Step 1 – Introduction to SEO

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Welcome to SEO Article Heroes’ SEO guide. As part of our desire to educate small businesses on the world of SEO, we’ve decided to take it upon ourselves to give a basic step-by-step guide on how to run an SEO campaign on your website. This guide will show you how to get to grips with SEO and how to implement a workable strategy. An important point I’d like to raise is that this guide is designed as a general approach to SEO for any websites, e-commerce and local businesses for example will employ slightly different strategies which will be discussed on completion of this guide.

The easiest way to explain this is by following the implementation of SEO Article Heroes’ very own SEO campaign. At the time of writing this blog I have only started the very basics of my SEO campaign, so you’ll be able to experience these results first-hand. If there are any areas that you find confusing and want to ask follow-up questions you can join our facebook group for all your SEO needs.

Some of the most common reasons people feel disheartened by SEO can either be because they have taken on an agency that has implemented Black Hat SEO,  or because they’ve implemented one or two aspects of SEO without formulating a fully workable strategy. That’s why it’s important to first develop a step-by-step plan and follow every step in the process.

What is Search Engine Optimisation?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is defined as the process of maximising the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on in the SERPs. The process of achieving these results are varied across a wide strategy of optimising a website for a user-friendly experience,  along with developing a strong backlink network with what search engines deem a website of high authority. Some aspects of SEO can be a simple as changing the metatitle of your website, whilst other aspects focus on providing good quality on-site content such as a blog that can be promoted and linked to by high authority websites.

Which SEO strategies do google reward and what do they penalise? 

Google’s penalty system can be explained through the differences between “Black Hat SEO,” and “White Hat SEO”. White hat strives to follow all the key aspects of SEO techniques whilst strictly following the Search engine’s guidelines on manipulating search results, black hat however attempts to trick the Search Engine into giving better results violating the search engines guidelines.

White hat is suggested by all major search engines and is assisted through tools such as webmaster tools and google analytics. The tools employed by white hat will achieve long-term goals, we can employ this technique:

  • By making sure that your site has good easily understood information
  • That the functioning of your site is good such as the loading speed
  • Metatitle and description as already discussed
  • Creating an on-site blog with industry based information
  • Internal linking to various parts of your website where appropriate
  • Creating a strong and formidable backlink network from sites that are deemed of high authority.

Black hat SEO rarely works anymore, and if it does it is usually recognised by search engines within a couple of months and will knock your site down several pages. Strategies that can be employed by Black Hat range from:

  • Article submissions on low ranking websites
  • Linkfarms (sites designed just to have links on)
  • Commenting spam
  • Repeating keywords on your website over and over again
  • Paid links to your website
  • Cloaking and plagiarising content.

When deciding to pick an SEO agency to manage your campaign make sure that they do not employ and black hat methods whatsoever.

How to target specific phrases for ranking (keywords)

After explaining the basic premises behind SEO it is now time to turn our attention to keyword targeting. First let us start with how we decide to choose keywords, I’ve personally not came across many tools that are better than google keyword planner.

Google Keyword planner is for Pay Per Click. However you can sign up to google adwords and use the keyword planner to find keywords that are specific to your website, here you will find how much competition they have along with how much search volume there is, the keywords you want the most are the ones that are most relevant to your industry, yet with the lowest competition and the highest monthly search. In our next blog we will cover how to use keyword planner in greater detail.

Another good place to find out information for your website is your competition, search for your competition on google and look what they have chosen to accompany their business name in the metatitle, if a successful competitor is using that keyword and succeeding it will quite often be because that’s what people search when they look for your products.

Finally some keywords are obvious and can come to us from knowing industry knowledge if you mainly sell dog clothes then “buy dog clothes” will be what you want to rank for primarily. These keywords either need to be in the anchor text of the off-site content linking back to your website or in the metadescription of your website.

How do I make my site user friendly? 

The user friendly aspect of your website is crucial to your SEO, as previously discussed Google will penalise websites that try to employ Black Hat SEO but they will also penalise people who have poor content, bad loading speeds, difficult to navigate websites. Asides from whether Google penalises you, you need to think about how much your prospective customers are going to penalise you.

If a customer goes on to a website and it takes long to load or it does not look appealing, or its hard to navigate there’s a good chance they are going to click on your page and click immediately off. The rate at which people click on your website and immediately click off is known as a bounce rate. If you have a high bounce rate, google will penalise you and lower your page rankings. So the important thing to remember is that you’re site looks good, the content is good, loading time is good, and the link structure is good.

What is a linkbuilding strategy and how do I get people to send a link to my website?

Simply put a linkbuilding strategy is the SEO strategy to improve rankings in google by linking to pages that are deemed of high authority. A linkbuilding strategy can take on various forms but as mentioned previously always stick to White Hat methods, do not by any means, pay for links, use linkfarms, comment on blogs etc. A good linkbuilding strategy aims for quality rather than quantity.

If a spammy website has linked to your page, it could negatively effect your SEO however  you can disavow a link by using tools such as Google Search Console, we will discuss how to use Google Search Console in our next blog. There may also be sites you feel necessary to link to but are concerned about the websites lack of authority, you can use a nofollow meta tag, either by using html or a Content Management System (CMS).

To create the best linkbuilding strategy we want follow links from high authority websites, the way we do this is by producing high quality linkable content such as the blog that your currently reading, promoting it trough various social media outlets and approaching bloggers in the industry directly with content you think would be of use to them.

Thanks for Reading

You’ve learnt the basics now it’s time to move onto the next step.

Step 2 – Improving Speed

Step 3 – Using the Correct Tools

Please join our group and ask any questions about this guide in the link below:

Small-Medium SEO Advice

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