Contrary to popular belief, SEO (even being extremely technical) is not a seven-headed monster. In this content, Letícia Nonato teaches how to build an SEO strategy from scratch, even if you don’t have that much time or knowledge.
From the years of experience that I have in the area of Digital Marketing, I can say that SEO is one of the great difficulties for those who have just started an online business or are starting as professionals in the area.
The feeling that Search Engine Optimization is very technical and that SERP competition is extremely difficult for those just starting a business can always give the impression that it is not worth the effort and investment in SEO.
It is true that in some niches it is more difficult than others to be successful in the ranking, but that is not the reality of the majority of the market.
In some segments it is common to have the feeling that the amount of information is saturated, but if you have a strategic vision, you will see that this is not the reality .
You should consider that most of your competitors have a very limited understanding of SEO.
With basic – but necessary – knowledge that I will show here, you will already be at a great advantage in relation to your competitors and you can guarantee that your business achieves organic traffic results.
We will go through the following crucial points to start rolling a basic SEO strategy that will bring consistent results for your company:
- How to discover what your person is looking for.
- How to explore keywords.
- How to optimize the pages of your site.
- How to set up a backlink strategy.
Continue reading and discover SEO best practices and how to apply them to your website.
Find out what your person is investigating
It is true that SEO has the peculiarity of being very technical: keyword search, optimization of your site’s pages, competitor analysis.
But in reality SEO has two very simple pillars: understanding your consumers and knowing what their pains are.
And these two pillars don’t necessarily need to be discovered through a well-thought-out and structured SEO strategy.
A fairly simple suggestion, but one that I consider quite valuable, is to talk to your customers and be willing to listen to them and understand the feedbacks they give you. Follow my advice, you will have many insights and save a lot of resources if you start here.
And, to do this, here are some of the main places to start:
- events where you will find your consumers;
- comments on your site;
- chatbots, if your site already has one;
At that time, it is important not only to understand who your potential customers are but also to understand the language in which they communicate (terms and jargon) and what they like (culture, leisure, hobby).
To make it easier, suppose you work with the SEO strategy of an e-commerce that sells wines. This company is not yet present in the online environment and the objective is to attract more visits to the website.
For that, thinking of an SEO strategy, it is interesting to start producing content with keywords that your person is looking for and that are on the main theme of the business so that users can find the blog and be interested in the product.
Thinking back to the example given, some initial keyword opportunities would be:
- Best wines in the world;
- Meals that combine with wine;
- Types of wines;
- Wine cellar.
Keep in mind that at the beginning your objective is not to have a large volume of content, but to have content focused on the service/product that you offer.
Fully explore each chosen keyword
Here at Rock Content Marketing, whenever we are going to publish content we think like this: is that content useful to us?
And more: is it the best content that our person will find in Google?
If one of the answers to the questions is “no”, we return to the content to be updated and redone.
And that’s the mindset you should have when defining what to post on your blog.
Let’s understand how to do it:
Use tools to help you choose and validate the keyword
After listing the main keywords, you need to validate some factors:
- If these terms are really searched by your users;
- What is the difficulty level of ranking in the SERP;
- Possible related words that may be used during the content or even in other future posts.
Check Google suggestions
A very easy method to identify what users are looking for in Google is to use Google itself to your advantage.
Start typing what you want to search on the Google page and don’t press enter. Based on what you’re writing, Google’s autocomplete immediately suggests the most frequently performed searches for that keyword:
Another way to get the most out of Google is to see the “Related Searches” at the bottom of the SERP page. There, some phrase suggestions will be given.
That’s one of the main parts to be careful about, as it offers insight into the keywords you should be investing in.
Looking at the example, you can see that people who research for “best wines” are interested in knowing the ranking of the best wines in the world and also of the best imported wines.
Keep in mind that this is a valuable insight that you didn’t consider investing in at first.
Gold Tip: Having done all the keyword analysis, one gold tip I always use is to open the top 10 organic SERP results for the topic you want to invest in and analyze one by one and from there structure a content that contains all the points that your competitors are trying or failing to tackle. Understand that this does not mean that your content must have 3,000 words. Even with a few words, address the main points and remove the doubts from your person.
Combining all these methods, you will have a fairly wide list of keywords to start ranking and start working with page optimization.
Understand your person’s search intention
To advance to the stage of an SEO strategy and start attracting the right audience for your site, you have to understand that there are three forms of search intent:
- Informative Search: the user’s intention is to understand more about a specific topic. For example: “what are the best wines in the world”;
- Navigational Search: when you search for a specific site but don’t remember the URL of the website you want to access;
- Transactional Search: the intention is to buy a product/service, find a store, or carry out any other type of transaction.
Optimize your search pages
The first step in developing a well-made and structured strategy to attract more organic visits is searching for keywords.
However, this not all.
Your page must be optimized for search engines in order to rank for the selected keywords.
