SEO Should Be A Habit Not A Headache

SEO Should Be a Habit Not a Headache
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I think it’s fair to say that many bloggers don’t bother so much about SEO. I don’t blame people for not wanting to learn this ever changing and pretty complicated subject. I mean, why would you want ongoing targeted traffic that’s much more likely to bring paying customers?

Yes, SEO at the sharp end is technical and complicated but you really don’t need to understand it all. The fact is, the vast majority of your SEO scoring points come from simple common sense things. What’s more, you don’t need to learn or do much more that you are already doing.

There are a few simple habits that can really enhance the work that you are already doing. These can build long term, sustainable traffic with just a few minor tweaks to your existing activities.

Don’t Try To be Number One, Just Try

You don’t need to go to great lengths to SEO every page and post on your blog. If you put in place a few simple habits, you will score in the search results with some of your articles. Each time you do, you get a little bit of ongoing traffic. Sometime you get a lot. All of these traffic trickles start to build a flow. Over time the flow becomes a torrent.

This is targeted traffic that keeps coming for months, or even years. If you score on the right keywords, it’s better than most traffic that you get from blogging and social. It brings more paying customers. If you stop writing posts or commenting on social and blogs, your search traffic still keeps coming.

Ten Minutes Work For Ongoing Traffic

I don’t SEO every post and page I write. You should always write for your readers first. The only thing that you need to do differently is look for opportunities. If you are writing a post and there’s potential to promote a product or draw some valuable traffic, just take a step back and do a little research. If it’s a potential winner, just write your post and tweak it for the search engines.

Don’t make it hard work. There are plugins like WordPress SEO by Yoast that make light work of on page SEO. There are tools like Traffic Travis that make keyword and competition research, child’s play. Ten minutes tweaking what you are already writing can bring many thousands of extra visitors over time.

Get Into SEO Habits And Gain Lots For Little

I couldn’t possibly explain even the basics of SEO in this short post but I can share the most simple yet very powerful thing that I do as habbit, so here goes.

  • When you have an idea for a post, look for an angle. This might be a way to promote a product through it or capitalise on some keywords that are beneficial to your own business. Probably something that you already do to some degree. Just take it a step further and look for an SEO angle too.
  • Spend just a little time doing some keyword research before you start writing. Don’t go mad. Just open Google adwords keyword tool and have a quick look. You would be surprised at the number of unexpected opportunities that this can throw up.
  • Don’t build thousands of backlinks. Surprised I said that? Well I think that’s why a lot of people are put off SEO. You don’t need to do this. Fewer but better constructed links in the right places will bring more value. They will also bring social signals and more links. As usual, don’t work hard, work smart.
  • Learn how to do some simple research. Tools like Traffic Travis make this a five minute job.  Traffic Travis comes in free and paid versions. The free version is packed with features and just fine for the average blogger.
  • Learn about LSI keywords. These are powerful and will make it easier to score on your main keyword. Use them correctly and you will score on a wide range of other related keywords too. These are especially important since the penguin update.

Like I said in the title, don’t make SEO a headache, make it a habit. Before long you will be doing it in your sleep. You don’t need to be an expert. A few solid white hat principles will make a real difference. I promise, you will be glad you did it in six months to a years time.

I don’t know about you but I’m all for keeping things simple. Do you have little tricks and tweaks that you do when you write your posts? Have you got a nice little SEO or traffic trick up your sleeve? Why not tell us about them in the comments.

Author Bio: 
Steve Hippel became involved in Internet marketing in 2008 and founded Sussex SEO in 2011. Steve provides WordPress / SEO help and training for small businesses.

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124 thoughts on “SEO Should Be A Habit Not A Headache”

  1. Mostly the new SEO want to be the top most and for this they work night and day and they SEO every post they write. This should not be the approach your first goal should be the readers for which you are writing and then you start to make some money.

    1. I agree and also mentioned in the post that you should always write for the reader first and not worry about SEO on every post / page. people will happily share and link to good content and that in itself is good SEO.
      Steve Hippel recently posted..Hide A WordPress PageMy Profile

      1. That’s a really kind offer Sherryl and one that I would be delighted to take you up on.
        You might have noticed I haven’t been around so much lately. I’m really busy with a new project at the moment. As well as this, I’m trying to set up a human submited link building service for my offline business. It’s all go (nothing new there).
        When things settle down a bit, I will drop you an email and sort out that chat on Skype.
        Hope you had a nice break and thank’s for letting me post here. It was a pleasure.
        Steve recently posted..Hide A WordPress PageMy Profile

  2. Even though you are a busy person, you should still find the time to rest your mind. Rest is important if you want to be productive. Even machines malfunction when they are put to too much stress. Our bodies work in a way like machines use batteries. When our batteries, which is like inspiration and energy, run out we would only be limping our way to work.

