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Search Engine Optimisation

Building a Website Blue-Print: CTR, Rankings & Position

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Note from author: this isn’t one of those posts which you can just skim over and take away some superficial advice – to get the most out of this post, allocate 30-60 minutes, brew a double espresso and by the end of it you will up your SEO game a LOT.

Introduction

SEO is really tricky and frankly the more you learn the more you realise there is to learn.

Every marketer has their own methodology aka process which actually defines the degree of their success.

My model took years to develop and it absolutely works.

As much as I respect people like Neil Patel, Brian Dean, Zac Johnson and Pat Flynn I think they work too hard!

Getting traffic in the 100,000’s is really not easy and is frankly overrated if they are generated majorly by keywords without any business intent.

You are building email lists, constantly putting stuff out on social media, doing podcasts, making videos etc.

It’s a difficult and full time job!

As I mentioned in my post on high value keywords, it doesn’t have to be that hard.

I am certain, my earnings, in relation to the traffic I get are exponentially higher than many of the marketers out there.

Play smart, not hard.

Below is my secret sauce on how I approach any sites SEO from a macro level, i.e: how I set myself up to make decisions about what to pursue first, what to improve next etc.

It’s basically a MAP.

A couple of things to point out – I have never applied this to a ‘BLOG’ in a conventional sense, and even though this site is called ‘Blogging Tips’ I am sure we are all open minded enough to realise that a blog is basically is basically a site, and any serious blogger at some point will want to monetise.

Any blog aimed at monetisation should have a ‘money page’ or have posts which target ‘money keywords’ with some monetisation mechanism inbuilt into it – even if it’s just an affiliate banner relevant to that keyword.

Secondly, this is approach is aimed at sites that have been published already, at least for enough time to get indexed and have any sort of rankings.

Here are my principles when it comes to SEO (and life).

  1. 80/20 principal to the MAX.
  2. Repeat daily

Anyhow, enough chat, let’s go to the juice of the matter.

Case Study Introduction

If you have read any of my other posts (I have only two), I HATE being vague or ambiguous, so here is a real world site which I plan to shoot to prominence shortly.

Currently its a site that has totally been neglected and basically never been really worked on.

I plan to:

  1. Develop a ‘blueprint’ for that site
  2. Optimize CTR
  3. Understand what KW’s/Pages I should focus on
  4. Actually rebuild that site from scratch
  5. Create a fully automated check out funnel

Infact, I will publish a before and after – we can consider this post the ‘before’.

The project is ‘dubairelaxtours.com’ – a site focused on private and VIP tours in Dubai.

P.s: I live in Dubai and have different travel/tourism businesses and affiliations.

Here we go.

 

Step 1: Get the Data

This part is extremely important.

In my CTR optimisation guide I showed you a glimpse, but here is the real deal.

The first thing you want to do is head over to google webmaster tools > search traffic > search analytics.

bloggingtips_ctr2_1

Select:

  1. Clicks
  2. Impressions
  3. CTR
  4. Position
  5. Queries (not pages)
  6. Click download (bottom of the page)

RESULT = you should have CSV/excel file downloaded.

Pat yourself on the back – you are about 10% done.

 

Step 2: Filter Out the Noise

The first thing that most people think when they see this file is that it’s just daunting.

Especially when you have a large site.

Here is what I like to do.

Filter 1: Sort by Average Position and delete everything above 20.

Honestly, anything that isn’t on first 2 pages of google is just too far off.

bloggingtips_ctr2_2

If you are so early into your site that you don’t have anything higher than you should probably start with Keyword Research and Building Links – Brian Dean from Backlinko is great for this.

2: Filter Out Low Volume Impressions

Once I have removed all KW’s with average position lower than 20, I look at my impressions column.

My average impression is 103/keyword, but just to be on the safe side – i’ll filter out based on half of that, remember – I am after low volume/high value keywords.

