blue and white seo sign for search engine optimization post
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a HUGE topic. So large in fact, many blogs are dedicated to just that. Books are written about it, and some businesses are built around it.

In the comments of the  Readers vs Bots, Making Everyone Happy post, Patricia of Patricia’s Wisdom asked if I could write more about SEO. I promised her I would.

A search engine optimization expert, I am not, but I do know if bloggers want to get search engine traffic, some degree of SEO must be used.

Today”s Lesson

In a nutshell, here’s what I feel is true about search engine optimization.

  1. If we are targeting readers who are searching for widgets, then we need to write about widgets.

    If we are trying to get search engine traffic to a article (or a blog) which is about widgets, but we go off track and start writing about shoes (for example), the search engines aren’t going to send us people who are looking for widgets. Our posts need to stay on topic.

  2. We can rank high with one search engine, but not on another.

    Many bloggers concentrate on ranking high with Google, however Yahoo, Bing or another search engine may be a better choice. With Google currently being the biggest search engine, it may be best to concentrate our efforts on getting more traffic from the smaller search engines where there may be less competition.

  3. Search engine optimization can change the way we write.

    If we want search engine traffic, we need to tell the search engines we have a relevant post about a specific topic. This is done by using keywords and/or keyword phrases. Although those posts may need to be worded differently than how we normally write, challenging ourselves to write for the search engines (and our readers, too) may help to gain a larger readership.

  4. Every post does not have to be search engine optimized.

    On this blog, I seldom use SEO. It’s not that I don’t want search engine traffic, but I either forget to include it, I get lazy, or I’m not sure how to optimize a specific topic. Having said that, just having a handful of posts that are optimized can help to keep search engine traffic coming our way.

  5. Catchy titles can attract the wrong audience.

    In a previous lesson we learned how using catchy titles can deceive our readers and the search engines. Although we may get traffic based on the words we used in our title, chances are we are not reaching our target audience.

  6. Even the most carefully optimized post may not get found.

    Because the search engines use parameters other than just optimization of posts, even a perfectly written post may not get highly indexed by the search engines. Search engines consider page rank, inbound links, the credibility of a site (plus other algorithms), therefore, if our post is on a subject in an already saturated market, search engine optimization could all be for naught.

  7. When we pick keywords or keyword phrases, we’re just guessing others will use the same terms

    If we look at our stats and see how others find us, they often use search terms we wouldn’t even think of. Although we can’t possibly know what search strings people will enter, it’s important we consider possibilities other than the obvious.

So there you have it, my seven simple tips on SEO.

Today’s Assignment

Do you use search engine optimization in your posts?

If so, do you have any tips to share with the class?

If not, what about SEO confuses you?

Raise your hand and share your thoughts.

signature for blog post.

And now, seven fabulous resources on search engine optimization:

  1. SEO Tips For WordPress Bloggers (Video) by Matt Cutts (a Google executive) – posted on John Hoff’s blog. I strongly recommend watching this video in it’s entirety.

  2. Google Webmaster Central
  3. Log into your account and search “help” for webmaster resources.
  4. plus their toolbox
  5. Best SEO Practices for Creative Writers – courtesy of Jan Geronimo
  6. SEO and Accessibility by Joe Dolson
  7. 101 Great Blogs You Should Be Subscribing To Starting at number 36, Kevin lists 12 blogs which specialize in SEO
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  1. Hi Barbara. Great tips. To add to your last point, you can also use the Google Keyword Tool to figure out what search terms are being put into Google Search.

    So let’s say, for example, you want to write about “blog landing page optimization”. You could then head over to the Google Keyword Tool (just Google it) and type in the keywords you want to rank for.

    Next take a look at the total search queries for last month on those terms. You might find 10,000 hits for the search term “optimizing my blog” and only 20 hits for “blog landing page optimization”.

    In that case, which do you think would be the better SEO title for your article?
    .-= Check out John Hoff – WP Blog Host´s awesome post: More Web Tools To Make Your Life Easier & More Profitable Online =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi John,

      Thank you for adding the tip about Google Keyword Tool. I’ve looked at it and it does give good ideas for other search terms to use as well as how people are searching.

      One thing that does make me wonder though is, should we use the terms that get the most hits? Or should be look for a term that may get a few less, thus giving us less competition for the keyword or keyword phrase? What do you think?

