SEO can be confusing for many bloggers so you may be looking for some easy SEO steps to take to get you started.
I made an infographic to show you the steps you will want to take with each post to get started with basic SEO.
Easy SEO Steps
Step 1 – The Idea
Every post starts with an idea of course whether you are worrying about SEO or not. There are many ways to find content ideas or perhaps you already have an idea and you are ready for step 2.
Step 2 – Find a Keyword
Choose a long-tail keyword that you want to target for your post. Think about what you would expect someone to search for to land at your post. Make sure it’s a more specific keyword. Long tail means it has more than two words and is more specific. This is because it’s easier to rank for long tail keywords. If you are writing a post about chicken recipes, you don’t want to target “chicken recipes” as your keyword because that’s searched for way too much, the chance of your post coming up on page 1 is very small. Try slow cooker chicken recipes or chicken a la king recipes.
Step 3 – The Title and the Url
Make sure the title contains they keywords exactly. You might have to reword things to make it right. YOu also want a compelling headline so you have to balance the two. Chicken a La King Recipe contains your keyword but isn’t compelling. The Best Chicken Ever is a compelling headline but doesn’t include your keyword. Try The Best Chicken a La King Recipe I’ve Ever Tasted or How To Make The Best Chicken a La King Recipe. Make sure the post url also has the keywords. It doesn’t have to be word for word the same as the title but has to include the keyword.
Title: How to Make the Best Chicken a La King Recipe
Step 4 – In the Content
You will want the keyword to appear in a few places in the content but make sure you aren’t keyword stuffing aka putting in way too many keywords that sounds unnatural. Include the keyword in the first paragraph for sure as well as in the heading tags, especially <h1>
Step 5 – Alt Tags
Your image files should be named with your keyword and your alt tags for said images should contain the keyword. I suggest using your post title (which will already contain the keyword). This is because when you pin an image to Pinterest it tends to pull the alt tag as the pin description. Since most people don’t edit that, you want it to be your post title or something about your pin. You can edit the alt tags in the HTML where it says alt=”put your alt tag here”. You can also often click a button to edit the alt tag or change it when you upload the image, depending on how you blog.
There is more to SEO than that but that is the very basics that ever blogger should be following to increase their search traffic.
Please feel free to share this easy SEO steps infographic or put it on your site as long as it links back to me.
I want you to forget the resolutions you made and make goals. A resolution is not the same thing as a goal. There are a few reasons resolutions don’t work and ways you can make your goals SMART.
Forget Your Resolutions – Make Goals
We’re so used to breaking our resolutions, that we start to think it is okay try a little and then give up. It’s a mindset thing. When you make goals on the other hand, particularly if it’s a smart goal, is something we believe we can reach. Knowing that a goal is reachable helps us have the initiative to really try to reach it.
Resolutions tend to be pretty vague. We want to lose weight, get back in shape, stop smoking or make more money. None of that is very specific. How much weight do you want to lose and in what time frame? When do you want to quit smoking and how are you going to get there? What does it mean to you to be in shape? How much money do you want to have in the bank and what do you want to save it up for? Goals need to be SPECIFIC.
Set attainable goals with a deadline and milestones or mini goals along the way. A year is too long of a time frame for a single goal. And that’s what we make resolutions for, isn’t it? We make them on January 1st and we make them for the entire year. That’s too long. Goals need to be MEASURABLE.
In January the year is just starting and we feel like we have all the time in the world to get to our resolution. A few slipups early in the year won’t matter because we still have more time. However time really moves fast and suddenly it’s mid year and we are nowhere near our goal. So you vow to get started and then suddenly it’s fall and all the holidays are coming up and it’s too hard to catch up now. Goals need to be ATTAINABLE.
