social media how toUsing Google to direct traffic to your blog can quite literally translate into gold. Or at least money with which you could buy gold.

This article will show you how to easily optimize your blog for search engines.

Let’s be clear on few points before we begin. When search engine optimization (SEO) is done the wrong way:

  • It’s a spammy attempt to manipulate the search-engine traffic.
  • It’s SEO experts selling a guaranteed top-10 placement.

When SEO is done the right way, it’s NOT guaranteed and it’s NOT immediate, but it is ongoing.

Now let’s cover the basics.

What’s your blog about? The topic you cover will, to a large degree, dictate your placement. If you said “real estate” or “automobile” or “website hosting” or “SEO,” you will have a LOT of competition. You could help things a bit by focusing on YOUR geographical area (as in “real estate in Pasadena, CA,” for example).

But remember, some topics are extremely competitive and therefore more difficult to crack, making it on the first, second or third page of the relevant search. This part is paramount because most Google sleuths don’t make it past the second page.

On the other hand, if your topic is obscure and very specific, PLUS the space is not densely populated with competition, you can conceivably end up as a top search result for that topic. This is assuming that you’ve implemented sound SEO practices. And that’s what this article is about.

Who are you targeting? Who is your audience?

Having a crystal-clear understanding of who your audience is and what THEY’RE searching for helps you narrow your focus and increase your chances of having an effective SEO campaign.

If all this sounds too complicated, you could just pay someone to do it. If you do decide to outsource SEO, you should set aside a minimum of $3,000 to $5,000 monthly for a dedicated SEO professional.

Now that you know the cost, are you a little more motivated to learn how to do it yourself? I would encourage you to ask around and get some quotes. Here is what you would be paying for:

A good SEO person will have varying degrees of proficiency in:

  • CSS
  • Data analysis
  • Blogging
  • HTML
  • Copywriting
  • Link-building
  • Search engine algorithms

Those are the skill sets off the top of my head.

As I see it, you have three options:

1. Hire a dedicated SEO person/team.

2. Hire a part-time SEO expert who can dedicate a portion of his or her time to your page rank. This might be all that’s needed for most small- to medium-sized businesses. (Note: Page rank is a non-geeky way of saying “Google search-engine algorithm.”)

3. Learn the basics yourself. The basics will get you pretty far.

In this article I’ll focus on the last one—learn the basics yourself. So how do you do this? Well, you’ve come to the right place. An important part of any SEO strategy will be keyword discovery and implementation. This article will focus on those two factors.

Harvesting and Piggybacking

I recommend a three-step process in your keyword discovery process.

#1: Get into their heads.

A great place to start understanding what keywords are desirable is to find out what keywords are used by your comps (comps is a real estate term for comparable properties).

We do this by first inspecting what keywords are used on your comp’s web page.

In your browser, usually under “view,” you can “view source” of the webpage. Here’s how:

Takeaway lessons from the video:

  • There will be a LOT of gibberish in there. But all we’re looking for are “meta tagged keywords.”
  • Manual research allows you to get into your comps’ heads.
  • View several pages to get a good sense of what your comps are trying to rank for.
  • Repeat the process for another 3-4 comps.

#2: Piggybacking: Leverage Automation and Your Comps’ Research.

Go to and type in a word or phrase that is relevant to your business.

Takeaway lessons from the video:

  • Google Keyword Tool will return related phrases, often many that you didn’t even think of.
  • You can export these results, view monthly search numbers and sort phrases by popularity.

After you’ve performed this on your top five comps, collected the data and exported your finding into a CSV file, you’ll have a pretty good idea of:

  • What people are searching for (it’s almost never what you think it is)
  • What your comps are indexed for
  • Where you fit in

Now that you’ve harvested keyword information and effectively piggybacked on your comps’ research, you should narrow your list down to a manageable number (100 or so keywords).

The keywords that YOU are going to use should reside at the intersection of:

  • Most relevant to you/your post/blog/website
  • Most highly searched for
  • Least used by your comps

Note: While recommendation #2 is a good guideline, do keep in mind that less often searched-for phrases tend to have higher conversion rates.

#3: Implement: Apply What You Learned.

It’s time to install and learn how to use a nifty little WordPress plugin called All in One SEO to quickly, easily and effectively utilize the information gathered during the harvesting and piggybacking research phase. If you’re not running a self-hosted WordPress website, this is not for you.

Download and install All in One SEO plugin. Click on the video for a little bit of show-and-tell.

Takeaway lessons from the video:

  • WordPress makes it very easy to add plugins; however, you shouldn’t install any plugins that haven’t been tested. Here are instructions on how to set up a WordPress sandbox on your laptop.
  • Some plugins (like All in One SEO) are must-haves. Others should be installed only if absolutely necessary.
  • All in One SEO will have to be configured globally, on per-post and per-page basis.

All in One SEO Pack Configuration—Global Settings

Plugin status:

You can enable it or disable it.

