Everything You Need To Know About SEO
When I say Everything to Know About SEO, I mean everything you need to be successful. This guide is intended to take someone who knows nothing and get them up to speed with only the most important aspects of Search Engine Optimization.
Why do people struggle with SEO?
They focus too much on satisfying ranking factors.
They don't Reasearch their direct competition.
Impatience, they want their results yesterday.
Stop Fooling Around, And Start Ranking Your Website!
~ Rank for high traffic keywords today ~
What Exactly Is SEO?
SEO or search engine optimization is the art of getting found organically using search engines. SEO is free but can take an enormous time investment to achieve maximum results. The search engines crawl your site at random intervals and analyze your sites has content. It then judges your site and ranks you for specific keywords. The topic of your content determines your keywords.
How SEO Works?
Many different ranking factors can help you achieve a more significant ROI for your website. Most people get caught up on the little things and forget to look at the whole picture. At the end of the day the only thing that matter is the quality of your content. Creating long-winded content for the sake of filling a word quota will not attract people or keep them interested.
So to keep it simple. CONTENT is what matters!
I can never get SEO to work, does it ever?
SEO isn’t in the same category as Bigfoot even though most people wouldn’t agree with me. You don’t have to spend your whole life looking for SEO results never to find a trace.
I feel a lot of people have no idea about the amount of time it takes for google to crawl and compare your content. They purposely postpone crawling content on new sites. By not doing this it saves them valuable computing power. They do this to prevent wasting resources on websites that aren’t serious.
Here is the most common wrong approach
I see when people try to create blogs/websites.
They have an idea or hobby and want to share it with other people to make money from their skills. They create some stellar content for about 1-2 months.
Nobody showed up, then they stop paying for hosting, and as quick as they began their site gets shut-down. If they only knew how SEO works.
If they just would have waited 6-8 months, then they would probably be in an excellent position to start receiving organic traffic.
Is SEO in 2018 still a valid method of customer acquisition?
Organic traffic can generate a much better ROI if done correctly. A lot of people quit too soon probably due to the 21st century’s instant gratification mindset. The key is that if you have patience and follow the simple SEO guidelines I lay out, then you be successful. You have to believe in the process, or it won’t work.
Let’s begin by discussing. Why SEO gets a Bad Wrap
The Typical PPC GURU
The fact that most marketing gurus tend to pick one over the other based on where they have the most experience. I find it off-putting when they bad mouth the other as a means to get people to trust their skill set. Saying don’t waste hours on SEO means that their business might never have utilized it.
I Tried… But I Failed.
As I have explained above SEO is a time investment. You have to be willing to curate great content and let it sit for an extended period. During this time is when Google amongst other search engines will test that content’s quality and relativity.
The traffic was poor quality
It happens to a lot of sites. The key to getting good quality traffic flowing to your site is to make sure you are ranking for focused keywords. As an overall rule, your whole site should focus on one, two topics max, so Google knows how to categorize your site.
SEO's dark past and bright future!
The origin of Keyword Stuffing
SEO was spammy content and hacky tactics. Initially, in the 1990s and early 2000s when Google first hit the scene, they scanned sites in a very primitive way. They checked keywords only for density. This lead to the ancient blackhat technique of keyword stuffing. It allowed webmasters to repeat the same word hundreds of times and get the first sport in the rankings. Even if the content itself didn’t have anything to do with the keyword that they stuffed.
It was these caveman-like SEO approaches that lead Google to release many of there infamous rank breaking updates that penalized people for bad practices.
How the new system works and why it’s great
Google’s new policy is not based solely on keywords or backlinks. It all comes down to how other users use the content. It is done by split testing the usefulness by examining two main factors.
How many people click on the link to visit your site and the more important how long they stay on your site once they visit.
This testing has done wonders for aggregating only the best content to the top of the search engines.
Enough with the backstory, what are the guidelines?
The guidelines are very robust and take years to master. That is why there are specific jobs for people who specialize in SEO marketing. I have also become a master of SEO after years of smashing my head against the wall. The tactics have changed and will continue to evolve at Google’s whims. This reference is a simplification of what I believe are the most straightforward guidelines to follow when doing SEO.
The Truth is there are hundreds of different ranking factors, but I feel people put too much importance on the ones that have minimal impact on your ranking. It is the whole reason I wanted to create this article.
#1 CREATE GREAT CONTENT!!!
It should be the most obvious thing that anyone has ever told you, but all too often I see people over-focused on how they are going to promote their content and the keywords they are going to stuff in it. Great content will maximize the time people will spend on our page.
Most commonly known as Dwell Time, it is the number one thing search engines rank your site’s quality. It is the only thing that a Google update will never depreciate or penalize.
