OUR RESEARCH PROCESS

Our contributors have run SEO for dozens of companies, are responsible for millions of new users and millions of dollars in increased revenue.

IF YOU REMEMBER NOTHING ELSE

  1. In order to succeed in SEO, you need to create a content strategy with topics that people in your niche want to know more about.
  2. The best way to decide what to write about is by performing keyword research and spying on your competitors’ content.
  3. New websites require more time and effort to build out SEO.
  4. SEO is not a one-time task – it requires regular maintenance.
  5. Use Google Search Console regularly, to measure the progress of your SEO efforts.

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Deciding the topics you will write about may seem like a complicated process but, in reality, it is straightforward.

  • Start by choosing a niche that you have a lot of experience in and know a lot about, and that is related to your product and brand. Your user personas are a great starting point: what are topics they care about?
  • Perform keyword research with a tool like KWFinder, in order to discover niche-relevant keywords with great ranking potential.
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  • Then, explore the type and structure (both on the search results and by checking their page) of your competitor’s content, by searching for keywords you want to rank for. Check the following information:
    1. The content’s length, so you get an idea of the average length you will need to write.
    2. Their meta title and meta description, to get ideas for your own metadata
    3. The related keywords on the bottom of the page, to see what other terms people are searching for.
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  • Use the best keywords with the least competition and highest search volume to create topics that you could cover.

Choosing the best keywords

In order to find the best topics, choose keywords that present the following characteristics.

Check the following metrics

In order to

Ideal range

Monthly Search Volume (Volume)

Get an estimation of the number of people searching for a specific term on a monthly basis.

1000+

Keyword Difficulty (KD)

Get an estimation of the number of backlinks your content will need to rank on the first page of Google.

<30

Google Search Results

Get an estimation of the popularity and coverage of the keyword you want to rank for

<100,000,000

Writing the actual content

Once you have discovered the keyword you want to rank for it’s time to write your article. Here is what you need to remember when you are first starting out:

  • Add the keyword you’re focused on in the title, the first paragraph, at least one of the subheadings and a couple of times throughout the text.
  • Make sure your content is at least as long as your competitors’ content (on the first page of Google results).
  • Make sure your content offers lots of value to your target audience.
  • Don’t write in massive blocks of text. Break up dense paragraphs with spaces, bullets, tables and images so people can scan it and read it from mobile devices.
  • Add internal linking to other pages of your website.
  • Conclude with a strong call to action (CTA) to convert your readers.

Publish the article and start working on your backlink strategy, with help from link management tools like Linkody or Monitor Backlinks.

For new websites, it may take up to 6 months to build your SEO. This is because of two reasons:

  1. New websites have a low Domain Authority (DA), which has an impact on rankings.
  2. There is little content on the page, which builds up over time and as a result increases the traffic.
  3. There is a lack of data to analyze when it comes to optimization opportunities.

The graph below indicates how both traffic, content, and revenue grow month-over-month for new websites.

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For older websites, SEO related progress can be seen as fast as 1 to 2 months after changes have been implemented, and can generally be observed by looking at the total clicks and impressions on a month-over-month basis.

The time you will need to put into your SEO strategy will depend on the tools at your disposal and your level of experience.

Activity

Timeframe

Perform keyword research to discover new topics

2-6 hours

Explore existing content of your competitors

4-10 hours

Map out your content strategy (create a list of topics that you can write about)

4-5 hours

Write your content (for 2000-3000 word posts)

8-10 hours per post

Discover and analyze your competitors’ backlinks

2-4 hours

Email outreach to get backlinks to your posts

1 hour per post

Monthly reporting - Measure Results

2 hours

Total time to create an SEO strategy

±15 hours

SEO maintenance (assumes 1 content piece per week)

12-18 hours per week (assuming 1 piece / week)

Note: Aged websites can benefit greatly from an SEO audit, which you can do by yourself or use online tools that can automate this task.

The best tool to check upon your SEO progress is Google Search Console.

For the overall performance of your website:

In the Dashboard, click on Performance.

This window will give you a general idea of the total clicks your website receives on a monthly basis and compare it with previous timeframes.

Example of a domain’s monthly comparison before and after optimizing for SEO.

For specific pages:

  1. In the Performance tab, click on PAGES to see the Clicks and Impressions that your pages receive.
  2. Select a page of your choice and click on QUERIES to see for which keywords the page is ranking.
  3. In the QUERIES, you will also be able to discover new optimization opportunities by cross-checking the most important metrics (Clicks, Impressions, CTR, Position).

Example of domain’s top page queries, showing Clicks and Impressions for their top queries.

There are many tools that you can use for your SEO practices. The following ones are our favorites when creating your SEO strategy.

Functions

Tool

Pricing

Keyword research, Content ideas

Ahrefs

$$$

Keyword research, Content ideas

KWfinder

$

Competitor research

Google

Free

Email Outreach for Backlink opportunities

NinjaOutreach

$

Backlink monitoring

Linkody

$

Reporting & data analysis

Google Search Console

Free

In order to ensure the success of your SEO strategy, try avoiding these mistakes.

Mistake

Do this instead

Choosing keywords with high Keyword Difficulty and High Search Volume

Find the right keywords by doing proper keyword research.

Writing about topics that interest them instead of the reader

Discover what topics are popular with your readers by researching your competitors

Sacrificing content quality for SEO optimization.

Your first and primary goal is to provide value to your readers. Start writing with that in mind.

Linking quantity over quality.

Focus on links from high authority, niche relevant websites and avoid buying backlinks.

Treating SEO as a one-time task

Your SEO efforts need to be maintained regularly, by performing monthly or quarterly reports on progress and optimization opportunities.

Follow these tips to improve your SEO strategy and get better results.

Success tip

In more detail…

Write content that attracts links.

  • Write content that answers one single question.
  • Be very specific and thorough.
  • Illustrate with examples and case studies.
  • Add a call to action (CTA).

Monitor your competitors’ backlinks.

  • Discover where your competitors get backlinks from by using a tool like Linkody.
  • Check the linked content pieces to get ideas for link-bait content.
  • Write a piece of content that is better.
  • Email those websites to get a backlink instead/as well.

Check your analytics.

  • Perform monthly reporting through Google Search Console to check upon your progress.
  • Discover optimization opportunities by looking through your pages and queries.

Discover more opportunities to get backlinks.

  • Write guest posts for niche relevant websites.
  • Exchange guest posts with websites that have a similar Domain Authority (DA).
  • Ask for a review of your product/service.
  • Participate in expert roundup posts.