Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – How to Get on the First Page of Google Part 1
Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is arguably the most important way to drive targeted traffic to your website. This is because SEO leads to improved ranking in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Every business wants to be on Page 1 of Google, but with only limited places – they can’t all be there.
Read on to learn some effective SEO strategies that can help earn you a coveted spot on Page 1 of Google and start reaping the rewards!
SEO delivers targeted traffic to your website that you need to succeed online.
Did you know that 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine? That’s a lot of people trying to find something. Perhaps they’re trying to find you. Wouldn’t it be incredible if you got on to Page 1 and were quickly found?
We think so and the numbers speak for themselves – The #1 result is 10x more likely to get a click compared to the 10th. SEO will help to achieve this for your business.
Google Ads, along with other PPC marketing channels such as Facebook advertising, stop delivering the web traffic as soon as the ads stop running. Search engine optimisation solves this problem by providing a steady stream of traffic to your website 24 hours a day, 7 days per week – without all the ongoing cost.
SEO delivers ‘organic traffic’ to your website, it’s promotion that never sleeps.
Promotion that never sleeps and never rests is a dream come true for any business. This is the reason why so many people are desperate to have their websites search engine optimised.
The web traffic just keeps on flowing and it often improves with time as more content is added to your website, Google builds trust with you, and more site visitors come.
This article is Part 1 of a 5 part series written to teach you the art of Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO. We’ll cover the basics, right up to the more lucrative and rarer methods that get results.
Read every article and they will help you to improve your relevancy, target the right audience, and improve your search engine rankings. Get ready as we deep dive the latest techniques in 2023!
1. Define your SEO Strategy
First, let’s explain what an SEO strategy actually is. We’ll then provide you with some real-world examples so you know exactly how to create your own.
An SEO strategy will help you to achieve your digital marketing goals, this is a fact, so it’s vitally important you have one before you start anything. This is why it’s first on this article.
So, without further ado, what exactly is an SEO strategy?
An SEO strategy is defined as the process of organising a websites content – by topic – to improve the chances of appearing in search results.
Essentially, it’s the process you follow in order to maximise the opportunity to gain organic traffic from search engines, such as Google. This matters because organic traffic is precisely what we are aiming to achieve – your website needs a lot of it to succeed online.
An SEO Strategy will spell out exactly what you need to do – and when.
Being prepared with an ‘oven-ready’ SEO strategy, before you actually start doing or paying for anything, is really important. This is because it helps you stay on track when creating content which means it avoids you wasting time and money.
Instead of just creating what you think people are searching for, your SEO strategy will ensure you only create content that people are actually searching for.
To save you time, here are some real-world examples of what an SEO strategy actually looks like. They are 100% free to download templates so why not take a look?
They have all been populated with examples of what companies, just like yours, use to define effective SEO strategies. Depending on your industry and goals, naturally SEO strategies can vary, but the core structure and topics often remain the same.
Setting up a Blog and defining a posting schedule are often part of an SEO Strategy.
So, what topics should you cover in your SEO strategy? In no particular order, let’s start with these proven topics… get ready, there’s a few!
- Define your Goals (What do you actually want to achieve?)
- Describe your Customer Persona
- Perform Competitive Analysis
- Keyword Research & Implementation Plan
- Align Content with Search Intent
- Differentiate Titles to Boost SERP
- Conversion Tunnel Optimisation with SEO
- Monitor & Report on your Website Analytics
- On-Page Technical Analysis
- Content Strategy (including Video SEO)
- Off-Page Link Building Strategy
- Mobile Search Strategy
- Local SEO Strategy
- Core Web Vitals
Now you’re armed with real-world examples and topics to start thinking about, you can begin to write your own SEO strategy. Next, we’re going to dive straight in topic three on that list – Competitive Analysis.
2. How to perform Competitor Analysis
SEO competitor analysis, or competitive analysis, involves researching your online competitors thoroughly in order to understand their target keywords, content strategy and backlink profile (amongst others).
The reason you do this is to incorporate many of the things that are working for them into your own SEO strategy.
This approach is smart because it completely avoids guessing which keywords to target, content to create, or links to build. Instead, by researching your top 5 competitors, you are able to analyse what’s working well for them – and build upon that success.
An SEO competitor analysis can help you answer the burning questions such as:
- Who actually are my SEO competitors? (Spoiler, it’s unlikely to be who you think)
- What keywords should I target?
- What does the competitive landscape look like?
- What topics should I cover?
- Where can I find valuable backlinks?
Behind every successful business, are hours of research.
Researching your competitors and answering similar questions is not a new concept. Long before you founded your own company, we bet you walked in to other competing businesses first or at the very least worked for one or two previously.
Reviewed their product offering, investigated their margins, reached out to some suppliers or perhaps even gained some inspiration from their branding too. No one, from the ‘Ma and Pop’ business down the street to the most successful businesses in the world – haven’t thoroughly researched their competitors first and you should be no different.
This is also true in the digital space and precisely why taking a long hard look at your online competitors is vital to fulfilling your SEO strategy. It is for this reason it features on Part 1 of this 5 Part series.
So, how do you research an online business? You use online software!
Two popular platforms right now are Seodity and SEMRush.
These are powerful SEO tools and even with only a 1-month subscription, they will help you to create an effective search engine optimisation strategy. All you need is a domain name to get you started, they handle the rest.
Consider these two companies carefully; we’d recommend choosing the one which better aligns with your goals so do compare the product offering as they do differ a bit.
Whichever one you choose – before you know it, you’ll have gained a vast amount of knowledge on your online competitors and be fully prepared what to do with it that knowledge.