  2. Hi Barbara,

    I use it, but not as often as I should. I prefer to write what I want to write, and SEO be damned.
    .-= Check out Wendy Sullivan´s awesome post: Autumn Leaves =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Wendy,

      I hear you. When we sit down to our computers full of creativity, we just want to write and not worry about SEO. That’s one good thing about SEO though, we don’t have to use it in every post. Yay!

  3. I have no idea what I’m doing with/for SEO. My blog is a humor blog and I doubt I could ever achieve high ranking for any one search term. That’s because on any give post, I could be talking about my love of bacon, the time my bathing suit top fell off in front of a lucky boy, or when I got lost .2 of a mile from my house. I’m all over the map.

    I do get a decent amount of search engine traffic, but it’s so random I can’t optimize it. I do have a PR4 blog, though, so I guess that’s a little bit of something and helps people reach me.
    .-= Check out Junk Drawer Kathy´s awesome post: Do You Write Cursive Anymore? =-.

    • TracyNo Gravatar says:

      Kathy, do you get the humor writer’s guilt when one of your posts somehow gets a lot of search traffic and you know some poor sap is walking away from it totally confused?

      I was thinking about that today because I’ve had a lot of folks coming in for “the inside of my ear itches” or some variation. The helpful advice, it is not to be found on my blog.
      .-= Check out Tracy´s awesome post: Why I’m Glad to be a Quitter =-.

      • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

        Hi Tracy,

        Your comment about your itchy ear reminded me of a search term I just saw in my stats. It was “my wife doesn’t show me any affection”. I think that landed on my blog from my “alienation of affection” post. 🙂

      • Tracy, Yes that happens sometimes. Mine is certainly not an informational blog! Although I think I might have helped some people when I wrote about how to get rid of warts (I had one on my forehead once, and used Vitamin E to rid of it). It cracks me up to think what their response must be when people hit my blog for a completely innocent search and get something like how smelly my cat’s gas is. It’s always a crap shoot.
        .-= Check out Junk Drawer Kathy´s awesome post: Do You Write Cursive Anymore? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kathy,

      I know what you mean. Although you could try to optimize each post, it might be hard to figure out what to optimize it for. Now your post today on cursive writing – I can see that getting hits for that subject and those who land on it would probably be using search terms pertaining to cursive writing.

      Food for thought. Check out the Google keywords tool and see if it helps at all. Here’s the link –

      • Barb, I’m going to go out on a limb and embarrass myself here. You’re saying that all I need to do is weave in certain popular search terms into a post and that’s it? Do I have to do anything on the blog backend, like use a plug-in, to optimize the blog itself to make the words stand out somehow? I’m completely clueless.

        And so for that link you provided, I should search for certain words I want to use in a post and make sure it’s a word or phrase that has the highest search volume?
        .-= Check out Junk Drawer Kathy´s awesome post: Do You Write Cursive Anymore? =-.

        • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

          Hi Kathy,

          I wish it was as simple as that, but I’m guessing it’s not. What I have found is the title of our post SEEMS to hold the most weight. Then as we write, like you said, weave in your keyword(s) or keyword phrases. If we use the words too often, it’s called “keyword stuffing” and Google doesn’t like that and might view it as spam. On one site I read we should use the keywords 3-8%, but I haven’t a clue if that is correct information. (So for a 100 word post – 3-8 times)

          As for a plugin, I use the All in One SEO Pack (

          Like John and I discussed, and Tracy mentioned it too, we need to decide if we want to use the keywords that are the most popular, or use keywords that are maybe not so popular and be in a less competitive “market”.

          John’s advice to test is spot on. Also, check out the video on John’s blog. It’s 48 minutes long but is filled with tons of valuable information – from a Google executive.

  4. Hi Barbara – Great tips. I know I need to be more disciplined about this. John’s tip is great for evaluating headlines, too. Thanks.
    .-= Check out Betsy Wuebker´s awesome post: THROUGH A GLASS GRIMLY, PART 3 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Betsy,

      SEO is something I think we all could pay a little more attention to, but it, like other parts of blogging, does take time. With that said though, I do know it helps to get our blogs found, even if we only use it on a handful of posts.

  5. What seriously confuses me about SEO is… say 1000 people have written the same kind of informational post and have it optimized. I don’t understand how they can all compete for the same readers, seems like there would be just too much dilution. And obviously most won’t come even close to the top of a search. Any thoughts on that?
    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: Like a bord on a wire, 11– Funny Typos =-.

