3/25/2009

SEO For Dummies


When I started my blog over 6 months ago I had no idea everything I would need to learn to be even remotely successful at this new hobby of mine. I saw the term SEO batted around and had no idea what it even stood for or how it related to me. Eventually I picked up that it meant Search Engine Optimization, which really didn't explain much to me. I started to gather that it had something to do with how we come up in the Google search and involves backlinks and code, which are terms that made my head hurt so I just went back to looking at pretty pictures of yarn. The past few weeks for some reason I've suddenly gotten inspired to understand more about how my blog gets seen. I am in no way even close to an expert about this stuff so if you are looking for answers I'm not the one to come to but I figured that there are probably some others who are as clueless as I am that might appreciate a few places to start.

To let you know how clueless I really was I didn't even know that Google WebMaster Tools even existed. I had installed Google Analytics early on but was only using it for the bare necessities like seeing what searches people used to find me and how many unique visitors I had. A few weeks ago I stumbled across a very user friendly blog with some great tips that even I was able to put to use right away. Gary Conn puts things in easy terms and goes step by step showing screen shots so that I was able to start using the Webmaster Tools to find out how many links I had and any errors that Google had discovered in my site. It also helped show me what searches I was most visible in. Surprisingly I found that a post that I did as a throw away a few months ago about the Facebook MeME, defining your life by song titles, was the top of the searches for some reason. I still don't know how to recreate this phenomena but it helps to know how people are finding you anyways.

So from Gary I learned how to add a sitemap to my blog for Google here. I also learned how to add meta tags and site descriptions to my template code on blogger here. I promise it sounds scarier than it is. For some of you this is probably like baby stuff that you conquered the first week of blogging but I am so not a techie.

I'll share my observations of blog directories and trying to get links later in the week. I really had no idea how important those links really were until recently. I now understand why my Google ranking is so bad, since I had made no effort to get or trade links in the past. If you have any beginner tips on SEO please share!

I am sharing a few bad pics of my niece Jess with her obsession. She has now made close to 60 finger knitting creations. It was so inspiring to see her find pure joy in the act of making something with her hands. She has now started a club in her class where she teaches kids how to finger knit and they work together after school. They are planning on setting up a booth at their church fish fry the next few Fridays to sell them and donate the money to charity. How sweet is that?

13 comments:

Cara said...

great info, thx!

Merry said...

This is great info! I am clueless about this type of stuff.

Sinclair said...

I have been bumbling around with the same difficulties, and though I know about sitemap and metas, I had not yet gotten them on the blog. That is why most days, my blog grade is 54. Thanks for the info.

My daughter wants to start finger knitting, but I don't know how to do it...will have to see if YouTube has a tutorial.

tstreasures said...

Excellent info, thanks! I was like you and gave up on learning about all of this a while ago. Now I think I may just have to go back and really learn it all.

Sinclair said...

Okay, I finally did it. I went to Google tools and added my meta tag and my sitemap! Yay for me, and it is all thanks to your inspiring post.

SolSisters said...

Great post! I've been using analytics but hadn't even dug into the tools. Thanks, Paige!

Nancy said...

Wow, I'm very impressed that she made so many things already! Good for her, that's very sweet. Um...i'm still in the WTF mode with all of that stuff. I don't have the time to care, really. Ha! I think maybe I'll sit down over spring break and try to see what's most important.

One Creative Queen said...

Well, if you're a dummy, so am I. You're not alone - I've had my blog for a long time...and I've only learned the bare basics in the last few months. I've been actively seeking out information like what you wrote about SEO for quite a while. I wrote an article about 25 ways to improve your blog for free on my site - you may find it helpful as well. I plan on doing more posts like that, since it seems a lot of us are in the same boat. Great with our hands, not so hot with tech stuff. :)

Thanks for sharing what you've learned - you've helped lots of us! xx

OLLIE MCKAY'S ~ A Chic Boutique said...

2 great Pics - I wish I could have the patience to sit down and knit again. . with all these yummy, yummy colors and styles of yarn! But that's what people like you are for - I enjoyed the warm colorful headband I bought from your Etsy site this winter! Happy Spring! (20% off at my site for you or your friends! - use code "friend" at checkout)

Census (aka Cen aka June.S) said...

Thanks for the great post. I need to get my head around this stuff!!

Kristin at My Art and the Mom in Me said...

Well, you just taught me what SEO means, LOL, I have seen that term but did not think much of it. So, thank you!

And your niece sounds so amazing, it seems that she developed such a true passion for knitting, just like her auntie!! :)

Femmepower said...

You have no idea how many of us are dummies in the blogosphere. I've been blogging for almost a year, been making decent earnings from it, and yet I haven't used any SEO optimization tools because I didn't (and still don't) know how. I have seen articles on SEO but they were written for tech-savvy readers. Sometimes it's easier to learn from someone like you who learned the ropes the hard way. You just inspired me to give it a shot. I'll follow what you've done. thanks a lot for the info.

Vinod Kumar Saini said...

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