splash-seo-mobile

Tue Sept 13, 2022 11:26 AM ( updated 3hr ago )

Reflection on SEO

Objectives

📌️ At some point, I will turn this reflection article into a full blown guide.

SEO: What is it?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

My paraphrase is:

Crafting your content so that the people searching for it, actually find it.

And to be honest, it kinda sounded hard and mysterious to me - until someone came along and said: It’s easy.

And somehow, that had a surprisingly powerful effect for me and hopefully, I can have the same for you.

SEO is simple. BUT, you do need to know the steps to take (like most things in life).

SEO: Some Key Terms

You can breeze through these and reference them later as needed.

SEO: An Analogy

The best analogy I have heard is the one closest to the reality of what websites are: books in a library.

The search engine (e.g. Google) is the librarian and your site / content is a book in one amongst many shelves of books.

Your domain name is “the author” of that content.

The user / customer tells the librarian what he or she wants in as few words as possible (e.g. “SEO Best Practices”), and the librarian then goes and gets the best 10 books (i.e. web pages) on the requested topic.

But what 10 books, you ask?

Broadly speaking, the librarian ranks that list with 2 things:

So, imagine every book ever written on “SEO Best Practices” always cites your book for the definitive definition of what SEO is, then your book is probably authoritative and you, most likely, are an expert in that field.

Hence, the librarian knows that your book is a must-have for anyone searching for “SEO Best Practices”, and includes you in the list given back to the requester.

Hopefully, you now understand the concept and logic behind SEO, let’s focus on execution.

The Guide / Strategy for SEO

Step 0: Define Yourself

This step is not really an SEO step but cannot be ignored. It should be an organic step that happens before the first real step of SEO.

Defining your project is the springboard and guiding light in the strategies ahead.

What you write up for yourself here will become the reference point when you get stuck moving forward.

❔ Here is a list of questions to ask

🛟 Help Finding My Niche

If you're stuck at this stage or just trying to explore options, click here.

Question: What words describe you and your interests?


Answer: FOSS, Privacy, Web Developer, Solopreneur, Javascript, Writer

Take those words and start working out from there:

  • What do you have the most expertise in?
  • What communities are you in that relate?
  • What problems are there related to these topics?

Next Steps

This will help concretize what might be floating around in your head. It doesn’t have to be unchangeable, but it does need to be clear.

If you have yourself defined and a good working vision to start with, then press forward to the SEO steps.

Step 1: Establish Your Site

This step is more of a technical/literal establishment of your existence on the web.

You will need to build up Domain Authority and you can’t do that without…a domain! The most important thing for this SEO step is: the ability to get metrics and the ability to review your site’s performance.

🌐 Buy a domain name (if you haven’t already)

I am going to recommend Cloudflare here. They seem like a good company and to have some principles to their business. They don’t mark up domain prices to take a cut, which is cool. Check’em out: https://www.cloudflare.com/products/registrar.

Also a lot of our other architecture is built on their platform them, so it makes them solid choice.

🕸️ Set up a website

There are a lot of ways you could do this so we won’t go into here, but if you have questions reach out.

📈 Set up website analytics

We currently use Umami. Umami is an open source, privacy-focused alternative to Google Analytics. It rocks so far.

#todo should probably make a guide for setting this up

🔎 Get and run a website audit tool

From a technical perspective, you want a tool to review or scan your site for performance and best practices for web standards.

For a site audit on best practices, you can use a free (but limited) version of ahrefs:

Here is an example report for this site:

seo-audit

You’ll need to verify ownership of your site to run the audit.

There is a lot you can review in the sidebar, but focus on the Health Score in the middle (not too shabby).

For performance you can still use the ahrefs account for site audits, but some simple tools are:

The performance score you really want to pay attention to is for mobile. The desktop matters less.

page-speeds

Alright! 🎉, now that we have a site up and running and we can monitor via Umami. Let’s really begin the journey of building a brand, marketing, community building…whatever you want to call it…because that’s really what this is all about.

Step 2: Go Forth, Be Present, and Establish Authority

If you’re like me, then this is not a step you want make. But we have to. It separates the wheat from the tare, those who want to begin from those who get somewhere.

Notice the natural increase in effort and commitment you’ll have to give across these next 3 actions.

🔗 Make some connections

You need to start making relationships with others.

👏 Comment and contribute

Once you have some connections and are in some communities, start making contributions. Be helpful.

What’s great here is that you can start small. Nothing has to be a masterpiece.

✍️ Write guest posts

As you research and get to know others, write a Guest Post for their site. The key thing you want is the backlink to your site.

Writing for SEO is a big topic and has its own page. Work in process


As you do this on reputable sites, you slowly but surely build up your Domain Authority.

🌟The Goal🌟: Get your Domain Authority up to 30.


You can view your rating using the ahrefs tools mentioned above or here.

Once your Domain Authority gets around 30, you can start looking at partnering with others to also write on your site.

But more importantly it’s time to write content for your site.

Step 3: Build Your Castle

This step looks short but is very important.

📄 On-page Factors

Here, we really care about those on-page factors. Keywords in your page title, your headers, and the body text.

This step is all about writing great content and “optimizing” that content.

Once you’ve written your article using the info above, move on to step 4.

Step 4: Send Your Content Out

Once you have a piece of content, send it out to all your networks, channels, and communities!

It can also help to update your own pages that get some traffic with links if it works.

Get feedback as much as you can.

🚀 If you are launching an app

Here is a list of sites you can post to: Beta Launch Sites for Apps

Step 5: Evaluate and Adapt

Throughout the process we want to evaluate how the site and content are doing. This is where all the stuff you set up at the beginning comes into play.

The tools we can use are:

👀 The 1st thing to look at

The first thing to focus on when you are starting out is: are you ranking for the keywords you want to be ranking for? Are you moving up the ranking? This is the good first metric to use for success because the other numbers like click through and bounce rate haven’t happened yet.

👀 Other stuff to look at once you get traction (and clicks)

How to do this is better suited for the guide and depends on the tool you use.

Wrapping Up

SEO is a long term game. Good luck.

Resources

Tools

This list is far from complete, I will need to update later.

SEO Tool Database

References

⁕Buildd

Check out the SEO for Startups course by Karthik and team for a true walk-through on the SEO Process. I owe a lot of my understanding above to them. It’s an awesome course. -> To the course