SEO for Beginners

Traffic Strategy – Search Engine Optimization – SEO for Beginners

We have been talking about setting up and adding content to your WordPress blog – your business website.  By now you should be asking, how do I get people to visit my wonderful new blog and read all the great articles I have posted? To answer that question, today we begin a series of articles on various traffic strategies, starting with SEO for beginners.

If you have been following Barb’s Challenge, in week 2 of the Quick Start Challenge we started to learn about traffic and conversions. Your readers, the people visiting your online blog are the traffic we are looking for. When these same people buy something or fill in your optin form to get on your list, we call that a conversion–they took the action you desired.  We also learned about commenting on blogs and in forums to get traffic to our blog for free by providing the link to our site in the comment.  Those links are a big part of search engine optimization.


The thought of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) frightens or certainly is confusing to most non techie people.  To better understand the concept let’s compare your blog to the famous hamburger restaurant with the golden arches… I’m talking about McDonald’s, of course!

If your McDonald’s is located in the middle of a big city, you have a fantastic chance of getting people to come in and eat or at least drive through the take out…simply because of the location.  Now if your McDonald’s is located in the middle of the desert, people traveling through the desert will probably be happy to come upon your restaurant if they are hungry when they go by but you certainly won’t have hoards of local people coming by if you are located in the middle of nowhere! The same is actually true for your website blog.  It’s your job to tell the search engines (like Google, Yahoo and Bing) what information you have on your blog so they can get visitors to your site.

According to Wikipedia, Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results – often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results.  Simply put, SEO is targeted advertising.  You target your prospective readers (and hopefully buyers) by the keywords you focus on. When you write a new blog post, the search engines have a web crawler application that searches for new content and safely stores the new pages where the content is as an index in a super large database.

When your reader types in what they want to search for (these are the keywords), the search engine gives back a list of results with the words indicated.  These are called SERP’s or Search Engine Results Pages.  If the words in the search are put in quotes, the SERP’s will reflect an exact match versus searches without quotes, which provide results in any order.

I’m by no means an SEO expert but using the SEO plugin by Yoast it does help with your SEO results.  Of course, the search engines have their secret algorithms that they are not quick to divulge! With that being said, let me give you some examples of SERP’s related to Barb’s Challenge…

Here’s a blog post I did for Sunday Motivation.  The key words that I focused on were very specific…”words that kill success”.   Notice I used quotes because I wanted to see the exact matches and I ended up being on page 2 of about 1,760 results.  You see Barb’s Challenge in positions 3 & 4 on page 2.

“Words that kill success”

Here is another example, where I used the key words “plugins for profit”… a much more competitive keyword.   This showed my site on page 1 of 83,100 results in positions 4 & 5!

google search plugins for profit

In both of these examples, the results were greatly impacted because I used the Yoast plugin.  I think it is worthy of your time to install the plugin and here is a video how to do that…

Just installing the plugin will obviously not get you a top ranking.  Here are some key pointers to help your SEO strategy…

Quality, Relevant Content… The first key to getting ranked higher in the search engines is quality, relevant content.  If your blog is about golf, your postings should be relative to golf.  Also, the search engines place high priority on articles that read naturally.  Refer back to the article we did on Content is King!

Proper Keyword Strategy… Proper keyword strategy is the second key.  It is important to note that your content should be written for people to read and not written for the search engines.  The proper keyword strategy will help you reach the targeted audience that you want to read your blog.  With that is mind, do some research!  Use the google keyword tool (just search for it!) or any other keyword tool you might have, or even use the suggestions that appear as you start typing your key word(s) into the search bar.  Some areas to focus your research on include…

  • Type in phrases your readers and customers might search for.
  • Look at key words of your competitors.
  • Look up low competition key words.
  • Look up high competition key words.
  • Consider key words for local area traffic.
  • Consider long tail keywords (long phrases or entire sentences)
  • Consider keywords relative to a sales presentation

When you decide on the key word(s) you want to focus on, you can write your quality content.  With all the Google updates and newest algorithms, it’s important to keep your keyword density below 1% (meaning how many times you use the keyword).  Make it readable and understandable for “Grandma”.  This is really where the Yoast plugin helps.

Link Building… Another key factor to good SEO is link building.  There are two kinds of links… Internal Links, to your own pages and External Links to trustworthy sites with great content related to your blog content.  Remember, your readers want good, quality information.  If you give them what they need, they will continue to come back to your site as a source of information.

