Live Blog: How To Improve Your Blog Through SEO

This session was taught by Brandi Koskie, who is the Senior Editor at, and this year, she was also assisted by her husband, Shelton.  When Brandi left corporate America she “vowed never to use PowerPoint again” and opted to teach through examples and what has made her site successful. Togther, they explained SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and its importance, then helped us discover ways in which we could apply that knowledge to our own blogs.

Question:  How many of you know what SEO is?

Answer:  Search Engine Opitimization – how to make your content rank organically on Google.

  • Page 1 matters more than everything else, and the higher, then better.
  • Diets in Review was built on SEO, and they outranked the brands on page 1 of Google.
  • In May of 2011, Google changed their algorithm. They used Panda to clean out search results – spam and lame content, pushing the great sites to the top. DIR was affected, and they’ve spent the last two years working toward recovery.
  • Penguin is coming out this summer.

Basics that everyone should be doing to improve:

Custom fields
In WordPress, go to “Screen Options” and turn on custom fields which will help with your meta data. It is the backbone of your post.
There are three things to add to the meta data – Use key words, a sentence or two long…
1. Title – blog title and page title (for google)
2. Description – a sentence or two
3. Keywords – stick to 5 to 10 keywords….”look for low hanging fruit” (i.e. low fat Mexican food, vegetarian food, etc. as opposed to Mexican recipes)

Tone it into what your niche is which will make it about your blog.

Sometimes using misspelled words is okay in keywords (i.e. Julian Michaels, Wieght Watchers, etc.) It should not be your focus, but it can help facilitate occasionally.
Using Google AdWords is a tool for keyword ideas, and Google Trends shows interest over time. It allows you to search for top trends as well as what is rising. It gives the opportunity to break out ahead of those views.
In Google Trends, you can put it different terms to see what’s hottest right now.
Pepper keywords in your post, but keep it readable.

How to name your media files:

  • Name your images

“Jillian Michaels red dress” or “Jillian Michaels and daughter”
Use dashes or spaces, not underscores
Name your video files
Link images back to the blog post

  • Click on the photo, then add a link.

You can increase traffic exponentially if your photos are properly named.

More information:

When guest posting, do not use content that you have used before. Use original content.

Adding multiple authors makes Google think that you’re doing a great job. Give guest authors their own profile.

More About Analytics

• How people get to your site
• What they do while they’re there
• What they do when they leave

Google webmaster tools – you can go into your analytics and share data

Google “crawls” your site often, and when it can’t get to your site, it will tell you when access is denied or when something is not found.
Crawl stats – time spent downloading the page. Lower is better.
Robot stat text file – you can download it on WordPress. Google will assume that it has access anyway so it is not necessary.
Go in and update meta tags on old posts, and add video. It gives Google the opportunity to come back and see that you have made changes.

Content key words can be found under Google’s webmaster tools, and you need to be sure that it’s what you want because it is what Google sees first.

Every time someone comes to your blog and adds something to your page, google makes it another page.

After an explanation and how-to, the workshop broke into small groups in order to have one-on-one time with Brandi and/or Shelton.  They asked questions and received helpful answers.


This session was captured by Kenlie at