Before you pay for an SEO course from a digital guru or coach claiming to have the secret to scaling your business to 6 figures – READ THIS – the SEO strategy professionals use.
SEO education is free. You do not need roadmaps and mastermind groups. There is big business in having people believe that optimizing your website is too complex, but the reality is most people can easily understand the basics. Even a small amount of knowledge can make a big difference. Free SEO education is widely available on the web combining these strategies with a little practice and you are well on your way.
It is true that Google’s algorithm is updated around 500 – 600 times a year. Every now and then there will be a large update that shakes up the industry enough to be “named” Panda, Fred, Medic, and we can’t leave out “Mobilgedeon.” These are simply click-bait for seo blogs and scare tactics used by agencies or those not playing by the rules. If you stay focused on providing a quality user experience by answering their search query the best. Be patient, organic search marketing takes time. Depending on your industry it can take between 03 – 12 months to see results, after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
The intent of this article is to provide an overview of how to provide a quality user experience and how to discover what search queries to focus on.
Spend your energy upholding the basic principles of Google by providing a better user experience. Focus on providing value to the user rather than trying to trick then search engines and your site will enjoy long term value from your search marketing efforts.
SEO Basic Principles
- Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
- Don’t deceive your users.
- Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.
Don’t go chasing algorithms. Just because a specific technique is not listed as deceptive does not mean that it is safe. Those who spend time looking for loopholes they can exploit will eventually find themselves at the wrong end of an update. A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
Avoid the Following Black Hat Techniques:
- Automatically generated content
- Participating in link schemes
- Creating pages with little or no original content
- Sneaky redirects
- Hidden text or links
- Doorway pages
- Scraped content
- Participating in affiliate programs without adding sufficient value
- Loading pages with irrelevant keywords
- Creating pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware
- Abusing rich snippets markup
- Sending automated queries to Google
Continue reading about Google quality guidelines for webmasters here in the Google Search Console help forum or keep scrolling for professional tips on figuring out what your audience is searching for.
Before you begin optimizing your website for search you need to know who is searching for your product, how are they doing it and what is their closing considerations. In the early days we would send out customer surveys, questionnaires, data pools, create think groups, develop personas, etc. We spent a lot of time and money to retrieve the data needed to market effectively to our audience. But what if the data is wrong? What if we asked the wrong questions?
Trends move far too fast these days. Ideas are being exchanged, embraced, and evolving at an ever increasing rate. While trends used to come and go over the span of years, these days discussions are moving at a pace of months or weeks.
This deeply impacts the way we do business and the way we operate in this world.
For marketers, in particular, it means that the ability to engage consumers with fresh and relevant points of view is a swiftly moving window. For corporations, it means creating products that serve customers in a quickly changing competitive landscape. Small businesses have to move just as quickly with often times fewer resources.
So how do you stay ahead of it?
Search Marketing Research
Knowing your “persona” is basic marketing. Be sure to support your ideal client with data of who your client actually is. This can be obtained by viewing Google Analytics demographic data, Social Media demographic data and competitor analysis. Learn where they get trusted information online then research what terms (those) algorithms are using. This will help you generate the next step of testing.
Running Adwords is an incredible, real time, science experiment to control which users come to your website. Start with a small budget using a few ad groups targeting broad match terms. Watch which terms have the largest click through rate, time on page and conversion rate. Look for:
- which search queries are used to get to your website
- How they interact with your website
- whether or not they took an action
Analyse this real time data to learn about your user’s behavior and to select profitable keywords. For example: We noticed a phrase inching up in Adwords search queries. The client had not been targeting this term because they did not think anyone would be searching for that. A quick Ad Group, 4 broad match terms, 12 hours and $3 later they made $80k. Can you guess what term we are building an onpage seo strategy from?
Optimize Your Site
Integrate winning strategies into your website. Focus on making the best page on the internet about the search query you discovered using Adwords. Writing highly relevant content will naturally attract links and most importantly your audience will love it!
Just as you should not write pages for the search engines, don’t write posts with the sole purpose of converting. Build trust with your audience by being a source of useful information, answering a question they have or otherwise providing something of value. That is the purpose of a webpage.
Close the Deal
Now, we have discovered our target market demographics, pain points and where they go online to find trusted information. We have tested content using Adwords. Our audience has come to our website organically by reading an article addressing their pain points in an informational way. It is time to close the sales funnel. To sell your customer, use the medium of which they are used to receiving a hard sell. Retargeting site visitors and closing them through Adwords and Facebook Ads will greatly reduce wasted Ad spend and increase leads that are well primed and ready.
What would you like to hear more about: Google quality guidelines, using Adwords research campaigns, closing the deal with retargeting or on page search optimization?