Have You Really Mastered The SEO Basics?

By Gina Broom
Have You Really Mastered The SEO Basics?


Did you know the leading cause of death by teleportation is trying to teleport a real person before mastering the art of teleporting an orange? OK, that’s a lie, but the important thing is that you understand the importance of the basics before trying to get all fancy. You won’t die from bad SEO, but your website rankings might.

We are told about so many “new” or “cutting edge” SEO tactics to the point that there are more of them flying around than dust particles in a history museum (maybe I’m exaggerating...a bit). Still, my point stands. The problem arises when we get confused and overwhelmed, and can no longer tell where to dedicate our efforts. 

Then, we wind up overlooking the simple things because they no longer seem exciting or current enough. Nevertheless, they’re the foundation of any successful SEO strategy, and you can’t afford to overlook them!

So let’s give your site a check-up, shall we? Don’t be afraid — it’s not all doom and gloom! I’m not giving you a virtual slap on the wrist if you don’t have all of this perfect. Think of this as a peace-of-mind booster-shot for any website’s SEO.

So How are Your Keywords Doing?

I am so guilty of being keyword lazy it’s not funny, but I do know that devoting that initial chunk of time to keyword research is crucial. If you haven’t done it, then you need to, and if you have done it but it was a while ago, then it still pays to refresh your list. 

Find a nifty lesson on keyword research here.

The hardest part isn’t the work itself; that’s covered in the lesson above. The real challenge is making it happen. So let’s break this behemoth project down into something that can be done in one week with only 30 minutes a day. Obviously you can do it faster if you’re easily excitable with a side of spare time, but for those of us working full time, this is a more manageable approach:

The 30-Minute One-Week Schedule for Keyword Research:

  • Monday: Brainstorm ideas.
    (Think of any words and phrases relevant to your niche that you can think of.)
  • Tuesday: Use your brainstorm to build your “seed keyword” list.
    (Look to the likes of Amazon sales pages and Google’s related searches, as well as blogs and forums.)
  • Wednesday: Extend your seed keyword list by adding “buyer intent” keywords.
    (Place words like “buy” or “cheapest” in front of relevant words or phrases on your list.)
  • Thursday: Use  the AffiloTools Keyword Research tool to generate long-tail keywords you may not have thought of based on your seed keywords.
    (This is so easy, and so useful for getting low-competition, targeted traffic.)
  • Friday: Use Traffic Travis to filter out keywords with too much competition, part 1.
    (Go through the first half of your list.)
  • Saturday: Use Traffic Travis to filter out keywords with too much competition, part 2
    (Go through the rest of your list.)
  • Sunday: This is the most important step — go get yourself a drink because you’ve got yourself a great keyword list!

Check All of Your Content SEO with the Yoast Plugin

Now that you have these keywords, you can target one in each piece of content you create and post. Do you have Yoast? It’s a fantastic WordPress plugin to check your SEO for your content pages. It looks like this, and sits at the bottom of your posts as you edit them in WordPress:

Yoast Plugin

It lets you know whether or not the keyword (in this case, “how to attract a man”) exists in all the right places. 

I need to add it to the page URL, the content, and the meta description. Adding it to the content is self explanatory, and adding it to the meta description can be done right there in the general tab of the yoast plugin... which just leaves the URL.

Get Tidy, Keyword-Inclusive URLs by Adjusting One Simple Setting

For my next trick, I will teach you how to ensure those keywords are in your URLs AND how to tidy your content URLs at the same time. Head to the “Permalinks” section of your WordPress settings:

Permalink settings in WordPress

You want to make sure you have “Custom Structure” selected, and then make sure that you have /%category%/%postname%/ typed into the box. This will ensure that your link structure will always automatically be relevant and tidy: www.yourdomain.com/post-category/post-name

Also, if you’ve used Yoast to check that your keyword is in your post name, then it will automatically by default also be in your URL. It’s that easy.

Finally, How Well do You Traverse the Minefield That is Link Building?

Link building is of course essential for any SEO strategy, but it’s the worst to figure out the best methods for. Not only do Google algorithms keep changing, but the recommended “best practices” are all over the place.

