How My Wife Failed at SEO


After my wife had been blogging for a while, I suggested that she should start paying MORE attention to SEO.

The conversation went something like this……

Me: You know that post that you wrote on {fill in the blank}? You really should be thinking about optimizing it for SEO.

Her: Blank stare [no response]

Me. If you did more SEO work, you could get more traffic to your site.

Her: Can you leave me alone…I’m trying to “Pin” something?!

Me:  [sigh]

Some variation of this conversation went on for years.  It wasn’t until my wife quit her job in the fall of 2011 and ramped up her blogging efforts that she finally started to listen….somewhat.

Even after sharing with her some of things she needs to be doing, I would still catch her in the act of “bad SEO tactics”.

Shame on her!  Haha… :) Although I will say her pinning ability has worked in her favor so far. I’m still a Pinterest virigin so maybe she can teach me how to blow up on Pinterest while I teach her how to blow up on Google, yea?

The following is a video I recorded where I highlight a blog post that she had recently published and failed to use any SEO strategies.

Are you making some of the same mistakes?  Let’s see….

Pay Attention to SEO

Doing a little extra homework can pay off huge dividends for your blog. My point has always been:

If you’re going to spend all that time writing a post, you might as well get some SEO love out of it, too.

Some of these strategies were already covered on the blog with our Simple SEO Strategies post and What is SEO and Why You Should Care.

Since my site does not benefit from the Pinterest traffic that my wife has (sad face), SEO has been a huge component for the traffic that I get to my blog, GoodFinancialCents.com, averaging roughly 110-120k visitors per month.

If you get traffic from Pinterest, Facebook and other social media platforms then ranking for SEO is just icing on the cake. You are opening your blog to a whole slew of new readers.

Is it Working?

As someone says, “The proof is in the pudding”.  I personally never say that and really don’t know what it means, but it seemed somewhat appropriate here.

Here’s a recent screenshot (click the image to see a better pic) from House of Rose’s analytics from some of the top keyword matches for her site.

Some of the keywords you see:

  • “sip and see”
  • “how to wear a denim shirt”
  • “homemade baked macaroni and cheese”
  • “fireplace makeover”

These are keywords that she focused on with some of her newer posts.

And guess what…..it’s working!!

Closing Thoughts on SEO

Remember:  just because you focus on SEO in your post, does not mean that you will automatically rank in the top of Google.

There’s a lot of other factors at play that will affect this.

I’ve spent hours (upon hours, upon hours) of time on a ton of my posts focusing on SEO that never crack the coveted top 10.   It’s the ones that do that totally make it worth it.

What I do know is that if you don’t put forth any effort you will never rank for what you’re targeting.

How about you?  Have you failed at SEO?

Comments

  1. I’m just now starting to focus on SEO. It was so confusing at first but I’m finally starting to get the hang of it all.

  2. This is awesome – again and of course!! Thank you for all of the great tips! I’m gonna go back and redo my posts!!! Wonder how long 700 posts will take…hmm…

  3. I work on it all the time, however I have a blog through blogger and have a hard time using things and even fear using them when I’m not 100 percent sure what I’m doing. I appreciated this post alot, I like I said, struggle in using them properly. I have considered getting my own webpage but fear losing or transferring all I already have. ugh. Thanks for all of the advice though! Can these pieces of advice and programs be used on blogger?

    • @ Craft Donkey

      Buy your own domain and switch to WordPress; especially if you plan on using Pinterest. My wife has told me that many Blogspot owners are stuck because if they buy their own domain and leave Blogger, they would lose all their Pinterest traffic.

      It’s better to own your domain anyway.

      • Hmm so in my case should I buy my own domain but stay with Blogger so I don’t lose everything through Pinterest? As I utilize it alot (not as well or as much as I should but I try). I know this may be a question you can’t answer just curious of your thoughts.

        • I’m going to let Mandy answer that one. She had talked to a few DIY bloggers that were caught in this predicament and she just let me know about it. In their case it was several thousand visits per month so they were stuck.

        • I am no expert on this one, but I would be careful switching if you have a ton of pins that are driving traffic. I have had friends go from blogspot to their own domain and lose all those links. Email Pinterest for verification.

  4. Sigh…….I’ve always learned that you shouldn’t have a photo first. Also that your alt tags should not be the same each time and the same at the photo???

    • @ Kim Personally, I’m not sure if that makes a difference. For my blog, my pictures are always at the top (right justified).

      Regarding alt tags, I usually will change them a little bit like adding a word or two but I’ve also had other instances where they were all the same. Thus far I haven’t been able to see a difference either way.

