Search Engine Optimization - 2021 Update
The 5 Pillars Of A Successful SEO Campaign
Video Transcript - Best SEO Strategies in 2021
In this lesson, I'm going to show you the five pillars of a successful SEO campaign. If you want to get ranked in Google and attract some of that super-targeted, high-quality, high-converting traffic that Google can send to you in 2021, you need to pay close attention.
Why is it something so many people attempt but then fail miserably at?
It's because, typically, they're focused on one or two or three of these five pillars. What I want to do right now is I want to go through these five pillars of a successful search engine marketing campaign.
When I get to the end, you're going to understand all of the components that you need to have in place on your website in your search engine marketing plan
Do I Have To Rank Higher in Google?
If you want to start ranking or ranking better in Google, if you've never had free traffic from Google, I can tell you right up front; you're probably missing out.
Because clicks from Google are some of the highest converting traffic that you can get with online organic traffic.
Because when people go to Google, they search for something, maybe it's for a product or a solution to a problem or information.
If you can get your website to rank on page one, when they search that keyword, and you can provide them with the information or the product or the solution that they're looking for, there's a very high likelihood that they're going to engage very, very quickly.
What this results in is a swift conversion, a much shorter sales cycle than, say, social traffic.
Because social traffic, for example, is more of an interruption ad. We go out, and we target our ads, and we have them show up in people's newsfeeds. And we hope that they're going to click on it because we've interrupted them and grabbed their attention.
But they weren't actively searching for something. So we typically have to nurture them and spend more time with them to get them to that point where they're willing to make that investment search.
When somebody's actively searching for something, you can shorten that down. You can see much faster conversions and precious traffic. The organic traffic from Google always converts substantially higher than paid traffic from Google.
Because there is an inherent trust that comes from Google's organic search results when people see an ad, they immediately have a bias and think, "oh, they're going to sell me something."
But when you rank organically in Google, people assume that this must be the best recommendation because you can't pay to be here.
Google chose you. Google guides our decisions every single day.
Your goal is to make sure your business is ranked, and your website is ranked for the right keywords.
You can be one of those choices when Google is guiding people to make a decision.
The Reality of SEO
The problem with SEO is it's constantly evolving and constantly changing.
And if you head on out into the big wide world of the internet and search for information on ranking in Google, you're going to get all sorts of different answers.
I've been doing SEO now; it makes me feel old, for but over 20 years from back in the early days of Alta Vista, Lycos, Yahoo, and then first-generation Google.
In my businesses, Google and organic traffic generates in the low six figures over $100,000 in sales for me every single month across all of my businesses.
Is it my only channel?
No, absolutely not. But it plays a significant role.
I would never tell somebody to focus on one channel entirely. Because things evolve and things change.
But I believe any established business on the internet also needs to have a solid organic strategy. Because there's no benefit if you're putting all this money into paid ads and neglecting the organic, you're building search volume.
The fact is, is when people search for something, or when people see an ad, in many cases, they don't click the ad. They go and search it.
If you're not coming up for the keywords they're searching for and somebody else, is your ad spend is driving search back into Google that somebody else is benefiting from.
That's why this multi-channel strategy that I do believe in combining paid organic, across social media buys, across native, across all different channels, is so important.
I don't want to overwhelm you, and I don't want to think, "Oh my God, I gotta go do all of this."
You need to work through the different channels, figure out what your hottest channel is.
But as you build a brand, as you build a name, as people become familiar with you and become familiar with your products, and they begin searching for your products, better make damn sure your website is the one coming up.
Five Pillars of a Successful SEO Campaign
Let's get into these five pillars of a successful SEO campaign. Once I've gone through these, I'm going to tell you what the most important one of these is.
Alright, pillar number one. Keywords. The foundation of any good SEO strategy starts with keyword research.
Because if you get your keywords wrong, one of two things will happen: you're going to get the wrong traffic, or you're going to get no traffic.
So if you choose keywords that are being searched by people who aren't entirely interested in what you have, you're wasting their time and your time.
Or, if you focus on keywords that are too competitive, the likelihood of ranking for them will be extremely difficult.
This is a trap too many people fall into. They go after the big sexy general keywords with massive search volume, only to find out that ranking for them is very difficult. It takes a very long time.
The traffic that you get from them isn't actually that qualified because keywords in and of themselves are a little too general. So the first pillar before you do anything else is building your keyword strategy.
What keywords do you want your website to rank for?
I'm not going to go deep into keywords. But I can't emphasize enough how important it is to take the time to find the right keywords.
Also, realize that when you rank for a keyword and focus on ranking for a keyword, there will be multiple related keywords that you automatically begin to rank for.
These are called semantically related keywords.
