The web has a content problem. There?s just too much of it.
Search Google for literally anything, and the total number of results will be in the hundreds of millions ? and it?s an everyday thing.
What?s more, nobody expects all of those results to be good.
However, users expect to see something good on the Page 1 of Google.
Can you imagine digging through those millions of results to find only a dozen that deserve to be displayed there?
That?s what Google does every day, over 79,000 times per second.
Now, users might not occupy themselves with how Google is getting it done. But you, as a website owner, are different: you need to know the ins and outs of online search because you have content to promote.
How does Google decide which pages deserve to be at the top?
There are over 200 major ranking factors, but it all boils down to one thing: who?s the best at being helpful to users. Or, in SEO terms, at satisfying user search intent.
So how do you pull that off?
Have a Clear Grasp of What Exactly You Are Offering to Your Users
There was a reason you created your site in the first place. This reason is the foundation of your entire plan.
It could be selling products, or spreading information such as news and research, or maybe entertaining visitors with your original content.
What makes the ?why? behind your creation so important?
If you can name it with clarity, then it brings you to the next step of the plan: the kind of people you want to come to your site.
Your relationship with them is going to decide your site?s fate ? they are your target audience.
Once the ?why? and the ?who? are decided, they are followed by the ?how?. The reason there are many different types of websites is because some of them are better suited for specific tasks than others.
For example, ecommerce stores are the best for selling products, and blogs are great for sharing articles.
If you aren?t using the best way to present your content to users, you should rethink this part before everything else.
Many site owners stumble on this first step because they don?t think about what they are doing.
Be better than that.
Pick Keywords That Will Lead Users to Your Content
Users try out all sorts of search phrases in Google, and only a precious few of them will be any good for your site.
The trick is to find those few phrases and turn them into your chosen keywords. So, how do you know you?ve found what you need?
They clearly reflect what you have to offer. Short, vague keywords like ?buy boots? won?t be of any use to you. Even if a miracle lets you outrank the big brands, you?ll still risk bringing in users who don?t want the kind of product you have. Try optimizing for more specific phrases like ?winter boots for women?.
They have a high search volume. The more people use a search phrase in a given area, the more people you can turn into your users. Keywords with a low search volume can also be useful, but only when you use many at once to make up for their individual low potential.
You can find search intent-oriented keywords with the Get Suggestions tool.
Proceed to Create High-Quality Content
In spite of how hard it is, people are getting better at making great content, and the quality standards keep rising.
Fortunately, the core principle remains the same: give users the best version of the thing they are looking for.
How do you make such content?
Research what the users want, as accurately and in-depth as you can. Users always want more details. If they can get those details from you, then you already have an advantage.
Make your content visually appealing. As humans are visual creatures, you should know how to make a good first impression and make it last.
Provide the best user experience you can. Let nothing on your site get on the users? nerves. You are supposed to be helping them and making them feel welcome.
Address the users? pain points. If you revive their problems in their heads, it will make them hungrier for the solutions you are about to offer.
Give detailed solutions to the users? problems. Often users don?t know about all the pitfalls they can encounter on the way to their goal. Be sure to include solutions to those issues too: that?s what real experts do.
Seal the deal with a call-to-action.
And if you connect relevant pieces of content on your site with links, you can turn the user journey into a cycle, ensuring they?ll keep using your site (at a later time, if not immediately).
It will be even easier for them the next time, since they are already familiar with the whole process. Example: ?people also buy? on ecommerce sites.
2. Keyword Research & Optimization
Have you figured out how to make your users? dream content?
Great job! You have a good reason to be proud of yourself if you have pulled it off.
Now it?s time for the next step: helping users find your content in search engines. This part requires keywords.
In the previous section, it was said that your content needs to be tailored to users? search intent. The same applies to keywords.
Phrasing reflects what exactly users are looking for, so keywords phrased with a specific intent in mind are the best at bringing in the audience you need.
Plumber in my city: Your site is for users from your city who need plumber?s services.
How to remove rust off my sink: You provide instructions for removing rust stains from metal surfaces in bathrooms and kitchens.
Sell my old books: You buy books (and likely other things too) from people who don?t need them anymore.
What?s the best way to find such keywords?
Most likely, you will be starting with some ideas of your own. But you won?t know if those ideas are good unless you somehow test them out.
That?s where SEO tools come in. This is a job for a keyword finder like Get Suggestions.
Just enter what you have in mind and press Search. The Google global searches column will show the search volume for every keyword in the table.
Sort the table by this column to make it easier to find the best keywords.
If you plan to rank in and get traffic from a particular region, you can narrow your keyword search down to a specific geographical area in the Settings (or by clicking on Add location).
In this case, the Google global searches will be called Google local searches.
Note the All keywords filter. Clicking on it opens a menu where you can opt to show only regular keywords or only question keywords.
The Question keywords filter is particularly useful if you want to optimize your site for voice search.
There are a couple more ways to find keywords.
From Google Search Console: If you have connected your WebCEO project to your Google Search Console account, it will start drawing data from Google. Then you can check out the Keywords from Google Search Console tool for all the various queries that bring your website traffic after being found in search. It will also show the usefulness of each query through statistics such as click-through rates and average ranking positions taken from global data over the past 30 days.
From your competitors: This is a two-step process. What keywords do your competitors use to optimize their sites? First, enter their URL address in the Spy on Competitors tool to find out. Add the keywords you?d like to rank for yourself to the keyword basket, then open the Competitor Rankings by Keyword report to check their rankings for those keywords. If you see someone rank poorly for a good keyword, start using it yourself ? it?s an easy way to outrank them.
That covers keyword research.
Once you have a list of keywords you want to use, it?s time to optimize your site for them. Make sure to include everything from your list at some point!
Page URL addresses.
Image filenames, ALT attributes and captions.
Anchor texts of internal links.
3. Competitor Research
How do you measure a site?s success?
You can judge it by its rankings, traffic, conversions, and the revenue it makes.
Ultimately, this SEO strategy is supposed to make you more successful than your rivals in the niche.
I bet you already have your eye on a few competitor websites that you want to beat. And that will be much easier if you can view their metrics whenever you want, too.
There?s also the possibility they aren?t really your rivals, and you need to be fighting someone else.
What?s the word for beating someone at their game only to find out you have won nothing?
?Awkward? is the nicest thing that comes to mind.
Let?s remove all awkwardness from your path to stardom.
Our starting point is the Dangerous Competitors tool.