Home Title:

If left blank it will default to whatever you configured under Settings/General/Site Title in WordPress. However, don’t leave it blank.

Note: According to’s SEO ranking factors survey, page titles are one of the most important factors.


Entering a bad or blank title is NOT advisable.

Home Description:

While description ranks lower on the page rank scale, it’s paramount to have it filled out appropriately. Search engines will display the description immediately underneath your web page. There it’s best to have a human-friendly call-to-action type of message.

barnes & noble

Check out how Barnes & Noble have a human-friendly call-to-action message.

Home Keywords (comma separated):

What are the main topics covered on your site? That’s what should be entered here in the order of relevance. For example “blogging, marketing, WordPress, writing,” and so on…

Note: Home keywords were abused in the early days of SEO (stuffed with popular but irrelevant search words), which resulted in search engines deprecating their importance.

Don’t overstuff. Spend a few minutes configuring and it might help. It certainly can’t hurt.

Canonical URLs:

Enabled by default and should be left as such. This helps with duplicate content, which is a HUGE no-no. If you’re not familiar with canonical URLs, and would like to be, read this Google webmaster blog post.

Rewrite Titles:

This controls the title-related settings underneath. We’re not going to cover them individually. “Title” is what you see in your browser’s window title bar. If set, all page, post, category, search and archive page titles get rewritten.

Why would you want to do this?

The default title generation setting for WordPress is extremely anti-SEO. Depending on your version of WordPress, the default structure will most likely look like this:

Category >> Blog Name >> Post Title

This is suboptimal.

You should allow the SEO plugin to rewrite it to something more SEO-friendly, for example:

Post Title >> Blog Name

Note: This is all about specificity. The post title is likely to have specific keywords related to the post itself. Therefore it should be the first thing a search engine “sees.”

post name

WordPress, if configured correctly, can now assign an SEO-friendly name to your blog post (see below) without the help of All in One SEO.

Description Format:

Four available options, leave the default as is. It will grab the description from whatever is set at the post level.

404 Title Format:

The box sets the page title for your “page not found” error page. The default is “Nothing found for %request_words%”. Leave as is.

Paged Format:

This string gets appended/prepended to titles when they are for paged index pages (like home or archive pages). Leave it alone.

SEO for Custom Post Types:

WordPress version 3.0 introduced the ability to create your own custom post types in addition to the default two (post and page).

I really haven’t used this, so I can’t offer much in terms of practical advice. If you would like to learn more about it, visit Custom Post Types pages.

Custom Post Types for SEO Column Support:

Related to above, disabled by default. Leave it alone.

Use Categories for Meta Keywords:

This is for those bloggers who are hyper-strategic about their category names. If you’re like most of us, you’ll leave this one alone and add your keywords manually for each post.

Use Tags for Meta Keywords:

Checked by default, it causes the tags you set for a given post to be used as the meta keywords for that post. What this basically means is that your tags and your keywords don’t have to be entered in both places. In fact, if you enter the same word in both the Tag and the Keyword field, you might get dinged by Google.

Dynamically Generate Keywords for Posts Page:

Related to the third type of post we mentioned above. Irrelevant unless you’re using custom posts. Leave it alone.

Use No Index for Categories and (Tag) Archives:

This is kind of a non-issue especially if “Canonical URL” is configured. It tells Google NOT to crawl duplicate content.

Autogenerate Descriptions:

This is very cool if you can squeeze all your relevant keywords within the first 150 characters of the article.

Capitalize Category Titles:

Other than visual appeal I know of no special benefit of doing this. Google doesn’t care if your titles are uppercase or lowercase but it looks pretty.

Exclude Pages:

Enter any comma-separated pages here to be excluded by All in One SEO Pack.

This is helpful when using plugins that generate their own non-WordPress dynamic pages. Forums are a good example. You may decide to manage the way your forum gets “indexed” using forum-specific tools.

Additional (Post, Page, Home) Headers:

These are not required for basic SEO practices. They’re used with various webmaster tools but otherwise uninteresting.

Log Important Events:

This is for developers only. Once the global settings are all done, every time you write a new post, you’ll have to configure All in One SEO tool on per-post basis. No worries though, this one is quick and painless.

All in One SEO Pack Configuration—Post Settings

post settings

All in One SEO will place itself on the bottom of your WordPress new post configuration.


By default, the title will be generated based on your setting under Settings >> Permalinks. You should configure /%postname% under “Custom Structure,” which will generate the appropriate post title automatically.

If, however, you decide to enter a custom title here, it will take precedence over any other. Why would you want to do this? Post title ranks high on Google’s “importance” scale and stuffing your title with keywords might better your chances.

Description (Meta):

You have 160 characters to describe your post for search engine meta analysis. Use them wisely. Remember our Barnes & Noble example? This should be a human-friendly call to action. Include most relevant words first.

Keywords (Meta):

Put your most important keywords (search phrases) up front. Your hard work during keyword harvesting phase pays off right here.


Your keywords should be relevantly spread across the main body of the article, tags, meta description, keywords, etc.

