What is SEO: The Complete Guide to Understanding the Concept and Executing Your Strategy

what is SEO
what is SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a set of optimization techniques for websites, blogs and web pages. These optimizations aim to achieve good organic rankings by generating traffic and authority for a website or blog.

One of the biggest ambitions of companies that invest in Digital Marketing is to reach the top positions in search engines – after all, who doesn’t want free clicks and more visitors to your site?

However, being on the internet is not enough to ensure that your site, e-commerce or blog gets a spot on the front page of Google: you need to invest in a specific strategy to optimize results and ensure your business ranks well.

After all, competition for search engine positions is increasing with companies experiencing this period of digital transformation.

Achieving good rankings on the results pages, however, may be more within your reach than you might think. There are a number of optimizations you can make to your site and content to improve your reader’s experience and make it a great result in the eyes of search engines.

These optimizations are called SEO!

In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to optimize your online presence and achieve good organic placements (which aren’t paid ads). Like:

  • what is SEO ;
  • what are the factors that influence SEO ranking ;
  • How to create and execute an SEO strategy.

Check out!

What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a set of optimization techniques for websites, blogs and web pages. These optimizations aim to achieve good organic rankings by generating traffic and authority for a website or blog.

This strategy is critical for your business to gain prominence, visibility in the digital world and, as a result, more leads, customers and revenue for your business.

Like?

By optimizing websites and blogs by using techniques to improve the ranking of these pages and positioning your business on Google’s first results, for example, (and greatly) increase your business opportunities, as 90% of people searching on Google Google only click on results that appear on the first page of the engine.

The main goal of SEO, then, is to increase the volume of organic traffic and ensure more visibility for web pages.

Cool isn’t it?

Now let’s walk you through the most important SEO concepts step by step, and teach you the strategies we use to reach Google’s top spots.

And it all starts when the user does a search.

Search Psychology and the 3 Types of Search

Search psychology revolves around the user: his needs, his way of searching for answers, the results he expects when searching for something, and so on.

In short, the human psyche in the face of search engines requires the need to supply a specific desire that can manifest itself in different ways. It is the role of companies that invest in Digital Marketing to respond objectively to all these doubts and desires.

So when we think about understanding search processes, we always have to put ourselves in the shoes of this user who is looking for some information on a search engine like Google.

And one of the first steps to understanding user search is to know the search intent. Knowing this intent is critical to successfully attracting the right audience to your site.

So let’s explain to you what drives you to Google. There are 3 types of search, as you will see below.

1. Search or navigational search

This type of search – also known as shortcut search – is performed when the user already knows which site they would like to go to, but may not remember the full URL or is too lazy to type it.

For example, if the user searches for “Blogger Cage” or “Bloggercage blog” to find our content, their search intent is clear, so there is little chance that this user will change their final web destination – that is a person already knows what they are looking for.

Image URL: https://bloggercage.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/o-que-e-seo.png

2. Search or informational search

As its name implies, in the informational search the user searches for information, either through news, product releases or explanatory articles.

Unlike navigational search, in this case, the user does not know exactly which site will come to find the content they are looking for, as it is not possible to clearly identify their search intent.

This is why it is so important for companies to rank well in Google.

Not knowing exactly which site to visit, the user tends to use organic results to look for the solution of their question or need, and this is where the good placement of your blog or site is beneficial for business. Here’s an example of informational search:

Image URL: https://bloggercage.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/o-que-e-seo-2.png

3. Search or transactional search

In this type of search, the user is looking to perform a transaction, such as buying a product directly, finding a store, or doing any other type of online transaction.

This type of research is extremely valuable, especially for e-commerce.

Now that you understand the 3 types of search, in the next topic, we will explain how the world’s largest search engine, Google, works.

How does Google work?

Understanding how Google works to work out an effective SEO strategy is critical.

Searches in this engine are divided into two groups: organic results (free) and paid results.

Paid results (inside the red box) appear at the top of the page, signalled by a green mark with the text “Ad” or “Ad”. To fill these spaces, companies pay per click using Google’s own tool called Google Adwords.

Below these paid results are organic ones (marked with a blue square).

These sites in the top search positions are defined by Google robots according to their level of relevance and authority – always focusing on the quality of user experience.