Something like ‘Ultra VIP Dubai Tour’ may only get a 60 searches, but bring in 10x revenue than another larger volume KW.

So I remove all KW’s with less than 50 impressions.

Now I’m already left with only a 198 KW’s – compared to the original couple of thousands.

3: Filter Out By Intent

Now at this point, it’s very conceivable to do another filter by clicks, however – I will not rush to do this.

For example remove all KW’s with less than 20 clicks. Nope.

Why?

There really could be a gem hiding in that rough, i.e: a KW for which I am already ranking, but not getting any clicks.

If I simply pick an arbitrary threshold for clicks, I could be throwing out the baby with the bath water.

This last step is a little bit tedious but by far the most important.

I will create a new column called ‘Intent’ and go through that entire list of 200 giving each KW a score.

  • 0 = junk and to be deleted
  • 1 = sort of relevant
  • 2 = quite relevant
  • 3 = the $ I need to put in my pocket

It took a total of just 4 minutes to go through the 198 KW’s.

I will get rid of the 0s and 1s and leave just the 2’s and 3’s.

Step 3: Match KW’s to Pages

A large part of the work is done, but the final step in creating a neat blue print is to correlate the KW’s to the pages.

Google is REALLY annoying by not providing this report right off the bat.

They currently either give you the metrics by Key Word OR by Landing Page and not by both.

This is so annoying that I am actually in the process of building a tool called iSeeOrganic which will basically do everything listed above and this step inclusively automatically using advanced API requests etc.

Until this is done, you will need to do this last part manually.

For that – add another column to the left of it called ‘Page’.

You will then need to figure out which pages rank for the KW in question.

Most of the time you will be able to quite easily tell, but when it doubt just run a google search and see the first page for your domain that you see in the results.

This should take you another 10-15 minutes if you are in the ~200-300 KW’s range.

Here’s what my sheet looks like:

bloggingtips_ctr2_3

 

This report outlines your overall blue-print and sets up to really wisely understand what you need to work on and what needs to be done.

Bonus/Advanced Section: Weighted CTR

I really like Zac Johnson’s blog so I’m going to give away a little trick which is a major secret sauce of my upcoming software tool – iSeeOrganic in the hopes that one of you won’t realize the pure money in this entire method and build it faster than me.

This is for those of you who REALLY care about their sites/blogs and don’t mind getting their hands a little dirty.

When it comes to CTR – you have to understand, its actually useless without an idea of whether it’s good/healthy or not RELATIVE to the position.

A CTR of 10% is great for a KW ranking on the 3rd position, but horrible for the same KW ranking on the 1st – thus the concept of “WEIGHTED” CTR.

Here is a what the average CTR based on a bunch of studies put together looks like.

ctr8

How to apply this?

  1. Sort the results from Low to High
  2. Add a new column – call it ‘Slope’ (Column H)
  3. Add another column – call it “b’ (Column I)
    1. For results between 1 and 1.99 set the slope to: -14.4875 and b: 44.6125
    2. For results between 2 and 2.99 set the slope to: -5.45 and b: 26.5375
    3. For results between 3 and 3.99 set the slope to: -2.075 and b: 16.4125
    4. For results between 4 and 4.99 set the slope to: -1.6625 and b: 14.7625
    5. For results between 5 and 5.99 set the slope to: -2.05 and b: 16.7
    6. For results between 6 and 6.99 set the slope to: -0.5 and b: 7.4
    7. For results between 7 and 7.99 set the slope to: -0.3875 and b: 6.6125
    8. For results between 8 and 8.99 set the slope to: -0.45 and b: 7.1125
    9. For results between 9 and 9.99 set the slope to: -0.125 and b: 4.1875
      1. These are metrics that correspond to the CTR curve referenced above.
    10. bloggingtips_ctr2_4
  4. Add another column – call it ‘Weighted CTR’ (Column J)
    1. The formula is = SLOPE x POSITION + B
    2. So its ==H2*F2+I2
  5. And your FINAL step is to create a CTR SCORE.
    1. It is basically a summary of all the work done and shows you a comparison of your actual CTR relative to the weighted CTR.
    2. You will need to make sure that your CTR is in the same format as the weighted CTR – this step is a little tricky. For that – create a new column to the right of your CTR column (in my case the original CTR column is E, so I will make column F and call it CTR 2). My formula for F2 is =E2*100
    3. The original format is a percentage – and I need it in just a plain text number, e.g 15.78% should become 15.78 – thats it.
    4.  Like this: bloggingtips_ctr2_5
  6. Once I have my CTR in number format (COLUMN F) and I have my weighted CTR (Column K) the last step is to create a new column L and call it CTR SCORE.
    1. The formula for CTR score is just CTR 2/WEIGHTED CTR
    2. In my case it’s =F2/K2

