SEO implies "Search Engine Optimization", and unless you've got some, everybody will find your content somewhere at page 11,756 while searching for you on Google. SEO is the difference between a successful website, and effectively being dead for all practical concerns. If you know how to apply SEO principles to your website, your site will rank well for keywords people are searching for, allowing you to put your products and services in front of potential clients. At my last company, I was able to bring a website up from 5 organic clicks from Google per day, to 700 organic clicks from Google per day, and I did it in 2 months. Considering a single click typically costs between 25 cents and 5 dollars when buying ads, this implied my SEO work resulted in a value for the company of somewhere between $200 and $1,000 every day. In this article I will reveal how I did it, such that you can reproduce it.
Identifying your keywords
Identifying your keywords is step one, and implies imagining what potential clients of your products and services might be searching for using Google or Bing. I will use AINIRO.IO as an example. We provide a ChatGPT-based website chatbot product to our customers. People looking for such products are probably searching for things such as for instance;
- ChatGPT-based website chatbot
Our job hence becomes to make sure we create as much high quality content with the above keywords as we can, and that we use these keywords in as many different HTML structures as possible. The above list is a bulleted list, and if I provide my focus keywords in a bulleted list, in addition to in an emphasized sentence, and a bold sentence, it will further strengthen the value of my keywords. Here is an example; We provide ChatGPT-based website chatbots for your company. Here is another example; Put ChatGPT on your website? - If you go through our content, you will find these sentences and similar sentences scattered everywhere!
In addition to providing your primary keywords in the structure of your website, you also want to make sure that every time you provide a link to your content, you use your keywords as your "anchor text". Look at how I linked to our own website above to understand the point. This is also true when you're linking to your own content from other places, such as Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments section on other articles. If you can't modify the anchor text, then at least use your keywords while commenting as a part of your comment. Following this principle makes it easier for Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo to understand what our content is about, allowing them to more accurately return relevant content to users searching for things related to your business.
How to identify your keywords?
Our keywords are arguably identified indirectly through our "Initial Customer Profile", often shortened to "ICP" when creating a Go-To-Market-Plan. We've long since identified that our initial customer profile(s) are as follows;
- Website owners
- Small and medium sized companies in need of more website traffic, looking for a ChatGPT-based chatbot to increase engagement
- Companies with high customer support costs wanting to try out ChatGPT-based customer support
- Marketing agencies specializing in digital marketing and hence obviously (duh!) SEO, needing to add a new tool to their arsenal to increase engagement (Being a ChatGPT-based website chatbot of course)
Once you've identified your ICP, understanding your keywords becomes easy. If you analyze this article for instance, you will find words such as "SEO", "website", "chatbot", "ChatGPT", "SERP", etc. This is because the blog was consciously created in an attempt at trying to attract people searching for these exact terms, while still "keeping the article on trajectory", by adding our primary keywords to it. Simply put because people interested in SEO DIY style, are also highly likely to wanting a ChatGPT-based website chatbot on their sites too.
Notice - Did you notice how I was able to sneak in the word "DIY" in the previous sentence? This is one of my "long tail" keywords that I want this article to score for obviously!
What's the PURPOSE of your content?
Identifying the purpose of your content is crucial. I cannot help you much here, since it depends upon your business. However, I can explain my purpose with writing this article, which will hopefully help you understanding how to identifying your purpose.
My purpose with this article, is to attract marketing agencies, and DIY SEO experts, creating and optimizing websites for their own company, and/or clients. This is my purpose because I want to reach out to these companies, have them discover our products, and initiate a client or partner dialogue with us. Click here if interested. Hence, the previous link is the only place I inject my sales pitch - Everything else is exclusively created to give you high quality information. So by giving away 99% of "the filet mignon for free", I was able to (hopefully) get in touch with others in need of our services and products.
URLs and meta information
Another important detail is the URL and meta information of your content. If you look carefully at the URL of this article, you will see it starts out with the word SEO. In addition, the first paragraph also starts out with the word SEO. Even the first word in the article's description is SEO. This is because "SEO" is the primary keyword I want people to find this article from. The idea being that if I can attract people wanting to learn SEO, I can hopefully convert some of these into purchasing our ChatGPT-based website chatbot product, since those looking for DIY SEO information probably also belongs to our ICP.
