Clients nowadays are all about SEO, SEO, and you guessed it… SEO. Luckily, there is a plethora of content available. But where do you start looking?
SEO How-To: Series by Jill Kitcher Brown
Jill Kotcher Brown, SEO expert, has written a series of articles explaining the ins and outs of SEO. Her articles are quite beginner-friendly, so this would be a good place to start. She explains what SEO actually is, why it’s important, understanding search engine rankings, strategies, keyword research, and much, much more. What I enjoy about her series is her focus on keyword research which is a huge part of planning. Essentially, it’s what you need to do before you even get started writing or pitching ideas to clients.
As I explained before in a previous blog post, we’re definitely not fans of clients who give less than two shits about the actual content. All they want to see is that your content or copy is stuffed full of keywords. Jill Kotcher Brown goes over this to an extent in her article series; providing an in-depth explanation of ethical SEO.
Google’s SEO Starter Guide
Google also has a Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide that helps webmasters, writers, publishers, etc. make the most out of Google’s platform. While you’re not likely to find any revolutionary shortcuts that’ll help you somehow beat their algorithm, it’s worth a read. The six sections contained in the 32 page document include:
- Search engine optimization basics
- How to improve the structure of your site
- Optimizing content
- Dealing with crawlers
- SEO for mobile
- Promotion and analysis
Once you’ve gotten a handle on the basics, you can start learning how to use SEO tools. I’ve mentioned before that tools like Yoast, Grammarly and Hemmingway aren’t the end-all for SEO-friendly content. However, if you’re a beginner, they’re definitely a good starting point. Don’t get too bothered if your content or copy doesn’t pass their little “tests”. So long as you’re abiding by the basic SEO rules (which you’ve hopefully learned at this point), it’s probably going to be fine. Again, if your client is pushing you to pass these pedantic, meaningless “tests”… If it were me, I’d probably provide them with the garbage that they’ve requested ASAP and never work with them again.
SEM Rush has both a free and paid version. The free version is pretty good for beginners, but once you’ve gained a better understanding of how SEO works, it’s worth investing in the paid version. Here’s an idea of the various things that you can do with SEM Rush. It’s probably one of the most useful SEO tools (in my humble opinion) that I use on a regular basis.
Of course, Google Analytics is another one of the best SEO tools to use. However, this tool is for slightly more advanced writers, publishers and/or content creators. By no means am I an expert in SEO, so I don’t use Google Analytics as frequently as SEM Rush, but it’s still worth mentioning.
If you’re running your own blog/website or helping your client run theirs, run it though Google Search Console to best optimize your content. There are also a bunch of video tutorials at the bottom of the site that provide Search Console training.
Now that you’ve got somewhere to start, get reading and watching the tutorials. Familiarize yourself with the various tools I’ve mentioned in this blog post.