Blogging

What Is SEO? Getting Your Site Ranking in 2021

One of the first things you hear about as a new blogger is this whole thing about SEO – search engine optimization. SEO for blogs as a new blogger seems soo confusing right?

Bloggers are saying you need to focus on SEO from day one and you need to SEO your blog posts and find keywords and longtail keywords so you can rank in Google.

But, what is SEO and how does that help new bloggers?

I’ve been blogging for a few years and I have several blogs and the one thing I know about how to improve SEO is this –

SEO doesn’t kick in until at least 6 months to a year or more after you started blogging.

That’s why it’s very important that once you start a blog, you start publishing content right away rather than sit on your blog for months before you launch it.

Do you need to “keyword” your blog posts when you launch? I don’t think so.

I strongly feel that the first year of blogging should be spent on understanding how to blog, networking with other bloggers and figuring out what our audience needs from you so you can serve them better.

None of that is optimizing your content so you can rank #1 in Google.

But, there is a way to make sure that the blog posts you are writing from day one has the potential to rank in Google some day.

Now, before I get into the nitty gritty of this guide, I made a video on the first steps to SEO. So, if you don’t have time to read this post, book mark it and watch the video! And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel!

What is SEO?

Part One – Core Foundational Tips for On-Page SEO

On-page SEO definition are the things we see and it’s an important aspect to helping your blog rank in Google.

The idea behind SEO for bloggers is that when someone in Google searches for something – tips to keep kids busy – that your blog post is one of the first three results or at least on page one (or two) of Google.

Another aspect to SEO is that the phrase or words you rank for are actual words/phrases that people search for.

For the term “keep kids busy” this gets searched around 140 times a month. This is low, but for new bloggers anything over 100 is something you can shoot for.

Finally, the last thing to realize when looking at keywords for SEO, is the relevant competition.

If a search term has 140 searches a month but the competition is high – i.e. the first page are results from huge blogs or magazines and other popular blogs – then it’s unlikely that your blog will rank on page one or even on page two.

In saying all of this, as a brand new blogger, you DON’T need to worry about the nitty gritty of keywords RIGHT NOW (you can just use my 1120 Easy Keywords for Ranking guide to help you out).

I just wanted to get you an overview of using keywords for SEO.

There are other ways to use SEO for bloggers.

Let’s go over four core foundation tips for your blog so that you can start ranking in Google.

1. Write For People

The biggest thing you can takeaway from all of this is that most of your blog content should be written for your audience and not for Google and ranking.

Google is smart and if you write in a natural way using natural keywords that relate to your blog post, it will start ranking for terms over time.

For example, if you want to write a post on 5 natural allergy remedies for children, when thinking of this blog post topic, what terms and words come to mind?

  • Seasonal allergies
  • Hay fever
  • Runny nose
  • Netti pot
  • Natural local honey
  • Antihistamines

Your post will be filled with “keywords” around allergy remedies. So, instead of taking hours trying to figure out which keyword or keywords to use, just use the ones that come natural with your blog post topic.

This is what I do for all my blogs in the first year of blogging. I write highly valuable blog posts that my audience can benefit and learn from.

One thing you can also start doing is writing long-form blog content. This is blog posts that are over 1,000 words (preferably 2,000 words and more).

Google likes long-form content because it shows value. A list post of 50 mom hacks will be more valuable than a post on 3 mom hacks, right?

So, try incorporating longer blog posts (if your niche allows it. For example, a craft blog may not need 2,000 words for each post).

2. Niche Down

Many mom blogs are lifestyle blogs. These are multi-topic with relatable topics. While you still can rank in Google by having a mult-topic blog, it’s a bit harder. Google doesn’t know what your blog is about if you blog about food, organizing and pregnancy tips.

For example, when I type in my blog URL in Google, I get this breakdown of my blog niche:

Google sees my blog as a Mompreneur blog about starting a blog and making money blogging.

This is great! I want Google to see that my blog covers blogging help and ways to make money online help.

While Twins Mommy does talk about more than one topic, I primarily talk about blogging tips and making money tips and Google is realizing that but you can see that I also have Twins and Free stock photos as topics under my URL.

I’m okay with this as it shows people that I do talk about my twins and I have free resources!

One thing to think about when niching down is that Google likes to show the best results from blogs that relate to the topic. For example if I search for how to raise twins the first year the results show popular sites like Parents.com but also Twin sites like Dads Guide To Twins.

So your blog name can help you niche down. But, if your blog name is a catch all or not relatable – Twins Mommy! – then make sure each piece of content is relatable on your blog.

3. Focus On Writing Content For The First 6 Months

It’s overwhelming when you hear of all the things you need to do for your blog like start an email list, think of a freebie idea, start affiliate marketing, get on Instagram and start a YouTube channel etc..

Phew!

That’s a lot mama!

Instead of trying to do it all, know that content rules. When you have valuable content on your blog, it will help you more than having 5,000 Instagram followers.

That’s why it’s important to build that foundation for your blog in the first six months. And one way is to consistently write.

When I started Twins Mommy I wrote 2 blog posts for 6 months. Then I dropped to once a week.

I sometimes even have set periods of time where I bulk my writing. For example, this month I am writing 3 or more blog posts a week. This helps boost your pageviews.

4. Check Your Google Console

Google Console is a tool that is free to use to help you maintain your blog’s status online. It shows the keywords you are already ranking for.

Go to Search Traffic > Search Analytics to see what people are searching for in Google to find your blog.

For Smart Mom Ideas people are searching for:

  • Lactation recipes
  • Make ahead meals
  • Labor tips for moms
  • Make a head toddler meals

As you can see, people are finding Smart Mom Ides from my food content on Google. But, I know on Pinterest, people are finding my pregnancy and postpartum posts more than my food posts.

I’m in the process of pivoting this blog away from the food, organizing and frugal living content to more of a pregnancy and postpartum content blog.

Improve SEO

Part Two – Write With Keywords In Mind

Okay, I just spent a long time convincing you to write naturally and with no keywords in mind.

But, now I want you to!

After about 6 months to a year you can start strategically thinking of keywords. By this time you have information from using Google Console of the keywords people are finding you.

You can use that information to keep writing blog posts around those topics.

Let’s look at three ways you can start using keywords in mind.

1. Use Pinterest

Pinterest will help you drive saves and clicks to your blog. There is a relationship to your popular pins and ranking in Google.

If you have a pin that becomes popular, Google gets those social signals as well as other signals and decides if your post is the best answer to the question around the topic of your pin/post.

If it is, you can be on page one of Google!

So, how do you make your pins popular then?

By using Pinterest SEO!

Pinterest is a search engine! People search on Pinterest for the best chocolate cookie recipe or how to make money blogging or how to get the perfect latch when breastfeeding.

More and more moms and people are using Pinterest to find answers to their problems. You can use this to your advantage by ensuring that each pin is optimized for search.

One easy way to start incorporating Pinterest SEO is by using keywords in your Pin descriptions. You can find these keywords on Pinterest by searching in your blog topic and seeing what comes up.

For example, let’s say you write a post on C-section recovery tips. Type into Pinterest c-section and see what results they suggest. From there you can get more ideas from the tiles under the keyword.

Those are the words you can use in your Pin description.

2. Get Keywords Surfer

Keywords Surfer is a Chrome Extension that works in the background. Once it’s enabled you just go to Google and start typing a keyword you are interested in using for a blog post. This is what will help with blogging SEO if you’re new.

This term – things for kids to do at home – is highly searched and has low competition. What’s great about this Chrome Extension is that on the side, it lists related keywords.

3. Write Your Post

Now it’s time to use the keywords you searched for and place them in your blog post. Some general guidelines to using keywords in your blog posts:

  • Use your keyword in your title (it’s okay to also use it in your URL, but it’s not necessary)
  • Use your keyword in your introduction
  • Use your keyword in a subheading
  • Use related keywords throughout the blog post

After you publish this blog post, it won’t automatically start ranking. If the blogs on page one have a strong post with strong indicators, Google will keep those posts on page one.

But, over time, if you can get shares to your blog post and others share your blog post then Google will start to notice. But, this is a long process and it always doesn’t pan out.

That’s why I always suggest to write for people!

How to Use SEO for Bloggers

I hope this post was helpful! I strongly believe that you don’t have to worry about keywords right off the bat. Write valuable content so that people share it and save it on Pinterest.

You want to grow that “social chatter” about your blog or blog posts. This will push your content to new people. All of this is signals telling Google that your post really is valuable. People are reading it and sharing it and linking to it.

Over time, your blog will start ranking!

In the comments, tell me how long you’ve been a blogger and if you starting using SEO!

Remember to pin me!