This is what your FINAL SEO Blueprint file looks like.

bloggingtips_ctr2_6

If you have followed along with everything correctly you have honestly drawn an actual map of your site with the most important data that you need.

Step 4: Actionable Insights

All this however is just a ‘diagnosis’ – but what is the cure?

How do you use this data?

Note: I personally really like colors so I tried to make everything with a color to make it insightul.

  • Green = all good, nothing really requires attention
  • Yellow = a more long term opportunity, or something that should be adressed once all red cells taken care off.
  • Red = immediate opportunities or something that can bring quick results.

#1: Analyze Rankings

The first actionable insight is the page/kw combos that really need improvements from a SERP point of view.

Pages with rank 10 or above really require improvements in position since CTR optimization really plays a significant role only on page 1.

Those pages and keywords require a deep look at on page factors and definitely where you should focus your link builder efforts.

If a page is ranking for KW’s primarily on page 2, it’s most likely that the authority of that page AND the user behaviour metrics are poor.

Those pages are basically poor in every sense and need attention from square one basically.

What I will do is mark the positions column for all KW’s in the 10-20 range with YELLOW.

 

The second category is page/kw’s that are in the 5-10 range – I will mark them as red.

Those keywords for me are the biggest opportunity. Moving them up a few positions can literally be a matter of on page optimization as well as some tweaking of internal links.

 

The traffic to those pages will spike with every additional step up, as you can see on the CTR curve.

I will make are KW’s in the 5-10 range as RED.

Finally, the KW’s that are in the 1-4 range I will mark as green.

Those don’t really require an improvement in ranking from a link building point of view and probably even on page.

#2: Analyze Impressions

It’s easy to forget that the most important KW’s are actually those that get searched the most (after you have already picked out the ones that have business intent and are relevant to you).

The thing is everything is very relative and thus any recommendations must be relative too.

Here is my view – I focus on the KW’s that are responsible for 80% of my impressions.

Simply filter from largest to smallest and get your total of impressions.

In my case total number of searches is 38,379

 

I will simply mark in red the KW’s starting from the largest going downwards until I hit 80% of the total impressions (30,700).

 

Ironically enough, around ~80 out of the ~180 Keywords account for 80% of my impressions.

That is less than half!

Note: if you ran the same search on the unfiltered raw data – in most case you will find that around 10% of the data accounts for 80% of the searches.

 

Naturally those KW’s for me are the most important since they account for most of the impressions and I will mark those impressions as red.

#3: Analyze by Clicks

Next, I will do the same thing for clicks.

I want to highlight the most important KW’s that generate the ACTUAL most number of clicks.

Total number of clicks is 1593, so 80% is 1275 clicks.

So check this out – 32 out 178 keywords (18%) generate 80% of the clicks.

Excellent, those are marked red.

#4: Analyze by CTR Score

The CTR score is basically simple to interpret.

  • 1.0 = perfect
  • 0-1 = below perfect
  • 1+ = above perfect

So naturally, the first thing I will do is filter where CTR score is 1 or above. Those will certainly be green.

