Contrary to popular belief, SEO (while extremely technical) is not a seven-headed animal. In this content Leticia Nonato teaches you how to build an SEO strategy from scratch, even if you don’t have as much time or knowledge.
From my years of experience in Digital Marketing, I can say that SEO is one of the biggest difficulties for those who have just started an online business or are starting out as a professional in the field.
The feeling that Search Engine Optimization is very technical and that competition at SERP is extremely difficult for those who have just started a business always gives the feeling that it is not worth the effort and effort. SEO investment.
It is true that some niches are more difficult than others to succeed in ranking, but this is not the reality of most of the marketplace.
In some segments it is common to feel that the amount of information is saturated, but if you have a strategic vision, you will find that this is not the reality.
Know that most of your competitors have a very limited understanding of SEO.
With the basic – but necessary – knowledge I will show you here, you will already be at a great advantage over your competitors and ensure that your business gets results from organic traffic .
We’ll go through the following crucial points to start running a basic SEO strategy that will bring consistent results to your business:
- How to find out what your persona is searching for
- How to explore keywords
- How to optimize pages of your site
- How to assemble a backlink strategy
Read on and discover SEO best practices and how to apply them to your site.
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Find out what your persona is searching for
It’s true that SEO has the peculiarity of being very technical – keyword research, page optimization of your site, competitor analysis.
But actually SEO has two very simple pillars: understand your consumers and what their pains are.
And these two pillars should not necessarily be uncovered through a very deep and structured SEO strategy.
A very simple tip, but one that I find quite valuable, is to talk to your customers and be willing to listen and understand the feedbacks they give – go for me, you’re going to take a lot of insights and save money. many features get started here.
And to do that, here are some of the top places to get you started:
- events in which you will meet your consumers;
- comments on your site;
- chatbots – if your site already has one;
At this point, it’s important not only to understand who your potential customers are, but also to understand the language with which they communicate (terms and slang) and what they like (culture, leisure) , hobby).
After doing this study, it’s time to start producing content with possible terms that your persona might search for.
For easier viewing, let’s say you work with the SEO strategy of an e-commerce company that sells wine . This company is not yet online, and the goal is to drive more visitors to your site.
So, thinking of an SEO strategy, it’s interesting to start producing content with keywords that your persona is looking for and that is about the main subject of the business so that users can find the blog and be interested in the product.
Thinking about the example given, some initial keyword opportunities would be:
- the best wines in the world;
- foods that match wine;
- types of wines;
- Wine cellar.
Keep in mind that at first your goal is not to have a large volume of content, but to have content focused on the service / product you offer.
Explore the maximum of each keyword you choose
Here in Rock Content Marketing, whenever we post content we think like this: is this content useful to our persona?
What’s more: Is he the best content our persona will find on Google?
If one of the answers to the questions is “no,” we come back with the content to be updated and redone.
And this is the mindset you should have when defining what to post to your blog.
Let’s understand how to do this:
Use tools to help with keyword selection and validation
After making a list of top keywords, you need to validate some factors:
- if these terms are really sought by their users;
- what is the rank difficulty level in SERP;
- possible related words that may be used during content or even other future posts.
To do this analysis, I suggest using Keyword Explorer or SEMRush.
Keyword Explorer is a tool from Moz and, in its free mode, you can perform 10 keyword searches per month.
By researching “best wines” in Keyword Explorer, I can see relevant information from which we can draw valuable insights:
- the keyword has a high level of monthly searches;
- The level of indexing difficulty in SERP is not high;
- Strategic keyword suggestions for future content, such as “best Chilean wines”, “best Brazilian wines” and “best soft wines”.
In SEMRush you can also get a pretty similar view to Keyword Explorer, but because it’s a paid version (it doesn’t have a more basic free version) there are other great features. Chief among them is the Keyword Magic Tool.
I won’t go deep into the tool, but you can check out the main features of SEMRush in this content .
With a quick search on both tools, we can already see that the search volume for the keyword “best wines” is 4.4k per month, and identify various possibilities for matching words to use as topics within the main content or for future content.
If these tools don’t fit your budget, other platforms like Google Trends can also be a great ally for keyword search.
Check out Google suggestions
A very easy method of identifying what users are looking for on Google is to use Google to their advantage.
Start typing what you want to search for on Google page and don’t hit enter. Depending on what you type, Google’s autocomplete immediately suggests the most popular searches for that keyword:
Another way to get the most out of Google is to check out the “Related Searches” at the bottom of the SERP page. There, some phrase suggestions will be given:
This is one of the main parts to keep an eye on, as it provides insight into the keywords you should invest in.
Looking at the example you can see that people searching for “best wines” are interested in knowing the ranking of the best wines in the world and also the best imported wines.
Realize that these are valuable insights you didn’t consider investing in the first place.
By combining all these methods you will already be able to have a fairly wide list of keywords to start ranking and start working with page optimization.
Understand the intent to search for your persona
To move into the stage of an SEO strategy and start attracting the right audience to your site, you need to understand that there are three forms of search intent:
- Informational Search: The intention of the user is to understand more about a specific topic. For example: “which are the best wines in the world”;
- Navigational Search: when you search for a specific site but don’t remember the URL of the site you want to access;
- Transactional Search: The intention is to buy a product / service, find a store or perform any other type of transaction.
To clarify how SERP works according to search types, let’s look at the result for the “best wines” search:
Seeing SERP, we realize that the user’s intention is basically to find out which wines are the best and not, for example, to find a specific site.
That’s why identifying user intent is so crucial to producing valuable content.