What is Googlebot and how Googlebot works

Google robots act as trackers. They search every page on the web, go to each link, and read everything that page has to offer, saving everything they find on Google’s servers.

This way, all content is organized and well-targeted to provide the best results for user searches for a specific term.

To better understand, imagine a library. When we are looking for, for example, a book about SEO, we don’t have to go from shelf to shelf to look for that content. We receive guidance on where specific SEO information is located, which makes it easier and easier to access the books and their content.

Google’s servers work the same way: By organizing content to help the user, they always present the most relevant and full-featured sites to answer the question or need that prompted the search.

How Google sees a site – and what it can’t read

Despite what many people believe, Google doesn’t see websites the same way as users.

When we think about search engine visibility, we need to remember that unlike users, robots reading the site can’t view javascript and images, just text and code.

Therefore, when we structure a website or blog post with images, it is essential to work well on top of each other’s alt text, providing a complete description that will help the robots understand what that figure is about. .

When we don’t work with the alternate text of the images, Google ends up seeing these spaces as holes in the site. It is as if this whole area of ​​images is a white background with no relevant content for readers.

In addition, good alternative text on images also helps with SEO and ranking issues!

Getting to the Top: Google’s Top Ranking Factors

Today, when we talk about ranking factors, we know that there are over 200 factors that really impact the results of a SERP.

Here we will go into some more basic details, but if you would like to see the full list of all factors that influence your page’s SEO, check out our article on the subject.

On page

The on-page factors are those that must be worked on within the site or page itself and are critical for search engines to realize that their content is related to the terms searched by users.

Here are the key factors On page:

Content Quality

There are two main factors for ranking in Google: link building (which we’ll see later) and the quality of content.

Since the launch of Google Panda, the algorithm has sought to identify low-quality content to optimize results for the public.

That is, the better your content, the better the chances of you appearing in the top positions of the SERPs.

Content Size

Size directly influences Google rankings. In a survey by the Cognitive SEO blog, the average length of content in the top positions is approximately 2,500 words.

This is because Google is looking for the most complete content that clarifies readers’ doubts.

But this is not a rule! It all depends on how your persona reacts to the size of your content and especially if your content completely answers the doubt that led to your persona?

Regardless of text size, the persona needs to read its content and have all its questions resolved. Otherwise, it will look for other text that clarifies your questions better.

Internal Title

The title tag is the internal title of your blog, the one the reader will see when they have already accessed your content. It is very important to point out that it should be different from your SEO title, which will be an external factor and should lead the reader to your text.

The two titles have different functions. The function of the internal title is to make the reader who has already accessed your post even more interested in reading the content.

Freedom to use characters and position keywords will allow for more creative titles that increase the reader’s desire to consume content.

You should spend as much time as possible to make a good title, after all it is the first impression the reader has of your text.

The on-page title has no character limit. Also, there are other factors that deserve attention. He must:

  • arouse the reader’s curiosity;
  • present reading benefits;
  • make a promise (which will be fulfilled);
  • have the keyword (it is not required to be fully left as in the SEO Title).

SEO Title

The SEO Title is the title that appears on SERPs. Its function is to bring the reader to your content.

As an example of SEO Title, we use the same post we showed above so that you can clearly understand the differences between the internal title and the SEO Title:

Image URL: https:// bloggercage .com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/o-que-e-seo-6.png

This is one of the most important factors for both ranking and ensuring a high click through rate (CTR) on your content.

The main factors for a great SEO Title are:

  • it must be approximately 55 characters long;
  • the keyword must be on the left;
  • The title should be more objective.

Friendly URLs

URLs are a direct ranking factor. Google also identifies the use of keywords in your page address.

Plus, the friendlier it is, the easier it is for readers to click and be directed to your page.

An example of a friendly URL:

Image URL: https://bloggercage.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/o-que-e-seo-7.png

The fewer elements besides the keyword in your URL, the better. It is important to avoid using numbers in lists, for example.

If you update and extend that list, you will get a wrong number in your URL – and one of the main SEO rules is: never update your URL after the content is indexed.

Best practices for making a friendly URL are:

  • include the keyword;
  • have at most one subdomain;
  • be short and easily interpretable;
  • contain hyphens to separate words (Google doesn’t read spaces);
  • be related to the post title.