One of the mistakes many people make is they say, "Okay, well, I want to rank for the keyword dog training. But how am I going to rank for the keyword how to train a dog? Do I have to do something different?"
Google has gotten very good at recognizing topics. And if you're ranking in the top spots for how to train a dog, there are chances are you're going to start ranking for dog training type keywords as well.
You want to pick the right topical keywords that you're going to focus on. Once you have figured out the top keyword topics that you will focus on with your SEO campaign you want to rank for, we can move on.
Which brings us to pillar number two.
2. Authority Content
Pillar number two is taking that keyword or keywords and topics and creating authority content.
If I go back in time, the content looked very different. There was a time when Google favored shorter 500 - 750 word articles.
It was more about frequency and not necessarily depth.
But Google and their algorithm have realized that they want to present content that offers the most value to the person searching, and their algorithm has figured that out. Their engineers have figured out that 500 words of content for an information type search ain't going to answer any question in any depth.
That's why over the past decade, we've seen a shift from shorter content to what we call Cornerstone Content or Authority Content pieces.
We go into great depth, we take a topic, a very tight topic, and we go into great depth that could be in 1000 words that could be 2000 words, it could be 3000 words.
But not just words for the sake of words, words that are meaningful that offer immense value.
I should make it very clear when I say content isn't just words anymore. Content is imagery content and video and creating an engaging multimedia piece of content that offers immense value.
When your visitors get there, they want to read it. They want to share it. And that's what Google is looking for.
When you create that content, it needs to be topical. It needs to be optimized for those keywords, which now brings me to the next point.
3. On-Site Optimization
Once we have chosen our keywords, we've created great content; it's not enough to throw it on a blog post and hopes Google finds it and knows what it's about and finds their way around our website and finds what page should be ranked for.
We now need to optimize our website and have the basic stuff like our title tags and our description tags. And then including the keywords and then the semantically related keywords throughout our authority content.
In our heading tags, H1, alt tags through the keywords so that when Google does scan it, they recognize that this keyword and topic is what we want to rank it for.
Then we go even further than that. And one of the most prominent places people mess up when it comes to on-site optimization is they'll do an excellent job of a page and optimizing it.
But then they don't think about all of the internal linking within a website, and when Google comes to a website and spiders out, you need to make sure that they recognize that.
If you have a website about dog training, for example, and you want blog post A to be ranked well for how to choose the best dog training collar, you need to make sure that the rest of the content around that on your website points back to it whenever we're talking about Dog Training collars.
So that when Google is spidering, that they're finding internal links that are saying, "Hey, this is the page to rank for dog training collars."
This is like the roadmap for Google.
The good news is, is there are lots of great plugins that exist out there.
Even if you're using Shopify or things like that, there are SEO tools for those which will help organize structure, set up proper URL structures, coach you on your keyword density and on page optimization, and make sure that you get all of that right.
We chose our keywords, we created some kick-ass authority content, and then we put it on our website, and we optimized our website. Our job is done, right?
This is where most people mess up. And this is where they stop.
Because most of this is in our sphere of control.
You can get a long way with just doing this well, mainly when you're dealing with long-tail or local markets and stuff like that.
I've seen and experienced many times with local websites going in and just fixing this and watching their rankings shoot up. But in more competitive markets, you've got to go to the following step number four has become more prevalent and more important.
4. Page Experience
This will play an even more significant role in SEO in your Google rankings in 2021.
Google calls it page experience. What is page experience?
When people go to your web page, does it load really quickly? Is it easy to navigate? Is there weird stuff that's misleading?
When you go into your Google Search Console account, which is the place to go to find out how Google sees your website in terms of search engine optimization and stuff like that.
They've now added a new tab, a new button called page experience. And when you click on that, they're going to give you a page experience score.
If you have a low score, they're going to tell you what you've done wrong and how to fix that. This is going to become more and more critical.
Is it going to be a make or break?
This page experience is going to be less important than everything I've just shown you here. But if they see your page is difficult to use or it's slow to load, those are things that are going to hurt your rank.
Again, this is becoming more and more important, and we need to pay more and more attention to it.
The good news is in Google Search Console they will show you what your page experience score is and tell you how to fix it.
Again, everything in our sphere of control is here. We can go a long way with this.
This is our foundation. But there's one more critical factor that you have to embrace and do well if you want to rank at the top of Google in just about any niche. And that is backlinks.
For those unfamiliar with a backlink, a backlink is when one website links back to your website.
Backlinks were invented by Google back in the very, very early days of Google. When Google launched, they looked at all of the other search engines that existed at that time, the Alta Vistas and the Excite Lycos, AOL, Yahoo.
The problem with all of those old search engines is that they would scan a page and then try and determine where that page should rank or that website should rank based on what they saw on the website.
