[Journey] A SEO Marketing Journey for my peer

SirLouen

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After living from SEO for a couple of years, one of my peers have decided to join me and wants to start from scratch. Since I'm no teacher by myself and most that I know has been retrieved by reading and listening here and there, maybe 1% or 2% of my knowledge is from my own.

For the next couple of months I will be writing a little SEO guide for my peer, as I show in person the best concepts I know and I will, simultaneously, write down here the same concepts, for maybe others can follow up and comment their impressions (and in case anyone would like to do the same journey with me & me peer, feel free to do so).

If we see economic progress during the process (for example the earnings via AdSense), maybe I will comment on this journey about it, but this won't be the focus, as the teachings themselves. Most of the course will have a philosophical point of view, not just a spoon-feeding process. My idea is that my peer generates possible experiments and questions that could lead to useful learnings that I will also be commenting here.

This said lets start from the beginning. Remember: this is meant from a 100% newcomer to SEO land. Don't expect much in the beginning, but maybe in the future it may serve to some more experienced users as it progresses.

Day 1: SEO Foundations

When I ask people what is SEO?, specially those that have attended to the popular Marketing courses where they explain a little from every single aspect of Digital Marketing industry, most answer with a placeholder that feels a little weird most of the time, with wrongly set expectations: "rank first for certain keyword". Have you ever heard a joke that you could hide a dead body in the second page of Google? The guild of these teachers invented this joke for sure.

From my point of view, SEO is just how the content shall be organized optimally for search purposes. Content could be presented in different formats, I currently will be assuming SEO as in written content, specially when we focus on Google Search SEO, that will be in the initiation process of this series. But organization could apply to other formats like video, citations, images, etc... Understanding the way to know what factors help to organize this content is our career.

This said, if content is "our raw material", we have to understand which are the 3 main features that make this material worthy, or at least, give a meaning to creating this material:

1. A place to hold it. A recipient: this is what we commonly call website, but we shall not forget that any recipient is valid: from apps to social media to even a column in a printed newspaper. Not all will be directly useful from a Google Search SEO standpoint, but we might be surprised by how certain types of content could influence. The important thing here is that content needs a recipient to be hold, otherwise it will be like water coming from a tap: it goes away without the time to get anything from it, therefore, meaningless.

2. A place to show it: placement as in the famous 4P from Kotler. Without the place to show, the content will be mostly meaningless, specially when it is meant to inform others, about something we know. It could be useful in a diary to keep it private for us without a placement to be shown, but for the rest of the content that doesn't have that personal meaning, without a placement, the content is worthless

3. The information is true (for others): this is most of the time, something trivial, specially for the one that writes the content: if you are writting it, it's obviously true, isn't it?. But for others, authority and reputation is something that is not there by default. Therefore, if we can't achieve this feature, the content is equally meaningless as if it doesn't have a place to keep it, and a place to show it.

A lot of people, specially beginners and small businesses constantly ask me to build them a site. They quickly think that with a place to hold their content/their brand, there will be instantaneously a place to show it because sites are generally accessible from the first minute they are online. This is partially true, specially if the first plans are to put the domain in their calling card or in the social profile, but the reality is that after 1 year, their sites will be completely forgotten in the deep sea, and will make them think that Digital Marketing is a fraud not worth investing anymore. Specially for local businesses that have other alternatives more tangible. Some others, tend to be easily scammed by this "media buyers' fraud" that charge them just to set and forget a bunch of ads either on Google Ads or FB ads (I've done plenty of this over the past years, and I also felt like a huge fraud). But what most people have in common, is that SEO is an unclear concept: something great, but something far.

Going back the 3 legs of the meaning of content, we have to understand that SEO is as simple as a place to show it, but paradoxically, SEO discipline foundations are based in the other two legs.
  1. The place to hold it, is what we call technical SEO or On-Page SEO, everything single aspect related to our sites. Content itself should have a category by itself, but from a SEO perspective, it's just the product, that with the packaging will fill our "Search Engine Supermarket" shelves. So we must represent it as a whole: packaging + product.
  2. The veracity of the information, is what we call reputation and EAT (shorthand for Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness, the way Mr. Go loves to call it), and used to be called "Off-Page SEO", because this is mostly founded on the link building basis. A lot of people think that link building is like a simple and boring chore. How many times we have read questions like: "How many times it is safe to post a link in X forums/comments/etc...?" This is what I mean.
The current reality of link building, is that everything has switched exclusively to a "trustworthy global network", where not only the anchor text and the link itself give relevancy to a site, but the whole content where that link is place AND certain parts of that content, that semantically could give credibility to the linked page. It's like a global word of mouth. And obviously, techniques like PBN or guest posts, shall be done according to this principle, not just for the sake of linking sites.

