How to Create & Submit Your Sitemap

How to create and submit a sitemap for your blog. A very simple SEO tip for you today.

What makes it so simple? You don’t have to create your own sitemap for Blogger. Blogger automatically creates it for you. All you have to do it submit it.

Going back to the 15 Minute SEO Checklist, a sitemap is on the list! And they say that spiders love an up-to-date one. So let’s do what we can to make sure that happens! Just follow these step by steps. Really, its pretty easy!

How to Create & Submit a Sitemap

How to find your sitemap?


On Blogger, it is in the form of: http://YOURBLOGURL/robots.txt

So, the sitemap of our test blog at Blogger is:

And this is what it looks like:

User-agent: Mediapartners-Google

User-agent: *
Disallow: /search
Disallow: /

User-Agent: googlebot
Disallow: /search
Allow: /


Take that URL that you just found and go to Google Webmaster Tools. If you haven’t added your site here yet, please do so. (Click the “Add a Site” button and follow the prompts, read more on adding your site.)

How to add your sitemap:

  1. Navigate to: “Optimization” > “Sitemaps”
  2. Click the “Add/Test Sitemap”
  3. Enter the ending part of the URL you found above: “robots.txt”
  4. “Test Sitemap”
  5. “View Test Results”
  6. Confirm that it successfully found the Sitemap and then repeat #2 above
  7. “Submit Sitemap” this time.
  8. Done!

Now Google will find you. Congratulations on submitting your sitemap!

For more information in regards to sitemaps and Google Webmaster Tools see the following links:

Are you on a self-hosted WordPress blog?

Submitting your sitemap is even easier. Download and activate the Google XML Sitemap Plugin.

SEO Tip: Blog Meta Tags

SEO Blog Tip

While meta tags are becoming less and less important to Google for ranking purposes, they are still important to other search engines.

However, I think more important than for SEO purposes, the meta tag description is what readers will see when they search for something and your blog homepage comes up in the search engine results.

Meta Tag Description & Keywords

What do Meta Tags mean, what do they do?

Meta Tag Description:

This is where you describe what your blog is about, hopefully using some keywords in your description that pertain to the content you generally post about.

This is what Google (or any search engine) generally pulls when someone searches and your blog homepage is in the results. The meta tag description is what is listed in the search results description.

An example:

My meta tag description for hands on : as we grow is this:

Hands on kids activities, crafts, and art projects for hands on moms.

It shows up in Google search results like this:

Meta Tag Description

Meta Tag Keywords:

The same way I spoke about finding keywords for particular posts, you want to do the same for your overall site.

Use the Google Keyword Tool to find the best keywords and keyword phrases that are fitting for your site. Don’t overload your meta tag keywords, just pick relevant ones. The 15 minute SEO Checklist suggests only 10 to 20 keywords at most.

<Keywords> metatag

The <Keywords> metatag also matters, though as all metatags it gets almost no attention from Google and some attention from Bing and Yahoo! Keep the metatag reasonably long – 10 to 20 keywords at most. Don’t stuff the <Keywords> tag with keywords that you don’t have on the page, this is bad for your rankings.

I mentioned that these meta tags are becoming less and less important, you can read more about Google’s use (or not use) of meta tag keywords, just keep in mind that other search engines do still look at the meta tag keywords.

How to add Meta Tags to a Blogger Blog:

Important: Please download a copy of your template before making edits by clicking on the Backup/Restore button in the Template tab.

In Blogger, you will be editing your template HTML. Go to the Template tab > Edit HTML > Proceed.

Find (Ctrl+F):

<b:include data='blog' name='all-head-content'/>

Add the following code right after that line:

<meta content='DESCRIPTION HERE' name='description'/>
<meta content='KEYWORDS HERE' name='keywords'/>

It will look like this:

<b:include data='blog' name='all-head-content'/>
<meta content='DESCRIPTION HERE' name='description'/>
<meta content='KEYWORDS HERE' name='keywords'/>

Change the DESCRIPTION HERE and KEYWORDS HERE to be specific to your blog. Save your template once you’ve filled in the appropriate areas.

Meta tags on self-hosted WordPress:

Use the All in One Pack SEO plugin! Fill in the information and you’re done! Check out the theme that you’re using though, some premium themes (such as Thesis and Genesis) have built in SEO packages that are better and easier to use without the need for an additional plugin.

The All in One SEO Pack allows you to fill in these meta tag fields on each post as well. Very vital, probably more so than it is on the homepage.

Meta tags for free WordPress:

Sorry, as far as I can see from research, you can’t access the meta tag files in order to add them. Bummer.

