Anyone who’s ever looked into internet marketing has probably heard the term SEO, but did you know that it can result in potentially the largest part of your traffic if done correctly? If you didn’t, then let’s learn how to use SEO to your advantage, so you can start bringing in those organic leads!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is possibly the best (and hardest) way to gain traffic for pretty much any website, that’s why you absolutely have to know how to use SEO to really be successful online. Without a good SEO campaign, you will undoubtedly be missing out on tons of leads and potentially lots of sales.
It’s been proven time and time again that websites which utilize a blog for content marketing are roughly 13x more likely to gain a positive ROI. Writing blog posts won’t be enough on its own, those posts also have to be search engine optimized if you ever want it to generate any kind of real traffic.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, a properly optimized blog is going to help your website bring in more leads resulting in more revenue, plain and simple.
Your #1 Priority
For every post you create, you’re going to have one priority which remains consistent regardless of what you’re writing about – discovering your potential reader’s problem, and doing your absolute best to solve it. This means you actually have to know who your audience is going to be, which is something that a surprising amount of marketers forget.
Once you’ve figured out what problem you’re solving, you want to figure out a plan of action for giving your readers a good solution. I know it sounds basic, but you want to think about the topic from every angle and really hammer home some great content.
If you’re just learning internet marketing, this is when it really pays to pick a niche that you’re already knowledgeable in, not only will it make it easier to come up with solutions, but you’ll also have a much easier time writing high-value content.
How To Use SEO
Understanding how to use SEO is a pretty straight-forward concept. You write a post, make sure it’s optimized and basically hope for the best. But, what does that optimization look like, at the most basic level? Let’s take a look.
Before we jump in, let me just tell you… DON’T TRY TO TRICK GOOGLE! EVER! They always find out… Always… They know when you’re chasing the money, and when you’re actually trying to add value.
To really understand how to use SEO, the first thing you want to keep in mind is that Google wants your content to benefit your readers, because of this you want your website to offer a user-friendly experience without too much clutter or nuisances.
You don’t really want any page to be more than 4, maybe 5 clicks away from your homepage, and you don’t want them to be completely flooded with affiliate links. What you do want is clean, concise content which will give value to whoever reads it.
Sounds easy, right? That’s because it kind of is. But, a positive user experience (UX) isn’t all that you need, ohhh no, there’s much more.
You absolutely have to know what keyword is going to be your primary target for any given article – you only want to target 1 primary keyword per post. Beyond that there are things called LSI keywords (Latent Semantic Index) which are related to your primary keyword, but aren’t an exact match, these aren’t something you really need to focus on but they are good to understand all the same.
Knowing how to find and use keywords within your content is going to make a tremendous difference in how your posts rank. Without targeting the absolute best keywords available to you, your traffic will suffer and you’ll basically be wasting your time.
Because keywords are so important, it would make sense that you should invest some time into learning how to find good ones. It’s not too difficult and there are lots of ways to do this, one of them is by using Google’s Keyword Planner, or a tool like Jaaxy.
The best keywords will have a high volume of traffic with a low amount of competition, try searching for terms using 3-5 words (long tail keywords) to start with as they’re much easier to rank for. Be creative with your searching and you will definitely find some really great keywords to target.
Now that you can find good keywords, you have to know how and where to use them for the best results. The first place you want to use your keyword is in your post’s title; if your keyword was “hockey bags” your title might look something like “Top 5 Best Hockey Bags”.
From there, you want to place your keyword in:
- Your content (First paragraph, the middle somewhere, last paragraph)
- The page’s permalink (yourwebsite.com/this-is-your-permalink)
- Image ALT tags
That’s pretty much it!
When you’re using your keyword through your content, it’s absolutely necessary that you don’t “stuff” it in but use it naturally instead. This means that you really only want your keyword to show up a few times, but enough to effectively convey the topic of your page to both your readers and to Google.
Using your keywords effectively is all about targeting the right customers. If you’re selling products or services, you might want to target people who are further down the sales line than others.
There’s also such a thing as over-optimizing a website, and Google is not a fan of this – they consider it “gaming” the system and they’ll digitally slap you for it. This includes keyword stuffing, over-using the same anchor text for links, spamming your keyword in every single image’s ALT tags, and just being spammy in general.
Keeping these factors in mind should help you effectively find and use your primary keyword through your content. Keywords are one of the biggest on-page SEO ranking factors, and you really need to know this stuff if you want to be successful.
Another relatively big ranking factor is the speed at which your pages load. This is something which is often overlooked by many internet marketers and their websites/earnings suffer because of it.
Using tools like Pingdom’s Website speed test or Google’s Pagespeed Insights to determine how fast your pages are loading, where any problems are, and then solving those problems will definitely help your rankings.
Google wants to see website’s loading in under 2 seconds, this ties in with the positive user experience I mentioned above and it’s absolutely crucial to your website’s success.
Decreasing the time it takes to deliver your content to your readers can be done many ways, but most of the time a slow-loading website is caused by either too many plugins, or plugin conflicts – especially when you’re using a content management system like WordPress.
I’ve already kind of mentioned this, but the quality of your content is potentially the biggest ranking factor involved in SEO anymore.
Google is on a mission to deliver the users of their search engine the absolute best content possible for any given search phrase, because of this you have to be exceptional, not just good.
Your content has to go above and beyond what your competitors are doing, and it has to be done in such a way that will truly benefit your readers. This means good images, effective on-page optimization, and the best information which you can put together.
This means that those 250-500 word posts usually won’t cut it, you generally have to aim for 1000 words+ anymore.
High-quality content isn’t just limited to one post either, nope, you want the majority of your posts to cover the same general idea. This doesn’t mean that all of your posts have to be about the EXACT same thing, but if your site is about hockey then your posts should predominantly cover hockey-related topics. If your site is about cars, you wouldn’t want to go off with a dozen posts about the best fishing poles. Makes sense, right?
If you’re just throwing together a bunch of words and pictures in hopes of making some money, you’re doing it wrong.
Building an effective content marketing strategy revolves around creating value. Creating value builds trust and trust facilitates sales. It’s a simple concept that a lot of new internet marketers, or even old time brick and mortar business owners constantly overlook.
In today’s world, chances are you’re not the only person doing something, so what makes you stand out? What makes you unique enough that your readers will want to come back, or that they’ll use you over your competition?
Seriously, this is something that you really have to think about.
There are so many potentially great websites and marketers out there who don’t get the recognition they deserve because they simply don’t stand out – there’s nothing unique about them. This isn’t a personal fault by any means, but a conscious decision. Knowing what your competition is good at will help you figure out where they’re lacking and ultimately where you can show off what makes you unique.
This is the same principle I used to grow my own niche sites to the point they’re at now. I had to figure out exactly where I could add some value that my competition had overlooked, and believe it or not it worked out in my favor.
Creating value involves every facet of your website, from the overall user experience to your design & layout, and especially the content you host.
Knowing how to use SEO to your advantage is a critical part of running any online business, if you want to be lucrative that is. Keeping the factors I’ve mentioned in mind while building out your next piece of content will no doubt help it to rank better if these are things you’ve been overlooking.
Focus on your readers first, and then Google, or better yet, don’t focus on Google at all and just build amazing, high-quality content that your readers will love to read & share. Create engagement and ask questions.
Using your keywords properly is not only going to boost your rankings, but allow you to target the absolute best search terms for your content, ultimately bringing in the best, most targeted leads. Build rapport with your readers first, and the money will follow after.
At the end of the day, the content on your website IS your website – you want to be a reflection of the level of quality you provide.
Was there anything I left out? Let me know in the comment section!