Conclusion

There are two "famous" masteries to be learned commonly known as on page SEO and off page SEO and the two of them have evolved to new and enormous paradigms that someone that used to do SEO back in the first decade, would not ever recognize.
 

SirLouen

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Day 2: Praise the God-gle Index
I truly believe, that teaching a student on how to multiply two matrix is completely useless. In the school they teach me exactly that, and nowadays I've completely forgotten.

Without foundations, I feel that every given set of techniques to position any site will be laughs today, tears tomorrow. Therefore, for the first couple of days I'm explaining to my peer some basics. And when I mean basics are pure BASICS, for someone that has not programmed a single line of code in the life, and concepts like HTML are merely abstract, common online jargon.

The difference between a site and a page

This is important to be clarified from the first moment:

  • A site is like a book, with the cover, the abstract, the index and all that, but each single page of that book, from the God-gle perspective, has value.
  • Each piece of content is a product as mentioned in the first day, but that content is encapsulated in what we call Pages.
It's crucial to have clear like water the difference between site and page. Some people and organizations call the site "the domain", but this is not always true, because there is a dilemma with the subdomains, that I will cover way further into the journey.

In fact, Google algorithm foundations, THE INDEX, is based on how the libraries, classified papers, articles and books. Therefore, for Google, a site is identical to a book, but always remembering that every single page from that book has its own value and is somewhat dependent on the site like the cover.

The God-gle Index

Going back to the day 1, I said that there a 3 main elements that shall be considering when starting on SEO: the jar, the place to show the jar and the veracity of the content within the jar.

God-gle brought a new paradigm to the Internet.

Instead of having to pick the jar, and go to the supermarket to put it on the shelves, God-gle picked all the jars somewhat automatically, like a God. You create your jar in your house, and one day Google rings your doorbell to ask for a photo of it. That simple. Therefore, the effort to put our jar in a place to show the jar is completely disregarded, except for the fact that God-gle organizes the photos in his market somehow we need to crack into it. And this is all the SEO paradigm, as I mentioned earlier.

To understand this paradigm, we have to have another thing clear in conjunction with the site/page difference: THE INDEX. Google created a software, that essentially did this:
  1. Went to a known site, for example, Wikipedia.org
  2. Read the content (HTML) from a Wikipedia PAGE (for example, scroll saw), and store it
  3. Insert into a "To-do LIST" all the links that found in that page.
  4. Go to the To-do LIST, check for the first link
  5. Go into that link and read the content, and back to the beginning, over and over again, eternally.
Every time God-gle picked a page he stored some information about it, other than the content. Another piece of information he stored was the number of times that page was linked by other pages. The more the better (at least in the past). And the more links those incoming links from those sites had, the bigger the weight it had in the calculation. So for example, if our Scroll Saw page, had 1 link from New York Times, 1 link from Amazon and 1 link from Black & Decker site, it will probably result on a higher "incoming link score", than another site talking about Scroll Saws, that had 3 links, but poorer in terms of "authority", like 1 link from Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest personal profiles.

This link topic is far more complex than this little explanation. Along with the link power God-gle added the quality of the content and other factors that Google improved over the years, to result in a final calculation that provided the capacity to order pages from "best" to "worst" for a single search, and it's what we call the Search Engine Page Result or SERPs.

The "program" that does this algorithm, is commonly called "spider" or "robot". I prefer to call them robot, because it's the way it's called technically, and we will be referring to it in the future also from in the Technical SEO area.

Possibly if you think in any method to bypass this, Google has probably already patched them over the past 2 decades: thinking on building thousands of links? An update called "Panda" destroyed millions of sites due to this great abuse. Thinking on over optimizing your content for certain keywords? A patch called Penguin took place to put the things in order. Here is a good comprehensive list of patches and how they affect the SEO world over the past 20 years.

What happens if a page has never received a single link?

