This post is a culmination of some work we’ve done with a few “SEO experts” mixed with a lot of freely available online resources that have been immensely helpful over the past few months for SEO purposes. If you know a little bit about SEO, keywords, meta data and anchored links there are some great resources here that will help any small team build an SEO strategy for a 10-50 page website.
Keywords or “search terms” are the base point for any SEO campaign. It’s important to do a lot of quality research around search terms people will use to find your product or service. Here are some great tools you can use for keyword research:
The Google Keyword Tool - search by keyword or websites, get related keywords and phrase matches as well as their competition in search.
Global Market Finder – competing in a global space, allows google to find translated keywords you may want to rank for.
These are great tools for generating a big list of keywords based on global search trends, you can even use the Google keyword tool in order to identify which keywords competing websites are ranking for. If you are looking for more insight into competitor keywords take a look at the following tools.
Spying on Competitors Keywords
SEMRUSH - search by keyword or website url, get a keyword summary, phrase match report, related keywords, organic results and ads.
ispionage.com – search by keyword or website url, get feedback on adwords competitors, number of search advertisers in the space, related keywords, top search ads, top seo competition.
Use this excel sheet created by seobook.com to track your keywords as you determine their value based on not only the traffic they drive but the competition for the keyword itself. Read over the “tips” tab of this excel workbook, it will help explain how to fill the worksheets out. SEOBook includes semantics, and every modifier for a keyword you can think of. For Startupplays.com startups here is an excel template for tracking keywords in smaller sub niches that are less e-commerce specific. (login required)
Every page on your website has three primary meta components with some on page triggers search engines use to identify the page and label it in their search engine results page. Here’s the kind of on-page meta data you need to manufacture.
Title - <title>A keyword dense description of our service | CompanyName</title>
Meta Description - <meta name=”Description” content=”Your descriptive sentence or two goes here.”>
Meta Keywords - <meta name=”Keywords” content=”your keywords,go here,separated by a comma,but not a space”>
H1 - This is the major headline on each page, it’s the first thing people should read before diving in deeper.
H2 - The page subheadline (optional)
Image Names - <img src=”keywordhere.jpg” alt=”keyword” />
Alt Tags - <img src=”keywordhere.jpg” alt=”keyword” />
Once you’ve found keywords you’re looking to rank for and have optimized your site’s meta data you’ll need to start accumulating inbound links. The best kind of inbound links are ones that are “anchored” with the keyword (or variation of) you are looking to rank for. Finding link worthy websites is not easy, you can spend hours on google looking for high page rank websites and pages that are prime candidates for an inbound link. Luckily there are tools out there that help findinglink prospects easier, ontolo tools is my favorite:
Ontolo Tools – Quick discovery of relevant, valuable, quality link prospects.
Link building is time consuming, I almost always recommend hiring outside help to do it. You can do this on some of the following sites:
When you’ve identified a site you want an inbound link from it becomes a business development play to convince them to link to you. This article by John Doherty on reaching out to websites during link building is a great resource for your link builder to follow. Here are some of the canned response emails he gathered in the making of it.
I was browsing through your site/links as a NICHE SPECIFIC DESCRIPTION myself, and they’re great. ONE/TWO SENTENCES TAILORED TO SAID WEBSITE.
I’m contacting you specifically because I was looking through your links and I noticed a few broken ones – specifically to BROKEN LINK1, BROKENLINK2. Other than that you’ve got a great list!
I have two more suggestions for sites that were extremely helpful to me as a NICHE SPECIFIC DESCRIPTION might make good additions to your list – GREATRESOURCE and MYWEBSITE. GREATRESOURCE is a comprehensive and entertaining resource and MYWEBSITE has some great tips for NICHESPECIFIC DETAIL. Just a thought.
Anyways, just wanted to let you know and say thanks – have a great new year!
I saw that you’re the THEIR POSITION over at THEIR COMPANY and I wanted to get in touch. I’ve seen guest contributions before on the TOPIC blog and wanted to know if you were open to any more guest contributions. I am looking to write about something related to NICHE and thought that the topics I had in mind may go well on the TOPIC blog.
I was thinking about the following subjects:
What do you think about these? If you’re interested, I am happy to get something written up and sent over to you – or if you have another topic you’d like to see covered, I am more than happy to write on that.
Keep your link builder honest, use this excel sheet. Here is a high level look at how you will your link builder should segment their efforts. If you have some tools of your own you’d like to share feel free to! We’re always looking for ways to improve on this process.
This is a good start for a small website looking to rank in search. As you grow there are much larger more ambitious seo strategies you can employ to grow your organic search traffic. I’d recommend keeping up to date on seo tips and tricks by subscribing to these blogs: