The only SEO strategy that you’ll ever need in 2015. Seriously.
You’ve probably read tons of articles, blog posts and whitepapers on SEO already this year. You’ve probably also been told a load of different things – sometimes conflicting – about how to get traffic, how to optimize your websites and how to avoid getting punished by Google. Quite frankly, that’s SEO for you in a nutshell.
So many digital marketers, SEO experts and other ‘gurus’ are giving you information for which essentially will not make any difference to that all important organic traffic figure within your Google Webmaster Tools account.
But what I present here is not one of those SEO gimmicks or quick fixes. No. What I will present, though, is a simple SEO strategy that you and your business can implement that WILL make a difference. All you’ll need is a Google AdWords account, a couple of free tools and a blog. Oh, and the desire to want to increase the size of your business, of course.
If you’ve not guessed it already, I’m talking about doing proper keyword research alongside producing content for business blogging.
Whatever you do off-page (or even anything else on-page to an extent) doesn’t have the significance of what producing high quality and highly researched – and, therefore, optimized – blog posts has. This is SEO in 2015.
By all means, you’ll need to include the relevant tags etc. that I’ll also cover, but if you stick to this SEO guide you’ll not go wrong.
So here goes…
1. First of all you need to do the ground work.
Fire up Google’s Keyword Planner tool and focus on the ‘Keyword Ideas’ section. Obviously you know the keyword area and topic of your SEO post, that is what you’re blogging about, but you need to narrow it down to something more specific to have a ‘long tail’ keyword to work with. So for example, instead of “make money online” you’d want to target “make money online using amazon.” Or, instead of “how to lose weight” you’d be looking for “how to lose weight on my arms and legs.” See the difference?
With business blogging, you’ll need to be specific because the chances are that there are stronger SEO websites out there focusing on such keywords as opposed to your blog post. For a little extra help with finding possible long tail keywords (or sub-niches if that’s how you refer to them) explore ‘Uber Suggest’ – it’ll give you loads more ideas that you can research for this process.
Use Google’s ‘Related Searches’ also to find what people as searching for, and assess this figure alongside the ‘Average Monthly Searches’ and ‘Competition’ in the Keyword Planner. Ideally, an average search figure of around 2,000 – 5,000 is what we’re looking for, with a low SEO competition number and anything around the 5,000 figure in the ‘About…’ results section that’s just below your search terms in Google itself.
This process isn’t that difficult. Really.
2. It’s now time to get competitive.
Now you’ve found perhaps 2-3 suitable long tail keywords, it’s time to check out the competition – that is, who exactly are the first 10 searches that currently appear in Google for those terms. This is the exciting part in SEO, because these are the people or websites or businesses that you’re going up against so we’ll need to look at their pages and find out how and why they’re currently ranked on that page for your keywords.
There’re many ways to go about this. I’ve previously recommended ‘Market Samurai’ on this blog to do SEO competition review, but this time I’ll suggest you use another free tool called ‘Traffic Travis’ that’ll also give you the data you need. Simply drop your long tail keywords in the search on the Traffic Travis website and you’ll instantly get an idea of how difficult or not it is to rank these keywords (Google would never tell you this) in the first column – here anything with ‘Medium Difficulty’ is okay to go forward with for SEO. This is how I’d narrow down the say 2-3 long tail keyword ideas, down to just the 1 you will be writing your post about.
Here’s where it gets exciting. For that long tail keyword, click on ‘View Report’ and you’ll see the 10 websites that are ranked in Google in order (these will be the same 10 that you’ll see in Google) for that keyword. Specifically look at the checklist section in the middle that gives you information on the on-page assessment i.e. Page Title, Description and H tags. If you’ve followed my steps above, I almost guarantee that over half of these pages will not be SEO optimized correctly. That’s perfect for us. Here you’ll also get an idea of how these websites are doing in terms of off-page stuff too aka backlinks. So basically whatever they’re not doing, we need to do or do better to make sure we out-rank them.
3. Building the masterpiece.
So now we have a long tail keyword; that we know people are searching for; that we know has low competition and a low number of results; that we know ranking won’t be very difficult; but more importantly; that we know we can outrank the competition with. Now we have an SEO strategy!
A lot of people will curate or steal or outsource the content creation process. DO NOT DO THIS. You or someone within your organisation will need to write the post. If need be, ask a guest to blog for you on your website, but this should only be done scarcely. Write this post using unique, thought provoking, engaging and great quality content. Make sure that each post is in the 700-1,000 ballpark for number of words. Short blog posts are nice, but they don’t rank as well as longer posts in SEO.
After setting up your page – making sure you don’t do all the mistakes your competition has made – run your page through SEOQuake. This is a browser add-on that you can also download for free that will diagnose your page. It gives you tons of information, but just keep to the ‘Diagnosis’ tab because this gives you the best overview. Having said that, I would suggest you take a quick glance at the ‘Keyword Density’ tab and see how the actual content is looking – I don’t need to tell you that your main keywords should be at the top of the list at around the 2% mark. This is probably recommended for less experienced bloggers. So if your long tail keyword is “make money online using amazon,” then a few of the main keywords itself in that long tail keyword (and I mean words here like “money” “online” “amazon”) need to be at this figure. This just strengthens your overall case.
Next step… is hit publish and share! Do this 2-3 times a week and you’ll build huge organic traffic to your website through your blog posts. You’ll also build huge authority and will start to see a following behind you and your business. Measure and evaluate all of this through your Google Webmaster Tools. SEO isn’t short term, remember.
One thing I would always suggest when doing anything like this, in SEO particularity, is to discover and work with the right tools and add-ons to help you with your strategies – to make you a smart marketer. There are hundreds of these out there that you may or may not find useful, but just give them a try. Really, it’s all based on your preferences and your budget.
So there you have it. The only SEO strategy that you’ll ever need in 2015, and it’s really simply (and free). All about the right research, and good content.