In the space of 5 minutes, the Google outage in 2013 caused global internet traffic to drop by 40% ! This figure illustrates the weight that this search engine represents on the web. Especially since Google now processes nearly 4 million searches every minute.
It is for this reason that if you want to prosper on the web, you are obliged to make yourself visible in Google results. In the absence of the first position, it is essential to rank on the first page since 75% of users never exceed it.
However, this is not an easy task since the competition is quite heavy with nearly 2 billion websites listed in 2019. To achieve your goal of visibility in search results, you need SEO or natural reference.
SEO brings together all the practices that aim to improve your ranking in organic results. But when you search for SEO, most content usually only stops at the definition of SEO and its issues.
Today I’m going to show you a complete strategy that has already proven successful. It includes all the steps and tools you need to concretely optimize your ranking in the SERPs. So follow!
The 5 steps to an effective SEO strategy
“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not the simplest.“ Albert Einstein.
This quote perfectly sums up what I learned as an SEO Consultant: The best strategies are usually the simplest ones.
This strategy that I am about to give you is actually simple to follow. That said, a thing can be simple and not be easy. This is exactly the case with this strategy, I prefer to tell you already that it is neither easy, quick or spectacular. You will always have to exert a great effort in order to see significant results.
In the long term incredible return on investment. Especially since it is a formula that works and whose results will not be affected by penalties from Google’s algorithms.
You guessed it, this strategy is based on white hat SEO practices and I can break itdown into 5 steps:
- Offer the best user experience;
- Satisfy search intent;
- Build authority your website’s
- Improve and share;
- Track performance.
This strategy has helped a lot of websites drive traffic and I’m sure it might help you too.
Step 1: Offer the best user experience
User experience is one of the elements that represents the most value in the eyes of Google’s algorithms. Indeed, the search engine wishes to offer its users the best possible results likely to meet their needs, their requests.
To do this, Google will offer content that will correspond as closely as possible to the search intent for a given query.
For example, if someone types in Google “buy shoes”, it should result in e-commerces that will offer models of shoes to buy.
Search intent is one of the most fundamental concepts of SEO that is essential to understand. I will come back to this in the development of the next pillar.
But as you can imagine, simply satisfying search intent isn’t enough for Google to rank websites in its results.
The quality of the website as a whole and individual pages plays a big role in the ranking process. In fact, it is very important to provide an optimal user experience and there are several reasons for this.
Why should you prioritize user experience?
On the internet, as in life in general, you don’t have much time to make a good first impression.
According to Jakob Nielsen, the average website visitor will leave your page in less than 20 seconds. For its part, Time magazine estimates according to its own research that most users leave within 15 seconds.
From these two studies, it appears that the average user will stay on your site for less than 20 seconds. In other words, you have 20 seconds to capture the attention of your website visitors.
Your goal in most cases will be to do whatever you can to keep them around longer.
Indeed, if users spend a lot of time on your website, it implies that they are interested in what you offer. In addition, visitors who stay the longest are likely to convert much faster and you increase your chances that they will become:
- Your prospects;
- Your customers ;
- Subscribers to your newsletter;
- Or shareyour content on social media.
In other words, a high dwell time or time spent on your important site is considered a positive user experience signal.
In addition to having direct benefits on the website, a high dwell time also improves SEO performance insofar as when users linger on a web page, Google considers that it arouses the interest of internet users.
At this level, it may be legitimate to wonder how Google manages to obtain such information.
If, for example, you use Google Analytics on your website, user behavior can be easily analyzed by the American firm.
Additionally, there is now evidence that Google uses its Chrome browser to collect information and track user behavior on websites.
Not to mention that if you use an Android phone or a phone with Google technology, your every behavioris tracked and analyzed.
These are not the only options Google has for evaluating user experience on a website. But the observation is clear: The user experience matters a lot in SEO. So how do we optimize it ?
1.1. Optimize the loading speed of your website
It is important to note that loading speed is a very important ranking factor at Google. Why ? Look at these numbers: 53% of users will leave the page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load and top ranked sites take an average of 1.9s to load.
Google says, “ Speeding up websites is important – not just for site owners, but for everyone on the Internet. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. “.
Additionally, several studies have found a strong correlation between ranking in SERPs and website loading speed.
Given these stats, you need to make your website loading speed a priority.
Most users don’t have the patience to wait long seconds to access the information they are looking for. Moreover, thereare several other pages in the results that are likely to provide an answer to what they are looking for.