What you should avoid:

  • URLs that make no sense to the reader;
  • numbers in URLs;
  • Huge URLs;
  • improper characters (dots, capital letters, etc.);
  • abuse subdomains (eg yoursite.com/blog/conteudos/Marketing).

Heading Tags

Headings are key to identifying the priority of existing content on the page. In the code, it is possible to observe up to six headings, presenting the most important content (H1) and its subtitles (H2 to H6).

That way, Google will identify the information hierarchy of your content.

The importance of hierarchy:

  • show Google the most important information in your text;
  • facilitates the interpretation of crawlers;
  • defines the main themes covered in the post;
  • optimizes text reading (scan).

How to make:

  • use H1, H2 and H3 in their contents;
  • always include the keyword in H1 and if possible in H2;
  • use long tails in intertitles;
  • have only one H1 per page;
  • Be aware that heading H4 forward are aesthetic.

For a better understanding, see a snippet from one of our posts. H2 here is the title “Overview of a content strategy” and the subtitles “Planning” and “Execution” are H3.

LSI: the use of the keyword

The use of keywords has changed a lot since the launch of the hummingbird.

Before:

  • keyword stuffing worked;
  • low-quality content ranked;
  • the focus was on the exact keyword.

After:

  • semantic analysis has emerged;
  • quality of content has become essential;
  • the focus has shifted to the reader’s intent.

Therefore, it is important to know how to make good use of your keywords within the content. It is essential to use them on the H1 title page and, where possible, on at least one H2.

It’s important that your word appears at the beginning of the content so that Google crawlers will soon see that that page is actually talking about the proposed theme.

There is no exact number of times the keyword should appear in the content. The important thing is to avoid forcing it to appear often. The use must happen naturally.

Google currently does a semantic analysis of texts called the Latent Semantic Index (LSI), making it important for your page rankings that Google find words related to the topic you’re talking about. As in the example below:

Image URL: https:// bloggercage .com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/o-que-e-seo-9.png

Also, it is more important to use variations of that keyword than to make strict use of it. Here’s the example:

Image URL: https://bloggercage.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/o-que-e-seo-10.png

Time on page

Length of page stay is one of Google’s top ranking factors, after all, it’s a way of showing the searcher that that content is of good quality.

The longer the reader stays on the page, the more effectively Google interprets that content answers the persona’s doubt. If the reader comes in and immediately leaves the page – and this is repeated over and over – Google understands that the text does not please the public.

How to extend the length of stay on your page:

  • create quality content;
  • make a good introduction – one that works to convince the reader to stay until the end of the text, presenting the benefits he will have from reading it;
  • use connecting phrases – such as phrases and questions that keep you curious while reading, for example, “that’s not all,” “and there’s more,” “want to know what else you can get?”;
  • write intertitles that have clear benefits.

Image optimization for SEO

As we have already commented, Google does not see images the same way as the user. He needs textual elements to understand what that image is about and present it as a result of some search. Therefore, when placing an image on your blog or website, you need to pay attention to the following two elements.

The file name

Must be the keyword separated by hyphens. As we said, Google will not read the spaces.

Avoid saving images with generic names like “794743.jpg”.

Alt text

Alt text is the main factor for an image. It’s important not only to show Google what that image is about but also for these cases:

  • Screen readers – are widely used by visually impaired people. In the case of images, the reader reads and recites the alt text to the user;
  • broken image description – if the image is broken on the blog, alt text will be displayed instead;
  • description of images in Google searches.

Many experts argue that alt text should be a literal description of the image (thinking of screen readers and descriptions on Google and broken images). Others claim that alt text should be your keyword.

We advise that you follow both options. Make a description of the image using the keyword.

Image size

Very heavy images can compromise your page load, and load time is another important factor for Google.

Internal Link

Internal linking is critical to Google. From it, crawlers will analyze the user experience on your posts and what other content you are sending your reader to.

Also, the more internal links a specific content receives, the more relevant Google will interpret you to that page. It’s like you say, “Google, these are the most important pages of my site/blog.”

Responsive design

Google prioritizes mobile-friendly sites when defining page placement.

If your page is not optimized to appear well on mobile devices, you may lose many search engine positions.

