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I wanted to title this page, “The Incredibly Boring SEO Plan for Blogging!” but I think the goal for any blog is to rank for solid buying keywords. That way, the traffic that finds you are ready to pay for what you're offering (even it's through your affiliate link).
How did I dominate Google in a highly competitive health niche using a whitehat strategy? I accomplished this for highly competitive keywords in the major HEALTH niche. After all was said and done, we're talking not a single competitor in 38 pages for terms like DEPRESSION and MIGRAINES. I could also call this tutorial, “How One Company Doubled Its Paid Members Using This SEO Strategy!”
What is SEO and How Does it Work?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is the process you will go through to make sure your blog posts rank high in the search engines by using relevant phrases and keywords so your audience can find you.
Search Engine Optimization for Blogging is a series of strategies and tactics you can stack together to increase your blog's traffic. My goal for this post is to share my process so you can:
- Increase Your SEO for Your Blog
- Make More Money Online
SEO Freelancing Request
If you're following my “how to start a blog” training series, then ranking in the search engines for phrases and keywords that your audience is typing in so your audience can find you is essential to your blog's success. SEO is a long-game, let's break it down.
Last June, I was contacted by a company with a specific seo request. Rank us on the first page for 38 different keywords.
You want me to rank your blog pages & sales funnels for 38 different problem areas you're talking about (i.e. health problems).
This company had a blog and a podcast and a YouTube channel. They were posting their podcast on their YouTube channel using an old software that turned their podcast into a video but somehow it never resized the video to fit YouTube's recommended size.
When I searched for each health problem area, the company's podcast came up on page 23 (and beyond). Even for their own keyword in their domain name, they came up on page 38. I wanted to question whether or not they had a business (after they requested all comments turned off on everything). YouTube's algorithm places weight on engagement, and I knew turning off the comments would sink us lower.
No big deal. I like a good challenge,
How Much Can You Make As a Freelance SEO Consultant?
How much money are we talking here?
We negotiated an SEO contract. $38,000 contract (divided into Friday invoices). Rank us by January 1st, 2020. For this SEO training, I have to be very clear not to break our NDA agreement. I can still teach the process of ranking for each keyword without giving any personal details, but I don't want to piss off anyone that I work with or sour any long-term JV partnerships.
I wanted to see what we could accomplish in 90 days to get a good read on it.
Develop a Good Keyword Strategy for Your Blog
For this project, I had to download every single podcast and research each keyword. Turns out this company is very good at developing “home remedies” for health products.
I started noticing patterns with the different “home remedies” and knew right away I could separate these remedies into groups (or wait for it, BLOG CATEGORIES).
For this process, I would group every post about joint paint together and then, group every post about high blood pressure together and then, group every post about hard to breath together and so forth.
I started noticing an interesting pattern.
The site's blog categories fell into six major ailment categories like:
Breathing Issues, Overweight, Eyesight Problems, Heart Disease…
Who is Searching for Your Blog?
Now, I needed to see what people were searching for? How many people are searching for each ailment and what format do they want that info delivered in? (podcast, video, text).
More importantly, I needed to know who these people are?
- What words are people using to search for each ailment?
- Are they using desktop or mobile?
- What result are people looking to get from this search?
- Where are these people located (suburbs, city, houses)
- How can we deliver the content to them in a method they prefer?
Because we're going to name the category – the MOST searched for keyword while linking to posts that are relevant within each category.
Keep in mind that each page will rank for a different keyword while linking to another page that we're ranking for.
That doesn't make sense. Let me see if I can dive further into this because it's one of the most important parts to this SEO strategies:
Let's say I want this page to rank for the keyword phrase: SEO for Affiliate Marketing. I'll create a series of posts that are related to this page, but on those pages, I will link to this page through it's keyword phrase: SEO for Affiliate Marketing. That way, anytime Google checks my internal links, they will see the phrase SEO for Affiliate Marketing and then, rank that for THIS page.
How to Find Search Volume for Your Blog's Keyword
Now that I have my list of categories and the blog posts grouped together by keywords, I need to find search volume. My goal for this is to rank the hardest 1-2 word phrase that is very competitive while matching it with a non-competitive 2-3 word long-tail keyword. That way, we will start owning the non-competitive phrases immediately. What I love about the non-competitive phrases is that those are really the people who are buying, who need their problem solved fast.
