SEO: the dreaded three-letter word for bloggers. We all know it is very important, but it can be super confusing, especially at first! This list of SEO terms for bloggers will give you a rundown of important terms you should know about.
The world of SEO is endless, and definitely too much to include in just this one post! Therefore, I will explain as simply as possible the major SEO terms and concepts that bloggers need to know for their SEO.
By no means am I an SEO expert. In fact, I am probably far from it! However, I have spent over the past year teaching myself everything I could about SEO. I personally love SEO and the data and strategies behind it, so I found it interesting.
However, I can definitely see why it is not everyone’s cup of tea! I have watched plenty of videos and attended tons of trainings, so I will try to dumb it all down to the bare bones to make it as simple to understand as possible!
I’ve made plenty of my own SEO mistakes, but have learned from each one of them! I don’t want you to have to go through the same things, so make sure you read our blogging SEO made easy guide!
Undoubtedly, SEO is a long term process and commitment. While you can improve your SEO today, it might take months to actually see results. Trust the process, and you will be rewarded!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
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What is SEO?
Before we begin, what even is SEO?! If you’ve never heard this term before… get used to it! You will hear it a lot in the blogging world.
SEO stands for search engine optimization. Moz describes SEO as “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results”
This basically means prepping your site so when people search a term on Google, your page will come up in the results. This page is called the SERP, or search engine results page.
It is pretty obvious then, why bloggers are concerned with this. While you can get a lot of traffic from Pinterest and social media platforms, we all know Google is the gold mine of information! You want your posts to pop up on that results page, so you get more traffic (visitors).
How does SEO work?
To get your posts seen on Google, there is a process. First, search engines like Google will crawl your site.
Crawlers, sometimes called robots, or Googlebot, will “crawl” all over your site. Think of this as little mini robots running around your site, picking up bits of information. They are trying to figure out, what is this website about? What does this post give information on?
Then, they bring the information back to the search engine, and the information is stored and organized. This is called indexing. Once your page gets indexed, it can then start to show up on Google.
Lastly, your page is ranked. This means when a user searches for something in Google, what position does your post come up in? Typically your post will be on page 5 or higher in the beginning.
By improving your SEO, your chances of getting a better ranking (hopefully on the first page of results!) increases over time.
What are keywords & keyphrases
One of the most important SEO terms to mention is keywords. You will hear the term keywords or keyphrases often in the blogging world, as they are the cornerstone to everything SEO and a MAJOR SEO term!
Without using keywords, your chances of ranking on a search engine will be pretty low. Therefore, every post you write should have an intentional and researched keyword.
The keyword is essentially the topic of your post. Keywords are the words or phrases that users type into the search box in Google.
However, especially as a new blogger, you want to use long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are basically just keywords, with more words.
For example, the keyphrase for this post is “SEO terms”. If I had chosen the keyword “SEO”, my competition is MUCH higher, and I probably would never rank on Google. However, with my long tail keyword, I have a much better chance at getting some readers from Google!
In order to choose the right keyword, you will need some tools. Never just guess or makeup your keyword! I personally love the Keysearch Keyword Research Tool, which is super affordable!
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You can also get a FREE trial of SEMRush, which allows you to use 20 SEO tools, including keyword research. You will need to enter a credit card, but you can always cancel it before your trial is up! Just use it for the free 7 days and bulk search keywords for future use!
You want to find a keyword (especially as a beginner) that has low competition or a low difficulty score. This means that you will have a better chance at ranking! Low competition and high search volume keyphrases are what you want to find!
The above picture is from the Keysearch keyword research tool. As you can see with the keyphrase I entered, the monthly search volume is high, which is great! However, the difficulty score is in the 60s (and dark red) which is really difficult. New bloggers should aim for keywords in the teens-20s, or as low as possible!
It might take a while to find a good keyword- but don’t give up! It is better to spend time searching for the best keyword than to write an article that will never rank!
Where to put keywords
Once you have researched and found a keyword to use, what do you do with it!? There are many places you should put your keyword:
- The title tag, meta description, and slug.
Ok, don’t panic! These words sound way fancier than they actually are. Make sure to download the Yoast SEO plugin, and your life will be so much easier!
The title tag is basically just the title that will appear on the search engine results page. Make sure to put your keyword somewhere in here if it isn’t already.