Charging Time

The very high speed provided by the internet has made the audience a little impatient. Nowadays, you don’t want to wait more than 3 or 4 seconds for a page to load.

Google takes this into account, so the load time is critical to good ranking. Pages that take a long time to load tend to have a very short page dwell time.

Goal Description

Although not a factor that directly influences the ranking of that page, the Meta Description – or meta description – is a code whose function is to explain to the user what is the content addressed in the link and, thus, attracting it to read.

With Meta Description in mind, this is a factor that greatly influences your site’s clickthrough rate. Therefore, it is essential that she follow some recommended features to achieve good results:

  • use keyword – appears in bold on SERPs;
  • summarize and induce the reader to read its content (benefits);
  • be approximately 150 characters long;
  • do not use a piece of introduction;
  • Don’t fool the readers.

Share buttons

Like meta descriptions, share buttons are not a direct ranking factor, but they are a key practice for you to have a fully optimized page.

You, like Google, should always think about your user experience, and well-located, visible share buttons can make your reader’s life a lot easier.

Off-page:

Off-page factors are those external to your site.

Google values ​​these issues highly, as they represent the authority of your content/site and how people have benefited from it. The better the content available, the more people will talk about it and the more backlinks you will receive.

The backlinks are links from other sites geared to yours. For Google, the more relevant external sites pointing to yours, the more authority you have about that subject and the better your search engine rankings.

The social signals are the number of shares and mentions of your brand on social networks. They also have a big influence on organic search results.

Be sure to use social sharing buttons on your site, as we mentioned. Another important factor is the volume of mentions of your brand on and off the web. The more people talk about you online or offline, the more credibility you get – and that’s one factor that can increase the clickthrough rate of your organic results.

Here are the main off-page ranking factors.

Link building

Link building is the most important part of off-page SEO. It will ensure the authority of your page and domain and will make you a great reference for Google.

It works as indications. Every site that links to you is indicating that your content is good. The more referrals you receive, the more relevant you will be.

The more relevant the link that pointed to you, the more respect you will receive from the search engine. Still, receiving links from domains with less relevance to yours is also very positive.

It’s also important to get links from sites that have authority on the topic you’re talking about. If you get links from a site that talks about topics that have nothing to do with yours, the relevance of those links won’t be that great.

Link building is such an important factor that we could continue this article just talking about it. So as not to lose focus on the main subject, we leave here the link to our blog article about link building.

Authority

The main factor for gaining authority is link building, but not only that the domain authority lives.

Older domains have more authority than very new domains.

The number of content domain posts will also directly influence its authority.

Locality

The locale is a factor that directly influences SEO. Google seeks to display results according to your location.

For example, if you are in Sao Paulo and are searching to buy something, Google will display stores in Sao Paulo in the results. He identifies your positioning and always seeks to bring the most affordable results to you.

Social

Engagement and mentions on social networks will also influence your site’s rankings. Google is keeping an eye on how people have been engaging with your content.

This gives you authority and Google will see that your post appeals to users. Since he always wants to give them the best experience, his content may be better positioned.

How to plan and execute an SEO strategy

Step 1: Keyword Search

Ufa! We have learned many concepts so far. It’s time to get your hands dirty!

To get the organic traffic you want so much, it’s essential that the content posted on your blog is relevant to someone. By then you know, but how will people find your content? 

Through search engine queries that are performed with keywords.

Yes, we crawl until we get to the point.

Before you can gain access to your page, a user must have a question or problem that they long to solve. He may be looking for the answer to a silly question about differences between services, looking for practical guides to accomplish a particular task, or even doing detailed research to understand a concept in depth.

How can you find the terms that your audience is looking for?

We have two answers to this question:

  • know your business personas very well;
  • Do keyword research to find the best opportunities for your niche.

We won’t go into detail about personas now, but you need to understand how important it is to create, define, and know who your target audience is. 

Once you know your ideal customer profile, the mission of predicting your search behavior and identifying your top issues becomes simpler.

Why are we saying this? To conduct meaningful keyword research, it is essential that you know everything about your client. After all, this search is nothing more than a definition of which topics are most interesting to your audience in terms of keywords and which ones have the best search volume.