To check and improve the speed of your website, you can check out this resource from lafabriquedunet.fr. Soon, I will also make a complete guide on the subject.
1.2. Build a responsive website that displays well on mobile
When they have a negative user experience on mobile, 60% of consumers are inclined to never buyfrom the same brand again. In view of this figure, it really makes sense to opt for a responsive website if you want to provide an optimal user experience. Especially since the most used technological medium on the planet remains mobile with more than 51% of internet traffic worldwide.
Google takes into account the user-friendliness of displaying sites on mobile as a primary factor in its rankings. The firm also shows that most of its users access its services through mobile devices.
In this logic, Google has set up the “Mobile Friendly” label which allows webmasters to check whether their websites are displayed correctly on mobile phones. You can use it to check if yours too offers great usability for mobile users.
In a logical extension, Google has implemented Mobile-First Indexing which prioritizes the indexing of the mobile version of web pages.
My only recommendation is to make sure your mobile design is responsive. Google shows that this format helps its algorithms: “accurately assign indexing properties to the page instead of having to report that there is a match between the mobile and desktop pages.
Read this article to learn how to make the transition to a responsive website.
1.3. Build a fluid site architecture
When you optimize the user experience of your website, the architecture must occupy a very important place. Indeed, a good site architecture willusers to easily and quickly find the information they are looking for on your website.
A well-built website will also make it easier for Google robots to crawl.
By optimizing the architecture of a website with 3 levels of depth, the founder of Credo, John Doherty, was able to achieve the following results:
- +41% pages per session;
- +148% new users;
- +74% organic sessions in this section of the site.
So focus on building a solid architecture for users to get the most benefit possible.
1.3.1. Site Architecture Helps Users Move Smoothly
Navigating your website and your architecture should be simple. Don’t put your users in a position where they have to guess what to do next.
In other words,they should n’t have to wonder “what to do” or “where to go” when browsing your website.
1.3.2. The architectureoptimizes the crawl and indexing of the pages of your website
When your architecture is well built, you allow search engine robots to easily navigate your website in the same way as users. This allows them to easily discover your different pages and index.
1.3.3. Architecture Can Help You Boost Your Website’s Overall Authority Your website
‘s authority is one of the most important factors in getting a good ranking in Google. Thanks to a well-designed architecture, the authority of the most important pages of your website can be combined to strengthen the overall authority of the site.
Additionally, an effective site architecture will distribute valuable link juice throughout your site. Which allows you to effectively build the overall authority of your entire website.
It is important to note that a growing overall authority of your website will strengthen the authority of all other pages, and therefore improve your chances of appearing on more queries.
1.4. Fix your website’s technical SEO issues
step nextis to focus on technical SEO issues that may be affecting the user experience.
These include, for example:
- Broken links and 404 errors;
- Redirection issues;
- Duplicate content;
- Low quality content;
Each of these problems can be identified by doing an audit. For, I offer a SEO audit in which I present to you all the problems that I have identified.
Now that you understand the importance of pleasing your users, let’s turn to satisfying search intent.
Step 2: Satisfy the search intent
Search intent or user intent is why a person searches through a search engine.
Note that in the beginning, search engines returned results based on a fairly simplistic formula: They looked at basic factors like keyword density.
Black Hat SEO professionals and spammers have taken advantage of this to manipulate the results. Since then, Google has evolved considerably by offering updates that combat these bad practices.
With its Hummingbird algorithm, Google is able to understand complex queries such as: “how to sleep for free”:
You will notice that Google understood my intention which was to stay abroad for free. Search intent should be the backbone of everything you do as you want to bring something of value to your target audience.
Note that even the best content won’t rank well if it doesn’t satisfy search intent properly. So what do I mean by “satisfying” search intent?
This question can be answered by considering the following three elements :
- What are your customers looking for?
- How many people are looking for it?
- In what format do they want the information they are looking for?
To know the words and expressions that make up the searches of your audience, you will go through the keyword research stage. In other words, you will search for the words and expressions used by Internet users to find what you are offering.
For example, if you sell eco-responsible clothing, you should search for the words and expressions used by Internet users you are targeting to find these types of clothes. To do this, it is more useful to use certain tools.
All you’re trying to do right now is come up with ideas. You’ll validate your ideas using the competitive analysis tactics I’ll show you later in this guide.
Therefore, just list all the ideas you come across at the moment.
2.1. 5 ways to find keywords
2.1.1. Use Google Suggest
As you type your query into the search bar, Google suggests additional keywords.
