9 SEO Tips For Bloggers + A Free Checklist

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.



  1. Leslie

    I had no idea what SEO was until a couple of months ago. I’ve soaked up all i can find on SEO. I’m loving this check list!

  2. Dia

    Awe. Thanks Leslie. I’ve been fortunate enough to work for an SEO genius the past few months who has really helped me get a better understanding of it.

  3. Amelie

    I’ve been blogging for over a year now, and yet I still don’t understand SEO completely. I’m definitely going to have to implement your tips!

  4. Lexi Kritzer

    I definitely needed this! Thank you for being SO comprehensive and helpful!

  5. Dia

    Its such a complicated thing. I figured this was a good simple starting point.

  6. valerie hansen

    Oh my my head is spinning and I have been blogging awhile. I am not techy at all, so this stuff gets me bogged down, although most of it is important. I do no follows for sure, but concentrating on key words constantly in a post is too much for me at this point…

    I am on blogger too, so does that mean your blog will never rank? Cuz blogger doesn’t have plug ins…

    Thanks for a great post!


  7. Dia

    I’m not sure about how blogger blogs work. I don’t think they have plugins do they? What you can do is just make sure you are using headlines, blog titles, and content that matches up. If your blog post is, Decorating Tips For Your living room, then your headline might be, 7 living room decor ideas to make guests feel welcome, and then you’d want to make sure your post had things that related to the title in it. Don’t think too hard about the keywords. Just think, “Does this all make sense. Is it all put together?”

  8. Dia

    Awe thanks Lexi. I really hope you found it useful.

  9. Dia

    Thanks for checking it out Amelie. Good luck on implementation. Let me know if you have any questions.

  10. Jenny Blaisdell

    We get it Ida, you have a food blog! I’m cracking up at that. Too funny.

  11. Crystal Marie

    Thank you for this info. It is so helpful!

  12. Jocelyne

    Whoa! You have so much to share about SEO. I’m gonna apply all of these. Currently using Yoast and its great. But will try the other techniques you share here. Thanks a ton.

  13. Falon

    Okay, I hate dealing with SEO but these are super manageable tips and I actually understand what you’re talking about!

  14. Tram-Anh Poprik

    Hi! This is a great post. I need to learn more about this and your post is a great jumping off point! Thank you so much for sharing! Do you consult?? Ha !

  15. Paola

    This is a great post, I wish I had come across it when I was beginning this blog thing…. It would have made my life easier.

  16. LJ Sedgwick

    I keep meaning to design a custom 404 page but it seems to be continually on the ‘To Do’ list!!

  17. candy

    This whole SEO thing can be very confusing. So many different options floating around. Yours is easy to read and follow along and understand.

  18. Kailei

    SEO is hard for me to wrap my mind around. Thanks for sharing such helpful tips!

  19. Fiona

    Great post with really clear explanations. There’s just so much to learn about SEO, isn’t there? And then just as you think you’ve got it… Google changes the rules haha! Thank you for the checklist.

  20. Chloe Ciliberto

    Absolutely great post. I love he idea of customising your 404 page and I definitely don’t check for Broken Links enough. x

  21. Dia

    Awe thanks Candy. I really wanted to write a simple guide. It isn’t everything SEO has to offer but it’s a good start.

  22. Dia

    I hope it helps you.

  23. Dia

    It sounds dramatic but I work with SEO everyday and some people do that lol

  24. Dia

    You’re welcome.

  25. Dia

    I really hope it does help. I know how confusing it can be.

  26. Sky

    SEO is something that I’m really working to improve. This a super helpful guide – bookmarked so I can reference it later.

  27. Jessica

    I love Yoast – it helps catch some of the basic SEO does and don’ts in my articles. I agree though, it definitely doesn’t stop there! Lately, I’ve been focusing on image optimization and increasing my average session duration – two things that are difficult as a beauty blogger! 🙂

  28. Kari

    This is great! SEO is one of the most puzzling things to me now. Thank you for the advice.

  29. Dia

    Of course Kari I hope it helps.

  30. Dia

    Oh yes for sure, especially since you probably use more photos than text.

  31. Dia

    I hope you found it useful!

  32. Dia

    Awesome! Thanks for checking it out Sky!

  33. Dia

    It is a tedious task. I’m guilty as well. It might be a good thing to send out to a VA.

  34. Dia

    Haha truth. They do add more complexity all the time, so I tried to focus on evergreen tips.

  35. Dia

    Haha I totally understand LJ.

  36. Dia

    That makes me so happy. I wanted to make it simple!

  37. Dia

    Awe. I am currently working on a course but I am considering opening up services in 2017! Stay tuned.

  38. Dia

    Awe thanks Paola!

  39. Dia

    Of course!

  40. Cori

    Great information, Dia! Thanks!

  41. Tonya

    Great list of SEO tips Dia, I really think that checking for broken links often is so important. There’s nothing like going to a website and finding that the content doesn’t exist anymore.

  42. GiGi Eats

    Girl, you’re so good! I am proud to say that I do all of these things, but I feel like I need to hire you to go into the back room of my blog and check out what I might not be doing right!!

  43. Dia

    It’s annoying as a reader. I try to keep up with it.

  44. Dia

    Haha i have a hard enough time keeping up with my own.

  45. November 2016 Goals - All The Things I Do

    […] Not only did I create a new upload for a previous post, I also publish an SEO checklist for bloggers and my first solo webinar is also available for […]

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