This post is a step by step guide to jump-start your SEO carrier.
We begin with 2 effective keyword research tactics. Then we move on to making sure you know everything there is to know about on-page SEO. That’s all part of the warm-up cause scoring quality backlinks is what matters the most – we have 4 great tricks for you to make it happen.
After reading this article you will be able to generate traffic to your website and validate your ‘million dollar’ idea. A lot has changed in the recent years, so sit back and educate yourself.
2 ways to get in front of your competition
This is the part that could make or break your business. It’s simple – by knowing how people would search for your business, you will attract the customers that are looking for your solution.
1. Focus on long tail key-words
Make a neat excel sheet and write down all the keywords that you think are related to your business. Longer and shorter sequences of text. The more the merrier. Make assumptions. Be bold!
Let’s take an example and imagine that you are making a drink recipe blog. It’s always hard to know the keyword that’s the most optimal solution because people will search for your website using “cocktail recipes”, “drink recipes” and 100 other keyword combinations.
You have to find your niche – the set of keywords that are popular according to Google AdWords but are not commonly used by large companies with huge SEO resources.
Google AdWords is probably the best free tool out there to test your assumptions. You will be able to see how many people per month actually use those keywords. Put the numbers in the excel sheet and sort them by popularity.
As you can see people prefer to search for cocktail recipes instead of drink recipes.
Note: Your key-word list should be as long as possible.
Here is the important part – numerous researchers suggest that only 30% of all the searches consist of “cocktails recipes” and “drink recipes” (the top keywords). That means 70% of all the queries run on Google are people looking for something more specific – 4 and more words.
When you run a search for “Cheap vodka cocktail recipes”, it’s clear to everyone what you are searching for. You are about to run to the store to buy all the ingredients. The same principle applies to shoes, clothes, etc. Long tail key-words have a much higher conversion rate.
2. Learn from your competitor’s SEO strategy
Having a clear picture of which are the keywords people use is a great start. Now let’s explore the competition and find more.
We will explore the possibilities that Linkody offers as a backlink monitoring tool. It’s a useful piece of software that allows you to:
- Explore your competitor’s keywords;
- See in which websites their backlinks are placed;
- See how many qualitative (as well as low quality) backlinks they have;
- Receive an update every time your competitor gets a new backlink.
Sounds amazing right? Well, it is! I will walk you through how to use this tool.
Here is what you should know about the sign-up procedure:
- Step 2 enter your domain to monitor you SEO efforts and keep track of your backlinks.
- Step 3 will allow you to spy on your competitors. That’s just awesome, you can see every backlink they have!
- Step 1 & 4 is not mandatory but great to have if you are using these tools. It’s nice to have everything in one place. In long-term it saves time.
Let’s get our hands dirty! If we go back to our example, your cocktail recipe blog is ready and you have added your website “cocktailrecipes.com”, which at the moment does not have any backlinks because it’s brand new.
Note: it takes a couple of minutes for all the links & metrics to appear (for SM Shares (5) it takes up to 24 hours). Try to refresh the page in 5 minutes and you should be able to see rest of the info.
In URL section, you can see all the links leading to liquor.com – articles, blog posts, comments, etc. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, metrics that Linkody provides is what makes it shine:
- Anchor: Which keyword is used to redirect to the page.
- Rel: If it’s F (follow) or NF (no-follow) link.
- Mozrank: Websites are rated on 0 to 10 scale and it’s safe to say that the higher the Mozrank the more qualitative backlink you will get from this source.
- Spam S.: It shows how likely the website will be penalized.
- Shares: You can see how many times an article was shared.
- EFL: Some websites are made mainly for the purpose to host links. This indicator shows how many outbound links the landing page is hosting. It is a good indicator to see how “spammy” is the page.
Let’s use this info! In the Anchor text section, you can see the keyword that’s leading to your competitor’s website. But with the rise of RankBrain, we suggest that you explore also the content itself to see which keywords are targeted.
With the help of Linkody, you can see all your competitor’s guest blog post very quickly. All you have to do is enter “blog” in the quick search form.