These suggestions result from the millions of queries that other users have already searched through the search engine. This is a good source for finding the words and phrases actually used by your audience.
You can also find Google suggestions at the bottom of the search engine results page.
2.1.3. Use UberSuggest
UberSuggest is one of my favorite tools for finding keyword and content ideas. Indeed, Neil Patel’s free tool aggregates data from Google Keyword Planner and Google Suggest.
You can therefore use it to find relevant keywords with very useful information such as:
- Search volume;
- SEO Difficulty;
- Difficulty Paid;
- The cost per click;
- The top-ranking web pages for those keywords;
I invite you to consult my complete guide on Ubersuggest since it is a great SEO tool, especially for content creation.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Go to UberSuggest, then enter a keyword idea and select yourgeographic area:
When you press “Search”, you have a general view which can look like this:
- Click on “keyword ideas”
- Scroll down and export the keyword ideas you’ll add to your master list:
To be able to interpret these results, I urge you to consult my guide on the tool. You are going to discover all the other very interesting SEO features it offers.
The only recommendation I have at this level is to be careful not to chase search volume. It would be a good idea to also target long-tail keywords, which account 70% of all searches on the web. I will come back to this a little later in this chapter.
You can also check out my guide to SEO which gives you a broad understanding of the different types of keywords you can consider during a keyword research campaign.
2.1.4. Use SEMRush
SEMRush is great for pulling keywords and content ideas from your competitors.
Here’s how to do it:
- Go to SEMRush.com and enter a competitor’s URL.
- Click on “Organic Research” and “Positions”. Then scroll down to “Organic Search Positions” and sort by “Pos. (for position) to find the long-tail keywords your competitors are ranking well for:
These are ideas for keywords you can add to your list.
2.1.5. Use forums
Forums are a gold mine for finding content ideas that you can draw inspiration from in order to create quality articles. The forums are interesting because they make it possible to confront people who ask real questions and who have not been able to find answers on the internet:
- Go to Google and search for “your niche + forums”:
- Click into one of the categories and review the threads.
For my part, I am able to find good ideas for content:
Most of these topics have quite large numbers of views and comments. It is therefore a subject that really arouses the interest of Internet users.
When I examine the discussions of another forum, I have the following results:
Creating content that can answer this question about the best percentage of dark chocolate seems like a very good idea to me.
I advise you to browse all the forums you can find and add any content ideas to your list of topics to cover in your future articles.
2.1.6. Use Google Search Console
Google Search Console is often overlooked, yet it’s a powerful tool for finding relevant keywords and great content ideas. If you already have traffic, you can use this tactic as Google Search Consoleto get this information.
- Go to Google Search Console, then to the “Search Traffic” section and click on “Search Analytics”.
- Check “Position”, scroll down and click on show 500 rows.
Scroll up the list again and sort the list so that the lowest ranking keyword is at the top of the page.
Now that you have a list of keywords, the next step is to validate them.
2.2. Do a sharp analysis of the competition
2.2.1. Assess Keyword Competitiveness
The first step is to perform a quick competitive analysis. To do this, first install the Moz toolbar. Then do a search for your keywords in the Google search engine.
For the example, I’ll use “how to make chocolate” again.
Tip 1: Are there any websites that have a DA (Domain Authority) below 50?
If you see websites with DA scores of 50 or less in the results, then it’s probably an uncompetitive keyword. At this level, it is important to make the difference between the PA and the DA.
The DA or Domain Authority is a score ranging from 1 to 100 which evaluates the overall authority of a website. Several factors are considered to assess the authority of a website, mainly the backlink profile. The higher a site’s DA, the more likely it is to rank well in the results. It is for this reason that it is essential to develop a good strategy foracquiring backlinks , which I have had the opportunity to talk about in other articles.
The PA or Page Authority represents the individual authority of a page on the website. As you would expect, it has a lower impact in the rankings than the DA.
For the query “how to make chocolate”, there are on the first page, several sites with a DA higher than 50, which means that the competition is going to be important, especially if your own site has a low authority itself.
Tip 2: Are there any big brands or highly reputable websites in the ranking for this keyword?
Now you’ll find out if there are any “big” authority sites that are in the results for this query. These are websites such as:
Although these sites are not impossible to dethrone, they can seem intimidating for a newcomer to a market. Still, you shouldn’t discount this keyword. Indeed, you will very often be able to pass in front of a site with strong authority provided that you offer content of much better quality.
Note that big brands generally rank based on their site’s authority, but not really because of great content on a specific topic.