Enable/disable on per-post basis:

Self-explanatory I hope. Use it in case you want to hide from Google.

All in One SEO Pack Configuration—Page Settings

page settings

Page Settings has a few more options than Post Settings. Let's work through them.

Title, Description and Keywords and Enable/Disable are the same as before.

The new settings are:

Title Attribute:

Has no or minimal effect on ranking. It’s basically a tool tip when you hover over a link.

Menu Label:

This in effect renames your page without renaming the URL.

Keyword research and configuration are some of the most important aspects of a well-run SEO campaign. In fact, they’re among the top most important things you can do.

If you had to choose your top three most important SEO strategies, what would they be? Leave your comments in the box below.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Get Social Media Examiner’s Future Articles in Your Inbox!

Join 480,000+ of your peers! Get our latest articles delivered to your email inbox and get the FREE Social Media Marketing Industry Report (56 pages, 90 charts)!

More info...
  • Dino…

    Great post. I appreciate you being thorough with your discription of how to set-up the ‘All In One’ plugin. Most people leave this part out when they talk about the plugins and they have so many options.


  • Thnx Joe, glad you enjoyed it. This stuff has been written about so much and I find that most bloggers stop short of useful lol Lets call this my UVP lol

  • Dino,

    Just wanted to say thanks for creating those great support videos in this article. It inspired me to ask for more of this from our other authors. Keep up the good work. BTW, I am trying to place that accent. Sounds part New England and part European.

  • You are welcome Mike. Its just so much easier to show rather than type 500 words trying to explain it. I was born and raised in Bosnia. Refugees in da house! 🙂

  • Awesome post, thanks! What are your thoughts on Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin?

  • Pingback: How to Optimize Your Blog for Google « Social Media Blogs()

  • Thats a great question Bonnie. Ive been using All In One Seo for so long, I know it and I trust it. I became aware of Yoast much later and simply never bothered to try it. I know it by reputation (its excellent) and now you got me wondering if there is a really through comparison of the two.

    I smell another post 🙂

    Have you used Yoast? How do you like it?

  • I am in your same boat, All In One is what I have used for a long time, but I kept following feedback on WordPress SEO and just decided to implement it recently – I love the live update viewing feature. Either way I think both plug-ins are great resources. Thanks again for the great post.

  • From what I understand, Yoast is more powerful than the free version of All In One SEO. So the gut reaction may be to go with Yoast but sometimes all we need is some simplicity.

    In either case, I will install and review Yoast, so stay tuned 🙂

  • Hi Dino, I’ve been using All in One SEO for awhile but just recently switched to Yoast’s because of the advanced features. The problem is when switching, you lose the AIO configuration. There’s an importer but it still has some bugs. That’s the only drawback. But for new sites, WordPress SEO is definitely better than AIO.



  • Thats a great tip Jorge. I will install it on one of my new blogs. I imagine migrating from one to other would be a pain in the ass.

  • That is correct. I actually use both AIO and WSEO at the same time on my own blog. I found that they don’t interfere with each other while still getting the advanced features of Yoast’s plugin.

  • Another great tip my friend. You should write a post contrasting the two.

  • Good idea, I shall do a post about it and let you know 😉

  • Morgan

    Fantastic article! Truly detailed and gives us exactly what we need to properly optimize.

    I think there are a lot of fantastic SEO plugins for WordPress and they can each work effectively, depending on your needs. I haven’t heard of Yoast, but now I’m interested! Would love to see that comparison post. =)

    I’m really glad you mentioned Permalinks in your post. That seems to be something that is missed quite often by so many people yet it’s such an important part of SEO.

    Again, thank you much for this great post!

  • Thanks for staying with it. It is quite a meaty article. And yes…I agree. The %postname% variable is sooo important and I see so many blogs miss that point.

  • Antonio Romero

    You can import the configuration from AIO…
    Now, yoast is in top of seo with this plugin and you should really give a try to it. Much more up-to-date than AIO that hasnt had great modfications in the last months.

  • Thnx for contributing to the conversation + the tip/link Antonio. #seo #yoast

  • Hi thanks for the great article – my other tips are to write your post naturally, then think about which keyphrase (ideally 2-3 words) you are targeting, based on the content. Make sure your Post Title AND the first line of the post contain that key phrase. Enter it in the tags too. I’ve had some really great Page One Position One successes like that.

  • Thnx for the tip Nic. robots fatigue as they start digging into your content, so its best to put relevant phrases close to beginning. Great point. Thank you for that.

  • Hi Antonio,

    I did try importing but nothing happened for some reason. That’s why I keep both of them just so I don’t lose the previous AIO configurations.


  • Guru

    Thanks for sharing this information. Such detailed strategies and a plugin resource. What else could someone ask for???
    Social Media Examiner… Your the BEST!

  • I have heard the Thesis theme will also do a lot of SEO optimisation, such as ordering title tags etc and lot more.
    So is All in one SEO good if not having Thesis or is there room for both?