  3. When SEO is approached in an organic way, it’s not a headache anymore. Bloggers have to establish a niche for themselves that’ll create a search space for them. Thanks for mentioning traffic travis, it’s quite useful for defining a search portfolio.

    1. Hello George.
      Organic is definately the way forward. Traffic Travis is a great tool isn’t it. Even the free version is a massive benefit to anyone who wants to do some SEO.
      Steve recently posted..Traffic Travis 4My Profile

  4. Hello Jean.
    Glad you agree on that point. You are right about being dynamic. I think link wheels and anything else that offers up a pattern could be risky. A natural, diverse range of links from decent sites should see you through any Google update.
    Steve recently posted..Hide A WordPress PageMy Profile

  5. SEO requires just smart work rather than hard work so finding effective techniques for your website is the necessity. Use SEO tools as Google Analytics, Ad words, Backlinks founder and many others that help for searching keywords and useful method for SEO.

  6. That is true! SEO has to be a habit not a headache. At first it was quite hard for me to write articles that are seo friendly, but right now after 6 months or so I feel like it is a part of my job and can’t even imagine my life withou SEO. Ha ha, that is true!

  7. I agree with you. When I first started blogging, I didn’t pay much attention to SEO. Once I started getting serious about it, I started consciously focusing on keywords that I wanted to incorporate. I’m now at the point where I think about keywords as I’m writing the article and then just write. When I’m done, I can look for the keywords that I used and if necessary, tweak it (as long as I’m not interfering with how the reader is going to feel when they read it).
    Sherryl Perry recently posted..The Powerful WordPress Text WidgetMy Profile

    1. I think we are all agreed on that one then.
      Getting into a habit with any task, the task becomes quicker, easier and as you said more natural as time goes on.

  8. Hi Steve,
    Awesome post..Here is some great information for bloggers and small business owners’s intresting and new.I found your post informative and thought provoking.
    Thanks for the tips steve
    Bharat Bhushan recently posted..ERP Software CompanyMy Profile

  9. I agree, even with a few white hat SEO techniques, you can already boost the visibility and performance of your site. I never intended to learn SEO because I’ve heard people say that it’s too complicated but my previous job required me to learn the ropes. And I’m glad I did because knowing about SEO made me appreciate the Internet even more. Before I write blog post, I always do some research to check if the topic or keyword I have in mind is being searched by more users. Google’s Keyword Tool has always helped me start things right.
    Shelon recently posted..Positive Attitudes toward Mental HealthMy Profile

    1. Hi Shelon,
      I do keyword research if it’s a topic that I haven’t blogged about before but basically, I am trying to optimize my site for certain niche topics. So, I tend to use the same keywords on new articles. I also maintain a worksheet for all my blog posts. So, at a glance I can see what tags and keywords I have used. That helps me to be mindful that I’m mixing it up a bit and not overdoing it.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and mentioning Google’s Keyword Tool. That’s the one that I usually fall back on.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Commenting On Blogs – What Strategy Works for You?My Profile

    2. Hi Shelon.
      Doing a little keyword and competition research before writing a post is a really good practice. With the right tools it doesn’t have to be complicated.
      I usually just take a quick look. If something promising turns up, I then put the time and effort in. Even if it doesn’t, I still do some basic SEO. Traffic is traffic and if you are going to the effort of writing a post, why not use it to develop at least a trickle of ongoing traffic. All those trickles add up to a flow 🙂

  10. Agreed in almost everything, almost…

    “Don’t Try To be Number One, Just Try” -> Nope
    “You don’t need to go to great lengths to SEO every page and post on your blog.” -> Yep

    If you own a big site it’d be nuts to go ahead and start doing offpage SEO for every single post, however at least the basic onpage SEO must be done in every post, its not that time-consuming.

    BUT, you need to try to be number one every time! That’s how you will eventually excel

    1. Hi Karen.
      I don’t always find it economical to go for number one on every page/post. I don’t SEO every page but I do at least some on the vast majority. I think it’s worth it because sometimes testing the water can throw up some nice suprises.
      If I develop a page specifically to target a profitable keyword, then I’ll always go for number one. Don’t always get there and how much I put into it depends on the economics. Going for gold is a good mindset to keep.

