how do you figure this out? the best starting point is to use common sense.
imagine that you run a hotel in dublin, ireland. it doesn’t take an seo genius to guess that your customers are probably searching for things like:
‘hotels in dublin’
‘place to stay in dublin’
‘accommodation in dublin’
before you do anything else, think about what your customers might be searching for and jot your ideas down in a notepad. you could even ask them directly.
no need to go overboard here—a handful of ideas will do.
done? good. let’s do some more research.
a) figure out the most popular way people search for your business
b) understand other ways people may be searching for the same thing
c) delve deeper into the more granular searches your customers are making
d) find popular and engaging topics in your field
e) expand your keyword list by looking literally anywhere else
f) understand the metrics behind the keywords you’re targeting
you also need to make sure your pages are structured well and satisfy the person behind the search to rank for the keywords you selected.
your optimization efforts should start with making sure that your visitors are enjoying the user experience (ux) your website provides. use design and typography that makes it easy to consume the content, and remove any unnecessary elements such as pop-ups, opt-in boxes, etc. that can annoy your readers.
on‐page optimization is the next step in your seo strategy.
even targeting the most profitable keywords with the “best” content won’t help you if your pages are not optimized for search engines.
there are many ways to implement the features i discuss in the following sections, but if you’re using wordpress for your website, i first recommend installing an seo plugin like yoast seo. it’s free and simple to use, and it’s perfect for those who are new to on-page seo.
a) create content that aligns with ‘search intent’
b) use short, descriptive urls
c) create compelling meta titles and descriptions
d) use headers and subheaders to create a logical structure
e) optimize your images
f) set up schema
while bots are becoming more intelligent and human-like, many differences still exist between the two. therefore, your goal should be to create a positive experience for both humans and bots.
understanding how to create pages optimized for bots can be challenging. that’s why, while it’s important to have a strong understanding of the features we discuss in the following paragraphs, i encourage you to delegate them to a professional (preferably a developer).
still, here are a few tips to get you off on the right foot.
a) make sure your website loads fast
b) make sure your website is mobile-friendly
c) install an ssl certificate
d) create a sitemap
f) internally link between relevant posts and pages
why? because there’s clear evidence showing that backlinks are one of the factors with a strong influence on google’s ranking algorithm.
even google admits that backlinks are one of the top 3 ‘ranking factors.’
there are many tactics you can use to get other websites to link back to your web pages. some are more legitimate than others. however, before you start cherry picking “link building hacks” to try, take the time to review and analyze how your competitors are building links.
it’s important to use your competitors because each niche is different and tactics that work great in one niche might not be so effective in yours.
when done with this, consider some of the following tactics.
a) swipe links from inferior content
b) broken link building
c) guest blogging
my advice is this: focus on the basics.
the most important metrics when it comes to seo are a) organic traffic, and b) the average ranking position for the keywords you’re targeting.
a) measure organic traffic
b) track your rankings