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3 SEO Tasks You MUST Do Right Now

SEO is the task of making your blog and posts more friendly to the search engine robots so that they can easily travel through your website and collect necessary data to rank it on search results.
So, when talking about SEO purely, we think about the algorithm and the search engine crawlers – how they find the posts, scan and collect data to index it in their database. If crawlers can send data about your posts easily, it may come top on the first page of Google.
There are many tips and tasks to accomplish to SEO your blog and post so that it comes on first page of search result. However, here I’m going to talk about 3 essential SEO Tasks you must do right now – Sitemap, SEO Title & Description and Images & Alt Tag.

Sitemaps

Maps are certainly great to navigate an unknown land. Sitemaps are intended to inform where they should visit. They – Oh yea, the visitors and bots. But because we are talking about SEO and that means learning how we can make it easy for search engine bots, we are not talking about sitemaps for human visitors.
Search engine bots are small programs that crawl through the links to find new pages and send data to the servers to index. If they find it easy to hop through your pages, they are more likely to get indexed.
Sitemaps are the best way to guide those bots but this is often overlooked by most bloggers. Use sitemaps and tell those bots where your pages are, what they should index.

How to know if your blog has sitemap

Sitemaps are placed on the root of your blog folder and thus can be retrieved by entering http://yourblogurl/sitemap.xml. For example I checked for my blog as http://seommotips.com/sitemap.xml. Following is the result. Great! I have sitemap.xml file for my blog. If you did not see the result similar to the image below, you need to generate one.
XML Sitemap for SEO MMO Tips
There can be 3 ways to generate sitemaps and submit it to the major search engines.

#1 Your Theme has this option

If you are using premium themes like Thesis, you have these options built in into your theme. Check through the options and enable sitemaps.

#2 Your SEO Plugin has this option

If you have already installed any SEO plugins such as WordPress SEO by Yoast, there might be the option for sitemaps in it. Check your plugin options. WordPress SEO can generate sitemap and submit it to the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing.

#3 Install Sitemap plugin

If your theme or SEO plugin does not have the sitemap option, you can easily find a sitemap plugin and generate sitemap. There are many good plugins for this task and if you ask me I recommend Google XML Sitemaps by Arne Brachhold.

SEO Title & Description

This is another most important SEO task you can do right now. Most people confuse SEO Title with Post Title. Please note that these two are completely different things.
Post titles are displayed in your blog when it is published. So, make it most attractive to your regular readers and human visitors who land on your blog. SEO Titles on the other hand, are the title search engine bots grab from your blog and use to display on the search engine result page. So make it attractive in such a way that the eyeballs rolling on search result page are compelled to come inside.
Lets take an example. You are running a series of posts on “How to improve SEO ranking” and you wrote 13 posts already. In 14th post you are talking about RSS. You could have post title as “How to improve SEO Ranking – Part 14 | RSS” but you can choose to set your SEO title as “10 Tips to Use RSS to Improve Your Blog Ranking”. This way you make titles more meaningful to both type of traffic.

How can you enter SEO Title?

After you know the importance of SEO Title you might be interested to reap the benefits out of it. Its very simple and easy to do.
All you need is to have a SEO Plugin in your blog and I believe it is already there, isn’t it? If you don’t have, install one soon. All-In-One-SEO is one of the most popular SEO Plugin. There are more than 8,572,794 blogs using this plugin. However, many bloggers complain that its heavy on resources. So as a better alternative bloggers prefer WordPress SEO by Yoast. It is light and effective to optimize your blog.
No matter whether you’ve installed AIO or WordPress SEO you’ll find the additional fields in New Post page as illustrated in the image below. You can fill up SEO Title and Description on these boxes.
Title and Description SEO
You can see in the image above how I set SEO Title and description field.
Most of the search engines ignore Keyword meta tags these days. So you can leave Keywords field blank but Title and Description tags are still very important. Google and other search engines will use this description below the title on search result pages. If you leave this field blank, the plugin will generate the description from the first 60 characters automatically, but, because this is the text that search engine visitors will see, it is very important to craft it as good as you can. Compel them to click on the link and land to your blog.

Use Images and Alt Tags

This is third most important task you should do right now on your blog. Images are appealing not only to human readers but search engines too favor it. Using images and videos on your posts prove that you are serious about the post. It adds value to the post. So, use a few relevant and attractive images on your blog.
The bad thing (Or it’s the good thing for SEO) about images is that search engine bots can’t see the contents in image. They know the image exists but it is unaware of what the image is all about. So, it is your job to help the bots. Tell them what the image is about using ALT tag. Alt tag is most important form SEO point of view because you can inject your main keywords inside Alt Tags. Please read my post ALT Tags – Let Your Images Speak with Crawlers to learn how to use ALT tags on your images.