what is seo? how does seo work?
Search Engine Optimization

What Is SEO? And How Does It Work?

How Does SEO Work?

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is just that- optimizing your website for search engines. You want to make your website easy for readers and websites to understand. Important factors in SEO include: page speed, keyword placement, keyword choices, Backlinks, post length, and more.

It’s important for bloggers to understand how seo works. SEO gets a bad rap for being really difficult, time-consuming and pratically impossible for smaller websites. The fact is, if you’ve got an hour, you can improve your website SEO no matter how small or big your site is! SEO is a great long-term way to get traffic to your website. And, understanding long tail keywords are just one way to improve your search engine ranking. Let’s get started!

First things first, you’ll want an SEO plugin. I personally use YOAST. It ensures all my pages are indexed with Google.

seo checklist for blog posts

Make SEO A Top Priority

If Google doesn’t like you, you’re missing out on high quality traffic. Basically SEO is making your website attractive and easier for search engines to understand. That means using images, proper meta descriptions, effective keywords and placement, website speed, ALT Text, Backlinks and more! It might sound like a lot of work but it’ll pay off in the end when you don’t have to go chasing traffic anymore!

simple seo

SEO For Dummies

  • Longtail Keywords. Longtail keywords are 3-5 words, like a short sentence, that people search for related to your niche. A great tool to help you find some in your niche is google! Search for a keyword or two and then scroll to the bottom of the page and you’ll see some related suggested phrases. Those are great keywords! The real secret is knowing the right key words to rank for!
  • Sprinkle Your Keywords Properly. Use your longtail keywords in your headline, in your first paragraph, in the middle of your post, and in the closing of your post. Be sure to include your longtail keywords in your meta description as well. 
  • Optimize For Mobile. Google loves mobile friendly blogs. If you aren’t sure how your blog performs, you can check your Google search console. 
  •  Use Your Meta Description Wisely. BUT BE SURE TO USE IT! Your meta description is the little snippet that shows up under your url in search results. It gives Google and potential readers a little taste of what to expect. Think of this as an extended headline and make it catchy. You want to draw your readers in with it! Make sure it’s and enticing and relevant to your article. YOUR META DESCRIPTION IS LOCATED AT THE BOTTOM OF YOUR POST IF YOU ARE USING YOAST. When editing your post, you’ll find it at the bottom of the page, labeled meta description.
  • Use Your ALT Text Properly. Google and some of your readers, can’t see your images, so your alt txt is used to describe it. It helps Google understand your images and your content better.
  •  Clean Up Your Topic Tags. I need to go in and clean mine up, and you probably do too. These are meant to help your readers navigate throughout your site. It can help your readers find posts in similar topics. But, if you have too many similar topic tags, Google may penalize your site for duplicate content. Yikes. The right topic tags can help search engines have a better understanding of how to index and rank your posts as well. I have too many blog tags- ‘blog tips’ ‘blog ideas’ ‘blogging’. Narrowing down your tags to clean and organized topics like ‘blogging’ and ‘beauty’ and ‘sleep’, similar to categories can help.
  • Post length. I’m not 100 percent sure, but I do believe that over 600 and under 2000 is ideal, depending on your topic. Also, be sure to include images in your post and h2 headlines to break it up.
  • Backlinks. Build a solid backlink strategy. Guest posting, partnering with other bloggers, and using blog indexing sites is great ways to increase your backlinks. Also, posting to social sites like Mix, Tumblr, Reddit and Flipboard will help you increase your number of do-follow backlinks. Meaningful comments on high authority blog sites will get you backlinks as well. Some offer do-follow and some no-follow. Do-follow backlinks are considered higher value and longer-lasting but are a little more work to achieve. No-follow are easy to get, virtually anywhere you drop your link, but they don’t add as much SEO value.
  • SEOPTIMER.COM. Give your site a complete SEO audit at seoptimer.com. The site analyzes your blog’s content for tags, keywords, backlinks, usability, performance, security and more. It also offers suggestions for improvements. And, it’s FREE!

Create A Solid SEO Plan

Your next step will be to formulate a strategy. This should be a five-step process that includes:

  • Determine your ideal target audience.
  • Figure out what they are looking for and what keywords and key phrases they use.
  • Generate high-value content around those terms.
  • Implement on page and on site optimization.
  • Track results and adjust as needed. 

From there you can expand on what’s working, identify more audiences, more terms, and create more content, and slow down on what isn’t working. One important thing to keep in mind is that search engine optimization takes time and that you’re building your site’s reputation with the big search engines over time. Don’t give up on your strategy too soon and whatever you do, don’t give up!

