Last monday I watched a clip of Rand Fishkin at SEOmoz, where he was doing his Best SEO Practices.
In case you missed it, here it is:
Let me put this into perspective.
Your website needs to trigger certain behavior by it’s design. This way people keep coming back for your content, if it’s content they’ll love.
Each page of your website needs to have a single goal. This is one of the reasons that I am a big advocate for creating neat resource pages to accelerate the sharing of your best stuff.
There needs to be an overlap between what you are looking for and what the page delivers in terms of content. The only way to optimize for clicks is to make your listing in Google stand out.
Stepping into the shoes of your audience and crafting content with a purpose is THE backbone of great content creation.
But how can you make that happen?
Well, one option is to put a lot of people into a room and ask them a bunch of questions, take notes and then hope they will read your stuff.
But the better option is to think of the story you want to tell and decide what the goal of that post is, without having to knock on doors and hoping people will share it.
Ow yeah, you will also need some help from Google.
Want to get started?
Here’s how I do it…
#1 Write for people first, optimize later
This way you can deliver the best content possible without worrying about on-page SEO, that’s for later. Don’t worry about search engines in Step 1. Write the best you can.
Google updates will come, search engine algorithms will change and the overall system evolves, but the most basic purpose of search engines is to present the searcher with what they are looking for – this will NEVER change.
When you write really useful and practical advice, people will love you for it since search engines only will get better at finding what people love.
#2 Focus on low-competition, high traffic keywords or phrases
Here is where things get special. You can either spend time researching all kind of keywords and phrases via all sorts of tools but I bet you don’t have the time for it.
My solution is one powerful tool that does all the work for you, which is Market Samurai.
Here is a short intro (6:18 mins watch time) on how to search for a specific keyword by using the same tactic I use to personally…you must definitely watch this!
You will get a ton of data by Market Samurai within 5 minutes or less.
It doesn’t take long to find a keyword that relates to the content you wrote in Step 1.
#3 Tweak your content so that it reflects the keyword you are aiming to target
Now you have made sure that:
- Enough people are looking for your term;
- They are looking for that exact term and not something similar;
- The competition for that term is low enough that you can rank #1 in Google for it.
Now you are ready to make a few tweaks and publish your article. Once your keyword phrase is set, you can start tweaking your article to target that phrase.
Here is a list of what I tweak:
Title of the blog post and headers: Yes, that simple. Use your keyword phrase in the beginning of your title.
URL of the blog post: Whenever possible, make the URL the exact phrase.
Images within the post: Make sure whenever you decide to use images in your articles, that the image is related to your article and use your keyphrase in the alt-description of your image.
For example, customer-development-validation-board.jpg
Change related phrases to your keyword phrase: I always proofread my articles at least one time before I publish it.
When I do this, I’ll change any related phrase to my keyword phrase where I see it as a natural fit. Don’t go overboard with this, not every paragraph needs your keyword phrase in it.
And that’s it!
This took me way longer to explain than it is for you to execute. Once you get going, you can complete all this under 5 minutes.
Little bets with big results.
Additional step: Interlinking your pages.
Interlinking is the act of linking to other articles on your blog. This gives you a real easy opportunity to create a strong backlink to another page that targets a related keyword phrase.
When I have and it works with my schedule, then I will write several posts for other websites about the topic or something closely related to it.
Then, I will include a link back to my original article and make sure the link used in the guest post has the words “customer-development-validation-board” since that was the phrase I targeted.
On to You
This works wonders for me.
How are you getting free search engine traffic right now?