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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is something that is often overused yet under-explained. There are numerous articles explaining the definition of SEO followed by a list of 7 things that can contribute to its growth, but the actual plan of action, or strategy, is hardly broken down into actionable steps.
The goal of this article is to identify aspects to help grow your site's SEO while also explaining the pitfalls and necessary actions needed to make it work.
This article will covers:
The Connection Between SEO and Keywords
Before you start adding as many keywords as possible to your content let's cover some of the basics regarding SEO and its relation to keywords.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization is the process of producing website content with the goal of ranking on search engines and ultimately generate traffic back to your site for free.
Google is one of the largest search engines and it does not cost anything to be listed on their site.
But that's not to say producing SEO content is 100% free.
Companies spend upward of thousands of dollars a month for SEO content and consultants to help them rank on Google's search results.
You see the SEO game is not about ranking on Google, it's about being the first result on Google.
To see what I mean, type the phrase "html color codes" in the Google search bar and hit enter.
There are about 7 different websites that appear on the first page as a result.
All of which seem to directly match the query we entered.
This means chances are you are not going to scroll all the way to the bottom and click on the other page results.
You'll most likely click on one of the first links because the link title and description match what you are looking for, to begin with. There is no need to scroll down.
Let's click on the first result.
BOOM! It's exactly what we wanted. An HTML color picker that provides the HTML color codes for any color we choose.
We are done searching.
So up to this point, we have identified that companies pay a lot of money on SEO and people will often click on the first few links, but we still need to identify why.
Well, the answer is simple -- keywords.
What are keywords?
Keywords are a single noun or combination of nouns that express one idea or topic. Think of these as the words you type into Google when you are looking for something.
Let's say you are looking to buy some dog food. So you obviously go to Google and type in "How do I find dog food for my dog?".
Nope. Probably not.
Instead, you type in the smallest amount of words needed to get the results you want -- "dog food".
This is the "key" word or root keyword given as it is the smallest collection of words that correctly expresses the entire idea.
If you just type in "food" you'll get restaurants near you and if you type in "dog" you'll get the literal definition of a dog.
What are SEO keywords?
SEO keywords are specifically the words that will drive traffic to your site. They are the words that are in your website's content that people also type into Google.
As an example, if you scroll past the 4 paid ads show when we typed in "dog food" you'll see the first SEO result.
It's a site that sells thousands of brands of dog food.
This site is most likely listed because it mentions the keyword "dog food" frequently throughout its page content.
The page itself states the word "dog food" in every product title, in each image description, and in the side navigation.
So Google, who scrapes all content on the site, sees this as a good indication that the site meets the query for the "dog food" keyword and will recommend the site as a top link.
How to Strategically Add Keywords in Website Content
Adding keywords to your site may seem daunting but it is relatively straightforward.
SEO TIP #1: Identify the main keywords/products on your site.
If you have a blog for affiliate marketing that sells headphones then your main keywords are mostly going to be "headphones", "wireless headphones", "over-ear headphones", "in-ear headphones", "earbuds", and so on.
SEO Tip: #2: Write articles/create content with those keywords.
Now, when you publish a new article you need to make sure you have "headphones" included multiple times in the text but without it being too much. That is, craft sentences with the keywords, don't just add them as many times as possible.
Add your keywords in:
SEO Tips #3: Bolster your writing with longtail keywords.
Longtail keywords are specific keyword phrases that people are likely to use when using voice search or trying to pinpoint an answer to a question.
Examples of this include, "Which are the best headphones?" and the query we talked about earlier "How do I find dog food for my dog?".
How do your find longtail keywords?
Find your longtail keywords by typing in a keyword in Google and scrolling down to the "People also ask" section of the page.
These are 4 longtail keywords you want to add as titles and subtitles in your article.
Answering these questions in your article will bolster your article with relevant content while also answering common questions related to your general keywords.
What is the point of doing this SEO and keyword work?
Ultimately, you have a better chance of getting users to your site from Google if the content on your site meets the exact keyword query users are likely to type in.
Free clicks are one of the goals for any site so relevant content full of keywords should be the priority.
If you are going to take the time to write content, you might as well add use SEO.
Content and Keyword Pitfalls
SEO Pitfall #1: There is more competition than you expected
It's hard to avoid competition in any online niche. You can try to find topics in your niche that no one is writing about but chances are if you're writing about it so is someone else.
SEO Tip #4: Update content regularly
Remember that Google is looking for the most relevant and up-to-date information.
Updating your content regularly with new information and keywords is important and can help you rank higher than blogs that have outdated information in their article.
SEO Tip #5: When in doubt go with longtail keywords
Use super-specific longtail keywords in your articles -- phrases that are extremely relevant to your topic.
If you have a blog about headphones, you probably aren't the only one.
So you need to distinguish your content by answering really specific questions like "How are headphones supposed to fit?", "How to wear headphones without hurting your ears?", and "How to make your headphones more comfortable?".
These phrases have less competition (i.e. no ads or large brands) because of their specificity.
This means you only need to compete with blogs also answering these questions and not the companies paying for ads to appear for "Best headphones".
SEO Pitfall #2: It's taking too long to rank on Google
All that being said, these tips will most guarantee a huge boost in traffic. It will take time to rank on Google let alone be on the first-page search results.
You can rank your article rankings using Google Search Console.
SEO Tip #6: You're going to have to be patient and keep posting regularly
SEO is a long-term strategy that requires a decent about of time and effort each week.
That's why many sites pay for Google Ads.
But if you're willing to put in the work, and wait about 3-4 months, you'll start to see regular traffic to your site.
And by regular traffic, I mean users visiting your site every day exclusively through SEO, not including other marketing and growth strategies.
SEO Tip #7: Have article publication goals
The last and arguably most important tip is to set weekly, monthly, and yearly goals for how often you will write an article.
It does not need to be overly ambitious, it needs to be attainable.
First, ask yourself how many articles do you want by the end of the year?
Now divide that by the number of weeks in a year (it's about 52).
Finally, mark out what day of the week you plan on writing.
And if you want to take it one step further, you can even mark out the time.
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