The wisdom of Dora the Explorer:
Mapping Your SEO
May 10, 2015 • Scott Zeller
“We're all pilgrims on the same journey-but some pilgrims have better maps.” ~ Nelson DeMille
When my son was a toddler, we used to watch Nickelodeon and Disney constantly. Dora the Explorer was one of his favorite shows, featuring a young girl who, along with the help of her trusty sidekick Boots, always got where she wanted to go. But here's the thing...she could never get anywhere without her map. It was always about her map, for she knew that without it, she was lost. And that's where we're going to begin today.
The first step of our SEO journey is finding our mountain, and mapping our path to the top. In other words, how are we going to get the top of the rankings. The answer is keywords. Whether it's search engine optimization (organic search) or Pay-per-Click (paid search), it all begins with keywords.
Keywords (or key phrases) are basically the words that users are typing in to the search engine bar when searching for your products and services online. The goal is to find those keywords and phrases, so you can more effectively target them in your SEO and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns. Once we identify these keywords, we have the foundation for all of our online content, and we now have a path up the mountain. Are you still with me? If you need more research and information, and a better understanding of what keywords are, CLICK HERE.
Before we move on, I want to note that the keyword research for SEO is going to be different in strategy and tactics than it is for PPC. So to keep it simple, let's just focus on SEO right now.
To start your research, I want you to narrow down the different products and services that your company offers, then create a separate keyword set for each. For instance, with my business, I offer SEO. But I also offer marketing consultation and web design. Three different areas, so we create three different keyword sets. Once you have those sets down on paper, now you're ready to build your banks.
Keyword research is not what it used to be, as Google's algorithms have become much more semantic over the last few years. In other words, Google groups sets of related keywords now, so even though you are not specifically targeting a widely used keyword such as "digital marketing", and are instead targeting "online marketing", the algorithms are smart enough now to know that it's basically the same thing. So keyword targeting from an SEO perspective is easier than it used to be. And website content is more contextual now. Beyond writing your keywords and phrases into the content, you need to make sure everything on your page, on your post, on your site, all needs to be relative to everything else that's on your page, post, and site. And it all needs to point, or be related to the keywords that you are trying to place for on the search engines. Just think of your online brand (website, social networks, emails, blogs, etc.) as one large community, all moving in unison in the direction of a particular discipline, product, or service, with the keywords that you are targeting providing the framework. Consistency in your message is the key.
There is very good recent article from Gianluca Fiorelli about exactly HOW to do keyword research. It's thorough, easy to understand, and it's great for both beginners and experts. CLICK HERE TO READ IT.
Then once you have your keyword banks built, you have your map. Your direction. Your path up the mountain.
Next week, we'll do a special post on Pay-Per-Click (PPC). Paid search. As I mentioned in an earlier post, SEO is a long-term strategy. The work you do today takes weeks and even months to show a return. PPC is a short-term solution. So you can develop your strategy, and implement a plan that will put you on the first page of Google the very same day.
To stay up on all the latest in the world of SEO, check back here weekly, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook as we cut through the clutter, and keep you in-the-know with your SEO. Have a great week, and we'll talk again soon.
April 29, 2015 - The Slow Climb to the Top, and Other Key SEO Strategies
April 20, 2015 - Mobile Mania, and Things Yet to Come - Google's New Mobile Algorithm