Contrary to what many think, SEO (even though it is extremely technical) is not a seven-headed bug. In this content Letícia Nonato teaches you how to build an SEO strategy from scratch, even if you don’t have so much time or knowledge.
From the years of experience I have in the Digital Marketing area, I can say that SEO is one of the great difficulties for those who have just started an online business or are starting as a professional in the area.
The feeling that Search Engine Optimization is very technical and that competition at SERP is extremely difficult for those who have just started a business always leads to the feeling that SEO effort and investment is not worth it.
It is true that in some niches it is more difficult than others to succeed in ranking, but this 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.
Know that most of your competitors have a very limited understanding of SEO.
With the basic – but necessary – knowledge that I will show you here, you will already be at a great advantage over your competitors and will ensure that your business achieves organic traffic results .
We will go through the following crucial points to start running a basic SEO strategy that will bring consistent results to your company:
- How to find out what your persona is searching for
- Exploring keywords
- Optimizing pages on your site
- How to build a backlink strategy
Read on and discover the best SEO practices and how to apply them to your website.
Find out what your persona is searching for
It is true that SEO has the particularity of being very technical – keyword research, optimization of your website pages, analysis of competitors.
But in fact SEO has two very simple pillars: understanding your consumers and what their pains are.
And these two pillars are not necessarily to be discovered through a well-structured and structured SEO strategy.
A very simple tip, but one that I consider very valuable, is to talk to your customers and be willing to listen and understand their feedbacks – go for me, you will get a lot of insights and save a lot of resources if you start here.
And to do that, here are some of the top places to start:
- Events where you will meet your customers;
- Comments on your website;
- Chatbots – if your site already has one;
At this point, it is important not only to understand who your potential customers are, but also to understand the language with which they communicate (terms and slang) and what they like (culture, leisure, hobby).
After doing this study, it was time to start producing content with the possible terms that your persona can search for.
To make it easier to visualize, suppose you work with the SEO strategy of an e-commerce that sells wines . This company is not yet present in the online medium and the goal is to attract more visitors to your website.
For this, thinking about an SEO strategy, it is interesting to start producing content with keywords that your persona searches for and that is about the main subject of the business so that users can find the blog and be interested in the product.
Thinking about the example given, some initial keyword opportunities would be:
- Best wines in the world
- Foods that go well with wine
- Types of wines
- Wine cellar
Keep in mind that at first your goal is not to have a large volume of content, but to have content focused on the service / product you offer.
Explore the most of each keyword you choose
Here at Rock Content Marketing, whenever we post content we think: is this content useful for our persona?
What’s more, is it the best content that our persona will find on Google?
If one of the answers to the questions is “no”, we return with the content to be updated and redone.
And it is this mindset that you must have when defining what to post on your blog.
Let’s understand how to do this:
Use tools to help with keyword choice and validation
After making a list of the main keywords, it is necessary to validate some factors:
- Whether these terms are actually sought by their users;
- What is the level of difficulty in ranking in the SERP;
- Possible related words that can be used during the content or even in other future posts.
To do this analysis, I suggest using Keyword Explorer or SEMRush.
The Keyword Explorer is a tool of Moz and its free mode, you can perform 10 search keywords per month.
When searching for “best wines” in Keyword Explorer, I can see relevant information and from them we can draw valuable conclusions:
- The keyword has a high level of monthly searches;
- The level of difficulty in indexing the SERP is not high;
- Suggestions for strategic keywords for future content, such as: “best Chilean wines”, “best Brazilian wines” and “best soft wines”.
In SEMRush you can also have a view very similar to Keyword Explorer, but because it is a paid version (it does not have a more basic free version) there are other excellent features. The main one is the Keyword Magic Tool.
Check out Google’s suggestions
A very easy method to be able to identify what users are looking for on Google is to use Google itself to your advantage.
Start typing what you intend to search for on the Google page and don’t hit enter. According to what you are typing, the Google autocomplete will immediately suggest the most frequent searches for that keyword.
Understand your persona’s search intent
In order to advance in the SEO strategy stage and start attracting the right audience to your website, you need to understand that there are three forms of search intent:
- Informational 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 searching for a specific website, but does not 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.
