MONTH 2 - How to make great content for SEO.
First, Analyze Your Current Content
For Wordpress users, “Yoast SEO” plugin is free and basically optimizes your content and images for keywords.
REMEMBER: Google reads source code (and your written words), not images.
So we have to make our websites compatible with Google. Google needs to crawl the site in order to gather your info and rank you in search results.
You won’t rank high in search results if Google can’t crawl your site. If you're a Squarespace user, a tool for implementing keywords is at the bottom of this post. This step is critical. So be patient.
Also, if you haven't already, you must, must sign up for Google Search Console. It's free. And it breaks down how your site is performing with keywords. Google Analytics won’t show which keywords are driving your traffic. Console showcases that data. (Neil suggests getting this installed during month 1.)
Creating new content.
Start off with just one blog post per week. Video does not rank as well on Google. Audio content is good for engagement but still does not rank as well as words.
FYI, Google knows if your content is user-generated (your audience is leaving a comment, for ex) or if that content i's a blog, or if you have ‘show notes’ - notes posted after audio or video on the audio or video page. And Google likes blog posts a lot. “Show notes” will not help with SEO.
Google is looking at engagement which tends to arise via blog posts.
And remember, you can always review Semrush to see which of your articles are performing on the world wide web.
IN CREATING CONTENT, KEEP THESE TIPS IN MIND:
Content in conversational tones does better. “You and I.” Create a conversation with your text versus "a teacher talking at you." This is good for engagement. Which is good for Google's tools.
Articles which show up on pg 1 of Google tend to have 2500 words, versus only 500 words. Make sure your content is thorough.
Use subheadings. Think of it as your book. Title of book, plus subheadings as chapters.
Keep your paragraph short 5-6 lines as rule of thumb
Use images or video and audio clips for engagement
Always wrap up the post with a conclusion, so if people scroll down first before reading, they may like the end and scroll back up to actually read from the beginning.
MONTH 3 - Building your online network via links and sharing.
A site ranked at the top of a search result is based on keywords and which site has the most 'votes'. Voting for sites happens in 2 ways:
1) A vote is a link to your site. The origin of the link also counts. A more powerful origin site will help your vote, more. Think RELEVANT origin site. Radiohead.com vs the casual resume-site of your best friend.
2) Another vote is social share. Here, think AUTHORITY links. Shares from the most authoritative links in your field. (If Amy Porterfield shared one of my links, I’d be getting a GREAT vote, in Google’s eyes.
Try: Ahrefs.com - you can enter in your competitor URLs and receive information about every single person and site which linked to that URL.
Neil's tip: Take that list and export it and find a contact person for each of the sites. Then email each contact and ask if they'll link to your content. Of course, this takes some time and savvy, but it is, in fact, an option... And you can get a Virtual Assistant to help with a lot of this.
Buzzsumo - put in keywords and URLs of your competitor’s article, and results will show how many social shares the article has, plus each person who shared that article. Neil's Tip: you can reach out to those “sharers” and ask that they share your content, as well (apparently, some people are willing to do this).
Also with Buzzsumo, you can type in keywords and the results will tell you all the popular articles based on a keyword subject matter. Plus, you can see what people love and spot patterns and trends to help guide your ideas. I happen to like this one option. V. helpful.