In our example, the most important websites are Wikihow and Marmiton.org which incidentally have high DAs.
Tip 3: Does the competition seem weaker on certain keywords?
When there is the presence of certain pages, you can consider that the keyword is less competitive. These include, for example:
- Questions/answers sites: Yahoo answers, quora…
- Press releases;
These types of pages are a good sign that the keyword is not too competitive.
The reason why it is important to assess keyword competitiveness is relatively simple. You will be able to identify opportunities for keywords that your competitors have not yet exploited.
If you have just launched your business, it is wise not to focus on overly competitive keywords with very high search volumes. Otherwise, you will have a hard time ranking yourself properly.
There are several tools that can tell you stats related to difficulty so you can rank for a particular keyword.
2.2.2. Analyze your competitors’ content and website
Performing an in-depth analysis of the competition is very useful for making informed decisions about your content creation strategy. To do this you will need a few tools:
- Moz Toolbar: The free Moz extension;
- Ahrefs, Majestic, Open Site Explorer, SemRush: Paid tools which therefore require a monthly subscription. They nevertheless offer an impressive amount of precise data;
- Ubersuggest: A free SEO tool that offers you a lot of information. Its database is much less extensive than that of paid tools.
- A spreadsheet to help you analyze the competition.
Then follow these steps:
Step 1: Go to Google and enter your potential keyword
For this example, I’m going to use “how to buy a used car”.
Export the first 10 results using Moz Toolbar and click on the arrow to the right of the “MOZ” logo.
This action allows you to export the results to a CSV file to facilitate data collection.
Step 2: Use your spreadsheet
In this step, you will record the following information in the competitive analysis file:
- The title of the pages;
- Page URLs;
- The PA or Page Authority;
- The DA or Domain Authority;
- Number of shares on Facebook;
- Number of shares on Pinterest;
With Moz Toolbar, you have quick access to most of this data. However, you will complete your spreadsheet as the analysis continues.
Step 3: Collect information on the performance of the selected pages
At this level, you will collect information such as:
- The number of referring domains of the pages;
- The number of shares on social networks.
You can use tools such as Ahrefs to get accurate information. But Ubersuggest has been providing such data for free for some time.
- First search for the keyword in Ubersuggest:
- Next, click on “Keyword Ideas”:
You have on the right, the results of Google with several information on the ranking web pages.
You already have the number of shares on social networks and only the number of referring domains remains for the page.
- Click on the number of links on the page.
For the page that ranks first for my example, there are 7 backlinks. I’m just going to click on the number “7”.
You now have the exact number of links as well as the number of referring domains and the URLs of their pages.
Record this information and give an overall score to the quality of these links in your spreadsheet:
Step 4: Determine Domain Age
Complete your spreadsheet with this information:
Step 5: Determine the content size of each page
Content size is also one of the factors used by Google to rank web pages. When your content is quality and well detailed, it will have a better chance of being ranked higher.
According to a BuzzSumo study of 100 million articles, the longest content had the most engagement:
To do this, use my web page/word counter:
Step 6: Manually Analyze Each Competitor’s Page
Assess how well your competitors are leveraging media in their content. The “media” are among others:
- Videos ;
- The models ;
Take notes in the corresponding column for each competitor. For my example, the #1 ranking page has images, but it doesn’t have:
- From podcasts.
So in the competitor analysis spreadsheet, I will fill in the number of images and give them an overall rating.
Step 7: Assess the amount of outbound
links Quality outbound links improve the trust that Google and users will have for the content. If a competitor ranks without using outbound links, that becomes one more opportunity for you.
The article of result n°1 for “how to buy a used car” only has 3 outgoing links, 2 of which point to other pages of its own website and 1 link to another website.
At this level, I can indicate in the column “Number of outgoing links”: 2 internal links & 1 external link or “2 Int & 1 Ext”.
If the content is very long, you can use the Chek My Link which colors the anchors of the links. You will be able to quickly know the exact position of the links and therefore save time.
It’s important to note that the primary role of this extension is to spot broken links, but you can use it as I’ve described here. Valid links are underlined with green color and broken links with red color.
Step 8: Analyze how well the competitor’s page is optimized for the specific keyword
Google always values the most relevant page for a search query. As I mentioned earlier, the authority of websites has a high value in page ranking.
This factor can sometimes be more important than the optimization of a page or the quality of content. A good example is the page that ranks second for my example.
When you look at its title and URL, you can see that it’s not optimized for the keyword “how to buy a used car”.
