PROTIP: Make sure that your keyword appears in:
• The title
• The Slug
• At least 1 header
• The meta description
• In the Alt text of the images
• And throughout the text
PROTIP: Cornerstone content is basically, the essence of your blog. What posts are the core of your blog? There should usually be 4 to 5 cornerstone blog posts.
Now, if you look to the side of the Yoast SEO section, you should see a sharing icon. If you click it, you will see this:
Here you can optimize Facebook and Twitter posts too!
It really is the all-in-one SEO for dummies plugin!
When your site has grown quite a bit and you want to increase your SEO level, make sure to read this tutorial. This post contains everything the Yoast SEO plugin can do!
Long-tail vs Short Keywords
When you’re starting out, make sure you use long tail keywords.
This means that if your blog post is about SEO for beginners, don’t use SEO as your keyword. Use ‘SEO for beginners’ or ‘SEO for new bloggers’, ‘SEO for dummies’ or something like that.
Using the words ‘SEO’ as your keyword will put you in a very competitive and fierce market, as many people will have used it as their own (or part of their own) keyword. This reduces your chances of ranking high in search engines.
Using keyword with 3+ words, lets you target more specific search results. And so, you are more likely to rank high, as there is less competition.
Finding The Perfect Keyword
There are multiple ways to find the perfect keyword for your blog post.
This is by far the best way to find keywords, in my honest opinion. But there’s a catch… it’s a paid service.
KWFinder is an amazing way to find keywords.
You just have to type in your topic and a list of keywords related to your topic will pop up.
BUT not only that!
I mean many free websites do that.
But KWfinder also shows you the monthly searches for each keyword as well as the difficulty of ranking for that keyword!
First, you need to type your keyword and hit ‘find keywords’.
I searched for ‘set up AdSense’ for my Setting up Adsense Tutorial.
As you can see, ‘Set up AdSense’ has 93 monthly searches and its ranking probability is still easy.
PROTIP: When looking for the perfect keyword, try to aim for ‘still easy’ ranking possibility and moderate monthly searches. This gets you the best shot at ranking high in search engines.
On the right-hand side, you can see the websites that are ranking for the keyword right now.
Under our keyword, you can find multiple keyword suggestions and their results.
I absolutely love this keyword finder.
If you want to check it out, KWFinder gives you 3 free trials per 24 hours!
Google Keywords Planner
For a free option, you can use the Google Adwords keywords planner.
PROTIP: Sometimes this feature does not work for everyone. Some people may not be able to use this. But don’t worry, there is another free option.
To access the keyword planner, you need to go to Adwords and sign in with your Google account.
Select Tools> Keyword planner.
Select ‘Search for new keywords’:
Type in your topic and click ‘Get Ideas’.
Your first result will be the term you searched for exactly. I searched for SEO and the below result came up.
If you scroll down, you will find alternative keyword ideas.
And you can find your keyword from here.
Please note that the average monthly searches aren’t very accurate and are displayed in ranges, but it is usually good enough for beginner SEO. The prices listed are average bids for ads on that topic.
Warning: The above is just an example. Always search with long-tail keywords.
Adwords Alternative- Uber Suggest
Uber Suggest is an other easy to use keyword finder.
Just type in your topic and look through the keywords list.
PROTIP: If you look through the keywords, and you still aren’t satisfied:
Go to Google, type in one of the long-tail keywords, scroll down to the bottom and look through the related searches:
Linking Between Posts
If one of your posts did very well and is now ranking high in search engines, linking from that post to newer posts, will pass on ‘authority’.
This shows Google that the newer post is also good as the older, more established post, thought it was good enough to link to it.
So always update and interlink your posts to pass authority to your new blog posts.
Get Others To Link To You
Getting links from other websites which are older/bigger than yours, will increase your ‘authority’ to the search engines. This means that you will likely rank higher.
Ways to get links from other blogs:
• Guest post and link to your blog in your description.
• Do reviews and let blogs know about it.
• Let people know about awesome blog posts you wrote, that they might be interested to link to.
That’s it, friend!
That is the SEO for dummies guide. Everything you should know about SEO when you’re just starting out.
I know it’s a lot of info in this SEO for dummies guide. And you probably feel overwhelmed from just reading the post, but if you do it step by step, you will do it in no time!
If needed, you can also re-read anytime… it will be here 😉
And also, don’t stress too much about rankings for now, just make sure you start doing some SEO work now and then rankings will come later on.
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