In this article, you would get some information about how to get started with SEO, so let’s begin!
SEO is one of the best traffic drivers. The organic search traffic generated from SEO is increasing!. A case study has shown that organic search is responsible for 53% of all site traffic.
Microsoft has made a study based on a Linkedin poll with 600 global senior marketer participants.
Based on that survey, here are the results for the essential skills to have in 2020.
- Data analysis
- Behavioral analysis
If you look at the hard skills, you might notice SEO, copywriting, and behavioral analysis – tree things that are mandatory when working with SEO and organic search.
If you consider upgrading your skills and start playing with the search engines and make your presence in the search results, now is an excellent time to begin implementing an SEO strategy.
The best part, once you start to rank, you get free traffic for your website.
Paid traffic vs. organic
Most companies and webmasters realize that it is crucial to have an online presence, and are spending millions on paid media like Facebook ads, Google Ads (PPC), and banner advertising.
With all the data and tools available, it is possible to analyze the ROI, track conversions, and decide if you should bump up the ads budget or pull the plug on a specific campaign.
That is probably why paid advertising seems to be sexier than SEO – you get an instant overview, and you know your price per click, impressions, and sales your campaign has pulled in.
For many webmasters, the paid way seems to be fine, but what if you are leaving money on the table? How would you be able to count the orders you missed and could have gotten from free search traffic from Google?
A relevant question could be What about the user’s intent? There is a big difference in trying to interrupt users with ads you hope they would click on, compared to driving a user from Google to your website, based on a search query the user performed themself.
If you are working with Google Ads(PPC), you would also notice that good SEO content has a positive impact on your quality score – which leads to a lower click price and often a better placement of your ads.
Marketing your business on the Search Engines
Sadly a lot of business owners are leaving organic search traffic from the search engines on the table because they focus on paid traffic only.
But even words like backlinks, SERP results. mobile-friendly might sound strange if you are not a webmaster, the truth is that you don’t need to buy and read a lot of books to get started with SEO.
It is not a science that requires special techniques that would take months to master. In fact, you are already in the process of reading this guide! 🙂
The foundation of Search Engine Optimization
What is SEO and how it works
Search Engine Optimization Interpretation: SEO is an acronym representing SEO, which is the process of maximizing your site to get natural or un-paid traffic from the search engine results page.
Can I do SEO on my own?
Yes, you can! Everybody can learn SEO, and the best part is that it is never too late to start. You just need to learn and understand some SEO fundamentals.
How can I learn SEO from scratch in 2020?
Your journey starts by understanding the three most important factors regarding SEO: Technical SEO, Onpage SEO, and Off-Page SEO.
To create quality content in demand, start your new SEO journey and dig into keyword research to develop some of the terms your users are using when they search on Google.
You need to make sure that you aim for the topics your users are searching for (seed keywords), and that there is enough search volume to drive enough traffic.
To get additional keyword ideas, consider using Google trends, and visit Answer The Public for questions your audience would apply concerning your keyword. You can also get ideas by using Google keyword planner. Moz is also offering a tool called Keyword Explorer.
For better insight, competitor information, and keyword difficulty, I strongly advise using a professional keyword research tool to find keywords.
Rank tracking tools – How to measure your results
The next step will be to check if your website shows up in Google for some of those keywords if you make a search query.
Tip: Set up a rank tracker to test if any of your keywords are ranking. Prorank Tracker offers a free plan where you can monitor 20 keywords daily, that is the right way. You can Sign up for a free Prorank Tracker account here.
A bonus of a well-written article is that it would rank for several keywords and help you drive even more visitors to your website – quality content do matter!.
Remember to set up Google Search Console and frequently check which of keywords that are ranking. You might even be inspired to create additional articles based on keywords you not also considered to target.
Content creation on your site (On-Page SEO)
After you have done your keyword research, it is time to move on to creating your content. Naturally, your content should always address your potential customer’s interests.
You are first and foremost writing content for your users – but of course, Google needs to understand what your content is about, so your content is being indexed – and hopefully ranked as well!.
You should always create the content of high quality and focus on the user experience. Try to understand the user intent behind a search:
What information do you think the user is trying to locate? (specs, data, prices, etc.)
- What kind of questions can you address and answer?
- Are your users just searching for information, or are they ready to buy?
- Is there any related information you can provide?
Consider your article like a journey – you get the user’s attention by writing an exciting title. You drag them right into the first paragraph, and hopefully, there is a hook that keeps them interested.
You might even consider a table of content if it is a long article, so your users can jump directly to the section that is most relevant for them.
Structuring your website for Google and your users(UX)
If Google should understand your content, there are specific ways to structure your article, and even if you have a list of keywords and search terms, you still need to structure the content.
Try to look at an online newspaper – how they use a headline, how the first paragraph supports the headline, and how they are using the keyword through the article.
The goal is not to aim for “clickbait,” but there is nothing wrong driving attention to your best content.
Here is a quick list of things you should always remember:
- Use your main keyword in the URL on your web page.
- Use your main keyword in your title tag.
- Use your main keyword in your meta description.
- Use your main keyword in the first paragraph of your article.
- Find synonyms for your main keyword and use them when it makes sense.
- Don’t over-optimize your keyword – a keyword density of 2-3% is usually more than enough.
- Write naturally – focus on the user experience and reading experience before Google.
- Use internal links to relevant pages on your sites (consider using keywords as anchor text)
- If it makes sense, link to external quality articles (not competitors!)
- Use images and remember to add ALT Text tags for your images.
- Analyze which words Google expect to find in your article – use a keyword research tool
If you have created a good piece of content, consider using social media to share and interact with your users.
User experience before Google – The missing link
It is easy to get a bit sidetracked trying to please Google trying to gain ranking increases, but it is not a question if you can “game the system or not.”