- The title: Used: 10 tips for buying a car
- The URL: https://www.turbo.fr/conseils/voiture-occasion/occasion-les-10-conseils-pour-bien-achat-une-voiture -129160
For the page which occupies the first place, it is only its URL which is not optimized for the keyword:
So under “Keyword Optimization” I’m going to give the second page a score of 3 and the first page a score of 6. With 10 as the score for perfect optimization for the keyword.
In fact, you are going to give such ratings because you can create a page that is better targeted and more optimized for the keyword in question.
Step 9: Examine the freshness of the content
If the contenthas not been updated for several years, put an “N” for “No” in the “Currency” column.
For the example that I have chosen, the procedures for buying a used car have changed very little over time. So I’m going to give a rating of 9 or 10 for the freshness of the content.
For example, if it was a keyword related to newspaper news, the freshness of the content would matter more.
Step 10: Evaluate the design or presentation of the content
At this stage ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your competitor’s content easy to digest?
- Are there distracting elements that distract from the content?
In my example, the first result is a website that contains advertising above the fold.
This is a provision that Google’s algorithms don’t like since these ads harm the user experience:
- They usually push content down the page;
- They distract the reader’s attention;
- They requirethe reader to manually close a pop-up window.
At this level, check if the content is well formatted for the best reading experience and also give a rating.
Step 11: The last element of the target page that you need to analyze is the completeness of the content
. Can you say more on the subject? Can you inject case studies and research to improve the quality of the arguments?
There is room for improvement in the content of the first page of the example I have chosen. In that case, I’d give it a 4/10 for completeness.
2.2.3. Average the data collected
The reason for doing this is because it creates a baseline and a goal for you. For example, if the average word count is 2,000, you know you need to exceed that number.
average the backlink is 10, then you know you need at least an equivalent number to get to the first page.
Of course, the quality of those links is an important factor, but you have an estimate you can stick to. In addition, thanks to Ubersuggest, you know the URL of the referring sites and you can contact them during your link acquisition campaign.
Note that this is a comprehensive approach to competition analysis which is necessary to understand your competitors. The idea is simple: Let yourself be guided by the data of your competitors.
When I rely on the information collectedfor my keyword, I can say that it is a valid keyword that it would be relevant to exploit! Repeat this process for each keyword and pick the ones that pass the quick competitive analysis.
So narrow down your list and keep only the keywords that are likely to give you some edge in the SERPs.
At this point, you can build a page around any keyword you qualified. But before you start writing, you need to establish the intent behind the keyword phrase.
2.3. Finding the Intent Behind Every Keyword
Finding out how to satisfy users’ search intent is quite simple. Simply consider the top 10 results for the keyword you have targeted. I will illustrate my point with the following 3 example queries :
Query 1: Backlinks
The query “backlinks” can be classified into two categories of search intent:
- Awareness of problems
In other words, when someone is looking for “backlinks”, either:
a) They are trying to learn more on backlinks;
b) He looks for strategies to acquire them.
To make sense of things, you should analyze the pages that are currently ranking for this keyword in the SERPs.
If most of the content is educational, then it would be a good idea to have a similar strategy.
Query 2: SEO Analysis Tool
Anyone searching for “SEO Analysis Tool” doesn’t necessarily need lengthy educational content. The reason is quite simple: People who type this query into Google are clearly looking for a tool to solve their problems. In other words, theynot lookingfor information to train themselves, but they want to find a tool capable of helping them.
This is why when you search for “SEO analysis tool” in Google, you will notice that the majority of the results are tools.
It is quite easy to guess the intentions behind the requests. But validating these intents requires performing an analysis of the competing to see how they fulfill the search intent of that target keyword.
Finally, the third example to consolidate the determination of search intent.
Query 3: SEO Agency
The intent behind “SEO Agency” is obvious: The audience is going to be looking for an SEO agency. She does not necessarily want a long educational content on the keyword in question. Instead, he is simply looking for the best SEO agency to get the best results in terms of organic traffic.
This is a simple and clear search intent, but often content creators miss it completely.
So theprinciple that should never be overlooked is to offer content capable of satisfying the search intent of the audience.
If you miss that, you may create the beste -page and get all the backlinks you want, but you risk not ranking well for the keyword you are targeting.
The second principle, the keyword can have a direct relationship with geo-targeted results. When you search for “SEO Agency”, Google will show you a combination of national and local companies based on your location.
