Online Marketing Strategy 101 – The Basics for SEO

You have a product, service, or brand online and you’re wondering what the next step should be. Perhaps you’ve been doing some SEO (search engine optimization) on your own and are wondering how to take the next step. Or, maybe you’ve heard about SEO but aren’t quite sure what it is or how it works.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing your website or blog to rank higher for specific keywords and phrases in organic (non-paid) search results.

SEO is a combination of many different tactics, such as on-site SEO, email marketing, and social media marketing, that work together to drive traffic to your website. When executed correctly, SEO can literally change the trajectory of your business.

What is SEO?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing your website or blog to rank higher for specific keywords and phrases in organic (non-paid) search results.

SEO is a combination of many different tactics, such as on-site SEO, email marketing, and social media marketing, that work together to drive traffic to your website. When executed correctly, SEO can literally change the trajectory of your business.

SEO is a method of marketing that focuses on making your website more noticeable and accessible to search engines.

Why should you do SEO?

There are three main reasons why you should do SEO.

  • To get more visitors to your website.
  • To make your website more social.
  • To get more leads.

SEO can help you get more visitors to your website, which in turn can help you grow your business and make more money. Plus, all of these visitors can become potential customers and advocates of your brand.

How does SEO work?

The process of SEO is pretty straightforward. First, you need to understand what your competitors are doing, and then you can decide whether or not you want to follow suit. In most cases, a successful SEO campaign will start with a thorough analysis of your competitors’ websites. The next step is to take a look at how people are searching for information online. There are a few free tools, like Google Analytics, that can help you do this. Once you know what keywords your competitors are using, you can begin to align your strategy around those keywords. Finally, you need to check the metrics that tell you how well your strategy is working. Most importantly, you have to be willing to change your strategy if necessary. Good SEO is a constantly evolving process.

SEO is not one-size-fits-all.

Just because someone else is doing something “sorrrry” doesn’t mean that you have to mirror their strategy. The same goes for SEO. Just because someone else is ranking high for “lawyer” doesn’t mean that you have to rank high for “lawyers.” There are many different ways to get high rankings, depending on your target audience, keywords, and the type of content you are creating.

For example, if you are trying to rank for “personal injury lawyer Philadelphia,” your website may focus on personal injury cases. However, if your target audience is more local, you may want to focus on local SEO and include some national keywords (like “personal injury lawyer”) to ensure that your website shows up when people are looking for national resources.

SEO is not free.

Even if you are just starting out, it is important to realize that SEO is not free. You have to put in the time and effort to learn the ropes. However, once you figure out how to optimize your website, the results will be worth it. Just make sure that you are not paying for any of these services with money that you are already spending on advertising.

It is also important to realize that SEO is an ongoing process. You will need to be checking in with your website and looking for ways to improve it ever since you first started working on it. Some of the work may seem tedious, but if you are doing it right, it will all be worth it in the end.

The Four Steps to Effective SEO

With all of the different tactics and strategies that you have to keep track of, it can be hard to know where to start or how to scale back on certain efforts. That is why I have compiled this guide, with all of the basics that you need to know about SEO. While it is not necessarily the most efficient way to learn, it will certainly get you started.

Here are the four steps to effective SEO:

Step one: Set your website up for SEO

The very first thing that you need to do to start getting higher rankings in search engines is to set up your website for SEO. Do this by using the right tools that know how to look for keywords and meaningfully incorporate these keywords into the content you are creating. Doing this can help you have a 50% or greater chance of appearing in the top three search results for any given keyword.

Some search engines, like Google, have a built-in SEO component that can help you figure out how to set up your site for higher rankings. For instance, if you are looking for a tool to help you with SEO, try BuzzSumo. It is a free tool that can help you find the best keywords for your niche, identify the most popular content across different platforms, find trending topics, and track the performance of your content.

Step two: Identify Keywords and Select The Right Niche

The next step is to identify keywords and select the right niche. To do this, you need to look at what your competitors are doing and seeing how they are ranking for their keywords. You can use free tools like Google Keyword Planner to get started. Just search for the keywords that you want to rank for and click on the red “Get Keyword Ideas” button above the list of suggestions. You will see a chart with dozens, if not hundreds, of keywords and their estimated click-through rates. You want to try to rank for as many of these keywords as possible.

Once you have your list of keywords, you can begin to narrow them down to the niches that you are already working in or know that you will be able to reach. It is important to understand that the keywords that you choose should be used repeatedly throughout your content but not in ways that are “keyword stuffing.” This can cause penalties from search engines. For example, if you are writing an article about “backpacks” but you use the keyword “backpack” three times in the article, this could result in your article being flagged as spam and potentially removed from the search results. Make sure to look for the “spam” indicator on your Google Search results if this happens.

Step three: Create content around your chosen keywords

Once you have your keywords, you can begin to create content surrounding those keywords. There are many different types of content that you can create, depending on your niche and the type of industry that you are in. Some examples of content that you could create are:

  • Product reviews, if you are offering a product that is related to your niche
  • Blog articles, if you are able to write very well
  • Videos, if you are able to record yourself speaking
  • FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) if you are an expert in your field

Make sure to create as much content as possible for your chosen keywords. This will help you establish yourself as an expert in your niche and allow you to position yourself as a go-to person when your target audience is looking for information on your topics.

Step four: Use the right tools to track the performance of your content

Now that you have a large amount of content that you have either created yourself, found on websites that you have curated, or acquired through paid ads, you need to start tracking the performance of this content. To do this, you will want to use tools that can help you identify the keywords that are performing well and can also track the performance of your content across different platforms, like social media.