I want to share my new SEO strategy that I hope you can use for your own business. I practice what I preach with my own company and use the same strategy for my clients. But times are a changing in the SEO world.
Let’s look at my old SEO strategy.
- Create onsite content a few times a month. These blog posts are usually around 400-500 words. I link them to other articles within the blog.
- Write the same type of blog posts for other blogs (offsite content). I find blogs that will post this content on their site and it’s more for SEO purposes, rather than increasing exposure. That content links back to my site and the site gains a backlink.
- Citation building for local citation websites on sites like Yelp, Citysearch, and the thousands of others.
- Onsite optimization to tweak H1 tags, alt tags for images and the many other onsite tweaks.
- Create conversion points on the website to make sure the current and new traffic converts.
The problem is that this type of SEO is basically trying to game the system, but it worked really well in the past (and still works pretty good). Reason being:
- Google loves content so putting out a few blog posts a month on your own blog is great. You are feeding the beast. Plus you are internally linking these posts so it builds up some link juice throughout your own site.
- You’re getting backlinks to your site from the offsite content. No matter what “experts” say, Google still values backlinks. Not crappy ones but decent backlinks. Backlinks are what makes up the internet.
Citation building, onsite edits and conversion optimization will be in my new strategy but my content strategy is going to be way different.
SEO is hard because Google really wants you to fail, but also wants to provide the best content for people searching the web. The reason they want you to fail is because of a little advertising platform called Adwords.
Adwords is the machine that produces massive amounts of revenue for Google. If your SEO sucks and you can’t rank your website, you are going to pay them (through Adwords) to get your site listed on the first page of Google. And don’t get me wrong, Adwords is amazing when setup properly and if you’re interested in learning the platform, check out my free Adwords training here.
Google also wants to provide the best possible experience to people using their search engine when searching for stuff. And that’s why websites that do SEO the right way will win.
Ok, so Google makes a crap load of money from Adwords, and SEO is hard to do? What the hell Steve, give me some actionable tips!
No problem, let’s dive into my strategy that I’ll be using moving forward. And it’s involves me typing up this article right now, more on that later!
1. Post freaking, amazing content that’s long.
Longer blog posts have been shown to rank better PLUS get more social shares (social shares are a ranking factor too so you want people to share your content). My current content is ok, but this content needs to be killer. This post has some great pointers in creating good content.
My plan: Post one 2K article each week. That’s a lot of work and if you want to start smaller shoot for 1 a month. Currently I am personally writing 450 words a day. In a week that’s 3150 words. As revenue increases I will most likely hire a few writers to help me out but I like to get my hands dirty so when I train my staff, they know exactly what to do.
2. Guest blog for traffic rather than for backlinks.
The backlinks will come with the awesome content I’m creating in step #1 so I now want to focus on getting more traffic to my site. How do you do this if you really aren’t known? Good question. You can find guest posting opportunities anywhere. Eventually I would like to guest post on sites like Inc and Fortune 500 but I need to start somewhere. For ReviewRail (my audience is small businesses) I’m going to look for small business blogs and sites. Searching “small business blog” will show a ton of results in Google. I’ll go through and contact those sites.
My plan: Post one 1K article each week as a guest post. Again that’s not an easy task so if you wanted to do this yourself, try to get 1 a month. I plan to hire writers to help with guest posts. Don’t be a hero and do everything yourself! Use your staff and ask to see if anyone likes to write. Pay them a small fee and you’ll more likely get better work.
3. Use PPC (pay per click) to help my SEO. Huh?
The major goal of this SEO strategy is to produce kick ass content but you need people to see it. If your website traffic is low then you will need to promote that content. There are countless ways to promote a piece of content these days. To start I’ll use Facebook and then branch out to Twitter and other sources.
My plan: To start off I’ll be spending about $5 bucks a day to promote a blog post. Since I’ll be posting 1 article a week each one of those blog posts should get some shares and eyeballs reading them. My main reason is to see what piece of content is a winner. Of course I want them all to be but I know they won’t. When I find the winner I will scale the crap out of my PPC efforts and promote that piece of content everywhere.
