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SEO Beginners Guide for Bloggers – Step by Step

Created by Growth Virality, in partnership with Brenton Way

Breaking Down SEO

First & foremost, let’s try to breakdown what SEO is and understand why it is important to GOOGLE.

Imagine you are an HR firm and a company comes to you asking to find employees they are interested in hiring. What do you do? You look around the web, talk to friends, colleagues, or a database to find a list of candidates. Now, you have to sort these candidates based on their resume, skills, experience, and charisma to present to the company.

You are technically Google.

Google wants to send its users only the BEST candidates (candidates now being companies). Because that’s how people will continue to use Google rather than another search engine.

You are basically a candidate applying to be on the front page of Google, and that involves:

Popular = Backlinking

Experience = Content

Charisma = Optimization

Passion = Consistency

Naming Your Blog

Don’t Stress, choose a branded name,

If you want your website to be about different topics and you plan to work with other companies to promote your website, we prefer branding name. Adding keywords to your domain no longer makes an impact in your rankings

Picking Your Domain Name.png

Tools to research domain name:

Finding a keyword-rich name

If you are looking to find keyword-friendly names that will help your users understand what you do, namemesh is perfect for that. Instantly type in the keywords you want included and sort through .io, .com, .net an more to find available domains. You can also add negative keywords

Finding a branded name

Another amazing tool we highly recommend is called Panabee . Instantly type in a few keywords that describe your business or idea and Panabee will spit out different options of domains that are available. It breaks down synonyms & syllables to help find great brand names for your business.

Choosing Your Blogging Platform

Here is a breakdown of the most popular blogging platforms and their benefits

WP org

WP com














$8-$24per month

$0-$18per month

Hosting incuded

Custom domain included










Designs available








Plugins and extensions




Ease of use









Business blogs


Pro blogs

Hobby / personal blogs

Artists / Creative people

Absolute beginners


Understanding Technical Optimization

Technical Optimization is the optimization of your sites USER EXPERIENCE.

This consists of 54 different guidelines that Google looks for. You truly need to focus on around 20 of these that really effect your rankings.

Here are the basics.

An Ideally Optimized Web Page

An ideal web page should do all of the following:

  • Be hyper-relevant to a specific topic (usually a product or single object)
  • Include subject in title tag
  • Include subject in URL
  • Include subject in image alt text
  • Specify subject several times throughout text content
  • Provide unique content about a given subject
  • Link back to its category page
  • Link back to its subcategory page (If applicable)
  • Link back to its homepage (normally accomplished with an image link showing the website logo on the top left of a page)

Step 1: Running Technical Score

First things first, lets run a technical optimization test. You can use either of these tools to help you find your score.

How to generate your technical score:

Chrome Extension:


Example of a good technical score: (

Below you will see a better explanation of each part that is important in ranking.

Step 2: Writing On-Page SEO

Title Tags

This is the name of the page or blog you are creating.

  • This is the most important for on-page SEO ranking.
  • Try to use your SEO keywords in the beginning of the title
  • Keep it under 30 characters
  • Descriptive Title: 30 Summer Maxi Dresses You Need to have for Fall!
  • Engaging Title: The One Summer Maxi Dress You Can Never Give to Your Friend!

Meta Description:

This is a description of the page you have created and tells users what your page is about

  • This doesn’t affect SEO rankings as much as title tag.
  • It’s important for getting visitors to click your page.
  • Example Meta Description: Here are the 30 Summer Maxi Dresses we hand-picked for your wamr day out.

Meta Tags:

These are tags or keywords you can add to better explain to Google what your page is about.

  • This helps categorize your pages or blogs properly when someone visits.
  • Example Meta Tags: Summer Maxi Dress, Maxi Dress, Dresses

Step 3: Structuring Your Roadmap


A sitemap is basically an explanation to Google on how your website’s pages are structured.

Example of Sitemap:

  • Home
  • Fashion
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Food
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Music
  • EDM
  • Hip Hop
  • Jazz

How to generate your website’s sitemap:

Sitemap Generator:

Sitemap plugin for Wordpress:

Adding sitemap file to website:


Robots.txt is a text file webmasters create to instruct web robots (typically search engine robots) how to crawl pages on their website.

Now that you have your sitemap, you can easily add your robots.txt

How to generate your robots.txt:

Robots.txt website generator:

Robots.txt Wordpress plugin:

Site Speed

This is basically how fast your website loads.

Site speed is very important because it affects your front-end User Experience since people leave your site. It also effects your back-end because Google doesn’t want to send organic traffic to a slow page.

Running a site speed analysis:

Example of a good site speed: (

Writing Targeted Content

Write content that boosts your SEO

Content is king and it always will be the main factor that separates you between others. The way that content is consumed can potentially change. Your goal is to offer something different that makes people want to read your work.

