The 1 Line Description
When to use it
Making your content for SEO
#1 - Keyword research
Before you do anything - you need to identify which keywords to rank for.
- The three most important factors to consider when choosing keywords are Relevancy, Volume & Competition
- Step 1: Understand what you care to rank for. Brainstorm as many different search terms people may use before discovering your content/website. Map this out across the funnel - is it different at awareness versus consideration? E.g. with the latter, people may be searching for things like "XYZ comparisons" or "Is XYZ worth it"
- Step 2: Research those keywords using a tool like SEM Rush or Ahrefs
- Step 3: Identify the ones with high volume, high relevancy and low Keyword difficulty. But, this doesn’t mean you should avoid those with high difficulty altogether. In SEM rush a difficulty score (KD %) is out of 100. Anything below 70 is a moderate-low difficulty.
Here's an example of some highly competitive keywords with high volume. These would be difficult to compete on.
Here's an example of keywords with slightly lower difficulty, but also lower volume.
- You would still want to rank for these - that's 200-300 searches per month/potential traffic you could capture for free - this is often. Obviously, the higher the volume, the better, but that can often correlate with high difficulty/competitiveness.
- Anything below 70-90 searches per month is probably not worth the effort.
The best keywords are defined as "long-tail" - highly relevant, niche keywords - likely low volume but more likely to be relevant/convert and low difficulty. Here's a great article on this https://ahrefs.com/blog/long-tail-keywords/
- Step 4: Do a quick google search to see who else is ranking for that keyword (e.g. if larger publications are on the first page, do we have a good chance of competing?)
- Step 5: Keep that list updated - It’s the core element of your SEO strategy.
#2- Site Architecture
Things like Title tags & H1 tags help Google understand what our website is about.
- URLs: Your URLs should be organized, structured and packed with keywords (less than 60 characters is optimal). See below structure.
- Title tags: Every page should have a keyword packed title tag.
- H1 tags: Make sure your H1 tags call out what’s most important on the page - similar to title tags and can never be a duplicate. To work they must be coded and arranged in a proper hierarchy. Screaming Frog is a great desktop tool to see if you have any duplicate H1 tags or title tags that need editing. It's also a great tool to check any errors such as 401s or pages not being indexed correctly.
- Meta-data description: Not an SEO factor - but show users what your page is about and improves CTR from google search (maximum 150 characters)
- Site speed: Check out google page speed insights to see how you can improve (e.g. image and file compression). Typically, you may hand this information to a developer to solve.
- Image Alt Tags: Google can’t read images - tell Google what your images are about! (add keywords)
- Something to consider: Accelerated Mobile Pages, are lightweight pages designed to give mobile users a lightning-fast, more engaging experience.
#3 - Content writing
The more content we write on a topic we want to rank for, the more signals we give to Google that we are a good resource for searches on the given topic. Even better when those articles get shared by users. The best content will include all the principles referenced in this guide, but here are a couple of other actionable tips
- At least 500 words
- Provide internal links to other blog posts or parts of your site - “Pyramids” of content linked together lead to an increase in ‘topical authority’
- Don’t let keywords lead you - or writing becomes inauthentic.
- Cite and provide URLs for established resources (for ex: .edu domains) to show legitimacy in your claims
- Publish different versions/bite-sized formats across the web in places your audience will be (e.g. social, email forums… possibly worth considering importing on medium, sharing on slack channels, etc)
- Fresh content is preferred - aka update your content all the time
- Beat the competition: E.g. more comprehensive (i.e. longer, more detailed), higher authority (written by an expert)
- When updating your site/adding new pages, you need to let google know - submit for indexing on search console
#4 - Backlinking
The more backlinks we get, the more we convince Google of our authority.
How to get link backs:
- PR outreach
- Write a relevant blog post and share it within the right communities (Slack Groups for example)
- Reach out to publications to write a guest post
- Connect to search console - enables you to submit new pages and monitor coverage and broken pages.
- Set up a dashboard in SEMrush or MOZ and monitor rankings.
- Could also monitor in a simple excel sheet + search console
These are two great blog posts to read with actionable tips:
The infographic here are the main things you need to consider for your on-page SEO: https://backlinko.com/on-page-seo
And here is a Google Sheets to help monitor and structure your on-page SEO