Another detail is Facebook and Open Graph meta tags. If you try to share this article on Facebook for instance, you will notice how it results in a description, an image, and a title that was consciously put there to create "curiosity", hopefully resulting in people being willing to click it, and read it, if they stumble over it on some Social Media website. A great article results in that those seeing it on Facebook or other Social Media websites wants to click it, by for instance triggering the belief in the viewer of that the article is "giving away secret knowledge" - Which this article paradoxically is doing may I add.
For the record, use 1200x630 pixel size on your OG images. I could explain why, but I don't want the article to become too long. Also, LinkedIn has not yet discovered that "webp" images is a thing. If LinkedIn is one of your primary platforms for sharing stuff, use JPEG or PNG images as your OG image.
SEO and images
One overlooked detail related to SEO about keywords, are
alt attributes for images, and also filenames for images. If you inspect the above image, you will notice the filename starts out with the word "SEO", and also the
alt attribute of the image starts out with "SEO". Images provides you with two additional opportunities to repeat your primary keywords, further strengthening your "grip" on your chosen keywords. Make sure images have your keywords in their filenames, in addition to in their alt attributes.
In addition your content should be a balanced mix of text and images. I will therefor provide an image proving that I know what I'm talking about, providing me with yet another opportunity to use some keywords I want this article to score for.
The above of course is a screenshot from our Google Analytics account, measuring the first two days of traffic after launching our website. Day 1 we had 48 unique visitors, and day 2 we had 128 unique visitors. For a new website just launched, such numbers are quite frankly "spectacular" in lack of a better word.
The content must be high quality, implying you have to give something away in return for achieving great "SERP" results. If you think about it from a logical perspective, me writing about how to achieve great SEO is seemingly counter productive for our business model, since it could be argued that I am teaching our competitors how to outperform us on Google. Obviously our competitors are monitoring our website for information, analyzing what we're doing, to get ideas for how to improve their product and marketing initiatives. However ...
If you fear giving away high quality information, you might as well go home and do something else. You will simply NEVER succeed building a great website unless you "give away something for free"
The internet was built on sharing high quality information. If you're not willing to share, you don't belong here, and people will "vote with their feet".
Modern search engines are based upon PageRank. The PageRank algorithm was invented by Larry Page and Sergey Brin some 25 years ago. It works by scoring your URL from how many "backlinks" your content is able to generate. A lot of people trying to apply SEO will take shortcuts and buy backlinks - This is madness, and sometimes referred to as "Black hat SEO", and inevitably results in that your site at some point becomes banned by Google and other search engines. Yet again, there are no shortcuts!
If you provide high quality content, others will automatically share it, like it, and comment on your content. This results in improved engagement, which search engines again will use to score your website's quality, ensuring it bubbles to the top. In my previous article about How does ChatGPT work, I explicitly asked people to comment and give me their thumbs up. This was of course me trying to increase engagement of the article, resulting in that it slowly over times is given a better SERP position.
If you provide high quality content, engagement is a natural side effect and SEO "comes for free"
For the record, please like this article, share it, and provide me with your comment.
When you've written a high quality article, you want to share it on as many social media websites as you can, to increase engagement. But you also want to "syndicate" it. Syndicating content implies copying and pasting your article into any website where you're allowed to do so. When you do, it is crucial that you provide a canonical link back to your original article. Google and other search engines hates "duplicated content". In general, no page should have more than some 10 to 30 percent duplicated content. If it does, search engines will score your content as being of low quality. Before you copy and paste your article into some other site, you'll need to verify that the publisher supports and respects "canonical links", allowing you to provide "an original source".
When you syndicate an article, you can provide a "canonical link" that leads to the original source. This results in that the original source gets all the "Google Juice", while you get another opportunity to create engaging content, since others reading your article where you syndicated it, can comment, like, and share your article where it was syndicated. Each engagement towards the syndicated article, results in that the source is perceived as more valuable for the search engine. When I have published this article, I will syndicate it at DEV.to where I have 2,000+ subscribers, most of whom are happily liking, commenting, and providing me with feedback, increasing engagement for my original source.