    • Hey there my Jannie girl. There are a number of factors that goes into who might get the best placement.

      For example, let’s say myself, you, Barbara, and Vered all write very similar articles on the topic of web hosting. In fact, the articles are almost identical.

      Who gets the best spot on Google?

      Remember, there are a number of things which affect SEO. Who has more relevant links pointing to their site (or that specific article) from other sites which have something to do with web hosting? And are those links from sites with higher PageRank? That helps.

      Also, who’s site is ALL about web hosting (menus, sidebar links, blog title, etc.) and who’s is about “MomGrind”? Google knows that my site has a lot to do with web hosting, so that’s going factor in.

      So in short, articles and the way in which you write your articles have a lot to do with SEO, but it’s not everything. Google will look at which site has more relevant incoming links, which site is more about web hosting in general, which site has the keyword term in the root domain name (i.e. vs., and believe it or not, geographic location could factor in as well.
      .-= Check out John Hoff – WP Blog Host´s awesome post: More Web Tools To Make Your Life Easier & More Profitable Online =-.

  6. TracyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara, as a rule I don’t spend too much time on SEO besides making sure the blog as a whole is fairly SEO friendly (pretty urls, that sort of thing).

    I did however do exactly as John described when I started posting recipes and it’s been a good source of traffic. Since I have good PR but am not a top blog, what I try to do is optimize for the variations that are getting in the 10K neighborhood of posts. There’s a much better chance that I’ll be on page 1 for those search results and I’d rather be on the first page of a term that gets 10K searches than page 10 of a term that gets 100K searches.
    .-= Check out Tracy´s awesome post: Why I’m Glad to be a Quitter =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tracy,

      Good point. Our permalinks can make a difference, too. That’s one think Matt Cutts discusses in the video (see link at bottom of post).

      So, you think the same way I do then. Like I mentioned to John, I questioned if it was better to use search terms that are used a little less than the top ones. I like the way you explained that.

  7. jan geronimoNo Gravatar says:

    I use Thesis theme – highly optimized for SEO and such dreary stuff. Ask Joanna Young and Brad Shorr. “,)

    There’s the ascendancy of social media SEO. I discovered that on top of my referring sites are social media sites. Twitter is number one, TwitterGadget somewhere in the middle, and StumbleUpon is number 10. Perhaps we need to make our post titles social media friendly? That’s a thought.

    Of course, I’d be happy if search engines find me, too. Currently, it’s a dismal 10% of my overall traffic. George suggestion is great. This can be very helpful to get search engine hits – using Google Keyword Tool.

    The only optimization I do is making use of H3 tags. I use alt attributes for my pictures. I write meta description for my post. And with lots of reading on the side, I’m going to craft title tags, too. Can you believe that after nearly 10 months of blogging, I’m finally doing these basic things? LOL
    .-= Check out jan geronimo´s awesome post: Giving Good Loving To My Top Follow Friday People =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jan,

      With you being so active in social media (I see you on Twitter), I don’t know if we would have to make our titles more social media friendly, as much as just writing a good description for our blog post when we include the link. With that said, seems I heard our tweets can also be crawled by the bots. Don’t quote me on that, but somewhere I read SEO is important on social media sites, too.

      Yes, the Google Keyword Tool that John mentioned is a great resource when we’re in doubt how to word things. I haven’t checked yet, but do wonder if Yahoo and/or Bing have the same type of search tool.

  8. George AngusNo Gravatar says:


    I am certainly guilty of the catchy title thing but I’m careful to not mislead the reader.

    In terms of SEO, It is in the back of my mind but I try not to let keyword placement interfere with the natural flow of writing.

    I figure the blog will grow enough if I’m consistent with content.


    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi George,

      It’s hard not to use those catchy titles, isn’t it? Although I know using them is not the best practice, sometimes we just have to. 🙂

      You mentioned consistent content. I don’t know if you clicked on the link in tip #6, but that site is saying “Google’s Algorithm is Shifting” and content may not necessarily be king as much, as Google may be looking at other aspects of a blog. Check it out if you have a chance and let me know what you think.

  9. jan geronimoNo Gravatar says:

    Silly boy has struck again…. Thanks a lot for including my post in your list of SEO resources to check out. Very much appreciated, Barbara. Yey!
    .-= Check out jan geronimo´s awesome post: Giving Good Loving To My Top Follow Friday People =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jan,

      It was my pleasure. I wanted the readers to have lots to choose from and that post was filled with tons of value. Thank YOU!

