I am not a web analyst; I am a teacher. I could prattle on all day about SRTs, IPRC’s, IEPs and ADHD. I cannot, however, give you any sort of expert tips on SEO.

What I can offer you is a beginner’s perspective. After blogging for two years, I recently decided I should learn a little more about this oft-used term, and here’s what I found out:

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it’s the process of trying to get your site (or blog) to show up more often naturally in search engine listings. For example, I want to make sure that when someone is searching for information on PC Cooking School Birthday Parties, my post shows up in their results (and as close to the top as possible). That way, my work gets more exposure and I get more traffic.

I read many articles on SEO for Beginners, and compiled the top three tips which I have begun trying to incorporate into This Mom Loves:

1. Use correct, specific titles for posts. Looking back at my archives, I haven’t always been good at this. Titles like “My New Favourite Thing” won’t draw people looking for “Pandora Bracelets”. That said, I don’t want to abandon all creativity in my titles either just for the sake of SEO.

2. Use correct, specific anchor text and labels. When linking to another site (or elsewhere on your own site) with anchor text, avoid generic expressions like “click here for more info”. Instead, make sure the highlighted text represents exactly what it’s pointing to: “find more info on organizing linen closets here”.

The same goes for your photos and other images: I had no idea that the name you’ve given to the picture when saving it to your computer affects how your posts come up in searches. Not many people are Googling “jpg023”, but if you’ve labelled your image properly, someone just might find you.

3. Write quality content. Well, I certainly strive for that. I’m still trying to find the balance between sharing personal parenting details, review/giveaways, editorials, and information items. I love trying out products and finding new readers with the exposure that giveaways provide, but I certainly don’t classify myself as a “review and giveaway blogger”. However I also don’t fit into the “look how cute my kids are and read about their every milestone on a daily basis” niche either. I love all of the Celebrity Momterviews I’ve done, but I’m not strictly an entertainment blogger. Hopefully my reader base enjoys the eclectic mix they find here at This Mom Loves: travel, decorating, education…it’s all there.

Another oft-shared tip is to post frequently, and while I know there are some twice-a-day bloggers out there, that just doesn’t work with a full-time teaching schedule. I try to set aside chunks of time to write two or three posts and program them for the week, but sometimes I can only get one post out. It’s not worth forsaking the quality referred to in Tip 3 in order to pump out a greater quantity of material.

Where are you on the SEO spectrum? Are you a guru who can suggest a next step for me, or a fellow beginner guilty of cryptic post titles and generic photo labels? Do you even care? I’d love to hear from you!

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