This makes ranking for this keyword phrase even more difficult on a national level. In other words, even if your Agency has more weight than another Agency B, the latter can outrank you according to the location of certain Google users.
When you want to know the search intent behind a keyword, you need to consider all of these aspects. This is why the competition analysis is a very good start to know such information.
2.4. Create high-quality SEO content
After identifying your keywords, it’s important to create pages that are optimized for those keywords. This is called SEO content and it usually involves writing blog posts. But even if they attract less traffic, some pages, especially product pages or landing pages, must also be optimized by targeting specific keywords that are likely to convert.
But as we’ve seen before, search intent should be at the heart of the decisions you’re going to make.
2.4.1. Just give the seeker what he wants!
This is a simple concept, but one that many people fail to implement. There are two good ways to create keyword-targeted content, it’s about creating content/page:
- Better than what’s on the first page of Google;
- Different from what is on the first page of Google.
It is enough to combine these two strategies to have significant results.
Tip 1: Create content or a page BETTER than what already exists
When you want to upgrade existing content, what you are going to offer must be 10 times better than everything that exists. For example, if the average word count of first page results is 3,000 words, it makes sense to doubleor even triple that number by creating much more detailed content of around 6,000 words.
However, writing longer content is not the only thing to do. To take your content to another level, you will need to inject additional elements such as:
- Case studies;
- Real facts;
You should also ensure that your content is well formatted and readable by using:
- numbered lists;
- Small separate paragraphs;
A good starting point to begin to understand this concept is Skycraper technique Brian Dean’s
Tip 2: Create content or a page that is DIFFERENT!
This technique is more relevant when the web pages that occupy the first positions contain very high quality content.
If you feel that you cannot come up with better content/page than what already exists, it is more effective to adopt another tactic.
Your content will need to be drastically different from the rankings since regurgitating good content will get you nowhere. Doing something totally different is the only way to beat such content.
For example, let’s say you wanted to rank for the keyword “how to build backlinks?”“. In Google, the first page of results is filled with guidance:
This is what you can expect for this type of query. But to stand out, you can choose to create another content format. YouTube videos tend to rank well in SERPs when relevant.
This is a good content idea to stand out from content that is already ranking well in the SERPs for that keyword.
Apart from a video, you can choose to create:
- An infographic;
- An interactive infographic;
- A case study;
Anything DIFFERENT will have a huge impact when there is already better content. If you are deciding on the type of content you are going to offer, it is important to know how to optimize it according to your keywords.
2.4.2. The 80/20 strategy
The above two rules apply to keyword-targeted content. That said, not every piece of content on your blog should be keyword targeted and that’s why I suggest using the 80/20 technique for your content marketing. In other words, 20% of your content will not be targeted for keywords and 80% will be.
2.4.3. Optimize 80% of your content with keywords
Creating keyword-targeted content is usually the focus of most websites. Here are two keyword targeting strategies that perform well in the SERPs:
- Using long-tail keywords to create multiple pieces of content;
- Create a single optimized content with all the keywords.
Tip 1: Using Long-Tail Keywords to Create Multiple Content
This strategy involves creating multiple content around long-tail keywords. Then you focus on building your website’s authority through acquiring backlinks.
As your site authority grows, the rankings of pages optimized with your long-tail keywords will also increase.
For my “buying a used car” example, we can have:
- Buying a used car abroad
- How to buy a used car in Paris
- Buying a used car on credit
- How to buy a used carto
note that when used incorrectly, this strategy can hurt your performance.
In fact, you should try to avoid poor quality content or superficial content that does not address the topics in detail. You should avoid creating such content since the Panda algorithm penalizes websites that publish it. This is why, rather than focusing on keywords, I would tend to advise you to have a thematic approach.
Tip 2: Create a complete and optimized guide with all the keywords
With this tactic, you create massive content that focuses on a given theme. You will create a main page that will attempt to address all aspects of the subject you are dealing with. This strategy allows you to cover a fairly wide semantic field without having to create more individual pages for each variation of your keyword.
For example, you will create a page targeting the keyword: “How to create backlinks”.
In the content, you can inject relevant long tail keywords and LSI or latent semantic indexing keyword. These are words and expressions that share the same semantic field and are often found with the main keyword.
These are for example:
- Create quality backlinks
- How to netlink
- Why to netlink
- Link building strategies
This is my favorite approach because you can focus all your efforts on creating a single high quality content. After, you just need to update it and promote it.
2.4.4. Link bait: The 20% of content without optimizations
The other 20% of your content creation should focus on content considered as link bait or link bait. Due to their high value or unique proposition, this type of content naturally attracts backlinks.
