One of the most common questions I get over at Make Media Over LLC is:
“How do I do SEO?”
First of all, that you can do SEO just by activating a plugin or hiring an SEO specialist is a fallacy. Search engines are constantly looking at websites, new content, feeds, etc. and refining its results not to help us, the content creators, but the person at the keyboard who wants to know what to make for dinner, or find out if their cough is enough to warrant a trip to the doctor, or which brand of running shoe is the best for someone who’s lacing up for his or her first 5K.
SEO — or Search Engine Optimization — is a lot less complicated than so-called experts want you to think. Without question, there are many facets, approaches and sure, as you get into really high-level sales and marketing needs, there are a number of advanced techniques that involve deep dives into keyword research, optimization not just for the content on the page but on every element that makes up that page, etc.
But for 90% of my clients — and likely, you — it comes down to this:
Create quality content. To problems people actually have. Give Google as much help as possible so it knows that you have done so. Repeat.
So, how do you know what to write about? Keyword research.
And here’s an important tip: too many of you leave the research for last. What that often means is that you write an awesome post — maybe it’s a recipe or a workout or a review — and then you figure out how to shoehorn a keyword into it.
What works much more successfully is to start with the keyword research. You may discover that just by referring to your workout as “upper body workout without dumbbells” is better than “no-dumbbell workout for arms” based on how often the two phrases are searched for. Or instead of “coconut oil chocolate chip cookies,” you may find that “cookies with coconut oil” will perform better.
I’m not advising you to change your post or write about something you’re not interested in! But if you forget the second part of my statement above — to problems people actually have — you can write the best posts anyone has ever seen and you may find yourself disappointed with the results.
So, how do you do the keyword research? Historically, we in the SEO business have recommended:
- Google’s Keyword Planner
- Moz (still my absolute favorite if you do need a more advanced look!)
- SEM Rush
- Screaming Frog
But they are overwhelming. Unwieldy. They return way more than we need.
I’ve put together a video showing the basics of how I perform keyword research for myself and clients. I hope it’s helpful to you!