What makes exceptional content you ask?
Well, quality information that entertains or enlightens, something of immense value. First and foremost you need to write about essential topics.
KEEP ON TOPIC
Not only do your blog posts need to have a well thought out topic, but your site as a whole should align with a purpose.
EXAMPLE OF What NOT to DO
If you wrote about your top ten favorite places to eat. But your website’s topic was tips and tricks for snowboarding. Guess what you just confused people and created poor content that didn’t align with the mission of your site.
QUALITY is 1,000,000 times more important than QUANTITY!
Have you ever heard to create content between 300-500 words? I have, and I cringe every time I listen to it. Creating small articles might be easy, and it might help you rank locally and for obscure keywords. Guess what those articles are small minded, and you will receive only trickles of traffic from those methods.
Releasing a new blog post every day is the absolute dumbest thing I ever heard. You need to invest your time in a quality article if you want to rank nowadays. Not doing so shows the search engines the content is weak. Weak content will act as background static when you get pooped out on page 10 and rest there for eternity.
You need to target essential keywords that contain a secret sauce known as buyer potential. Writing a quality blog that is over 2000 words will get you more traffic and make your site more of an authority than the short stories of your competitors. The key isn’t only ranking high, you want to be first-page material, or you might as well not create the content in the first place. GO BIG OR GO HOME.
BLOCKERS THAT DETER PEOPLE
A lot of people get instantly discouraged from reaching for their dreams because they think that what they want is impossible. This thought is a based on common quitter mentality; If you feel this, then you need to break free of society’s oppression.
Little known fact, all the people that are on the first page didn’t start there. They had to pay their dues and get boosted through the ranks just like everyone else.
Visual content is the holy grail
99 PROBLEMS but visuals aren’t one. The first thing I want to say is that visual content will draw visitors in and keep them on your page longer. The idea is that you need to perfect the ratio of content verse text.
Visuals can be a gif, meme, images, video, charts, infographics, or anything that will enhance the user’s experience. If you want to take one thing from this, it would be visuals are for the people, and your text is for the search engines.
The idea behind visuals is that they elaborate and add value to your text. They help the users learn your content more quickly and give your content a higher chance of being shared. Videos are also a great enhancer, but if your video or text lack quality than your post will quickly experience the user’s back button.
DON’T BE A VISUAL DESERT
If you don’t focus on impressive visuals and creative ways to display data, then people will leave. No one came to your article that reads like a high school research paper. People do not care about your unique voice. Most people come to learn and most people are visual learners. Visuals will make people stay on your article longer.
Ignoring multimedia or picking out overplayed stock photography will not do. Invest in good visuals and it will 10x your engagement. The key is making people want to consume and share your content, organically.
#2 Highlight CONTENT Keywords!!!
Do you even keyword, bra?
The two biggest mistakes people make when researching keywords.
The first is that they try to go after just any keyword with a lot of traffic. The problem is that they end up targeting a high volume keyword but if the keywords don’t focus on buying potential your traffic will be less than useful.
The second is that people will target obscure long-tail keywords that most people search by accident. If this is the case, this will lead to lousy engagement, and even though you might get some traffic, it will drop off due to lack of involvement.
Choose Strong Keywords
Research keywords thoroughly; there are many different keywords that you can rank and be successful. Ranking for low competition keywords is not going to bring you a lot of value versus keywords that contain high buyer potential.
How do I know if a keyword contains buyer potential?
Now.. that my friend is a million dollar plus question.
The key to determining if a keyword has buyer potential is identifying if it is something someone would search if they were planning to buy a product.
I Start By Asking Myself These Questions
Think of what you’d search if you were planning to buy it?
What about if you were going to buy it, today?
Think of the process you would follow once arriving at the destination?
How does the page look like, does your page match?
What content triggers you to buy?
All of these are keys to creating a successful SEO and sales process. Once your done asking yourself these questions, take a look at some of the different types of buying potential keywords. Even if you don’t have a product, buying potential is what drives the web.
Identifying Buyer Potential with Examples
Specific Product VS Specific Product – Comparisons are a great way to target buyer potential because people tend to shop around before they buy.
Example: “hp pavilion 15 vs dell inspiron 15”
TOP 10 Products of an Industry – Mashups are another great longtail to target because people usually make buying decisions based on what other people think. A mashup is also great for comparing industry pluses and minuses at a grand scale.
Example: “top 10 web hosts of 2018.”
Very Specific Product Description – Many people will type out the product they are looking for with great detail. They are diligently looking for a product because they want to buy it now.
