Building great SEO for your website is no walk in the park, but then again, it does not have to be as difficult as it is often made out to be.Our easy 25-step SEO building guide is divided into 5 categories for easy understanding:
- Keyword Research
- On-page Optimisation, and;
- Link Building
Before beginning, we assume that you possess basic SEO knowhow and have already built a few links, and/or familiar with how canonicalization and title tags work. Therefore, this blueprint acts more as a general plan to help you how to rank a web page, and in turn, build a successful campaign around it.
Without further ado:
First of all, avoid these mistakes:
- Choosing very broad keywords
- Highly competitive keywords
- Low-traffic keywords
- Ranking for just one keyword at a time
- Keywords with low or non-existent conversion
Now, let’s try this: rank for hundreds to thousands of keywords at a time, including long-tail keywords within the same content. However, these multiple variations will revolve around a single concept or idea, it should be noted.
So the idea here is to use a keyword theme since it’s easier to rank this way – say, your topic is professional golf; you can easily rank for “PGA tour 2017” or easier still, go with “Top PGA players 2017”.
Now to find the right qualifiers – use Wordstream or Bing Keyword Tool to get keyword suggestions based on the Google “Autocomplete” feature. What more do you want? These tools are easy to pick up and use so get on with it!
While you are at it, start using Google Adwords Keyword Planner too, as it will help you narrow down precise search terms.
Got your basic keyword set? Good! Let’s see if we can rank for our chosen phrases. Learn how your competition is ranking by using the Keyword Difficulty Tool and closely watching the SERPs. The latter is especially important, because through a non-personalised search query, you can find the right keywords.
Your content needs to be valuable, as opposed to just spam. Good, valuable (and relevant) content typically revolves around factors like utility, emotional response, perspective and perceived value. Even if it excels in one or two of these factors, you are good to go. Your keyword theme is going to, therefore, revolve around value.
Next, we need to think about how this content can be “driven”? Great content can be driven through a video series, infographic, a simple blog post or walkthrough. You could also combine them to see what response they illicit.
As far as your website titles or H1 tags go, you need to take your time crafting really clever ones. Jot down 40-50 titles and then narrow it down to a top ten list – something you think will really grab your audience’s attention.
Consider content length – rather than focusing on word count first, focus on content depth instead, as it helps you rank through:
- Adding a uniqueness threshold which helps avoid duplicate content
- Deeper topic exploration which sheds more light on what your content is actually about
- Quality content that is long has higher rankings and gets more links
Since we are not putting a primary focus on total word count, how exactly can this quality depth be added to your web pages?
Google has published a set of guidelines to make good content stand out. These reference questions act as a good starting point. Google algorithms continue to get more sophisticated as they pay close attention to content attributes such as sections, sentences, blocks and paragraphs. These algorithms are now better equipped to understand your main topic, intent, expertise and keywords.
Get your relevancy score up – using nTopic, you can analyse your keywords and have suggestions for related keywords.
A unique website design can help you earn higher rankings because SEO-optimised websites that are responsive and well-designed have higher page views, increased on-site visitor time, lower bounce rate, better established trust and link earning.
The goal of this SEO blueprint is to have several web pages ranked. Keeping this in view, consider the following:
- Content Hubs – Google will determine your context and relevancy based on what’s on your main/home page and the pages around it – it will do all the linking accordingly.
You need to create content hubs which explore several topics in detail, topics which revolve around a single theme.
- Hub Linking – For instance, your main page might be about PGA Tour events and this could be related to pages about event schedules and player history.
- Finding Your Centre – Content hubs work effectively when they rely on a centre or hub. This centre can be viewed as the master switch that controls all the mini-switches – your individual content pages.
We refer to this hub as the authority page. In most cases, this hub is a category level page or link bait page. It is also usually the same page which typically contains the majority of inbound links and acts as a landing page for other respective sections on your site.
You will be interlinking your website’s internal pages within your content hub – keep the following in mind as you do so:
- Links from within unique content have more value than navigational links
- Links positioned higher up on your page have more value than those positioned further down
- HTML text links have more weight or value than image-only links
Remember, when you are interlinking content, you should keep your links prominent and strategically visible – your most relevant content pages will be ‘naturally’ linked up higher in the HTML text chain.
It is also important to naturally diversify your anchor text. Instead of choosing the anchor text to revolve around your keyword-optimised content, have the content revolve around the anchor text.
A compelling title tag can make all the difference. The correct keyword usage in your title tags is still one of the most crucial elements of on-page ranking factors. However, Google has been quick to identify title tags written for SEO, so consider this:
- Avoid “boilerplate” titles; rather than using the same boilerplate title at the end of two tags such as ‘Office Supplies and Fixtures Manchester Distributors Ltd’ and ‘Office Stationary Manchester Distributors Ltd’, use completely unique titles at the end of each tag.
- Do away with unwanted repetition; just a few years ago, it was considered good practice to repeat your keyword several times throughout the content. But since Google has revised its keyword stuffing threshold, it is best to use it just once.
- Avoid over-optimising URLs, titles and links; keep in mind that you are writing for people first and foremost, and not a search engine. It can be tempting to have your URLs, inbound anchor text and title tags all perfectly matched up to get a “perfect score” but Google now understands that this is not natural. So, diversify rather than over-optimise.
Finally, structured data should be a high priority. Make it a part of every site page as this helps give you future-facing value in terms of social media sharing and rich snippet SERPs. Structured data that you should include can be business information, publisher data, authorship, Twitter cards, Facebook Open Graph tags, reviews and events.
In this SEO blueprint, you will definitely be gearing most of your efforts toward quality content creation; however, a small but rather crucial element in the SEO process is link building. Keep in mind that great, high quality content:
- Aids in the link building process
- Attracts higher quality links quickly
- Continues to build links even when your website SEO efforts are “on vacation”
Create quality content and you won’t even have to ask people to link back to you. However, something as simple as an outreach letter can serve as a gateway to future link building efforts.
The final piece of the puzzle: professional link building is a consistent, non-stop process. Every piece of quality content and link building efforts aids and compliments the previous content and link building efforts.
Learn to link generously to other websites because it’s more than just about search engines – it’s about the experiences people have when they see your pages. Link to top-notch resources in your industry and build links from a “best user experience” standpoint. Pull this off right, and search engines will reward you with higher rankings.
There you go – your 25-step SEO blueprint explained!