6 Little Known Steps To SEO Success
SEO is a pretty complex online marketing/traffic generation strategy. It definitely has more variables than any other strategy and they’re what makes it so interesting. There is always something to talk about when it comes to SEO, something new to learn or implement.
Today I’m revealing my six step process for setting up a NEW for SEO success.
These steps are basically going to take you from start to finish through the process of setting up or preparing your site for near guaranteed SEO success. Preparing your site through little on-site tweaks, creating a social presence to instantly tap into & building a community.
The steps will greatly enhance your site and its ability to rank well in the search engines.
1. Step One: Prepare Your Site
If you don’t properly setup your site; no amount of SEO or content will help you. You can literally screw yourself from day one if you don’t follow the rules and setup your site architecture properly.
In the beginning it’s easy to ruin your site’s potential. If you don’t post enough content, build links too quickly or are missing a few vital elements; it’s possible that you’ll never rank. Or you’ll get an unnecessary penalty that can last a LONG time.
First things first; do not use exact match domains.
I used to own around many exact match domains. Guess what happened to them? They all incurred a penalty, I lost many rankings and lost a substantial amount of traffic.
Google hate sites that are built for the sole purpose of making money. They like sites filled with useful content. Content should come first, monetization second.
If Google think you’re building sites for the sole purpose of making money; they’ll stop you from gaining the rankings you desire and so badly need.
Having an exact match domains tells Google immediately that you are out to make money and probably don’t know anything about the site’s subject. Think about it, would a respectable business or organization use an EMD?
No, they’d use a domain that represents their company/organization/purpose. Google knows exact match domains are used to rank quickly and easily. It’s a stupid loophole Google left open for far too long.
Just in case you don’t know, exact match domains are domains that are exact keywords. Like “greatdogtrainingforsale.com”, marketers search for high traffic keywords and then register their exact match domains. A few years ago it was very easy to instantly rank on page one for a keyword by simply registering its EMD.
Google has rolled out several updates to stop exact match domains from ranking, one just recently. So even if your exact match domain is ranking today; you can expect Google to slap it in the future.
Last word on EMD’s, it’s ok to have a short generic exact match domain like “carsforsale.com” or “coolcars.com” or “bestbikereviews.com”, it gets dangerous in the 4 or 5 word zone.
Second thing, setup basic pages.
You need the basic pages, these are the fundamental pages every site must have in order to function. Google actually looks for these pages:
• About Page
• Contact Us
• Terms Of Service/Disclaimer
• Optional Pages For Local/Small businesses: How We/It Works, Client Results, products, Resources
Make sure you have all the mandatory pages in place before you do anything else
Third, create your content.
It’s vital that you have a substantial amount of valuable content on your site before you launch it.
At a minimum you should have 10 pages of helpful content before you launch a site. By launch I mean “release” to the search engines. You can write your content yourself or pay someone else to write it.
The keywords you target in your posts and pages are entirely up to you, but it’s crucial that you optimize all your content to rank for relevant keywords. I recommend targeting lots of long tail keywords instead of short tail high competition phrases.
It’s MUCH easier to maintain long term rankings for more long tail keywords than it is to maintain rankings for a few short tail keywords.
Here are some basic on-page SEO guidelines…
• Guideline 1: Use target keyword once in title tag & one LSI keyword. (LSI meaning related/similar keyword)
• Guideline 2: Use target keyword in meta tags once along with LSI/generic keywords.
• Guideline 3: Use target keyword in header 1 tag once.
• Guideline 4: Make sure you have 1-2 images in content with 1 of them using the keyword as ALT text.
• Guideline 5: Make sure you have at least 1 outgoing NOFOLLOW link to an authority site like Wikipedia with your keyword/LSI keyword as anchor text.
• Guideline 6: Use 5-6 LSI keywords in your content.
• Guideline 7: Do not over optimize your content for your main keyword.
• Guideline 8: Add a Youtube Video.
• Guideline 9: Naturally link to other sites in your niche where you deem necessary.
• Guideline 10: Make sure content is above the fold.
Once you’re done publishing the content, you can spice it up with some videos, excerpts of content from other sites and other multimedia. Make sure your content looks good and is the most prominent factor of each page.
SEO now is all about user engagement. Boost engagement and you’ll boost your rankings. Engagement means getting your visitors to interact with your content by sharing it, commenting or passing it onto a friend. Add cool interactive features to your site to boost engagement. (A comment section, a forum, social share buttons)
2. Step Two: Setup Google Authorship
Setting up Google authorship is important; it shows Google that you own your site. It also means your Google Plus profile will appear next to your site in search results along with your Google Plus image (which boosts CTR’s).
To setup Google Authorship first join Google Plus here and create a business page. Make sure you upload a profile picture as it will show up in search results. Next go into your Google Plus business page’s about section and enter your website URL, use your site name as the anchor text (it’s very straightforward)
After adding your URL to your Google Plus business page, create a Google Plus badge for your site and add it to your site’s sidebar or header/footer.
3. Step Three: Setup Social Profiles
Just like setting up your Google Plus profile, you should create profiles on all of the top social networks and sites.
Create profiles on the following sites:
• Facebook Fan Page
• Google Plus One
Make sure you fill out all the required details about your site for the profiles. The profiles are for your site, not you personally. Setting up social profiles will give your site an instant head start in the search engines.
They help form your social presence which you can use to grow your site’s traffic.
It’ll also help you build links instantaneously (more on that later). Creating a Facebook fan page is critical, it’s by far the most important social profile.
You can use your fan page to drive back visitors to your site, create referral traffic and build a community. (There is A LOT of information out there on FB page marketing, you just have to find it)