3 SEO Tips for Beginners

So you started your first blog and now you need some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tips.  SEO sounds intimidating and mysterious to most new bloggers.  Before I answer this, let’s start with the basics.

Search engine optimization is a way of writing content and structuring your site in a way that makes Google happy. If Google is happy, Google will send you more traffic from searches. More traffic equals more readers, leads and/or customers.

Although search engines are always adjusting the rules, the following three components of SEO are a great place to start.

3 SEO Tips for Beginners

  1. Consider your keywords.
  2. Content is King.
  3. Start link building.



People come to the internet for two reasons: to solve problems and to be entertained.  If you are writing your blog with a purpose beyond entertainment, you’re probably writing articles about a very specific subject.  In this case, your goal is to write posts that solve problems and answers questions about the subject being searched.  From there you can attract targeted readers to your site who may one day become customers.

Therefore, before you even start writing, the first question you should ask is: what is your targeted audience searching for? Find out by using one of the following three keyword research tools:

Once you see what people are searching for, build these phrases into your post.


Google finds your articles based on your written content.  If you want to make it easier for Google to find you, then tell it what you are writing about.  Here are a few ways how:

  • Write topic-focused articles that are at least 300 words.
  • Include keyword phrases in your content, but don’t over do it.  Rumor has it that if your article consists of 5% or more of your keyword phrases, search engines penalize you for “keyword stuffing.”  Check out your article’s keyword density here. And remember, your articles should appeal to humans first, not search engines!
  • Be sure to add a meta description (a brief description of what your article is about) that is 165 characters or less.  If you have no idea where to add a meta description in your WordPress blog dashboard, you probably need to add a plugin.  Try the All-in-One SEO pack.
    • And of course, make sure to keep your plugins updated (I learned this the hard way). Check out Matt Chevy’s video on how to keep your plugins updated.
  • Consider using your keyword phrase in the title of the post.  For example, I titled this post 3 SEO Tips for Beginners.  I did this because my goal is to provide information to people who search for “SEO Tips” or “SEO tips for beginners.”  My secondary goal was to use a title that was very clear.  Clear topic-focused titles make it easy for readers to re-distrubute the post to their networks.  “Optimized” titles are a great segue into…

Link Building

Why?  If you were trying to learn more about SEO, what post title would you be more likely to read, bookmark, and re-distribute: “3 SEO Tips for Beginners” or “Rock the Search Engines with Your New Blog”  I wouldn’t bother clicking on the second article because although I can assume what the article is about, it isn’t clear.

Search engines take note of how many links are following your post and site. The more links, the more credible you seem to a search engine (and therefore, the more traffic you get from searches). This is especially true if the incoming links are coming from sites that are even more established than yours.

Here are some ideas on how to earn links back to your site:

  • Distribute your posts to all of your social media networks and news sites. Don’t forget to “stumble” and “digg” your articles and bookmark your articles on sites like reddit.  This is one of the easiest way to earn linkbacks.  Make it easier by using ping.fm to automatically distribute your content for you.
  • Guest post. Not only will you get in front of a whole new audience, you will earn a link back from a site that is likely more established than your own.  Consider getting creative in your bio and linking to a specific informational post rather than your home page.  Rather than writing, “Nicole is the founder of mscareergirl.com” I might say “Nicole loves to write about free SEO tips…”
  • Create new content (because search engines hate duplicate content) and submit it to reputable directories like ezine articles.
  • Link to yourself. Link to your own relevant content and others throughout the post using anchor text.

This post is part of the “Ms. Marketing Maven” series- a series devoted to helping women create more flexibility and financial independence in their lives.

Nicole Emerick

Nicole Emerick founded Ms. Career Girl in 2008 to help other ambitious young professional women thrive in a career they love. Ironically, growing MsCareerGirl helped Nicole transition her own career from commercial banker to digital marketer. Today Nicole leads the social media team at a large advertising agency in Chicago. Nicole also served as an adjunct professor at DePaul University where she helped develop the careers of PR, Advertising and Communications students. Tweet with Nicole @_NicoleEmerick.

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