For KW’s that are in the 0.8 – 1.0 range, I will mark them as yellow since they are quite good, and would probably need attention further down the road.

Those below 0.8 are the ones that really need attention.

 

#Step 6: Data Interpretation aka Picking Your Shots

After you have colorized your table, you should see something like this:

bloggingtips_ctr2_7

Now your map is really ready and all you have to do is decide where to go!

Let take an example of some rows/ kws: “Musandam Tour

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-12-39-28-am

The keyword is important from an impressions point of view but the position is good and the CTR score is excellent.

Conclusion: I definitely don’t need to touch this KW OR optimize my page or meta tags further for this KW.

 

Here is another one: “Dhow Cruise Marina

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-12-41-06-am

 

The KW is important from impressions point of view, but the CTR is low and the position is low.

Conculsion: I need to adjust the meta tags for that page to factor in this KW AND I need to work on improving the SERP for this KW.

 

Here’s a good one: “Musandam Tours

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-12-42-12-am

CTR is really good, but rank is not so good.

Conclusion: It’s a bit tricky here. Definitely my meta tags are on point, but its really weird that ONE LETTER DIFFERENCE (!!!) – tourS vs tour has such a different rank with Google. Logically, when self describing a page, you will talk about it from a singular point of view – i.e: ‘Musandam Tour’, or ‘we offer a musandam tour’, this most likely the reason for this change is on page optimization since the rank for the page overall is healthy.

 

Here is great example: “Yacht Cruise Dubai

 

ctr_bloggingtips

Insanely high CTR score but low position. As a result, I’m only getting 10 clicks.

Conclusion: I need to increase the rank of this page by optimizing on page more for this KW AND building links to it. The business intent is there, and people clearly like my meta tag, I just need to move it into the 1-5 range and my sales will start dripping.

 

I think you are starting to get the idea by now.

Low CTR score on page 1? = Optimize meta tag on that page to factor in that KW and its search intent.

Low SERP? = Optimize on page and build relevant links.

 

Note: how to actually measure or A/B test your CTR optimization efforts?

Well – they are close to impossible now since it would require building a new sheet like this every month and manually/semi-manually measuring the improvements or declines.

This is why we are working on an awesome tool over  that will do everything listed above with 3 clicks. 

Hope you found this useful!

If you need help, hit me up in the comments below or over on twitter (@nolabelinc)

Remember – focus on 80% of the kick back, not the 20%.

Focus on high value key words with low search volumes versus low value keywords with high search volumes BUT, only target them if the perceived user intent is a 100% match to the service or product which you intend to rank it for.

 

~ Timur

 

 

Timur is an entrepreneur in a variety of spheres, with a heavy focus on Internet Marketing & Business Process Re-Engineering. Currently, he runs a Digital Marketing Consulting Company, a Tourism Business & the Founder of DiveAdvisor.com. He lives & hustles in Dubai.

Search Engine Optimisation

How to Create More Clickable Google Search Snippets

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Google search results are becoming ridiculously competitive. Plus, Google’s search results are becoming incredibly engaging: Many search users prefer to use search results (open “People Also Ask” results, clicks image and video carousels, etc.) that getting a click from search results is getting harder and harder.

With the introduction of new and flashier ways to be seen, you still have to learn how to creatively and dynamically exploit those offered tools. Being seen with so many others attempting the same technique is just as hard as it was when visibility relied only on ranking.

How to get more people click your search listing in SERPs? Here are three really effective ways:

1. Monitor Your Click-Through

The first step to improving your search snippet visibility is to set up monitoring of how your pages are performing right now and get alerted if anything changes.

Finteza is an advanced analytics platform allowing you to keep a close eye on your site performance in search and all the various channels.

