SEO, short for search engine optimization, has become one of the hottest new areas to succeed in when it comes to acquiring and securing a digital audience. While paid ads can generate plenty in income, the costs can sometimes outweigh the overall benefit, while search engine optimization can secure long-lasting passive income with very little start-up cost involved.
Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t, but it is exceptionally competitive, with many marketing agencies specialising in the various forms of SEO that can be found out there. The silver-lining? SEO is not an exact science, giving plenty of people the opportunity to capitalise on all the opportunities that can be found out there.
The steps below can serve as your guide to mastering SEO, and beating the competition:
1. Know your niche
SEO is largely about the ability to capitalise on an untapped or semi-tapped niche that is in need of a certain solution. Usually when it comes to SEO, the more the niche is filtered down by various factors, the easier your life can become.
Another benefit to knowing your niche is the ability you then have to engage with that niche and write content that targets exactly what your target audience is looking for.
For example, if you’re writing a blog about coffee, the topic overall is a bit too broad to conquer. If you google the keyword coffee, you’ll have a range of different results appear on Google, making it exceedingly to answer the underlying query that the searcher is looking for. They could be searching for coffee shops, the best coffee to buy online, different types of coffee, or where the best coffee comes from.
As you could probably gather, having a blog solely about coffee would be quite hard to establish a foothold in. You may be better off writing a blog about the top 10 decaf coffee spots in Sandton (a suburb in Johannesburg in South Africa). Here, you have a more specific and answerable query, that is clearly geared to a certain niche: decaf coffee drinkers living in Sandton.
While the search engine results page has been won by trip advisor, they’re being very general, giving you an opportunity to be specific, and eventually win the keyword.
2. Write 10x content
10x content is more of a concept than it is an actual practice. 10x content is basically content that is better than the rest. So not like that last sentence. 10x content is content that is more specific, personalised, humorous, and engaging than any other content within your niche.
For example, if you’re looking to write about the best betting sites in South Africa, how can you do so in a way that it feels like you’re really speaking to the reader, and helping them through each of the steps and processes that need be seen through when choosing a bookmaker?
Humour is a great tool when it comes to writing this 10x content because not only does it build trust, but it also ensures that readers are more likely to stay on the given page to read more, and are more likely to return to your page to get more information. Of course, the likes of humour depend on what you’re writing about, but ensuring the content is personalised will always work in your favour.
3. Earn high-quality links
Earning links is one of the most important ranking factors on google. Having links from other websites that point to your website are kind of like mini votes of confidence. The idea of links on the web is similar to the idea behind the peer review process in academia. When one author references another, it is a way of showing the reader that the referenced author is an expert in the matter at hand.
The same logic applies to earning links on the web. If we keep with the coffee blog example, there may be a number of different coffee blogs like yours, that differ slightly. For example, we could be a Cape Town coffee blog, and since you’re both talking about popular coffee spots, a link from a website like this would be relevant and could help you increase your rankings.
Relevance is a big part of earning links. If you’re running a coffee website, you wouldn’t necessarily want to earn a link from a website that talks exclusively about motorbikes for example. A link there might feel a little bit unnatural.
But how do you earn high-quality links? It’s much easier said than done. Earning links is one of the hardest things to do in SEO, but you can do so by writing great content that is “link-worthy”. What that means, is that if your content is solving a specific problem, it is bound to eventually get linked.
These are just three top tips that can help new search engine optimisers can use to help the journey to get content ranking. The truth is, SEO is an everchanging game, with everchanging goal posts and levels of competition. Your best bet is to stay up to date with industry happenings, and continue creating content.
By Staff Writer.