More SEO tips on the way!

Be sure to sign up to receive posts by email so you don’t miss one!

In the meantime,

have you been working on the other SEO tips we’ve shared?

SEO Tip: Keywords

Today's Blogging Tip

I quickly mentioned “Keywords” the other day in how to use image alt and title descriptions as a SEO tip.

Google likes keyword rich content. More importantly, it likes it to pertain to your actual content (not just keyword filled for no apparent reason).

When I started trying to figure out SEO, I had a few questions about keywords:

  • What keywords should I use in my posts?
  • How do I make them my keywords?
  • What can I do to maximize these keywords for SEO?
SEO Tip: Keywords


What keywords should I use in my posts?

The keywords are what a reader would use to search for in Google to find your post. It should be relevant to your post. They’re not necessarily a word like “toddler” or “activity”, but can be a phrase such as “toddler activity”.

For instance, the 50 Activities Just For Your Toddler post is my most searched post on hands on: as we grow (it brings in the most traffic from Google). The keywords for this post could be:

  • toddler activities
  • sensory activities
  • toddler art
  • toddler crafts
  • toddler sensory activity
And so on. 

How do I make them my keywords?

Google looks for keywords in a lot of places.

  • The Title of your post/blog. This is what you see in the tab or at the top browser window. You want to make sure your title of the post shows here, not just your blog name.
  • Post titles. (H1, H2, H3 headings, these will also probably be your blog title and sidebar titles).
  • The URL. (By default, the URL is the same as your post title but with hyphens – and some other exceptions – but you can change this to make it even more keyword rich if needed.)
  • The beginning of your post. The first paragraph should have your keywords in it!
  • Image alt tags.
  • Post content.


These are very important places to make sure you include your keywords in order to optimize your SEO. A biggy is your content. You need to have your keywords in your content! And for SEO purposes, the keywords should show up the most in your content. Checking back in with the 15 minute SEO guide, number 4 on the list is about keyword density:

Keyword density in document text

Another very important factor you need to check. 3-7 % for major keywords is best, 1-2 for minor. Keyword density of over 10% is suspicious and looks more like keyword stuffing, than a naturally written text.


You can check your keyword density using a keyword density checker! (They make a tool for everything, don’t they?) This one only shows it based on a word and not a phrase, but if gives you an idea of your most used words, as well as if you’re getting a little wordy (you may want to cut out unnecessary parts in your post to make your keyword density higher). Just try to get those main keywords in the 3-7% range.

Bonus tip: Google loves to look at larger text, or bold or italic words in your content. Try to work these styles of formatting with your keywords into your post as well when its fitting!


What can I do to maximize these keywords for SEO?

To maximize your keywords even further, you can use Google’s Keyword Search Tool to analyze the best phrases and words that people are looking for. 

You type in a phrase, or two, of what you believe to be your keywords and Google will tell you how many monthly searches are made on that phrase, and what kind of competition that it gets. The lower competition the better. The higher the number of searches, the better. The goal is to find the best balance of those that fit with your keywords.

This keyword tool will also give you suggestions of other phrases you might want to try.

For an example, I entered in the above keywords that I mentioned for the toddler post. What would be ideal is if my post was about ‘games for babies’! A ton of monthly searches on that, with very little competition. Unfortunately, most of the keywords for this post have a medium competition, but the monthly searches are decent.

SEO Keyword Tool


This will be something you’ll have to play with to get the hang of. Give it a shot!


What is PageRank?

Pagerank explained

Have you heard the term PageRank – not sure what it is exactly? What it is used for? Why it’s important? We hope that we can explain it a little in this post.

So what is PageRank – I’m going to quote from the Wikipedia site on PageRank and then explain it to you

PageRank is a link analysis algorithm, named after Larry Page and used by the Google Internet search engine, that assigns a numerical weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents, such as the World Wide Web, with the purpose of “measuring” its relative importance within the set.

Confused? I was – so here is what it’s really saying PageRank is a mathematical formula that gives each site a value between 0 and 10 to say how authoritative it is within all the other pages on the web – it’s one of the factors used by Google to determine where you appear on the Google Search Page.

How is PageRank calculated?

It’s an equation that is closely guarded by Google there is lots of sites that “claim” to have the formula that it is calculated with, but what it boils down to is the fact that your PageRank is calculated based on your incoming links, number of pages and your outgoing links.

A brand new blog has a PR of 0 – it has no incoming links as it’s new and very few pages or outgoing links. As your blog starts to connect with other blogs and they mention you, your blog will start to gain PR and move up the ranks.