  10. Hi Barbara

    SEO has its place in the world of blogging like everything else. The key is to do it so it’s seamless for our readers. A well structured post, with great tags and categories and powerful writing it’s where I would place my money on.
    .-= Check out Miguel de Luis´s awesome post: (via 22pence) =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Miguel,

      That’s very true. If we can learn to incorporate SEO in such a way our posts are a joy for our visitors to read, plus meet with the SEO requirements(?), it’s a winning combination.

  11. Barbara — I wanted to add one more thing here. I really like your blog, especially that you respond individually to people’s comments. There’s a really nice vibe here. It seems less and less of the bloggers I follow respond to comments. Maybe I’m wrong, but it just feels that way.

    I really like when bloggers engage me. I do it on my own blog. In rare cases, where there are too many comments for a personal response, I respond in to everyone in a single response. That happened with my latest post. But the great majority of times, I respond personally to every comment in 10-15 comment batches. I love my readers and want to show them that I’m listening to what they have to say and appreciate their visits and comments. It’s one of the biggest reasons for my relative success.

    Anyway, just wanted to say thank you for making your blog an informative and welcoming place to visit!
    .-= Check out Junk Drawer Kathy´s awesome post: Do You Write Cursive Anymore? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome and thank you for your kind words Kathy,

      With this blog, that’s exactly what I wanted to do. With my target audience being other bloggers (new and not so new), I want to make this a place where anyone can come, have their say, get questions answered or just hang out and read. Your comment affirms that’s working. 🙂

  12. Great post on SEO! I’ve just started using it a little bit with my posts, but I think I need to do more of it if I want to attract more readers to my site. Thanks for sharing these great tips.
    .-= Check out Positively Present´s awesome post: light up your life: 5 ways to make your path brighter =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Dani,

      SEO is a huge topic. I hope what I wrote and the links give you a good starting point. As I mentioned earlier, the video (#1 link at bottom of post) was the most helpful for me.

  13. Anne FoxNo Gravatar says:

    I like #2. People tend to forget about optimizing with other search engine. With that reason alone, Google provide too many similar information that make the competition among sites too high.

    SEO and good content must come along together. Until now, I still find it hard to optimize a particular post. I wonder how experts do it excellently.
    .-= Check out Anne Fox´s awesome post: How to Treat Angular Cheilitis =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Anne,

      That’s true. With everyone always talking about “goolging”, it’s easy to forget there are other search engines out there.

      How the experts do it is a good question. With there being so many variables to SEO, I imagine they’re constantly testing plus trying to stay abreast of any changes. And, who’s to know they get it right all the time, too?

  14. Hi Barbara,
    I simply loved your blog and I really liked the way you are replying back to all the comments. As far as SEO is concerned I think it is not difficult but it does require a lot of patience. It is such a vast topic. I have recently started writing about SEO in my blog and there is so much to write.
    .-= Check out Katherine johnson´s awesome post: Understanding Keyword Research Methodology =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Katherine,

      I checked out your blog. It’s looking great.

      With writing about SEO, you’ll definitely have plenty of information for your posts. I know when Patricia asked me to expand on SEO and I started putting this post together, it got so long and overwhelming I finally just had to cut it down, list what I know works, and provide a list of links that were helpful to me.

      I like how you’re taking it in small bites. I’ll be following your blog and see if I can pick up more tips. 🙂

  15. DotNo Gravatar says:

    This is a great start, I think (I hope). Am I the only one who thinks SEO is a big pain in the a$$? It’s not like there’s one thing you can do, but you’ve got to go here and try this, go there and test that, change what you wrote, second-guess your audience, etc. And you get different advice from each “expert.” I never wanted to be a Madison Avenue type, and I don’t want to have to be doing all that market research. Perhaps eventually there will be software that can do that for us so we can just write.

    If it weren’t for catchy post titles, I never would have found Writing Out Loud, so I’m not crazy about using mundane but accurate titles so that Google doesn’t get confused. That’s not our fault — it’s the fault of the search engine. As the ads on TV have told us, as if we didn’t know, search engines are not good at differentiating between meanings. My test of showed that it did differentiate, so that it didn’t get half the results wrong. No, it got 100% of them wrong! It weeding out the meaning I was going for.