Nowadays, there are certain sites, that from the moment you buy a new domain, they publish a link to it. Maybe there are certain domains TLD (the extension after the domain name, like .COM and .NET) that are not being monitored by these sites (lets say, rare ones like .CLICK). But most of the domains are listed, nearly as soon as you buy them. But in case they were not listed, God-gle would never truly know of their existence. This is what is called "The Deep Web". All those sites that have not been indexed. Don't confuse the deep web with the dark web, that is a different topic. The important thing here is that if Google has info from a page that links you, you will be in Google the sooner than the latter.

In case you are not already there or want to know more about the index itself, we will discuss further techniques to improve the "indexability", that will be really important in terms of SEO.
 
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AMLurker

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This is brilliant, I've just started learning SEO and affiliate marketing so I will be following this!
Thank you
 

SirLouen

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Day 3: HTML Essentials for SEO
There is a huge diversity when we see the SEO industry professionals' background. We can see from journalists to computer engineers and even some attorneys who have switched for many reasons. The fact is that learning to code is not required, but certainly those who have some notions could grow faster and go deeper in certain aspects that otherwise will become a hindrance in case we decide to fully disregard.

If I had to choose just one language for SEO, definitely I will pick HTML exclusively. HTML is straightforward to be to learn, in fact, we don't need to learn how to code it but just be able to interpret the code. This is why for this third day I started to settle so basic HTML fundamentals.

The basics of code: about PHP, HTML and a CMS like WordPress

I'm constantly reminding that this is a journey starting from bare scratch, but there are some elements that should be understood and easy to pick from now on.

When some code unfamiliar SEO start using WordPress, either a turnkey installation like most hosting offer, or by downloading and installing through FTP/SQL admin, don't think much on how on-page technical SEO features are achieved. Just go to the plugin store, install Rankmath or Yoast or whatever plugin the like the most, and praise it will do the job.

But I think it's important to understand what is going on behind that:

  1. PHP is a coding language, and like any other languages, it permits creating pieces of software, namely "algorithms", that generate results automatically. The fascinating thing of web programming languages, is that they create a flow that generate HTML automatically, based on certain parameters. HTML in this case is the "result" from this kind of software.
  2. WordPress is entirely created in PHP. WordPress is not a coding language, it just a name for a huge piece of software created by a massive community of coders that have designed a ton of algorithms to generate every single piece of HTML automatically available to us when we deploy the WP installation. The Same happens with the WordPress plugins, additional WP software that will improve with additional automatizations for HTML automatic generation.
  3. When we install Yoast, and we put a Meta-Title and a Metadescription in the Yoast box under or in the right corner of the article (METABOX called on WordPress), we are saying to "WordPress" to insert two HTML pieces of code with the exact text we have put in that box. Something like:

<title>The Title we have written in the Yoast title box</title>
<meta name="description" content="The metadescription we have written in the Yoast description box">

This HTML code, is generated automatically by PHP every time we run the page we configured in Yoast. And more specifically this HTML code is written in a specific place called the HEAD

The two essential elements we must understand about HTML for SEO: the HEAD and the BODY

Every single page HTML code is divided in two parts: the HEAD and the BODY. We are not going to discuss HTML elements but this is important to be clarified from the beginning.

For Google, the HEAD is where all the identification information is stored. It's like our name and surname, our ID, our Blood Type, etc... If we browse a page HTML we will see two tags: <head> and </head> and everything in between are the HEAD elements that Google will retrieve to catalog our page. Google doesn't have to take them to the letter, but they help the robots to understand many things about the site.

If you want to achieve a certain degree of mastery with Technical SEO you should be able to open any site, and understand the HTML code from the <head> with a certain degree of ease, and in case you don't understand something, you should be able to search for it at least with a level of proficiency. The HEAD for a SEO professional is like a hammer for a carpenter. Therefore, I will be doing many mentions during the journey to those elements of HEAD that should be understood. Today I've mentioned two: the <title> and the <meta name="description"> which pair with the famous "Meta Title" and the famous "Meta description" we have seen many times in our search results

Ig8EbVW.png


Most people don't give attention to the HEAD because HEAD is automatically generated by default with WordPress. If we don't install a SEO plugin like Yoast or Rankmath, WordPress has automatic instructions to fill every single aspect of the HEAD with placeholders. The title will match the title of our post or page, the metadescription will not even be there because it's not 100% required (and God-gle robot will simply use the first couple of words of the content when reading the content), etc...

