SEO Starter Guide
It’s probably one of the most common questions I get asked “How do you SEO something” or “How do you know what to write about and then optimize it?”
Basically it’s which comes first, the chicken or the egg type questions. So I decided to write a little SEO Starter Guide for you.
STEP 1: Know Your Topic & Be Passionate!
You need to know what you are going to write about or do a video on, etc. Dale Carnegie says that a poorly prepared speech given with passion is 100 times better than a well prepared passionless speech.
So you need to KNOW your stuff. If you need more help read Crush It!
STEP 2: Research Google
You are going to go lookRead More
Now onto some of the more “secret” tools that none of the “gurus” want you to know about. Keywords are easy to come by but how do you know if they are profitable? These advanced tools will help you scope out your competition and find the best words.
- Wordtracker – Wordtracker has one of the coolest keyword tools. You can type in your broad niche, like “carpet cleaning” or “real estate” and it will tell you how many times a day the word gets searched. Although the free version leaves out some vital information it does allow you to click on your niche word and discover even more words. Carpet Cleaning for example yielded Carpet Cleaning Companies which yielded “atlanta georgia carpet cleaning companies” which gets searched almost 50 times a day! When you look at the numbers, simply multiply them by 30 to get the “google” average, in this case,”atlanta georgia carpet cleaning companies” gets 1,500 searches a month. Not too bad.
- SpyFu – SpyFu is a tool that if I showed this too you first, you wouldn’t go anywhere else. The information is overwhelming. Watch the video to get a good understanding but it shows you what your competitors are doing, what related keywords (niche’s), what the results are, even the directories. It’s actually very complete but again it’s a ton of information.
- SEMRush – SEMRush offers a more streamlined view of the niche.’ Related phrase, organic results, adwords and more. Again, if you are looking for a niche finder, this is one of the better ones. Spyfu is more complete from a strategic marketing standpoint.
- Wordstream – Wordstream Keyword Niche Finder is by far my favorite since it does exactly what we are talking about. You enter your niche and find all kinds of words that are being searched, simply click on the bucket to reveal more words.
As social media and search engine marketers we often take for granted the free tools that we have at our disposal to come up with excellent keywords. You don’t have to be an SEO guru, because this information is free everyone (at least for the most part) and it’s simply takes time to use. We’ll cover the 9 ways (in two posts one for basic and one for advanced) to find keywords to use for your product or service. Whatever niche’ you pick, you should be passionate about it. No keyword, SEO, backlinkingg, etc will help you dominate and make the living you want unless you are passionate. The most powerful marketing is one where you are authentically coming from a place of value.
The fact is that hugely successful organizations think passion first, then profits.
- Crush It – Gary Vaynerchuk’s book called Crush It is required reading for any do-it-yourself marketer. Sure, there are several other books out there and yes, his book has little to do with keywords. However, his book does delve into how to find your niche and how to completely own it. It’s part of the foundation of our consulting program (not his book but the same principals). If you are a loss for where to start, this book should help you develop the mindset on owning your niche market.
- Google – You experienced folks may think I’m talking about the adwords keyword suggestion tool, and you’d be right (in one second). I often discover keywords simply by searching. The suggestions that google gives you are based on their searches so their pretty good. In addition, you can see the results right way and see how competitive a keyword niche is, but that’s another video and another post.
- Google Adwords Suggestion Tool – This is the first real tool. We’ve linked it here for you, but you simply put your keywords in there and out spits a bunch of suggestions. Of course, google wants you to use this information to target people searching and you can do that for sure, but if you haven’t nailed down which niche’ you are targeting then this is just research. A few things to notice are…
- * how one letter can effect results
- * the competition bar
- * average cost per click (you have to click on the column to add that piece) – this can tell you not only how expensive it is to market but usually means that the consumers searching this word are more likely making a buying decision.
- Twitter – OK, I know what you might be thinking but the new twitter.com has a search bar. Type in you word and see what people are talking about. This “tool” is more hit or miss but I’ve found some real gems and there’s an opportunity to be timely. FREE IDEA: Take note of the tweeters about your niche and then message them about your post!
- Youtube Ad Keyword Suggestion Tool – Not too many people use this one but it’s every bit as relevant, especially if you are thinking of doing video marketing. Consumers don’t vary too much from the words they search for. If you consider for a moment that YouTube visitors want to be entertained or educated, this concept isn’t much different than what someone wants when they search on Google. They just want information. The tool works like a very primitive version of the google tool. The columns are not sortable, but you still get some great data and suggestions.
As a business owner (you are a business owner whether you believe it or not), you have many options to market yourself. You have the entire world of print, direct mail, you can telemarket, network in person, network over the phone, network on the internet, you can put ads on google, ads on facebook, craigslist ads, the list can go on and on.
The key to success in marketing is actually very simple. Business owners complicate the matter because they are already usually doing several people’s job so they must master all of these “tools” as well. In truth, it’s the business owner with focus that will ultimately win, this is especially true of our service industry and consultants. The key?
Pick one “tool” and master that.
If you have a clear message and an easy way to do business with you (do you have a call to action?), then pick one of these and learn it inside and out. Don’t stress out about foursquare or twitter or linkedin if you and your business has decided to be on facebook first. One thing at a time. Even if you hire a consultant like us, we’ll want to walk through each of the tools. Each tool, has a different use and a slightly different audience. You don’t communicate the same way on linkedin that you do on facebook or myspace.
Learn to let go of needing to be it all, and just master one, then you can move on to the next one.
You’ve heard it for some time now that you need to have a website if you are in business. There’s a ton of myths like this one out there that are damaging for business owners. These myths about websites, seo and social media make business owners stress out about having to keep up and put stuff out there that some times they are not even proud of. They end up spending money on a website so they can slap it on their business card but never really think about what it is. We meet with a lot of business owners and they all know that they can get business on the internet but no one explained to them that the website has nothing to do with it.
Let me say it again, Your Website Does NOTHING for your business!
See it’s not your website that does anything for your business. I guess, technically, you could say it’s like an online brochure. However, just like a brochure, a website is useless without the correct message. If you don’t know what you are selling and who you are selling it to, then it makes no difference whether you have a website or not.
In fact, that’s why we don’t build websites, we build marketing strategies around the business owner’s passion. The whole goal of most business owners is to do what they love (and make money). If your website doesn’t communicate your passion and knowledge of your industry, product or service and doesn’t try to communicate to your customers, then it’s pretty pointless.
In fact, there’s a proven method that we use to help business owners.
- Discover your motivation
- Tap into your Passion
- Tune into your customer (WIIFM)
- Create what they want (Content)
- Deliver Value
- Convert the Customer into a Client (Turn it into a relationship)
- Build on that relationship (for referrals)
Interestingly enough, every one of these steps is amplified on the internet!Read More