9 SEO Tips For Bloggers + A Free Checklist

If you’ve been blogging for at least 5 minutes you’ve probably heard that SEO is important. Maybe you’ve even downloaded Yoast and feel like you are doing it right. Sadly it’s a lot more complicated than that.

What is this crazy SEO thing?

Let’s start at the basics SEO means Search Engine Optimization. This basically means creating online content that is more likely to discovered in search through systematic symptoms. Still sound like gibberish? Stay with me.

Let’s say you are getting married and you want to get your bridesmaids gifts but you’re not sure what to give them. You hop on Google (or your preferred search engine but let’s be real…it’s probably still Google) and search “Gifts Ideas for my bridesmaids.”

Google then delivers a list of several suggests, some ads, some organic suggestions.

Ads? Organic?

Organic search results are the whole reason we worry about SEO. Pages online are ranked based on many features including site and url structure, keywords, site speed, average time on site, and follow  links associated with the site and a long list of other things.

Let’s take a look:

Google Search Results- SEO

The first links that don’t say “ad” next to them are ranked first for the search “Gifts Ideas for my bridesmaids.”

That’s what good SEO does, it tells the Google bots, “This page is a good resource for what you’re looking for based on the webpage’s title, the page’s description meta tag, the alternate tags on images and other forms of media, the url structure, navigate and more.”

Based on all these factors Google then presents them to you in order of calculated relevance.

9 Tips to Improve Your SEO

  1. Go ahead and download Yoast for your blog. This isn’t the be all end all for SEO formatting but it is a HUGE help in finding out if you’re on the right path.
  2. Make sure you are using keywords in every aspect of your blog post. That means in your title, in your meta description, in your photographs and social media.
  3. Don’t over do it. Yes you want to use keywords in your blog  but don’t be spammy. The Google bots don’t like that.

Good example: Welcome to Ida Eats, the food blog all about enjoying life and all the yummy foods it has to offer. You can expect easy recipes with natural ingredients based on culinary dishes I’ve tried from all over the world.

Bad example: Welcome to the food blog Ida Eats. This food blog is the food blog all about yummy foods. On this food blog you can expect easy recipes with natural ingredients on culinary dishes I’ve tried from all over the world that inspired me to create this food blog.

We get it Ida, you have a food blog.

The trick to using keywords successfully is to naturally include them in your post in relevant places. Also using the same phrase over and over might not be as helpful as using variations of the phrase. Using other words that users may be searching for will not only help you cover more group but it won’t raise any red flags to the search engines. 

4.Tread carefully with links.

Links are great! If you are a lifestyle blogger getting a link from Popsugar won’t only help you reach their large audience but it will help Google recognize you as

  1. Not all links are your friend. Just like you can get street cred from getting you blog links on sites with a high domain authority, you can give credit to other people’s blogs and sites by putting their links on your blog.  Putting someone else’s link on your blog is similar to giving a job referral, you don’t want to associate with just anyone or give credit to just anyone. Luckily WordPress automatically has rel=nofollow links in WordPress comment sections.

Rel=nofollow links tells Google not to follow certain links on your site or let them pass your page’s reputation to the pages linked to. Read more about that here.

So if WordPress automatically does this, why are you even saying anything about it Dia?

Because it doesn’t do that in your posts.

If you want to reference something you don’t want to boost, linking to it in your post is potentially giving it Google street cred. In links you don’t want associated with your index on Google, you need to create a nofollow link.

Also did you know that Google wants you to use these in paid links, like sponsored posts! Whaaaa?!? Yep, too many paid follow links could possibly get you penalized by google.

  1. Your site navigation is important and make sure Google has your sitemap.

A sitemap is a list of pages of a website used by to crawlers and sometimes  users.It provides a list of the pages of a website usually organized in hierarchical order.

There are several ways to create a sitemap and depending on your type of site you should choose the method that is best for you and then log into your webmaster tools and submit the sitemap to Google (Assuming the method you choose doesn’t submit it for you).

  1. Make the most of 404 errors.

404 errors are bound to happen no matter how hard you monitor your site. Did you know instead of just getting the plain “Page not found” notice you can create a custom 404 landing page and encourage people who land on that page to check out other things on your site?