When a blog links back to you a part of it’s page rank is passed onto the page that is linked up. So getting links from higher ranking sites is of benefit, especially if they have fewer links as the link is worth more – but just to add to the mix – these are better if they come from real links so ones that fit in with your blogs theme rather than ones that have no connections with the content.

Where can I get my PageRank from?

Google PageRank Checker is the most well known of the PageRank Checker sites – we have placed the gadget below so you can check your PR easily from this post.

Check Page Rank of your Web site pages instantly:

This page rank checking tool is powered by Page Rank Checker service

What is a good PageRank?

I conducted a quick survey of bloggers who write about their kids and within this niche a typical PR is 3 or 4 – there are some sites that have a PR of 5-6 and equally some of PR 1-2 but most fall in that middle bracket.


Why is PageRank important to me?

PageRank is one of the factors that Google uses to place you on the search page – when a typical reader searches for information most people will click on a link in position 1 – 5 on a page, some will click further down – once you are on page 2 or more the people that will find your blog via searching decrease more and more by the time you are on page 4 very very few people will have searched through those pages to find your blog.

So by having a higher PageRank you increase the chances of appearing on the first page – we’re running a quick tips series on SEO – Search Engine Optimization every week with helpful hints on how to improve your own SEO.


How to grow your PageRank

Yes this is probably the bit that you most wanted to know, well basically it will happen it doesn’t happen overnight though you need to create the links back to your site organically.

The more connections you make with other bloggers the better. Joining in with linkies that feature posts each week increases your chances of having a page linked to, collaborating with other bloggers on blog hops and other projects is all part of the fun of blogging but also will help your PR to grow naturally. As well as using sites to promote your posts that others can search on – Pinterest – so this will increase your chances of having a post found and then featured on another blog when they want to link to others on a similar topic or do a round up of a topic.


Keep updated on the linky parties, collaborations with bloggers
and call outs for features within the Blogging With Kids Community!



SEO Tip: Image Alt & Title Tags

Today's Blogging Tip

SEO is a little mind-boggling to most bloggers.

What is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Meaning that you want to optimize your site for search engines to access it and actually like what they see. There are some key things to do to make this happen.

A great place to start is to check out the 15 minutes checklist for SEO at

We’ll be going through a few of what we think are important things to do for SEO for your site.

Telling search engines what your images are is a pretty easy, but very important, step.

Its #7 on their list, and its +2 importance for SEO. I rank it higher only because its something you can do easily from day one of blogging (and likely something you won’t go back and edit all your posts for). 


Why are Image Alt Tags so important to SEO?

Without an Image Alt tag, search engines have no idea what that picture is. They can’t see that its a child playing in a water sensory bin. So you have to tell the search engines what it is. 


How do you set Image Alt Tags?

In Blogger, it’s very simple now. After you’ve inserted the image into your post, click on it. There will be a blue bar that pops up. Click on “Properties”.

Click Properties in Blogger to Add Image Alt & Titles

There’s two boxes to fill out.

Title text and alt text.

(WordPress users, it’s very similar. Click on your image and edit it and fill out the Title and Alternate Text fields.)

I believe that alt text is more important, but since they’re both right here, you might as well fill out both.

Use keywords in your descriptions of your images that really do describe the photo.

For instance, in a photo that I would use on hands on : as we grow:

Instead of using: “Henry & George playing in the water.”

Use keywords: “Toddler & Preschooler Water Play”


Blogger > Image Properties > Title & Alt Texts

My keywords being water, toddler and preschooler. (Henry means absolutely nothing to most people who are searching on the web, so I never use it in an Image Alt tag. However, there are times when I do use it in the Title Tag. Why? Read on.


How are Title Tags different that Image Alt Tags?

Title tags appear on the image when you hover over them. I have a screen shot to show it below. But you can also hover over the image to see what I titled this image, too.

Your readers will see your Image Title Tags. So make sure they are relevant to them.

Image Title Tag Appearance in Post

Use image alt tags with every image you post. Sometimes its hard to remember, that’s okay. I forget about it too. It’s always better to do it later than not at all. The search engines will like you so much better once you tell them what your images are all about.


Have you been using the Image Alt & Title Tags in your posts? 


SEO Tip: Image Alt & Title Tags
Recipe Type: SEO Tip
Author: Jamie @ hands on : as we grow

How to add image alt and title tags in Blogger
  1. Insert image into a post.
  2. Click on the image.
  3. Select “Properties” from blue bar
  4. Fill out “Title Text” and “Alternate Description” with descriptive keywords of the image.

The “Title Text” will be viewable to a reader when they hover over the image.