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Bare Bones SEO

bare bones seoWhen I first thought of writing this post, it was just going to be a list of the minimum items to include with every blog entry. I wanted to keep it simple. Many bloggers get hung up on what to do about SEO that I think it hinders them from posting as much. Everyone says you have to do _____ for the best optimization. And it changes all the time.

Also it needed to be for all bloggers not just for those with fancy plugins. Those on wp.com and Blogger need to know how they can optimize their sites too.

Then Google did it again. They just came out with a new “algorithm” change. And it’s a big one, especially for bloggers. More later on that.

So I still want to keep this simple like a check list. That way us ag bloggers can focus on what is important and that is writing and publishing our posts. Follow these steps and you will be doing just fine.

SEO Bare Bones List:

1. Post frequently: at least once a week Search engines give priority to relevant, up-to-date content.

2. Keywords: Don’t think about individual words because you won’t rank for them. Keyword phrases, three to five words long are what you should be targeting. Use Ubersuggest.org for ideas. Keep this simple, don’t over think it.

3. Title: (also called Title Tags) Use keywords in your title. Only about the first 65 characters in said title will show in google search.

4. Meta Description: for those without the plugin- The first 150 characters in your post will be displayed in the search under the title. So make those first 150 characters count (ie. keyword phrase)

5. Headings: use Header 2 and Header 3 for paragraph intros. Tells search engines those words are important to article.

6. Links: Incoming links are like gold stars to your site. Higher ranking sites are optimal. Take advantage of guest posting when you can. I wrote a post on 5 insanely simple backlink locations. Even internal linking helps. Always link to other posts where relevant.

7. Speed: how fast does your site load? Slow sites get dinged. Most of the time it is because of too large file size images. Keep your image files small. Check your sites speed at Pingdom.

8. Images: Always Always rename the file of your images. DO NOT leave it as DSC0093. Rename it before you upload it to your site. And also fill in the Title and alt text fields. Use your keyword phrase when possible.

There you have it. What I call the Bare Bones of SEO.  These are 8 simple steps all bloggers can use to give their sites a boost in search engines.

If a new farm blogger asks you “What about SEO?”, you can send them here. [click to tweet]

For those who need more SEO goodness, the seo mogul (google) has it’s own ebook Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.

For the More Later

Google’s latest update- They have shut down the keyword search tool (except for those using Ad Words).  And you won’t know what keywords visitors are using to find your site when they search through google.

I recommend using Ubersuggest along with following your popular posts. This combination will give you good direction.

**Update** WordTracker is a great tool to use to find keyword combinations. Just sign in with your email and a password to start using right away. Confirm your email for a larger keyword list. You don’t have to sign up for the trial to use the site.

More importantly keep posting.

Blog On, Baby!