Check out my post about how to find keywords using Keysearch – My Keysearch Review.

improve your seo

Steph Social

Steph is a spiritual writer from Canada. She is a former journalist and magazine writer, who later went on to study the spiritual side of life. She shares her knowledge of manifesting and the law of attraction to help others change their lives through affirmations, self care, journaling, meditation and intentional living! Also- an INFJ, Reflector and empath so you'll find a lot of personality type stuff here too:)


  1. themlndlrdad says:

    Yep, so many good points. When I started my blog I made it a priority to get my Pinterest followers up before launching my blog. Most of my traffic comes from there…

  2. Those are great tips for writing effective blog posts. Yes, I find I also look at infographics when I see them on blogs.

  3. Waren Jean Go says:

    Blogging is not easy and you made a really good point here. Keeping your readers engaged takes a lot of hard work so content is really important.

    1. It’s true! Engagement is a great way to tell if your blog posts are effective or not:)

  4. Blogging is definitely harder than it looks. There are so many additional things you have to do in the back end besides writing engaging posts.

    1. Definitely! Writing is just a small part of it. The best content doesn’t always win! You need to promote it effectively, otherwise it’s a waste!

  5. This is such helpful information for anyone starting out as a blogger. Engaging your audience is just the start, but if you can keep thing coming back, you will start to get attention from brands and Google.

    1. Search engines love to rank sites with returning visitors! It’s important to track the percentage of visitors returning to your site! That can be a very good key Performance Indicator! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I find the important things in relation to SEO a mindfield, there is just so much to try to remember.

    1. There really is! But if you make each of these things a habit and just continue to tick them off with each post (I know it’s time-consuming) but it’ll make a big difference! Eventually it’ll be a habit:)

  7. You touched on some really great points. Blogging has been a passion of mine, but something that doesn’t come easy. I haven’t really invested the time into it, that I need to, either.

  8. Jazzy's Mama says:

    This was so helpful! I definitely struggle when it comes to catchy headlines. But I am working on it.. Thank you for the great tips.

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  13. You, Me and Benny says:

    this is very helpful!!! I always need to know more about this

  14. Awesome post keep up great work! I needed this!

  15. Renee Theresa says:

    Believe it or not I’ve been logging for a year and still get anxious when I see the term SEO. Thank you for this thorough post

  16. Thank you, I found this really useful. I’m just starting to get used to SEO

  17. As a new blogger this is really an helpful post for me. I am struggling with creating a good back link for my site.

  18. aisasami says:

    SEO is hard cookie to chew because it is so hard to do. I have Yoast for free on my WordPress site but because it is free, I don’t get all the advice. Do you think investing in the premium version of Yoast is worth it?

  19. Kimmy Mason says:

    This is great information, SEO is so hard to master, I struggle with it pretty regularly.

  20. Mariyam says:

    This SEO guide was quite helpful and to the point unlike others. Many bloggers underestimate SEO but it is the real essence of a blog.

  21. This is something I need to work upon. I have cracked some of it but still needs work.

  22. As they say if content is king, seo is queen. I have tried the seoptimizer, and it was really helpful. This is something I wish I knew when I started blogging. now, 2 years later, I am spending hours and hours optimizing all my posts and photos.

  23. SHADRACK BIWOT says:

    Having my readers engaged is really key. Thanks for this it’ll really help ame out with my blog

  24. This is super helpful for me! I’m still trying to get the hang of SEO. Thank you!

  25. bluebox2310 says:

    Great post! Thank you for filling the blanks in my knowledge regarding SEO!

  26. Now a days you need SEO everywhere.. Blogging, website designing, youtube.. great guide.

  27. Adventures with Shelby says:

    I found this to be very informative! Thanks for sharing

  28. Puja says:

    Knowing SEO helps a blogger in the long run. Great guide here.

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  31. Information provided is very easy to understand.

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  33. this information is very informative, You cleared my all doubts. This helps a lot me understanding.Thanks for sharing!

  34. Great post with excellent blogging skills. I really like your post especially the skills that you have included. I totally agree with you that having a great communication skill, photography and marketing skill are truly vital in blogging field, whereas having a great communication skill will helps to communicate with the readers, people in a better way

  35. I’m going to go in and address of this now, thanks for simplifying it for us!

  36. I really appreciate your article…keep up the good work buddy…
    This tips are very helpful. I do think it is a good way to reach consumers…Thank you for sharing this! It does give a new insight in success….
    Have a nice day…

  37. […] What is SEO and how does it work. […]

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