Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the core skills for an affiliate marketer or anyone who wants to get their presence noted on the Internet. You use SEO to tell everyone on the Internet that “I am here, and this is my new blog post, social media post or YouTube video”. If you haven’t focused on SEO in your content, it doesn’t mean that your blog or content couldn’t go viral without focus on SEO.
Aside from the technical aspect of SEO, your website, articles and reviews need to be readable for your audience and provide good value for the time spent on your website, providing a solution.
The “science” of SEO is in constant development as the Internet and trends are constantly changing. Keeping on top of SEO is a necessary skill to acquire if you want to get noted on the digital highway. Without SEO in focus, you will have a significantly lesser chance to get noticed in the vast sea of the Internet.
It is important not to get lost in and confused by the technicalities of SEO. The tendency is away from all the technical mumbo jumbo, going towards what gives the audience value for the money.
So let us take a closer look and try to answer what is SEO about.
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SEO – The Definition
According to Hubspot, SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization or can also mean “search experience optimization”.
It is a term that describes the techniques or methods used to make your content easily discovered and, as such, rank higher in Search Engine Page Results (SERPs).
Other definitions which are helpful to understand the basic principles of SEO are as follows:
“Organic search refers to someone conducting a search through a search engine and clicking on a non-paid result. Organic search is a search marketing channel that can be used as part of inbound marketing to increase website traffic.” – HubSpot.
The visitors to your website, finding your content via the search engines on the Internet.
Direct traffic is traffic from a link shown on a social media platform or a listing on your website or a forum.
Keyword stuffing is the term describing the practice of bombarding your article with the keyword you have selected, believing you will be seen better and get a higher ranking in the search engine.
This practice has the opposite effect. The search engines don’t like keyword stuffing, and I am sure you have read some articles and can relate to how exhausting it can be to read an article stuffed with keywords.
SEO strategy is your plan to utilize SEO to leverage your website and products to gain reach and conversions.
The crowd of people you are writing your content for. This is the crowd that has the problems that you can provide a solution to.
An example is SEO and how to use it. This is often the pain point for many content creators. SEO seems complicated and difficult when the reality is the opposite; SEO is not difficult or complex.
Long Tail Keyword:
Often referred to as low hanging fruit. These are keywords that are longer and more specific phrases that visitors use to find what they are searching after. They comprise more than three words and usually have a lot lower search volumes than shorter keywords.
They are excellent to use as you are more likely to get higher rankings by using them, as the competition is low.
Keyword Quality Index (KQI):
A colour indicator used in the Jaaxy keyword tool, showing how good your keyword is. Does your keyword have a good meaning and description, and is it something people would search for; does the search phrase make sense?
Quoted Search Results (QSR):
The term used to describe the exact number of results on any exact search phrase on the Internet. In other words, it shows the exact number of web pages containing the exact keyword you have used.
What Is SEO Exactly?
It is essential to understand that the main objective of SEO is to drive traffic and conversions for your service and products.
In its simplest form, SEO is how you make sure that your content is shown in the highest possible position on the different search engine’s search results when someone searches for a keyword.
Let’s say that a person searches for “how to change tyres on your car”, and you have an article on your website providing the answer to this; you will want to make sure that your blog post is shown at the top of the SERP’s for the different search engines.
You can explain SEO as a strategy to ensure that anyone who searches for a product or service category will see your website at the top of the search results. In this process, it will channel more to your website and increase the chance of getting conversions.
When you have a good SEO strategy for your content, it drives two things; ranking and visibility.
How Do Google Rank Content?
Google use site rankings to how and where the search engines place your site or article in the SERPs (Search Engine Results).
The visibility of your website describes how prominent your content is on the SERPs when someone searches for something on the Internet related to your content, for example, this blog post about SEO. Your domain and relevant article show up high in the SERPs for the relevant search query with high visibility.
Where and how is SEO Utilized?
SEO is a part of every content that you create. The search engines are analyzing two things to decide the most relevant information to their users, and that is; relevance and authority.
Relevance, which is the relevance between the search query and the content that are o your article and assess it by factors like the topic or keywords you have used.
Authority, which is measured by the popularity of your website on the Internet. The more popular your site is on the Internet, the more valuable Google assume your content is to your readers.
How to use SEO? When blogging, your keyword should be reflected in the title of the blog. It is recommended to repeat your keyword within the first paragraph of your content. After that, it depends on how long your article is to decide how many times your keyword should be repeated.
In an article of 1000 words, the rule of thumb is to repeat your keyword not more than three times.
If you have images in your blog post, you must remember to add your keyword in the images alt text. This is often forgotten.
How To Build an SEO Strategy?
What is an SEO strategy, you probably wonder? The Cambridge Online Dictionary defines strategy as:
This means that an SEO strategy is a method of structuring a website’s content by topic to improve the chances of discovery in search results. It is the framework you use to optimize the opportunity to attract organic traffic from all search engines.
