In this article, we’re going to be talking about SEO for dummies. I’m going to give you five simple steps that you can take assuming that you have no background or deep understanding of SEO. By the end of this article, you’re going to have a clear understanding of what you can do to start to learn SEO for yourself or increase the SEO for your business or service.
Step #1: Start with the why
What I want you to do is take a step back for a second and think about why exactly you think that search engine optimization is important to you. The reason why you need to get your why first is because if you don’t have a clear reason as to why you even want to be thinking about SEO, then you’re not going to be able to actually stick through the highs and lows of organic SEO.
So first things first is to understand exactly what is it that’s important to you? Why is it that you care about SEO and why are you exploring it right now. Is it because for example, you need more leads for your business, or maybe it’s because you just want people to be able to find a reputable site when they’re searching for your business or service.
Step 2: Start to search phrases
The reason why we’re going to do this is because it’s one of the fastest ways that you can just start to understand exactly what people are searching for in your particular space.
So let’s go ahead and take a look at an example when we jump into Google right now. All right. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to jump into Google here and we’re going to start searching for phrases related to the product or service that we might sell.
So let’s just say, for example, we’re HubSpot and we are selling different marketing solutions, CRMs and things like that. Well, in that case, what we might search for is something along the lines of CRM tools. And when we do that, we’ll start to see that Google gives us some results. You can see it, that Google is telling us that people search for things like CRM tools, CRM tools meaning, CRM tools list, examples for small business, definition, free.
And what you’re going to do because you’re still beginner in SEO is you naturally just jot down what these phrases are. And then what I want you to do is take five to seven of these phrases and then try to rank them in the order of what you think people would search for most. You can check this with some different tools, but this is going to give you a starting ground as to where you can go with your SEO.
So if, for example, we just wanted to tackle CRM tools for small business, we can search for that particular phrase. And when we do that, we’re going to see some of the organic results as to what people are actually getting when they search for this phrase. We’ll see a bunch of ads up here, but then we’ll also see some different posts from Zapier for example, that actually digs into the best CRM is for small business.
So what you can tell here right off the bat is that Zapier cares about this phrase. And the reason why is because it probably gets a good amount of traffic. There’s a lot of businesses out there that are looking for a CRM. And so what you can tell us that right off the bat, this is a phrase that would be important or interesting to us if we were a CRM business like a HubSpot.
And so what you’re doing as you work your way through this particular set of Google results is you’re thinking about tangential or connected phrases that are very similar to the phrase you just started with. And in case you come up on a roadblock here, all you need to do is actually just scroll down, and then typically you’re going to see other examples of phrases that people are also asking.
So in this case, you can see best free CRM for small business. So what you could potentially start thinking about is, well, I could start to create some content around best CRM, free CRM for small business. And as I start to work my way through this list, I’m just getting a better understanding of what my space is all about, what people are searching for in my space, as well as other things that might just be interesting as I continue to work on some ideas for SEO.
But let’s say for example, that this is too specific, this is something in which we don’t really know exactly how people might be learning more about CRMs and things like that. Well, we know that we have a phrase CRM and in this case, what we can do is we can take a step back and just ask the five W’s and how, who, what, where, when, why and how.
So in this case, I might start with something like, what is CRM. And so what you can see here is that you can see all these different phrase suggestions in terms of the results. What is a CRM? What is a CRM system? What’s a CRM app, et cetera. And so when you can see is that in this situation, when you have a propositional phrase like in, I could also start to think about content that could fall into this realm of things in which you have, what is a CRM in sales, insurance, healthcare, et cetera.
The reason why this is really helpful is because it’ll start to help you understand the high level clusters of what people are searching for in your particular space. And then what you can do is you can pair this with a few other keyword research tools to then get the insights your need to determine which particular phrases to go after.
So let’s say for example, we’ve gone ahead and jumped through Google. We’ve gone through a ton of different auto-filling results. Maybe we’ve gone through this approach where we’re going to go A to Z. So maybe we’ll just do something like A, B, C, D, E, F, and then just keep on going from there. But after we’ve gone through that sort of approach, we should have a list of more or less 25 to 50 keyword phrases that might be interesting to us.
This is where you’re going to want to bring in one or two additional tools to help you figure out exactly what are the most interesting phrases in your industry.
To do this today, I’m going to use a tool called Keywords Everywhere. I’ve gone over it on my channel, but there are a ton of other free keyword tools that you can also use it. You can check out my channel for more of those. But the point of this third step is for us to confirm our general intuition around what we think people are searching for in our particular space with a different tool or a different source of data.
So in this case, we’re going to jump back into our browser. And what I’m going to do is I’m going to search for the phrase CRM tools for small business. And because I’ve got this tool, Keywords Everywhere, you’ll see that it’s actually telling me some key information about this phrase. I can see, for example, that 320 people on average are searching for this particular phrase. And the competition for this phrase is 0.53. That’s not the worst. It’s not competitive though either it’s somewhere in the middle because this scale is going from zero to one.