That is, keyword research is the main way to find the best opportunities to take advantage of on a blog.

What is the importance of research

As you are reading this material, you are certainly interested in Marketing and SEO. Nevertheless, we may be wrong and you are actually looking for the first information on the subject.

In both situations there are some points about content production that should be highlighted:

  • those who produce content for the sake of producing will never get any results;
  • A blog will never reach its full potential without planning behind the production of that content.

Moving on, we find some points of convergence in the sentences above. It’s clear that without goal setting and ideal planning, a blog will never help you create new business opportunities, become an authority on the subject, or educate the marketplace.

Keyword research is critical to the success of any type of blog. Without it, your content may never achieve the expected results. 

Take a moment and think: Wouldn’t it be phenomenal if you could make all the content on your blog able to get good results?

If you want to have a blog that serves as the main attraction tool for your brand or business, you need to stop shooting in the dark and depend on luck.

Main goals

We hope that the reasons that justify the importance of keyword research have become clear. If you do not understand well, we suggest you come back and read this topic again! Without understanding the real need to start using this tool, you will never be able to reach the full potential of your Content Marketing strategy.

No more terrorism!

The most common goal – in almost 100% of cases – is to increase the organic traffic of a blog. For now, let’s stick to that goal.

To increase the organic traffic of a blog there are two distinct but very similar ways to attack opportunities. Both involve keywords, of course, but each one has a particularity:

  • short tail keywords – head tail ;
  • long tail keywords – long tail.

Complicated?

Take it easy, now you will understand more about these two types of keywords that should be considered when choosing the goal of your strategy.

Keyword Types

If you are wondering if there is more than one type of keyword, we are sorry to say yes, there is, but rest assured. The difference is easily understood, and once you understand the concept, even the work of doing the research will be easier.

Head tail keyword

Head tail keywords are the keywords that have the highest monthly search volume for a given niche. An example of this type of keyword is “marketing”, with over 70,000 monthly search engine searches. Can you imagine the amount of organic traffic a well-ranked content for this keyword can get?

Despite the large volume, the problem with this keyword is that the competition is monstrous! We’re talking about thousands of content, websites and all possible material ranking for just one extremely comprehensive keyword.

Thinking quickly, follow the huge variation on the term “marketing” we can find:

  • marketing;
  • personal marketing;
  • digital marketing;
  • business marketing;
  • Traditional marketing.

And so on.

So consider some points when focusing on head tail keywords in your keyword research:

  • The opportunity is amazing. The traffic volume is always higher, but the competition also accompanies this huge volume ;
  • Big competition increases the need for hard-working, complete and non-superficial content;
  • There is an extreme need for a very strong link building strategy to improve rankings;
  • The need for content monitoring is constant. Just posting and forgetting an article will surely bring no return. Top-ranked content and sites make daily updates to stay in those positions;
  • Despite the sheer volume of organic traffic, it is often less qualified, as anyone looking for a particular term can stop at your page;
  • These keywords are generic.

Long tail keyword

At the opposite end of the room we find the long tail keywords, also called long tail keywords. Known as the golden pot of Content Marketing, these keywords are long and much more specific , and ranking well for one of those keywords is a little simpler task.

Where is the beauty in this?

Imagine you have a men’s fashion blog and are creating phenomenal content about striped polo shirts. Certainly, there is an audience loyal to this type of piece that is always looking for new opportunities and promotions to buy another model. 

How smart you are, within your content there is a link to an offer in e-commerce of which you are a partner. So for every sale from your page link, some gravel ($) is left for you.

If when creating this post the keyword is just head-tail, the search volume will be huge, as will the competition. 

We have already explained this, but we are resuming so that you fully understand where we are going. 

Imagine your post is ranking very well, it’s on the first page, and you’re getting a sea of ​​organic hits daily.

Nevertheless, the results are not keeping track of the number of hits. In one month your page received 10,000 organic hits, but only 10 people clicked on your offer’s call-to-action ( CTA ). Only 1% of all access your post has received has been converted to your offer. This is bad, but it can be improved.

How is this possible? Long tail keywords!

After reviewing the opportunities, you changed the content keyword to “striped polo shirt”. Organic traffic suffered drastically and went to 1,000 monthly hits. 