The result should always be the focus of excellent user experience(UX) before SEO. If your users have no clue what your website is all about, don’t understand how to navigate, or cannot purchase a good ranking, it cannot solve that.
Other ranking factors
Search Engine Optimization(SEO) is more than the right content, titles, and meta tags. Even if you have made a fantastic article or blog post, sadly, it is not a “build it, and they would come” scenario.
There are some key SEO elements you need to take care of, here is a quick list:
Speed of your site
- Is your website fast enough? Use Google Pagespeed Insights, or if you are using Google Chrome, you can add Lighthouse to your browser.
- Is your website mobile-friendly – Use Google Mobile-Friendly checker tool
Rendering of your site (technical SEO)
- Is Google able to render your content? Fetch your URL inside Google Search Console and see how it looks
- Check the caching of your website – how does it look, is the content fully cached, or does it look weird?
External backlinks – Build the right types of links
- Make sure you have external quality links pointing to your content (Read this article)
- Examine your competitors’ backlink profile – how many links do they have (which are the strong ones) and how is it possible for you to obtain a similar backlink
- It is not about the number of links! it is about the quality (Fabian made a great post about link building)
link to your articles
- Make sure always to interlink your content – an article with no links would not find its way to Google’s index, so make sure you still have at least one link.
- Use good navigation – make sure that your most important parts of your website are present and easy to access from the navigation.
Make a habit of checking your keywords and the bounce rate of your different URLs. If a user bounces of an URL, it is a reliable indicator that your content did not meet your user’s expectations(UX). So perhaps you need to change the title, look at the structure, and ask yourself if the content serves the user intent of the keyword the user used.
A high bounce rate is a reliable indicator to Google that you clearly not serve the user’s interest for the specific keywords – so why should Google favor you if a competitor is doing a better job with their content?
Final thoughts for this mini-guide
Writing SEO friendly content should always be with the user in mind – it is not about writing a wall of text just to please Google.
You have probably visited websites or shops with an image and a price tag of the product, and way below the fold, there is a wall of text that doesn’t make any sense.
Using that kind of strategy would not benefit you, your user, or Google – and keep in mind that Google has several ways to determine if your users are finding content that meets their search query.
Google has many data entry points to measure your SEO efforts.
Think about how many websites using Google Analytics, how many users are using a Chrome browser or an Android device.
Based on all those data points, it is easy for Google to measure the entire user journey from the search query they entered, and the user behavior on your website.
Therefore it is good advice to keep an eye on your bounce rate – if a high percentage of your users are bouncing off, there is a good chance that they did not find the content they expected on your website.
That is an excellent way to rethink the user intent of a search phrase – and make sure you are addressing the needs of your users.
You might feel that it is a bit awkward to write SEO articles initially, but it won’t take a long time before you get used to this kind of writing.
When you start, it can be a big help to use a checklist until it becomes a habit. Try also to visit the websites that already rank for the keyword you are targeting.
Start building a quick guide or checklist
Make a little list of what they are doing, is there something the top 5 results have in common, are there terms or headlines they use, are they using questions? (Pro tip: Try Frase.io)
Walking that extra mile can make a significant impact on your Search Engine Optimization strategy.
Make documentation a habit every time you start a new SEO project – after a few projects, you would end up with your checklist to keep you organized.
If you use a checklist, you will notice that your writing process becomes way more efficient – and writing becomes more fun.
It is almost like making a jigsaw puzzle – if you don’t know the image, start with the edges and work towards the middle.
The more puzzle pieces you can lay, the easier it would be to solve the entire SEO jigsaw – and that is exactly what Search Engine Optimization is all about. Connect the dots and rank and bank!
It might be tempting to outsource your SEO copywriting, but the button line is that an external writer would never know your business, your products, and your customers as well as you do.
There might be reasons for outsourcing your content production, but make sure that you at least obtain the skills to determine if an article is an SEO and user-friendly – else you are just publishing content with little to no value.
Sadly even big companies try to save money on their content production, which is not a sustainable strategy for Search Engine Optimization.
Think about web content as a shopping window on a prime location – I haven’t heard of any business owners with a shop in a prime location that didn’t do their best to put their best items on display – so why not do the same with your SEO content?
One piece of quality content can drive thousands of visitors, and turn cold leads into customers – so serve content possible.
Stop guessing and start ranking – The use of AI
You have probably stumbled several guides on how to write SEO content – and if you stick solely to one of those guides, you are missing the big picture.
It is not enough to use your primary keyword the right way .- it is also gove give Google exactly what it wants.
What questions does your user have? What kind of content is your competitor using – that is factors that Google is already measuring.
You need to be able to examine what your competitors are doing and create content that is minimum at the same quality.
For example, if your average article that ranks for the keyword you are targeting is 1000+ words average, there is a pretty good chance that you will not beat them with a 500-word article.
But what about the word, phrases, and questions your competitor is using (or maybe not using)? That can be your golden opportunity.
Examining your top 10 or top 10 competitors might seem overwhelming, but there is a tool called Frase.io that can do all the heavy lifting and provide you with all the content ideas you need. They even offer a free trial, and you can try it here.
Not a native English speaker?
Several tools can help you with spelling and grammar. Our preferred tool is Grammarly, which integrates with both Microsoft Word as well as Google docs. It is a valuable tool for content writing and can help you fix your grammar and make your content more user-friendly. Grammarly offers a free trial, and you can try it here.
What are your thoughts about Search Engine Optimization?
How do you structure your SEO work? Is there anything you would like us to address, or do you have any insights to share regarding SEO? Please share your thoughts by adding a comment below. As my daughter always says when I reach for the last donut “Sharing is caring” 😉