Why SEO is Important
If you have a website, you need traffic or visitors.
Why SEO is important for Business, for commercial or Affiliate sites, SEO is essential to ensure that potential customers searching for products and services in Search Engines ( mainly Google, since Google is used by almost everyone, around 89% of all searches online ) can actually find what they are looking for, in order to make sales.
SEO or Organic Search Traffic is FREE !
Although it can take a long time to get to the position where you are receiving this traffic, it is so valuable and so long lived, you can be receiving this traffic for a long time – years sometimes , after you have done the work to set it all up. I built my first Affiliate ( Amazon ) site some 5 years ago, but I still receive commissions from people visiting that old site!
Affiliates do also use paid traffic ( Ads ) but, if you stop paying for the Ads, you stop getting the traffic.
What exactly is SEO?
It is the process of making your site more ‘relevant’ to Google. Googles core intent is to show the MOST RELEVANT content to everyone entering a query. So for example someone in Glasgow wanting a plumber, gets a local plumber, not one from Edinburgh or Arizona! And they get the specific type of plumber, eg shower installer, emergency plumber, gas central heating plumber, they want.
Ranking for a keyword
This is the key point. The lions share of the traffic from Google goes to the 1st 2nd and 3rd sites in the page of results returned by Google (SERPs), when you press that return key. Its that group that show up “above the fold” or before you have to scroll down to see more.
If you want to get traffic from Google, you’re going to have to be in that first group. Or in more popular searches, at least in the top 10 ie on the first page of the SERPs
Relevance & Search Intent
About 10 or more years ago, it was possible to ‘gain’ Google, in that you could put a ton of keywords on a page, making it more ‘relevant’ than the competing pages and push your site up to the number one spot. Not since the many algorithm changes like Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird came in, post 2011 though, now you really need to craft good articles with loads of good info, proof in the form of links to authority sites and going deep into your subject. Search intent is not necessarily the same as the search query. Not everyone can put into words a precise search intent, so Google will come to the rescue and try to help, with suggestions.
Basic Types of Search Intent
You will have noticed that the SERPs ( Search Engine Results Page ) brings back different types of results , dependent on your query.
If you type ‘apple pie’ you’ll be either wanting to make or buy one. Most probably to see an Apple Pie recipe
If you type a ‘website’ formatted query with a heading “www.” Or “ Https://” or a TLD end like” .com “or” .co.uk“ – then Google knows you will be heading for a particular website
If you typed ‘buy gear box’ or anything with a keyword like “buy”, “deal” or “offer” – you have a purchase in mind and Google will show you all the best Gearbox shops
Google’s algorithm or AI system has become very good at determining what is relevant to what the user types into that search bar. You may have noticed ‘search suggestions’ coming up as you type
These are the most popular and most recent searches . This is the basis on which you should start your SEO plan if you are going to rank for a search term.
How to get a number one ranking Page
In this first article it is only possible to cover the basics. First your choice of niche will determine how easy it is to obtain that no.1 spot. If your niche is “Scandinavian Knitting From the 18th Century” then you’re likely to succeed straight away as there is no competition. For the Fitness and Health Niche, or any really popular niche with massive competition, its going to take at least a year of hard slog, producing high quality detailed articles and videos, to make it anywhere near page one.
How Can You Succeed in a Popular Niche
- Make a detailed keyword research plan
- Publish Articles & Videos on each Keyword
- Cross link each one and apply social ‘signals’
- build up a backlink profile
1. Keyword Research
An essential step to make certain you are’nt addressing problems that don’t exist, or wasting time writing articles on subjects that no one is searching for.
One good way to start is at the “Answer the Public” question website. Simply enter your main top keyword for your niche eg. Weight Loss or Build Your Abs etc and you’ll see hundreds of questions – Who, What , Why, When, Where questions. Pick out ones that are of interest then use one of the many free keyword tools eg Ubersuggest , to check the monthly search volume and if possible the PPC value (advertisers will pay this to bid on that keyword ) . When I entered “weight loss” into AnswerThePublic.com I got 80 questions , 52 prepositions ( eg “for” … weight loss FOR men) 40 comparisons ( eg vs… weight loss vs fat loss ) and 208 alphabeticals (eg weight loss app, weight loss breakfast , weight loss chart )
These are extremely useful for creating future articles, once you have researched the potential traffic volume.
True Traffic Volume
Due to the different algorithms, database size and sources of the keyword tools, the figures you get can vary a lot. The key is to ignore the exact figure, just rely on the relative volume of the kw searches.