All the files that God-gle read

When the robot start reading our site, it will always start with the HTML code and the contents within. During this read, we will offer to God-gle disposal, many other files, like the Images (that are described in the HTML with <img> tags), fonts, icons, and other pieces of code that are meant to improve the user experience within the site, like the JavaScript files (JS) and the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) files (the former are commonly meant to improve the interaction with the user and the latter to improve the visuals, but nowadays both languages can actually do both things at the same time). In fact, even the CSS code and the JS code, can have their content, which Google also try to read and interpret for his indexing purposes.

But when we put or focus content we will be focusing A LOT in the HTML and more specifically in what is written in the BODY, which is the second part of the HTML code. Other files are extremely relevant for SEO purposes, but going step by step, they are not as relevant as other topics that will shall cover first, and will generate a bigger impact with less effort. This is the 80/20 rule, and the 80 is the HTML BODY while the 20 is all the rest. We should be always aware of this because if we spend a lot of time in the 20, our progress from the bigger picture will decay significantly and our results won't ever match our expectations.
 

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Day 4: The intent is the king!
Today it will be the last day for the "foundations" series. And I had to cover one of the most critical topics to understand the further lessons related to keyword research and all that stuff that is commonly explained in most SEO courses. This topic is the Search Intent

Be aware that I already have a very comprehensive article talking about this, that will shorten today's explanation.

It's important to have crystal clear the importance of search intent and leave behind the classic keyword topic because keywords nowadays are not as important as they used to be. Stuffing your site with a thousand of keywords is not useless, but it may result in a hidden penalty and over optimizing your site will also raise many red flags that will hinder your progress.

How many times have we read in this forum about people that asks why a competing result is ranking better than them without a single coincidence for a particular keyword compared to their perfectly optimized site for that given keyword?

In the future, we will be talking about other concepts like Latent Semantic Indexing, that favor this kind of scenarios, but OVER all, there is just one term that clearly favors all at once: SEARCH INTENT.

Analyzing the search intent


If you have already read the article I've mentioned, I can go straightly to some examples to help you out analyzing this concept. One little disclaimer before starting: Remember gad God-gle skews the search based on your past searches and your personal profile. If you are a very intensive information researcher in the search engine, be aware that for a certain query, God-gle may give you more information results than purchasing intent results even though the MAJORITY of people is more interested in a purchasing result. This could provoke some discordance in your knowledge that may end in unfruitful results for your SEO business.

This is why, before using our browser for research is always better to:

A) Open an incognito/privacy mode tab in Chrome/Firefox
B) Use a VPN if possible changing frequently your location within your country or outside your country (depending on your location)

This will be enough most of the time, but consider that there are tools that try to have this searching history fresh always for you. Tools like KWFinder from Mangools, SEMrush and many others.
Also be aware that free tools like "isearchfrom.com" just use the Google Ads tool to modify the search parameters and "simulate" a search from a different place. Don't forget that this could be extremely skewed because is a tool designed by Google for purchasing intent (an ad tool), therefore, you could never know if the results for certain keywords will be slightly tilted to the purchasing side of the search.

Different search intents for a single keyword

There are certain searches that have just one intent (at least primarily). For example: "mountain bike videos", has a clear multimedia intent.

Others like "mountain bike", could be wide open.

Location could vary results

For example, in certain locations, it could have a Local search intent (looking for mountain bike repair shops), or a clear online purchasing intent. Although we could think that there could be a strong "informational intent" for this search.

Doing a search for this keyword "mountain bike" using any of the aforementioned tools we will clearly identify what God-gle is thinking when we do this search therefore revealing to us his current recorded "search intent" in his database.

Also, we cannot forget that God-gle Search Engine Results Page, is forged based on people interest.

Intent could vary over the time


Some very mature keywords like "mountain bike" will have an intent ingrained in stone.

But new keywords that pop out of nowhere had a more complex process.

For example "fidget spinner" back in 2017, had a user who searched for this in the first place. Probably the first page results were completely useless and had to go to a second page, where he found a video from the first guy who started using this widget.

This first user clicked on the 2nd page result and stayed there for several minutes watching it. Google automatically thought: "what if this video is of interest of people searching for this kind of topics?" and put the video in first position for the search results page. Second, third and fourth users searching for this query also found interest on that video, then Google thought: "what if I search for other videos in my database talking about this gadget and put them in the first page?".