For this first search, you can easily do a free keyword search to get the first wave of traffic results. Here's a keyword search report that I got free using Google's Keyword Search tool.
Every month, the keyword phrase “sore throat” and “sore throat remedies” have at least 100,000 to a 1,000,000 people searching for this solution. More importantly, the competition is low. We're ready to take the top spot for the first 17 keywords.
How to Organize Your Internal Keyword Map
I admit I got lucky with this freelancing job because the podcast had enough relevant content that creating the internal keyword map proved to be one of the easiest tasks. When you look at the 17 keywords above, you want to make sure there are 17 different blog posts ready to be linked to. If you don't have the blog posts, this is where you'll have work to do. You'll have to create the relevant content or hire a freelancer to write the original content for you.
Remember my goal is to rank each page for the 1-2 phrase that is the hard competition while ranking each page for the 2-3 phrase that is the low competition.
Identify posts that are relevant to your keywords. This is straight up 6th grade draw a line to the matching post game. After you get this detailed out, you have to improve the content on each page.
How to Improve the Content to Rank Each Page
For each page's content, I used the paid version of Yoast SEO Professional which is part of my essential blog plugins. If you're a kinesthetic learner like me, you will love Yoast's recommendations and the red light / green light system for on-page improvements.
Yoast will let you know exactly where you need help within each page.
The main focus here is to make sure the keywords are located in:
- Each Page's URL
- Throughout the Page's H1 & H2 Titles
- Image Alt Text
- Each Pages Category and SubCategory
- Page's Tags
It took a few weeks to get all green lights for all 17 keyword phrases, but I did it. It was work. We'll see if it was worth it, but I took a three day weekend to recharge my battery.
I like to meditate with visualizations of the end results so I truly know where I'm heading and how I'm getting there. Then, I like to meditate deeper by examining the processes of each step. This is a simple visualization method I picked up in college that helps you stay on task.Kit Elliott
The External Linking Strategy Shortcut
Now, you want highly ranked and highly trusted websites linking to your content. I will show you what to do if you get some questionable external links in a second. For now, what can I do to link my 17 blog posts with the keywords?
The YouTube Channel… My goal now is to link from relevant videos within the company's YouTube channel. Right?
Online marketing is just creating content and then, converting that content into as many pieces to distribute throughout. Essentially, you're creating one piece of content like the podcast and then, converting that piece into many different distribution channels.
The podcast becomes a video becomes a blog post becomes a transcript becomes a Facebook post becomes an article becomes a lead magnet becomes a landing page becomes a Snapchat becomes a TikTok becomes an Instragram quote becomes a Pinterest board and so forth… You just created 16 different pieces of content using ONE piece of content.
For the next two weeks, I worked on getting these 17 optimized blog posts embedded in the related YouTube content.
I pulled a list of all the YouTube videos that included the YouTube link, the description and the tags. To achieve this fast, I just used the Google filters and their API located here: Google API for YouTube Channel If this is too confusing, get someone on Fiverr or Guru.com to pull this for you.
How to Increase Your SEO for YouTube
I found 32 videos that were related to the 17 keywords above. Now, if you don't have related content, you can repurpose or convert existing content.
Now, I had to spend the next two weeks creating the foundation for YouTube just like I did with the blog. Instead of categories, you will use Playlists. The titles of blogs become the title of the YouTube video. Part of the transcription for the video will become the description.
To really dominate the SEO strategy of this, you will take all 17 blog posts and create a list of keywords with the URL next to it. Put this in a simple notepad.
To speed this process up, I recommend doing all of the same tasks together.
For example, go through and title all 32 videos making sure each video contains the long-tail keyword that correlates with the blog post keyword.
Once that's done, go through and create a call to action with a simple paragraph to solve these people's problems. The link will go first and then, the solution to the problem.
That way – the link is the first thing people see when they are viewing the video. They don't have to press “read more” and they can click on the link while watching the video.
Copy and paste this link/solution to the front of each video. Do that for all 32 videos.
Then, paste as much of the transcript of the video as possible underneath the call to action. YouTube allows 5,000 words.
Three Ways to Convert YouTube into Text Transcripts
If you click on the YouTube video and open transcripts,a transcript of the video will appear. That's the fastest way, but sometimes the text is not there or it's not formatted.