Despite this, the number of conversions has remained the same, but in the proportion account, you’re earning more! 10% of all hits are converting and you start earning more money from your ad.

After this long history, we believe that the difference between long-tail and head tail keywords has become clear.

Check out the key features of this type of keyword:

  • a lower volume of traffic, but extremely qualified ;
  • content more targeted to a specific point ;
  • better to answer user questions quickly.

Now that you have thoroughly understood the concept behind keyword research and the specifics of each type, let’s explain how to perform your own search.

How to do your own research

It’s time to get your hands dirty. Now let’s put everything in place so that you can structure a good keyword search and find out the best terms for your content production.

Understand who the persona is and who is the focus of your content

We’ll start with the point that will drive the search. Here at Rock Content, all content that is produced has one thing in common: it is always directed to a specific persona.

We currently have four personas. Nevertheless, we were unable to create content that is interesting to two of them at the same time. Each of our personas is unique and has different interests, difficulties and ways of communicating. 

This is why we must understand the importance of conducting keyword research with this focus.

Once this is clear, let’s move on.

The first step to successful keyword research is to identify which persona you want to communicate with. All information about your persona will be relevant to making your future content a success.

Set the theme

Now that we have identified who the focus persona of our keyword research is, we can continue the process.

There are several ways to start a search. It can be based on knowing what competitors are up to, it can be a search for keywords not yet worked on and can also be guided by choosing a specific theme.

In this example of ours, we will opt for the last, keyword research focusing on a specific theme. This will help us know who the market players are and will also allow us to focus on certain key keywords in a particular niche.

We will guide your search as if we were creating one for our blog, bloggercage.com/blog. In this example, we define that the focus theme of the month is Digital Marketing.

Choose the tools

There is currently a multitude of SEO tools that can be used to your advantage. Later, we will present a list of tools that can assist you in this work.

For our subject, we will use three in particular:

All tools will be essential for searching, identifying and analyzing terms that may represent good opportunities for the theme we choose.

Now we will use each of the three to find keywords about Digital Marketing.

Use the tools – the search

Keyword Planner

Using the AdWords tool, you can find not only keyword ideas but also the monthly search volume for each of the available variations.

Once you have reached the AdWords home screen, click Tools and select Keyword Planner. You will then be redirected to the following page:

Image URL: https://bloggercage.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/o-que-e-seo-22.png

You will focus your efforts on the first two options in the “Find New Keywords” section.

By clicking on the first of these, searching for new keywords using a phrase, you will fill in a series of fields that, after being analyzed, will help the tool find the keywords that make sense for your business.

Image URL: https://bloggercage.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/o-que-e-seo-11.png

The more information and fields you fill in, the more accurate the data analysis will be.

In the following print, you can see the other tab with the search results that were made in the previous image.

Image URL: https://bloggercage.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/o-que-e-seo-12.png

If you don’t have an active AdWords campaign, the tool won’t give you accurate information. You will be able to analyze the estimated volume and CPC results.

In the above case, the keyword “digital marketing” has a large monthly search volume, which can range from 10,000 to 100,000. In addition, the competition is extremely high. Remember the head tail keywords? This is a perfect example.

Image URL: https://bloggercage.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/o-que-e-seo-13.png

By scrolling down the page, you will find relevant keyword ideas on the same topic.

We now know that one of the possible head tails for our products will be “digital marketing”. And this is how we conclude the first part of the research.

Keyword Tool

Here at Rock Content, we use the Keyword Tool to find variations of a particular keyword. Today, we venture to say, this is one of the best tools for the task 

Image URL: https://bloggercage.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/o-que-e-seo-14.png

After entering the term whose variations you wish to receive on the main screen of the site, simply select the search engine you want to analyze as well as the language of the search. In our case, we chose Google in Brazilian Portuguese.

In the following print, you will see the first tab of the results page.

Image URL: https://bloggercage.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/o-que-e-seo-15.png

As you can see, the tool found 543 unique variations of the keyword “digital marketing”. Keyword Tool performs a thorough search for all variables that have a significant search volume and include long tails.

The list is extensive and of course, there will be not so relevant variations. Either way, it’s worth exporting the list of all the terms you find, throwing them into Google’s keyword planner (with the option to enter a word list), and looking at the search volume for each one.