Step 1: Determining Your Tone

The most important step is to take time to sit down and figure what makes you excited and what makes you a thought leader. What topics have you spent time researching and can offer advice to others, then figuring out the way you would like to present it.

Lets create a user scenario

Jennifer Barella, F, 32






Fashion on a budget


18-40 year old Females

  • Determine your niche
  • Find your tone. Are you funny? educational?
  • Who is your audience?
  • What actions would you like them to take?

Step 2: Analyzing Your Keyword Potential

Now you need to analyze what keywords to go after, which is the

Tools to analyze keyword potential: (Limited & Paid versions) Semrush is the platform we use for consulting clients and has amazing tools to understand competitors as well. It lets you break down keywords easily and find related keywords. (Limited & Paid versions) This is another tool I found that did a great job explaining keyword potentials. It gives you a breakdown of how competitive a keyword is and shows others that are ranking for it.

Google Keyword Planner: (Free) Nothing simpler than using Google’s own keyword analysis tool. You can sign up for an ads account (don’t have to spend) and get access to this tool.

Spyfu: (Limited & Paid versions) This tool is simple to understand and gives you the most important information you need. If you want to compare your traffic to another person, this can help you.

Step 3: Finding Inspiration for Content Writing

Believe me, we’ve been there. Many of the questions we get is how to find engaging articles. After creating a blog, and finding your niche, you want to write about content that grabs people’s attention.

Relevant Competitor Tracking

Epicbeat : EpicBeat is the modern marketer’s Swiss knife.If you are looking to understand more about what your competitors are doing right, this tool can really help. It’s able to pull important metrics about the content being posted and how it is consumed by their users.

Not only does EpicBeat make short work of both content and trending news research but also helps in curating this content back to your site in three clicks. Through deep analysis of popular content in your niche, it identifies and inspires ideas that can percolate into your own content strategy.

Post-creation promotion questions right from which channel to target to who can sway your audiences with your content are a matter of clicks on EpicBeat.”

Below I ran a quick check of “Joe Pulizzi” who runs a podcast and instantly found information about his post engagement. I was also able to break down the style and channels he uses to promote this work.

Subscribe to Industry-specific blogs:

You’re most probably going to have others that will write about similar content. Subscribe to their newsletter to help you find current events. One alternative to subscribing manually is using Feedly

Feedly is an amazing platform that helps eliminate content overload – which is a major issue for bloggers. The platform learns from your favorite posts and highlights that you make and easily sends it directly into your google drive or spreadsheets.

One of their newest features is called mute filters which comes in handy when you want to drill down on a specific niche of a category. Let’s say you want to talk self-driving cars but don’t want any mentions of Tesla, you can filter it from your Feedly list.

Step 4: Creating Your Content Synopsis

There are many ways to analyze what keywords to write about. In the next section we will be talking about where to find inspiration, but first we must determine what keywords we want to rank for.

Below we have created a template content synopsis that we use ourselves with our own clients. It helps everyone understand what the mission is and stay focused.

Here is access to our content synopsis guide we use for for our own clients:

Free Content Synopsis Guide


Backlinking is basically when 1 website links to another.

Here comes the million dollar question, how can I boost my SEO?! Work smart & consistancy..

Step 1: Social Backlinking & Proof

You should register an account on all of the major social media accounts.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Linkedin (yes.. Create one)

This doesn’t mean you need to constantly update all of them. You typically want to keep 2 as your golden platforms based on the industry you are targeting, and the rest should be updated once a week.

Here are some other backlinks that you should also build (yes, you are considered a personal brand):

  • ❏­name
  • ❏ http://brand­
  • ❏­name
  • ❏­name
  • ❏­name
  • ❏­name
  • ❏­name
  • ❏­name
  • ❏ http://brand­
  • ❏ http://brand­
  • ❏­name/
  • ❏­name/profile/

Step 2: Distributing your article

Here are just some examples of websites where it’s great to share your content:

  • Slideshare: If you turn your written content into a powerpoint slide you can share it on Slideshare for people to read.
  • : Suggest your article on the platform and if approved, you will be featured on their board.
  • Medium: if you aren’t currently using Medium, you should. It’s another channel that is becoming very popular for most industries. I suggest using this platform to talk about your journey throughout your week and what you learned. People gravitate to stories and it lets you create quick content to share. (dive deeper into this in our next guide)
  • Google News: If you are consistent with your posts and have created quality content so far, getting featured on Google news is the next step.
  • Find Resource Pages, or called Link Roundups
  • Here are a few strings of text you can enter in Google to find opportunities of websites to link from.
  • “Keyword” + inurl:links
  • “Keyword” + “helpful resources”
  • “Keyword” + “useful resources”
  • “Keyword” + “useful links”
  • Facebook Groups
  • Engagement Groups: Join many Facebook groups that have an “engagement day” – this is where the members post their content pieces and others engage with them if they are relevant.
  • Company Channels: Join niche Facebook groups where the members will find value from your content. For example, let’s say you wrote an article about your amazing trip to China. By doing a simple Facebook search, I was able to find a niche facebook group with members who would be sure to read the story.