You have a lot of possibilities in this regard and I will show you some link bait content ideas that you can create.
Tactic 1: The Lazy Man
Method The “lazy man method” is to make use of resources that already exist. The best example of this type of content are curation guides which bring together a list of valuable resources.
Curated guides can take many forms:
Another type of curation guide is to recycle your content or that of other bloggers.
Resources to go further:
Tactic 2: Use tools to find successful content
With tools like Buzzsumo, Ahrefs and Ubersuggest, you can find the best performing content on the web according to each theme. Which allows you to create something better that might outclass existing content.
Resources to go further:
Tactic 3: Results and case studies
People love to read other people’s results as it is one of the best ways to learn. Indeed, the results show the practical aspect of the information while serving as a guarantee.
For example in SEO, showing real results or figures, allows you to achieve good performance in the SERPs.
Here are some examples:
Resource for further:
- Buzzsumo.com/3 Ways to Leverage Data for Creating Popular Content;
Tactic 4: Create Infographics
Infographics are one of the best forms of link bait content. This is a format that has a lot of engagement from Internet users.
Here are some infographics to inspire you:
Resource to go further:
Tactic 5: Expert Roundups
Expert roundups are practices that have been widely abused in the marketing industry, but they are effective for several reasons:
- You don’t have to create content, the “experts” will create it for you ;
- This is content in that anyone who participated in the breakout session will likely share it with their audience;
- This is a great way to build relationships with influencers.
Here are some examples (I appear in the first link) :
- The best SEO experts give 3 techniques for creating a website Website
- SEO: 8 experts share their tips
- 22 experts tell you how to become Google’s best friend!
Resources to go further:
Tactic 6: Create Useful Apps or Tools
Any type of app or tool that makes people’s lives easier is likely to get you backlinks. Some examples include:
- Moz’s Open Site Explorer;
- Moz Toolbar;
There are many other types of content, but you already have an idea of what works well in the SERPs.
2.5. How to properly optimize content?
High quality content can perform well in Google without much optimization. Of course, you will improve its performance if you optimize it properly.
Here are some actions you can take to optimize your content:
- Place your keyword in the title tag: the keyword must be naturally placed and not seem mechanical;
- Place your keyword in the first sentence, first header tag, and last sentence of the content;
- Write naturally and try to keep your keyword density between 1-3%;
- Inject LSI keywords where it makes sense.
Now that you understand how to please your users, how to satisfy search intent, and how to create content, it’s time to move on to the third step of this SEO strategy.
Step 3: Build Your Website’s Authority
As I mentioned before, backlinks are among the most important ranking factors in Google.
In this graph, you can notice the strong correlation that exists between the number of referring domains and the position in the SERPs.
By using the strategies I have listed so far, you will definitely get results. But when you have an effective link building approach, you will increase your performance tenfold.
This does not mean that having fewer backlinks will necessarily penalize your ranking in the SERPs. The proof here:
The page which occupies the first position for the keyword “how to create backlinks” has fewer backlinks and DA than those which follow. It is therefore possible to have less DA and links to your page and occupy the first position.
That said, if you want to outrank the current pages, you must exploit all the possibilities thatyou have and one of the most effective is to acquire more backlinks than the other pages.
Backlinks can be considered “fuel on the fire”. But first you need to “light the fire” with a well-built site and high-quality content.
Keep in mind that the first two pillars will make the whole link acquisition process easier. Simply put, when your website is well-built with good architecture and you have high-value content, it’s easier to get backlinks.
My complete guide to backlinks will help you with this step, but here are some principles to follow for effective and safe link acquisition:
3.1. Assess link relevance
Your efforts should focus on acquiring relevant backlinks. A link you get from a website that deals with the same theme as you has more value than a link from a site that has no relation to your theme.
To this end, you can use the relevance pyramid to qualify the link opportunities that you detect.
3.2. Focus on websites with strong authorities
Relevance is the first parameter to evaluate a quality link opportunity. The second parameter to consider is the authority of the website. As Google no longer updates the PageRank (PR), it will be necessary to use other SEO tools.
To determine the DA or Domain Authority, I recommend using tools such as:
- Moz toolbar and Ubersuggest which are free;
- Open Site Explorer from Moz and Domain Rate (DR) from Ahrefs which are chargeable.
You can also use several tools to ensure the accuracy of the results.
3.3. Contextual links are the best
There are different types of backlinks you can get, but you boost their value if they are placed in the right context.
