SEO for Idiots: The 10 Basics of Blogging Search Engine Optimization

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seo for blogLast Update December 10th, 2017

Recently Kelci asked me over on my Facebook Page about SEO for idiots.

I decided to do a full post on it (isn’t she lucky?) because it is such a cool and expansive topic.

So what exactly was her question?

Found your blog the other day and have learned MUCH more than the previous 100 blogs I had found combined. I see that you have an article about SEO secrets below but I was wondering if you can direct me to like an “SEO for idiots” type of thing… I really need to understand the basics.

So here you go Kelci, here are the 10 basics of blogging search engine optimization.

Oh, and this isn’t really for idiots. None of my readers are idiots. And if you are learning about SEO so you can grow your blog you are a long way from being idiotic. Follow this guide and you’ll be well on your way to getting over 100,000 visitors from Google per month.

Disclosure and quick interruption – I recommend SEMrush for anyone who wants to analyze their own or their competitors links, keywords, and so on. This is an affiliate link so I’ll earn a commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase. Thank you for the support!

A crude illustration of how SEO works

Let me start by giving you a crude example of how Google SEO works.

Google has developed automatic algorithms that rank your site. They send out what are called “spiders” to “crawl” your site and check it for over 100 indicators that determine whether your site is valuable or useless. These indicators include things like backlinks, domain age, traffic, fresh content, etc.

SEO is the art of making sure those spiders are happy with what they find. It is an extremely complex field that is constantly changing but in all that chaos there are a few constants that have remained true since the beginning. I’ll talk about those here.

The 10 basics of blogging SEO

As always guys and gals, if you have any other tips please leave me a comment and add to the fun. I absolutely love reading the huge comment-essays that you all tend to write.

1. You need your own domain and hosting

The first thing that beginners need to know is that you need your own domain and hosting. Free blog set ups do not do any favors for your SEO efforts. Why is that?

Many people speculate that if you were really serious about your website you would get your own name and host it yourself. And Google only wants to point to websites that are considered serious and trustworthy and so this is a very basic signal.

I recommend all new bloggers get their own domain and hosting setup right from the beginning. You can read more about why in my blog hosting review that I did recently or check out this detailed guide on how to start a blog and dominate your niche that goes over everything you need to know before you start a blog.

2. Solve problems with original content

You have to remember that Google’s whole purpose is to provide their customers with relevant and useful search results. Everything they do is built around the premise.

And, to be realistic, the most important thing you can do for your SEO is create massively useful content that solves people’s problems. If you are solving problems that people are searching for then it is likely that you are going to get shared on social media and ranked in Google.

The phrase “original content” means so much more than just blog posts nowadays. You should start expanding into:

  • Photography
    Here’s a big guide to finding images for your blog that talks about why you need original images and photos and how to use them to your best advantage..
  • Videos
    Make tutorials or do video posts with your webcam. This builds links and traffic from YouTube and does well on mobile devices.
  • Podcasts
    iTunes is growing fast as people get better smart phones and spend more time plugged in. You can check out my podcast right here.
  • Tools and plugins
    If you can develop an original tool and install it on your website you can be assured of top Google rankings for a long time. Google absolutely loves tools and helpful plugins that people can use in their lives.

The idea is to build a relationship with your readers by helping them out. This will mean more sharing and faster results on the SERPS (search engine rankings positions).

But you also want to make sure that the content that you are producing is different in some way. If you take a look at the front page of Google you’ll see that all the results are slightly different and you need to try and cater to that.

For example, we added a blogging quiz on this post about starting a blog as a way to give readers bonus information. That post also contains infographics, videos and other resources as a way to give people as much value as possible. This helps to attract more links, which leads us into the next section.

3. Build relevant backlinks in a natural way

If you are just getting started with SEO you might know a little about backlinks and why they matter. A backlink is when another website links back to your site from their site.

Not all backlinks are created equal though. You can use a tool like SEMrush (aff) if you want to see who is linking to you and who is linking to your competition.