A few key rules stand the test of time however:

  • Don’t spam: Spamming is annoying, spamming is annoying, spamming is annoying, spamming is annoying, spamming is annoying… Yeah Google doesn’t like it either.
  • Guest posting is your friend... with the right websites: Find websites that are relevant to your niche and have good content and activity going on. Approach them with a sample of some high quality-content that you can contribute, and ask if you can guest post with a simple non-spammy link back to your website in it.
  • Post relevant comments, be aware of “no-follow”: Posting comments on blogs and forums can be a great way of getting your link out there. A lot of sites now have “No-follow” for links, which means that they won’t build the link-juice you want, but some will still allow “follow” links. Even no-follow links still help to get your link out there though, and if you are providing quality information in your comments as you should be, then this will still be helpful.

Use AffiloTools to Find Links Easily Each Week

This tool is super easy to use, and takes a lot of the work out of the process for you. Simply enter a search term for your niche and enter it into the text box:

Link Finder

The type of keyword you are entering will affect what link type you’ll be looking for, or vice versa. Let me explain.

Link Finding for Core Keywords 

Core keywords are the top selection from your keyword list for being the most relevant to your niche, website, and brand. These are useful across the board, and will help you to find backlink opportunities for any link type you wish to target. 

You will, however, want to be more selective with your keyword choice for more specific link-building strategies. For example, you may wish to select a different type of keyword for guest posting and article writing as you would for commenting:

Link Finding for Guest Posts vs. Link Finding for Commenting

If you’ve written a blog post or article that you’d like to get onto another website or directory, you can enter the keyword that it targets into the link finder. Then check “Guest post” and/or “Article Directories” as your link type, and click “find links.”

If you want to build links by commenting on blogs, then you might enter keywords of articles that you have already written and posted on your own site. Then when you comment on the sites that AffiloTools finds for you, you’ll know that the content on your website is likely to be relevant to their audience. This means you’re a lot more likely to be helpful for their site visitors, and more successful in getting traffic back to your own content.

If you were doing reviews, it would be different again, as the keywords would likely be product or question related. Basically:

  • Think about which type of link building you do most.
  • Decide whether you’re targeting the best keywords for that method.
  • Use AffiloTools to find the best sites for the right keywords

What Results Will I Get?

AffiloTools will return a bunch of websites that could be relevant options for link building specific to the keyword you entered, and the link type box(s) you ticked. 

Link finder AffiloTools

Notice that you can also check the websites Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA). Obviously you want to target websites with higher authority, as the backlink of a guest post on these sites will give your SEO a lot more “link juice” than a low-authority site. That said, it can be a lot harder to get a post onto high-authority sites. 

What If I Approach Websites with Guest Posts, Only to Be Rejected?

Don’t be disheartened if you approach a website and they say no. This is one of those tasks that involves trying your luck in a variety of situations, and getting a feel for the best balance between high authority vs. the ease of getting accepted. 

Just be polite, offer something of the best quality that you can muster, and from there it’s all trial and error for the average affiliate! It doesn’t hurt to let the website admin know what keyword your post targets, and the research you’ve done to prove it’s a good one for their own SEO. So that’s something to try as well.

How Often Will I Have to Do This?

AffiloTools makes it easy to find and sort the relevant websites and their rankings, so this process will take a lot less time if you do it this way. If you’re busy, try to do an hour each weekend. If you’ve got more time, you could do half an hour a day. 

The trick is to find a realistic schedule that fits into your life easily enough so that you actually do it regularly.

Where to From Here?

From here, ideally you’ll either create a strong keyword list, or refresh the one you already have if it’s old. Keeping up with the times is as important for SEO as it is for celebrities; if you get lazy and step too far in the wrong direction you’ll slide off the radar.

Check the SEO for each of your posts, and use the Yoast WordPress plugin to make sure you are targeting those profitable keywords you found. Include the keywords in your title and meta description, as well as in your tidy permalinks.

Finally, you’ll want to find the best link-building opportunities possible for your site. Think carefully about which links you want most, then find and target them with the most relevant keywords in AffiloTools.