The slug is just the URL. Yoast will automatically put your title here, but make sure it is just your keyphrase separated by dashes in between words.
The meta description is just the little snippet below the title that shows up on Google after you search for something. Include your keyphrase here (try to make it the first thing you write in the box), and give a short description of what your post is about.
Read more about where to put keywords in blog posts!
You also want to include your keyword in the title of your post. This makes sense anyway though, right? It’s what your post is about, so your keyphrase should be in there somewhere. Make sure it is exact though- even just adding a simple “s” to one of your words changes your keyword completely!
Your keyword should also be used in the first 100 words of your post. This gives crawlers an immediate idea of what your post is about!
Additionally, use your keyphrase throughout your post. Yoast will tell you if you have used too many or too little. For a 2000 word post, 6-8 times will probably be enough!
However, avoid keyword stuffing. Google penalizes users who try to “stuff” keywords anywhere and everywhere they can. This looks bad, is difficult to use, your writing won’t flow well, and it’s bad for your SEO. Less is more!
Images and seo
Another one of the most important SEO concepts to touch on is that your pictures also can be optimized!
The alternative text, usually referred to as the alt text, is something you should edit every time you upload a new picture to your post. Here, aim to describe the picture to someone who can’t see it.
When crawlers roam your page, they can’t “see” your pictures, so they rely on the text you put here to figure out what it is! It only takes a minute or two and is a great way to get some more optimization in.
You can even try to incorporate your keywords into the alt text as well, although this isn’t always the case.
When you download or name a picture on your computer, you can also use your keywords as the title before you upload it. This will increase your chances at getting your images to rank on Google as well!
Image compression is a huge part of increasing your overall SEO. Images take a lot of energy to load, thus making your page take longer to load. We all know no one likes a slow website (including Google).
The solution to this is called image compression. This can be done with a plugin, making it super simple! I use the plugin Imagify, which is through WP Rocket. My page has sped up multiple seconds because of it, which is a huge deal! Smush is another good plugin, which is free! However, it’s not as good in my opinion. Learn more about Imagify and WP Rocket here!
Additionally, you might hear the term lazy loading. This is also done through the above plugins, and only loads the images when the user gets to them, which increases your page’s speed!
Backlinks & Domain Authority
Backlinks are essentially when another website links to yours. For example, if a travel blogger includes a link to your post about Rome on their page, you’ve gained a backlink!
Backlinks are essential because it shows Google you are reputable, and that your content is valuable. This is because other people are using it, almost like using you as a reference!
Backlinks can be tricky to get, especially at first. Avoid giving a backlink in exchange for another blogger giving you a backlink. Google does not like this!
Backlinks are important to SEO because they help to increase your domain authority. Basically, the higher your domain authority, the increased chance you have of being ranked on Google. For reference, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram have a domain authority of 99 or 100 (100 is the highest), while a new blog will only be a 0 or 1 at first.
Internal & External Linking
Another important concept to mention in our list of SEO terms involves linking. Internal linking is when you link one of your own posts into your post. For example, I could say, “check more SEO tips in our SEO made easy guide!” and that would be an internal link because that link is a post to my own post!
When using internal links, pay attention to your anchor text. The anchor text is the text that contains the link. In this case, “SEO made easy” is the anchor text. It also just so happens that my anchor text is also the keyphrase for that particular post. Another easy way to get your keyphrase in to improve your SEO!
External links are links that take the user away from your site. It is important to include external links (and internal links) in every post. Think of external links as citing your sources, in a way. Try to use external links that are reputable, just like you would when writing a paper.
Editing internal links (and adding new ones as you write new posts) is a great way to improve your SEO when updating old blog posts!
Phew- that was a lot, and it hardly even scratches the surface! If you read this and are thinking holy cow my brain is going to explode, it’s ok! We all felt that way at first too! You will get there, it just takes practice!
The more you experiment with these things, the more it will make sense, and the easier it will become!
Hopefully, these SEO terms and concepts were an easy to follow introduction to the world of SEO. Once you get these basics down, you will be ready to take your blog to the next level!
As always, if you have any questions about this post or blogging in general, don’t hesitate to contact me! You can find my contact information in the menu above, or leave a comment below!
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