Your SEO Checklist
by R.E.S. Martina
Now that you’ve read our previous post in the SEO Basics Series, like SEO Basics: Before Getting Started and SEO Basics: Research & Analysis, you’re starting to learn about the initial work that goes into Search Engine Optimizing a website. In SEO Basics: Before you Get Started, we discussed the underlying philosophy of SEO: creating content and webpages for search terms and phrases that people are already searching for.
In SEO Basics: Research and Analysis, we discussed the different kinds of research, audits and analysis an organization can undergo to find relevant opportunities in their niche and make sure that their website, brand, customary journey, UX, and all facets of their digital marketing presence are optimized.
If you are new to the Search Engine Optimization field and looking for some guidance, you’re almost in the right place! Start at the beginning of our SEO Basics series by viewing our first blog post here: SEO Basics: The Terminology.
Your SEO Checklist
In this blog post, we’ll be building on what we’ve learned so far and start to discuss your SEO Checklist. What are some of the things you and your team should do to get going in the right direction with your website?
In Steps to get great Website SEO Ranking | What you need to know Before You START with Website SEO?, the second YouTube video in the SEO for Beginners in 2021 Series, Matey E, the Founder of and CEO of Marketing Strategy at elative.io, shows us some of the best practices that you can start to incorporate today, and in this blog post, as well as the next few, we’ll discuss them all in greater detail.
View the full video here: Steps to get great Website SEO Ranking | What you need to know Before You START with Website SEO?
Optimizing your Website and Pages for SEO and Performance
Like we mentioned earlier, the philosophy of SEO revolves around creating content, and optimizing web pages, for the words and terms that people are searching for. Using free Google tools like Google Trends and the Google Ads Keyword Planner, you can start to get an idea of the way people are searching and what terms they use instead of others. This part of the process may require more guesswork than intuition, as terms you think may be the most common for a particular subject, could change in a given region, or be more specific to your background than you think. In the screen capture below, we share the differences in ‘interest over time’ between the terms ‘green energy’ and ‘sustainable energy’ as presented by Google Trends.
As you can see from the above photo, the ‘interest’ or amount of searches, as shown by Google Trends on Nov. 21, 2020, for ‘green energy’ is significantly higher than the search volume for the term ‘sustainable energy.’ So when creating content for a website for a business in the renewable/clean energy sector, it appears that the term ‘green energy’ is much more widely used to search for the subject than the term ‘sustainable energy.’
However, the above reasoning hasn’t yet taken into account the ‘competitiveness’ of the search term.
Your SEO Checklist: Keyword Competitiveness
In SEO, ‘keyword competitiveness’ typically refers to an approximate estimate of the amount of webpages that have content that could or are attempting to rank for a specific search term. This typically requires access to a web-based application or program that is capable of scraping the internet to determine this ‘competitiveness.’
But, as mentioned in the previous section, Google Ads can provide some insight into the competitiveness of certain search terms. HOWEVER, it is important to note that the competition observed by Google Ads is in regards to their Paid Search Ad campaigns, NOT organic search – which is what Search Engine Optimization is all about. But, since it is one of the free Google tools available to anyone with a Google Account, it’s worth sharing, since it’s still possible to draw some conclusions about which terms have high search volumes and which terms other companies are targeting for their digital marketing campaigns, whether it’s paid search or SEO.
Below you’ll see a comparison of the terms ‘green energy’ and ‘sustainable energy’ in the Google Ads Keyword Planner.
Interestingly enough, both terms are quite similar in the eyes of the Google Ads Keyword Planner, with the most noticeable difference being that the highest bid per lead for the terms is actually lower for ‘green energy.’
Then, by using the filter options and sorting the rows by the highest amount of average monthly searches, we were able to find the related search term with the highest volume of searches, and we never would’ve guessed what it is…
Surprisingly, the related term with the highest average monthly search volume was ‘renewables energy.’ Interestingly enough, it wasn’t ‘renewable energy,’ it is actually ‘renewables energy,’ which is a slight misspelling and grammatically incorrect.
But that is the value of keyword research! Without proper keyword research, there’s no way to know what to optimize your content for and your SEO strategy becomes akin to fishing in the dark with random bait – you might catch something, but it would ultimately be more coincidental than intentional.
Subscribe below to get an update when our next post is published. We’ll be discussing the next step in your SEO checklist – Regularly Creating Quality Content.