(I currently don’t have a  custom 404 page because my site still provides people who land on my 404 page with access to my full menu bar and side widgets.)

  1. Meta tags aren’t just important for getting the attention of readers and making then click on your page above other, they are important for good SEO.  Meta tag are that little description your see when you’re searching the web.

Here is how and where I edit mine using Yoast on my WordPress blog. If you scroll below the post and click the “Edit snippet” button not only can you change the description meta tag for pages or posts but you can preview how it will look on Google.

meta description writing

Check your website theme  or SEO plug-in to see where you can change yours.

  1. Check for broken links often.  

This is something I have recently added into my weekly checklist. It simple and easy. I use Free Broken Link Checker to check for broken links on my site. Some nofollow links may come up but it is still valuable to check from time to time. I know how frustrating it is when a blog post links to something and you click on the link only to discover it doesn’t work.

So those are 9 things you can do to help you SEO! It is a current work in process for us all, the internet doesn’t ever go to sleep, so things are always changing, it’s important to make SEO a regular part of your blogging process.

I created a free checklist to save you time and help you rock your blog. I am all about doing things efficiently and creating systems to get those things done easily. This SEO Checklist will take some of the headache out of publishing blog post optimized for SEO. Make sure you can check all these boxes before you hit “Send” and make the Google bots smile!

Get your SEO Checklist Here! SEO ChecklistIf you found this information useful, let me know if you’d like to see more about SEO or tutorials on how to set certain things up.

What are your thought on SEO? Have you been making any mistakes you want to fix? How often do you check for broken links? Let me know all about your SEO habits.

Things I Can’t Get Enough of Lately IV

Disclosure: Posts on AllTheThingsIDo.com contain affiliate links. For more information see policy.

I have been in serious launch mode since the end of August (I promise that’s the last time I’ll bring up my new course in this post, The Balance Side Hustle. You know the course that will give you the tools you need to make more time for your side hustle in the next 30 days. That course that will give you tips and instructions for how to make the most out of the time you have to spend on your side hustle, show you how to create a custom schedule to get things done more efficiently by figuring out what your priorities are, what your goals are and what your strengths are.)…Sorry what was I saying…

Oh I’ve been in crazy launch mode and haven’t published a Things I Get Enough of Lately… and let me tell you, I have been having my fill of goodies the past few months.

So let’s just get into all the things I’ve been enjoying lately.

4 Cheese Cheez-It 

I am a big believer in having snacks ready to go. Seriously I have the purse of a soccer mom. I keep snacks in my car and at my desk at all times because you never know when you’ll be hungry.  My coworker hooked me onto these a few weeks ago. You have one and it’s like you just can’t stop.

Cheez-It Reduced Fat White Cheddar Baked Snack Crackers, 11.5 oz

You’re The Worst (FXX)

Full disclosure this show is not for everyone. It is crude, it is slightly raunchy and it is totally my favorite show on T.V. The show is back for it’s 3rd season (and has already been renewed for it’s 4th) on FXX. It follows two dysfunctional people’s untraditional romance. One is a self destructive flake and the other is a rude narcissist. This show had me hooked from it’s first episode in 2014 but the 2nd and 3rd season has really given the actors a chance to shine and has brought real attention to important issues like depression and PTSD in veterans. Because the show is so gritty and honest it has been able to show these issues in a real light. I also really like that unlike other shows they don’t use secondary characters to highlight these issues but main characters and it isn’t something covered in 30 minutes in tied up in a nice bow, oh no, these characters deal with these challenges and even if it improves the problems are still there because depression and PTSD can’t be wrapped up in half an hour.

Easy (Netflix)

I hadn’t heard about this show until one morning I woke up, turned on Netflix and saw it. I had no idea what this show was about but I ended up loving it. Each episode ultimately focuses on one couple and it’s all types of relationships. I loved it because it showed that none of these couples have it easy, love is all about trying and figuring it out as you go sometimes. Even the happiest couples I know have differences or issues.  We’re all human. This is also a show that might be a little raunchy for some. This is a star studded cast, including Orlando Bloom, Dave Franco, Malin Akerman, Jake Johnson and the list goes on.