  11. It’s very true! Good SEO strategy on your blog starts from common sense. Just put yourself on the reader’s shoes and you’ll be off to a good start.

  12. Hi Sherryl, very interesting article, thanks for sharing. This is a topic that’s been close to my heart for a few months now. My site is relatively new in the eyes of google, bing etc, so from day one I’ve been trying to adopt a methodology and mindset almost identical to yours. I always aim to (hopefully :)) deliver good quality content, and I always follow up with a few minutes of on-page / off-page SEO. And you know, combined with good content, those few minutes of SEO after every page / post works wonders!! I’ve been keeping an eye on my keyword niches using Traffic Travis and all of them are all climbing, four of them are now even page one and two on google, after only a few months!

    If folks follow your lead I’m pretty sure they’ll be getting those page one spots!
    Barney Delaney recently posted..Landscape Photography, Canada Landmarks, view of Mount Randall from Cascade PoolsMy Profile

    1. Hi Barney.
      Good to hear you have been adopting some SEO from day one. If your site is quite new, you will find that things get even better and even easier as time goes on. All you have to do is keep doing what you are doing.
      My blog will be a year old at the end of July 2012. I’m trying to get my Alexa rank under 300K by then. It’s around 320K today.
      Thank’s for dropping by Sherryl’s Blog and sharing your thoughts on my post Barney 🙂
      Steve recently posted..SEO Is Important No Matter How Much Traffic You HaveMy Profile

  13. Good post. Completely agree that it’s about good habits. Once you’ve found your feet, writing well SEO-ed contentis straightforward. Once you’ve gained that habit, you just need to make sure you’ve got the right keyword strategy and you’re writing compelling articles!

    1. Hi Stephen.
      Those good habits can be applied to just about anything we do in blogging ad in life. As you pointed out, it’s about finding your feet first.
      Everthing we do, we done for the first time once. You don’t need to over complicate things. You will build on your understanding as time goes on.
      As you said, learning a little about keyword research will give better results. Traffic Travis makes this easy for the newbie and has many uses for eyword and competitor research.
      Steve recently posted..Traffic Travis 4My Profile

  14. As with anything you want to be good at, it is important to build habits. We need to get into the habit of watching over our social media sites. That is why Facebook Insights is so helpful, now you can track your fan interaction and reaction to posts on your page.

    1. Hi Elena.
      It’s funny that you should mention social media because it’s something that I am just getting more serious about. I tried to get social media going on several fronts but found myself doing a bad job. I have just taken a step back and plan to build on one or two at a time.
      I have just set up something called HootSuit and I now try to make sure I open it each day and do my tasks. I’m sure that I must be missing something though. I will have to make time to look up some information about HootSuit.

  15. Hi Steve
    I really liked the point of yours that choosing the right keyword is just enough to bring traffic to your website. That is really true which nobody knows. It really brings a lot of valuable customers even if you don’t have regular blog post.

    1. Hello Mark.
      It doesn’t take long to do a little keyword research before you start writing a post. Often this results in a steady trickle or flow of traffic for quite some time.

  16. Steve, very nice thought of SEO, really this is the true statement. “SEO should be habit and not a headache”.I use to write post on my blog related to the recent google updates.
    after posting in just a minute i will share in all social networking sites. which gets me more likes and shares.
    Sindhuja recently posted..Internet Network Marketing and Social MediaMy Profile

    1. Hi Sindhuja.

      Really glad you enjoyed the post and thank you for considering sharing it. I hope those Google updates did you more good than harm.

  17. Hi again. So I commented a couple weeks ago that Traffic Travis won’t work for me as I’m on a Mac. I looked for a different, mac compatible, SEO program but didn’t have much luck with the product I found. (The free trial was supposed to come via e-mail, it didn’t) But I kept looking and I told you that I’d let you know if I found anything to help me with my blog’s SEO. And I did!
    The program is called Scribe SEO ( and it’s a paid wordpress plugin. The program sets itself up on your dashboard and is used as you write your blog posts. It can search for relevant key words, suggest other posts to try to link to, and then does an evaluation of the SEOness of your post.
    It’s a paid plugin so I’m going to try it out for a couple months to see if it affects my traffic any.
    Once again thanks for the inspiration!
    Heather recently posted..A Chic and Summery Denim Trend to LoveMy Profile

    1. Hi Heather.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to pop back and share this with us. That’s just what blogging should be about. Sharing and interacting is great for us all.