  5. Also does changing how the title reads in the web address, not allow others to connect to that post? For instance if already had a post up and have linked it to many things, if I change the link it will be inactive and no longer lead to that post right? That’s why one should be wary of changing their link after too much time?

    • Yes, it is not a good idea to change the title AFTER the post has been live for awhile. If anyone has linked to that post the link will appear broken.

      • if I change a url on my site, and you have the old link, it will automatically send you to the new link – I’ve changed several old links with no issues.

        For example this is one of my biggest traffic posts that originally took off huge on StumbleUpon with a mispelled word in the url http://tidymom.net/2011/survival-ki/

        you will see, if you try that link, it will automatically change it to the new corrected url of http://tidymom.net/2011/survival-kit/

        • @ TidyMom

          Thanks for sharing! You’re right, sometimes wordpress can be intuitive and redirect to the new article. Something to consider that someone told me is to be careful on too many redirects, though; especially for SEO purposes.

          This is where it gets a bit technical and over my head, but having a redirect (if not done properly) can hurt your post for SEO purposes. I guess the basic concept is that you’re making Google have to work harder to find the post.

          Someday I’ll have a better understanding of this! Hahah…..

  6. Thank you, thank you for this! I have two questions:

    I see that on her blog, the links are houseofrose.com/title-of-post. Is that the recommended structure? Mine is the date and then the title and I am trying to decide if I should change it.

    When I add pictures, I always delete the link to the picture so that when its clicked on, nothing happens. Should I stop doing this?

    Thank you!

    • @ Julie

      That is the preferred structure. IF you think of it like this: Google reads left to right. The more words/characters you have before your keyword will push your targeted keyword back. Having the date in front of it is just something else Google has to read and scan beforehand.

      Personally, I don’t like the dates but more for this reason: Think if you write a post “The best mascara for a wedding” (Playing off your blog title here :) ) and it was published in 2011. If someone visited your site this year they may dismiss the article because they think it’s dated.

      Without the date, they’ll assume that it’s new or at least current and may stay longer.

      Hope that helps!

      • I didn’t know that you could change so that the date isn’t part of the address. How do you do that? I am currently on blogger but thinking of switching to wordpress. I am struggling with doing some things because my blog is linked to an old email and I have switched to a new email because I got married and changed my name.

  7. Just curious, why don’t use meta keywords? I use meta keywords instead of tags and if I need to change that I’d love to know :)

    • @ Lance We actually use both but focus more on meta keywords. Did I say the opposite in the video? Apologize for any confusion.

      But yeah, you’re doing the right thing. I don’t think it hurts to do both, but I usually make them a little bit different.

  8. I’d say I’m in the D range in SEO class because I still have a lot to learn. I have a SEO plug in on my wordpress site and it seems to help me make the most of keywords and I’ve seen a little traffic come in from those efforts. But my traffic is still pretty small since I just started blogging. I think I’ll take your advice and work on some of my old posts!

  9. This was an awesome post! I know a little about seo but got kind of confused exactly how to do it (I didn’t know you could do that with thesis and I have it)! Now I know! Thanks guys for being so helpful!

  10. Here’s my best and most effective SEO tip in 4 baby steps:
    - Check your 20 best keywords in Google analytics
    - Check your 20 most pages viewed
    - Make the link between the two
    - Write as many posts as possible using both those keywords and link back to your previous articles which already rank in Google.

    Besides that, everything I’ve tried failed miserably! But once you let Google tell you what to write about, you get a lot more SE traffic :-)

  11. Thanks, Jeff and Mandy for a helpful post! From someone that needs to work harder at SEO, this was just what I needed.

  12. This was really helpful! I had no idea about SEO. I am hoping to switch to wordpress soon, and now I think I should do this sooner rather than later. Thanks!

  13. WOAH! I’ve got a lot to learn! But, I’m super motivated and grateful for extremely helpful videos like this that make me feel capable of improving. I also feel like a switch from blogger to WP is mayyjahh for me right now!
    Thanks again:)

  14. Thanks for this! I’ve off an on been trying to learn about SEO, but I always found it confusing. This post/video was really easy to understand.

  15. Super genius Jeff. Super… easy too. My partner is better at SEO too…huh :)

  16. Followed you here from podcast #3. Just implemented your tips on my weekly post scheduled for tomorrow. Thanks for the tips. Cheers to keywords.

  17. This certainly helps clarify some things, I will be adding to my post. thanks

  18. My sister just shared this and I’m soooo happy she did. I’ve recently started a new blog and although I’m familiar with SEO, I wasn’t sure how to use the various levels in Thesis. You’re post couldn’t have been more helpful!

    Thanks so much,
    Darcy

  19. Very Good Pos/Video Jeff! I will be adding some of this to every blog post now. Thanks for sharing.

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