Ted Talks

So I have my headphones on all day at work and I probably only listen to about 30 minutes of music at work a week. I spend the rest of my time listening to webinars, radio theatre, podcasts and speeches. I never really jumped onto the whole Ted Talk train until hearing that Sara Ramirez had one. I went to look for it only to discover it wasn’t available and by the luck of the draw came across Sarah Kay. Then I fell down the YouTube rabbit hole and ended up listening to about an hour of her poetry.

Here are a few more I enjoyed:

Dianna David

Carrie Green  

American Horror Story

I know a lot of people have stopped watching this show but after Lady Gaga’s amazing performance last year I knew I had to come back for more. I love how this season is set up and am sure that it will end with a bang and a big surprise. Also can I just say I adore Cuba Gooding Jr. and I think Ryan Murphy has really given him the chance to take back his career with first The People Vs. O.J. Simpson and now American Horror Story 6.

Revitalized Grey’s Anatomy

Again, I know a lot of people have stopped watching this show and I was sure it would lose me when it killed off one of its major characters 2 seasons ago but the show has finally got some new blood! I don’t want to give too much away but it feels like the show is really back to what it used to be ten years ago.

This Is Us

Tears! So many Tears! If you ever watched Parenthood with Lauren Graham and Peter Krause then you are probably used to bawling your eyes out once a week. My best friend, Mark makes fun of me all the time because I am pretty sure I cried at least once, all 103 episodes of the 6 season series. Not even being dramatic. (If you didn’t watch it, don’t worry it wasn’t this horrible depressing show where you watched kids get bullied and people kick puppies for an hour, sometimes the tears weren’t sad tears but “happy tears” “that’s so sweet tears” or to quote the Backstreet boys, “‘ I want it that way’ tears.”)

Anyway enough about Parenthood. The show started with the premise of 4 different people who all have the same birthday and the different places they are in in their life, then at the end you discover how they are all tied together, and it’s beautifully done.  The cast is just amazing, including Justin Hartley (Young and the Restless, Mistresses), Mandy Moore (Singer, A Walk To Remember, License to Wed), Milo Ventimiglia (Heroes, Gilmore Girls) and Sterling K. Brown (The People v. O.J. Simpson: True American Crime Story, Army Wives). Break out the tissues and give it a try.

My new Blue Yeti Mic

I love this thing. I’m not going to lie about 40% of the time I go to turn it on, I end up singing half a song into it because it looks so legit, like I’m in the studio or something. I wanted to make a audio version for the email course I launched back in June (As well as have a mic for the above thing I promised not to mention again lol). Turns out a lot of the pros recommend this mic and I see why. If you’re looking for a USB mic, this one gets my vote.

Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water

So I actually received this in my grab bag at #BlogHer16. As some of you may know I am not a makeup girl, not even a little bit. I keep a healthy supply of chapstick in my purse and if I’m feeling really fancy (like twice a year) I might wear mascara.  I’ve been washing my face with the store brand of Noxzema for about 15 years. But I figured why not give it a try, Garnier was nice enough to sponsor BlogHer 16 and be a hook us up with a bunch of products. I love this stuff. I have super sensitive skin so I like that it’s water based. It’s crazy because this whole time I’ve been lathering on the Noxzema then washing it off in the shower, but with the cleansing water, I’ve been using cotton pads and can see the dirt coming off. It’s a little crazy considering I don’t wear base how much dirt comes off sometimes… I’d like to thank Zumba for the gross sweat on my forehead. I love it and while the Noxzema does a good job of keeping my skin clean, I might have to switch to this stuff.

P.S. You can sign up for the free e-course, Define Your Brand, Define Your Niche here if you haven’t already.

P.S.S. Don’t forget to sign up for my webinar, Actions From Distractions, this Sunday at where I will be talking about some of the biggest distractions bloggers face and how to combat them.

So tell me, what have you been loving lately?


How I Stopped Blogger Burnout While Staying Productive

Disclosure: Posts on AllTheThingsIDo.com contain affiliate links. For more information see policy.

During the summer I posted a blog titled, I Love blogging …Really I Do. If you haven’t had the chance to read it basically I was talking about my decision to cut back on my posting schedule and focus on other things.  