Remember that the Keyword Tool is a free tool, so the information we receive in this analysis is superficial and does not include search volume values. If you wish to subscribe to the paid plan of the tool, all information will be disclosed on the main search page.

SEMrush

Before we start talking about this amazing tool, we need to warn you that SEMrush is paid for. Nevertheless, it has a limit of 5 queries per day for totally free keywords or sites.

To complete the tools step, the Rock Content Marketing team uses SEMrush. In addition to giving us a complete analysis of keywords, variations, and related terms, the tool also provides an option that allows us to peek at the competition .

Now, let’s take it easy. Check out the walkthrough in SEMrush.

Image URL: https://bloggercage.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/o-que-e-seo-16.png

After accessing the tool and searching for the desired term – we’ll continue with the “digital marketing” example – you’ll find a full report on the keyword:

  • monthly search volume;
  • number of results;
  • related keywords (separate full report);
  • keyword variations (full separate report);
  • list with the top 20 in Google;
  • growth trend graph in search volume;
  • list with variations of AdWords for the keyword.

At this time, let’s take a look at the keyword match report.

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We use the information in this report to find variations of the searched keyword that represent good opportunities.

High search volume and acceptable competition are often the main features we are looking for right now. 

It is noteworthy that here we find a series of excellent long tail keywords to address content that will be used to link to an article whose keyword is a head tail – in this case, “digital marketing”.

Select opportunities and finish the search

Ready! We have reached the end of keyword research and now we just need to create a report with the best results and opportunities we find across all the tools we use.

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Above we find four worthwhile terms that represent good opportunities in an SEO strategy focused on Digital Marketing. The results of keywords and their respective monthly volumes are as follows:

  • “Digital marketing” – 18,100;
  • “Digital marketing agency” – 1,000;
  • “What is digital marketing” – 1,000;
  • “Digital marketing concept” – 720.

Of the four options above, the keyword “what is digital marketing” is the best term we can focus on.

Don’t you understand why we opted for a long tail with a thousand monthly searches instead of the “digital marketing” head tail with almost 18 thousand monthly searches?

A very complete post on the subject may encompass many variations of the keyword in question. In this case, “what is digital marketing” is a great keyword because, in addition to volume, it has numerous relevant variations, and when we think about how users search engines, it’s exactly the term that the vast majority will use.

Another point that we must take into consideration when making this decision is the very difficulty of ranking that each of these keywords has.

SEMrush also gives us this extremely valuable information and an argument to justify choosing a keyword.

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When we analyze only these two keywords in isolation, the difference becomes even clearer.

The competition metric refers to the difficulty of ranking for each keyword, and this measure goes from 0 to 1. The closer to 1, the harder it will be to work at the top of searches with a result:

  • “Digital marketing” – 0.92 ranking difficulty;
  • “What is digital marketing” – 0.30 ranking difficulty.

Without the proper creation and search for keywords that make sense for your business, it is very complicated to get the positive result you want so much. 

We hope you can understand this quick guide we have produced about keyword research.

Step 2: Analyze the Google results page for the main keyword

Now that we know where we are starting from, we need to start understanding who we are competing with so we can get in the fight to win. To get into a fight without knowing your opponent is to start losing.

As much as we have many keywords to optimize, we will always have the one with the highest search volume and the most value.

While long tails are the current focus of most SEO strategies, having the main keyword is recommended. It is usually the one that can most impact your results, so it deserves more attention.

One of the analyzes that aim to help SEO planning is the search results page, or SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

To analyze SERP, we recommend using Moz’s Keyword Difficulty Tool. It gives you access to a number of important metrics, as well as keyword difficulty.

It makes a comparative analysis of all the first 10 results and is very intuitive, showing where you should focus your focus to improve your positioning. The only problem is that it gets paid, but if you don’t subscribe to Moz, you can use MozBar.

If you have advanced Excel skills, you can do a complete SERP analysis just by exporting the data to a CSV. This is one of the MozBar features we enjoy most.

What we do is put the following metrics in a spreadsheet:

  • links;
  • domain authority;
  • page authority;
  • trust flow;
  • citation flow;
  • different domains linking.

With these metrics in a spreadsheet, we can analyze competitors and also gain insight into where we should focus our strategy.