  • Jim

    You make a very good point about the specificity of key words. Typically, the more specific the search term, the further along in the buying cycle.

    For example, a person looking for a home searching “Real Estate Pasadena” is probably much closer to buying a home than someone just searching “Real Estate.” You could even take that down to the neighborhood level. Much easier to gain the top spot of “Real Estate Yourneighborhood” than “Real Estate California.”

    The home buyer searching in a specific neighborhood has already reached a certain point in the home buying process.

    This can transfer to any of a number of fields.

  • I have some experience with Thesis theme, so dont take this as a word of god but rather my impression.

    It seams that Thesis theme was first into the space of SEO for WordPress. THEN came the plugins specifically designed for SEO. Nowdays, other themes have SEO specific settings (I use headlines by woothemes and it has SEO section).

    Having said that, I dont use the “built in” SEO settings and prefer a plugin like AIOSEO. One reason is that my SEO setting will remain if I decide to switch out the theme.

    hope that helps

  • Hi Dino,
    I have been advising clients not use the meta keywords tag. From what I have read the big three search engines have stopped looking at this often misused tag (for example Google does not even list it as an option Is there a compelling reason to use the tag?
    My rational is; Why pay thousands of dollars per month only to advertise all your great keywords to the competition?

    Thanks for the great article,

  • You have a great eye Jim. That is perhaps one of the most important points in the article. I cant harp on things since there is only so much space, but if we were having a conversation about it, that would be the part I yell through a megaphone lol

  • You are correct. The big search engines are mostly (or totally) ignoring the on-page keywords.

    However, there may be a compelling reason to use them.

    If you are in a vertical market (real estate specific search, car search, shopping, etc), these custom search engines are likely using your keywords.

    This is one of the reasons SEO is such a black art. There are so many variables and one size most certainly doesn’t fit all.

    Hope that helps

  • Thanks guru! It helps to have great writers!

  • Looking forward to it. Thanks!

  • Ilene Giles

    This information is so worthwhile the instructions were easy to understand. Thank You

  • You’re welcome Ilene. Im glad thats the case, There is always a danger of getting too abstract and technical with these sort of things.

  • This does help. I think you are right, as with most things an out of the box solution is not always best. You need to be deliberate in the steps you take and let your contexts and goals drive your actions.

    Thanks Dino =)

  • YES!!! Context and goals. I couldn’t have said it better myself…and I talk goodly…real goodly lol

  • Bonny / Dino: I’ve used both All in One and Yoast. As I recall, Yoast does not support the “other content type” Dino discussed above (not important to me either). Note also that as of my download (Jan 2011), Yoast was still a pre-release. As you might expect I found a bug or two. Joost was very prompt to respond and is working out the kinks. I look forward to his full release, and will try it again when he goes to v1.0. [PS: Dino, your explanations above helped me use Yoast too.. Gracias!] – David (

  • Oh wow…Im really happy about that. I imagine there is a lot of overlap between Yoast and AIOSEO, so that makes sense.

    Thnx for contributing valuable insight Dave..much appreciated.

  • Dino,

    Whew! Great detail on All In One SEO. It’s a tool we use on our own blog, and one we install on our clients’ blogs as well.

    Recently I’ve been playing around with Scribe, which has a different set of features, but helps you determine which keywords you should use, and generates an SEO report on your blog post before it goes live. It plays well with All In One and the Thesis theme. There is a monthly fee for it, but if SEO is important to you, it’s worth testing it out yourself for a month or so.

  • Hey Rich. Thnx. This stuff has been written about so much I had to do something to make it actually useful. And I found that most people (when writing about this stuff) stop short of useful.

    One of my goals was to show the non-tech-savvy how easy it is to install and configure this stuff.

    Thnx for contributing to the convo, Rich. Much appreciated.

  • Will google ever find my keyword rich blogs if I only blog on, i.e. the wordpress hosted blog?

  • Great post, love the comps technique – really clear and useful. It can get confusing when researching keywords to start with but isolating what the competition is doing first is a great starting point. Really useful explanation on the All in one plugin for WordPress too – nice one!

  • One of my blogs is on and I find that google not only finds it but finds it quickly AND gives it preferential treatment over a self hosted blog (your blog inherits some of the juice given to domain).

    So it seams that has some functionality behind the scenes that google “snaps into to” and indexes your post.

    Why? Do you find that your blog is not being indexed? Maybe its the “dont search this blog” setting in your back-end configuration.

  • Terry Rabe

    In your article, you refer to WordPress. Do you have any tips for Blogger users?

  • Thnx Elliot. So much of online activity is so much like real estate, isnt it? And the whole “comps” thing is such a real estate technique. Plus its easily understood by folks who are not necessarily tech savvy so I use it liberally lol

  • Yes, I do have a very important tip for Blogger users. Move to wordpress.

  • Holy junk! This is a lot of great info on optimizing. Def a good source to share with people if they want to learn how to optimize. Well thought out!

