7 SEO Commandments From Semalt 

With a good SEO strategy, you kill two birds with one stone. Reaching the top of Google and building a good relationship with your customer. I'm guessing you want that too. What I'm about to tell you may come as a surprise...

Getting to the top of Google and building a good relationship with your customer are not far apart.

You don't have to take my word for it. But if you take a look at our blog you will see that we have several of our articles ranked first in the Google search engine. Today I'm going to explain exactly why and how you can do the same for your business.

The search engine optimization (SEO) tips I give you in this article form a step-by-step plan that will help you get ahead in Google while working on a good relationship with your customer.

So let's start with the first commandment!

First commandment: Choose a niche and make it your speciality

Making choices is one of the hardest things you can do. Because if you choose one, you have to let go of the other. It sounds simple enough, but it's a difficult task for most people.

We are afraid to let go of something because we may "get good at it too". We call this "loss aversion".

This is a common mistake in online marketing. You only have two or four hands available for your marketing activities and yet you want to be found on many different topics. But which would it rather be? Being found on 100 keywords in 10 topics or 10,000 in one topic?

If you don't make a choice, the quality of your content will never be better than mediocre and neither Google nor your target audience expects that. In the meantime, it leads to irritation for you and your colleagues. You work hard, but the results are not there.

So pick a topic, focus on it and make it your speciality. By focusing on one topic, you keep the big picture in mind. It becomes easier to write high-quality content and get measurable results.

You will create as much content as possible around that topic. Use pillars and clusters for this. A pillar is a main topic and a cluster is a subtopic. The pillars are technology, content and authority. Different clusters fit into these pillars such as: website speed, on-page SEO and link building. 

Over time, you will find that Google and your target audience will consider you an authority in your field.

The speciality you should choose depends on three things:
  • What do you and your colleagues know the most about?
  • What topic is the closest to your paid product?
  • How fierce is the competition within that speciality?

Second commandment: create SEO content that answers your target audience's questions

After you have chosen a speciality, it's time to create content on your website. It's okay if you haven't chosen a specialization yet, just keep in mind that you need to.

As I said in step one, you want to build a quality relationship with your target audience. For every page (product) you create, blog you write or video you shoot, ask yourself the following questions:

"What problems does my target audience have and how can I best respond to them?"

As you can see, I've highlighted the "best possible" text. The more value you add, the better.

Let me explain this in more detail with a step-by-step plan:
  • Do a keyword search. Connect with the search behaviour of your target group
  • Write killer content. Answer your target group's questions as best as possible
  • Page optimization. Tell Google what questions you've answered

Conduct keyword research: Choosing the right keywords

Good keyword research is essential for a successful SEO campaign. You can use a free tool like Google's Keyword Planner. But I recommend using a paid service like the Dedicated SEO Dashboard. This magical keyword tool is so much better. 

 Yes, you have to pay for it, but your website is worth it. 

A monster blog can have up to 10 sub-topics. This way, you can rank on 1000 short and long-tail keywords with just one blog. Note that the dedicated SEO dashboard can really help you with this. Its particularity is that it is able to show you even the keywords on which your competitors are ranking. This will be of great help to you to implement your SEO strategy.

Third commandment: Meet the needs of your target audience

Do you remember the main objective of your content? Exactly, to provide value.

Always make sure you provide enough value to meet the needs of your target audience before you try to sell. This is where 95% of online entrepreneurs go wrong.

They try to sell products or services without considering the four stages of thinking about their target audience's customer journey.

To better understand your visitors, we will divide them into four groups namely: See, Think, Do, Stay. Each group describes a different consideration phase of your target audience. 

See:  This phase has the largest target audience. This includes all the potential buyers of your product. They don't know about your product or show interest yet.

Think: These are all the people who are interested in your product.

To Do: In this phase, all the people who show an active interest in your product and also want to buy it at this time fall.

Remain: these are all the people in your target group who have already purchased a product.

You don't need to know more at this stage and you certainly don't need to know them by heart. 

Then why do I mention them? 

I want you to realize that not all visitors to your website are the same.

If your reader came to your website via Google, they probably don't know you yet. You have not yet established a relationship with this person.

This visitor would like you to give such good answers to their questions. How irritating is it to immediately make the sale?

