The more SEO changes, the more it stays the same. Since the beginning, SEO has always been about showing the most relevant search result for what someone is searching for. Sounds simple, but it isn’t. That is because Google itself has spent a lot of time figuring out what makes a website, website page or article is relevant. Google has gotten it wrong many times over the years, just a few elements Google has gotten wrong over the years.

– Focused on link building (link building can be easily faked, stay away from PBNs)

– Meta keywords (simply stuffing your website with keywords doesn’t mean that page is about the content in the keywords)

– Google Reviews & GMB Spam (there are many fake GMB and Google Reviews out there, Google has not figured out how to take down spam)

 

What Does Work in SEO?

Content That Offers Value!

Anything that helps improve the quality of your content. The core to good SEO is making sure that your content offers value to the reader – does it teach, inform, or answer a question? If not, or if it’s incredibly dull, then it’s not doing its job. Why? Google is beginning to understand that the more time people reading (or engaging with) your content, the odds are the better quality it is. A big part of this is because that’s all Google is capable of analyzing right now, it’s not like they can ask every user if the content was informative – if they did, there would be a lot of website owners in trouble right now.

If You Read Nothing Else Read This

 

  • Your content needs to serve a purpose, other than trying to get you to rank on Google. It could be:
  • Answering a question about a topic (Getting started with SEO as an example)
  • Informing a user about a business’s history.
  • Providing access to a tool (think NFT minting or even a smile renovation calculator)
  • Showing a user where to find historical information for an essay or other sources of content

Inform, promote, answer, or guide; what is the purpose of the content you are writing?

SEO Flow Chart

seo gear industrial illustration with arrows and words. Design over white

Google Analytics

Now Google does this by measuring the dwell time in Google Analytics. If you don’t know what Google Analytics is, or how to use it, you should read a guide on it ASAP. It also just so happens that MonsterInsights has a decent guide for beginners.

A Fast Loading Website With A Great Layout

Okay, so you’ve written some great content on your website. You set up Google Analytics and made sure people are actually reading that content. But, you notice that you have a high bounce rate (hopefully you learned what this is in the beginner’s guide). Well, if the quality of your content is good, and you have a high bounce rate, then chances are your website’s layout needs improvement or your website is loading too slowly.

Now, learning to optimize your website is an entire guide in itself, one that we haven’t written yet. So for now, we’ll just recommend you hire a great SEO company to do it for you. If you do what to learn how to speed up your website, first look at guides. A lot of small business websites are built in WordPress, and those are very easy to optimize. If your website was hand-coded in React or another CMS, you’ll have a harder time finding guides, and probably better to hire an expert.

Link Building & Citation Building

But wait, I said that Google made a mistake with link building! And it is correct, Google did. SEO Specialists around the world create hundreds and thousands of backlinks sources, and as it turns out artificially created link sources don’t offer any real value. A good link or citation just doesn’t exist, it actually sends organic traffic flowing to the linked website. So, if you want to check off link building in your ranking factors, you’ll want to focus on local link building, or finding sources that send actual real organic traffic.

Examples of good local sources would be Yellowpages.ca, BBB, local business directories, local blogs, or even articles from a new source if you can get one. Here at Neon Star SEO, we spend a lot of time finding new sources of links, as new ones are created every day, the key though is to focus on local first.

A perfect example, for a good directory for Winnipeg businesses (where we are located) would be the Winnipeg Manitoba Directory.

 

Google My Business

Not everyone learning SEO needs a Google My Business page, but most businesses will. A Google My Business Page exists to help you show up on Google Maps for local or brand search queries. Some none local searches will also trigger a Google My Business page, but more often than not it’s for local searches.

The first step is to claim to your Google My Business page, for now, we haven’t put together a guide on this, so we’ll link you to a guide by BrightLocal.

Google Maps

The easiest way to get leads is going to be from Google Maps. The majority of what you need to do on Google Maps is simple: optimize your page, be close to people searching and get lots of real reviews. If you do this correctly, you’ll be ranking for your services, and generating new leads quickly.

 

Congrats You Completed Step 1 Of Your 2021 SEO journey

Once you have created a fast-loading website, with great content and a properly optimized Google My Business page, you have just finished step one of getting ready for SEO in 2021.  That’s right, all of this is work is just to help you build a solid foundation to start ranking.

If these first steps seem daunting, don’t worry they are not. There are many guides on the internet to walk you through each step. That said, SEO takes a lot of time every month, so if you don’t have a lot of spare time each month, make your life easier and hire a SEO star (we mean us Neon Star SEO)