In the first chapter, we looked at the basic principles of SEO and how it actually works. In this chapter we will delve into the basic components of what should be your SEO strategy.
Search Engine Strategy Basics
For the most part, there are three basic things you’ll need to do in order to accomplish proper and effective search engine optimization.
- compile keyword lists
- publish keyword-rich (quality and unique) content
- establish a beneficial link strategy
The core of any SEO strategy is built almost entirely around the group of keywords you choose to target.
The first order of business is to decide which groups of keywords you’ll be utilising. In most instances, those groups will be either directly or indirectly related to the topic or niche that your website is (or will be) associated with.
Once you’ve established who your audience(s) are and what keyword phrases they would use to find your products or services, you can begin to compile a comprehensive list of top-level phrases that have each of the following characteristics:
- are searched for by thousands of viewers each and every month
- have little or no competition associated with it
The more people who search for the term combined with the least amount of competition associated with it, the more valuable the keyword will be with regard to gaining automatic search engine traffic.
Beyond that, you’ll want to compile lists of secondary keywords. These would still be valuable, but not to the extent that the first top-level list would be.
The main advantage of lower level keywords is the fact that you don’t have to work quite as hard to get definitive search engine recognition. And since you’ll automatically get fairly decent results position, you’ll also receive additional targeted viewer traffic.
To make up for the lack of quality in the keyword itself (in most cases that equates to fewer searches being conducted every month and therefore less competition), you need to work with a much larger quantity of lower-level keywords.
Basically, the results will be just as good as what you experience through top-level keywords. It will just take more keywords to achieve those same results.
Of course, the good news is that there are software programs which can significantly cut down the amount of time it takes to gain content – no matter how many keywords you decide to target (see the next segment on Quality Content).
There are several ways in which you can compile keyword lists. One of the quickest and easiest methods is to use the free Google Keywords Tool tool which show you keywords (and related keywords) with the average monthly searches for a given location. You can then compile a list with your priority keyword phrases for the most searches and your secondary keyword phrases for the lesser search for terms.
To access the Google Keywords Tool, you need to setup a Google Adwords account – however, you do not have to create any paid advertising campaigns – you simply access the tool via the Adwords dashboard.
There are other tools such as Overture and Wordtracker, which provide minimal free access, but you need to pay for full features.
There are numerous reasons why “Content Is King”. From a viewer’s perspective, content not only invites them to visit your website but encourages them to return on a regular basis.
It’s a relatively simple equation…They’re looking for valuable information. Give it to them.
From a search engine perspective, content is one of the primary factors in determining just how much weight or importance should be given to any web page.
Unfortunately, this one isn’t quite as simple an equation…Search engine crawlers gather and index content. Figure out how to make them place your content higher on the results ladder than some other website.
Of course, in order to become King, content needs to be of considerable quality. In order to remain King, content needs to be updated on a fairly regular basis.
Not to mention the fact that you also need to add content (new pages) on a regular basis. If not, whatever ground you initially gain will simply fade away. And so will whatever search position or rank you’ve achieved.
Naturally, you can manually add content by writing everything yourself. But that is time-consuming – so you may look at sub-contracting that out to someone who can provide a steady stream of fresh, unique content at a reasonable price.
RSS feeds are yet another superior method. Not just for gaining content but keeping it fresh and updated as well.
Depending on what feed or feeds you happen to choose, the content can be as simple as a list of topic-related links or as complete as a full-scale, full-page article. And of course, there’s everything in between.
The most common choice for RSS feeds are the ones that display a list of topic-related URL’s with a brief description beneath each one. The reason this type of feed is most popular is the fact that the brief description allows more potential for targeting specific keywords.
For example, if the topic of your website is golf and you want one of your pages to be optimized for the keyword “golf swing”, you would want any and all content to include that particular search phrase.
It’s no different than optimizing any other content on your website. You have a specific keyword and you need that phrase to be included in such a way that it will carry significant weight with the search engine crawlers.
Of course, what you really want – and need – is to gain rank and listing benefit from whatever content is added. That’s the whole purpose… to gain enough search engine recognition which in turn gains you targeted viewer traffic.
The third ‘Basic’ component is your Linking Strategy and we will be covering that in the third chapter.
If you run a business and need some help with your SEO or marketing in general, just simply get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.