Learn SEO - Starter Kit

source

A curated list surrounding foundational SEO practices, and framework for further study.

Learn SEO - Starter Kit

SEO is about Content, Site Structure, Internal Linking, Backlinks, and a multitude of Technical Optimizations.

Edit

This content is open source. Help improve it.

The problem with SEO is that there’s so much to learn. It’s a vast domain of knowledge, with many branches that could each take up thier own websites of related information.

SEO is always changing, incorrect and\or outdated information is often republished.

Core Components of SEO

I’ve organized this expanded curated list around what I gather to be the core components of SEO.

Many of those optimizations revolve around gradually making every individual piece of code on your site more machine readable, so it communicates essential bits of information that make it stand out from the crowd.

Market Research

Know: Self, Customer, Competition

Personally, I’m content first. I began thinking I should learn to earn by writing, and sold creating content in the freelance markets. I learned a lot about what type of enterprises were seeking content in my chosen fields, and learned what they need.

While our interests don’t always align, I’m able to determine which type of clients I’m most interested in working with. I also learn how the market is interested to use my services, since I’ve often been asked to work outside of my preferred domain.

In an iterative process, I’ve explored various areas of interest, and am beginning to see a path forward.

If you already have a product you could begin by investigating who your competition is. You’ll want to find sucessful individuals or businesses in your field, and determine what’s working for them. Then you can work on envisioning your customer in some detail, and creating content specifically targeted towards them.

A free online workshop with digital marketing expert Terry Rice.

What is High-Quality Content?

Some sites are able to rise in the search rankings without offering value, relying on backlink spam and hacky optimizations. But why, tho? Even having premium search placement, there must be something to set you apart from the crowd.

If you have worthwhile content, people will visit regardless of whether they’re interested in you or your business. Then your site will be more attractive to do business with.

So the idea is to provide a ton of value, and from there you can learn how to engage with your visitors. Once you’ve built up a base of visitors, you can begin learning their needs. You might discover markets that you weren’t intending to target, then you can create content and place offers specifically for them.

Personal Favorites:

  • Over-the-top detailed how-to’s
  • Epic curated lists
  • Showing off the work of an incredible person \ org in your field

Aspirations:

  • Infographics
  • Original Research

  • What to do when things go wrong
    • Guest Blogging
    • “opinion-forming journalism from recognized experts, and data-driven research studies showed a strong correlation between shares and links.”
    • Client case studies: These are shared by the client and can include exciting information about how they achieved their results, which can help others.
    • Infographics: These still get shared heavily online and are a great way to provide an instant view of data on a specific topic. It can be fun and informative, and usually, are republished on other blogs and shared on social media.
    • Other content that highlights influencers: This could include podcasts or video interviews.
    • Industry surveys: Many publishers do annual industry surveys, which have become well-known (and well-cited) each time they are released.
    • Free content or tools: This could include long-form content such as ebooks, or useful tools like quizzes and personalized reports that give users the helpful information they didn’t know before.

Evergreen Content

The general idea is that your content should be useful. It’s really not rocket science.

There are a few models for content creation I’ve appreciated discovering. Evergreen content is the first of these, and perhaps offers what I consider the most fundamental principles of content creation.

The idea that if you are going to do all the work to create content, you should make its value extend for as long as possible. Evergreen content is not usually found by chasing headlines (unless you intend to chase them thru the decades and present their overarching story). You want to write about something that will still be worthwhile years down the road.

Even if your presentation isn’t polished, right off the bat, you can excel by creating information dense content not easily found elsewhere.

Usually I’m trying to learn something, and I have search dilligently across many websites to learn it, that’s how I choose which topics I publish on. Create the content you need. That’s a really good place to start.

Skyscraper Content

One of the fastest ways to gain expertise and authority are to create Skyscraper content! The essence is to create something incredibly more informative and expansive than currently available for your subject.

This is my #1 technique now, and partly what inspired me to focus on curated lists. This technique works on its own, and in conjunction with any of the other techniques you’ll use.

Evergreen content is a similar meme, along with 10x content. If you create truely valuable content that people need, then the SEO just isn’t as important. People will link to it without asking, and visitors from google will stay on the page longer, causing you to rise up the rankings.

Site Structure

Internal linking is an important way that search engines understand what your content is about. In my opinion, site structure and internal linking are at the heart of how a search engine understands your site. I’ve found myself changing structure quite a lot, especially as the site grows, to more clearly feature which are the most central topics of the site. The more content you have, the more difficult it will become to deal with. Ideally you’ll be figuring it out as you go.

Internal Linking

Cornerstone Content

Cornerstone content is about creating a page which references all the others, like a skyscraper post about the subject of your website… More on this later.

Call to Action

insert section on Call to Action, here :)

Keyword Research

Keyword Research For Bloggers

Latent Semantic Indexing

Optimizations

Schema - Metadata

Open Graph, Twitter Cards & Favicon

When sharing links on social media, it’s ideal to have the title\description\image preview. This can be customized and there are a variety of other rich metadata tricks to play with once a solid foundation is prepared.

Assorted

Wordpress

Domain Authority

Mobile

Additional Resources

SEO is not hard. A step-by-step SEO tutorial for beginners that will get you ranked every single time.

Studies

Machine Learning

History