What’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

When you’re an online business, you value search engine optimization (SEO, for short) like fish value water. Just as online businesses need SEO, bloggers do too. You may not be selling products for cash, but you are selling content for hits.

But wait, what is SEO, you ask? Search Engine Optimization is what it’s name says it is. Moreover, its a technique used to increase traffic to your website and better your ranking in search engine results.

There’s long been a debate over the which blogging platform is the best in regards to SEO: WordPress or Blogger, Blogger or WordPress. But whichever platform you use, these tips are guaranteed to boost your location in the millons of search results that pop up every few seconds.

1. Know Your Post Title. Your post titles allow a certain number of characters for a reason. Whatever you use as your title matters, especially in regards to SEO. If you’ve written a review for Across the Universe by Beth Revis, say so in your title. Don’t just state the book’s title, be sure to use the author’s name, and fit the word “review” in there as well. Not everyone in the world knows about your blog, so if a person was search for “Across the Universe by Beth Revis review” your post will come up, maybe even on the first or second page.

Your post titles are important. Those are what site crawlers (sent by King Google, Bing, and all those other search engines) pick up. So don’t forget to choose your titles wisely.

2. Tag, You’re It. Meta Tags aren’t well known in the blogosphere. But in the world of ecommerce, they are king. While its more difficult to do than choosing post titles, you don’t have to do it as often. Its as easy as going into your blog’s HTML code and adding keywords that describe your blog (your blog’s name, genres you review, features, authors you’ve interviewed).
If you don’t know how to install Meta Tags, tell me in the comments, I may just write up a post exclusively for that!

3. Name Memorably. When choosing a name for your blog, choose wisely. Choose a name people can and will remember. We’re not you. We won’t remember all those numbers that come after your blog name (ex: yareader1975.blogspot.com).

Don’t worry, if you’ve already got a name like that, all is not lost. Purchase your own domain – 10 bucks a year and takes only 5 minutes. If you host your blog through Blogger, here’s a video on how to get yourself a custom domain.

4. Search Yourself. Though it may sound lame, make a habit to search for yourself every now and then, or at least once. If I were to search for IceyBooks, the site crawlers will know that someone out there is searching for me, and crawl more often for updated results. So search away!

5. Link up. Links going in and out of your blog matter when it comes to SEO. Not only do you get that little thrill of seeing yourself on another blog, your ranking goes up one tiny notch. If it doesn’t seem like anyone will link to you, try asking another blogger if they’ll exchange buttons with you. But take a look at their blog before asking – don’t hurt anyone’s feelings or make anyone mad at you. Grudges last longer than backlinks.

There you have it. Have you tried any of these? Which do you plan on trying out? Do you have any SEO tips you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments!


Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.

November 24, 2011



  1. Reply

    A Canadian Girl

    November 25, 2011

    Very useful post, Hafsah! I think you should write up a post on meta tags too. Lol, I don't even know what those are.

  2. Reply


    November 25, 2011

    This post is really cool. I use Tumblr but it still applies. I bought a domain months ago because I couldn't stand the .tumblr.com for my blog. Is there a difference between tags and meta tags?

    – Mary | Anxirium

  3. Reply

    Lauren M

    November 25, 2011

    Yeah, I'm thinking of moving over to WordPress because the SEO options are broader (when you're not self-hosted, you can't edit the meta-tags, sadface), and also because it's just nicer than Tumblr overall. Haha. Thanks for the tips, Hafsah!

  4. Reply

    Enchanted by Books

    November 25, 2011

    I failed numbers 1 through 3 before you came to my rescue. :) It makes sense though! Very helpful post.

  5. Reply


    November 25, 2011

    Great post!! I'm guessing that I don;'t know what meta tags are (as compared to blog post tags which I am told do nothing for seo) since I am not self hosted.

  6. Reply

    Cialina at Muggle-Born.net

    November 25, 2011

    You know, Googling yourself actually doesn't work at all. Since Google personalizes to YOU specifically, then if you search for yourself, of course your own site is going to pop up. Chances are, you should use other computers such as public library, or ask your friends to search on their own computers to see if your website actually pops up.

    But other than that, great advice.

  7. Reply


    November 26, 2011

    @Cialina at Muggle-Born.net That's actually a given, Cialina. If you're signed into Google, its obvious your results will be tailored to you, that's what signing in is all about. So that doesn't mean searching for yourself doesn't work.

    And if you can't get to another computer, you can always switch to a private browser.

  8. Reply

    April (BooksandWine)

    November 27, 2011

    Straight up, WordPress is the best for SEO, you can install so many plugins specifically tailored for SEO, you can use an SEO optimized layout, when you upload pictures it automatically asks you for alt text which absolutely will boost your search engine hits.

    That said, these are solid tips!

  9. Reply


    November 27, 2011

    I agree, a post on meta tags would be good! :)
    Thanks for this post, all these acronyms like SEO get very confusing.


  10. Reply

    Jen Ryland/YA Romantics

    November 27, 2011

    Yes, please explain meta tags!
    I actually switched my blog from WordPress to Blogger. I loved WP but didn't know that on the free WordPress, you can't use any plug-ins except WordPress ones. So no GFC, no Rafflecopter, no Google docs, etc. I thought about paying for WP.org, but decided that I'd rather spend the $ on books.

  11. Reply


    December 19, 2011

    Please do a post on Meta Tags – HELP! I don't know what they are!