Editorially placed links have very high SEO value, but they are the most difficult to obtain. Keep in mind, however, that Google uses the texts surrounding the link as a signal of relevance. It is therefore important to place the links in the right context to optimize to optimize its SEO value.
If you want to acquire such links, I invite you to consult my practical guide on all the steps to follow.
3.4. Anchor text matters
” Anchors often provide more accurate descriptions of web pages than the pages themselves “, Google.
If you’ve followed the previous three principles, you can improve link value by using the right anchor.
According to a study by Ahrefs, there is a strong correlation between anchors and ranking in the SERPs.
To reinforce the quality of the links you get, take care to have the right anchor texts.
That said, be careful not to over-optimize your anchors with keywords, you risk being penalized by Penguin Google’s
3.5. You Need to Build Relationships
Acquiring quality backlinks involves outreach and relationship building. It’s not easy, but it’s one of the most important skills when you want to run netlinking campaigns.
Here are some great guides to help you when you want to reach out to your competitors:
Now let’s move on to the penultimate pillar of this SEO strategy.
Step 4: Improve and Share
Executing the first three pillars correctly is more than enough to see significant SEO results. The fourth step will allow you to amplify the performance you are already getting.
The reason I bring this up is this: : If you have a business, your conversion problem is not going to be solved by sending more traffic to your website.
If you have conversion-related goals, it’s important to know that 98% of your website visitors will never return, and 96% of them aren’t ready to buy anything.
This is why it is important to put systems in place in order to optimize the conversion of as many people as possible. Knowing this, your first priority will be to keep visitors coming back to your website. To this end, the best approach is to set up a system to collect emails.
There’s a saying in marketing that goes, “The money is in the list.” When I talk about a list, I obviously mean your email contacts. Indeed, email marketing is the best way to establish trust as well as the relationship with prospects.
Since most visitors are not ready to buy, it is important to collect their contact information. Then you can send them impactful messages, with the goal of converting them into a customer.
of people on your mailing list is to offer something for free in exchangeemail. It can be:
- An ebook;
- Of a tool;
- From a model;
- A gift;
- A special offer;
Anything that adds value can work as a lead magnet. Check out my guide on creating a profitable sales funnel for all the steps you need to put in place to convert your visitors into customers.
You can also use retargeting. Unlike typical banner ads, retargeting is a form of targeting advertising that allows you to reach people who have already visited your website or are in your database, such as a prospect or customer.
Even if you don’t intend to pay for advertising right now, you should still install a Facebook pixel on your website and create a Custom Audience for all your website visitors.
On this subject, you can consult this resource from Lafabriquedunet to understand the use of this strategy with the most popular social network in the world: Facebook.
That’s all I’m going to say about conversions, because it’s a deep subject and I’m going to dedicate another guide to it. But for now, start building retargeting lists and trying to convert your visitors into email subscribers.
Which brings us to the last step of this SEO strategy.
Step 5: Regularly monitor your performance
Whatever strategy you put in place, it must be monitored. You need to be able to assess the impact of your efforts. To do this, select performance indicators to make it easier for you.
These include, for example:
- number of organic sessions;
- Classification by keywords;
- The number of leads and conversions;
- The bounce rate;
- The number of pages visited per session;
- The average duration of sessions;
- Page loading speed;
- Visitor exit pages;
- Crawl errors;
- The authority of your website;
- The number of shares on social networks;
Improving these different elements allows you to validate the effectiveness of the strategy you are following. So when you see that there is a factor that seems to be failing, you know exactly what part of your strategy needs to be optimized or improved.
In addition, you can use the following to monitor these indicators:
- Google Analytics;
- Google Search Console;
- Page Speed Insights;
- Mobile-Friendly Test;
- Moz Explorer;
Conclusion: A simple and very effective strategy
Being visible in the SERPs is a sine qua none condition for any company that wishes to succeed online. To do this, you must use one of the most important digital marketing levers: SEO.
That said, SEO is a broad discipline. which encompasses a large number of practices that will have a more or less significant impact. For this reason, it is sometimes difficult to put in place a clear and precise SEO strategy that we will stick to.
With this article, I tried to answer this problem by proposing a simple and effective SEO strategy. It is true that this strategy requires a significant effort with many tasks to accomplish.
Nevertheless, I have already had the opportunity to set it up on many occasions, and it has already proven itself with other websites. Following an effective SEO strategy is the best way to achieve your goals and allow your website to gain visibility in the future.