Hey friends! Welcome back to another week of Sewing Blogger 101. This week we’re talking about SEO — specifically, how does SEO work for blog posts?
SEO is one of those terms that I think is really scary to new bloggers. I’ll admit I still don’t really understand how I can maximize it in all aspects of my blog! But I’m hoping that after today’s post, you know what it means for your posts, at least, and have some tools to take advantage of it.
WTF is SEO?
Well, what is it? SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimization — basically, it’s the good stuff that gets you higher in search engine results. When was the last time you went to the second page of your Google results? Uh… rarely, right? Like, only in peak desperation mode. So you want to load your blog posts with the kind of things that search engines look for so you can tell it, “Hey! I’m a good resource for information on this topic!”
SEO analyzes a lot of things, like the ease of use of your website. But it also really wants to know what your posts are about. The easiest way for it to see the topic of your post is through keywords! I mentioned keywords briefly last week, but let’s talk more about what that means now.
The easiest way to pick a keyword (or keywords) for your post is to think about what you’d search yourself to get to your post. Writing about a certain fabric? That substrate is your keyword? Doing a pattern review? The title of that pattern is a keyword! Giving a step by step fit adjustment? Boom! Keyword.
SEO wants you to repeat that keyword as many times in your post as possible without sounding unnatural. After all, you still want people reading your post to think it was written by you and not a robot. A few places I always make sure to include my keyword? The blog post title, main headers, and the first paragraph of my post. Once they’re in there, I try and work them in at least once or twice per header (or whatever sort of structural unit you give your posts).
Once they’re in my post, I want to make sure my SEO keywords are in my meta description as well. That’s the little blurb that pops up under your post title in a search engine result. Before writing a blog, I always kinda assumed that was just the beginning of the post. And if you don’t modify it, it is! But with the right tools, you can change that description to something that gives reader a great summary of the post, instead of the first few sentences. Including the keyword there gives you an edge in search results!
My number one tool for ensuring SEO optimization on my posts is the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress. If you’re on a WordPress site, I really cannot recommend it enough! Once you activate it, it’ll scan each of your posts. It shows up at the bottom of your post editor, and has two tabs — one for readability an the other for SEO. Both are invaluable to me!
After spending a million years in school, the first draft of my posts tend to be wordy and kind of jargon-y. The readability tab will tell me when they’re out of control, and give me tips to make them easier to read! Seriously key, you guys, and I find it’s making me a better writer in general.
The keyword tab is what helps you to amp up your SEO presence. It helps you set a keyword, change your meta description, and see how well you’re using your keyword in the post. It’ll tell you if it’s showing up not enough (or too much!) or if you’ve used it before. It’s good to try and vary your keywords so that your posts don’t compete against each other in search engine results.
More Ways to Up Your SEO
- Include your keyword in the title and description of any images you upload (good for Pinterest, too!)
- Make sure a keyword appears in your permalink web address
- Link to your own content within the post to show search engines you’re an expert on lots of stuff (and to direct readers to other applicable posts)
Great Links on SEO
As always, all these posts and more are linked in my Pinterest board!
- A great intro to SEO post!
- 12 awesome SEO tools (and a bunch of them are freeeee!!!!!)
- Four important places to put your keyword
What do you think? Is SEO a little more approachable now?