Example: “nike air huarache triple red men’s sneakers in red – size 8.5”
HOT buying words – These are words that denote buying intent. If you are selling a product, then these words should be your focus.
Example: “buy web hosting”
Quick HOT Keyword OVERVIEW
Buying Keywords: Buy, Purchase, Discount, Coupon, Price, Cost, How Much, Similar price, etc…
Learning Keywords: Learn, how to, tutorials, training, fix, find, etc…
Local Keywords: Your business name, competitor business, county, country, subdivision, district, etc…
EXECUTION: Knowing Where/When to Keyword
Now that you have learned what it takes to find the right keywords, it’s time to add them to your article using best practices. My recommendation is to follow this execution list.
SLUG – Make sure that your keywords are in the slug. Your slug should consist of no greater than five words. Remove any stop/transition words.
Start Content Right – Include your keyword phrase in both the main title heading and also in your first paragraph. It will help set a precedent for your articles focus.
Use Keywords or Synonyms – Make sure to pepper parts of your phrase and synonyms through your writing. Depending on the length you need to have a certain percentage of these keywords to tell the crawlers that your focus is on that topic.
Add Bolding & Subheaders – (Optionally) Add some extra juice by using bolding and additional headers with your keywords.
#3 OFF-PAGE SEO & SOCIAL SIGNALS
I thought SEO’s focus was on creating well-made content?
It is! But, there is another part of the process which will help your SEO become grow much quicker. It is a smaller, less important part of the process because the search engine will discover your site eventually.
The primary focus of the search engines is your on-page metrics. They also look at your backlinks and monitor your social signals.
What are Backlinks?
The primary focus of off-site SEO is backlinks. Creating good backlinks is a complicated process that can take time to acquire. The history of backlinks is seedy at best. Google and other search engines have engineered their systems to disregard low-quality backlinks and only reward links from reputable sites.
What are social signals?
Social signals should be as straightforward as it sounds. It is the amount of social activity that’s referencing a specific link to your site. For example, if you have a post that is shared, viewed, clicked, or liked on facebook. Then each of those occurrences would increase that links social juice, which tells the search engines that it’s socially accepted. It reassures the search engines that the content is valuable and will improve its ranking.
How do you know if a site is going to offer a good backlink?
The most prominent thing about getting a backlink is the trust factor. The better the reputation of the site and the more the site is trusted by, the search engines the better the link juice. The second largest factor is the topic of the site. It will show the search engine how much of an authority your site has over other people’s content.
How can I get backlinks from other sites?
Getting a whitehat backlink can be a time-consuming endeavor, the key is to come up with a way to offer value.
It doesn’t hurt to ask or swap
You can ask people to include your link on their site or a specific page. If they are doing a compilation of a multitude of resources, then they might say yes. It is tough because you have no leverage. Something for nothing is usually a tough sell. It isn’t pointless; it depends on how you approach the situation. I first start off by complimenting their article which will instantly raise their opinion of you. Next, I would agree with them on a topic or idea they have; this will form a self-reflected connection. Then make a sort of future promise of value, which is usually make people interested in you. Then when you ask for a link, try to sound as nonobrassive as possible. No one likes a salesman.
Hey first name,
I just finished reading your article, and it was brilliant. Love the fact that we feel the same way about something in that article. I am always looking for fellow writers to collaborate. Just got done writing a similar post about that topic and was wondering if you would give it a read and let me know what you think. Also if it meets your standard, I would love to be included in your list/mashup.
Link to your article
Chances are they will probably ignore it if they do, then you proceed to step two which would be to transition into a link swap.
The broken link Strategy
Also with minor changes to the script above you can inform them of a broken link on their site. If you have an article that fills that need, then let them know you found a broken link and offer to replace it with your URL. Usually, because you went out of your way to help identify a broken link, they will reward you with a link. Not always though so don’t get discouraged.
White Hat SEO comes with a lot of rejection and if this is not for you, then don’t do it. The links will build up if the content is good enough.
The DIfference PAID VS SEO
I recommend experimenting with both. I would first set up some long-form great articles and then in the meantime while you’re waiting for SEO to work. Try your hand at some paid traffic. The two main differences, in my opinion, is that SEO takes more time and is much harder to measure. If done correctly SEO can provide a more significant return on your investment. Note some types of business certainly do better with paid traffic. Please do some research before committing time to this endeavor.
How Can I track my organic search results?
The best and most obvious way to track organic traffic is to sign up for Google analytics and link it to your site with a scripts tag. This will allow Google to report all the incoming traffic to your website as well as track all the internal page traffic. I add Google Analytics before advertising or even before creating any content. This will allow you to track your site since its inception. It will give you a good standard for how long it takes to get a site from zero to SEO hero.