How to be successful in SEO + a SEO tool to make it easy
To be successful in SEO you need to:
• Understand what your customers are searching for.
• Optimize your website for your target keywords.
• Ensure your website is accessible to search engines.
• Encourage other websites to link to your site by creating content of value.
• Have a tracking tool that measures your SEO results.
After all – If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.
In this article, not only do we list the SEO Essentials every business owner should understand, but the best software solutions to help them implement the highest standards of search engine optimization.
We have even managed to secure a free trial of a 14-day SEMrush PRO account plus access to their Traffic Analytics tool.
Lets get started…
SEO Essentials every business owner needs to understand if they want to be successful in SEO
1. Start With a Technical SEO Audit
Too often bloggers and business owners are focused on discovering secret “hacks” and “special tactics” to boost their SEO.
But the truth is, that neglecting the basics of SEO, is often what is hurting them the most.
This is where a technical audit comes in.
The word “audit” has a lot of really negative connotations, especially for content creators and affiliate marketers who are looking to find new ways to get results fast.
Using the right tools makes a technical SEO audit a fast and easy process, providing you with the information that allows you to make simple changes on your site and can significantly increase the amount of traffic coming to it. And as we know, more traffic means more potential income coming your way.
Today’s Website Visitor Is Impatient
Did you know, for example, that a 100-millisecond delay in site loading times can cause a 7% drop in conversion rates? Or that pages that load in two seconds have an average bounce rate of only 9%, while those that load in five seconds see bounce rates around 38%? One of the factors that an SEO audit will look at is site loading speed and different factors impacting it.
Technical audits will flag specific issues on your site that are impacting your online visibility, and give you detailed instructions on what’s wrong and how to go about fixing it.
How Do I Conduct A Technical SEO Audit?
To conduct an SEO audit, choose an auditing tool like the one included with SEMrush. All you need to do is enter in your site’s URL, and within a few minutes, you’ll have a full, up-to-date audit ready for review.
You’ll be given overviews of problem areas (so that you can quickly see which issues are holding you back), but you’ll also be shown detail-level content about what’s holding you back, why it matters, and where to go next.
Here, for example, we’ve audited a site that has issues with mixed HTTP with HTTPS content. All HTTPS content should send internal links to HTTPS content, not HTTP. This is a simple, quick fix that can improve your SEO significantly.
The audit will be specific, too, showing you the exact links causing the problem, making it easy for you to identify, find, and repair them.
SEMrush’s SEO technical audit covers the following areas:
a) Crawlability issues, which impact the search engines ability to find web pages on your site.
These issues may include things like having permanent redirects or non-indexable pages. These should all be addressed immediately, because they’ll significantly impact your SEO visibility. The SEMrush technical audit will walk you through how to do this.
b) HTTPS issues:
To be successful in SEO it is important to check the health of your HTTPS content.
This includes checking that your certificates are registered to the correct name, your subdomains support HTTPS, and that your security protocols are up to date. The last thing you want is your audience to see that your site isn’t secure, because they’ll click away before you know it.
c) Site performance issues.
This includes helping you assess potential problems like slow site loading speeds and what’s causing it, or uncompressed pages or files. Remember that if your site is loading slow or that certain files, forms, or media aren’t showing up, your audience will likely leave the site and not come back. Most issues here should be simple fixes.
d) Internal linking issues, which are often linked to crawlability issues.
If Google isn’t able to follow one link to the next because of a broken link, for example, that’s hurting your SEO potential. Again, these take only a few seconds to fix, especially since the audit lays out the exact links and redirects that are a problem.
Technical issues may sound intimidating, especially if you don’t have a coding or site design background, but the vast majority of issues are going to be simple fixes that don’t require any sort of specialized knowledge. Fixing these issues is an incredibly low-effort/high-reward venture, especially since it’s often relatively quick work and it only needs to be done every so often.
2. Essential SEO Tweaks for Increased Traffic
Resolving the technical issues on your site alone will give you a significant boost in Google’s rankings, and it can happen very quickly; in fact you can see some results almost instantaneously, like those that come from faster loading speeds, and most will come within about a month period or less after Google has crawled your site again.
The technical issues, however, aren’t going to be the only one that you want to work on. There are going to be other things that you can do to adjust the content and website structure in order to improve ranking potential and help you get to the top of the SERPs.
There are three different avenues to take here:
=> Competitor research,
=> Adjusting your keyword profile to fit your ranking power.
=> Developing a link building strategy that will carry you moving forward.
Incorporating Competitor Research Into Your SEO Strategy
We’re a big fan of capitalizing on your competitors wins and learning from their failures, using whatever their doing to bolster your own position instead of letting it stand in your way.
Competitor research can be a game changer for SEO, and it can help you ensure that you’re doing what you need to in order to stay competitive.
Look at who is outranking you.
SEMrush’s Position Tracking tool can show you who is getting more traffic, even identifying your top competitors for you. See what percentage of traffic they’re getting, who is ranking for what keywords, and then take a look at why they’re outranking you. Are their FAQ answers consistently longer, or are they using content that’s more relevant to the search intent?
SEMRush’s On Page SEO Checker is also an important tool here.
It will show you what your top ten competitors for every single keyword you’re currently targeting is doing to get that positioning. This includes how many videos the page features, their readability score, the content length, and the number of backlinks that they have compared to what you’re doing on the same exact keywords.
