Search Engine Optimization
It’s been so long and I haven’t written anything about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Thought to give it away and here I am today listing out some processes, hacks and tips for Growth Hackers on how to do SEO.
Even before jumping into the real subject matter, you need to understand how search engine works. Why some set of results (organic) show up when you search for a particular keyword on Google search?
So, everything starts with a query/keyword on Google search box (I am taking only Google into account here, not bing, AOL or Yahoo)
Google has some agents known as Google bots and their main objective is to craawl and find the relevant, fresh, legal sources of information, index, restore and place them in Google’s directory giving different weightage to different pieces of information. Whenever someone searches for a keyword/query on Google, the agents like Google bots immediately search for the relevant source of information, calculate the relevancy score (set by Google) and share results.
When it comes to SEO, we generally categorize it into two broad areas,
- Black Hat SEO – Illegal and unauthorized tactics to rank your page/website on search results. Super fast results but temporary and the website gets penalized by Google for crossing Google standard SEO rules. This is not recommended.
- White Hat SEO – Legal tactics and ways to rank your page/website on search results. This is the recommended one. Google loves it.
SEO has two different aspects while performing for any new website,
- On Page SEO – The legal modifications you do on your website to rank it on the first page of search results.
- Off Page SEO – The legal modifications you do outside of your website for your website to rank on the first page of search results.
By now, you must have understood that everything to do with SEO starts with one important aspect and that is ‘Keyword Research‘.
Before doing anything about SEO, you need to make sure and decide your keywords to rank for. Keyword research and analysis is a must. Once you know your keywords, then it starts….
Some Free keyword research tools are as below,
Practical SEO Tactics & Template
|Initial Audit: Start optimizing your website|
|Website Audit – Check where do you stand (Hubspot’s marketing grader) – Download the results and keep them for reference.
Check out total Unique visitors (users) for your website through Google Analytics (Google Analytics)
Check out Visitor-to-lead conversion rate (%) & current Sign up % for your blog/website through Google Analytics. (If you already have a GA setup)
|Develop personas for your website- Research and analyse who is your ideas customer and figure out what kind of content should be created to attract them.|
|Do research on topical SEO (topics that have generated huge traffic before)|
|General SEO for your website:|
|1. Keyword research: choosing effective keywords to optimize for your website. (Use http://www.keyword.io/)
2. Website structure and page optimization for high search engine rankings.
3. Social media optimization for building brand authority. (Using untapped social platforms apart from regular social media channels to generate publicity to increase the awareness. Like Quora, Medium, Linkedin posts, new online communities of similar interests etc)
4. Your website url submission to search engines, directories and niche resources. (Directory submission & Social book marking)
5. Link building by means of link bait, one-way link building, smart link exchange and social sharing. (can use Href tool to know the status)
6. Social media networking with the aim of increasing link popularity and bringing additional visitor traffic.
7. Running paid advertising campaigns for your website to know the initial response & user experience.
|Process to follow:|
|Set up GA for your website|
|Set up GWT/Search console for your website|
|Set up XML sitemap for your website|
|Set up Robots.txt for your website|
|If your website is built on WordPress (Codilight Theme), use WordPress SEO Plugin – Yoast SEO to boost up the SEO|
|Rectify page load speed issues of your website –
1. Leverage browser caching for heavy objects: When you leverage browser caching, your webpage files will get stored in the browser cache. Your pages will load much faster for repeat visitors.
2. Minimize redirects: Remove the following redirect chain if possible
3. Compressing some big images can make your website load faster
|Set up Social Media channels for your website – Facebook page, Twitter profile, G+ page, YouTube profile, Linkedin Profile, Tumblr, Pinterest profiles etc|
|On Page SEO:|
|SEO Friendly url :|
|Missing title :|
|Missing description :|
|Duplicate title :|
|Duplicate description :|
|Excessive title length :|
|Excessive description length :|
|Keyword stuffing :|
|No 302 redirect :|
|Missing H1 headings :|
|H1 heading stuffing :|
|Image ALT attributes:|
|Social sharing buttons on your website:|
|Outgoing link stuffing :|
|Invalid page URL structure :|
|URLs with invalid characters :|
|XML sitemap presence :|
|Robots.txt presence :|
|Internal linking :|
|Usage of multimedia on blog posts :|
|Target keyword (or a synonym) in an H1 tag on articles :|
|Off-Page SEO Tactics:|
|1. Create a strong social media presence of Website on all platforms|
|2. Create profile & Submit your website url to high PR (Page Rank) Do Follow social book marking sites like Reddit, Tumblr, Delicoiu, Scoop, SlashDot, Digg|
|3. Create your website profile on business listing sites like Yelp, Foursquare, yellowpages etc|
|4. Forum posting: Search related & relevant Do Follow Forums and communities & start interacting|
|5. Video promotions: Create videos from free tools like PowToon or Animaker and publish them on your YouTube with associated links|
|6. Answer on Quora & publish PPT’s on Slide Share: Search for relevant questions that you can answer on Quora & publish PPT’s on Slide Share because both Quora & Slide Share hold lot of weightage on search results since they show on first page|
|7. Interlink & use outbound links: Link out to other resources|
|8. Publish long content articles on your blog & wrap your target keyword in H1 tag|
|9. Use your 5 targeted keywords on each articles within first paragraph or beginning of the article|
|10. Use LSI keywords in your blog titles. Search for related LSI keywords and use them in your articles|
|11. Influencer outreach : Ask industry experts to write about you on their website (select websites only with high PR) and they need to link it to your website|
|12. Write reviews: Find similar blogs and set up Google Alerts and get all the articles talking about your target keywords. Go to such articles and talk relevance and build link|
|13. Build powerful EDU links: Analyse and find EDU sites for your website and build links carefully.|
Hope this SEO cheat sheet can make wonders and help you on your SEO path.