  • Thnx Bri, glad you think so 🙂

  • Hi Dino, Super Excellent Optimal content explaining seo with video. Well done. Agree with Mike, video format should be used more. Thank you – Juan

  • Hi Dino, I forgot to answer your question. My top 3 SEO strategy to increase page ranking is: 1. write excellent post titles 2. use keywords that best fit my niche market 3. use custom structure for permalinks (especially important for inbound and outbound links to my posts) – Juan

  • When you say “use custom structure for permalinks” are you referring to the %postname% variable or something more?

  • I mean Pretty Permalinks to create completely customized links. Sometimes I use fewer words for my post titles than for my links. – Juan

  • Gotcha…good stuff. Thnx for elaborating 🙂

  • Great article Dino. I am just starting to really focus on SEO for my blog and some of this information had already come up, but then I got to the information about All in One SEO. I was shocked that something like this was available and it just proves that I need to continue to research, implement, rinse and repeat.

    Keep up the great work and please let us know when you get that comparison of All in One SEO and Yoast.

  • Cool, Im glad you liked it. Theres more great info on my blog and the comparison will prob be published there, so tune in 🙂

  •’re so right! Pictures are worth a thousand words…so that makes videos worth around 30,000 words PER second (video-geek joke alert) 🙂

    Great job Dino! You and your videos rock man!

  • Thnx Hani…much appreciated.

  • LeoWid

    Dino, I spent the past hour or so reading this post and acting on your advice. The way you did it made it so intuitive and simple, I am sure it would have taken me ages otherwise to do all that. I hope you are not tired of hearing my praise for your posts, but you nailed this one again. 🙂
    However, in my case, I would also like to set this up for a non-wordpress website. Any quick hints on what is best here? Are there comparable plugins too?

  • Yup…Im sooo tired of hearing the praise…just sick of it…NOT!!!! lol

    Anyways…what platform are you on? Also, you may want to ask Dan, he is guest-hosting the latest post on my blog. Lots of great info there as well…

    I kinda synced it up so that today’s post on SME and today’s post on my blog compliment each other.

  • I’m a blogger user as well. Why do you suggest moving to wordpress? Or do you have an article you can refer to?

  • Now I remember why I hate SEO. Like everything worth doing in life, it’s tedious, time consuming, and terribly worth while.

    Also, a friendly reminder that there are other search engines out there besides Google (Blasphemy! I know!). Optimizing your blog will not only help your ranking with the big G, but also those other, lesser engines we dare not mention.

  • Pingback: How to Optimize Your Blog for Google | Social Media Examiner | S.E.O.()

  • Great post Dino, All In One SEO plugin is awesome – when set up right. The run through you’ve given is easy to understand and follow, great for people who are new to it.

    Thanks for the great post.

  • Pingback: How to actually DO that SEO stuff… | Local Business Spotlight()

  • Other search engines? Surely you jest lol

    On a serious note, ranking well on google will make you rank well on the other 3 big ones. And sure, there are other engines in China and Russia but theres only so much time in a day lo

    Great to see you here my friend 🙂

  • My pleasure Ben…Im glad you liked it.

  • Diane

    I have a penny’s worth of understanding prior to reading your post. Wow….you are easy to understand. That being said. I am totally a non tech person. I just want to start a blog….and I want to start right. I plan to have a Word Press blog….I’m thinking about purchasing a Studio Press theme like Genesis or one of the child themes. I understand that they are already set up to plug and play with great SEO…????? But, then I read somewhere that it’s really key to choose the right host so that you really do get the desired analytics. (???) Again…I’m just an individual…not a corp….but I do not what to start over nor more around…I want to start off well so that I can then put my efforts into my blog…not its infrastructure.
    Okay…I’m sure I sound as green as they come…
    And thank you!!!

  • Well…I was really being a smart ass when I said it but I was also a lot serious as well. Moving to wordpress (and to be clear, Im talking about a self hosted wordpress blog, not gives you something you dont have with Blogger platform.

    It gives you control and flexibility. Its hard to really drive that point home until you experience all that wordpress has to offer.

    You can install wordpress on your laptop and test drive it. Hit me up on twitter or on my blog if you want more info about that.

  • Contact me on twitter or on my blog. I’ll be happy to point you int the right direction.

  • Very helpful info which I will share on Twitter. Brilliant website, keep up the great work mate!

  • Pingback: The Tyranny of Hyperlink Ends Now!()

  • You’ve really put together a nice piece of work here. Thanks to @Kim for pointing it out to me. Great stuff!

  • Thanks Dino, its really very helpful and good resumed. Keep on working as well!

  • Hi Dino,

    A good intro level article – covering everything to a level anyone capable of implementing their own SEO should be able to handle. That thoroughness is often missing so I want to highlight it!

    It also prompted me to think about how I do this – not just for myself but small business clients. What I do is largely similar. Once difference is that I tend to use competitiveness data from Google in selecting keywords as well as search counts. Whatever the method though, there’s something missing for me, and in your article so I’m interested ot hear people’s thoughts about it.

