In this blog, I’ll give you a quick overview of what SEO is and what are the initial strategies you can implement to initiate your SEO process - keyword research, keyword distribution, keyword optimisation, and performance evaluation. Let’s dive right into it!
SEO is the process of making changes to your website in order to gain more exposure in search engine results. A strong SEO strategy helps you increase the organic ranking of your web pages in the results of search engines. SEO is a long-term & continuous process with fruitful long-term results. Search algorithms keep on changing and simultaneously SEO needs to keep up with that.
There is so much you can do to optimise your website, but the question is, where to start with? Before we get into that, let’s know the factors affecting the search engine ranking of a website:
Authority - It is determined by the search engine by checking the popularity of your website in your domain. Popularity can be defined by how strong your backlinks are (search engines prefer backlinking from trusted and industry-related sites), reviews of your website, and what people are saying about you on the internet.
Relevance - It means how relevant your webpage is to the search query.
As you are now aware of what factors affect your search rank, it’s time to know the foundational stone of any SEO strategy, i.e. keyword research.
There are three pillars of keyword research: - Volume, relevance, competition. To summarise all three in a single line - You need to balance how to get as much relevant search volume as you possibly can with the least competition.
There is a recommended keyword research flow that you could follow to make keywords list for your website:
Brainstorming - Ask yourself what product & services you offer? List all the keywords you can think of, but at the same time keep in mind that you need to find what your targeted customers will be typing that into a search engine.
Google Trends - Google Trends help you measure the reach of your keywords and find similar keywords to further expand the list of your keyword list. This tool also gives you search insights on keywords, lets you compare different keywords, and looks for trending searches. A similar keyword mining tool is Answer The Public. Both these tools are free of cost. So, don’t forget to check them out.
Mine Long-Tail Keywords - Long-tail keywords define the exact intent of a user. The traffic on these keywords is lower than single-word keywords, but they are very less competitive. Since these search queries have high user intent with less traffic, it is easier to rank on these keywords and there would be more chances that the user will land on your page.
Keyword Categorisation - A process used to group keywords into topics. This helps you manage and optimise your keywords efficiently.
Keyword Research Tools:
MOZ - This tool provides a good measure of search volume, it also suggests related keywords as well as provides an idea of what types of sites and content are currently holding the top positions.
Google Keyword Planner
Once keyword research is done, it’s time to execute the Keyword Distribution task. Keyword distribution is the process of aligning page content with target keywords. Your efforts shouldn’t just end after making a list of keywords, and you shouldn’t blindly optimise every keyword on every webpage.
You are required to create a keyword distribution plan, this can be done as follows:
Organise your keywords in a spreadsheet.
Map keywords to your web pages
Track keywords that need new web pages
Explore which components of your website you can optimise for the keywords - URL, Title, Meta description, Header etc.
The last step of the keyword research cycle is Keyword Evaluation. As SEO is an ongoing task, it is crucial that you keep a check on the performance of the keywords you have optimised for. You can execute this step as follows:
Use Google Search Console -> Search Analytics to know what terms people are using to discover your content. You can take a look at these reports to check the landing pages, and the queries that are being used to display your web page in search results.
Be flexible and swap non-performing keywords regularly on the basis of search analytics data.
You can also run paid ad campaigns to test your targeted keywords. By doing this you can check information like the number of impressions a keyword is bringing and the conversion rate of a keyword. These results would assist you in making data-driven keywords selection.
I hope this post will help you understand the basics of SEO and create an effective keyword strategy for your website!