Some things to know:

  • Never buy them
    I once heard about a guy who was the head SEO guy for an investment company. He bought some cheap backlinks on a domain name with millions of dollars and got the thing banned from Google. Never buy backlinks. Google is on to them.
  • The source matters
    The blog that is giving you the backlinks makes a huge difference. If it is an old domain name with excellent rankings itself then the backlink counts for more. One good link from an authority domain name (.edu and .gov ones are amazing) and your rankings change more than hundreds of little ones.
  • The anchor text matters
    The anchor text is the words that are used as the link. For example, in the paragraph below you’ll see the words “a blogging strategy” are highlighted as the anchor text for that link. It used to be that you’d try to make the anchor text match the keywords that you’re targeting but this has all changed in the last few years as you can read about in this post about guest blogging.

As mentioned, the best way to build quality backlinks is to write amazing quality content and then guest post on the best blogs in your niche. Here’s a blogging strategy that has worked well for me.

Remember, backlinks to your OWN content is also really important. See how many links I have to my own articles in this blog post? Those count too!

4. Make sure your theme is SEO optimized

This is the topic of a whole series of posts so I’ll keep it brief.

Think of SEO as having two components: the off-site stuff like social media and backlinks and the on-site stuff like optimizing your theme.

Optimizing your theme is important because it helps give Google indicators that you are a trustworthy site. It also helps Google find your content. Some of the things you can do include:

  • Mobile responsive
    If your blog is not mobile responsive you will be losing a lot of visitors as Google prioritizes mobile sites for people searching on smartphones.
  • Cleanly coded
    Make sure your theme is coded to ensure it’s easily read by those Google spiders that are looking to see whether you have all the elements of a good website included.
  • Fast loading
    A fast loading site is good for user experience and thus good for Google. Make sure your theme is pulling its weight and loading quickly. You can check out its speed here. You can use cache plugins to help speed things up.
  • Secure SSL domain
    It’s really important now to have a secure SSL domain name for you blog as Google has indicated that they will be placing secure domains above insecure domains in the event that two websites are of equal value. Try to get on this one as soon as possible.
  • Original
    Some people disagree but I still reckon that my original themes do better than themes that thousands of other people are using. A newly developed and original site also comes with dozens of other benefits.
  • No broken bits
    Make sure you clean up any broken links and make sure your navigation all works smoothly.

Having a well designed theme is also important for your brand. Separating yourself from the competition is a very important thing to do as it will help people remember your site and associate certain feelings with it.

5. Fix your permalink structure

Permalinks are how people locate your blog and its internal posts and pages. They are made up of a root and an extension.

For example, on this post we have:

EXTENSION: beginnger-blogging-seo/

Now, it is very important to have a good permalink structure. You can change this in WordPress by going SETTINGS > PERMALINKS and tweaking the options. The best option to have in there, in my opinion, is just the post name. So you should select CUSTOM STRUCTURE and then add /%postname%/

However, even better than that is to research what keywords you are trying to rank for and then shorten your URL to match those keywords. Take a look at this post and have a guess what key words I was trying to rank for.

Be warned! You don’t want to change the old permalinks because then any backlinks you have will be broken. Just new ones.

6. Get set up on Webmaster Tools

One of the easiest things you can do is head over to Google Search Console and add your blog.

This is a service that Google provides that basically allows you to see your blog from their point of view – how it appears in the search results, what position, how many people click your links, etc.

webmaster tools seo

This information is extremely valuable because it removes a lot of the guess work and gives you insights into how Google treats different aspects of your blog. Again, it takes a bit of time to learn but it’s important to have it installed from the early days.

7. Comment on other blogs

For a long time my SEO strategy consisted of just commenting on other authority blogs. Not only does it get you more traffic, exposure and new relationships, it also counts as a backlink.

Now, some blogs you can leave target anchor text because they aren’t real worried about user names. But on most blogs you need to use your real name. That’s fine.

Try and use Market Samurai to see where your competitors are getting their backlinks from. You might just find a bunch of them come from comments on well ranked blog posts.

8. Build your social media profiles big time

As I mentioned in my post on SEO secrets you want to now have a big focus on social media for SEO purposes as well as traffic building purposes.