To monitor your click-through from organic search:

  • Register an account at Finteza
  • Add their tracking code to your site and give it some time to accumulate some data
  • Click “Sources” and there choose “Search”
  • Go to “Pages” to see how your top landing pages are performing in search:

Finteza

This gives you bird’s eye view on your site organic performance in organic search. It’s a great way to analyze and evaluate your old content. Using Finteza, you can also set up a retargeting campaign to target those search referrals better if they choose to return to your site.

Repeat steps above at least weekly to see if any of those pages start losing clicks from search: These might need some work. Here’s exactly what you may want to do:

2. Use Semantic Analysis

Google uses a variety of analysis methods to identify high-quality content that meets their users’ needs. One of the key components of Google’s content evaluation process is semantic analysis.

Basically speaking, semantic analysis is about clustering your key topic into subtopics and concepts that constitute it. To give a quick example, if we were to apply semantic analysis to [hiking], we’d come up with a variety of underlying concepts including, National Parks, Mountains, picturesque trails, being outdoors, and even birdwatching.

All of those concepts relate to hiking in some way or another.

Broadly speaking, semantic analysis helps machines understand natural language – the way that humans communicate – including context, goals, etc.

When it comes to search optimization, semantic SEO helps:

  • Create more indepth and richer content that meets Google’s expectations
  • Optimize for intent (what’s the end goal behind each search)
  • Give Google enough context for them to create a more clickable search snippet for your listing.

Another example of semantic analysis in action is Google’s results for [where it was filmed]. While the query is seemingly absolutely generic, Google is able to understand this question relates to the movie “It”.

Semantic SEO

Text Optimizer is the semantic analysis tool that goes right to the source, i.e. Google search snippets. For each query you type, it would collect Google’s search snippets and apply semantic analysis to them to come up with the list of underlying concepts:

Text Optimizer

[TextOptimizer’s results for [where it was filmed] – as you can see the tool got the actual context of the query and clustered it into related topics]

Including 20-25 of these concepts into your content will help Google better understand your text, and create richer more clickable search snippets. Here’s a more detailed review of the site I did previously.

3. Optimize for Rich Snippets

Rich snippets have become the new keywords. These little details are what causes your listing to “pop” in a search, catching the eye of the user no matter what place on the first page you occupy. Proper use of rich snippets are a requirement for being seen.

“Rich snippets” are search results providing the user with more answers right within SERPs. To qualify for rich snippets your web page should have rich markup:

Here are the supported types of rich snippets:

Reviews

If you have reviewed a tool or a product, use Aggregate Rating structured data for your search snippet to look like this. This will populate stars in search that definitely draw an eye!

Reviews

Recipes

Recipes will have some nutritional and preparation information, like how long it takes to cook and how many calories are in each serving.

recipes

Events

Events will show dates and times for each event for quick reference. Every event name is linked in search results giving you more clickable links in search.

Event schema

Business

There’s a number of structure data types that allow you to add more details to your brand knowledge graph (NOT for local businesses though).

These include: Official social media accounts, logo, and the corporate contact:

Corporate Contact

Movies and Books

Movies and books will also show off a ranking system, and some product pages have a star rating alongside price.

HowTo

HowTo markup will help Google to locate more information from your tutorial, for example, number of steps, time to complete, etc.:

HowTo

HowTo Schema shouldb’t be used for recipes though. Other than that there are no official restrictions to certain types of tutorials that can have it.

One word of caution here: Only use structured data when it absolutely makes sense. Google frowns upon using Schema just for the sake if rich snippets. If it is not an actual review, don’t use the ratings markup, as it could backfire. Google actually sends manual penalties for a structured abuse, so read the documentation properly to make sure you follow all the rules!

Optimizing for rich snippets relies heavily on whichever website builder and/or CMS you are using. For most of them there are lots of plugins and addons allowing to quickly integrate structured markup.

The above tips will hopefully help you generate more clicks from your current organic positions without having to invest in improving it. See it as a low-hanging fruit opportunity to improving your traffic!

Do you have a tip for optimizing search snippets? Let us know in the comments!