Check this out for yourself. How often do you open a web page and are immediately thrown to death with text like "buy now", "order today" or "book direct" before you know if this business is right for you? Boring right?

So don't move on to sales techniques until your visitor is ready.

I'm not going to tell you to stop using those words. But wait for the right moment and offer visitors who don't want to buy yet other options.

By answering your target audience's questions to the best of your ability, you've already started to create value. Now it's important to connect with your visitor's other needs. This will be done through the user experience. This is what we will discover next.

Commandment four: Optimize the user experience on your website

Now you know what you want to write about, what type of content to create and how to keep your website visitors close to you. But what about the user experience of your website?

Your website is the foundation of all content. If the user experience is not good here, you will quickly lose visitors and your Google ranking will drop.

It's time to take a closer look at this user experience. We won't go into too much detail here, the purpose of this section is to understand how to improve and optimize the user experience. 

Ask yourself the following questions about your website:
  • Is my content easily accessible?
  • Is my content easy to read?
  • Is my content easy to navigate?
Doing this for each page will make your website more user-friendly.

Tip: Ask visitors for feedback. If you don't have many visitors yet, ask your friends or colleagues to rate your website on the above points.

Fifth commandment: Become an authority with your target group and Google

At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that you want to become an authority in your field. Both with your (potential) customer and with Google. But how do you become an authority in the eyes of Google?

From day one, Google has cared about what others think of your website. What is your reputation? Are other websites talking about your website? Then you build a positive reputation. In the past, the focus was on quantity, but they are paying more and more attention to quality.

Online Reputation

Develop your authority by building a solid online reputation.

To gain authority in the eyes of Google, you must become "popular", getting others to refer to you. Let's take the example of the "lose weight without a gym" blog.

Each page referring to the "Lose weight without a gym" page counts as a link. A link from an external website is called a backlink.

The more these links point to the page, the better your reputation. In the past, it didn't matter where exactly the link came from. Today it is different, qualitative links count much more than non-qualitative links.

For example, you score more points if a popular blogger with many visitors recommends your "Lose weight in 30 days challenge" in one of his blogs, than if you put your challenge on a homepage with 1000 other links to weight loss. 

Sixth Commandment: Analyze your progress and ask for feedback

Working on SEO and your customer relationship takes time. So it's a good idea to check regularly if you are on the right track. And to do this, you need to:

Analyze your progress

Know that you are on the right track. Check your progress regularly.

What to watch out for?

It's important not to do too much at once.

As you've read, there's a lot to consider when optimizing your content. If you want to improve all your pages at once, it will take too much time, which will lead to frustration.

Choose a number of pages with associated keywords that are important to your business and start analyzing them.

Check if your pages, texts and images are optimized.

If your website is made in WordPress, you can use Yoast to check if your page base is set up correctly. You can also keep a list of the parts you want to optimize a page on and then go through that list.

To analyze and optimize the page, it is important that you use the right tools. These tools often cost money, but they save time and provide insight. 

Semalt has recently developed an SEO tool called the Dedicated SEO Dashboard. It is a tool that is currently revolutionizing the SEO world. This tool is much appreciated by SEO experts, as it contains all the important data to track the progress of your clients' SEO campaigns. And they can also review this themselves. This gives a better overview of the results. Moreover, with the help of this tool, you can easily do a competitive analysis, an in-depth audit of your website and many other things affecting the progress of your online business. 

You may not have to take my word for it. That's why I'm inviting you to take a free 14-day trial offered by Semalt to appreciate this tool's capability and performance.

Now, let's move on to our last important step to consider.

Commandment Seven: Don't give up and keep working on the relationship

Give all the effort you put into SEO a chance to do its job. Don't give up too quickly if immediate results aren't forthcoming.

Think of SEO as playing the guitar. At first, you'll have a hard time moving your fingers across the strings, making it feel like it takes forever to play a simple tune.

But once you master the basics and accompany a good tool, you'll notice that the follow-up steps will come much easier. That's how it works with SEO.

Don't give up too quickly even though it may seem like nothing is happening at first. In a few months, all the effort will pay off.

If you need to learn more about the subject of SEO and website promotion, we invite you to visit our Semalt blog.

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