Because Google may now be looking to social media as a signal of an article’s authority and relevance. If thousands of people are tweeting about it then chances are you have written something pretty good. And the best way to get tweets is to build a loyal following and write killer content that they just love to promote for you.

Some things you need to start doing:

  • Tweeting big players
    Get to know the big players in your niche by casually building a rapport with them on Twitter. Down the track you can hit them up for re-tweets.
  • Add separate value
    Use your social media profiles to add content that won’t appear on the blog itself.. Think of it as a separate resource for people to tap in to. Here’s our guide to using Instagram for bloggers.
  • Share others
    The more content you share from other bloggers the more likely they are to share your stuff. Give and then get later. This is really important.

Neil Patel (one of my blogging heros) has just written a really cool list about how to use Twitter like a boss. That is a good place to start if you want to really amp up your social activities.

9. Use SEO plugins

There are lots of WordPress plugins out there that you can install to get some help with your SEO.

One of the best ones to start with is the All in One SEO Pack which does so many of the nasty little things for you like helping you craft titles, descriptions and so forth.

Then there is the Google Sitemaps Plugin that automatically generates a sitemap for you to submit to Google so they can see an overview of your site structure.

Make sure you read through the comments below as there are a lot of other excellent suggestions from our readers about what they are using.

10. Read, study and use Moz

As far as I am concerned the absolute best resource for SEO related material in the world is over at Moz. Rand has been doing Whiteboard Friday videos for years now. I even made a little comedy tribute video to him to say thank you for how much his advice has helped us.

Now, the content on their blog might be a little over your head to begin with but you will slowly start to absorb ideas about trends, tactics and best practices over time. Even if you only check in every couple of weeks and read one or two articles you will find that your SEO knowledge just grows and blossoms.

What have I missed?

Okay guys. Hit me with it. What beginner SEO tips have I missed? Please leave everything and anything that you can think of in the comments section. I’m hoping we can come up with a nice sized list to help out all the newcomers.

Ramsay from Blog Tyrant


Hi, I'm Ramsay. If you enjoyed this post you might like to check out:

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80 Comments. Join in. *Closed after 30 days*

  • Jamie

    I switched from All-in-One SEO to Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin as I think it does a better job overall. Love it.

    1. Gregory Ciotti

      Both are definitely solid.

      One thing I’d mentioned here is to read up on SEO copywriting, which is surprisingly easy (interlinking posts well, learning about anchor text, keyword density, etc.).

      Copyblogger & ConversationMarketing are great resources for this.

      Love the SEOmoz rec, Rand is the king of white hat SEOs.

      1. the Blog Tyrant

        Great points both of you. Thanks!

  • Kris @

    Thanks for this post – exactly what I was looking for being a terminal idiot an all! Much appreciated!

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Glad you liked it Kris.

  • Mandy Lender

    One of your better posts !

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Thanks Mandy.

  • dogflog

    Hey Tyrant,

    I also switched over from All In One to Yoast WP SEO and absolutely love it. It does require, or allow for, a lot of additional tweaking, depending how you look at it.

    Further, SEOMoz is by far, hands down, the absolute best, tools, community, Q and A, link tracking, rank tracking, link building, crawl error reporting, lovely webinar having, SEO Tool ON Earth!

    I’ve been a Pro Member for about 3 months and it is fantastic for all levels of SEO enthusiast. The price is frankly too low, I would pay 3 times as much as I do.

    I would encourage anyone to go over there and give it a test drive for a month. It’s free and you will not be disappointed!

    Thanks for all you do here, Tyrant, this is really one of the most informative blogs around.

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Thanks for the compliments dogflog. That really means a lot.

  • Rachelle

    Ah Tyrant…what shall I do with you? You forgot two easy ones…one can be fun and the other is about as fun as going to the dentist.

    1 – Forums

    Most forums allow you to have your blog in your signature. I found this out by accident, I was on Canadian Money Forum all the time in the real estate section. After I started my blog I noticed that other people had their blog links in their signature. So I put my blog in my signature. I instantly received 2 years worth of comment backlinks. (lots)

    Plus you can easily help people out if they happen to need advice, you get a little traffic, and…once they know you are not a spammer or nut case you’ll probably be allowed to post the odd article there. Kind of like an FYI here’s some info.