Secret Backlinking Flow

First, let’s get your commitment.. I’m about to share a strategy most bloggers or companies won’t share with you. BUT after you read it you have to commit to this strategy for at least 2 months.. Can you do it? Consistency.

Building Backlinks.png

  1. Who is your audience (explained in “determining your tone”)
  2. Who sells products ,services, or influences your audience
  3. Narrowing down your list to those that could benefit from your article and be featured.
  4. Finding their email address.
  5. Reaching out to be featured on your piece

Template 1: Soft approach

“Hi {NAME}

My name is Jennifer and I run an awesome blog about fashion trends!

I’m writing this awesome thought-piece about new wig styles for 2017 because some of my audience has been asking for them.

There’s a section in there that talks about the newest celebrity wigs and saw that you guys have experience around it.

Was wondering if you would be interested in being featured in our piece and sharing the love?


Template 2: Strong approach

“Hi {NAME},

My name is Jennifer and I run an awesome blog about fashion trends!

I found you about you guys because I’m creating an article on “30 new wig-styles try to this Winter” and saw that you have some amazing choices.

I also saw that {COMPETITORS NAME} created a similar article so thought it would be great to get your reference on this.

{NAME}, would you be interested in being featured in the piece and sharing it with your followers if you love it?


SEO Do’s & Dont’s

Don’t steal others content

Don’t do it.. We see many bloggers taking content from others posts. If you find a great section that you would like to use, make sure te repurpose it by paraphrasing.

Don’t keep broken links

A broken link is the name given to a hyperlink that no longer points to its intended destination. You’ve been won over by an article’s sales spiel and you’re desperate to see what’s on the other side of the link, like the example below

Don’t write irrelevant content to your keywords

Irrelevant content will not only waste your time but won’t improve your rankings

Don’t build weak backlinks

It’s a waste of time for you and it won’t improve your SEO. Work with others who have a good PA score or are writing unique content.

Don’t write too many characters in one line

You should really limit the length of your text lines. In Readability: the Optimal Line Length should be 50 to 65 or 75 characters. That’s about 10 to 15 words, which from our experience, is indeed a good read.

Do build genuine relationships with other bloggers

One of the most important things about SEO is that it is supposed to be natural and a part of that is connections. Google is smart enough to know what you are doing so don’t feel that your hard work building these opportunities won’t pay off.

Do build your personal brand outside of rankings

Why should people read your blog.. It’s a very important question to ask. Out of the thousand pieces of content out there, you need to share a compelling reason why you are worthy of their time.

Do create graphic or video content to boost your written content

One of the best ways to boost your traffic is to re-use the written content as new pieces of graphic content or a video you can post on Youtube. When you backlink from your Youtube channel or Pinterest consistently, it helps build your authority.

Do optimise images for SEO

With all forms of media on your website, remember to label, tag or add alt-text to them, so they become visible to search engines. It doesn’t have to be a long description. We tend to add a long-tailed keyword to an image, which can make all the difference. Once traceable, search engines can understand more about what your content offers users and, if its relevant, increase your ranking in the process.

Do Use synonyms

Don’t use your focus keyword over and over. Your text will become unreadable and you will be risking a Panda penalty if you are stuffing your text with keywords. Make sure to use synonyms of the keywords and keyphrases you want to be found for!

Do answer relevant questions on discussion boards

Answering questions on websites such as Quora, Linkedin, and Facebook Groups while linking back to your website helps build a natural link (mentioned below).

Do mix no-follow & follow backlinks

Many clients focus on building do-follow links which means it passes on juice, but never work on no-follow. Every link to your website is analyzed and even though some of them don’t directly affect your traffic, it will in the long run.

Next pieces:

Becoming a thought-leader in your category
This includes using channels like Medium, Quora, Linkedin & more to build your brand!

Finding Paid Opportunities with Companies & Organizations

Learn how to find new paid opportunities in your niche by being an asset to their campaigns.

Boosting Your Content: How to Easily Create Infographics, Ebooks, & Videos From Your Written Content

Learn how to repurpose your content easily into multiple content pieces to increase your reach!

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Picture of Jonathan Saeidian
Jonathan Saeidian
Chief Executive Officer at Brenton Way. We deliver growth exceptionally well from tailored outreach lead generation for B2B to PR campaign strategy for B2C.