  18. For internet marketers SEO is their main goal to achieved high volume of traffic, the main purpose of SEO is to increase the visibility of your website on some leading search engines. Sometimes SEO is a headache because search engines always change its search algorithm specially google.

    1. Hi Karen.
      I think it becomes a headache if you try to rush to the top and concentrate to much of your effort on SEO.
      Building on quality is better. SEO will be a more natural process that way. After all, Google is trying to deliver quality, so it makes sense that quality will prevail in the medium to long term.
      No amount of changes to Googles algorithm should hurt a good quality, naturally developed website.

    1. Hi Paul.
      It can be a simple habit. Just keeping in mind a few keywords as you write your posts. Of course you can get deeper into it. It’s not hard to do a pretty good job with the right tools and information.

  19. I have to agree heavily with your first point: “Just Try”

    When I work with clients, I try to get them involved in the process as much as possible, to get them excited about internet marketing. The biggest hurdle I have to overcome is just to get them to try.

    1. I don’t envy you Mike. Internet Marketing can be tough if you come into it with false expectations. Sadly, a lot of people get caught up in all that hype and think it will be a walk in the park. I’m sure you know it takes some work but the rewards are well worth it in the long run.
      I guess it’s down to that old human nature thing. 95% of people just won’t really try.

  20. I found your post informative and thought provoking. I have not been a good stuart when it comes developing good SEO habits. It’s not so much that I see it as a headache as much as it is I haven’t developed the habit in doing it. So as i was reading your post it made me think about incoorporating this activities in my blooging activities. The tools you mentioned are something I will be checking out to help me do that.

    1. Hi Susan.
      Glad to hear you are going to incorporate some SEO into your routine. You will find Traffic Travis and the Google Adwords Keyword Tool very useful.
      Good luck and let us know how you get on 🙂

    2. Hi Susan,
      Good luck incorporating a little SEO into your blog. Anytime I try a new tactic, I jot down the date that I started it. That way, if you notice an increase (or decrease) in traffic (in this case it would be your search traffic), you’ll know if your new tactic is working.

      One SEO tip that I find is useful and easy to implement is to start using heading tags to break up your text. By including some keywords, you’ll get the attention of the search engines as well as your readers.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..4 SEO Tips to Optimize your WordPress BlogMy Profile

  21. I think SEO is an art. Art that can never be perfected. I say this to my friends all the time that “When I know that I got answers, Google changes the way it ask questions”. So your point that “You should be writing for your visitors” is valid and makes sense. I don’t do SEO any more (intentionally) because with every penguin or panda update google releases, your previous efforts are wasted (sort of).

      1. 🙂 No worries. I think Google is torturing SEO brains nowadays with its Panda and Penguins. I am not sure when’s the “Snake” coming out :). Thus I say that I am no longer sure what else need to be done. Its a Google’s playing field, The teams are that of Google’s and Google choose who could win. The old saying that build one website which is really good is no longer valid. I think you should have atleast a few.
        Jaspreet Chahal recently posted..Using open flash charts in wordpress pluginsMy Profile

        1. Hi Jaspreet.
          Sorry I’m a little late replying. I have been away for a couple of days.
          If you concentrate on quality laced with some basic SEO, you need never worry about Google updates again 🙂

  22. Wonderful Tips you got.If you have blog site, it is better to post a fresh, original and better keywords for SEO. social Media is a medium to drive people to your site. This will make your blog or even you a successful blogger. SEO is the life of your website. good and correct SEO will make your blog on top and will give you more profit.

    1. Hi Becca.
      I think a great blog is a combination of all of the things that you mention above. Good quality, unique content is exactly what Google is looking for.

  23. Very true that Seo is a habit not a headache. But sometimes it may comes to get headache specially when your rank go down and a new update of the algorithm of Google.

    1. I have been lucky. The Google update has done me a lot more good than harm. I have heared that some have suffered. I hope that you was not one of those who suffered.

  24. Enjoyed this post very much. Wanted to say thanks for the Travis Traffic link. Great tool, easy to use and understand just as you said!