If you compare Ubersuggest and Google keyword tool you can see which words are the leading ones. I wouldn’t be too much of a hurry to purchase the top tools like AHRefs which can be a mighty big drain on a newbies pocket, even the basic package is $99 a month. When you ‘re more established though, AHRefs is probably the go-to tool in the industry today.
Fortunately many tools , SEM rush, Ubersuggest, AnswerthePublic and AHRefs all have some sort of limited free – plan
And don’t forget the freebies & Browser extensions
- Keyword Surfer
- SEO Quake
- MOZ bar
2. Writing the Articles that are going to get you Ranking
You now should have a long list of suitable article titles, all with some keyword volume. The niche you are in will determine the difficulty of each one – that is to say, accept that “weight loss” is never going to happen, so go for ‘long tail’ keywords like “weight loss for men” and maybe a step further still “weight loss for men over 50”
Google each one
Have a look at what is ranking now in the top 10 results
Can you write a bigger, better, longer, more detailed, wider reaching …. article?
Take into account the DR domain rank of the site you are competing against. If you don’t have DR figures available, just rate them on total traffic volume.
KEY Question – Can you beat any one of the results found in the current top 10 for your keyword? If so GO FOR IT!
Produce the best articles you can, doing plenty of research to be able to top the current leaders in the SERPs
If not, try again with a longer/tail keyword. After writing a few articles and getting them ranked , traffic will build up and depending on your monetisation , sales will follow.
Rinse and Repeat.
3. Cross Linking & Applying Social Signals
By distributing (syndicating) your Blog content across Social Sharing sites you can really accelerate your websites rank and profile online. Sites like Quora Spaces, Linked In Articles, Mix, Reddit, Tumbler, Medium , Ezine Articles, Slide Share, Push Notifications, Ebook distribution and others can all be used for syndication, in most cases simply copy and paste your own blog articles onto the syndication sites, which takes very little time to do.
4. Building a BackLink profile
Don’t Spam and Don’t go posting links all over the place. You will be banned by the syndication sites admin and you’ll lose the ability to use these high-traffic sites for your benefit.
As a general rule if you build up your posts giving help to people, giving value , for at least a month or so before you start adding your links, the administration of the site should be ok with you.
Directly Asking for Links
This has been used through the entire life of the interweb. It can be very frustrating and time consuming, so I would advise you not to bother wasting your time, unless you can see a genuine good fit with an authority site, in that case , by all means reach out, email the site owner and ask. If you can add value at all, offer to do so.
Blog Guest Posting
Again this is a strategy from the early days, but it does still work, as long as the site you are targeting is a good fit for your article. One way to go about searching for a match is simply Googling “write for us” , a phrase found on many sites sharing content.
Links to High Authority Sites
If you can write posts of the highest quality, worthy of a Google number one ranking, then other bloggers are going to want to link to you. This is the best strategy possible – become the Go-to website for your niche. Once established news websites might also be interested in your content, with a resultant high number of content redistributions. I have a satellite installation website and over the years various news sites have contacted me, resulting in my contacts and content being spread, even to being invited to speak on London radio about French TV installation in London. This then is a great strategy, as you ‘ll never have to worry about outreach, its frustrations and low success rate.
Short Cuts to Rank Quickly
You could purchase a ‘mature’ website, several years old in the same or similar niche, as brand new domains won’t have any DR (domain rank) so can take a LOT of getting going before you’ve built up its ranking . These can be bought on ‘flippa’ type sites but do your homework, as sites can be dressed up as a mature site with links , when it actually has none. They may be from a link farm, for instance , which of course will disappear after you buy.
Lastly just a word about this important description, which appears under each site, on the results page
In this example nothing really stands out in the description of each of the pages displayed. So which one you pick is difficult
So think of a really good description , that would make you click on it, use anything you can to make the visitor choose your page – humour, intrigue, capitals, 5 star review icons.
A further step can be taken if you can get the featured snippets for the results page. A good summary of the page is needed laid out in the same way Google does. If it gets chosen you will have a BIG advantage on the results page.
Keeping Your Rankings
The work doesn’t stop when you finally get that coveted number one spot. No, you have to keep it there, others will come up and try to overtake you.
One seriously overlooked technique is to rewrite you old posts.
Google already has these posts in its index, by rewriting an old post, bringing in new information, expanding old ideas, introducing new ways…etc you will actually be adding MORE value than writing new posts! If you follow the podcasts of Gael Bretton on Authority Hacker, you will know the results he has achieved doing just this.