Let’s see how to do it:
Make a basic on-page SEO strategy
The next point of your strategy should be focused on SEO optimization on the page.
Keep in mind that having the best keyword opportunities and the best content is not enough if your site has pages that are not optimized for search engines.
But before starting to explain how to structure SEO on the page, it is important to talk about the tools that you will need.
There are thousands of platforms on the market that you can adopt, but if you use WordPress, what I recommend is the Yoast SEO plugin.
It is a simple tool to use, free and perfect, especially for those who are starting an on-page SEO strategy. She gives information and clearly explains what needs to be optimized (remembering that you don’t need to follow everything to the letter).
Now that we have the tool that we are going to use, we are going to understand the necessary elements to be successful with the search engines:
SEO has changed a lot in recent years and has become increasingly competitive. That is why having high quality content has become essential to achieve success.
But what happens is that many believe that high-quality content means long messages with all the possible information on the subject.
Quality content is content that is useful to you.
Think of a user who is looking for “better wines”. Will you want to read a content of 3000 thousand words about the concept of grapes, the history of wine or will you prefer to consume a short content with a list of the best wines and a succinct description of each one?
Forget about size and quantity of words and focus on content that is relevant and that solves the pains of your person.
Your site address helps the search engine understand the subject of your content. So make URLs friendly – short and, if possible, containing the main keyword.
Suppose you have made a content with the following theme: “34 best wines in the world according to experts”.
A friendly URL for that content would be: / best wines /.
Gold Tip: think carefully before making the URL of your page. Once made, it is indicated not to modify it, since once the authority acquired during time is altered, it is lost. It is as if a new page is indexed.
Meta description and Title Tag
The title tag is the title that will appear in the Google result. It must be persuasive enough to make the user interested in clicking.
A good practice is to have the main keyword in the title tag and that it has between 50-60 characters so that it appears completely in the search engine.
Now the meta description is a summary of the topic that the content addresses and should be between 50-300 characters. It will appear just below the title tag and is a guide for the user to understand what the post is about and if they will be able to solve their doubts.
The title tag and the meta description are the user’s first contact with your content. So it is important that it is very attractive and charming. It is what will make the user leave Google to enter your site.
Title and Subtitles (H1, H2, H3 …)
It is essential to have content developed with the intention of facilitating the reading of the search mechanisms. Therefore, the structure of titles and subtitles (H1, H2, H3…) is used to show the search engine the level of importance of each topic of the content and the structure of the page in general.
H1 will only be used for the content title and must include the main keyword you want to rank for.
H2s are the main subtitles used throughout the content. H2 is a great place to include the long-tail of the keyword you want to rank for.
H3 is a subtitle of H2 (and so on).
Making content structured that way will not only make it easier for users to read, but it is also what makes Google understand your content in the best way.
Making a structured internal link is a way not only to strengthen your main content, but also a great way to increase the user dwell time.
From a content, the reader is browsing your site through other relevant content.
Images are widely accepted by users and it is a great way to diversify content – infographic, gifs, graphics and there it goes. Also, it can be a great opportunity to rank for a keyword through Google Images.
Get a better understanding of how to increase your blog traffic with SEO for Google Images!
To help the search engine understand your image, it is necessary to fill out a brief explanation in the ‘alt tag’ field and it is advisable to include the keyword for which you want to rank.
Create a backlink strategy
Now that you know how to choose the best keywords and assemble an on-page SEO strategy – strategies totally controlled by you – the time has come to think of strategies that don’t just stay within your site.
Impact of backlink on SEO strategy
There are studies carried out that prove that the external link strongly impacts the ranking as it is one of the points that most influences Google’s algorithm.
Not all links have the same weight of relevance
A widely used strategy in the past, but today penalized by Google, was to get as many links as possible without considering, for example, the relationship between the pages.
Today the quality of the link has a much higher degree of relevance than the number of links directed to your page.
In this sense, the quality of the link refers to the following aspects:
Page and domain authority
Receiving a link from a page or domain with a high authority value will certainly impact much more than links from domains with low authority.
Imagine that you can make a partnership with Muy Interesante and, on a page of the magazine, your content on the “34 best wines in the world according to experts” is linked.
Make sure this link is going to impact a lot more than if you had gotten a link on a blog or site with less authority.
A very simple tool that will help you identify the domain and page authority level is the free Moz tool. She scores 0-100 for both domain and page, and the higher the better.
In the SEO Trends 2018 search, backlinks are identified as one of the biggest positive ranking factors, losing only to pages optimized for mobile phones.
Everything you need to know to build an SEO strategy
Despite the fact that many think that SEO is a very technical strategy because it has become extremely competitive, we have seen that it is possible to structure a clear strategy that brings return, even knowing the basics.
I have no doubt that if you follow these instructions, you will have a well-structured SEO strategy managing to rank for keywords with high search volume and, consequently, have a high return with organic searches.
If you’ve come this far, be sure to learn even more about SEO strategies. Access our complete ebook on the subject!