To make it attainable, make sure your goal isn’t too far off from the norm. For example losing 100 pounds in one year is not as attainable as losing 25lbs. Making $1000 a year is attainable if you are already making $800, but not if you are making $0 right now. Put down a number, or describe what your end goal looks like. When do you want to reach your goal by? It could be December 31st, but it doesn’t have to be. Make sure your goals have something to do with your life as it is now. Goals need to be RELEVANT.
Next, set some mini goals along the way. If you have a big goal like using 24 pounds during the coming year, set mini goals of losing 2 pounds each and every month. Check in every couple of weeks and make sure you’re still on track. If you can, get ahead of schedule. Things will happen, you’ll get sick, there’s a Wedding to attend with lots of good food etc. Getting ahead of your goal schedule gives you a bit of a buffer to work with. And all this tracking will help you keep accountable and stick with your resolutions well into spring and summer. Goals need to be TIMELY.
When it comes to Email Marketing, having a great list is important but if no one opens or reads your emails, it doesn’t matter how many people you have on your list. The key to getting them to open your emails is compelling subject lines.
5 Tips For Crafting Compelling Subject Lines
It’s easy to spend a lot of time crafting a great message and then just slap a subject line on it at the end. Spend some time writing compelling subject lines and you will start to see what type of headline gets you good open rates. Here are five tips to get you started.
Keep It Short
You want your readers to see the entire subject line before they click it. You also want to make it easy for people to scan through their emails. Try to get your point across in 50 characters or less. Pay attention to how your subject lines look on your own devices.
Another great idea is to keep a swipe file of subject lines that grabbed your attention. Even if the emails are on a very different topic, you can adapt them for your own needs. What’s a swipe file? It’s just a file on your computer that you add to regularly and keep on hand for when you need it. In this case, when a subject line makes you open up, copy the subject into a document on your computer. Keep a running list to go back to when it’s your time to write a subject line.
Avoid “Spammy” Words
Stay away from using any words we all associate with spam emails. Words like “sale”, “discount”, “coupon”, “free”, “limited time offer” and even “reminder” are over used and even if they don’t trigger a spam filter and actually make it to your reader’s inbox, chances are high they’ll get ignored.
Instead, start by using the emails you’re saving in your swipe file and then go back and see what subject lines got the best open rates. Try to analyze why they worked well for your market. Not everything will work well in every niche. Find the types of subject lines that get your readers to open your emails and tweak from there.
While personalizing emails with someone’s first name has been overused in some markets, it still works well for many of us. Give it try and see if it works for you. Don’t overdo it, but use it when you really need them to open the email.
Depending on what data you collect when your readers sign up, you can personalize other things like their location for example. Seeing the name of your state or even city in an email subject line is sure to get your attention.
Pique Their Curiosity
We are all nosy and it’s hard to ignore subject lines that sound intriguing or only tell part of the story. Using “…” at the end of your subject line will also work.
The idea here is simple. You want them to click and open the email to find out what the heck you’re talking about or how the story ends.
Frankly the best tip when it comes to crafting compelling subject lines is to keep a swipe file of examples that got you to open the email. Even if you don’t create a swipe file, pay close attention to what makes you click.
I hope these ideas get you started writing compelling subject lines.
I am now offering paid blog critiques as a service to my fellow bloggers. I will critique your blog on 12 points and give you some feedback on your blog. This is currently valued at $20 although the price will probably go up in the future.
You can find out more about the blog critiques at that link but I’ll quote some of it below.
What do you get? Purchase of a blog critique includes a 1-hour plus visit of your blog with me diving into your posts and pages to give you feedback on 12 points:
- Layout – Above the Fold
- Layout – Menus
- Layout – Categories/Tags
- Layout – Sidebar
- Layout – Pages
- Design – Images
- Design – Usability
- SEO – Search Engine Optimization
- Content – Writing Style
- Content – Grammar/Spelling
- Monetization (if applicable)
- Call to Action – Conversion
You can enter to win a FREE blog critique below. This is for blogs that have been live 5 minutes to over 10 years.