    2 – Directory Sites

    Sometimes it might be worth it to pay for admission to a directory site. This is a site which contains a list of sites. There are plenty of free ones anyways. There are sites like Yelp a restaurant rating site, even the yellow pages (phone directory), individual business sites (property management services directory) Hotfrog is another one. All of these add backlinks but you can literally spend days and days submitting your sites to these sites. I do not get any traffic or business referrals from these sites. The best way to find them is to search for free directory sites.

    Both of these are easy starters for beginners

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Perfect. Both excellent points. Its amazing how well forums and directories still work after all these years.

      1. Rachelle

        How could I forget carnivals? In every niche there are carnivals which can be fun. You submit the best article you have written every couple weeks. Or you can host your own carnival in your niche.

        Then everyone who submits has to link into the carnival.

        Lots of good link stuff and decent traffic.

  • Caleb

    Although I have seen Yoast that Jamie above mentioned, Hostgator instructed me to install Gregs High Powered SEO plugin in favor of All-In-One SEO and I have found it to have far more SEO controlling capabilities on the individual posts and pages..

    Another point is to be sure to use title and alt tags whenever posting images as this is a way for search engines to index and rank them accordingly. Also,in case someone viewing from other devices and has images turned off they will still be able to be to read what the image contained based on the title or alt set 😉

    One thing you mentioned that has been in the back of my mind for many, many months is developing my own plugin as I figured if it gets tons of downloads while having my link coded inside it, then the sheer backlinks alone would give a tremendous boost to PR but it sounds like you’re hinting at a few other benefits I may be missing so would you shed a bit more light on this specific tactic ❓

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Hey Caleb.

      That is definitely a big benefit of developing a plugin. But one of the other big things is that Google ranks really well websites that have free tools or some unique.

      Seems to be something other than the link juice.

  • Lara

    Love this! Great tips! Thank you. 🙂

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Thanks Lara.

  • Glynis

    This post was filled with so many good ideas that I saved the entire thing to my harddrive. Thank you so much. I have a bit of work to do.

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Thanks Glynis. Glad you liked it.

  • Chris @ Canadian Dad

    Thank you for the post, I’ve been kind of spinning my wheels after a great opening weekend. Figuring out how to use tags and things like SEO can be daunting so I appreciate posts like this one.

    And I don’t mind being called an idiot, lol, I absolutely feel like it sometimes. Coming from an almost zero background in all things internet (other than surfing), things like your site have helped a lot.

    Thanks again!!

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Don’t worry too much about all the SEO stuff in the beginning stages. Just work on great content and building a well-loved brand.

  • Mike Reeves-McMillan

    Uh… you left out keywords?

    1. Think of a few different phrasings for what you want to write about. For example, “How to be happy”, “Becoming happier”, “How to become happier”, “Happiness and how to get it”. Any of those could be a blog post title, but which is going to work best?

    2. Go to the Google free keyword tool and type them all in, one per line, and see which one gets the most traffic.

    3. Include the winner in your title; as a heading (with the Heading 3 style in most themes); and in a natural way a few times throughout the text. If you can manage to (again naturally) bold or italicise it once or twice, so much the better. If one of the runners-up also had a lot of traffic, you can toss it in a couple of times as well as a variation.

    4. If you can link to the new post from some of your old posts, using the keyword/keyphrase as the link text, that gets you some backlinks as per BT’s point 3.

    5. If it’s a topic you plan to write about a lot, make it a category or a tag with the same wording as the keyword, which gives you automatic internal linking.

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      I sort of mentioned keywords. Not in the copy though. Good point!

      Great suggestions. I’m not entirely sure about the method of finding keywords though because the ones with the most traffic often aren’t the best ones to go after. For example, sometimes the highest traffic keywords have absolutely impossible competition.

      Great comment Mike. As always.

      1. Mike Reeves-McMillan

        Quite true, BT, the most popular isn’t always the best to go after.

