This guide assumes that your startup is using WordPress and that your team has a basic understanding of how to use WordPress.
Most startups publish blog posts that never get any meaningful traffic from Google. But they keep publishing anyway.
How is it that so many startups fail at blog SEO?
- They don’t do keyword research
- They don’t write posts to rank for specific keywords
- They don’t write posts that are at least 1500 words
- They don’t market their posts
- They don’t stick to a posting schedule
So how is it that startups succeed at SEO?
They DO all the stuff listed above. They also understand that the most important part of a winning SEO strategy is content.
Content? Yup. You’re probably working on technical optimizations. But those are mostly a waste of time. The secret to getting traffic from Google is relevant and high quality content. And I’ll show you how to use content to turn your blog into a traffic machine.
- Find keywords
- Write posts that are hyper-relevant to keywords
- Publish posts that are the best on the Internet
- Title your posts to rank
- Market every post
- Stick to a posting schedule
- Use WordPress and the best WordPress plugins
- See the results from putting this guide into action
How to find keywords
What’s a keyword? A keyword is a word or a string of words that you enter into Google to find an answer to your question or a solution to your problem.
Given the keyword, Google shows you content (also known as search engine results) that it thinks is useful and relevant (with the most helpful content at the top).
(Mattermost used this guide to rank #1)
Most startups write blog posts and then think about keywords. But that’s backwards.To develop content that ranks, keywords come first. So the first step to write relevant content isn’t to write the content, it’s to reverse engineer Google’s search results.
1. Brainstorm keywords
Since you know your startup inside and out, it’s likely that you already have a good sense of what people are searching for.
Go ahead and think of the keywords that seem relevant to your startup. Aim for 20 to 50 keywords.
Need some help getting started? Here is the keyword brainstorm for this WordPress SEO guide:
|Wordpress SEO Wordpress SEO guide Long-tail keywords Organic search Content marketing Link building Alt tags Online marketing||Wordpress SEO plugins Search engine optimization Keyword phrase SEO blog SEO marketing Quality content SEO experts Search engine marketing||Wordpress SEO tips Keyword research Search engine results pages (SERPs) Google search console Relevant content Anchor text Wordpress SEO themes|
2. Use KW Finder
Have your list of 20+ keywords? Great! Next, sign up for KWFinder.
What’s KWFinder? It’s an easy-to-use keyword research tool. You’ll also get SERPWatch, so you can track your keyword rankings in Google.
Now that you’re signed up, log in. Look for “Import” in the navigation and then copy & paste your keyword list on the Import page.
After you import the keywords to KWFinder, you’ll see the following screen:
Select all of the keywords in the list. Then deselect the keywords that have low search volume or are overly competitive. Once you’re done, click “Add to list.”
Next, perform a “Questions search” for a number of the keywords in the list.Then add Questions with sufficient search volume to the list you made previously.
Finally, sort the entire list by search volume (from high to low).
With keywords in hand, you can now create a posting schedule.
Create a posting schedule
Relevant content is the secret to ranking in Google but to turn your blog into a traffic machine you’ll also need to post consistently.
If you post consistently, your startup will get more and more traffic from more and more keywords. Google will regard your site as an authority on the topics that your startup writes about, and in turn all new posts will get to the top faster.
But don’t sacrifice quality for quantity! You will stop ranking if you do. It’s more effective to write fewer, higher quality posts. As a rule of thumb, set the bar for your post quality as “the best content on the Internet for the given keyword.”
How to schedule your posts
This part is super easy. All you have to do is create a blog post for each keyword and instead of publishing the post, schedule it for sometime in the future.
If your going to post once per week, then schedule your first post a week from today (why not start now?), the second post a week from the day the first post publishes, and so forth.
Allow me to show you:
How to write a post that ranks
You have your keywords. You have your posting schedule. Wow! You’re already in a better position than most startups.
Now, I’ll show you how to write a post that’s relevant to the keyword. Because Google’s mission is to match the searcher’s intent to relevant search results then for your post to rank, your content needs to be written tailored to the keyword.
How do you write a blog post for a specific keyword?
First, Google the keyword you want the post to rank for and study the top 10 search results. Look for patterns related to word count, use of language, writing style, use of imagery, and use of videos. Harvest the strengths from the best posts and identify their where those posts are weak so that your post can improve in those areas.
You can automate the process by using Clearscope.
Clearscope is a Google Docs addon that crunches Google’s search data so that it can help you write content that Google think is relevant. I recommend you use Clearscope because the more relevant the content, the more likely that content is to rank.
(If you want to try Clearscope before you buy then tweet at me. I’ll run a report for you for free. Happy to help.)
After you’ve signed up for Clearscope and installed the addon, open up Google docs. Next I’ll show you how to develop the post.
Create an outline
This is where Clearscope (the very best of SEO tools) comes in.
Sign into Clearscope. Then run a “+ New Report” using the keyword from the blog post you’re going to write.
Next, open up Google Docs and activate ClearScope Add-on.
Get the link from Clearscope and add it to Google Docs. Here’s how:
Create an outline:
Here is another outline for carnivore diet:
Make the post the best on the Internet
Search engine results (also referred to as serps)
You studied the top 10. You know what to do, you know where to improve. Crush it!
Post to WordPress
Wordable. You don’t have to subscribe to Wordable — but it will definitely save you time.
Wordable connects to your Google Docs account and then lets you import Google Docs as blog posts keeping all of the styling in taxt. This blog post you’re reading was published using Wordable.
Sign up for Wordable using your Gmail or Google Apps email
Install the Wordable WordPress plugin
Develop your post form the Google Drive folder Wordable created
Export the post as a Draft from Wordable to WordPress
Edit the post (as needed) and schedule
Title your posts to rank
Title each post to include the keyword
There are two titles:
- Blog post title
- Blog post SEO title
The first you define in WordPress. The second you define using a plugin.
Set the blog post title. Be informative. Get people to read.
Set the title tag, meta description, and social image. The SEO title should include the keyword and should be kind of clickbait )because you want the user to select your post out of all other posts)
Market every post
New blog post
Link in the comments
Link in the blog post to other blog posts where it makes sense / is helpful
Every new post needs external links. Links to GOogle are a vote. If you don’t get any votes, you can’t win. You don’t need a lot of votes just a few big votes from high reputation sites.
Social, reddit, medium
Use WordPress and the best WordPress plugins
Yoast SEO plugin
Moz Ranking Factors
Momently over Google Analytics. A lot of bloggers install Google Analytics but they don’t do much with it. If you’re looking for easy to leverage analytics, then go with Momently. There’s zero learning curve and it’s tuned analytics for blogs (not for software like GA). Schedule the email digest from Momently.
Proof: See the results of following this guide
Ask for the user’s email
Dwell time – add a video