The bigger the stack of keywords and the better you will understand your competition. It will be much easier to find your niche and produce content that’s addressing the need your competitors haven’t fully covered.
6 tips to have a killer On-page SEO
1. Proper use of the keywords
You have done your keyword research. That’s all good of course but using these keywords is what matters the most.
There are 2 elements where your keywords should appear (prioritized by the most important):
- Title element: Include your focus keyword in title tag and the H1 tag. Mismatch of these two usually results in clicking the “back” button.
- Content: Keyword must appear in the fallowing parts of the content –
- Page content (from 0.5% to 3 from the total content counts as great);
- Use at least 1 photo and add alt attribute to the images (quick guide);
- the URL but keep it short and straight to the point.
2. Proper use of the keyword synonyms
Nowadays with the rise of semantic search Google no longer searches for word to word equal matches. It tries to understand the intent of your search and the contextual meaning.
A majority of people may search for “cocktails” but there will be quite a few that will have the same intent but will write – drinks, mixed drinks, spirits, booze, etc. To have content that ranks high not just for your specific keyword you must include the terms that are synonym to your keyword. These keywords you can find in AdWords when clicking on the “More like this” button.
3. Match the searcher’s intent and purpose.
What you have to know is that initial intent might be much different from the purpose why the search is made. Often times people have the intent to find cocktail recipes for the party but the purpose of this search is to have the ingredients so they can prepare the drinks later on.
This is a tricky thing to do because both intent and purpose must be matched in one article. It’s a good idea to put yourself in the shoes of the customer before writing the content.
An article with 20 cocktail recipes + the list of ingredients and where to buy them, would satisfy the customer’s intent and purpose which would result in high engagement and google would prioritize your article over another similar that’s lacking these features.
It’s a fact, longer content out-performers shorter and researchers have found that the optimal length of the blog post is around 2 000 words.
There are a couple of rather important things to be aware of:
- Speed: you have to make it fast on any device. 1 second to load is good, 4 seconds very bad. Tips and tricks how to do that – here.
- UX: Easy to understand and navigate.
- Responsive: must be visually appealing on most popular browsers.
5. Snippet optimization
- The title and spot on description.
- URL that’s self-explanatory and 1 to 4 (max) clicks away from the main page.
- Publication date.
6. Make it share-able
The problem is that there is not a single formula how to do this! But if you put a lot of effort into creating an article that will create a value for the reader and will be “spreadable” – that’s a great start.
Social Media Shares nowadays drive your SEO ranking so considering these factors it’s a must:
- Make a BIG “share” & “like” button.
- Craft URLs that are short and descriptive.
- If it’s relevant consider adding Tweets and Open Graph Stories.
Quick intro to link building and the factors that matter
Back in the days, links were everything. The more you had, the bigger chances to rank No. 1. Those were your votes, the more you had, the more popular you were. Nowadays it’s a lot more complicated.
Backlinks compiled 1 million search results to find out what matters to Google nowadays. The research showed that number of domains linking to a website correlated with rankings more than any other factor. So note this – amount of backlinks is still the most important factor.
Don’t be confused – quantity should go hand in hand with quality.
But Google hasn’t updated Page Rank for years. How to assess a link quality? Through alternative metrics like MozRank, Page Authority, and Domain Authority. These 3 metrics are provided by Linkody.
Best techniques to get quality backlinks
You have only 2 hands and 24 hours a day. Under you belt you need 4 techniques at any given point. You focus on them and keep a healthy rotation (see what works, replace what doesn’t).
If you need more – here are 34 of them, go get inspired.
At the moment, I have landed on these strategies. They work well, have a look!
1. Taking quality backlinks from your competitors
It’s time-consuming to find websites where to place your backlinks and even more consuming to find qualitative websites. Fear no more, you can always rely on your competitors to do this job for you. It’s a shame not to use it.
Back to liquor.com. Let’s use their SEO efforts to accelerate yours.
As you can see there is one backlink that stands out (1). When you click on the link (2), you will notice that on that page there are quite a few cocktail recipes. Prepare a nice post that could be placed on this page and if you ask nicely enough there are high chances that you will have your very first quality backlink.
