The lady’s a fickle bitch, isn’t she?
When you research her online, you find out that you’ve got to do this, this, this, this, this, that, and a little more of this-that just to keep her happy.
Alt tags, h2 tags, headlines but only one h1, keyword frequency, first sentence rules, word counts, rankings, first pages, top results, blah blah blah blah.
And because I tell people I’m happy with the search engine traffic I have coming in, they automatically assume I know all the “magic bullet” secrets to skyrocketing your home page to page one of Google and having all the clients you could ever dream about or imagine.
But I don’t.
And I don’t care about them.
And honestly, I don’t even know what pages I show up for with certain “competitive” keywords, and I don’t care.
Now, this is not a post on forget SEO and just do everything by your bootstraps, sissypants.
Because SEO to drive traffic can be helpful. Heck, it helps me get leads and clients and I love it for that.
But if I can be totally honest, I think we’re all just a little too obsessed over it.
We’re getting too caught up in the hype of landing on page one and following impossible tutorials from people setting in corporate jobs who have literally nothing else to do but optimize for SEO all day. (I know because when I worked in corporate, I had some of those people on my team. And it was even difficult for them to get on page one… so yeah.)
So Don’t Bother With the #1 Spot for Competitive Keywords… Here’s What to do Instead:
I’m 100% a fan of “good enough” SEO.
And honestly, I’m even a fan of not doing it for every single page.
Most of my blog posts aren’t even optimized for SEO.
This page is optimized for the keyword “SEO to drive traffic” and my video posts are optimized for the keywords that are their titles.
And with a few other exceptions, that’s it.
I don’t optimize my home page, my about page, or my hire me page.
I don’t try to “trick” the search engines into thinking my about page is about “copywriting for entrepreneurs”—even though that’s what I do and I am talking about copywriting for entrepreneurs on that page.
Instead, I write for humans, because first and foremost, that’s who pays me… not the search engines.
BUT…. I do rank on page one for a handful of non-competitive yet useful keywords.
Basically because I gave up on the “go big or go home” version of SEO, and once I did that, I found the keywords my target audience was actually typing in to get to the kind of advice I give. And I wrote a handful of posts to fit those keywords exactly.
And I didn’t do any of that annoying backlink-building work, because screw that.
Instead, this is what I did… and it’s what you can do too if you want similar results:
SEO to Drive Traffic: 5 Steps
1. Focus on blog posts only. If you’ve already done some SEO for other pages on your website, go ahead and leave it. Unless you were doing some shady shit, it’s not going to hurt you. It just takes too much work to make a dent with those pages (IMHO), so blog posts are the easiest way to go.
2. Use Answer the Public. This is my favorite SEO tool of all time. It’s where I found the keyword for this post. It’s where I find the keywords and the titles for my YouTube videos, and it’s the tool I recommend to every single person who asks me about SEO. The keywords are long-tail, highly searched, and have MUCH less competition than the generic ones most people fight over. Plus, the way they’re constructed basically gives you an outline to write a post around… making it easy as pie.
3. Put the keyword in the title and in the page description. Yoast is a tool that helps you do this pretty easily. Just make sure the keyword shows up in those places, so when someone searches it and they see that what they’ve searched for is exactly what you’re talking about, they’ll be more likely to click on your link than some generic-looking home page.
4. Use a plugin like Yoast for a free, easy-to-follow SEO checklist. Yoast is basic and low-stress, and that’s why I like it. You don’t have to do everything perfectly, and Yoast understands that. It shows you things you can improve upon, but realizes that you can be in “green light” SEO territory without using your keyword in the first 10 words of your post. Or if it isn’t used at an exact 1% to 3% frequency for your word count.
Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like for this post:
5. Publish the posts and watch your organic traffic increase. Since Google doesn’t let us see the keywords people use to come to our sites, you never know 100% which posts are working the best. But with other traffic data, you can get a pretty good idea. (And if you do a handful of posts this way, you will notice a difference, even if you’re not on page one.)
Because here’s the thing: there’s a fuck-ton of people using search engines and looking for information.
Yes, page one with a competitive keyword is the “best,” but do you really want to do the back-breaking work to get there?
For some business models, it very well might be worth all that work.
But for the vast majority of us, a solid blog post on page one or two for a less competitive keyword will work wonders.
So that’s my two cents on SEO to drive traffic.
So now, go ye forth and get more organic traffic in a non-stressed-out way.
OH AND HEY, BEFORE YOU GO….
I’ve just created a quick mini-course on the subject that’ll help you plan & totally OWN your blog’s SEO power.
It comes with a downloadable video and printable guide that walks you through:
- Why traditional, corporate SEO advice doesn’t work for entrepreneurs like us (and why it hardly ever works for traditional corporate companies, too.)
- How to find & choose low-competition, MUCH-easier-to-rank-for keywords. (The kind that got me to #2 on Google easily.)
- How to produce easy content to fulfill those keywords via blog or video.
- How to make sure your keyword density is up to par.
- A bonus basic SEO checklist for YouTube videos, if that’s your jam.
- AND I’ll show you an example of how it all plays out with the Copy Power blog, too (And how one post is my #1 traffic-collector from search engines, ranking #2 on Google with a maximum of 5 minutes of extra work beyond simply writing the post.)
And guess what?
It’s only $7. (A $47 value.)
Yes, I’m serious. That’s it.
And if you buy before the end of the week? There’s a direct link to a 50% off coupon. So it’s only $3.50. You save $43.50. (I’d grab this if I were you.)