Ok, that is fine, but how do you build a strategy like that? Hubspot’s recommendation is to note down the following steps and follow them to a tee:
- Create a list of topics.
- Make a list of long-tail keywords based on these topics.
- Build pages for each topic.
- Set up a blog.
- Create a consistent blogging schedule.
- Create a plan for link-building.
- Your media files must be compressed before uploading them to your site.
- Keep yourself updated on SEO news and best practices.
- Measure and track your content’s success.
This method of operation is the one that many recommend, and it is taught at one of the best teaching platforms for affiliate marketing, Wealthy Affiliate.
There are a lot of free tools that can help you find topics and keywords. What are your own interests? or what are people searching for? You can check Google trends and Twitter trends.
Alltop is a website, a hub where trending topics in different categories are listed after popularity.
One of my favourite tools is Jaaxy. With Jaaxy, it is easy to keep track of trends and keywords and save them for future use.
Take the keywords and trends you find with Jaaxy and do further research on Google Search Console, Answer Socrates or Answer the public.
How Do You Measure the Effect of SEO?
The effect of how good your website and your content are concerning SEO, is simply how popular your site is on the Internet. With that being said, if you gain attraction from another audience than who you are aiming for, you need to analyze what you are doing that causes you to miss your audience and adjust accordingly.
In more technical terms, there are several tools that can show you how good your SEO skills are. One of these is Google Analytics, which is a great tool showing your website and your contents performance very well. The tool shows you all the details you need, showing you where and how your website performs best or worst.
There are keyword tools that also have similar features and more to help you understand how you perform. Jaaxy is my personal favourite due to its ease of use and its range of excellent features. You can read my review of it here.
On your website, you can make use of SEO plugins that “automagically” optimizes your website and content performance for you like AIO SEO, Rankmath and Yoast to name a couple of them.
The AIO SEO plugin is automatically installed in the WordPress integrations that Wealthy Affiliate uses, with its one-click installation and publication solution. After the installation, there is a few clicks and adjustments to it, and it is optimized for use on your site.
Local and Black Hat SEO – What is it?
You have probably heard about Local SEO and Black Hat SEO, but never quite understood what it is.
According to Hubspot, Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of improving search engine visibility for local businesses, primarily those with brick-and-mortar locations. By following local SEO best practices, businesses can improve organic traffic from searches performed by customers in nearby areas.
So in other words Local SEO is the methodology you use to leverage your local stores and businesses to do as good as possible.
Black Hat SEO:
Black hat SEO is the practice where search engine guidelines are intentionally broken, in order to achieve a site ranking higher in search results (SERPs). These tactics are unethical and don’t solve anything for the searcher and often end in getting penalized by the search engines.
Black hat techniques involve the following practices:
- keyword stuffing,
- using private link networks.
The penalty received by the search engines can be to getting wiped completely from the search results or being bumped down to a significantly lower position.
It is simply the methodology of cheating, using dirty tricks to gain undeserved traffic, and will penalize you when discovered. It will hurt your brand and name badly if you do this.
Know what it is and avoid it in your daily routines. Techniques that are used in Black hat SEO is keyword stuffing, cloaking, sneaky redirects, Poor quality content, paid links, Abusing Structured Data/Rich Snippets, blog comment spam, link farms, private blog networks.
I Am Still Learning SEO
I started to learn about SEO as I started my affiliate marketing journey last year with Wealthy Affiliate. My mentor, Nathaniell Brenes, has an excellent blog outside of Wealthy Affiliate, which has tons of very good articles and guides on how to do SEO and making money online
I mentioned Google Webmaster Guidelines, which you should refresh at regular intervals. Another very good, free resource is Nigel Patels blog site. If you don’t know who he is, look him up. He is one of the “guru’s” within SEO. His website has tons of good training, tips and nuggets. You can also watch his free training on Youtube.
My favourite central hub for learning more about this is Wealthy Affiliate. The platform calls itself «The Home of Affiliate Marketing” which is a statement they can use with confidence. They teach beginners in online business and online marketing how to get started and grow their business, and experienced marketers how to leverage their expertise even more.
What you get is a complete package, that includes one of the better SEO tools available online, Jaaxy. You can read my review of Jaaxy in the following article.
Some Final Words
Starting out and getting ranked on the Internet is a skill of patience. Following general guidelines, be consistent in your posting and do not stuff your content with keywords, but be of real help to your target audience, will rank you quicker than mere technical skills.
I would like to quote Nathaniell Brenes on this advice from his blog, which I think is central to success:
“Google looks at your entire article to figure out what you’re talking about, then matches that with what a person searching for (the intent).
In other words, you could have a very successful website without ever spending money on a keyword tool. As long as you have good ideas to write about, you’ll rank and earn money.
Good stats don’t guarantee rank. Doing your due diligence, knowing your niche, and having a passion for engaging with your audience all come into play when writing excellent content that people want to read, share, and click” – Nathaniell Brenes, One more cup of Coffee
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