Go through the list of your competitor’s backlinks, keep on link building and you will start climbing the SEO ladder.
Linkody is the tool that makes you feel good when you discover a new competitor. The more competitors you can find, the bigger playing field and more websites to contact.
We cooked up a detailed step by step approach for you to learn everything you would like to know about this link building strategy – here is the A to Z guide. You will be surprised about all the things you can do just by knowing the competitor’s URL.
If you find Linkody handy there are few more things that this tool can help you to do:
- Linkody will keep track of your backlinks and help to see when the new backlink is finally implemented.
- You will be able to track which are the quality backlinks.
- Spot bad backlinks and eliminate them to avoid algorithmic penalty.
- Protect your website from negative SEO.
- Manage all your landing pages in one place, track their focus keyword and their backlinks.
- See how many shares the post you were mentioned in got.
2. Reaching out to resource pages
It’s a good idea to get a link to your page from resource pages. Here’s how:
- Search for – “keyword” + inurl:links (example – “cocktail recipes” +inurl:links) and you will see a lot of pages that have large amount of links (those are the resource pages).I would say that it’s worth searching for the pages with (1) Page Authority (PA) over 20, but the higher the PA, the more difficult it may be to score a link.
- Then simply reach out to these websites and offer a relevant content that would fit in the page. Do a proper research before asking website master to drop your link in the page. Make sure to watch this video for more tips on resource page link building.
- You can submit your website to Business Directories (search on google – business directories). You can use Linkody to see when the link was implemented and if it was a follow or no-follow link (Learn more about F and NF link ratio) .
3. Writing an educational content
Make people want to visit your web page. The best way how to do that is to write like a rock star.
If you can write interesting content, people will keep coming back for more. Nowadays Google’s algorithm can spot how “cool” is your content. So it’s your time to shine.
I assume you will not have any problems with writing and soon after you will start popping out more articles that there are books of Mr. Potter.
Make sure that you do a proper keyword research and know which ONE keyword you will use throughout the article and follow the above tips about on-page SEO.
Here is the guide how to get the best out of your blog post:
- Reference different articles where people can gain an in-depth understanding of the other topics you have mentioned (the more the merrier).
- After you publish the post I suggest reaching out to these websites from where you took the information. That’s it, just reach out and say thank you for writing such a great article. Don’t sell stuff, that’s annoying. Just forward them the article you wrote (and if you are lucky enough they will press the share/like button).
- Building a network of bloggers and building an Expert Roundup will be extremely easy – here is the guide.
It takes a while to get quality backlinks from others without asking for it. But people you reached out, sooner or later will reference the content from your blog. When that starts to happen, you will be generating quality backlinks simply because you created qualitative content. It’s like a magic loop!
4. Writing content for others
At the moment, this is one of the most powerful ways to get quality backlinks. If you can find a blog with a high PA & DA to write for. You, my friend, found a golden goose.
Check your competitor’s backlinks. There might be some high-class blogs to contact. If your competitor managed to score those backlinks, you also have a very good chance.
If you feel confident about your writing skills don’t be afraid to aim high.
When you score a page that can generate traffic with more zeros than you can count – that’s your moment to shine! Lock yourself in the room, turn off your phone and make the magic happen. The better the content, the more people will want to check out what you are “advertising”.
If you are looking for link building inspiration besides the 34 techniques posted above, you can find creative techniques over here and here. I bet you can come up with many more ways than that. Make sure to share in the comment section.
To Sum Up
This might seem like a lot to take in. But when you look at this article as a step by step “game plan” for generating traffic to you website – it’s fairly easy to execute.
- Start by doing a proper keyword research;
- Optimize your on-page content and apply those tips to your blog posts;
- Start piling quality backlinks!
It’s just 3 Steps! Seems fairly easy, right? It will take awhile before you become the greatest SEO master who ever lived, so keep going cause it’s worth the effort.
Remember it’s quite hard to get the ball rolling but when you get it moving, it accelerates. My advice to you, don’t give up, keep link building!
Make sure to share in the comment section the biggest challenges you faced in your SEO journey and what was your solution. Let’s see, maybe all together we can find a better way to tackle the issues.