Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Easy SEO for Bloggers

Easy SEO for Bloggers

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how readers find your blog posts in a Google search. The more you work on your SEO, the higher your blog posts can rank! It's great because once you've accomplished the basic steps of SEO, people can find your posts on their own, without your promotion on social media or elsewhere.

Of course, it's still a great idea to promote on social media anyway, but isn't it best to get readers from as many sources as possible?

Easy SEO for Bloggers


Step 1: Choose Your Keyword Phrase

Let's take for example my post on the List of Best Twitter Chats for Bloggers in 2014. I wanted to make sure any reader who does a Google search on that topic would find my post fairly easily. SEO helps your post rank higher in Google so it shows up right away.

First, think of what you want your post to be searched as. What will readers be typing into Google to find your topic? Possible examples for my Twitter chat post included "best twitter chats for bloggers in 2014," or "list of best twitter chats for bloggers."

Whatever phrase you go with, this will be the building block of most other SEO steps.

Step 2: Post Title

Make sure your keyword phrase is in the title of your post. This helps Google know what your post is all about.

Note: Arrangement of the words does matter. "best twitter chats for bloggers" is not the same as "twitter chats for bloggers best." Choose the order you think the most readers will search for, and make sure to use the same exact phrase throughout your post.

Step 3: Post Headers

Google also looks at headers in your post, so make sure to have at least one header, and put your keyword in there. 

In blogger, this can be easily done without HTML by highlighting text and choosing "heading" shown below:

Easy SEO for Bloggers

If you prefer to use HTML:

Headers have a specific HTML code, so this means more than making the text larger and in bold. Here is a basic code for a header:  


 <h2 style="text-align: center;">Easy SEO for Bloggers</h2>  


Step 4: URL

Be sure to put your keyword in your URL as well. Most blogging platforms create each URL from the post title, so as long as your title has your keyword phrase in it, you should be good here.

Step 5: Content of Post

To tell Google what your post is about, it's also important to have your keyword phrase in the body of your post itself. Don't include it too many times, or else it starts to look spammy. General rule of thumb is to include the keyword 3-5 times.

Step 6: Image Name

Save your images with the keyword phrase as their names. For example, instead of  "IMG_001," I could have used "list of best twitter chats for bloggers." Google actually looks at this! If you're uploading pictures from your camera or phone that's fine, you can just rename them before uploading onto your blog.

Step 7: Image Alt Text

Similarly, put your keyword in the image alt text. In blogger you can do this by simply clicking on an image > properties > alt text, as shown below:

Easy SEO for Bloggers


Easy SEO for Bloggers

Step 8: Search Description

Putting your keyword phrase in your post description helps your SEO as well. In blogger, this can be found on the right sidebar when editing a post:

Easy SEO for Bloggers

Step 9: Internal Links

Internal links are simply links to other pages on your own blog. It helps to link back to your other posts or pages, because Google follows those links to see what your blog is about as a whole. 

For instance, if you're writing a post about a new coat or lipstick, you can include a quick sentence saying something like "see my previous coat/lipstick post here," with a link to another post you did on a similar topic. 

Step 10: Referring Links

It really helps your page rank to have other sites linking to you. But you don't want just any site to link to you, you want reputable sites. Best case scenario, the New York Times or CNN somehow discovers your blog, falls in love with it, and links to you. These are highly reputable sources and if they link to you, it tells Google that you are worth ranking higher in search results.

Of course, you probably won't get linked to by CNN or the New York Times too often. The takeaway here is to shoot for people to link back to you, but keep in mind that the more reputable the site is, the better. 

This step is easier said than done. A great place to start is by guest posting on blogs, especially ones with a large following, as they will most likely be seen as more reputable by Google. Also, posting on social media helps because it is seen as being linked by Twitter, Facebook, etc., who are very reputable sites!

Conclusion

These 10 steps are a great starting point to get easy SEO for bloggers. The main things to remember are to keep your keyword phrase consistent and put it throughout your post: in the title, headers, URL, content - even image names count! 

Comment Challenge: Have you utilized SEO in your blog? Why or why not?

For more tips and tricks for bloggers, or to ask a specific question, follow along on Twitter!

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Holiday Wish List from Rosavelt

With the winter holidays just around the corner, I'm getting more and more excited about seeing everyone's holiday outfits. They're always so festive, filled with sequins and great designs. In honor of the season, here are my holiday picks! 

The following pieces are picked from Rosavelt because they make sure to have limited edition clothing - so you don't show up to the party wearing the same thing as everyone else. Love this!


Love the subtle, royal designs in this dress.

The structure of this dress is great because it accentuates your natural curves in the best way, while remaining classy for a holiday party.


This funky velvet skirt looks so soft, and would be great for a Santa's Little Helper look!


This skirt reminds me of winter and snow.


Love the detail in this top. It's something a snow queen or Kate Middleton might wear!


Last, but not least, love this great black top with amazing lace detail!

Comment Challenge: What fun holiday outfits do you have in store this season?

For more fashion and food, follow along on Twitter!
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Friday, November 21, 2014

Best Boston BBQ: Redbones

Best Boston BBQ RedBones
RedBones mural

They say those in Boston hardly ever cross the river. Boston proper lays on one side, with Brookline, Allston, South End, Southie and Jamaica Plain, while Cambridge, Charlestown and Somerville stay on the other side. 

Though I've lived here for over a year now, I can probably count the number of times I've been to the other side on one hand. This is simply because of the distance - it's about an hour commute on two trains to get from one side to the other.

That said, we've heard such great things about Davis Square in Somerville, and we recently got to adventure up there to see what all the fuss was about! We stopped for lunch at Redbones, which I was told by multiple people is the best BBQ in town.

Best Boston BBQ?

Best Boston BBQ RedBones

Before even going inside, I was charmed by the adorable mural and welcome sign on the walls outside.

Best Boston BBQ RedBones

Instead of rolls, we were given complimentary cornbread and water in gigantic mason jars to start. I loved these touches. The waiter never had to refill our waters because the jars were so large.

Best Boston BBQ RedBones

St. Louis Style Ribs: lean and tender smaller pork ribs. This dish came with 2 sides - this time, collard greens and beans. The meat was tender and fell right off the bones. So good!

Best Boston BBQ RedBones

I ordered the Pulled Pork Sandwich, a plate that comes with 2 sides as if it's not a big enough portion already. I asked for the mac n cheese & steamed broccoli. Everything was delicious, and with some added sweet BBQ sauce the sandwich was perfect - so hearty and packed with flavor.

Best Boston BBQ RedBones

I forgot to ask what was down there! Good excuse to go back and check. Either way, I love the funky decoration. Reminds me of the restaurants you find on Haight Street back home in San Francisco.

Comment Challenge: What's the best BBQ you've ever had?

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