    I’ve also found that my blog post entitled “This and That” has gotten more readers than just about any other. I found MomGrind, though I might have eventually found it other ways, because I wanted to know what she meant by that title. Leaving a little mystery can draw people in to find out more. So who do we woo — the reader or Google?

    One thing I’ve learned that isn’t complicated is that the first X words of your post (100, 300, I forget) are processed most by Google. So I stopped beginning my posts with thoughts like, “The other day I was doing a lot of thinking about a whole variety of things, such as a, b, c…” and instead I get right to the point, if I can. It’s better for the readers, too.

    I guess that means, do you want individual readers or large masses of readers. And a lot of it breaks down to — do you want to attract readers or clickers? Those who are trying to support themselves want all the best ways to attract clickers (as well as loyal participants) and those who want a listening audience want readers. Totally different goals.

    I still don’t know what “tags” are. I tried Googling it and didn’t find an answer. Are they those “meta” things we used to have to type in manually on our HTML pages? How do they relate to Google?
    .-= Check out Dot´s awesome post: Comment on Summer Joys by Thanks for visiting…, and for the comments | Exit78 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dot,

      No, you’re not the only one who thinks SEO is a pain. And you’re right. Ask 10 “experts” and you may get ten different opinions. With there being so many variables that can affect how our blogs get indexed, unfortunately it does come down to testing different things on our site.

      Catchy blog names can get our attention, so yes, being original in that respect will attract those who are curious. However, when we write a post and use a catchy or funny title for that, it will unfortunately confuse the search engines.

      What I found works for me is to put myself in my readers shoes and in the shoes of those who are searching online. For example, if a reader is searching for “how much money can I get if I sue my husband for alienation of affection”, landing on my post Wife Sues Husband’s Blog for Alienation of Affection did not give them the answer they were looking for even though I thought it was a catchy title. So in that instance, the search engine gave them what they (the search engine) thought would be a good match. Since then, I’m trying to be a little more careful how I word my post titles by asking myself what I would be typing in if I was searching for that topic.

      With that said though, sometimes I will throw caution to the wind and write a funky title which I hope will amuse my readers.

      You are right in how we start our post. If we start a post by just “talking” (like we would to a friend), unless we’re incorporating keywords or keyword phrases, the search engines either won’t know how to index our posts or they will get buried so far down no one will ever find them.

      Readers vs clickers? Another great point. And that comes down to who we are writing for and like you said, what are our goals with blogging. What I’ve done is to have separate blogs. This one is for readers and where I can come and interact with other bloggers. My other blogs are basically information only blogs. I hope my posts not only answer readers questions, but maybe they will click on an ad or two. And, on my other blogs, I get very few comments – mostly because they pick up the information and leave (similar to how I “act” when I’m searching).

      With regard to tags. The best post I’ve found on this is written by Lorelle. Here’s a link to it, Categories versus Tags – What’s the Difference and Which One?.
      Again, it’s best to test if by using tags it helps to increase your search engine traffic.

      Dot, I wish I could say SEO is as easy as 1-2-3, but unfortunately, it’s not. 🙁

  16. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you for responding to my question…and now with all these great comments I am getting a much better understanding…I think I am not doing this at all! Just by accident …..or good luck!

    I have an out of town meeting today….and another tonight….I will come back an pour over this post until I get some of it implanted and useful…Thank you all for your wisdom sharing!
    .-= Check out Patricia´s awesome post: This Blog Has Been Hijacked… =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Patricia,

      Have fun with your town meetings.

      As you mentioned, the comments are adding more great information so when you come back, you’ll have lots to choose from.

      See you soon.

  17. Hi Barbara,

    I do not use an SEO widget with my blog. It stikes as being too much of a headache and my main concern is that the essence of what I want to write will be lost.

    My concerns is that if I tailor a post for SEO, I will lose a sense of being genuine. Then again, that is just me. Authenticity is really important to me and I think people can sense when a blog post is genuine and when it is designed to get more hits or whatever.

    Of course, maybe there is a way to combine both but I have not come across it.
    .-= Check out Nadia – Happy Lotus´s awesome post: What You Can Learn from a Burger =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Nadia,

      As I was reading your comment, it reminded me that we need to discuss the fact that not every blogger needs to use SEO or even think about it. It really depends on IF we want search engine traffic, why we blog, and who is our target audience.

      I totally understand what you mean about the possibility of losing your authenticity if you begin to “optimize” your posts.