        What I do if I’m more serious about it is this:

        1. Switch over from the Google keyword tool itself to the traffic estimator (link at the top left of the keyword tool).
        2. Run the same query.
        3. Download the results to Excel – Google give you a button to do this.
        4. Do a rough-and-ready calculation of keyword value that works like this:
        Traffic x 1/competition x cost per click

        The number you get doesn’t mean anything in itself, it’s just a basis for comparison. So as traffic increases, or competition decreases, or cost per click increases, the keyword becomes more valuable.

        Of course, the figures the keyword tool gives you may or may not be truly accurate, so it’s still a bit of a wet finger in the air. But if you find a high-traffic, low-competition keyword which people are paying reasonable money to advertise on, you have a winner. By creating a really useful resource for the people who are searching for that keyword, you will get valuable traffic.

        If you don’t want to go to quite that much trouble, of course, the thing that the keyword tool still tells you is what words most people use to think about your topic. It’s still a good idea (I think) to pick the phrasing for your post title that is going to match what the largest number of people are looking for.

        1. the Blog Tyrant

          Have you ever tested those results against any other tools? Some people reckon that they are a bit off. Thoughts?

          1. Mike Reeves-McMillan

            I do notice that there doesn’t seem to be much correlation between the numbers on the keyword tool and the numbers in Google Webmaster Tools. And I’ve targeted a couple of “low-competition” keywords where the sites on the first page have a huge number of incoming links and it’s very hard to get to page 1, and contrariwise some “high-competition” keywords where the site ranking at number 7 has about 3 backlinks. I’m not sure what definition they use for “competition” – probably just how many pages there are with the keyword.

            I don’t pay too much attention to the numbers themselves any more, I just assume that the relative rankings are probably accurate.

            Plenty of people know more about SEO, and do better with it, than me, so you can take everything I say with a big pinch of salt, too.

  • Kate Takes 5

    I’ve used Blogger for about 18 months now and built up a good ranking withing the parent blogging world. However being technically challenged I’m too scared to try self-hosting…and the links you mention seem to all be WordPress related. My question – if you were me would you sit tight or bite the bullet?

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Kate I always tell people to bite the bullet. I really just think it is better to build your own asset up. You can hire people to do this migration for you. Won’t cost you much.

      1. Kate Takes 5

        Think that might indeed be the answer. Thanks so much for the great post and for the feedback.

      2. Kate Takes 5

        Also – is there anyone you would recommend?

        1. the Blog Tyrant

          I’d highly recommend

          Pick the best one that bids for your job.

  • Amy

    Thank you for including social media and commenting! I think a lot of people get caught up in “creating content,” but don’t necessarily realize that these things are PART of that creation process.

    Another thing we do as part of our ongoing SEO is to submit our content to StumbleUpon and Technorati. The more eyeballs who see it, the more likely it is to get linked to. Always a good thing.

    Thanks for posting this — whenever I see a new post of yours go up, I know I’m about to read something helpful and well-contructed.

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      That’s so nice of you Amy. Thank you.

  • Ralph | Social Media Explained

    One of the best things that I installed was this plugin:

    So many links were not valid anymore which was very good to clean up.
    It also showed that some of my affiliate links were wrong or out of date or just messed up.

    And Google doesn’t like things to be broken 🙂

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Ralph, I’m interested. Does it help you redirect those broken links?

      1. Ralph | Social Media Explained

        For sure.
        It picks up every link, so also images, comments etc.
        On one of my other sites it picked up 80 broken links.

        You can choose to unlink , redirect, edit or ignore the links.


      2. Rachelle

        I use it too and it is good. You can link to sites that go offline or the webmaster will change where their posts are and so on. I suppose the longer your site is online the worst this problem can become.

        It’s also irritating for readers to click on a link that doesn’t work. so this gives you a way to fix it easily

        1. the Blog Tyrant

          Have either of you used the plugin called Redirect?

  • Marcus

    I think the Google Webmaster Help videos by Matt Cutts are helpful, for beginner and advanced SEO practitioners. While everyone else speculates on what Google thinks, those videos allow you to get the straight talk from the source.

    Google even has an official “Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.” It must be a well-kept secret or neglected, because almost no blogs ever mention it.

