There’s a lot of information out there on SEO.
Some of it’s good, some of it’s bad – but nonetheless, it forces us to cut through the noise and figure out what actually works.
I’m not saying this article will cover every corner of SEO, but it will cover the fundamentals….and that’s all you need to start improving your rankings today.
Main Logic of SEO
Don’t get me wrong, site speed and backlinks are important – but that’s a by-product of SEO, not the main logic.
And when you just focus on the main logic, crazy things start to happen.
So what’s the main logic?
Just make Google better.
That’s right, just make Google better. And by better, I mean better for Google’s readers.
Because when you really think about it, that’s what they care about…and that’s the way their algorithm is going to be designed.
So, how do you do this?
As I’m sure you’ve heard, nobody really knows the exact details of Google’s Search Algorithm.
But from my personal experience and common logic, they measure “better” by certain metrics.
Those metrics include:
Click-through Rate (CTR)
A high click-through rate shows Google that their readers like your article, putting it in the “better” column
How do you do this?
Create an attention-grabbing headline and meta description. Those are the two things that people see in search results.
Also, make sure you include your primary keyword in the headline. The closer to the front, the better…but just make sure it looks good. It’d be counterintuitive if you didn’t.
Alright, so we’ve got the reader on your article…now it’s important to capitalize on the second metric – bounce rate.
Why bounce rate?
Because it shows Google that readers also like your page once they get there. It serves as a safety gate to make sure you’re not just creating great headlines with junk articles.
How do you do this?
Create a great article that keeps your reader engaged the entire time. This is usually done with Copywriting ,images, and actionable information…things that people actually like to see.
Also, make sure you include a call-to-action (CTA) on every article…and make sure the call-to-action goes to another page of yours. If a reader goes to another page, they don’t count as another bounce.
But make sure the CTA is pushing them one step closer to your goal – whether that be a sale or an email capture.
Social Media Shares
The last metric that has produced great results for me is social media shares.
Why social media shares?
This is important for a few reasons, but the primary two are:
1. It puts your article in front of more people, giving you an opportunity for more clicks (higher CTR)
2. The more shares you get, the more Google thinks people like your article… launching you into the “better” category
How do you do this?
Helpful Hint: ALWAYS share your articles on Google +, it seems to get indexed a lot quicker that way
Another Helpful Hint: Always use attention-grabbing images for your article. That’ll help bring attention to your link. If you’re not the creative type, I highly advise Canva.
Last Helpful Hint: Have a few different social media accounts. Even if it’s just one company account and one personal account for each network, that alone can produce significant results over time.
Then there’s keywords
So the most important metrics were listed above. If you can excel in these, you’re off to a great start…and there’s a good chance you’ll find your way onto the front page of Google.
But that’s not ALWAYS what you want.
What do I mean?
You want to rank high for certain keywords. Keywords that’ll attract the audience you’re looking for.
So here’s the guidelines to keyword placement:
Include your keyword in your URL
If possible, just make it your URL.
For example, if your keyword was, “What is SEO?”…then your URL should look like – sampleurl.com/what-is-seo (not an actual URL).
It doesn’t always have to be the exact headline, but it should always have your primary keyword in there.
Include your keyword in the first 100 words
So we’re off to a great start and we’ve shown Google what your keyword is, but it’s still an algorithm – so we have to take it one step further and confirm this keyword.
That’s really what the rest of these guidelines do, but our first step is to make sure it’s within the first 100 words.
Again, just make sure it looks natural. If it doesn’t you’ll risk the important metrics (CTR, Bounce Rate, and Social Media Shares).
Include your keyword in some H2 tags
The technical logic for this one is that H2 tags carry more weight, so having your keyword in them gives it a higher ranking.
The common sense logic for this one is that H2 tags (headers) make the article look better. They serve as a separate article for skimmers and a guide for actual readers.
In other words, use H2 tags/headlines to make the article look better, and if possible – include your keyword when you can.
Include your keyword in the “alt text” section of your image
I’m sure you’ve caught on to the “create good articles for the reader” theme, and this guideline isn’t any different.
Google likes pictures because their readers like pictures, but Google’s crawlers can’t see pictures, and that’s where “alt text” comes in.
In short, alt text tells the crawlers what the picture is, so that’s exactly how you should word it.
Including the keyword just serves as bonus points, e.g. – “SEO EBOOK”….
And if you’re interested, here’s a free copy of my EBOOK that explains everything in more detail (click on image):
Include your keyword in the last 100 words
The last guideline for spoon-feeding the Google crawler, make sure the keyword is included in the last 100 words.
The easiest way to do this is having a closing paragraph that’s short and led by an H2 tag…that also includes your keyword.
No need to be fancy, something like this will work:
Recap – Fundamentals of SEO
That’s the 14-Minute Guide to SEO. This article wasn’t meant to be all-inclusive and cover every angle of SEO, but it does teach you the fundamentals.
And once you understand the fundamentals, the rest comes easy.