      With that said, I’m thinking you might get some search engine traffic based on your most recent post about the “angry burger sauce”. 🙂

  18. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. wonderful response to the post .. and I so look forward to being here properly and commenting .. looks so interesting – other matters come first for now.

    I’ll be back – Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
    .-= Check out Hilary´s awesome post: Relocating – to Melbourne, to a Lily Pond, back just 156 feet ….? =-.

  19. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. I sure do – it’s so good to have met up with this fantastic group of blogging friends .. appreciate it – and appreciate your reply ..

    I’m not far away – just shattered .. and will do what I can – & no more .. only way to get through ..

    thanks so much – H
    .-= Check out Hilary´s awesome post: Relocating – to Melbourne, to a Lily Pond, back just 156 feet ….? =-.

  20. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. These are all excellent points. I don’t worry too much about SEO anymore, though I will use the Google Keyword Search tool to see if I can at least make the best of the words I’m working with. If there isn’t anything that suits me I go with my title as it is. I will change the permalink in some cases. For my current series I change the spelling of Thyme to Time. But having said that, anyone searching for Island Time isn’t necessary going to be looking for a personal account of a holiday.
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: 6. Island Thyme Reflections =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      That’s a good point – about changing the permalink. I did that on this post too, although I really wonder if I stand a chance writing about SEO in an already saturated topic.

      I like your idea about changing the spelling of thyme, too. Most people wouldn’t be spelling it that way (thyme), but if you do get some hits, even though they may now land on what they are looking for, they’ll find you and your the great story you’re sharing.

  21. BunnygotBlogNo Gravatar says:

    I use wordpress and love it. I also have the advantage of my husband being a web designer so SEO is taken care of.
    I loved the video, it really educated me me on Page rank. It was a very valuable contribution to me.
    This post rocks!!
    .-= Check out BunnygotBlog´s awesome post: Garbaolge! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Bunny,

      How lucky you are to have a web designer for a husband. That takes a lot of pressure off, doesn’t it?

      And the video. It’s great, isn’t it? I love how Matt talks in a language we can all understand.

  22. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I like the way you’ve broken it all down, so it makes it easy for folk to understand.

    As you know, I do sometimes use SEO and I’ve had good results from it. But like you, every now and then I get lazy – I’m going through a lazy spell right now. It’s just far easier and faster to write a non-optimized post.

    Also, it’s easier to think of fun titles when you don’t bother with SEO. But as you say – google doesn’t send us the right traffic when we do that.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Catherine,

      Unfortunately that is true. When we have fun with our titles, Google sends us the “wrong” traffic. Although it’s great to see our numbers increase, if they are not visitors who will stick around, then it’s only a temporary spike.

  23. Barbara,

    Place keywords in the discription of your blog.

    Place keywords in the title.

    Place keywords in the first and last sentence of article at the beginning of the sentences.

    Place keywords in bold at least once in the article. (Repeat your title at the top of your page)

    Spread keywords through out article. You are correct 3-8% per 100 words.

    I don’t worry about this too much because I’m not monetizing my blog. However if I did do it now I’d have traffic when I need it instead of creating it then.

    It’s overwhelming and seems like my articles would be effected.

    I think a good thing to do would be to use the Google thing and get your keywords as soon as you have an idea to write about.
    Then cut and paste them on your page and use them sporatically.

    Gosh I think I’ll go take my own advice now. LOL

    My fear is if I used them and didn’t start ranking I’d lose my joy;)

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tess,

      Thank you for the great tips. I remember reading how we need to sprinkle those keywords and/or keyword phrases throughout our posts, and your comment tells us exactly how to do that.

      Good luck with your optimized posts. 🙂

  24. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    I know what “SEO” stands for. But that’s the extent of my knowledge. I’ve never deliberately used it, and I’ve never read a single word on the subject.

    But what I do know, is that right now, when I type in “deep friar” on Google, my blog is the first thing that comes up.

    I guess that’s supposed to be a GOOD thing, right? 🙂

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Friar,

      Hopefully we all rank first place for our blog title. 🙂

      After our conversation on Twitter, I’ll be interested in hearing how by changing your tagline, your traffic numbers are affected.

  25. what you said about targeting smaller search engines is interesting. I’ll have to give it some thought. I always assumed that if you optimize for Google, it will work for other search engines too.
    .-= Check out vered | blogger for hire´s awesome post: Internet Addiction Rehab Center: Do We Really Need It? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      The reason I used that tip (about targeting other search engines) is because I get traffic from Bing or Yahoo for specific search strings, but if I do a Google search for the exact same words, I can’t even find my blog. I’m not sure why that happens, but I’m guessing it’s explained in their webmaster tools pages.