You can take this data and adjust accordingly, embedding a relevant YouTube video onto key pages or posts, or breaking up a few sentences to lower the readability score.
You don’t want to lose the work you’ve put into the content you’ve already created, so go back and make changes based on what current best standards are to quick improvement there.
3. To be successful in SEO Adjust Your Keyword Portfolio
Keyword research can be a little tricky. It’s easy to use a keyword tool like SEMrush and identify all the keywords with the highest traffic possible that can help generate traffic to your site, but volume isn’t the only factor that you need to look at.
Let’s say you are a relatively new blogger with decent traffic who is trying to write a blog post that funnels affiliate traffic to the clothing company Stitch Fix. You are not going to outrank Stitch Fix themselves for the keyword term: “Stitch Fix”.
However, if you look at the keywords that they can realistically rank for – that match the search intent of users you stand a chance. Search terms like: “stitch fix review” or “is stitch fix worth it”– have a much better chance of ranking well and keeping users on the page longer because it aligns with what the user wants.
SEMrush’s keyword magic tool can help you identify these terms, offering suggestions based on a generic term of search.
It’s important to consider competition and search intent when creating your hopefully diverse keyword portfolio, allowing you to rank well for more terms. Factor in competition levels and volume, and remember that question-based keywords are often great fits for content generation ideas.
You can go also back and update old content with new keywords to give them a breath of fresh air (and hopefully a burst of traffic, too).
4. To be successful in SEO Tweak Your Backlink Profile
Another change you can make quickly that can have a big impact is to develop a link building strategy. This one is a little bit more of a long-term payoff, but this is one of the most significant changes you can make to increase your domain authority (and thus your ranking potential) over a long-term basis.
First, complete a back-link audit to see where you currently stand. This will show you your backlink profile, so you can assess its diversity. It will also show you harmful backlinks that could be hurting you so you can get them removed as soon as possible. Eliminating harmful backlinks is one of the fastest ways to improve your link profile quickly, giving it a boost.
Long-term, it will also be important to consider how you can continue to increase your backlink profile.
Creating valuable content that gets links on its own will help, but submitting guest posts to other high-domain sites will also be a good choice. This is a more long-term strategy and pay-off, but it’s worthwhile once you have the energy to invest in it.
5. Implement Proactive SEO Measures With Content Creation
Once your site and all past content has been updated with quick fixes to improve its current ranking potential, it is important to take proactive SEO measures with your content creation moving forward.
Having a strong strategy in place to add SEO-friendly adjustments to each blog post you write will make it easier to get more traffic (and more revenue) moving forward instead of relying on the “publish first, fix SEO later.” You want the content to be strong all the way around so it gets results the first time, saving you a significant amount of time in the process.
It will be essential, therefore, to create content that’s loved by both your readers and Google’s crawl bots. You need to have engaging content if you want people to stick around long enough to click on that advertisement, view that ad video, or convert on the affiliate link, so the content has to be interesting and engaging.
It also has to be perfectly optimized for SEO so you can funnel in larger amounts of new readers, maximizing your revenue potential whether no matter if you’re going the AdSense route or opting for affiliate referrals or sponsored content.
Write people-friendly and Google-friendly content
To be successful in SEO long term you need to create people-friendly and Google-friendly content:
a) Align your content with search intent.
This is one of the reasons that question-based keywords and long-tail keywords are so valuable. Not only will they give you a better chance to rank well, they’re also specific. It’s much easier to write content that matches what a searcher is looking for with the keyword “how to make bouquets last longer” than it is with the keyword “flower care.”
Use that keyword magic tool from SEMrush to identify potential long-tail and question-based keywords.
b) Use meta descriptions to establish context.
Google crawls your meta descriptions, and your readers scan them in the search results to ensure that the article is what they actually want to read. Explain exactly what the article is about, using your target keyword, and let users know what value they can get by reading.
c) Keep your content easy to read.
In general, breaking down a blog post into multiple clear sections with different subheads and including images is a good call. Scannable, easy-to-read content is a plus for readers. It’s also good for Google, however, especially since you can add keywords to those subheads or alt descriptions for maximum ranking power.
SEMrush’s Writing Assistant can help with this. They’ll flag potential readability issues and show you how to better optimize your content accordingly.
d) Never keyword cannibalize.
Keyword cannibalization is the act of trying to rank multiple times on your site for the same, single keyword. Not only are you competing against yourself, but you’re missing out on the opportunity to rank for more diverse keywords. Diverse content is good for users and Google.
All of these adjustments are simple to make, even if you don’t have any prior experience with SEO. Each one will take a few minutes more when you’re creating each post, but will pay off significantly in return.
There you go – the SEO Essentials every business owner needs to understand if they want to be successful in SEO.
It is our strong recommendation that you take advantage of a free trial to a 14-day SEMrush PRO account – including access to their Traffic Analytics tool.
But of course that is not the end of the story.
To be successful in SEO you need to keep an open mind and understand above everything else, that further education is essential. Search engines and their ability to deliver quality search results is always evolving, what works today may well not work the same way a year from today.
While the SEO Essentials detailed here are likely to continue to be the building blocks of successful SEO it is important to keep abreast of the latest trends in SEO and continue your SEO Education: The recommended links below will help: