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Blog SEO Tips – A Look at Two WordPress Plugins

Learn Blog SEO with lessons learned from two popular WordPress Plugins! Plus, Video walkthrough!

If there’s one thing as a blogger we are always hearing about, it’s how we need to focus our efforts on learning blog SEO implementation. There are SEO tips available out there but it can be hard to find a place to start and what to do first. I have been reading tons of articles and trying to figure it all out for my own blog SEO and hoped that by sharing what I’ve been able to learn over the past month or so can help you, too, jump in to optimizing your site for hopeful better search rankings. I’ve used two main SEO WordPress plugins to help me learn the basics so I am going to start by sharing the lessons learned from these two plugins.


Blog SEO Using WordPress SEO by Yoast

Whenever blogging and SEO come up in a conversation, I was always told I should be using WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin. I have installed this plugin and uninstalled several times over the past two years until just recently when I finally “got” it. The reason this plugin is so powerful is because it lets you customize your information that is displayed in the search results about your post. Instead of the results just showing the first sentence or two from your post, you can specify exactly what it should say with your own short summary. You only have 156 characters to grab someone’s attention – that’s like a tweet – so you have to make it stand out! You also want it to include your keyword to show the search engine it is really what you’re writing about. Here’s a quick summary of what WordPress SEO by Yoast lets you customize.


Blog SEO

  • Set your Focus Keyword – You can specify your keyword here to help you commit to a word or phrase to use and this lets the plugin analyze your post for the keyword.
  • SEO Title – Customize your blog post title as it is displayed for search engines. This gives you the opportunity to remove unimportant words or phrases you might include for other reasons such as “Giveaway” or any hashtags keeping your title just to the important message you’re sharing.
  • Meta Description – This field customizes the short snippet of your post that searchers will see. It’s your chance to tell them what your post is about.


SEO Tips Learned from SEO Blog Kahuna

SEO Blog Kahuna was what really got me started getting almost excited about focusing on improving my blog SEO. It’s setup feels almost like a game as you work to improve your score by making sure your post has a lot of the elements for a well optimized post. It does miss the really key important things that you can find from WordPress SEO, though, so once I learned the basic ropes for this plugin I deactivated it and just focus on applying what I have learned from this plugin which was where the keyword needs to be placed in your post. Here’s some of the places that SEO Blog Kahuna will remind you to insert your keyword.

SEO Tips from SEO Blog Kahuna

  • Post Title
  • H1, H2, and H3 formatting tags
  • First and last sentence
  • Image’s alt attribute
  • In Bold
  • Link using your keyword to other relevant content


Blog SEO Tips to Remember

When you’re ready to give blog SEO a try, just remember that the most important thing when blogging is always your content. Don’t try to “fake” a post just to make it friendly for search engines as it won’t be what those that are searching are truly looking for and it will lead them quickly away from your page hurting you more than helping you. Instead, just look for a great keyword you can easily implement in your post to make it easy for those that are looking for what you have to say to be able to find it. Once you pick your focus word or phrase you’re going to use in your post, stick with it and include it several times in your content, title, image tags, and wherever else you naturally can include without going over board.


A Walkthrough on Blog SEO and These Plugins

In order to show my review team how to start using these SEO tips in their posts they write for A Mom’s Take, I created a video tutorial. It was geared for them but applies to any blogger. Please excuse my couple of pauses and imperfect video as it wasn’t something I was originally creating in order to publish.

I hope these tips have inspired you to work on your own blog SEO strategy. Let me know what SEO questions you have in the comments and I’ll help where I can.

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Disclosure: This post is based on my own experiences and opinions and nothing else. This is just what I have learned while trying to improve my own Blog SEO

Wanda Hoffs

Friday 10th of May 2013

Do you know if we are allowed to go back to past posts and change the title. not the permamlink, just the title. I am trying to update my past posts that I wrote before I knew about SEO and Yoast.

Maegan Anderson

Tuesday 7th of May 2013

Great article Janel!This is a great blueprint on how to get started using WordPress plugins for your SEO campaign. I will save this article and use it as a reference.I can not wait to learn much more from you.

Barbara Mckinney

Tuesday 7th of May 2013

Nice article Janel!Thanks for sharing this.


Monday 6th of May 2013

So I've gotten 4 or 5 emails about this post today. After speaking at the SoFabCon conference this weekend, several have wondered if this article conflicts with my message.

The SEO Plug-ins are great AND they are horrible.

I used the analogy that the plugins are like a marathon checklist. A marathon checklist will tell you to bring a towel, oranges, extra water, a bandaid, and a reminder to eat a banana in the morning. BUT the checklist won't help you finish the race. You still have to run the marathon.

If you think you are doing SEO by fililng in the plugins, you are very wrong. In fact 99 million other people are filling them out the same way. So the plugin isn't the answer to SEO. It's just a good checklist to help you complete some tasks. And posts like this make it even easier to understand how to do it.

What you can't forget is keyword research, internal structure of your site, supporting keywords, custom sidebars, internal and external links, anchor text, comments and social media mentions. Articles like this are great and much needed. But don't start to think that you're done when you fill out the plugins successfully.

Great explanations, Janel. :)

A Mom's Take

Tuesday 7th of May 2013

Thanks so much for your comment and adding on to what I've been learning for those that might read this post. I'm certainly not a SEO expert! I do use Google's keyword tool! :)

Charlotte Klein

Monday 6th of May 2013

This is awesome, thanks! I have an SEO plug-in installed on my blog, but I rarely ever use it. I will be a lot more mindful of it in the future. Much appreciated :)

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