      I also remember reading that more people like Yahoo as it generates better results – more accurate information and probably less of the sites that may be using black hat SEO.

  26. ChrisNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for the information. I am an SEO and i do hope, more blogs or post about SEO will be posted. SEO is really a huge field to master with.
    .-= Check out Chris´s awesome post: Ladies Electric Razor =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Chris,

      SEO is a huge topic, isn’t it? It definitely takes a long time to master.

  27. George AngusNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for the heads up on the google article Barbara,

    It is one of the better ones I have read. Bite sized and easy to digest info.

    I think the takeaway is that we do need to pay attention to things like linking, PR and RSS subscribers. I also didn’t realize the importance of bounce rates.

    Thanks again!

    .-= Check out George Angus´s awesome post: Here’s Your Chance to be a Writer For a Day! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome George,

      You’re take aways are right on. There’s SO much to SEO, but little by little we can make improvements and hopefully increase our rankings.

  28. Chris EdgarNo Gravatar says:

    That’s interesting that lots of people write their posts for Google — I’ve been trying to get ahead of the curve by writing exclusively for Bing. I put “Bing rocks” in all of my title tags.

    Just pulling your chain. But seriously, this is a valuable reminder of how to interact with the search engines and of the fact that I could stand to know more about the subject.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chris,

      You’re funny. 🙂

      You’re not alone. With there being so much to learn about SEO, and with it changing too, trying to keep up is like a full time job. All we can do is give it our best.

  29. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. it is one of those things that irritates me .. because I really would like to know how SEO works .. but I don’t. It’s on my list to learn.

    However my blog is so eclectic that I don’t think it could easily be categorised .. however I’d love some one to come up with a comprehensive category title for it .. the brain ticks along thinking about it.

    It’s great to have so many comments and also so many sensible ideas – you always have excellent subjects …
    Thanks for inspiring your readers to join in!
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
    .-= Check out Hilary´s awesome post: The Rhythm of Life …. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Hilary,

      SEO is not an easy thing to learn, nor is it easy to understand how it works. Because the search engines do not divulge their tactics for rating websites, a lot of it is guess work. With that said, however, the video (in the links at the end of the post) does a good job of explaining the basics.

      With so much to learn when blogging, my best advice would be to take your time and don’t get so overwhelmed that it takes the joy out of writing.

  30. Bow TiesNo Gravatar says:

    Great article . But I do not agree about optimizing for other less used search engines , because it’s almost the same thing. If you have great authority in google,in bing you’ll have too .
    And , if you are on 3rd position in bing , for example , it’s better to be on 10th position in google,you’ll get more visits from google even if you have a higher position in bing.
    Only 15% use bing instead of 75-80% google ..soo…..

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Bow Ties,

      That is true – Google is more popular than Bing. What I found is I have posts that rate high on Bing, but not on Google. In fact, I can’t even find them within the first five pages (of Google). I’m not certain why that is, but I’m happy the Bing visitors are showing up.

  31. seoofindiaNo Gravatar says:

    I would like to thanks for the lessons first. There is no doubt that we all running for good ranking in google in field of SEO. Not only that google occupy most of the internet traffic but also we generally found that one site optimized well in google can rank good position in other search engine too, If we concentrate little bit effort after good ranking in google for other search engine we can get good position in other search engine too. Thanks for so valuable guide.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Seofindia,

      That’s true. By spending just a small amount of time, we can rank better with all of the search engines.

  32. I think that the best traffic resource for blogs are .. other blogs,of course. Nowadays it’s better to comment on other blogs instead of making seo. If you write good articles/comments you will gain visitors very easy .. Of course,you can make some SEO too, some traffic from google is welcome , but the blogs are still #1
    .-= Check out inflatable pontoons´s awesome post: How Much Performance Can I Expect From My Pontoon Boat? =-.

  33. windowsashNo Gravatar says:

    Blogging has come to the point where my mother actually heard of it. That means that it is not only popular but becoming somewhat mainstream. As a result, people are really starting to voice their opinions by blogging and commenting on blogs. Voicing opinion is one thing, but when it comes to commenting there is a very useful side effect. Commenting can help increase your website’s rankings on certain search engines.