Linking to relevant external URLs
Google loves it when you link to external relevant content. If you look through our articles for instance, you will find a link to ChatGPT and OpenAI in most of our content. This makes it easier for Google to understand what our content is about, since if you're linking to some external source, it's highly likely that you want to provide a relevant link to your readers. This allows Google to use the external source to more easily understand what your content is about, and such create better classifications of how it should score your particular page, and for what keywords it should score it for.
My favourite SEO tool is SEOBility. Using a great tool such as SEOBility makes it easier for you to measure how you're doing. I truly love SEOBility. I think it's an amazing tool. However, by me saying that out loud, I associate my content with SEOBility, and SEOBility might want to share my words as a "testimonial from yet another happy client". Something we achieved with our previous article about How we built a 1% website in 3 days for 7 EUROs. Aria tagged SEOBility on Twitter, and their Social Media Manager liked the tweet, and even commented on it, resulting in more engagement.
If you've got links to great products, quality content, or amazing services - SHARE THEM AS SUCH!
Other tools you want to use is Google Analytics to measure traffic, and Google Search Engine Console. These are tools provided by Google themselves, and allows you to measure and monitor how your site performs over time. Below is a screenshot from a site I used to manage for reference purposes.
Notice how I increased organic clicks from 5 per day to 703 per day at its peak and how I did it in two months. This was because of engaging content, content that people were willing to share, like, and comment on. For the record, I quit working at this company at its peak level.
If you know about some great tool my readers should use, please comment and provide a link to it in the comments section. Not only does this help me associate my original content with another relevant external link, but it also increases engagement of my content, in addition to providing the content you're linking to with a high quality backlink.
SEO "Ninja tricks"
Did you see how I sneaked in the word SEO in the above header? If I hadn't done so, the article would have scored badly on SEO parameters. You should use your primary keyword in as many HTML constructs as you can, and with the above sub-title, I was able to "plug the last hole". The above header becomes the 4th time I repeat my primary keyword in a header tag for this article. Repeating your primary keyword is the by far most important thing you need to do to apply great SEO! - However, it needs to be repeated "in a relevant context". Simply creating an article repeating the word SEO 1,000 times will bring you nowhere ...
Did you also notice how I was able to provide an external link to a relevant website? SEOBility that being. Read further up to understand why. Another great thing about linking to external content, is that you might end up having the owner of the external content engaging with your content - Maybe even reshare it. This is especially true if you write a positive review about the external content, product, or service.
In addition to external links, you should also provide some few internal links too, to relevant articles you've previously written, related to the subject you're writing about. And obviously "building a 1% website" is relevant to "SEO", hence the previous link was added as an internal link in this article.
Page load speed
How fast your website loads is one extremely important parameter search engines will use to "score" your page. Make sure you somehow measure the speed of your page. If your page takes too much time to load, Google will not bother giving you traffic, simply because most people will click the back button before your page even loads.
Page speed is possibly one of the most important factors to great SEO. One easy way to significantly improve your page speed, is to use a service such as CloudFlare. CloudFlare will give you a CDN for free. Add another 20 bucks to the equation, and they'll edge cache your content, significantly optimizing the speed at which your page loads. You still have to apply effort to improve your site's speed, but adding CloudFlare as a "final touch" further speeds up your site a lot!
There are no shortcuts. Ensuring great SEO is hard work. However, with this simple to follow recipe, at least you know how to apply your energy. Don't use black hat SEO techniques, they might give you some good result initially, but over time it will destroy your presence in search engines.
Anyways, if you liked the article, I would appreciate a thumbs up, comment, or maybe even a share. It would help us build the required engagement to make sure the article scores well in the SERP - And to be honest with you, I think we've earned it by providing you with an amazingly high quality article about how you can go at it to create your own website, and ensure it scores great in the SERP.
Psst, SERP means "Search Engine Result Page", and unless you're on the first page, preferably above the fold, you need to do more work with your keywords. SERP is "the finish line of SEO", and with that explanation I was able to provide this article with my last "long tail keyword", hopefully resulting in a great position on the SERP for my chosen keywords!