You also need backlinks…This is where quality sites link to your site!  When someone leaves a comment on your blog, respond back to the comment and also go leave a comment on their blog.  A word of caution here.  Be selective on the blogs you comment on.  Remember Google is watching and your reputation is online.  Don’t forget to blog hop to sites related to your site and leave a comment.  Your name will usually be linked back to your site.  Do the same with forums.  High ranked sites with lots of traffic like Facebook and twitter are great for backlinks and we will get more into that in our next traffic topic.

In Summary and what to do next…

SEO should be one of your strategies for getting visitors to your site.  You do not want to have just one strategy (don’t put all your eggs in one basket scenario)… If you do, you might be blown away just like Hurricane Joaquin is trying to do along the eastern coast this weekend!  Take action…

  1. Write quality content and use the Yoast SEO plugin to get your site search engine ready.
  2. Get educated.  There are many programs that you can purchase to further your education on SEO. Here is one that I can recommend for you.   It’s called Easy SEO Mastery…click here to review.
  3. If you still have not signed up to our list, what are you waiting for? We give you a very special gift. You won’t want to miss our next traffic strategy! Sign up here now!
  4. Leave a comment below!  We love to hear from you and thank you for stopping by!
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About Barbara Dowling

Owner of Sunshine Global Marketing LLC offering products and services to help people grow their online business. Also help people with their insurance needs in Florida.
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9 Responses to SEO for Beginners

  1. Roy Miller says:

    Barbara, a very informative post. I agree wholeheartedly on the Yoast plug-in. I know now before I make a post if it has good SEO.
    Roy Miller would like you to read…Thrive Themes, A ReviewMy Profile

    • barbschallenge says:

      Thanks for stopping by Roy! I was truly amazed on the effect of the Yoast plug-in! I have been considering a theme change and after reading your review on Thrive Themes, that may be a good choice for me!

  2. Duane Reeve says:

    Nice simple explanations on a rather intimidating topic 🙂
    There is so much more to SEO that simply installing the Yoast WordPress Plugin and I’m looking forward to following this topic. I have been doing SEO for many years, but one can always pick a new tip/strategy from other marketer, hence my interest.
    Duane Reeve would like you to read…How to Identify and Stop Affiliate Link HijackingMy Profile

    • Barbara Dowling says:

      Hi Duane! Agree with your description of intimidating topic for SEO! I believe the best way to learn is by doing (which is why I liked the Quick Start Challenge so much!) I am out of my comfort zone with the topic of SEO and traffic and welcome all the suggestions and comments I can get 🙂 I certainly learned a few things about what the crooks can do from your article on Affiliate Link Hijacking. Excellent information!

  3. Hello Barbara,

    your website looks good but I recommend that you put in the articles ” read more “- tabs. It will help you with your bounce rate on your website.
    As you ranking ist about 4,79 Mio I suggest too that you do you google webmaster tools.
    Jochen Marcus Löffler would like you to read…Thrive SmartLinks – Smarter than everMy Profile

    • Barbara Dowling says:

      Hi Jochen! Thanks for stopping by and for the great suggestions. I checked out your posting on the Google Webmaster Tools and will definitely sign up for them. I was recently thinking about the “read More” and will definitely implement it now, as I was not aware it was affecting bounce rate! Really appreciate your feedback!

  4. Mark says:

    Extremely well written post Barbara!

    And I love the fact you’re offering case study type of social proof,
    to demonstrate your concepts actually being put into place!

    Great job too BTW, for consistently landing high in Google’s
    organic/natural results! And your video was extremely helpful as well!

    I’ll definitely be checking out your post on Content is King a well!
    Mark would like you to read…So What Actually Happens When Inventory Control Issues Team Up With Marketing Know How!Part TwoMy Profile

  5. Hi Barb,

    You may (or may not) be surprised to learn that there are plugins that can help with internal linking too. They generally look for similar words in the titles, keywords and tags of your other posts and then provide a linked list at the end of each blog post.

    Another bit of automation to save you time and effort.

    Keep up your great work here Barb and many thanks for your recent (very complimentary) review of my latest ebook.


    Steven Lucas
    Steven Lucas Marketing Mentor would like you to read…Focus on the Right Channel to Optimize Online Customer EngagementMy Profile

  6. Keiran says:

    Hi Barb

    A very informative article, thanks for posting.

    SEO used to be quite a simple business (or so it appears now), but Google is getting smarter and smarter all the time and seems to ignore attempts to manipulate it. Good for them, I suppose 🙂

    Thanks also for sharing the video on the Yoast SEO plugin. I’ve been using it for a while but I don’t think I really stopped to think about what I was doing, so I must look at that more closely now.

    All the best

    Keiran would like you to read…Getting started with online videoMy Profile

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