• The Polished Prose Team

SEO Basics For Beginners: The Top 3 Things To Know

Search Engine Optimization. If you're a blogger, even a beginner, you've definitely heard of SEO. It's a term that's thrown around like Halloween candy during trick-or-treating. SEO, what does that mean exactly? What about keywords, keyword research, and LSI? And how can it help you, the newbie blogger, improve the traffic to your blog and your blog writing?

Look, we've been where you are. There's a lot more to blog writing than some people think, and we know how overwhelming all of this can be. If you're asking yourself these questions, then we have just the blog for you. Keep reading to find out the top SEO basics for beginners.

Basic SEO Blog Writing Terms

The first term when it comes to SEO basics for beginners is simple. What is SEO? The textbook definition or, in this case, Wikipedia is:

"The process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines."

Basically, it's using the right keywords and phrases in your blog post to be noticed by a search engine, organically. Think of this, if you were to search "yoga studios for people over the age of 65." The first results you would get are paid ads. Those links are not organic.

Scrolling past the ads and the first links you see are senior living magazines with blogs and articles about senior yoga. By using SEO properly, your blog will end up farther up the list of of search results without you having to pay. It's like free marketing.

The second, but also very important SEO basics for beginners term is keywords. Keywords or key phrases are crucial to making sure SEO works properly. They are the words people put into search engines. To continue from the example above, "yoga studios for people over the age of 65" is the key phrase.

So, if you're a yoga studio looking to attract a clientele over the age of 65, you want to be sure your SEO is working with you, not against you. That means during your blog writing, you'll want to set your keywords/phrases to something more specific like:

  • Yoga studios for seniors

  • Yoga for seniors

  • Yoga for ages 65 and up

  • Senior Yoga

Generally, the keywords that are most specific to your niche are the ones you should be using. Now, if you want to know more about what your niche is searching for, there are plenty of tools that can help you with keyword research.

Basically, it's using the right keywords and phrases your blog post to be noticed by a search engine. - SEO basics for beginners, Polished Prose

How to Find Keywords

Now that you understand the importance of SEO and keywords you need to make sure you're using the right ones. So, how do you find them? The next step on our SEO basics for beginners journey takes us to Keyword Research.

You want the best, most specific keyword to your niche right? Unfortunately, a lot of newbies guess what keywords are trending as they do their blog writing. Most of the time, they guess wrong and end up making a lot more work for themselves.

By using simple keyword research tools like SEMRush you can find the right keywords that will level up your blog writing. How keyword research tools work is simple. You first search for a specific keyword or phrase in the database. Next, the results are brought up with different metrics and analytics. You'll want to pick the keywords that have high traffic and low competition.

The best part about keyword research and research tools is that they do more for you than just find keywords. There are numerous other benefits keyword research provides:

  • Help you plan out your content- you'll see what's trending in your niche so you'll be able to strategize your blog writing.

  • Learn about Latent Semantic Index (LSI)- a program designed to search for synonyms of your keyword.

  • Analyze the readability of your blog writing.

  • Find the average article length when it comes to your topic.

Doing a quick search of what is trending in your niche is a great way to see what your competition is producing, too. This is also a great way to discover "related searches" that could also be keywords.

Now that you've found your keywords, you'll want to narrow down your selection to a primary keyword and a secondary keyword.

Pro Tip: If you overstuff your blog with attractive keywords, Google and other search engines will notice and won't pull your blog to the front of searches.

Still with us? We know that it's a lot to take in! Hang tight, there are still more SEO basics for beginners to come.


How to Use Keywords

Now that you know how to find keywords, it's time to put them in their proper place. The last step on our SEO basics for beginners will focus on how to use the keywords you worked so hard to find.

You may be thinking "Well, don't I just use the keywords throughout the blog?"

Yes and no.

Your primary keyword should appear in more than just the body of your blog. It should also appear in your headings and Metadata.

Metadata is used to describe what the content of your blog will be before someone clicks on it. This is an SEO basic for beginners that you DO NOT want to miss out on. So much of your readership will come from using proper metadata along with your keywords.

With Metadata, you'll have your Meta title (aka title tag) or the title of your blog. It's what people will see when they search. Make sure your blog title is catchy and has your SEO keywords in it. For example, the Meta title of this blog is SEO Basics For Beginners: The Top 3 Things To Know.

The primary keyword/phrase is "SEO basics for beginners." You no doubt have seen that phrase throughout the blog. "The Top 3 Things To Know" is what makes the title catchy. Incorporating numbers into your Meta Title helps make them more appealing.

People like to see things like "top 3 tips" or "5 ways to improve...". It makes your post more clickable. Typically you'll want to keep your Meta title between 50-60 characters.

Once you have your Meta title you'll need to fill out your Meta Description. The Meta Description is the few lines of text under your Meta title that give a brief overview of what your blog is about. In about 155-160 characters, describe what your blog offers and make sure you use a CTA. For example, the Meta Description for this blog is:

Looking to level up your SEO game? This is the blog for you. Read all about our top three SEO basics for beginners and really start improving your blogs.

See how it uses the keywords and a CTA. Adding this to your blog post is a crucial step in making sure people don't scroll past your blog. If possible, incorporate your primary or secondary keywords into your subheadings. This, too, will help with your blog traffic.

Once you've found your primary keywords and included them in your Metadata, try and use them in your blog about 7-10 times per 1000 words. And make sure they're spread out. No one wants to read the same keyword over and over again in a short paragraph.

Final Thoughts

Wow, so that was a lot to take in, hey? It's okay if you're not a keyword expert right away. This blog after all was about SEO basics for beginners! These are three major tools you can use to improve your blog writing and your readership. The more you work with it, the better it will become, trust us! We've been where you are, too.

If you're looking for more ways to improve your blog writing, connect with us on Instagram! We share tons of tips and resources to help small business owners rock their blogs.