4. Create a content upgrade for each onsite blog post.
I learned about content upgrades from Brian over at VideoFruit. The dude is crazy smart with content upgrades and email list building. A content upgrade is something extra you give your reader in exchange for their email address. For this exact post you can grab my SEO Strategy Cheat sheet when opting in below:
Download My SEO Cheat Sheet: I made it easy for you. Download my cheat sheet so you can boost your SEO efforts this year! Click here to download.
It’s a helpful 1-sheeter PDF you can refer to instead of reading this long post. This isn’t necessarily going to help your SEO efforts but I think when creating such valuable content, you should spend a little extra time and get some email subscribers out of it.
My plan: To create a unique content upgrade for each blog post I create on ReviewRail. Some will be PDF’s and others will be video tutorials. Since I want these to be good, this will be my Sunday task that I spend some time on.
5. Build citations on sites like Yelp and others.
I will be doing this with my local clients. It doesn’t really make sense for a software company that runs remotely to have a Citysearch profile. To me that’s a bit spammy but if you’re a local business then you should totally have this in your arsenal. I will soon be posting a long ass list of the citations I recommend. With that long ass list, I will also post how you can find someone to do the work for you for a small cost.
My plan (for my clients): The way I’ve built citations was always to do them slow and steady. You don’t want to submit your site to 100 citations in a week. It doesn’t look natural to Google. A few a month is totally cool. I would shoot for 5-10 of these a month. Quality is more important than quantity here. You want the information to be perfect on these.
6. Onsite optimization must be perfect and your site speed must be fast.
Your site needs to run fast, like a cheetah running through the wild fast (they can hit speeds up to 68.0–75.0 mph)! I’m working on another post of the onsite edits I do. Basically I’m going to give away my whole SEO strategy which might not be the smartest idea but with my new content I want to give away the farm. I want you to learn everything you can and if my competitors steal my information, so be it.
I’ve been reading a lot about website speed. That will be (and is already) a ranking factor in Google. There are some easy ways to make your site faster like decreasing the image size of pictures but it’s not all that easy. As I learn more about this I will pass on the info.
My plan: Make sure my site is in perfect working order. I already have a long checklist of SEO edits I make and website load speed is high on that list. It needs to load fast so users don’t get annoyed and Google sees I’m doing all that I can to make my users experience amazing.
7. Make sure my website is setup for conversions.
You can send traffic to your site all day long but if it doesn’t convert, you are wasting money.
I’ve been playing around with heat maps lately. They are programs that track your traffic and show you the hot spots on your site where people go and click. But a few programs out there actually track user movement and record each visit. One that I’m still testing but loving so far is LuckyOrange. This tool gives me the ability to see what my users are doing and helps with conversions. I will use this for myself and all my clients. At $10 bucks a month it’s a no brainer!
My plan: Watch to see what users are doing and then optimize my site according to their actions. I never want a user to think “how do I get more information” or “how do I make a purchase.” People don’t have patience for questions like that. Conversions should always be number one on your list. Like I mentioned earlier, you can send traffic to your site all day long but if it doesn’t convert, it’s worthless.
8. My secret, ninja tip…
When you are promoting your kick ass content you’ll also be creating an audience of people that are reading it. Then with retargeting ads you will put ads in front of those people and sell them your services/products. I’ll cover that in another post but remarketing is very powerful and I intend to take full advantage of it. Again this isn’t really a “SEO” tactic but I suggest your get this setup from day one.
My plan: In order to setup retargeting you need to setup a pixel on your site. I already have this in place for Facebook and Google. With this exact post I’m writing, I will promote it with Facebook ads and then put ads in front of people that read this article. If you have a lot of website traffic you might not even need to send traffic from Facebook ads. You can retarget people that read your content on Facebook and Google (display network). This is a litte more advanced and you’ll need to know how to do Facebook PPC. I’ll spin up a blog post soon about FB retargeting.
So there you have it! Sounds easy right? Nope not at all. But if you create a schedule for this and stick to it for 6 months just think of what you can do for your business. If you have employees, delegate some of the tasks to them. I intend to hire writers after I generate some more revenue but with an hour a day you can do most of this yourself. If you absolutely hate writing then just hire someone to write.
Putting out amazing, valuable content is a large focus of this strategy. Your users will love it, Google will love it and people will know that your site puts out kick ass content. Don’t be scared to give away all your greatest trade secrets.
I’ll keep you posted on how it goes for ReviewRail! If you have any questions comment below.