To make it clearer how SERP works according to the types of search, let’s analyze the result for the search for “best wines”.
That is why identifying user intent is so crucial for producing valuable content.
Optimize your search pages
The first step in carrying out a well-structured and structured strategy to attract more organic visits is to search for keywords.
However, that is not all.
Your page needs to be optimized for search engines in order to rank for the selected keywords.
Let’s see how to do this:
Make a basic on-page SEO strategy
The next point in your strategy should be focused on on-page SEO optimization.
You should keep in mind that it is not enough to have the best keyword opportunities and the best content if your website does not have pages that are not optimized for search engines.
But before starting to explain how to structure on-page SEO, it is important to talk about the tools 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.
SEO has changed a lot over the 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 posts and with all possible information on the topic.
Quality content is content that is useful for your persona.
Think of a user looking for “better wines”. Will he want to read a 3000 thousand word content about the concept of grapes, the history of wine or will he prefer to consume a short content with a list of the best wines and with a very succinct description of each one?
Forget length and quantity of words and focus on content that is relevant and that resolves the pains of your persona.
Your website address helps the search engine understand the subject of your content. So make URLs friendly – short and, if possible, contain the main keyword.
Suppose you have made content with the following theme: “34 best wines in the world according to experts”.
A friendly URL for this content would be: / best-wines /.
Gold Tip: think carefully before making your page URL. Once done, it is indicated not to modify, since once changed all the authority acquired during the time is lost. It is as if a new page were 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 between 50-60 characters so that it appears completely in the search engine.
The meta description is a summary of the topic that the content addresses and must 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 he will be able to resolve his doubts.
The title tag and meta description are the user’s first contact with your content. So, it is important to be very attractive and inviting. 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 aim of facilitating the reading of search engines. Therefore, the structure of titles and subtitles (H1, H2, H3…) is used to show the searcher the level of importance of each topic of the content and the structure of the page in general.
The H1 should only be used for the content title (on-page title) and must include the main keyword to which you want to rank.
H2 are the main subtitles used throughout the content. H2 is a great place to include long-tails for the keyword you want to rank for.
H3 is a subtitle of H2 (and so on).
Making content structured in this way will not only make it easier for users to read, but it’s also what makes Google understand your content better.
Structured internal linking is not only a way to strengthen your main content, but also a great way to increase the user’s stay time.
From a content, the reader will browse your site through other relevant content.
Images are widely accepted by users and are a great way to diversify content – infographic, gifs, graphics and so on. It can also be a great opportunity to rank for a keyword through Google Images.
Understand how to increase your blog traffic with SEO for Google Images !
To help the search engine better understand your image, you need to fill in a brief explanation in the ‘alt tag’ field and it is advisable to include the keyword to which you want to rank.
Build a backlink strategy
Now that you know how to choose the best keywords and put together an on-page SEO strategy – strategies completely controlled by you – the time has come to think of strategies that are not just within your site.
Impact of backlink on SEO strategy
There are researches that prove that an external link has a strong impact on ranking because it is one of the points that most influences the Google algorithm.
In the SEO Trends 2018 survey , backlinks are identified as one of the biggest positive ranking factors, second only to pages optimized for mobile.
Not all links have the same weight of relevance
A strategy widely used in the past, but which today is penalized by Google, was to get as many links as possible without even considering, for example, the relationship between the pages.
Today the quality of the link has a degree of relevance much greater than the number of links directed to your page.
In this sense, the quality of the link concerns the following aspects:
Page and domain authority
Receiving a link from a page or a domain with a high authority value is sure to impact much more than links from low authority domains.
Imagine that you can close a partnership with Exame and, on a magazine page, your content about the “34 best wines in the world according to experts” is linked.
Be sure that this link will impact much more than if you had gotten a link on a blog or website with lesser authority.
Everything you need to know to put together an SEO strategy
Even though many think that SEO is a very technical strategy and because it has become extremely competitive, we saw that it is possible to structure a clear strategy and that it brings return even knowing the basics.
I have no doubt that if you follow these instructions you will have a well-structured SEO strategy able to rank for keywords with high search volume and, consequently, have a high return with organic searches.