This was probably the best thing I could have done for myself, my blog and my business. I was dealing with a lot in my personal life and really wanted to focus on creating and launching my course The Balanced Side Hustle, updating my free email course and just making sure I was doing my best and providing the best to my readers instead of pumping out 2 subpar posts a week just to be able to say I did.

I was a little nervous to hit “publish” on that post because I felt like I was bearing my soul and we all know the internet isn’t always kind. My words were met with so much love and support, I was so glad I wrote that post. I was even happier that I took the time to work on other content because, as I may have mentioned 1,000 times already, I am launching my course November 7th!

The Paradox of Choice

I was stuck in a rut for a while. I would sit down to write and just have no desire to get anything done. I would sit down and have so many ideas and so much to do I would do nothing. I’ve been sort of fascinated with The Paradox of Choice lately.

If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a theory from psychologist Barry Schwartz, that says, because we have so many choices as Americans we are actually more stressed out and overwhelmed. That we are more likely to fall into depression because the amount of choices can leave us paralyzed and unmotivated.

I realized this can happen in blogging and goal getting. There are so many things we want to do. We want to publish 3 blog posts a week, write for other websites, do consulting, start an online course, update our old Pinterest graphics, engage on social media, schedule a twitter chat and we look at all the list of ideas and tasks and don’t know where to start. You’re paralyzed by options and choices. So I sat back and made a choice, “I want to get this course launched by the end of the year.”

Okay sounds like another option to stress me out?

It would be, but I made a choice to pick that task and figure out what I needed to do to make it happen.

If I wanted to do a proper launch for this course and provide my best content then I need to:

  • Cut back on the amount of posts I’m doing
  • Outsource some of the more mundane tasks
  • Figure out whose information I would follow for which sections of the launch
  • Set times and deadlines for certain aspects of the launch.

Deciding that this was my main focus and the other things would take a back seat to this was game changing.

Breaking down that list of overwhelming desires for my business was like an “Ah Ha” moment.

My friend Ashley Jordan from Saving Money In Your Twenties always says, “You can have everything you want, but you can’t have everything,” while Ashley is talking about budgeting, this applies to life. You can have all the parts of your business but you can’t have them all at once.

Think of the larger scale, trying to add a podcast, videos and create a course all at once by yourself is insane.

Think of some of your favorite bloggers and business professionals. They didn’t appear online one day with social media accounts on each platform, doing videos, blog posts, podcasts, courses and offering consulting services all at once. They started at one point and slowly built on it.

It’s not stopping, it’s refocusing

I think the reason people never overcome overwhelm is because they think stepping back means stopping. No! It means stepping back looking at the big picture and then figuring out where you need to shift your focus for things to happen.

I didn’t say, “Oh I’m feeling burnt out, better pack it up.” I said, “I am spinning my wheels, something needs to change.”

I knew if I wanted to launch this course I would need to shift my focus on it and put other things on hold or scale them back.

I didn’t logout of WordPress for 3 months and say “Bye Felicia.” That isn’t a break, in my opinion, that’s quitting.

Getting Help Helps

Mariah Coz and Meghan Menz recently did a podcast about why people buy online courses. They didn’t say this but it sort of connected to The Paradox of Choice, people purchase courses, or services because there are so many ways to do everything that instead of picking through them all it’s nice to have someone say, here just take this path for certain things. It’s not about giving up control it’s about making the choice to pick a path, stop wasting time and getting to where you want to be.  

I mean come on, I’m not launching a course about time management and life balance as a side hustler because there isn’t any content out there. I’m launching my course because I remember searching for answers on the matter and feeling more lost then I was when I started. Before I developed my system I was just spinning circles, trying to listen to all of this advice. Here is the thing with my program, it tells you how I figure out balancing my blog and this thing we call life and it helps you develop a system that works for you. We are all different, we have different priorities, different goals and different definitions of success so a blog post that says, “Do this and everything will be better,” isn’t exactly accurate. There is no one size fits all to life.


Action From Distractions

I wanted to invite you all to my webinar, Actions From Distractions October 16th at 1:00 PM CST.  If you can’t make the live webinar be sure to still sign up so you can view the webinar.

I will be addressing distractions and time management issues my readers have shared with me and giving a sneak peek into my course! Sign up here.  I hope to see you there!