Easy SEO hacks for non-techies
May 28, 2014 • Glenn Murray
Today’s post comes from a good friend of mine, and a very smart business-man, Adam Franklin. Adam’s the co-author of Web Marketing That Works, a great book about, well, web marketing that works! You can check out the free sample chapter or order it online. He’s also a social media speaker, and Marketing Manager and co-founder of Bluewire Media. Follow Adam on Google+ or Twitter.
Over to Adam…
3 easy, non-techie hacks for SEO That Works
I owe a lot to Glenn Murray for his impact on my SEO journey. His e-books helped bring me from the unfindable depths of the Google abyss to the heady heights of number one for numerous keyword phrases that were very competitive.
Since then I’ve maintained a keen interest in search engines. The reason I love it is because once you’ve got yourself some visibility on Google, the traffic keeps on flowing in and there’s not really much incremental effort needed to keep your rankings.
In fact the vast majority my traffic comes from Google and the good news is anyone can do it.
What follows is the non-techies three step guide to SEO that works!
Step 1. Keyword research (that doesn’t do your head in)
The best way I’ve found is to use Google Instant and related searches. It’s straight forward and doesn’t require the cumbersome data crunching that scares off many an aspiring SEO.
Put yourself in your buyers shoes, and brainstorm words and phrases that they’d be punching into Google when they first realise they have a problem that needs solving. (Note, it’s too late to be showing up once they are searching for actual service providers. You need to get on their radar during their researching phase, so you’re in the mix when they are deciding who to buy from).
In my situation, I’m looking to provide useful information for marketing folk looking to webify their activities. For example, I know that editorial calendars are an important tool for these people. Notice how I’m trying to help them nice early when they are in their information gathering ‘research phase’, not when they are ‘shopping around’ for web marketing consultants.
I start by typing editorial calendar into Google, and I’m given a handful of suggestions.
This is based on what Google knows other people have already searched for. This helps us shortlist the most popular keyword phrases, and decide on a focus keyword (ideally a 2-3 word phrase). In this case, let’s choose “editorial calendar template’.
Then take look at the bottom of the Google results for the related searches based on your focus keyword. This gives you a few more options for longer tail keyword variations.
This forms the basis for your keyword phrase ‘pool’. Next step is to flesh out even more long tail keyword variations. The reason for this is that it will be a lot easier to rank for a 5-6 word long tail phrase than a 2-3 word short-tail phrase.
Use Ubersuggest for more ideas
Simply take the keyword phrase that you decide to focus on and plug it into Ubersuggest. (Yes you even get to do the super fun image captcha game too!)
Then check out the keyword suggestions they give you. Ubersuggest pull all their data from Google, so what’s happening is that you’re getting even more ideas about what people are really searching for.
Step 2. Onsite SEO
The purpose of on-page SEO is to tell Google (and visitors) what your page is all about. You simply need to make sure you use those keyword phrases on the actual page you are optimising.
In the example below you will see that the focus keyword editorial calendar template features prominently. You’ll also see that many of the long-tail keyword variations are scattered appropriately on the page. Use the keywords in your URL, page title, image titles and page descriptions for maximum impact.
Step 3. Off-site SEO:
Your perceived “authority” is the only thing standing between being hidden on Page 2 or beyond, and ranking proudly on Page 1 of Google.
The best way to boost your authority in Google’s eyes is have websites linking to your page.
However, attracting links back to you website is easier said than done. The best place to start is by asking people you already know and already work with to link to you. A great approach is to ask suppliers if you can write a testimonial for them. They will usually say yes as well as offer to link back to your website. Each additional link starts to give Google the right signals that your website has some authority!
The best, but most difficult technique, is to publish content that is so useful, interesting and remarkable that people choose to link to it without you asking.
And finally the best approach is to start guest blogging for other people’s blogs. This way you can write for a new audience and in the process you can usually acquire a back link in your author bio.
Focus up the food chain
If you’re like me, you’d prefer to invest your guest blogging efforts on high-value targets. Since backlinks pass on an element of trust, authority, link juice or whatever you want to call it, it means there is value in hunting further up the foodchain.
In the SEO vernacular this means writing for a blog that has more authority than your own. The link back to your website is the prize, and if it’s from someone with more authority, that reflects well on you. (That’s not to say back links from less authoritative sites carry any negative value! They merely aren’t going to propel your credibility like a high authority backlink.)
From a pure SEO standpoint you don’t really want to waste your time writing for a blog that has no decent link-juice to pass onto you, when you could be focusing your efforts elsewhere.
Now before I get my head bitten off, yes this is somewhat superficial and there is more to guest blogging than just backlinks. You get to write for a new audience, interact with people in the comments and on social media and maybe drive email subscribers. However with SEO in mind, high authority backlinks are where it’s at.
So who’s who in the zoo?
Here’s how to see who packs a punch in Google’s eyes. You need to download the free SEO tool called MozBar and it will tell you the relative authority of any page on the web.
You can see on this example that this Divine Write blog has a Page Authority of 47 and the website overall has a Domain Authority (DA) of 53. It has 656 domains linking to it.
By comparison, my Bluewire Media blog has a domain authority (DA) of 44, so you can clearly see that Glenn with his DA of 53 is further up the SEO food chain than me. With our SEO hat on, you can see how this blog is a logical one to write for because some of Glenn’s authority will be passed along to my site. Of course Glenn has a passionate and active community of readers so the ‘social benefits’ of writing here have serious merit too.
These three steps are all you need to know to get your website firing on Google. Good luck.
You can bookmark this page, or download my free SEO Planning Template which can serve as a simple reference guide for when you are doing your own search engine optimisation.