    1. Hello Kathy.
      Thank’s for the kind words.
      I’m really glad that you are finding Traffic Travis useful. I swear by it.
      Like you said, it’s easy to understand and videos for every tool makes it a good learning resource too.
      For me it’s just a massive time saver. I score well for a lot of keywords now I have been using it for a while.
      The free version is perfectly fine for most people and it’s always nice to try before you buy if you do decide to go for the pro version.

  25. I have been banging my head lately because of SEO, blindly commenting on forums and blogs and what not. Thank you for reminding me that SEO can still work even if you don’t grind at it all day long … as long as you work smart.

    1. Hello Rex.
      I used to do forums, article directories, squidoo and all the rest. I just find it lots of work for low returns. Strong relationships are just as important in an online business as they are in an offline business.
      People often think of SEO just as link building. Combine your link building activity with relationship and reputation building. You will find that you get natural links and social signals this way. Helping others is a good and very rewarding way to help yourself.

  26. More people need to read your article on SEO. I find that with many thing valuable; it should be a habit not a headache. I find the headache part typically comes from being outside ones experience, and not understanding and even more so not having done it enough to have trained your body and mind to make the motions with increased efficiency.

    Similar with learning a new instrument a good dogma is; Practice, Practice, Practice.

    1. You are right Anne.
      You can do almost anything if you apply yourself to it. I read that if you have a passion for something, you can make a living from it. Not sure that is entirely true but a passion definately helps a lot.

  27. I have to agree heavily with your first point: “Just Try”

    When I work with clients, I try to get them involved in the process as much as possible, to get them excited about internet marketing. The biggest hurdle I have to overcome is just to get them to try.

    Great Read, I’ll +1 it.

    1. Hi Pete.
      I can relate to that. I personally think that the clients input is just as important as yours. I talked to a client for ages a while back. He had a low budget. I said let’s get you started with a Free WordPress theme and use the budget to deliver business. The The idea being we can invest in design later.
      He agreed with me every step of the way and forget it all by the next day. The whole budget got spent on design.

  28. Its been sometimes since I have really let myself go without worrying about SEO. I feel that content is the most important thing. Though good SEO can bring traffic to blog but only good content can keep them coming back to it. I do link building but in ways similar to what you have suggested.
    Also I use Traffic Travis which is a good software :).

    1. Hi Ashvini.
      Good content is definately the best way to keep your readers coming back. I think a blog is just like a business in that respect.
      You should never sacrifice quality over SEO but when the two work together, you have the ingredients for attracting new readers and keepng them.

  29. Hi Becca.
    I don’t think I have met anyone yet who regrets making some basic SEO part of their writing process.
    However, like Catrina points out, you do have to make sure that you don’t spoil your post. I must admit, it’s easy to get carried away so you have to keep reading through and checking.

  30. Consistency is key in so many aspects of blogging. If you do something daily it simply becomes a part of your routine and you’ll make some incredible progress. (SEO, link building, content creation, etc.) For me I created a document titles “Daily Tasks for profitability” and included all the various things I needed to incorporate into my day in order to be successful (in my eyes) 🙂

    Thanks for the tips Steve

    1. Hi Warren.
      That list is a good idea.
      I have an optical mouse and I use a sheet of A4 as a mouse pad. My daily list evolves on that mouse pad every day and get crossed off as I go.
      That way, I can’t get away from my to do list 🙂

      1. Nice, mine is right beside the mouse pad and is so much a part of my day that I’d be lost without it! 🙂

        PS. If you’re on the computer as much as I am (which you likely are) you might want to consider switching out that A4 for a gel pad 🙂

          1. Haha! You could pre-cut some paper to fit inside the pad area! 🙂

            But hey! Can’t mess with tradition!

            Cheers Steve

  31. I totally agree with your point of view. There were cases in which I haven’t done any SEO work for some articles and they climbed to nr 1 in less then a month, just based on the organic backlinks and due to the quality of the content. I think that if we keep SEO work to normal parameters and focus on creating great content, it’s a win-win situation for all of us.
    Jack Sander recently posted..Dog house plans freeMy Profile

    1. Hello Jack.
      I noticed this. After Penguin I wrote a couple of posts that I wouldn’t have expected to rank without quite a bit of off page SEO. They both landed straight on the front page. Thinking it was a fluke, I had another go and done it again.
      I don’t know about you Jack but I like it when that happens 🙂
      Steve recently posted..Will Your Small Business Survive These Changing TimesMy Profile

  32. Good and useful information.

    However, since I don’t sell any products my focus is on my readers. Started my career out as a journalist and am against writing for SEO since it ruins your writing. Instead concentrate on interesting subjects and illustrations. And so far so good, because my blog is approximately No. 204,000 on Alexa.