    What is missing is measuring the results and using them to refine the method. This is tricky even when there is data (and a lot of what people write about SEO and results analysis is I think very flimsy because of this), but for very small business websites (which is me and my clients) there is simply not enough analytics data to do more than measure progress. Using the data to infer anything about method from analytics on a small website is a joke!

    So I put it out there: how does anyone develop their method (e.g. for keyword selection) when analytics data is sparse (or even when its not FFS!). I’d love to hear your thoughts on this Dino, and anyone else who has thought about the issue.


    Mark (in London)

    P.S. On All-in-one SEO and WordPress SEO (Yoast): I have installed Yoast (never AIO) and it is one impressive looking SEO plugin. I can’t wait to go through it and supercharge my new website (still being worked on).

  • Great article Dino, with lots of detail! I know a lot of bloggers who love plug-ins and like to install lots of different ones. And, I know that the more plug-ins on a blog, the slower the loading time. Do plugins hamper SEO as well? I noticed you said “Some plugins (like All in One SEO) are must-haves. Others should be installed only if absolutely necessary.”

  • LeoWid

    thanks for the heads up, will check it out.
    Sorry, just getting to grips with SEO, our site is on php if this is a valid answer. 🙂

  • wow.. you never cease to amaze me! I am an SEO do-it-yourself, relative newbie.. but this really broke down a couple things I didn’t know about and hadn’t been doing.. big thanks!

  • Dino,
    I have a question regarding my existing blog. If I begin using All in One SEO and choose a custom structure for my Permalinks, will existing URLs for articles be changed to the new format? If so, how damaging could this be? I don’t want to lose the links I have currently.

  • Pingback: Optimizing Your Blog for Google | Write Speak Sell()

  • Dino, thanks for the great information. Here’s a challenge I am having in WordPress. I had downloaded the All in One SEO plugin, but it seems as though my blog selects the automatic settings over the All in One SEO ones. Any suggestions?

    Also, I may sound like a bit of a dinosaur, but I also have a self hosted Blogger domain, and I want to implement SEO for the particular post, rather than it defaulting to the main page SEO: any hints or resources on how to do that?

  • Thanks for the excellent information here Dino. Great tips for analysing your ‘comps’. I use the Platinum SEO Pack plugin which has similar settings. It does automated 301 redirects too if you have to change the permalink.

  • Guest

    Thanks so much for this post, Dino. I’ve installed the All in One SEO plugin 3 or 4 times so far only to uninstall it every time because I was intimated by all the settings. Now, thanks to you, it’s up and running, and I’m super excited!

  • Thnx Jason. Glad you enjoyed it.

  • wow… @kim ey? She most have been there when they opened doors on Twitter to get @kim Thats awesome, Im following her now, and you as well.

  • Thank you. Much appreciated.

  • Hey Mark. I did an interview with an SEO expert Dan Cristo on my blog. (Jan 19 post). And Dan mentions something that stayed with me and you might find useful as well.

    Its not so much in terms of measuring, but rather in monitoring and then refining. Its a slow and tedious process (and Im quoting one of my commenters here lol) which usually means its true.

  • If you site is unresponsive that will most definitely hamper SEO. Google bots have a time out and if your site doesnt respond they move on assuming its down. If this repeats enough times, google WILL ding you.

    Having said that, it would be unusual for this to happen due to plugins (tho I guess not impossible). Usually it happens because of bad hosting. So make sure you are with a solid, reputable, fast, high uptime hosting company.

    hope that helps 🙂

  • Good..Im glad. Because its exactly you who I had in mind when writing this article. Relative but determined do-it-yourselfer. Take a listen to the interview I did on my blog regarding SEO (jan 19th post). It really covers a lot of other stuff you might need to know.

  • Excellent question. So it always did for me until few weeks ago when it didnt lol So Im hesitating to say with 100% certainty. I think it might have something to do with versions (lots of moving parts with WP. MySql, php, apache…) plus WP itself…anyways.

    You dont have a choice. You have to change it and I am reasonably sure you’ll be just fine.

    Also, you may want to test it on a sandbox. For local (on a laptop) installation of WP, see my blog.

  •’s a silly question. Is AIOSEO enabled? Once installed you actually have to “flip the switch”..which always struck me as kinda weird but it is what it is. Check it, let me know…

    As for Blogger, sorry brother, you’re on your own…I never used it, dont want to..little that I do know about it was enough to see the limitations of the platform esp in terms of SEO.

  • Nice one. 301 redirect is powerful feature…very cool 🙂

  • I am so happy to hear that, brother. It can get little much, but like anything, there is a short list of things you want to change and the rest you can leave as-is…if only we knew which is which lol

    So, Im glad I could help you with that.

  • I agree – you should learn the basics first, get content up and then seek experts after you’ve gotten yourself to a plateau you can’t overcome yourself. In many industries, the basics will get you on page 1 of Google with just a little time and effort. Great advice and how to guide.