It was easy to manipulate. That's where Google came along. Larry and Sergey, back in their university dorm, came up with the concept of Google. And their algorithm was different.
First, it looked at what was on the site to get an idea of what it was about and what it should rank for.
As the internet grew, the big problem faced by the search engines is you could have 100 websites, all optimized for the exact keywords, all with authority content, all with great on-site optimization. How the heck were you going to tell that apart?
That's when they added in the backlink factor. In its earliest days and its simplest form, backlinks were like votes.
If you had ten websites, all equal in terms of content in terms of authority and optimization, they would look at who has the most other websites linking to them. Whoever had the most is going to rank the highest.
It's like a voting system. If 100 websites linked to me and only ten linked to you. Well, I'm a better website because more people are linked to me. So they're going to rank me higher.
That was backlinks in its simplest form, but it's become far more complex now. Google's algorithm has become far, far smarter, more intelligent.
They don't just look at the sheer quantity of links because they figured out very quickly, once again, that can be manipulated.
Now what they focus on isn't just quantity, but quality and authority links back to you.
I would rather have one backlink from a government website or an Education website with massive authority in Google's eyes. One link from them would be a bigger vote worth way more than 100 links from no-name sites with no authority in Google's eyes.
Once we've completed the first four steps, the last step, and the most important step, hands down, is building high-quality backlinks that are getting other people in the industry to link to you.
Backlinks are where most people come to a grinding halt and hit a wall.
How do you get other people to link to you?
Here's one of the biggest problems that we see in SEO: people start and say they want to rank in Google.
They go to Google, and the advice Google's going to give you is, "As long as you build great content and focus on the user experience, the backlinks will happen. Don't worry about building backlinks. Once you're a big website and a big name and you have a following."
Yeah, that's what will happen. You'll post content, and your existing followers will share it and link to it. It will gain momentum on its own.
But let's face it -- when you're starting. That isn't going to happen. There's nobody there to see it.
Types of SEO
This is where we have two types of SEO.
We have white hat SEO. Following all the rules, what Google says, "Don't buy backlinks. Don't go out there and ask for backlinks and try and get backlinks. Let backlinks happen organically."
That's what they tell you. That's a white hat.
On the black hat side, you have guys using tools and software that are going out there and mass creating links and completely violating all of Google's policies.
The fact to the matter is, when you're getting started, you got to be somewhere in the middle. There's going to be a little bit of grey hat going on.
You've got to ignore Google. You've got to go out there.
You have to build some links through guest posting that could be through outreach, that could even be through buying some high-quality links off some high-quality websites, which happens every day.
I can tell you, the big SEO agencies, the ones that some of them will look you in the eye and say, "Oh, we would never pay for a backlink," are out there buying backlinks.
Because it's a valuable asset now.
Although I would encourage you to create great content that people want to link to because it offers so much value, that is the best way to get backlinks.
When you're getting started, you need to give it that boost. You need to go out there, and you need to build some backlinks yourself. It would be best if you used some of these outreach strategies.
Some of these strategies in the white hat world, Google would say no, but that's just the way it is.
Maybe in a later video, I'll go deeper into backlinks and some of the different strategies.
But today was lifting the fog and showing you what it takes to rank in Google.
Google can be an invaluable source of traffic, amazing high converting clicks once you get there.
But it takes time. It takes patience.
And it takes a well-formed strategy. And although I say to you, backlinks are the most important piece of SEO. You can't have a good SEO campaign without doing all of this.
This is the foundation.
This is what's in our sphere of control, which means other people have this in their sphere of control.
It's easier to do in competitive niches, where we differentiate is with the backlinks.
Those are the five pillars of a successful SEO campaign in 2021.
Sometimes we got to read between the lines. We've got to take what Google tells us and take what the black hat guys tell us.
We got to figure out what's working in the middle.
I can tell you firsthand as somebody who has multiple different websites, ranking across numerous industries, keywords, niches, and working with clients in multiple other industries on multiple topics.
This is what works—the more competitive your niches, the better. You're going to have to do all of this, the more of this you're going to need.
It's that simple. It'll work. But you got to take action. It's going to take time.
SEO is an evolution; it's not a revolution.
If you're patient and you start farming this now, letting it grow.
Six months from now, you're going to start to see results. In 12 months, it's going to be making you money in a couple of years from now when you built an authority piece of content in your niche.
You will have a valuable piece of money generating real estate that your competitors envy and wished they had taken the time to do that too.
Hopefully, we've cleared the confusion given you a roadmap.
If you're looking for some help and tools to do keyword research, go check out the free IdeaBot.ai tool that I developed for digital entrepreneurs to give you access to killer keyword data without having to spend a fortune on keyword research tools.