FACT: SEO is Hard
One thing for sure when it comes to SEO, and this is now more relevant than ever, is this – IT IS HARD WORK. Not even because Google are trying to stop us from doing what we do but more so because there are so many talented people doing SEO already. Also, because there is so much money to be made from doing SEO and the people that realise this are investing everything they to make their projects work.
The result? If you want to get into SEO right now you must be in it for the long haul and you have to be prepared to give it absolutely everything.Take your time, plan your project out first
The first thing you need to do is create a solid plan. This means picking a niche, deciding what type of site you are going to build, how you are going to build it, what keywords you are going to target and how you are going to monetize.
Keeping this in mind, you should work 10 times as hard on every stage of your project – picking a nice? Don’t just pick one in five minutes, think seriously about the niche, research the competition, think about what type of content you can produce for it and spend the time to make sure it’s going to be a profitable niche. Doing keyword research? Don’t just research 20 main keywords and a couple of longtails for each, thinking you will do more once the site is making money, do ALL of the keyword research to begin with – find all of the keywords you are going to target, find 10-20 LSI and related keywords for each primary keyword, research the competition that are currently ranking for each keyword and even perhaps start preparing some notes on each keyword group – what will it take to produce great content for that group of keywords, what resources can you pass on to your writers to make sure they produce a comprehensive article?Its all about the detail
In addition to the 10x rule, it is also a great idea to plan everything out in as much detail as possible – like I mentioned above, don’t just think to yourself that you can plan as you go, plan every aspect of the project out to begin with so that when it comes to doing the work you are literally following a set plan all the way. In my experience, I found this works really well for a few reasons –
· From start to finish you are constantly progressing your project until you reach the end goal – you don’t run out of ideas half way through trying to establish your site because you are following a long-term plan.
· You avoid the tendency to rush things – for example, its sometimes easy to get impatient and start building a load of PBN links because you want to see your keywords ranking as quick as possible, but this can be detrimental to your site in the long term. By having a plan in place for your link-building you can ensure that the link velocity starts off slow and builds up steadily over time.
· When you are building backlinks, if you have a plan in place its easier to keep track of important things like anchor text distribution, distributing links throughout your site and keyword targeting.Picking your niche
The first thing to do is to pick a niche that you want to operate in. You can brain storm with loads of different ideas and niches to find the one that you want to be in, or you can use a service provider from black hat world who will provide you with a niche and keywords. Either way you want to be involved in this process and you want to make sure you are in a niche, and using keywords, that you can rank for.
The two biggest problems in my experience with picking a niche are as follows -
· Don’t be too set on finding a niche that you like – I know everyone says it – find a niche that you are passionate about and then you can pump out content all day long. Sure there is some truth in this, but at the same time you need to let the research lead you into a profitable niche. SEO and IM niche is a great example here – everyone here has a passion for this and so it’s a great idea to start an SEO website, but the competition will be so great that it’s going to be hard to rank the site for popular terms and also its going to be hard producing content that has a real benefit to visitors – because there is so much great content already available. Sometimes it’s better to find a random niche, sure it’s got to be something you can get somewhat enthusiastic about, but more importantly it should be something where there is perhaps not as much great content already available and thus a niche that you can add value to.
· Don’t pick too broad a niche – It’s a problem I have made so many times, and I have seen lots of other people making the same mistake. Its so easy to think of a good idea, and then to think BIG. For example, you want to start a site about cars (Because you love cars) so you start thinking – right I can put together a big authority on cars – the best site on the internet – I will have a category for every make of car, I will have a section for car parts, I will have a section for car care… Fuck it, Ill have a section dedicated to trucks as well, because trucks are cool. Before you know it, you are rewriting Wikipedia and the truth is you have an impossible task – to rank your website fully would probably take you a lifetime. If you think about it, the bigger you make the site the more you are diluting any effort you put in. So here is where the term micro niche site comes into play – and you should really take note of what this term means – the smaller the site, and the more specific the niche, the better. If you want to build a site about cars, build it about a particular model of car – that way you have a really small topic and you can cover it in such a way that you become an authority on that topic. Can you be an authority on “cars”? No. Can you be an authority on the 1969 automatic VW? Yes, probably.
As an example let’s say that we pick Coffee Makers
as our niche but so that we don’t make the site too broad, we might settle on one sub-topic in that niche - single cup coffee makers
Once you have a niche idea then you need to do a little bit of research on keywords – if you paid for a keyword research service then you have these keywords already – so you can proceed to the next step. Otherwise you can find your keywords yourself. To get keywords for free you can just plug your chosen niche into Google and then take the first ten results for each seed keyword – use a selection of terms related to your niche that you think people might be searching for – then you can look over the sites and pull out all of the terms and phrases that are mentioned on those websites.
There are loads of free tools out there as well, that will help you to find keywords relating to your niche. For example http://www.keyword.io
will give you hundreds of keyword ideas when you type in your seed keyword or phrase.
With this list, stick it into Google keyword planner and you will get a big list of keywords and phrases in return – all with search volume, CPC etc. If you have active campaigns running in adwords then you can get detailed data from this tool, if not you will only get rough estimates but once again there are paid tools out there, such as Semrush that will give you more accurate information.
If you have access to ahrefs
then its even easier – you can put in the list of competitors that you find in your niche, and ahrefs will give you a list of keywords and phrases that each competitor is ranking for – this is a cool way of finding profitable keywords to target. And the best part is this – if you find the sites that are medium in size (Not the big brands but other niche or independent sites then you know straight away that you can rank for these terms – because you are competing on these other relatively small sites). Even if you don’t have access to ahrefs you can order a report from somewhere like fiverr.com for (As the name implies) 5 bucks.