EPISODE 12: HOW TO MASTER THE ART OF SEO TO RANK HIGHLY ON GOOGLE
by Simone Sauter
SEO is a tool that will help you rank highly on search engines such as Google, Pinterest and YouTube.
It’s one of the most essential parts of the success of your business, and if your website doesn’t rank highly (or at all!), it’s going to be much harder to be visible.
End of story.
Instead of needing to go the traditional route and spend money on advertising, SEO allows you to grow your business, reach more clients, and position yourself as an authority in your field without needing to invest hours of your time.
SEO is also one of the best investments I have made in my coaching business.
I’ve reached more than 1 million people with my blog and all with organic traffic throughout the first two years.
They all found me through Google because my website and articles rank highly. My audience can see that I do know what I’m talking about, that I have authority in my field and that I can help solve people’s problems.
That’s why this blog post is very important to me. I want to share what I know about SEO with you so you can start ranking highly on those search engines and take your business to the next level too.
I will explain to you what SEO is and what you need to do to optimize your content to get maximum ROI on your efforts. I’ve also included a cheat sheet for this episode which you can find by clicking here.
Right, onto the content!
Click on play and listen to this episode:
WHAT IS SEO?
SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ and it’s a technique you can use to make your content more visible to search engines such as Google, YouTube, and Pinterest. Each of these are slightly different in how they work, but they all use the core SEO concepts.
Whenever you create content, you should be sure to take an extra 20-30 minutes to optimize your content for SEO so you can get higher in the rankings, get more traffic and grow your business to the next level. It might seem time-consuming at first, but by using the tools I’m about to share with you, you can do it faster and get the results you’re looking for. Besides, producing content without optimising it is simply a waste of your time, so be brave and dive right in.
Having said that, don’t expect quick returns.
SEO is a long-term project that takes an investment of your time, but it’s very much worth it.
Don’t expect SEO to pick up tomorrow. If you optimize a piece of content today, it might take a couple of weeks or even a couple of months for Google to pick up.
However, SEO optimisation works, so just put the effort in and then watch your blog grow.
Remember that the work you do here won’t just help you reach a wider audience. It will also help you to reach out to journalists. They use Google to search for content too.
You know, that’s how Cosmopolitan magazine found me. They wanted to make a big report on the topic of heartbreak and they found me because they googled something around heartbreak. Then they just contacted me. This is how I got six pages of coverage in Cosmopolitan, which was amazing.
If you want to check your current SEO status, I highly recommend Neil Patel’s SEO Analyzer.
HOW TO OPTIMIZE YOUR WEBSITE FOR SEO
Let’s dive into the four core things that you need to keep in mind when you start creating your content to help you rank more highly on those search engines. These include your content itself, your images, backlinks and website speed.
#1: Create amazing content which targets the right keywords
Before you start creating your content, you should always do your keyword research first.
A keyword is simply what someone types into a search engine when they’re looking for information. You can either type something directly into Google and see what keywords it automatically suggests for you, or you can use a keyword research tool.
Next, you need to use the keyword you’ve chosen in your content.
But first, a word of warning – make sure you’re staying focused on just one topic and answering just one question per piece of content to make it easier for Google to rank you.
Resist the urge to squeeze in content around 25 topics at the same time! You might feel like you’re adding value for your clients, but it will actually have the opposite effect.
Put your chosen keyword:
In your blog post title
In the URL (You might also need to go into your WordPress ‘settings’, click ‘permalinks’ and then chose the option that allows you to name your URLS. Then your website should automatically generate a ‘clean’ link for you which you can edit if required.)
In the Meta description. This is that little excerpt that you see when you Google something. It’s those two lines underneath the title link which provides more info about the content itself. You can edit this part in your own content to include keywords.
In your headlines and subheaders. You should make sure you make your blog post readable by adding headlines to break up the text. This is also a key place to add those keywords as Google will scan these when ranking your site.
Throughout your content. You should also add the keyword as often as you can throughout the text, but don’t stuff it! Ideally, you should aim for between 1-2 % (e.g. in a text with 1.000 words you should use it between 10 to 20 times max!).
Install this plugin
This might sound like a lot to keep in mind, but don’t freak out. You don’t have to do this all by yourself because there is an amazing plugin you can use to take all the hard work off your shoulders. I love it.
It’s called SEO Yoast. You just need to install the plugin and learn how to use it.