    1. Sounds like you are doing great without SEO Catarina.
      I agree that you should always write first for your readers. That keeps them coming back. I tend to mix the two up a bit. I think you can still deliver quality information doing this.
      Being an ex plasterer myself, my writing skills leave a little to be desired but I try to overcome that by sharing what I believe to be really useful information. I like writing and sharing stuff too. I think sometimes that can comes accross in a post and people connect better.

    2. Hi Catarina,
      I write for my readers also but I am conscious of incorporating keywords. When I was new to blogging, very little of my traffic came from the search engines. Now, it’s the largest portion. I attribute this increase to concentrating on incorporating a handful of keywords that I want to rank highly on. They’re the same words that I often use as Twitter hashtags. This habit hasn’t significantly altered the content, I just started being aware of what words my target readers were searching for and I started using them. Most of the time, I don’t even think about keywords, they just flow into my writing naturally.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..4 SEO Tips to Optimize your WordPress BlogMy Profile

  33. Traffic Travis looks Really interesting and I dove to buy it but it doesn’t work on Mac! Are there any other companies that offer a similar service for Mac? Or maybe offer these features as a plugin?
    I’m very interested in seo but also rather confused by it. I’m not sure where to place keywords or what they really are. Other than utilizing common sense I’m not sure how to harness the power of seo. So for me, saying that I should make it a habit isn’t really helpful.

    1. Hello Heather.
      Didn’t think about the many Mac users when I wrote this one. As usual, it’s our friend Yoast to the rescue. Here’s a trusted site where you can find a bunch of SEO tools for mac.

      Perhaps you could come back and let us know what you picked and how you got on.
      There’s also some useful information about keywords on the post I link to below.
      Steve recently posted..LSI Keywords Simple Yet Very PowerfulMy Profile

          1. Well, so far I still haven’t found anything really useful. I find all this stuff very confusing anyway, but I went to the site you recommended and tried to download the free version of some sort of link-building soft wear. But they’re supposed to send me a link but so far I haven’t gotten anything. Might be a dead end!
            Heather recently posted..Not Your Daughter’s Jeans – I love you!My Profile

              1. No, I check it daily. I found a WordPress plugin and I’m trying it out instead. It works as I write my posts, helping to find keywords and optimize the post so it’s seo friendly. My newest post is supposed to be 100% seo optimized so well see if their recommendations improve the google-ness of my posts!

                Even if I can’t use traffic Travis I appreciate this article because I wouldn’t have looked for the plugin otherwise.
                Heather recently posted..Not Your Daughter’s Jeans – I love you!My Profile

                1. Glad you found something that’s working for you Heather.
                  Regarding Traffic Travis, I think it must be some sort of an email problem. I recommend that my course users download it and I’m not aware of any that have not been able to.
                  If you want to use it, try downloading it again but sign up using a gmail or similar account.

  34. Sherryl, I have been so carried away replying to your readers that I almost forgot the most important comment of all.

    This one is just to say a big thank you for publishing my post. It’s been a great experience. Your tips were very helpful and valuable too. Now I have broken the ice, I could get used to this.
    Thank’s again and I hope you enjoyed your fun day today.

  35. True – When people think of SEO they tend to think that you spam a lot of sites in order to get increased traffic. (They guys with the black hats do), but generally the SEO’s I know of is legitimate and honest Businessmen. And yes – Fewer but better constructed links is far better than spamming thousands of low quality links. And with the new Google Penguin update you might want to avoid bad-low quality links all together.

    1. Hi Anton.
      The only place for spam is in a tin. Even then, I’m not so keen 🙂

      Black hat techniques will never be more than a short term fix that carries long term danger. Google just proved that. What works today might not work tomorrow but worst of all it might undo a lot of hard work.

  36. Good read, I try to do 20min SEO and another 20min commenting. Just to lighten up the task when doing this so it won’t take up all my time creating tutorials, since tutorials are kinda long to create 🙂 Thanks for the tips!

    1. Hi Sanjay.
      Sounds to me like you are already in the SEO habit. Would be interested to know if many other bloggers who have been doing SEO are finding it easier to rank since the arrival of the Penguin.
      Thank’s for dropping by Sherryl’s blog and sharing your views.
      Steve recently posted..LSI Keywords Simple Yet Very PowerfulMy Profile

    1. You are dead right there Gracie. Always write for the reader first. Your readers are your bread and butter. Search engine traffic also helps build new readers but should not at the expense of your existing ones.
      Thank’s for joining in the discussion.