I like to use these services to convert YouTube into text:
- YouTube Video to Text Converter – Free and Fast with No Login Required
- DIY Captions – Automatic Caption Generator
- Rev – $1 per minute, professionally delivered
You can also try Fiverr or hire a freelancer to do this for you.
The P.S. Links within YouTube
So I have my 32 videos opened up in each tab. Now, it's time to bring it home. Remember that list of long-tail keywords with each blog post URL that you have opened in your Notepad? Copy and paste that at the end of every single YouTube.
You can set this apart by saying: Related Videos and Related Articles.
Google will know that everything within this category / subcategory are related.
NOW… I'm done.
NOW…. I have to repeat this process for 38 different keywords. I also have to sort the rest of the blog posts and finish optimizing the YouTube channel. Game on. Now I'm in the flow.
My SEO Results
Within the first week, the company's blog was coming up number one for the company's keyword (which happened to be a highly searched keyword).
Within the first three weeks, I owned the low competitive keywords on the first three pages. When you have 32 blog posts and 32 video, you will show up multiple times throughout the search pages.
Within the first eight weeks, I was within page three of every keyword PLUS the YouTube videos were now ranking on the first page.
Within the first 90 days, I owned the first 2 pages for every single keyword that I optimized for. EVERY SINGLE ONE.
Bad Links Will Lower Your SEO
10 to 15 years ago, you could spam your links and backlink to your blog post to rank for each keyword. Now, those same backlinks HURT your seo. Let's do a quick review of what's linking to your blog posts.
To see what's linking to your blog post, you could use a free backlink checker. I prefer Ahref's Backlink Checker. Pull a CSV file for every website that has followed / no-follow links to your site.
The more quality followed backlinks, the more trustworthy it is. Ahrefs will break down the followed vs nofollowed links. Next, let's take a look at the CSV file. Let's keep any spammy links on this file. Delete all the high-ranking, trusting sites.
Once you go through your backlinks, you should be left with a file of spammy, low PR sites back-linking to your post. It's time to divorce those backlinks. I love how Google calls it “disavow” like it's an exorcist trying to get in.
- Click on Google's Disavow SEO Link
- Select Your Website Property in Google's Webmaster
- Click on Disavow Links Button
- Upload Your Spammy Link File
- Click Submit & You're Done.
How to Crush the Competition
Now, I'm under incredibly high stress to deliver this by January 1st, and the bosses are all
former military, level A personalities. I'm literally freaking out every time I speak to them, but not because they know more than me or they are smarter than me but because they are weirdly controlling what I can and cannot do using NO metrics and NO data to drive decision-making… Pure emotional decision-making can crush a company's morale.
I knew I had to make a huge impact on this so I decided to do something incredibly time-consuming. I would remake every single graphic on the blog and the YouTube to save it with the relevant keywords. Within the meta tags of each graphic, I would add the keywords for each graphic while saving it as the company's author.
That took another 30 days of intense effort, but it was well worth it.
Five months later, I own 38 pages for our main keyword for YouTube & the blog post with the first competitor coming in on page 3, page 11, and page 23. There are a few external blogs that are now linking to this content and they are now creeping into the ranks.
I can't tell if they are competitors because while they are in the same niche, they are selling a completely different line of items.
The Company's Results Because of This SEO Strategy
While charging $38,000 for SEO may seem like a ridiculously high price, it is all perspective. The company's killer offer was converting at one of the highest rates I have ever seen in my 16+ years. They could afford to throw money at problems to dominate the industry. They are succeeding in spite of themselves. Despite their lack of online marketing knowledge because they hire the best people to get the job done.
When I first started this SEO project, they had around 1200 customers on a basic monthly package. While 10% would take the upsell (around 120 people took the upsell). Within the first 2 months, the bosses told me they had 1800 customers on the basic monthly package. While 10% would take the upsell (now around 300 customers on the upsell). They were loving the SEO service. Fast forward 5 months, they have 3,000 customers on the basic and 600 customers. They are on track to the first ever $30,000,000 year.
Share and Conquer,
Does this SEO strategy work? F**k yeah it works. Can you add to this strategy? Post a comment below if you use any tools that shortcut this process?
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