Leave a Reply

26 Comments

I am new to your site and I already absolutly love it! I’ve been wanting to start a blog for a couple of months now and I have read post after post and not one of them has explained as in depth as yours do. I am so apreaciative that you actualy explain what everything is and how to use it because a lot of people are holding out information! lol I ket it but it is very frustrating because I am totaly new to the blogging world. Anyway I loved this post, I wanted to say thank you and let you know that you are helping me set sail on this brand new journy. You are amazing!Reply to Nina
Hi Nina, Thank you so much for your wonderful words! I’m humbled by them! I’m happy you found your answers on my blog! I want to help as many moms learn about blogging and how to start a mom blog so they can make money and stay at home for good! Thank you so much for becoming a loyal reader and I hope you sign up to my email list to get exclusive tips and BTS of my business and life!Reply to Elna
Hello Elna! I’m just wondering if my blog could have two niches. Initially my blog started as a travelogue, but with the COVID-19 it doesn’t make sense to me if I keep writing about travels – almost nobody flies for a vacation right now. In the meantime, I have started a food Instagram and I got some traction by posting some of my food photos there. I’d thought I shall switch to blog about food all over the world instead so my pre-existing travel blog can live. Do you think it would be a good idea to combine food niche with the travel ones at this time of pandemic?Reply to Elizabeth
Hi Elizabeth, I would pivot your travel blog and do food unless the URL is travel specific. If it is, then have a category of food and other topics to make it more of a lifestyle blog. This will dilute your travel category and more people will go to the posts that are most up to date. I hope to this helps!Reply to Elna
I am A SEO research geek so I can really appreciate this article! I aim to optimize my SEO for Pinterest AND Google when I am doing my searches.Reply to Jennifer
Hey Jennifer! Awesome! Yes, love learning about SEO for sure! Glad you enjoyed this post!Reply to Elna
This article is awesome stuff!! Thanks for the guidance. About how much time do you spend getting featured images for your blogs ready on pinterest and what apps do you use?Reply to Errol
Hi Errol, I use Photoshop to do my pins and it takes around a few minutes to do them!Reply to Elna
I have been blogging for 3 weeks and trying to figure all this out! I downloaded a SEO plug in but I honestly don’t know what I’m doing. This article is so easy to understand. Thank you very much!!Reply to Esther
Hi Esther! So glad you found this post on what is SEO helpful! Understanding SEO as a new bloggers is so challenging. That’s why I never started learning until much later in my blogging journey. And I’m so glad I did!Reply to Elna
Great article Elna. Loved it. I have a question. I’m new to blogging and want to focus on writing about how to start a blog, grow a blog and Pinterest. How do I do that without having a lot of knowledge in those areas?Reply to Stacy
Hey Stacy! Thanks for stopping by! I’m happy to hear that this post on learning about SEO tactics is helpful! As for writing about those topics you can research other bloggers that wrote about it or on Google to help you or just wait until you feel more confident to write about it!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! I love the focus on creating content first and creating value upfront. Often times we get hung up on the technicalities of SEO and obsessing over keywords. But when we write for people first, we also write/optimize for Google by building authority. Great post!Reply to Leanne
Hey Leanne! Yass!! This is so true. Sometimes when I DO focus on SEO I don’t rank! But, when I just write, I rank! So, I feel that too many bloggers are getting stuck and hung up on SEO, but just write and you’ll do fine!Reply to Elna
Elna, I wish I’d seen this post when I started blogging. There is so much pressure on new bloggers to do everything. At the same gime, you’re trying to learn how to blog from writing content to the tech stuff. I totally agree with your – content first for about 6 months and then start with one new thing at a time. Great post.Reply to Poovanesh
Hey Poovanesh! I know what you mean! I really want to take that pressure off of new bloggers! I don’t want them to over think it and worry and analyze. You can be successful doing it this way of providing value first!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! I really like that at the beginning of your article you encouraged new bloggers to find their voice, their community, and audience. That is so important. I have been blogging for about 2 years now. I still find that SEO can be a little intimidating at times, if not just a little confusing. This article was nice because it reminded me of a few tips I had forgotten. I just love you, you make all of this blogging stuff so understandable and you have such actionable advice! Keep up the good work! And thank you! 🙂Reply to holly
Hi Holly! Aww! Thank you so much! I’m humbled by your comment! I do try to make this all understandable since it wasn’t for me when I first started! I’m glad you enjoyed this post and yes – finding your voice is key!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, As a new blogger, SEO scares the hell out of me. Thanks for simplifying it.Reply to Callie
Hi Callie! You’re welcome! I say write FIRST and you should be fine!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna! This post was amazing! I am at the 6 month point in blogging and I feel like I came to this post at the perfect time. You gave me a lot of great tips. Thank you!Reply to Tazia
Hi Tazia! You’re welcome! Understanding SEO for bloggers is a challenge. There is SOOO much to learn and different bloggers saying different things! All I know is that I have several blogs and all of them are ranking on the first page of Google! So, I must be doing something right, eh? I can’t wait to hear your success in SEO 🙂Reply to Elna
Hi, Elna! This is a thoroughly done post! It covers virtually every aspect 0f SEO in simple language and actionable steps. Thanks, Elna for sharing!Reply to Eki
Hi Eki, Thanks so much! Glad you understand the first step to SEO as a new blogger! It can be tough sometimes figuring out what you need to know to grow your blog! Thanks for stopping by!Reply to Elna
I am a new blogger! I have only written three posts and I was getting nervous and overwhelmed. Thanks for the help and settling my nerves! I just wanted to write and see if it was something I would stick with before I made it too tricky. Saved the day, thanks!Reply to Vanessa
Hey Vanessa! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, as a new blogger, writing and growing your audience is key at first. From there you can work on SEO but don’t bend your back trying to SEO each post as a beginner! Just write valuable posts to serve your audience!Reply to Elna