Optimize your search pages
The first step in making a well-designed and well-structured strategy to attract more organic visitors is keyword search.
However, that is not all.
Your page needs to be optimized for search engines in order to rank for the selected keywords.
Let’s see how to do this:
Make a basic on-page SEO strategy
The next point of your strategy should be focused on on-page SEO optimization.
You should keep in mind that it is not enough to have the best keyword opportunities and the best content if your site does not have pages that are not optimized for search engines.
But before you start explaining how to structure on-page SEO, it’s important to talk about the tools you’ll need.
There are thousands of platforms on the market that you can adopt, but if you use WordPress, what I recommend is the Yoast SEO plugin .
It’s a simple to use, free and perfect tool especially for those just starting an on-page SEO strategy. It gives information and clearly explains what needs to be optimized (remembering that you don’t have to follow everything to the letter).
Now that we have the tool we’re going to use, let’s understand the elements needed to succeed with search engines:
SEO has changed a lot over the years and has become increasingly competitive. That’s why having high quality content has become a must for success.
But what happens is that many believe that high quality content means long posts with all the possible information on the topic.
Quality content is content that is useful to your persona.
Think of a user who is looking for “best wines”. Will he want to read a 3000,000 word content about the concept of grapes, the history of wine, or would he rather consume a short content with a list of the best wines and a very succinct description of each?
Forget word size and quantity and focus on content that is relevant and resolves your persona’s pain.
Your website address helps the search engine understand the subject of your content. So make make friendly URLs – short and if possible containing the main keyword.
Suppose you made a content with the following theme: “34 best wines in the world according to experts”.
A friendly URL for this content would be: / best wines /.
Meta description and Title Tag
The title tag is the title that will appear in the Google result. It must be persuasive enough to make the user interested in clicking.
It is good practice to have the main keyword in the title tag and be between 50-60 characters so that it appears completely in the search engine.
The meta description is a summary of the theme that the content addresses and must be between 50-300 characters . It will appear just below the title tag and is a guide for the user to understand what the post is about and if they will be able to answer their questions.
The title tag and meta description are the user’s first contact with their content. So it’s important to be very attractive and inviting. It is what will cause the user to leave Google to enter your site.
Title and Subtitles (H1, H2, H3…)
Developing content is designed to make search engines easier to read. Therefore, the title and subtitle structure (H1, H2, H3…) is used to show the searcher the level of importance of each content topic and the page structure in general.
H1 should only be used for the content title (on-page title) and must include the main keyword you want to rank for.
H2 are the main subtitles used throughout the content. H2 is a great place to include long-tails in the keyword you want to rank.
H3 is a subtitle of H2 (and so on).
Making structured content this way will not only make it easier for users to read, but it is also what makes Google understand your content in the best way.
Structured internal linking is not only a way to strengthen your core content, but also a great way to increase user dwell time.
From content, the reader navigates through your site through other relevant content.
Images are very popular with users and is a great way to diversify content – infographic, gifs, charts and so on. It can also be a great opportunity to rank for a keyword through Google Images.
Understand how to increase traffic to your blog with SEO for Google Images !
To help the searcher understand your image better, you need to fill in a brief explanation in the ‘alt tag’ field and it is advisable to include the keyword you want to rank for.
If you use the WordPress platform you just need to make this description in the “Alt Text” field:
You can enter the code manually as shown in the following image:
Set up a backlink strategy
Now that you know how to choose the best keywords and put together an on-page SEO strategy – strategies that you totally control – the time has come to think of strategies that aren’t just inside your site.
Impact of backlink on SEO strategy
There are researches that prove that external link strongly impacts the ranking because it is one of the points that most influences the Google algorithm.
In search SEO Trends 2018 , backlinks are cited as one of the biggest positive ranking factors, second only to mobile optimized pages.
In this sense, Google itself has stated that the backlink is a two-three major ranking factor in SERP.
Now that you know the impact of backlink on SEO strategy, understand some crucial points for making external links:
Not all links have the same relevance weight
One strategy used in the past, but now penalized by Google, was to get as many links as possible without even considering, for example, the relationship between pages.
Today, link quality is much more relevant than the number of links directed to your page.
In this sense, the quality of the link concerns the following aspects:
Page and Domain Authority
Receiving a link from a page or domain with a high authority value is sure to impact a lot more than links from low authority domains.
Imagine you can partner with Exame, and on one page of the magazine, your content about the “34 best wines in the world according to experts” is linked.
Rest assured that this link will impact a lot more than if you had gotten a link on a blog or website with a lower authority.
A very simple tool that will help you identify the domain and page authority level is Moz’s free tool . It gives a score from 0 to 100 for both the domain and the page, and the higher the better.
Dofollow Vs. Links nofollow
Every time you place a link on your site you are passing a degree of authority to the linked page.
However, there are ways you can tell the searcher links that you do not want to pass authority.
These links are called nofollow links and simply enter the following code at the desired link:
For dofollow links you do not need to enter any code.
So whenever you try to switch partnerships, always try to get links dofollow to make sure your page gets authority and gets a good look in the eyes of search engines.
Everything you need to know to build an SEO strategy
Even though many think SEO is a very technical strategy and because it has become extremely competitive, we have seen that it is possible to structure a clear and returnable strategy even knowing the basics.
I have no doubt that if you follow these instructions you will have a well-structured SEO strategy that will rank you for high search keywords and thus have a high return on organic searches.
If you have come this far, be sure to learn even more about SEO strategies. Check out our complete ebook on the topic!