Step 3: Competitor Analysis

When it comes to planning, the more time you spend getting to know your competitors, the more confident you will be in building your strategy.

When we analyze a SERP, we evaluate the first 10 results and take the most superficial metrics.

When it comes to a very popular keyword, we should focus the deeper analysis on the first 3 results.

In this analysis, you must make a SWOT assessment. In addition, the following points are also important.

  • Errors on page
    • Are there too many errors on-page? (We use tools like WooRank for this.)
    • Is the URL friendly?
    • Do they correctly use the Title Tag and Meta Description?
    • What are they failing to do?
  • Content
    • Do they use the keyword correctly throughout the content?
    • Is it static or dynamic content?
    • Do they update frequently?
    • What type of content do they not use? (Ex: videos, infographics, etc.)
  • Social networks
    • Do they have many shares?
    • Are they active on social networks?
    • Does the site have share buttons?
  • Links
    • What is their main source of link acquisition?
    • Can I also enjoy this font?
    • How is the distribution of anchor texts?
    • Do they use tactics by which they can be punished?

With all these questions asked and answered – mentally or documented – you are better prepared to start SEO planning.

Now that we’ve reviewed our competitors and learned about their strengths and weaknesses, it’s time to look at our own site.

Step 4: On-Page Analysis

When it comes to your site, the analysis has to be thorough and high quality.

Analyzing your website’s on-page is crucial to your SEO strategy, as all problems and possible improvements can be solved by you. 

Sometimes you can depend on the programmer or the company that developed the site, but you still have more control over it than on acquiring quality links, which depends on external factors.

On-Page analysis can take a long time, and sites with many pages tend to take more work at this stage. 

We’ve talked about most of the on-page factors in the Google ranking factors topic. Now, let’s talk about others that haven’t been cited yet.

Canonical URL

Google considers each site URL separately. A basic mistake of many websites is that the homepage can be accessed with www ( www.site.com) and also without www (site.com).

This divides the strength of your homepage, and when you do not redirect 301 to the template you choose, you lose some of the power of the links, which go into non-priority form.

To fix this, you need to redirect 301 from site.com to www.site.com or vice versa. If you can’t redirect, you can place the canonical tag to tell Google which URL you want to privilege.

Sitemap

You learned here how Google works and saw that the first step in an SEO job is to get Google to index your site.

A sitemap is a way of telling Google which pages are on your site and making it easy to crawl them all.

Some SEO plugins already have this functionality. After you generate a sitemap.xml, you need to submit it to Google through the Google Search Console.

404 errors

Something very common is a website having a wrongly linked page or someone linking your site to a nonexistent page. When this happens, the user falls to a page with the information that it does not exist.

This is not good for anyone and you need to fix this error quickly.

Google Search Console has functionality that tells you this type of error and where it is occurring. You must document all the errors you have found and all the possible improvements that you have identified.

The on-page is an essential analysis step you must do to plan an SEO campaign.

Step 5: Link Analysis

Now is the time to review our links and identify where we need to focus our efforts.

What you need to look at in this step:

  • number of links;
  • number of domains linking;
  • anchor text of the links you have;
  • domain authority;
  • page authority;
  • citation flow;
  • trust flow;
  • types of links you have. Here enter text links, images or other forms.

By combining all of this information with competitors’ link analysis, you’ll have a good foundation for planning your link building strategy.

Step 6: Monitoring and Tracking

In addition to planning, researching, and producing content and links, an essential part of tracking your SEO campaign is performance monitoring.

We recommend that you keep track of the metrics defined in the baseline report and always compare them against the defined assessment period. This should become a routine and occur at least monthly. Here at Rock Content, every Friday is the day to review our mistakes and successes to keep growing.

Completion and Bonus

As you might realize, SEO is an extremely important subject for those looking for online visibility.

We take SEO very seriously here at Blogger Cage and we like it a lot too, so we have put together a shortlist of related content you might be interested in:

  • SEO x Personas
  • Link building
  • Keyword Search
  • SEO Truths
  • SEO Glossary
  • $ 500,000 Case Blog Post
  • 1,772% organic growth

If you still have questions, our team has also produced a 50-page ebook that delves into the many points we cover here in this post.

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