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5 Steps to Improve Your SEO

If you want to increase (and improve the quality of) your organic traffic, you’re in the right place. Follow these five steps to get in front of the right audience.

Choose 5 keywords

The key here is to get specific. We’ve all heard someone say that it’s better to do a few things well than a lot of things poorly. That applies here.

Choose 5 keywords

The key here is to get specific. We’ve all heard someone say that it’s better to do a few things well than a lot of things poorly. That applies here.

Think about which keywords will make the biggest difference for your business, then look at their monthly search volumes and competition. Ideally, you want to choose words that have high search volumes but low competition. Google offers the perfect tool within the Adwords interface called Keyword Planner- which provides monthly search volume, average cost-per-clicks, and level of competition- in addition to generating keyword ideas for you.

If you’re already ranking well for a particular keyword, consider whether it needs to be on your list. Our goal is to improve your organic traffic overall – so if you’re already happy with the performance of a particular word, don’t spend your time optimizing for that word. Instead, focus your efforts on terms that you rank poorly for but garner high search volume and consumer interest.

Note: Depending on the current state of your organic traffic and how large your team is, you may want to choose fewer than 5 keywords. That’s fine. We recommend 5 as your maximum number to focus on at one time, but you can certainly do less.

Research the intent behind your keywords

You want to make sure that the information you’re giving users is the information they want.

The easiest way to do this is to simply run a search through a search engine. What types of results show up? Are you seeing definitions, how-to guides, products to buy, review sites, or something else entirely? Google’s Keyword Planner will serve you well here for keyword discovery.

Make a note of what you find. You’ll want your content to be in the same vein while also providing information that no one else does.

Pick a landing page for each of those keywords

Each keyword needs one clear page that you’ve designed to rank for search engines.

Generally, teams will fall into one of two buckets.

One: You have multiple pages on your site that relate to each keyword. If this is the case, use the intent research you’ve done to identify which one should be the landing page. The page that already provides the information people are looking for is the one that you should optimize.

Two: You have no information about that topic. If this is the case, start by building a single page that focuses on the topic you identified in the previous step. While this could be a traditional page on your website, it could also be a blog post, an article, or an ebook. Pick the option that makes the most sense for you.

Optimize (or create) those pages

The #1 goal for earch engines is to give readers relevant, helpful information. As the algorithms continue to evolve, they continue to add capabilities that measure how valuable your content is.

So what does this mean for you? First and foremost, you should be creating content that gives readers what they’re looking for. If they’re searching “What is aloe vera?,” you should have your answer near the top of the page.

Once you have that in place, there are a few strategies you can use to tell search engines that you have good content.

First, and most obviously, you’ll want to mention your keyword several times on the page. Just keep in mind that search engines are set up to detect keyword stuffing (i.e. adding a term too many times).  If you’ve added “aloe” to every other sentence – including places where it doesn’t make sense – the algorithm will notice and lower your page’s ranking.

Second, you’ll want to add related terms. So if you’re talking about aloe plants, you may also want to add “plant,” “dirt,” “sunlight,” and “water.”  These related terms are a way to tell search engines that your content is robust and relevant.

If you’re not sure what you should or shouldn’t add, consult an expert on the topic. If they think something should be there, add it. If they don’t, remove it. Anteriad Search is happy to assist with this consultation.

Build up your backlinks

There are two types of backlinks: internal and external. Ideally, you want both.

However, you have far more control over your internal backlinks, so that’s where you should start.

Look at all of the pages that relate to your keyword. Every one of those pages should include a link to the page you identified above. For example, let’s say you’ve decided to optimize for “apple pie.” “Best Apple Pie Recipe” is the page you’re optimizing, but you’ll also want to link out to your apple-ginger pie recipe and your Thanksgiving recipes roundup. And in turn, you’ll want to link back to “Best Apple Pie Recipe” from those pages.

This is what many people call a hub-and-spoke model. One page serves as your hub, while the other pages are spokes that branch off from it.

When you’re ready to take it one step further, start thinking about external backlinks. What external domains can you influence? YouTube is always a great choice (add a link in your video description), as are review sites and marketplaces where your product is listed.

If your company has a partnership with another company, ask if they’ll link back to your page. If you’re working with influencers, do the same.

This is a great place for creative thinking. If you have an idea for a great external backlink, try it out and see what happens.

Moz’s Link Explorer tool is a great (and free) way to measure the amount of external backlinks and root domains pointing back to your site. Each domain linking to you has their own Domain Authority score- the higher the better (e.g. a link from YouTube with a Domain Authority Score of 99 will provide more “link juice” than other sites with lower DA scores.)

Note: focus on acquiring external followed links. Unfollowed links are ones that don’t provide you any link juice from search engines!