How to get started with SEO (Part I)

10 February 2016

Search engine optimisation (SEO) has to be one of the scariest phrases you’ll come across as a business owner.

But fear not, in this 2-part actionable SEO guide I’m going to give you an actionable 5-step plan anyone can follow.

1. Locate 5 industry relevant keywords

Visit the Google Keyword Planner and find yourself 5 industry related keywords for your business.

Make sure each keyword is unique and receives around 600-1,200 searches per month.

For example, if you’re a real estate agent make sure your 5 keywords look like this:

  1. Real estate agent London
  2. Property landlord in London
  3. Property manager East London
  4. First-time buyer in London
  5. 3-bedroom house in Margate

And not:

  1. Real estate agent
  2. Real estate agents
  3. Real estate manager
  4. Real estate advisor
  5. Real estate property adviser

If applicable, find one keyword for each category of product or service you offer.

2. Do 5 minutes of research for each of your keywords

SEO is all about ranking content on search engines, and you may not be a great writer.

If you can’t afford to outsource your content marketing and have to write content yourself, see what’s already out there and find ways to make it better.

BuzzSumo is a content marketing search engine that lists articles in order of social media shares based on keywords. Simply enter your keyword and create an article based on the foundations of the most successful articles.

Using BuzzSumo for SEO

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel by creating complex topics or in-depth guides. See what content is already out and produce something better and make it relevant to your local audience.

3. Learn how to write content for search engines

Learning how to master SEO can take years, learning to write content for search engines will only take you 8 minutes.

You’ve got your 5 keywords, now you need to write content around them and structure each page correctly using best SEO practices.

To do that correctly, read this layman’s guide to find out how (reading time: 8 minutes).

4. Install SEO Yoast to measure your on-page SEO

SEO Yoast is a free WordPress plugin that offers virtual SEO consulting on every page of your website.

After you upload an article on WordPress and tell Yoast the keyword you want to optimise for, it reveals information on how your page can be further improved for SEO:

Using Yoast SEO plugin

It will rate various parts of your page by using red, orange and green indicators. If you’ve missed anything out it will reveal what you missed and how to fix it.

Your goal should be to get a 100% green page analysis.

Unlike other guides and tools, SEO Yoast is aimed at beginners and is very easy to use.

5. Let Google know about your new webpages

I had a client approach me once who had a 2 year old website but couldn’t understand why it wasn’t listed on Google.

Google doesn’t magically find every website and can sometimes take months to index a new page on your website. To speed up the process, you can let Google know instantly using their Google Search Console, previously Google Webmaster Tools.

After making an account, go to your website Dashboard > Crawl > Fetch as Google:

Google Search Console

After entering your page URL hit Fetch followed by the Submit button that follows to let Google know you have updated your website.

This submit sends Google a message letting them know your website has been updated and they should revisit your website sooner.

Rinse and repeat

I told you SEO wasn’t difficult.

Once you’ve done this for your first 5 keywords, you can repeat the same process with another 5 keywords. Don’t worry if you make a mistake or do something wrong, you can always go back to your pages to improve and further optimise the more you learn SEO.

The main thing is to take action today and get your content online. Mistakes you make today can be fixed later without any negative impact.

Vicky Etherington

Vicky Etherington has been running her own online marketing agency since 2003, and in 2015 transitioned to working with coaches and therapists to teach them how to create their own client-attracting websites. 

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