  37. Of course this is valuable information. But maybe this tip will help. When naming your images for your blog posts use dashes like so: keepupweb-perry-SEO.jpg. It helps get your SEO up and ranks you on google images. Many people have found my blog while looking for an image that coincided with a post. Glad to be back and to see you’re still going strong.
    Dennis Salvatier recently posted..What Mad Med Taught Me About The Design BizMy Profile

    1. Hi Dennis.
      Always greatful for some added value so thank you for sharing your tip with us. We all have a few tricks up our sleeve and this is something I sometimes do as well. All depends on how lazy I’m feeling really though 🙂

      Another one is having a video sitemap. There is a plugin for WordPress that adds a video sitemap for embeded Google videos.

  38. I rarely do a lot of seo research when writing a post. I do add things like keyworded title, a few keywords usually appear in the content, but I don’t do so purposely and I try not to add too many. I name an image with a title relevant to the post, and add some title and alt tags. That’s about it. I usually don’t even use the tag option in WordPress. As for off site seo I don’t spend too much time with it either. I do some, but I don’t go crazy with it. I read a lot of posts where people are talking about all the backlinking they are doing, and I just don’t have the kind of time I hear these people talking about. I do seo, but I just don’t go overboard with it. Of course everyone would have a different opinion about how much is to much.
    Ray recently posted..What is the Average Lifespan of a Web SiteMy Profile

    1. Hi Ray.
      Well the funny thing is, you are doing some SEO by habit. Those titles, alt image tags and a few keywords dotted about are all good.
      The reason I’m on a bit of a mission about this right now is that things just got easier for us bloggers. I have noticed that it is a lot easier to rank since Penguin.
      We all have our own way of doing things and it sounds like you are already in the habit of incorperating some SEO into your posts.
      Thank’s for comming by and sharing your thoughts Ray.
      Steve recently posted..Introducing Small Business Website ClubMy Profile

  39. I like the Google ad-words tool and Google insights. I just enjoyed your piece on LSI keywords too. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. I am so glad those link exchanges days are over. I still get emails from people daily asking to exchange links – goes right in the trash box.

    1. Hi Lisa.
      I have to confess, I still often do ten or so link exchanges when I’m kicking a new site off. I find UK link exchange is a good place to get some really relevant links for my small business websites. It’s just a quick and convenient way to kick off and I find the link from UK Link Exchange itself get you indexed in 24 – 48 hours.
      I only do a few really relevant ones and then stop before creating a link family.

      I don’t get to many of those emails but I get foreign SEO companies emailing and phoning all the time. They offer low cost SEO if I out source to them. Trouble is, I spend half my life deleting the same companies crappy comments. It’s a funny old game. 🙂

  40. Hi, Steve. Yes, I can think of at least one customer where they could learn from your knowledgeable words! You often seem to suggest that slow and steady wins the race, one step at a time.

    I really like Yoast’s SEO plugin – when I’m not in a rush to hit publish, I use it carefully.
    Leora recently posted..What is an Excerpt? with WordPress Coding, TooMy Profile

    1. Hi Leora.
      Slow and steady but most importantly, in the right places approach, leads to a lot more natural links for less effort. That makes it a bit of a slower start but more solid and sustainable.
      At a guess, I would say I have posted between 400 – 600 links in the nine months since starting my blog. I’m showing about 11 000 links in Google webmaster tools and over 23 000 from over 500 domains in Traffic Travis.
      I’m sure that Google can tell natural link popularity from manufactured. Had I built all of these, I think I would be deep in the sandbox.
      I know you are a big Yoast plugin fan Leora and I’m in total agreement. I just wish he didn’t update it right after I recorded a video about it for my members site. 🙂

  41. Hello Steve!
    This is my first visit to your blog and i found some great posts. Well maintained and user friendly i must say.
    Coming back to the article, let us discuss in details:
    Title- Really attractive. After visiting your blog, this was the first article that grabbed my attention.
    Oh sorry i have started talking about the blog again ( not my fault ). I am really loving your blog. Well now coming to the main article, some nice points have been mentioned by Steve. If you follow basic SEO tips like 2-3 percent keyword density and write for your visitors, i think that will be very useful. One needs to remember SEO is not a rocket science. I use Google Keyword Tool and search for keywords.
    Well no tricks as such. My blog is new and i use the keywords (after researching from google KT) and keep the keyword density to 2-3 percent. That’s it!
    Thanks and regards

    1. Hi Sanjib.
      Great to see you here but I really can’t take credit for this great blog. I am just lucky and grateful to have been able to write a post for Sherryl.
      Really glad you like Sherryl’s blog though and glad that we share the view that SEO isn’t really so complicated.
      Anyone wondering how to keep an eye on keyword density. You can use the advanced tab in Yoast’s plugin for a snapshot of your page setup.