  • So true. Theres a lot of low hanging fruit you want to pick before you need to enlist the help of “experts”.

  • Hi Dino, would you be willing to give your opinion on the “DoFollow” “NoFollow” links in comment systems? That is, does it make a huge difference to the commentor’s “PR juice”, if the links to their names or URLs in comments are NoFollow? Hope that question makes sense, I”m sure you know about the debates going on concerning this. Regards from Julieanne

  • Your Q not only makes sense but its also highly relevant. I would strongly encourage you to use dofollow in your comments and display your comment policy proudly. (see my blog for example).

    It will affect your PR juice somewhat but thats not important. Having dofollow will encourage people to comment which will give you Social Juice, which will prompt more people to comment…a virtuous cycle.

  • Pingback: Optimize your website for Google | Sara Zimmerman Art, Illustration & Design()

  • Pingback: Streamlining Social Media: Episode 15 | Courtney Engle()

  • All in One SEO is a good plugin. I also used it. It make my blog worked better

  • Dominique

    Thanks for the info! The akismet WP plug-in is great for spam!

  • Pingback: Streamlining Social Media: Episode 15 | Courtney Engle « Courtney Engle()

  • tmurph135

    Wait – so now I’m unclear about meta keywords taging. If I’m not targeting custom search engines (just google, etc.) should I use tags for META keywords, or should I manually enter keywords here

    Thanks for the article – overall it was very informative and easy to understand [I’m terribly ignorant when it comes to SEO or even blogging in general :)]


  • If you’re only targeting google, the answer is that apparently there is no need to enter that info. I know..its so hard to believe or break away from it. But I do have a confirmation from a bonified SEO expert. See my blog, jan 19th post. I talk SEO for an hour with Dan Cristo.

  • Pingback: The Link Wrangler: Blog Development Advice, SEO Tips, & Sharing Your Expertise - The Web Wrangler | The Web Wrangler()

  • Helps me greatly! Thanks to both of you 🙂

  • Good tips here and thanks a lot for sharing. The one thing I would say is that although good SEO is 100% needed people shuoldn’t get too caught up in it all the time. By all means get your plugins in place and have a good structure there that you can add content in to but don’t write for search engines. Write really good original content and people will keep coming back time and time again!

  • Amen to that brother 🙂

  • Thanks, Dino – Your post and videos are helpful as I dive in to ignite SEO for a newer blog. Also appreciated your answers to many of the above questions!! 🙂 ~Keri

  • My pleasure Keri. Theres a really cool podcast on my blog that was released concurrently with this post (wed 19th) with an SEO expert that covers A LOT more. The two were meant to compliment each other and I think you will find it very valuable for your new blog.

    Also, you can leave questions there for Dan Cristo (SEO expert) and I. We;d love to know what problems youre facing.

  • Search engine traffic or Google traffic is the best because it’s free. You just have to follow these tips you’ve enumerated and explained to be able to take a big bite of such traffic.

  • Wow! What a GREAT article! It answers SO many questions I have about SEO. I’ll be going back to this article every day until I commit it to memory. Thanks for all your hard work putting this together.

  • Thanks so much, Dino!

    I’ve tagged you back on Twitter – Thank you for the nice message there!! 🙂

    I installed the All in One SEO Pack yesterday. Working through the settings and metas, etc. I’ve probably been over-tagging or under meta-ing if I’m to go by the guidelines you gave, but my jury is still out until I work it a bit more.

    Appreciate the blog post reference, and your mention of Dan Cristo. I’ll be attending Blogging Success Summit…will you?


  • Eddie

    Thanks Dino. Definitely not the same old rehash. I’ve got a lot to learn. You’ve really given me something I can work with.

  • thnx Coleen. so glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  • I wont be attending this time around but Im sure it will be awesome …have fun 🙂

  • Amen to that

  • Hello Dino, one thing I have found very useful is to build a silo structure; cross link pages or cross link posts in the same category. Don’t rely on plug-ins, just use regular links in your text. It also tends to keep visitors engaged on your blog, staying longer.

  • Pingback: How To Optimize Your Blog for Google |

  • Antonio Romero

    I think that keeping both is not efficient… I had headspace2 before and, as you are doing, I keep both for some time but now I have totally moved to yoast…

    On the other hand, I had to do some “manual import” … Was painful but worth enogh!

  • that makes sense to me Antonio. I find it painful to configure one, much less two.

  • Good post except “If you do decide to outsource SEO, you should set aside a minimum of $3,000 to $5,000 monthly for a dedicated SEO professional.” is way too high in my opinion. Maybe it depends on the location of the SEO professional

  • The estimate is based on US and EU cost for talent. Im sure SEO can cost lot less as well if you can find someone in the emerging economies.

  • Annette Hird

    Just wanted to say – thanks so much for this information. I’m fairly new to blogging and am just trying to wade through all the SEO stuff and learn as much as I can. That plugin is fantastic and your explanation of how to use it was easy to understand and had me setting it all up in no time – and I found some great keywords in the process as well. Thanks again.

