Search Engine Optimization has grown a lot from witless keyword stuffing to generating meaningful content. SEO has a tremendous role back in the days where Google just knew keywords. Now SEO has elevated itself to a new level where Google wants what audience wants.
As an SEO professional, you need to master these 6 major areas that eventually lead you to success or what we call in our words – Traffic & Conversion.
Here are the six areas you need to rule as an SEO professional:
- Domain Knowledge
- Competitor Analysis
- Keyword Research
- Content Comparision
- Content Optimization
- Off-Page SEO
Let’s have a look at each area and why you need each one of these immensely.
1. Domain Knowledge
Cricket captains always check the pitch before the match.
As a professional in SEO, we must understand the niche or domain that we’re working upon. A simple example would be, SEO for a product and SEO for a service will have different challenges. You need to understand what activities can work for your domain, and that may take up a lot of trial and error.
Though great content has become a big must for all the niches, you still need to figure out what off-page activities can give you the best results. For a local business, listings on local directories can offer a lot of benefits. On the other hand, for a SaaS product, you need to reach out to the best blogs and publications all over the world.
2. Competitor Analysis
Competitor analysis is one of the most important things to get good organic results. You would want to know how your competitors have achieved the rankings. These are the questions you should ask yourself when you’re analyzing your competitors:
- What is the quality of content they have?
- What is the keyword density in their ranking webpage or blog?
- How many links are pointing to their ranking pages?
- What are the off-page activities they have performed to get good rankings?
- What are their Domain authority, Page Authority, and Trust factor?
- What is their content marketing strategy?
By asking yourself these questions, you’ll find a lot of useful data. You’ll have a clear vision on where can you submit your product or service pages, where can you submit the guest posts and build links, etc.
You can rely on various tools like SEMrush, Moz, and BuzzSumo for this purpose. There are various other free tools as well that can help you in these steps.
3. Keyword Research
Keyword research can be a base for your SEO. First, you need to decide what are the main phrases that you need to target and get rankings on. Without the keyword research, your web page content would be directionless.
There could be multiple keywords for a single page, but you need to decide one sure-shot keyword and create an engaging content. There are various ways to get ideas on keyword research. Tools like Moz & SEMrush are the best options available at this moment. It has been a subject of debate to use Google Adwords keyword data, but you can surely get the gist of the scenario using the free tool.
The keyword research will be very useful when you start developing content for a web page or blog. You can not just use focus keywords, but also use various LSI and long tail keywords. An easy way to find such keywords is to simply make a Google search.
For example: If your target keyword is “BigCommerce Development”, you can find relevant keywords directly in the bottom of the search results:
These are the queries related to “BigCommerce development” and you can use the relevant keywords in the content to get rankings on multiple keywords for the same page.
4. Content Comparision
Content Comparison is a very useful analysis when your webpage/blog is ready but you’re not getting good rankings on Google for a particular location. You just have to find the best-performing pages for your main keyword, and start comparing the following aspects with your page:
- Lenth of the content & Quality
- Keyword density
- Reading experience from a user perspective
- Sections like FAQ that solves search queries
By in-depth comparison of the best-ranking pages with your page, you will lead yourself to the next logical steps.
5. Content Optimization
Content Optimization is the next step after Content Comparison. You have to optimize your content using the data you have collected from the previous step. Here are some steps you can take in this process:
- Use the focus keyword in the first and second paragraph of your content.
- Use the focus keyword in all meta tags and meta description.
- Make sure to check if there are any errors in Google Search Console regarding mobile indexing. As of now, Google has declared mobile first indexing. So no matter how great your content is, if it’s not giving good reading experience to mobile users, it will face a lot of issues.
- Be very careful about the keyword density.
- Add special sections like FAQ to answer the most frequent queries to the readers.
6. Off-Page SEO
Content is a big part to achieve good rankings, but there are some other activities you need to master as an SEO professional. There is a bunch of off-page activities that can give you a good boost in Google rankings. Here are some off-page SEO activities, you should try out according to your niche:
- Directory Submission (There are very few genuine directories left!)
- Guest Posting
- Quora Answering
- Yahoo Answers
- Article Submissions in content marketing tools
- Image & Video sharing activities
- Commenting and spreading your blogs on relevant articles.
Using these activities, you’ll build a great set of references for a particular page and that will eventually help you climb up those 3-4 tough steps in Google rankings.
Being an SEO expert, we need to be aware of the changes we do. You need to keep asking questions to yourself like what set of activities led to a few positions up or down? The analysis is a big part of being an SEO professional, and it will eventually help you get more traffic and conversion to your site.
All the best!
Kashyap Trivedi is Digital Marketing Executive at PSDCenter – A BigCommerce Developer community from Charlotte. He likes to learn all the aspects of digital marketing like SEO, PPC, SMO, and content marketing. When he’s not working, you’ll find him reading a good book or meditating.