  42. Hi Sherryl

    It was only through joining Steve’s Small Business Website Club that I learnt to optimise images for SEO. It just proves that joining the ‘big boys’ and spending lots of money is not always the best thing as your example of AT&T shows.


  43. Great post, Steve! I love the Google AdWords Keyword Estimator! Ever since I found it, I use it every time I write an article. Sometimes I get a little carried away with the keywords I compare, but you can never be too careful! Have your friends had any luck with their negative SEO problems?

    1. Hi Meghan.
      I had forgotten all about those people who I bumped int in the forum. I never heared anything from them, so I can’t honestly say what the outcome was. Surprised that you remembered though.
      As it turns out, Penguin also seems to have done quite a lot of people a favour but it is still taking casualties. I only had a comment about a negative SEO attack on that same post yesterday.
      Steve recently posted..Traffic Travis 4My Profile

  44. Hi Jackie. Nice to see a face I am familiar with.

    I’m about the same as you Jackie. I think those that know me might think I’m a little SEO obsessed. That’s not the case at all. I don’t always SEO a post, I just always consider it.
    Sometimes it might be that I can find an angle on an idea I have for a post. Sometimes keywords just present themselves through a bit of research and I’ll look for a way to make a post around the keyword.
    You really hit the nail on the head when you said about the way things are leaning towards good content. That’s one thing that pleny of bloggers have. It’s a great time to be a blogger now and it’s definately getting easier to grab a bigger share of search traffic.
    Steve recently posted..SEO Is Important No Matter How Much Traffic You HaveMy Profile

    1. I think the best way to rank in Google nowadays is by posting great content, nothing else. I proved it after the Penguin update. As long as you can post power content to your blog even just 1-2 times a week, you’re site will get a lot of hits. Plus, using targeted keywords based on search volumes.

  45. Hi Steve

    Totally agree. I start with an objective for the post, write it for your readers then worry about the SEO. You get lots of differing opinions in this space, but in the end it does come down to common sense, and producing really good content will see SEO be less of an issue in my view, especially with the leaning towards social impact on search these days.

    1. Hi Jackie,
      I’m the same way as you are. I’m now in the habit of identifying keywords as I write my articles. (They sort of pop out at me now.) When I first started blogging, I’d write entire posts and then try to figure out what the keywords were. With a little tweaking, I could usually work in a few but bottom line, we’re writing for people not bots.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..How to Add Follow Buttons to WordPress without a PluginMy Profile

  46. Hi Sherryl/Steve

    SEO is a subject many bloggers and internet marketers either don’t understand or completely ignore when with a little effort they could see a tremendous growth in their traffic.

    The WordPress plugin WordPress SEO by Yoast makes this process almost simple if done correctly and should be a habit as Steve says. In fact for those with a small business website SEO can be the most profitable investment in time they could make, it’s a shame that the majority don’t realise this or are just not aware of it.


    1. Hi Bill,
      Thanks for dropping by. I think sometimes people become so intimidated by SEO that they assume that there’s nothing that they can do without a big investment in time or money. As Steve has pointed out, it’s the little steps that count and good SEO will become a habit.

      One of the biggest mistakes (and one of the simplest to rectify) is not optimizing photos for SEO. I have a client who had a website built by AT&T. (Now, you would assume they would have their clients best interest in mind.) He owns a driveway paving company and all he had was static content. This is fine but none of his photos were optimized. They weren’t even named properly. When you moused over a picture of a driveway that he had paved, you (and the search engines) saw titles like img_0845. That is such a lost opportunity.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Top 8 White Hat SEO Tips for E-Commerce WebsitesMy Profile

      1. Hi Sherryl

        It was only through joining Steve’s Small Business Website Club that I learnt to optimise images for SEO. It just proves that joining the ‘big boys’ and spending lots of money is not always the best thing as your example of AT&T shows.


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