  • Pingback: Google Optimization | The Conversionator V2 N5 | Diamond Website Conversion()

  • Donna

    Dino, I checked and my settings say “I would like my blog to be visible to everyone including search engines”. So it is not blocked. I have a daily google alert set up for my name and my wordpress blog has never shown up once. I get a google alert right away for my name when I post the same blog in Sometimes my blog on will show up in a google alert for my name and even sometimes for “home staging” which is really the keyword I’d like to come up for.

  • Can you try writing a nonsense phrase in your wp blog and set google alert for it. The reason I suggest that is perhaps name-value is not passed from to google alerts. Weirder things have happened.

    If you want to undertake a serious SEO campaign let me know, we can take a closer look at where you are right now and talk about where you want to be, and the steps to get there.

  • Donna

    thanks. great idea. Will try that, though all my subscribers will get the post. Will try to figure out a way to not send it to subscribers.

  • Pingback: Blog and Tech Tip Tuesday Feb 8 | BlogAid()

  • Wow, I got a lot of work to do know to get my blog up to scratch.

  • Thanks for the share…Got to learn many things

  • Pingback: SEO for Your Daily Blog - Seo and Webmaster Resource()

  • Teo

    Hello. First of all thanks for this All in One SEO tutorial. All In One SEO is a must have tool.
    I don’t think that there is a better seo plugin for wordpress. Did anyone tried the professional version?
    Thanks for sharing.

  • That was such an awesome article, I just read it and went over my wordpress blog at the same time for the last 4 hours to refine things like you said. I have a few questions though, when filling out my keywords i have a lot of similar words in some of the phrases but there relevant in what i do, for instance, Junk removal, junk pick up, waste removal and so forth. Is using the same word in different phrases like Junk and Removal going to get me penalized with google. I would love some feed back, Thanks for the article.

  • Yes and no. If we’re talking meta keywords don’t waste your time. They’re ignored by search engines. UNLESS, we’re talking about a vertical search engine (in other words, industry specific).

    If we’re talking about those same keywords within the main body, simply make sure they sound naturally to a human, and google will reward you for it.

  • Not to bother you with to many questions, but is there a certain limit to the amount of keywords in your main body that search engines like or dont like?

  • oh…we can only guess..but google does prefer keywords early on rather than much later…its a fine line and no one really knows where it is 🙂

    As a rule, put your keywords in the title and early in the body of the post.


  • Thanks, again I love the post and im busy ready others now, great stuff

  • Pingback: How To Land A Guest Post On Any Blog GUARANTEED!()

  • Pingback: First Page Google Ranking Tips That Work 60% Of The Time, Every Time!()

  • asif2244

    i want to improve my blog anyone can tell me google adwerd keyword tool is affective 

  • Pingback: How to Optimize Your Blog for Google()

  • Pingback: How to Optimize Your Blog for Google()

  • Great information here Dino, though I’m late to the party. If you haven’t looked into doing a comparison post again (did I miss a link, I’d love to read it!) I will say a Google Search turned up a couple. But I had to look at both options before deciding to switch over to Yoast’s and I am very happy I did. So many extra features – plus if you go to his site you can also read his definitive SEO guide, which I found extremely helpful as well. 

    I’m still learning, and my blog is showing that learning curve. Now that I understand it a bit more, I have to say that understanding how SEO works is important EVEN IF you will outsource, because otherwise, how do you know what your professional is doing will work for you? 
    Unfortunately others are more than willing to show with their horrible keyword selection and copy writing that they really are more interested in your money than improving your site rankings. And they still have the audacity to call themselves experts. If I know more than they do – there’s a problem … a major one. Because I? Am NO expert but am a fastidious researcher. As always – love the information you share so easily and thoughtfully!

  • Pingback: What Goes Together Like Salt and Pepper in Blogging? - Cormack Consultancy: Social Media Management()

  • WOW, fantastic post! I agree with Katrina Moody: “As always – love the information you share so easily and thoughtfully!” 
    English is my  second language, despite this I read your blog posts without any understanding problems. 
    Thank you very much from Hungary!

  • Internal linking structure also matters a lot. Search engines like fresh content and up-to-date relevant search results, so Adding new and fresh content to website is also important. One more thing that may help you is using keywords in your first couple of sentences and then again in your last couple of sentences.

  • This definitely helps to get search engin results

  • you have given a very helpful tips about optimizing blogs…. and thanks for the video as well..its easy to understand

  • Pingback: How to: Optimize Your Posts for SEO | FizX Entertainment()

  • Rose Pangilinan

    Thanks for sharing these informative details, easy to understand. One of the best article I’ve heard. And also the videos that really added a lot in understanding SEO.

  • Pingback: Streamlining Social Media: Episode 15 | Courtney Engle | Courtney Engle()

  • Nice tips on how to optimize your blog for Google and other search engines one point I want to point out here is don’t create content for search engines create content for your readers