It’s crazy how some businesses still think SEO is a passing fad. Every time we mention search engine optimization, businesses look at us as if we are trying to take advantage of them. The reality is that search engine optimization is not going away, and the businesses showing up on page 1 of a Google search engine results page will tell you just how important SEO strategy is.
Online marketing is more competitive than ever before. Even if you have been able to get away without having SEO for years, your luck is about to run out – and you don’t want to deal with the aftermath.
The good news is that SEO doesn’t have to be a challenge. It can be something that you can get ahold of relatively quickly, and by following these six steps, the process will be easier for you to manage.
Step 1: Find the Best Keywords
If you know anything about SEO, you know that it’s all about the keywords. You want the best ones out there, and those are typically going to be what’s known as “short-tail.” They’re between one and three words long.
The best keywords for you need to be industry focused. Think of about 20 keywords in total. You will want to focus on the major category that you’re within and, then, break it down within your niches.
Here’s a quick tip about keyword volume. The volume is important as it can determine where Google is going to put you in a search engine result page. Use a planner like what’s in Google Ads to help. When you have ones with a higher search volume, it’s going to help you get seen. Otherwise, you could be waiting for months to get a match with what someone types into the search bar on Google or any other search engine.
Step 2: Conduct Competitive Research
Keywords are always going to be a challenge. The good news is that you can do a bit of competitive research to get some answers to your question of, “What keywords should I be using?” The quick answer is that you want to use the keywords that your competition is using.
There’s a neat tool from SEMrush that is a Keyword Gap tool. It will show you who your competition is for the keywords and what kind of traffic they’re getting.
By knowing more about your competition, you can use the same keywords in order to get more of your target audience clicking on your links instead of the links of your competition.
Step 3: Establish Gap Keywords
Alright, the best keywords for your business are not always the most obtainable. They’re highly competitive. It’s going to bring you high-quality traffic but only if you can afford to compete with the competition.
That means that you need to explore gap keywords, also known as long-tail keywords (keywords that may contain 3 to 7 words).
The volume will be lower, but it also allows you to have higher ranks on these keywords.
Start out by creating a list of 20 gap keywords. Not sure how they differ from your list of best keywords? Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Have them resemble the topics on your best keywords
- Choose keywords that have between 100 and 1000 searches a month
- Include a geographic location on some of them
- Ask questions or make statements
20 should be the minimum number of keywords on your list, but feel free to grow it past this as it will only help you later on.
Step 4: Pick 10 Keywords
Here comes the fun part. You’ve made a list of best keywords, you’ve searched the keywords using your competition’s research, and you’ve made a list of gay keywords.
Now’s the time to choose 10 keywords to start using right away. The rest can be tucked away for your next big SEO push.
The keywords you choose should be a bit from each list. While you won’t be ranking high on every list, there will be some where you can rank well.
Step 5: Test with a Keyword Report
The moment you start publishing content, you want to know how you’re ranking. Various position tracking tools are out there for you to use.
After configuring a few settings with your domain and location, you’ll get a report to show you some interesting data, including:
- Estimated traffic
It’s okay if you’re not ranking well with all your keywords. However, you will want to check the keyword report at least monthly to see how you’re doing. If you’re not getting the progress you want, you can go back to the list of keywords you have.
Step 6: Write & Publish Content
With 10 keywords carefully chosen, you need to start writing content that uses it. We recommend writing one piece of content for each of the keywords. 10 keywords means 10 pieces of content.
You don’t have to launch all 10 pieces of content at a time. Instead, focus on one to two a week.
It’s not just about writing content (either web page content or a blog) using that keyword. Google wants quality content, so you can’t have typos and poor grammar. There are a few other things to keep in mind, too:
- Use the keyword in your H1 tag
- Use it in the H2 and H3 tags
- Write at least 1000 words on the topic
- Don’t overstuff the keyword, so ensure it doesn’t appear more than 10 to 15 times on the page
Once all 10 pieces of content are on your site, wait about 60 days to see how they settle into the google rankings. Meanwhile, you can continue to write more content, focusing on some of the other keywords that you have on your list.
SEO Tools to Get the Job Done
We’re not ones to do all of the work on our own. In fact, we like to automate processes whenever possible. As such, there are a few SEO tools that we love to use:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Ahref’s SEO Toolbar
Of course, you can also turn to us to help with SEO and content management so that it’s one less thing for you to have to worry about. Contact us today to learn more about how we can make sure to enhance your SEO strategy.