There are two things that beginners tend to overlook when they begin their business online:
- Email Lists
I talked about creating your email list in one of my previous posts , so this time I will be focusing on SEO.
I remember being terrified of SEO and being completely in denial of needing it. I thought it was something way too advanced…in fact, so advanced that it was probably ONLY being used by the BIG corporates and BIG websites. Nothing a regular blogger or influencer would use?
This is one of the biggest mistakes that newcomers make and I was also one of them a few years ago. I completely overlooked SEO. Heck, I didn’t even know what it was! I thought it was some super fancy term for a very complicated system. Because of my lack of SEO, my site didn’t get exponential growth for a couple of years. I was even ready to throw in the towel.
But one fateful day…an article popped up: “SEO for Beginners.” I had nothing to lose at this point so I clicked. And I read the article. And I couldn’t believe my eyes.
This whole time I had been afraid to dip my toe into the pool of SEO, when in reality, it couldn’t be simpler! So if you are like I was, and want nothing to do with SEO because it sounds too complicated, then keep reading because this is the article for you!
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The concept of SEO is actually very simple: make your content more favorable to rank higher in search engines with the use of keywords. These are my own words here so I try to make it appear as simple as possible.
However, this doesn’t mean that implementing SEO is a simple thing. Just the concept. Like many other things, there are levels to SEO. You can dive as deep as you want. But in this article, we will just stay in the shallow end.
SEO is basically the practice of increasing both the quality and quantity of website traffic through “organic” search engine results (organic, meaning you didn’t pay for the traffic).
Why SEO is important
Because Google today represents 90% of Internet searches (data from December 2019), and it is impossible to exist on the Internet without SEO.
It is the robot that collects data for the indexing of each page of the website, and the search engine examines: the textual content of the pages, such as the title, the surtitles and the text, the code of the website, images, links, keywords.
If you are able to optimize your titles, headings, and text, then you can rank higher in searches and gain more organic traffic from people using engines like Google and Bing.
The Basics of SEO
So now you understand the idea and concept of SEO. Next, is understanding the different terminology that is related to SEO. There are two main routes that I have found when it comes to working with SEO:
- Manual SEO
- Automatic SEO
Doing SEO manually entails using search engines like Google, Bing, and Pinterest (yes, I said it) to find your own keywords, see how they rank, and do comparisons. You will have to create your own spreadsheets, do your own graphs and analytics, and your own comparisons. I personally love statistics so for me, this is fun. BUT for the average person, it is grueling.
If you chose the easier route, which means getting SEO automatically, this will entail using different tools. You can go for free tools like Answer the Public or H-Supertools (which are both basic, free and great tools for beginners). You can also use paid tools like SERPed.net or LongTail Pro (which only costs a dollar to start and has tons of different SEO options).
You will still have to put in some work but not nearly as much as the first option. Of course, the paid tools will make it even easier. I will do a full review of all of these tools (paid vs. free) so make sure you subscribe to my blog to make sure you don’t miss it!
If you decide to use an SEO tool, there will be some terminology that you might not be that familiar with. I will go through 5 general SEO terms that everyone should know.
SEO Reports are basically analytics for your website but from an SEO perspective. They give an overview of how a website is performing in search engines.
Their focus is typically on organic traffic, domain metrics, and rankings.
Now, one thing to keep in mind, every report is not a good report. There are some reports that can be 50 pages long and filled with fluff and graphs. Those are not the kinds of reports that are going to help you.
Good SEO reports will show you how much progress you are making, it will give you insights on what you are doing now, and then give you recommendations on what you can change to make things better
Keyword difficulty (also known as SEO difficulty or keyword competition) is a metric that helps you figure out how hard it would be for you to rank on the search engines in comparison to the competition.
The higher the number, the harder it is to rank. Let me give you an example.
This blog post that you are reading right now was originally titled “How to Use SEO.” When I typed it into the SEO tool I got a big red score of 69.
This was not the way I wanted to go. I can risk having a higher difficulty, but not that high. So I played around a little, aiming to reach the mid 50’s. I finally thought of “ Beginner’s Guide to SEO” and got a mild yellow score of 58.
I decided to stick with this one because it is averaging about 1,000 searches a month and the difficulty is average. I could have dug deeper but this is the one that suits my blog and it’s content best so I decided to stick with it.
What does CPC stand for?
Another term you might see is CPC, which stands for cost per click. CPC is a metric that is used in paid advertisement to measure how much an advertiser would pay for every click on their pay-per-click (PPC) ad.
This is something that you should take into consideration if you ever decide to run ads on Facebook, for example.
When it comes to CPC, the lower the number, the better. If the amount is high, it means that what you are trying to market is not popular enough and will cost you to get it in front of people.
Organic Competition vs Paid Competitions
This one is something that a lot of beginners don’t even realize exists. When you are posting articles, setting up an online business, or doing digital marketing, you have two main competitors:
- Organic competitors
- Paid competitors
Organic competitors are people just like you who are trying to rank through SEO optimization.
Paid Competitors are people who are using ads or other paid means to boost their traffic. Let me say this loud and clear, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH USING ADS TO BOOST YOUR TRAFFIC. As a matter of fact, it is one of the fastest ways to get the views that you need. However, not everybody has a budget of a couple hundred or thousand dollars to put out. So this method isn’t for everyone.
When it comes to paid competition, you want to make sure it is LOW.
Monthly Search Volume
This metric is entirely based on user tendencies. It will show you how often your keyword is being searched on average every month.
Let me show you some examples:
Let’s say I am going to write an article about the top SEO tools (which I am, so make sure you subscribe if you don’t want to miss it).
I can start out with a title like “ Best SEO Tools to use.” If I go into H-Supertools. I get a score of 10.
This is WAY to low for me to even try. The competition and CPC is Low which is awesome. But if people are not searching for it, then the article will be a flop.
So let me try something else. I type in just “SEO tools” and I get around 50,000 searches on average this month.
This is a great number when it comes to monthly searches but the CPC and Difficulty are very high. So I will have to play around with these keywords a bit to get a good middle ground and find something that will work for my content.
Start SEO NOW! Don’t wait.
SEO your content like you would Marie Kondo your house.
Everything you do needs to be optimized. Don’t write a header or title without checking how it ranks. Go back to your old content and upgrade the titles and headings.
Trust me, as someone who has made this mistake in the past, it has made a world of difference. Focusing on SEO is by far the best way to boost your traffic and online presence.
Thank me later.