At the same time, on the right-hand side, you can see some general metrics from Keywords Everywhere in terms of what it thinks about the SEO difficulty, the brand difficulty, as well as off page difficulties and things like.
And we also noticed on the right-hand side is that when I use a tool like Keywords Everywhere, it’s given me additional suggestions as to common phrases that people are searching for around my phrase. And the reason why this is useful is because as you do more of this research, as you get more used to just understanding the different keywords that might come up in a particular industry or space, you’re going to start to be able to connect the dots like they are here.
So we can see, we have things on best CRM for startups, best free CRM for small business, Zoho CRM is coming up, HubSpot CRM is coming up and all this other jazz. Right? And you can even see the long tail phrases section in which we have some things like what are some CRM tools that are coming up and we can click through these and then start to identify what are some of the things that we’re going to want to create content for.
When you’re identifying this what you’re going to want to look for is a combination of existing traffic, as well as low competition. So, what that means is that if it’s below 0.5 or so, you’re probably in a good place in terms of really standing a chance when you’re building a new website. In fact, if you’re able to find something between zero and 0.2, in terms of your competition score on Keywords Everywhere, you probably have a really good shot of being able to do better than the competitions out there.
But the core purpose of having this sort of tool is just to gut check what you just did and step number two. All right. So at this point, we have our general keyword phrases that we’ve gone into Google and run our way through. We’ve also used another SEO tool to kind of compliment our research. In the case again, where you don’t want to pay for Keywords Everywhere, you can check out some of the other free tools that I’ve shared on my channel.
Step #4: Create clusters of content
Step number four is all about thinking about clusters. So in this example, with CRM tools, we saw how there were a lot of people searching for things around what our CRM tools in XYZ. And what we want to think about is what can we do to start to create series of content in order to test out a particular query that isn’t in our space.
So in this situation, I might create a series. For example, that covers what are the CRM tools in, and then all the different niches that came up earlier in my search, or I might think about creating an ultimate guide to what CRM tools are and how to evaluate them, because that’s naturally something that someone would think about if they were to learning about what our CRM tools, they naturally want to know, how do I evaluate a CRM tool between what’s good and what’s bad.
So in step number four, this is the stage where you’re really just focusing on. If you had to bucket this into three to seven different clusters of content, what would that entail? Again, you can use that five Ws and how approach of who, what, where, when, why, and how to really start to think about it at a high level, but there’s a ton of different other ways that you can think about it too just based off of what your results were giving you.
If for example, you came up with a lot of best of content in your space, you might want to think about how you could serialize that. Or in the case where you have some versus content, you might want to think about how you could compare and contrast different things in your particular space.
Either way the goal of step number four is to group things into little clusters. That way you have a clear idea of how you’re going to start tackling content, which is the most important step when it comes to tackling some SEO. So aside from clustering things, this is where you’re actually going to want to create content.
You need to learn some fundamentals in terms of on-page SEO and off-page SEO, but the high-level takeaway for you is whatever you learn, the most important thing you remember is that you are fulfilling search intent. In other words, when somebody is searching for a phrase like what are CRM tools you are giving the best possible answer that you know how to in terms of that particular phrase.
So high-level SEO for beginners principles I’ll give you are, make sure you’re using a lot of different headers. Headers two through six in your actual blog post. Also, make sure that your content is comprehensive. It doesn’t necessarily have to be really long, but it has to cover all the different things that might relate to the queries that you are trying to create content to answer.
Remember Google as a product is all about giving you the best search result. So what you need to think about is in the past, what has made a search result really helpful. As long as you’re doing your best in answering that, you’re going to have a good chance of ranking in terms of your content.
Step #5: Focus on distribution
But the last step is to actually share your work and focus on getting distribution. So something that people don’t emphasize enough is actually getting enough distribution for the content pieces that they’re creating. If for example, you started some research around the best CRM tools for small business, what you might do is look through the first two pages of existing results and potentially reach out to the people that previously created those other pages to see if they might take a look at your content, offer some feedback suggestions, and then from there later on, potentially share it to their audience as well.
There are some situations in which you’re going to have come across non-compete search results that you can actually reach out to the other side and then get a backlink for that. The reason why backlinks are important in the context of SEO is because Google uses them to help determine how good a particular piece of content is.
It’s one of many factors, but it’s one of the clearest signals that you can send to a search engine like Google to identify that your piece of content is valuable. It’s no different to when you’re looking up a recipe on how to make chocolate chip cookies, that there are certain search results at the very top.
The reason why those are at the top is usually because they have been shared and backlinked to by so many different domains as well. So if you think about it in the greater scheme of the worldwide web, they are being shared more because there are so many different sources saying that this is the definitive source for chocolate chip cookies.
And there you have it. So those are five steps that you can take if you are a beginner in SEO. Hopefully, by taking these five steps and combining it with some more of the intermediate and advanced content on my channel, you can really start to level up your SEO for whatever it is that you’re trying to get traffic for.
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