For several of my clients, SEO is a large part of what we’re doing.
They want their blog and their content to be discovered in Google. Specifically, this includes two of my clients – online source for making movies and a blog dedicated to providing lacrosse goalie tips, drills, and information.
These sites are producing content that is valuable to their audience and thus we want to structure it in a way that gets discovered by Google and other search engines.
So how do we do that?
Here’s the 3 things I focus on when doing SEO with my clients.
Keywords: The ability to find low-competition, high-converting keywords
Content: The ability to create SEO-optimized content around those keywords
Promotion: The ability to promote your content so that people link to it from authoritative and relevant websites.
Let’s dig into each item in more depth.
Find Keywords to Target
Keywords are the most important aspect of SEO. More important than anything else.
To find good, relevant keywords there are 2 tools I use:
Google’s Keyword Planner (GKP) – Might as well get our information directly from the horse’s mouth.
GKP will allow you enter a keyword and provide several keyword variations that you can target based on your entry.
For example, I type in “Lacrosse Goalie” into GKP and I get back:
- Lacrosse Goalie Gear
- Lacrosse Goalie Sticks
- Lacrosse Goalie Drills
- Lacrosse Goalie Gloves
All of these have “high” competition and high suggested bid amounts from Google so we can be pretty sure people searching for these terms convert and are not just kicking the tires.
Another strategy is input a competitor’s landing page into the GKP and see if different search term ideas come out.
Now I enter a competitor or any website in the same industry like “lacrossegoalietips.com” into the GKP and I get back:
- Lacrosse Goalie Camps
- Girls Lacrosse Training
- Goalie Lacrosse
Now I have some additional ideas to target.
Another tool I use is Wordstream’s Keyword Tool. This is similar to GKP but often times gives us different variations of keywords that we can focus on.
Many people use the “publish & pray” approach to content creation.
That means that write an article and hope that it becomes viral. That’s not a reliable method to create great content. So let’s chat about a method that IS reliable.
The idea is we’re trying to create content that is “Predictably Viral”. How do we do that?
1. Select a topic that’s proven to generate links
2. Use a tested content formula
Topic Proven to Generate Links
There’s already content on the internet that’s done well. So no need to reinvent the wheel. Let’s find content in our field that people like and share.
Enter your search into BuzzSumo’s tool. This tool (which was built exclusively for this step) provides us with the content matching our search term which has been shared the most.
Now we can see what is engaging users. What is resonating with people and what they’re sharing.
We can also look at the articles to identify trends.
- Are all the top articles about something specific? (All content was extremely specific)
- Are there any similar themes? (All top articles are lists)
- Take note of what you don’t see (for example, top results did NOT feature “How To Guides”)
Now we put all these clues together and write content around that.
Proven Content Format
There are many different content formats to use in a post. I’ll share one that I’ve had the most success with. It’s called – The Expanded LIst.
Lists posts do very well on the internet where users are looking for specific information and don’t often have time to read a long, in-depth article.
Maybe you’ve seen these articles –
20 Ways to Lose Weight
1. Eat Breakfast, 2. Interval Training, 3. Bla Bla Bla, 4. Bla Bla Bla, etc., etc.
The problem with this is now I have so many questions about eating breakfast. What do I eat? When do I eat it? How much do I eat? What are some recipes? What foods should I avoid?
With the expanded list post, we solve this problem by giving excruciating detail on each item.
Under the Eat Breakfast suggestion we’ll answer all the questions I listed above so that readers don’t need to do anywhere else to get information about eating breakfast. Your article contains it all.
One we’ve created and published our piece, we don’t simply sit back and hope it does well. We need to hustle.
Even if you don’t have thousands of Facebook/Twitter connections you can still promote your content heavily using the Evangelist Method to get lots of shares, comments, and likes.
The Evangelist Method
The goal of this method is to get your content in front of the important people in your industry without being too pushy. Here’s how it works.
1. Find people who have recently shared a similar piece of content on social media or a link to it from their site
If you find someone who is a good fit for what you published, they’ll be happy to share it and happy to hear from you. If they don’t like your content, it doesn’t really matter what technique you use to contact them, they won’t be interested.
We’re going to make a list of people who have recently shared this content. Why? Because we know:
- They enjoy content on this topic
- Their audience enjoys content on this topic
- They like to share content on this topic
One we have this list of individuals, you should send them this email:
I noticed that you tweeted one of my favorite lacrosse goalie posts last week – How to get recruited to play lacrosse by John Edwards (from LacrosseGoalieTips.com).
I actually have a lacrosse recruiting guide for players coming out this week that I think you might get a kick out of 🙂
Want a heads up when it goes live?
Obviously adjust this to match your writing style and content, but you get the idea.
We’re asking for a share, we’re not asking for a link, we’re not being pushy. If they respond back, I will send them a link to the post.
If they don’t want to see, no problem. If they don’t want to share, again no problem.
The result from this is a lot of exposure, traffic, links, all the stuff that helps us out in the Search Engines. Exactly what we were looking for.