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How I SEO – A Closer Look at Search Engine Optimization

First of all, search engine optimization (SEO) was completely foreign to me until 6 weeks ago.  So please take this post as it is – a run down from a novice that has just seen SEO success in the last few weeks.

SEO is important to a blog or website, because it effects where you pop up in search engines and how many search engine visitors you will get. 

In my case, Budgeting in the Fun Stuff was getting less than 23% of its overall visitors from search engines.  That’s not awful, but most bloggers don’t seem to be happy until that number is closer to 33%.  Some even strive for 50%-75% or even more. 

I personally want as many visitors as humanly possible and really don’t care how many of those are from search engines or not, but I do want to pop up high in search engine results so I can reach out to as many people as possible since I am a blogging addict

This is how I went from less than 23% of search engine visitors to more than 33% in less than 3 weeks:

My Big SEO Project 2 Weeks Ago

1.  I downloaded the All in One SEO Pack plugin.  This plugin makes it pretty dang simple to SEO since you just fill in a Title, Description, and Keywords all in one place.

2.  I signed up for Scribe Makes SEO Simple.  This is software that you can buy monthly memberships to use.  When you have Scribe SEO attached to your blog posts, you can run an evaluation of each post and it tells you its overall SEO grade (1%-100%).   In that evaluation, it also tells you what you can change in the post to make that grade better.  Since I was and am an SEO rookie, I love this program! 

The only downside is that it is a little expensive in my opinion.  But, I ordered up 300 evaluations in February since I wanted to make Budgeting in the Fun Stuff better and had a whole year of posts to review.

3.  I hired a Virtual Assistant (VA) from oDesk.  I was looking for someone who would go through 11 months of posts and search engine optimize them for me.  It was going to take 20-40 hours and I did not have the physical time to get it done. 

Rumana Akter (my VA) was awesome.  She filled in all of the All in One SEO Pack info for all my past posts, checked her work with Scribe SEO as she went, and completed the whole task in 25 hours spread over 5 days.  I’ve only had to clean up a few things since she finished, but I really don’t mind doing touch-ups since she saved me a weekend or two of the most boring work I could imagine.

I saw an almost immediate jump in my search engine visitors.  Within a week of that project, I was getting about 28%-30% of my visitors from search engines and my Adsense ads were getting daily clicks instead of the one or two a week that was the norm to that point.

My New SEO Routine:

I’ve boosted that 30% to 33%-36% a day over the last 2 weeks by starting a little SEO routine on every post now:

1.  I write my posts like normal.  I don’t look for SEO-friendly topics yet since I usually already have something in mind.  I may start using SEO topic searches in the future if I don’t have something else to chat about already.

2.  After it is written, I search for the most popular key word(s) that my post would fit.  I was using the free version of Traffic Travis but now I have a Scribe SEO Keyword box that is just easier for me to use as long as I continue paying for Scribe SEO. 

3.  I fill out the Title, Description, and Keywords in the All in One SEO Pack plugin box.  I make sure that the title, description, and keywords all include the optimized keyword(s) I looked up as well.  This is super important since this is the info that search engines see and display in their results. 

If you type in “rubber baby buggy bumper” as your post description, then anybody who finds that post via a search engine like Google will see “rubber baby buggy bumper” as the little blurb in the search results.  Try to make the description interesting enough to get people to click through and make sure it contains the keyword you hope to be targeting.

4.  I add some internal links.  Every post you write should have a link to another post you wrote.  In fact, it should contain several.  It’s just good business and it gives you a better Scribe SEO score.  I try to make sure there in an internal link within the first two paragraphs and every 150 words after that.

5.  I make sure the post’s permalink has the SEO title.  I attempt to change all permalinks to be SEO friendly from here on out since I’ve heard it helps.

6.  I test with Scribe SEO.  Once I think I’m completely done, I run an evaluation with Scribe SEO.  If I score 85% or higher, I consider myself good to go.  If it’s not, I look at the evaluation suggestions and make a few more changes before moving on. 

If you don’t want or can’t afford Scribe SEO, that is okay.  Just by using the All in One SEO Plugin and following the major tips above, you’ll have won most of the battle.  I was just SEO stupid and had been ignoring all of it for a year.  As soon as I feel more confident and am scoring 90% and above every single time with Scribe, I will probably give up that monthly expense as well. 

I did donate to the creators of the All in One SEO Pack plugin since they kick butt.  I also donate to any other plugins that help me out on my sites.  Without them, I wouldn’t be able to get anything done since I am the opposite of techie.

That’s pretty much it for me and SEO.  I submit to blog carnivals every week or two to get my posts and keyword links out there.  I also guest post at least 3 times a month.  Commenting and participating in discussions on other blogs every day or two helps build a solid reputation as well.  You can see my most recent blogging schedule for all of those details.  You can also check out my daily blogging to-do list.

Please keep in mind that nothing happens overnight.  It has taken me a full year posting daily at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff just to get where I am at an Alexa around 33,000, a MozRank of 5, and a Pagerank of 3.  SEO is just one part of the blogging whole.

Good luck!

What did I miss?  What other SEO tips do you have for us?

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