Don’t worry, it’s super easy and will allow you to keep track of everything that I’ve just said. It will give you an overview and allow you to see if your content is optimised for SEO by using a handy traffic light system. If it’s green, you know your content is great. If it’s orange, it’s OK, and if it’s red, you need to change something.
Also, make sure you’re writing lengthy articles and publishing on a regular basis. Google loves consistency, so make sure you’re publishing at least once a week. That’s really important, especially in the beginning.
I write between 2000 and 3000 words per post (or at least, my virtual assistant does when she converts my podcasts to blog posts).
Why is that? Google wants you to include lots of useful information for the reader and you can’t do this with 250 words. If you’re writing less than 2000 words, Google can see that this probably isn’t the best content. Generally, you should aim for at least 1.000 words!
Finally, make sure you’re linking up to previous posts that are relevant and useful. This provides your reader with extra value and shows Google that you are an expert in your field.
#2: Get your images SEO-friendly too!
The images you use on your website will also help you push yourself higher up the Google rankings if you know how to work them for SEO.
There are several steps you can take to make this work for you.
(1) Don’t upload huge images. They’ll take longer to load and make your website ‘heavier’.
(2) Only use the jpeg file format. Jpegs are smaller than pngs so help your website load faster.
(3) Use a plugin like Smush Image Compression and Optimization to compress the size of your images.
(4) Name your picture using keywords.
(5) Add ‘alt-text’ for all your images. This allows search engines like Google and also Pinterest to ‘read’ your images and so find your content more easily.
#3: Get backlinks
‘Backlinks’ are simply links on other people’s websites which point to you and your website.
When Google sees these backlinks, it thinks ‘Hey, this person must be creating awesome, useful content and must be an expert in their field. I’m going to rank it higher!’
So it would be very beneficial for you to use the power of backlinks to grow your authority in your niche.
To do this, first make sure you’re creating content that people love. This will encourage them to link to you in their own blogs, articles and on their websites.
Second, make sure you’re writing guest posts, appearing on podcasts and collaborating with other people as much as possible to get those backlinks.
Really pitch to other people (click here for more help on that ) and encourage people to link to your website. The better their site is and the more authority it has, the more juice you get for your SEO.
Pitching can be an incredible SEO booster!
Through my own PR work for my coaching business, I got backlinks from some really huge magazines and newspapers. One of them is called Bild.de and it has 147 million monthly readers, the website is ranked 369th in the world and it’s Germany’s #17 website when it comes to traffic.
As you can imagine, I got some very valuable backlinks from them.
Now, this didn’t happen because I’m lucky or I’m better than anyone else.
It happened because I did the work. I asked them to link to my website when I gave them an interview and they did.
I also got links from publications like Cosmopolitan magazine, Instyle, Closer and from many others too.
I also got backlinks from lots of guest articles that I wrote, especially in the beginning. It really takes Google some time to pick this up, but it’s well worth the effort in the end.
#4: Make sure your website is fast enough
One of the most important things when it comes to SEO is your website speed. If your website is slow, you don’t rank on Google.
Remember that Google’s goal is to provide everyone with the best service and provide the best result. So if they see that your website is slow, they’ll presume that it doesn’t provide enough value.
They know that people don’t want to wait for a page to load – they want results fast! It won’t make a difference if your content rocks – if it doesn’t load fast enough it won’t appear.
Just think of what happens when you search for something online.
You find a great website and then you click on the link and then it just takes like five, six, seven, eight seconds to load. It’s frustrating, isn’t it? So you’re likely to just give up and leave the page, clicking on to find a page that isn’t from ‘the dark ages’.
Now, what can you do to make your website faster?
There are several ways you can do this:
- Compress your images (see what I said earlier)
- Delete all the stuff in the backend of your website that you don’t need, such as installers, plugins that you don’t use, and so on.
- Only install plugins that you use and optimise the code if possible.
- Check your website’s performance by going to check the speed on the Developer’s tool from Google.
- Consider hiring help from Upwork if you’re stuck. It will really be worth it.
This might seem like a lot of information, but with a little practice, SEO will soon become second nature. Make sure you install the Yoast plugin and download the cheat sheet I’ve created to accompany this blog post.
SHARING IS CARING
Probably you already heard me saying how vital SEO is to become visible online. One crucial aspect of that is that my content is shared. So if you like what you heard/ read, please share with the social media buttons on this page. Thank you so much!
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