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Search Engine Optimisation

Top the Charts! 5 Must-Know SEO Solutions to Promote Your Managed IT Service

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According to Internet Live Stats, Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second. That’s 3.5 billion searches a day.

When someone searches for your managed IT service, you have the opportunity to attract them straight towards your website.

All you need is search engine optimization or SEO!

Here are five SEO solutions that can help drive traffic to your website. With these techniques, you can attract new customers and grow your business!

Let’s get optimizing.

1. Topics & Keywords

An effective SEO strategy starts with a list of keywords. These keywords reflect the content your customers are searching for online. Using these keywords, you can create content that matches their search intent.

To start, you can use tools like Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends. These tools will show you the popularity of each keyword.

Once you have this list, you can create pillars and clusters. Pillars give your website visitors the main page of collective content. Then, the clusters break this content into sub-topics with specified information.

This strategy can help boost your SEO plan and attract people to your Managed IT Services.

That way, you’re attracting new website visitors while providing them with an easy, efficient user experience, too.

2. On-Site SEO

Your website needs optimization as a whole as well as on a page-based level. To start, make sure your website’s content hierarchy is well-structured.

Then, there are a number of areas that require review to ensure these SEO solutions work.

Once you’ve studied your target audience to determine your keywords, you also need:

  • Descriptive URLs
  • Keyword-optimized page titles
  • Compelling meta descriptions
  • Content optimization (includes keyword placement in headers, body text, etc.)
  • Good user experience
  • Structured data markup
  • Effective call-to-action language

As part of your overall SEO strategy, on-page SEO is an important component of attracting visitors.

3. Off-Site SEO

An off-site SEO strategy includes local SEO. This strategy helps you attract local customers to your website and business.

To start, make sure your listings are updated with the correct content information.

This includes your Google My Business listing as well.

4. Technical SEO

Technical SEO ensures search engines can find your content. These areas include:

  • Crawling
  • Indexing
  • Mobile-optimization
  • Website speed
  • Hierarchy

Technical SEO solutions are essential for success. Otherwise, how will customers find your website?

5. Content

According to Fit Small Business, search is the number one driver of traffic to content sites. In fact, it beats social media by over 300 percent.

Your content should consider customer search intent. That way, you’re giving visitors content that answers their questions. This can include service content, credibility content, and marketing content.

This content should also add value to your business.

Consider writing blog posts or white papers. You can also post videos or add testimonials to your website.

That way, your SEO content shows visitors you’re a valuable resource.

Bring It in: 5 Must-Have SEO Solutions

With these five must-have SEO solutions, you can attract new visitors to your website. The right techniques will then turn these visitors into leads, then leads into paying customers!

That way, your company grows, one SEO strategy at a time.

Check out our latest posts for more effective tips and tricks!

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Search Engine Optimisation

SEO 101: The Essential SEO FAQ for Bloggers

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I don’t provide SEO services and I am self-taught – which hardly makes an expert. But I’ve been blogging for a lifetime and for all these years I’ve been reading about and implementing SEO practices – which means I know more than an average blogger.

With that said, I’ve decided to put together this SEO FAQ for those who want to quickly understand the concept without going too indepth:

What is SEO?

Simply put, SEO is about making a website easy for search engines to discover, go through and understand.

This includes:

  • creating content (based on search engine users’ needs),
  • making your content “link-worthy” (i.e. attract backlinks),
  • using HTML and structured data to make content easier to understand for the machine, etc.

SEO is NOT trying to “fake” any of positive signals search engines use to rank web pages. Search engine friendliness should be authentic and SEO professionals should work together with website owners to achieve that.

Do Bloggers Need to Know SEO?

Yes!

SEO aims at helping a page rank on top of organic search results, and search engines are known to bring the most qualified leads (people turn to Google when they know what they want).