    For a good checklist of what NOT to do, check out the Google Webmaster Guidelines. The stuff under “Quality Guidelines” name specific tactics that could get you banned. They warn that just because something isn’t on the list, that doesn’t automatically mean it’s okay with Google. If something feels shady, it is.

    That being said, you should take “official” sources with a grain of salt. Google is a business with an agenda, so they don’t reveal any shortcuts for quick results. You’re probably better off avoiding tricks like those anyway, because they’re going to be next on the Google slap hit list.

    For any bloggers who write about SEO, err towards those who are actually testing results with live sites and reporting their results.

    Aside from great content, which is a given, I think your best bet is to build relationships with big websites and traditional media. That’s good networking, will result in high-quality PR links, and will boost your SEO anyway.

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Beautiful comment as always Marcus. Thanks bro.

  • Janus

    I think you’ve covered a lot of the important things in one single post! I use guest posting and blog commenting (your tip #7) to get quality links, traffic and connect with other like-minded bloggers in my niche. I’m also learning to use social media (your tip #8)to promote my blog. These three strategies alone are getting me results in a short period of time.

    Above all, I think the key to building a successful blog is to create content that offers value (your tip #2). I believe that traffic will flow to where value is.

    Thanks for sharing this great post!

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Thanks for commenting Janus!

  • Jasmine Henry

    Going from what you said about anchor text, I actually read a post that said that using bold or italics on the keywords highlights them for Google – I tend to use keywords in my anchor text and then bold the link, it doesn’t look out of place and it still helps my SEO.

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Good point! That is true.

  • Scott Kindred | SafeHouse Web

    What do Darth Vader and his two cronies, each using different modes of transportation to get somewhere, have to do with SEO? Or even SEO for idiots? I say: It doesn’t matter if you are a leader or a follower, so much as it matters that you are using something (SEO in its different modes of mobility)to transport your business blog and/or website; to keep it moving.

    What do you say, BT?

    By the way, lest I move away from making correlations between your blogging imagery and the amazing content you offer, I must point out that I could not find a match for the word “alorythms” anywhere in a Google search (see above, first subheading: “A crude illustration of how SEO works,” 2nd sentence). And, sorry, I didn’t find a private route to subtly bring that to your attention 😉

    Back to the SEO. I liked the nugget you included about Tweeting big players. While I still struggle from time to time with believing that Twitter does any real good for the small fries, I do see the concept working for some people and working well. Comparing on a much, much smaller scale, I have a colleague in my circles who got over 3,000 tweets on a guest post that I wrote for his blog. Yet the posts on my own blog rarely get over 10 tweets. This proves to me that because his Twitter base is much larger than mine, sheer numbers do matter.

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Whoops! Fixing that now. Thanks!

      You are right about Twitter to an extent I think. I try to think of Twitter as like the lunchtime meeting you have with a potential client. Your often not actually discussing business but building the rapport that helps to sell down the track.

      Haven’t forgotten about your SEO audit by the way.

      1. Scott Kindred | SafeHouse Web

        I appreciate your consideration – whenever you happen to have time. I also know that when you do it, you are going to create a TON of work for me! Ahh, but pain means growth.

        1. the Blog Tyrant

          Pain means pain sometimes. Ha ha.

          (Busy week).

  • Kimberly R.

    Do you know anything about the WordPress theme called Thesis? I was told by a couple of people that it’s one of the best SEO themes available right now, so I installed it. It’s very easy to customize, but I haven’t gotten into all the nuts and bolts yet of what it can do.

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Yeah Thesis and Studiopress are two that I really recommend. You should be totally fine with your choice.

    2. Scott Kindred | SafeHouse Web


      Just throwing in my two cents here after I saw BT mention StudioPress. I regularly use themes and the PlatformPro framework from Pagelines but really enjoyed this plain-speak comparison of PageLines and Genesis, from Bryan Haines at; Genesis is the base for all StudioPress themes and is an easy and quick start with a lot of built-in [SEO] goodies. Since you might be looking into StudioPress themes, this may be a helpful article, too:

      1. the Blog Tyrant

        That is really good actually. Cheers.

      2. Kimberly R.

        Thanks, I’ll take a look.

