Striking out on your own is no easy feat. No matter the industry or market, there’s a ton of competition and there’s no quick and simple way to get started. Most entrepreneurs face the same challenges—which are an oversaturated market and limited resources.
That’s primarily why search engine optimization (SEO) is so important. SEO is what brings your business’s website and content to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs) to be seen by your target audience.
We essentially live our lives by Google and other search engines, as well as social media channels. It’s how we connect and get our information, whether it be current events or the latest on products and services. So, in case you were wondering—yes, you need a well-thought-out SEO strategy.
Of course, poorly implemented SEO tactics can work against you, burying your website deep into the SERPs.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the key fundamentals needed to put together your SEO strategy, so you can become more visible online. Read on to learn more.
Your keyword research is arguably the most important fundamental of SEO. Keywords are the building blocks to the content you’ll be creating to attract your target audience.
As Google’s algorithm changes, one thing remains constant: Relevant keywords. The algorithm (plus over 200 ranking factors) picks up on the most common topics that users are searching for. If you’re creating topics without relevant keywords, your website isn’t going to gain any traction within the SERPs.
When doing keyword research, you’ll want to focus on a few important factors, including:
Ensure that the keywords you have chosen are actually relevant to your business, especially towards your business’s bottom line.
If you’re selling water bottles but using keywords that have nothing to do with water or water bottles, then you’re wasting your time.
Keyword volume is also critical. The volume of the keywords you choose should be significant enough to rank, but not overly used. A keyword with too much competition won’t do you any favors.
To drive traffic to your website, choose one significant focus keyword that has a good volume to competition ratio—as in it’s been used over 100 times in one month but, it isn’t being used by your competitors. Sprinkle in some secondary keywords to use throughout your content as well. They’ll act as a keyword booster.
You’re providing content and products or services to your target audience. Therefore you need to understand user intent. The keywords you choose should reflect the user intent, i.e., what your target audience would typically be searching for.
There are also plenty of tools you can use for your keyword research, including:
- Google Keyword Planner
- And of course, Google
In terms of keyword competition, you must also target keywords that are appropriate to the strength of your website. As a startup business, you’ll need to target keywords with low difficulty.
Many keyword research tools have their own metrics for measuring keyword difficulty. These are great guides, but what we have found is that the best way to measure competition is to check out the competition. Competitor research is an essential method of finding relevant keywords. It also allows you to pinpoint your competitions’ weaknesses and create even better content.
At the top level, you’ll want to look at the search results that appear, how many links and referring domains are pointing to that competing search result and the size of their content library that supports each search result.
Backlinks & Referring Domains
Backlinks are also critical to your SEO efforts. When another authoritative site links to one of your articles or website pages, Google increases your value within the SERPs.