No traffic source is as effective as search traffic. Unlike driving clicks with ads (PPC), organic search is NOT interrupting user’s surfing the web. Instead, it serves them content exactly when they ask

This makes SEO one of the most important digital marketing channels. It can drive highly targeted traffic and pre-qualified leads to your site on a continuous basis (no need to keep investing in ads)

How Has SEO changed over the years?

SEO is maturing fast and it has been exciting to watch. The biggest driving force behind this evolution is Google that has been working hard on their search algorithm to understand natural language and search intent, as well as penalizing any manipulating tactics.

The result: SEO has become more integrated into other marketing channels. Furthermore, SEO is more about focusing on long-term goals rather than quick traffic gains

If ten years ago SEO was all about creating fake signals (keyword stuffing, link buying, etc.), these days it’s all about creating linkable assets that rank and engage potential customers.

The future of SEO is in voice search, artificial intelligence, more diverse content types and channels.

Can SEO Be Handled “At Home”?

WordPress bloggers generally don’t have to worry about getting SEO help. WordPress is pretty well set up and there’s a variety of free plugins to help.

Here’s a detailed guide to get yourself educated: Google SEO: Should it be your only priority?

What is The Most Important SEO Element?

Content… by far! Content is the foundation of any SEO strategy. Content ranks, attracts links, spreads, engages customers and turns them into believers.

Content is not just an article or a blog post. By content I mean any kind of text you put on your site, from a landing page copy to your “About us” page or a product description.

Many businesses jump into digital marketing without willing to invest in content, and this strategy is doomed to failure. Building on-site content should be everyone’s SEO priority.

Text Optimizer is a great tool that helps you create better content by providing you with the mindmap of associated concepts and questions. It uses semantic analysis to process Google’s search snippets and break any keyword into subtopics.

Text Optimizer for content creation

While it’s primarily search intent optimization tool, it’s also helpful for overall content research showing which topics to cover and how to structure your article.

You can read my own Text Optimizer case study here.

What Are the Most Dangerous SEO Myths?

  1. Keyword density… This is one of the most persistent SEO myths out there. Why I dislike it so much is because it fills the web with trash content. Keyword-density focused strategy spoils the brand image and creates lots of problems which take lots of time to fix.
  2. On-page SEO alone will get you to #1. There are so many SEO agencies there that are happy to keep “optimizing” your website but rankings won’t come. The reality, you still need outbound tactics to gain backlinks and external visibility (branding) to achieve higher rankings
  3. SEO is dying… SEO death has been predicted for years now. These days with Google’s new SERPs features that aim at keeping the user using Google, and the fast growth of voice search, SEO is predicted to die soon again

The truth is, SEO is full of ingenuous tools and people. It is evolving together with search engines and it will survive Google’s death one day.

What’s the Best SEO Advice You’ve Received?

There’s a real human being behind each query.

Really if you stop thinking of keywords as “word strings to optimize for” and start seeing them as a real person’s question, SEO becomes much clearer (and more fun).

This mindset helps build more helpful content, optimize for search intent better (why would anyone type this into the search box? What are they willing to do once they find the answer?)

On top of that, by looking at keyword research as something that helps you serve your customer will help you understand your audience better and come up with better products and offers, on a higher-level.

Answer The Public is a nice free tool that turns keyword research into question research helping you to clearer see your readers’ struggles behind their search queries.

answerthepublic

On top of that, the tool also mind-maps the retrieved keywords / questions helping you in brainstorming.

Where Does a Blogger Start with SEO?

As stated above, there’s not much a blogger can do to start with SEO except for creating useful original content.

Here’s also a nice clutter-free introduction into SEO: SEO Basics: Complete Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization . Here’s a much easier guide but also one that lists the most essential step: 3 Basic Steps to Making Your New Blog SEO-Friendly. Here’s also a helpful writing checklist that will help you handle the basics:

writing checklist

As you may have noticed, I am not listing a ton of tools here as I don’t want this guide to overwhelm the reader. Those mentioned are a good start!

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