Brand new to SEO… overwhelmed
Hey guys, I'm building a long form content-driven website and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will be the main acquisition channel. I've been doing a ton of reading on Ahrefs , moz, Backlinko etc, but it's hard to know where to start in terms of where my time is best spent.
If you had to rank the 10-15 things (literally in order of what to do first, or what I should think about first) what would they be? Keep in mind the website is brand new. All I have is one "write something quickly and get feedback from people" article written and I haven't even registered my domain with Google yet.
An example of what I'd really appreciate from someone is something like:
• Keyword research
• Make sure H1's have keywords
• Make sure keywords appear towards top of page
• Reach out to other sites to see if I can get backlinks
etc. Sorry for the newb questions! Excited to learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and content marketing!
• Do keyword research. It's my best guess that you're not going to know how to do it. And keyword research is only as good as the person who does it. Hire someone really great and pay as much as possible to get this keyword research. You will use this keyword research to optimize your website, your social profiles, your blog articles, your directory listings etcetera. 1a. Try your best to optimize every aspect of your website. You're off to a good start by putting key words at the top of the page and in your heading tags. Also make sure that you have user-friendly meta descriptions, title tags, and image names and all tags. That comprises the basics of your code optimisation for on page.
• Make sure your content is readable and relevant. Make sure there's enough content. Make sure it's broken up into bullet points and there's bold text and italic text and resource links.
• Create sitemap. XML. Install webmaster tools. Get Google to crawl your website. 3a. Make sure your website loads at the very least in under 5 Seconds. Ideally it will load in under 3 seconds. Two seconds is best. Use a website like gtmetrix to run speed test on your website and spell out exactly what you need to do to improve performance. Make sure it is mobile-friendly.
• Use a keyword ranking tool to track your keyword rankings on your website such as spyfu or brightlocal. You need to generate a baseline report. That way you can see how your rankings are doing overtime. Marketing 101 is test, measure, test, measure, forever. And you can't test if you don't measure. And you can't measure if you don't have a baseline report and are regularly tracking your rankings.
• Find an interesting topic that few or nobody has written about related to your website. Write a nice 2000 – 2500 word article, or hire a professional writer to write the article. Post it to your blog. Make sure it is very readable, don't have a giant paragraphs, break things up with beautiful images and bullet points, use bold and italic where it makes sense, etc.
• If you're a local business, start building citations. Get a Google My Biz (GMB) profile, Yelp, get a Yellow Pages profile, get an Angie's List, Superpages, Instagram, Facebook, etc. Hell, even if you're not a local business get some listings starting with the those basics. You can do a Google search to help you prioritize which directory listings to get first. If you're a local business you're going to want 80 directory listings ideally as a minimum.
• If the website is about a business that's in a specialty Industry such as legal or medical or construction, there are industry-specific directories. Get listings there even if you have to pay. Make sure those listings have great descriptions and great pictures and the descriptions contain the key words that you researched including synonyms and semantic terms.
• If you are a local business, find local and Hyper local directories such as the Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce and local community organizations and get listings there. Make sure every single one of your citations including social and directory listings are exactly the same. Your name address phone number and website has to be exactly the same for all of them.
• Use a service such as Help a Reporter Out (HARO) (help a reporter out) to see if you can get them to promote your blog article. Even if you have to pay. Share your blog article on all of your social media profiles. Read other people's and businesses social media profiles, follow them, like them, genuinely interact with them and when you see an opportunity to share your article, if it makes sense, is helpful and you're not being salesy, you can share a link and hope for the best.
• If your business is newsworthy, consider issuing a press release. You can often get valuable backlinks this way, and also local rankings boosts if the press release includes your name address phone number and website.
• Consider using a backlink building service like Rhino rank. They're not an inexpensive, but starting at around $75 you can get high-quality links but you need to have great content to link to.
• Identify and analyze your top three competitors. Analyze their backlink profiles and try to see which backlinks are getting them the most SEO Mojo. Try to get back Links at the same places.
• Create a custom YouTube channel. Create some videos even if it's just on your phone as long as the lighting and audio are good, and post them to YouTube. Make sure the title of your videos are catchy and ideally not like anybody else's. Create a robust description that talks about how your company can help customers. Talk about benefits not features. Don't brag be humble. Be helpful. List your name address phone number and website.
I hope you find this helpful. I'm doing this as I'm waiting in line at the grocery store. Its more a stream of thought than an actual prioritized list. Every website and business is different.
Ahhh goodness this was amazing lol ty!!!
Man, you are the BEST! I am not OP, but all those advices will be useful for me too.
If I can't afford to pay someone to do keyword research, where do you think is the best place to learn how to do it? I understand that you can't just "read" your way into being an expert keyword researcher and to a certain extend you have to "do" it to learn the nuances, but any starting point you'd recommend?
Someone with access to Google's keyword planner and Ahrefs will be able to help you. I do keyword research for a web design agency all day long. Not going to post my process here, but PM me and I'll steer you in the right direction.
Well as a last resort you could try a Fiverr. The platform and the sellers have evolved considerably. Obviously you're not going to want to pay someone $5 but you might get some decent keyword research for $25 or $50.
Thanks that is super helpful. As you are the expert, what guide would you recomment for learning how to do proper keyword research?
I honestly don't know. I have two people on my team to do all the keyword research I never touch it. I'm not good with data.
But I do know this, we use a combination of Google search recommendations, grep words, spyfu and Moz keyword Explorer.
Make sure you set up your Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster tools.
Set up Google Analytics.
Set up your sitemap.xml
If you're on WordPress, set up Yoast.
Make sure you have a really solid About page to highlight your credibility and expertise so you send good trust signals to Google and potential backlink prospects.
Focus on your content. Make sure it's substantive, helpful, and thoroughly answers the query you want to rank for. Don't worry about quantity, worry about quality. Ten quality pages are superior to 100 quickly dashed-off, shallow pages.
Look at the top-ranked pages for the query you are targeting. See what other queries those pages rank for and be sure to address those topics (SEMrush, Ahrefs ).
Link out to relevant, authoritative sources from your content, It helps Google trust your content and triangulate what it's about.
Use relevant images, don't forget to name then with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind, and use descriptive alt text for image search SEO. Optimize them for speed.
Look at the top three pages and make your content better.
Rinse, repeat. Be patient. It takes 3-4 months for a page to "mature" and rank for long-tail queries.
Contact sites linking to pages that rank for your desired query and alert them to your content. Share on social media. Make it easy for readers to share as well.
This is awesome, thank you so much :)
One question – what is the significance of an About page and how should I be thinking about it from an SEO strategy standpoint (as opposed to a user experience standpoint, in which case I completely understand why an About page is helpful)?