      3. Jason Fonceca

        I second Scott’s Genesis recommendation, it is incredible, and not just for SEO 🙂

  • Kathy

    What do you consider a fast loading site? I used your link and my site loaded in 29 seconds. When I put the path for my blog (the root plus /blog) it was 2.07 seconds.

    I learned a lot from this informative post and from the comments. Thanks!


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Kathy are you sure? 29 seconds would be a serious problem.

      It should be under a second at the minimum.

      1. Kathy

        I checked again just now and the root search time was 2.3 seconds and the root/blog was 5 seconds.

        I’m thinking of changing my landing page back to my blog page. I switched it to my affiliate marketing page in November, but haven’t seen any results. I remember reading that it’s not a good idea to switch landing pages (bad for SEO). Sometimes I think it is necessary when you’re trying to find what’s best of the website/blog.

  • Carly

    Thanks for the post, it’s really helpful! One plugin I recently started using is Easy WP SEO. It’s great for newbies (like me) for getting on-page SEO in good shape. It’s not a free plugin, but for me it was well worth it. I use Yoast as well, but some of the settings I’m not sure I’m using right. 😛

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Thanks Carly! I’ll check that out.

  • Anny

    I also like SeoMoz metrics. I guess they shows the most real data and stats

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Yeah they are really good.

      1. Anny

        oh, I’ve just seen you on copyblogger)

  • Andrew Palmer

    Love the way you link to hosts using aff links – nice.

    However, I have looked and looked but see no reference to Headlines and that if they are relevant Google and others love them as all they are really looking for is latest news…If we think of the search engines as news aggregators we won’t go far wrong, look at what first appears when you put a general search query into an SE – if it is topical – which all posts should be, it is generally the newspages that come up first – so, my point has been made….I hope….

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Yep. Headlines are so important.

  • Teknomani

    Thanks for the post. Any tips for sites having non-English content? (like using local hosts etc…) I have a technology blog in Turkish.

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      I’m not really sure about that one. There is a WordPress plugin called Translate which might work well.

  • Sakthi

    I don’t think its basics guide,but professionals have to look back with this guidelines.
    Thanks for this

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Thank you.

  • Jason Fonceca

    Great post, concise and quite informative 🙂

    A quick off-kilter addition, if you use google analytics, you can check what keywords are bringing people into your site, and sometimes there are some weird, anomalous ones.

    Steve Pavlina still gets massive traffic to his Personal Development blog from his “Brown Rice” article, and he was able to leverage that pretty well.

    Sometimes it’s random traffic that you don’t want to leverage, but other times it can be really powerful, and give you insight into keywords you may not have considered 🙂

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      True Jason.

      Have you noticed the Google are hiding more and more keywords these days?

  • Jennifer Nelson

    Another great (free) tool for SEO’s is the search engine – backlink info, anchor text, etc.

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Sweet I’ll check it out. Thanks Jen.

  • Rob Lipscombe

    Thanks Tyrant,

    For a relative newbie like myself these tips are a great help in what appears to be a complete mine field. All the other comments here are much appreciated too to help get me started in understanding SEO.

    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Good luck Rob. Let us know how you go.

  • Matt

    Thanks for the great and very long post.

    I have several blogs that I’d like to increase the rankings on, and this post looks like it will help. In particular, I am interesting in the SEO plugins. In fact, I have one blog that gets high-value AdSense clicks from about 5% of visitors, which is a great conversion rate, but I only get about 20 visitors per day, so the actual dollar amount is pretty low. I feel like if I could get 200 or more people viewing the site each day, I could make a good side income from that one blog alone.

    Will these SEO packs create a quick jump in rankings, or is their benefit something that happens slowly over time?


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      One of the annoying things I found about Adsense (and this is totally unproven) is that as my visitors went up my earnings per click went down.

  • Mr.Ven

    Hi Tyrant,

    I believe On page SEO is more important than anything else, and good that you are suggesting to gain links naturally instead of pointing to a mass link builder (that most of the “about blogging” bloggers are doing).


    1. the Blog Tyrant

      Mass link building is a total waste of time. It will just cost you money and get you banned.