3. How to Identify Keywords
Keywords are vitally important to any SEO strategy – even in 2023. Choose the wrong keywords and your website will not rank well in search engines, it’s as simple as that.
This means all the effort, and expense, would have been for nothing. So, what exactly are keywords?
Keywords are defined as the words or phrases you enter into a search engine, the goal being to find something – a product, service or maybe to answer a question.
Perhaps you are in need of a local florist, the keywords you might use to search for one might be ‘a florist near me’ or perhaps ‘wedding florists in kapiti’.
A keyword does not have to be just one word, it can be many. These are called ‘long-tail keywords’ and are used for one reason – to be very specific what you’re searching for.
Identifying long tail keywords and shorter keywords is vital for your website.
But they need to have search volume too, in other words, people other than you need to be actively searching for them as well – a lot. Ideally, you should aim to choose two or three keywords for each page on your website, different for each page and relevant to the content on it.
Why do keywords matter so much, especially with online marketing?
They matter because placing the right keywords on the right pages of your website can improve your ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs). And, by doing so, increase your organic traffic.
Once again, this is precisely what you want to achieve with search engine optimisation. Web traffic is the life blood to your website and you need lots of it to gain market share.
Keywords differ in three main areas. These are:
- Search volume: How many people are searching for a particular keyword.
- Competitiveness: The Domain Authority (DA) and Page Rank (PR) of the sites currently ranking for a particular keyword.
- Intent: What the user is looking to find when entering a keyword into a search engine.
By performing keyword research effectively, it helps you determine the best keywords to add to your webpages. They even help shape the content on those pages too so this can help with inspiration should you need it.
Seodity and SEMRush both provide you access to sophisticated keyword research tools. But, so does Google Keyword Planner for free… granted, it does have a steeper learning curve.
Whichever tool you use, they can all reveal the search volumes, competitiveness and the intent of your chosen keywords. So, now you have some keywords in mind, let’s cover the Do’s and Don’ts!
4. Keywords Do’s & Don’ts
Keywords need to be distributed around your entire web page. Not all grouped up in one place or added too many times on a webpage.
Too many keywords on one page is a practice known as ‘Keyword Stuffing’ and if you fall foul of it, your website will tumble down the search rankings. We’re talking cliff edge here.
Most SEO experts recommend that your keywords should appear in no more than 2% of your text. For example, if your post or page has 1,000 words, using your primary keyword less than 20 times should be safe.
However, this guideline is largely speculative as Google does not release official advice on what the optimal keyword density is so it’s best to play things safe and be conservative.
Once you have written the text and you’d like to check it for keyword stuffing. You can use this keyword density checker for free as a quick means of verifiying.
If in doubt, play it safe. Reduce your keyword density.
Another important thing to note, is to ensure the keywords are added in context.
Using our florist example from earlier, the following paragraph would be considered keyword safe as it includes the keyword ‘local florist’ in context and not too many times given the character length:
‘We are your local florist based in Paraparaumu delivering Birthday and Wedding flowers to your door, 365 days a year, 7 days a week. Bloomin Good Flowers are the trusted local florists on the Kapiti Coast for over 35 years’.
One last thing to mention is that keywords change.
What is being searched for this month might not be next month, people’s search habits change regularly and nothing stays the same for very long.
So, it’s really important that you remember to keep up-to-date on your keyword research to keep the web traffic flowing.
We recommend, for most businesses, checking at least every 3-6 months. Some less competitive industries and regions may get away with performing it annually, but keeping on top of them either way is important to your success online – so don’t neglect it.
We offer some of our clients ‘real-time’ rank monitoring of their keywords, so reach out to us if you’d like to be aware of any changes on a daily or weekly report. This way, you’ll be first to know if the wheels are falling off!
5. How do I Apply Keywords?
Once you have chosen your keywords, you’ll need to add them to your website.
This is the part that can get a bit technical so feel free to reach out to us at this stage if you don’t have a website developer on speed dial!
There are 7 places you will want to add them to, ideally, but this will depend on the objective of the webpage as some might not be suitable.
- Title Tag
- Meta Description
- Meta Keywords
- Page Content (incl. all the Headers from H1 to H6)
- Link Text
- Images ALT & Title Text
- Embedded File Names (any attached files on the page)
So, how do you apply keywords?
If you are using WordPress, this task is surprisingly easy to achieve and can be accomplished by following this helpful video prepared by a Youtuber.
To start, you will need to download a plugin called Yoast SEO from the WordPress plugin directory and follow the in-app instructions.
Yoast SEO is completely free and provides you with the ability to add your keywords. Are there better options? Sure. But this is plugin is a great place to start and you’ll learn a lot from it with it’s shallow learning curve.
If you’re curious, there is a Premium plugin option for Yoast SEO which we would highly recommend if you can stretch to it. Infact, we used the Premium option in the image above. It will save you time and help you to gain more insight on applying keywords to your webpages – that’s a major win!
For other CMS platforms or Web Frameworks, please get in touch. Laravel, Joomla, PrestaShop, Magento, Drupal etc all require a unique approach to implement SEO effectively so it’s important it be done correctly.
Your next steps.
At VIEWFULE, we intimately understand the importance of SEO in 2023. As the internet becomes more competitive and millions more web pages are added each month, your place in the search results will change. It’s as predictable as the sun rising each morning. But to keep the right web traffic flowing to your website, you need to define your SEO Strategy, keep a watchful eye on your competitors, choose and apply the right keywords and actively monitor your rank in the search engine results. This powerful approach will not only maintain your place in the search results, but gain places too. Stay tuned for the 2nd part of this 5 part series so your Brand can benefit from the power of SEO and dominate in Google in 2023!