How to Get Started with SEO in 2020?

SEO Is Here To Stay

It’s no secret that organic search has been on the decline in the last year, but that doesn’t mean SEO has been eliminated as a marketing channel. In fact, according to HubSpot Blog readers, 57% of consumers use search engines to find products and services, and that number is expected to increase to 64% in 2021.

With that in mind, it’s important to remember that SEO is not a one-shot deal. In order to generate sustainable organic search traffic, you need to have a strategic, long-term plan that is consistent from the start. This article will walk you through the steps to get started with SEO in 2020 so you can take advantage of the opportunity while it lasts.

Find Your Niche

Like any other form of marketing, having a clear understanding of what your product is and who you’re marketing it to is the key to successfully using SEO. Before you can dive into the how-to’s of SEO, you have to figure out what it is you’re actually trying to promote.

To start, you’ll want to perform extensive research into the terms and phrases that your target audience uses when searching for content related to your product. You can take advantage of tools like Google Trends to easily perform this task.

Your research will help you develop a clear idea of what keywords and phrases you should be targeting, as well as the niche markets you should avoid.

Understand The Different Types Of SEO

Now that you have a clear idea of your target audience’s needs and wants, you can start to make educated decisions about which type of SEO to pursue. There are four types of SEO, as described in the following table:

  • On-Site SEO –This type of SEO focuses on optimizing your own site for search engines.
  • Off-Site SEO –This type of SEO aims to improve your site’s search rankings by getting other sites to link to you.
  • Contentmarketing SEO –This type of SEO promotes brands, products, and services through the creation and distribution of content. Such content can take many forms, including video, infographics, webpages, etc.
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM) –This form of SEO promotes brands, products, and services through social media platforms (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube).

Choosing the right SEO method for your product is based on many factors, including your target audience, industry, and budget. When determining which type of SEO to use, you have to ask yourself, “Which method will get me the results I want most quickly?”

Create A Plan

Like any other form of marketing, SEO is not a one-time event. You’ll need to continually measure and analyze your results to determine the effectiveness of your plan and to make necessary tweaks to maximise its results.

As a starting point, you can use the SEO terms you’ve gathered from your research to create a long-term plan. This plan should include the following:

  • The objective(s) you’re hoping to meet (i.e. increasing website traffic, expanding into new markets, boosting revenue, etc.)
  • The approximate time frame you expect to see these objectives met (i.e. one month, six months, etc.)
  • Keywords and phrases to focus on (i.e. boat shoes, lake front homes, etc.)
  • The potential resources you’ll need to reach your goals (i.e. a budget for ads, a team of people to help build your site, etc.)
  • The metrics you’ll use to determine success (i.e. number of orders, sales, etc.)

Set Your Baseline

When preparing to launch your SEO campaign, you have to set a baseline. This is a numerical value that represents your starting point. To determine this value, you’ll want to compare your results to the results of other comparable businesses.

The problem with most starting points is that they’re either too low or too high. If your baseline is set too high, it’ll be difficult to achieve the results you’re hoping for. If your baseline is set too low, you may end up underperforming.

After you’ve set your baseline, you can determine whether or not you’ve reached the level of success you were hoping for. To do this, you’ll want to compare your results to your baseline every month or every other month. By doing this, you’ll be able to determine whether or not your SEO campaign is bringing in the results you’re hoping for.

Measure What You Want To Measure

As you continue to grow and make adjustments to your plan based on your results, you’ll want to make sure you’re measuring the right things. To do this, you’ll want to track the results of your campaign using a performance indicator.

The first step is to identify the metric that you’ll use to determine success. In the example below, we’ll use the number of orders as our metric.

Once you’ve established this metric, you can easily identify if what you’re measuring is increasing or decreasing. Looking at this metric over a period of time (i.e. over the course of a month, a quarter, or half a year), you can easily see if the number of orders is rising or falling and if it’s rising or falling in accordance with your plan.

Track Your Campaign From Start To Finish

If you’re following the guidance laid out above, you’ll want to track your SEO campaign from the start until the end. This will allow you to see the results of your efforts at every stage and to make adjustments where necessary. The easiest way to track your campaign is to use an app like HubSpot CRM.

With this app, you can set up automated email notifications whenever a new order is entered, which will allow you to stay on top of things no matter where you are. You can also set up automated email notifications whenever a deal (i.e. a sale, discount, or special offer) is applied to a customer, which can help you see the impact of your campaigns at a whole different level.

As you can see above, HubSpot CRM gives you a bird’s eye view of your entire sales operation, including your sales forecasts, actual results, and much more.

Make The Right Choices For Your Niche

One of the most crucial aspects of your plan is determining the right choices for your niche. Your niche will determine the type of content you’ll create and the techniques you’ll use to drive traffic to your site. Choosing the right niche is a crucial decision since you’ll want to choose something that’s going to be relevant to your target audience. Furthermore, you’ll want to choose a niche that’s not too crowded, but rather, has a lot of potential. This way, you’ll be able to gain access to a large audience and can begin to effectively promote your product or service. The wrong choice and you could end up struggling to gain any traction at all.

Choose Content That Is Keyword-Based

The majority of digital marketing is driven by keywords. When a user types in a set of keywords, they are presented with content that is most relevant to their needs. To put it simply, if you want to rank number one on Google for a certain keyword, you’ll want to make sure your content is targeted towards that keyword. Doing this can be easily accomplished by using keywords in your content’s title, body copy, and URL. A good place to look for inspiration on how to improve your content’s SEO is to check out the top blogs for your chosen topic. By using similar keywords and phrases, you’ll be able to easily find content that is highly relevant to your needs.

Avoid Keywords That Are Too Easy

Just because a keyword is highly relevant to your needs doesn’t mean it’s a good choice for your content. After all, if it’s too easy for Google to figure out what you’re trying to say, it’ll be difficult for the search engine to understand exactly what you’re communicating. As a rule of thumb, the less someone has to think about what they’re typing, the better. A good rule of thumb would be to avoid using words that have more than eight letters.