Suddenly all the videos in the first page where the #1 intent satisfaction result for "fidget spinner" and most people show a high interest on them, staying for a couple of minutes every time he clicked on each single one.

Maybe, one month later, Google detected that some people started to go deep into page 2, to search for other kind of results: mainly shops that sold this product. After a couple of hours, many people were also clicking on those kinds of results, so the whole SERPs top 10, switched in a couple of days from full 10 video results, to 8 shop results and 2 video results. This is how God-gle "organically" develops his page results and this is why you should be focusing on the SEARCH INTENT to avoid wasting your time in useless content that will never rank.

One last thing: have you ever heard about "Google Sandbox"? For every single new page that pops into his index, God-gle puts that result in first page-first position for a couple of visits to check how great this result is compared to the ones that are already there. If this benchmark is favorable, Google may end putting your site in the first page in a couple of weeks. Otherwise, it will end deep in the page 6 or 7 of the page results. Never index a page that is not ready for this reason and just remember: SEARCH INTENT IS THE KING
 

GVald

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That's some quality right there, will link your post to people that have interest in SEO! Thanks for sharing that with us OP! Have a good one :)
 

SirLouen

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Day 5: Our first steps in the keyword research village
First I have to say that the real day 5 with my peer was a thorough recap of the first 4 days.

I find really crucial to have clear how I have dissected this 4 concepts before proceeding to the next steps that are a little more technical. As I said is completely useless to rinse and repeat without a clear understanding of what's going on behind the scenes.

A brief recap

Day 1
: We understand what specifics of Marketing are basic for us relating to SEO. We observe that Marketing has 3 basic elements: the product, the place to show it and the "quality certificate".
Day 2: We understand why Google has completely wiped out the need of doing an effort on "the place to show it" in exchange for you putting effort in the two other aspects: the product and the certification. It's important to understand how technically God-gle achieves this
Day 3: We understand what is the raw material for God-gle (the HTML) and how to identify some basic elements to understand the importance of it.
Day 4: Finally, the last piece of the puzzle, we understand how Google, despite having the product and all the information relating to it, does a trial and error strategy to understand not only more about the "products" themselves but all the products as an ecosystem. Therefore, if you had the best t-shirts in the world quality-wise, also they were the most reputed in the world (all the most famous people in the world have worn them in a TV show, movie, ...), but they were costly (lets say $300 per t-shirt), it doesn't matter how great they are and how reputable they are, if the user is looking for "cheap t-shirts", user will find your site in first place, and bounce from it in 3 seconds. Therefore, the user will be signalling God-gle that the word "cheap", doesn't pair correctly with your product, so it doesn't "match the search intent". It's extremely critical to understand all about "search intent" otherwise, we will be losing tons of time in a page that maybe will never rank, or will rank very poorly.

This said, lets go with this day:

SEO is conceived like a series of processes that are concatenated in certain order.

Generally, the order is:
  1. Keyword research
  2. Content creation
  3. Page creation (content optimization)
  4. Page reputation development
  5. Results monitoring
This doesn't have to be done systematically and in fact we could be doing one day some Page reputation development and some Content Creation at the same time because we had enough Keyword research results that we don't really need to do more work on that area. But the very first time we start, we have to follow this order. So today we start with the basics of Keyword Research

Basic foundations of keyword research

Focusing on the first process step "keyword research" we have to consider 4 elements that are the greater foundations, in fact, of any marketing regard.

Through them, we will be developing our "research formula" weighting each of the 4 elements to what we think it is more important to be considered to pick some keywords with potential for the next step (Content creation)

  1. Satisfying the query intent: if we are selling potato chips in our precious bag, we cannot go to a meat store to place it. Maybe some meat stores would be willing to put this chip bags because they combine pretty well, but this will be most of the time-wasting when there are thousands of other stores that would be willing to accept our chip bags or at least, they already have it. Satisfying the query intent is rowing with the current. We will analyze from 0% to 100% to see how much a keyword should weight based on this parameter.
  2. Competence: Competence is the amount of reputable pages that are already positioning for a certain keyword. The more page there are with higher page reputation the more effort we will have to do in the 4th step "Page reputation development". Therefore, most of the time, our intent should be looking for keywords with low competence, to avoid having to spend loads of time and money in the 4th step or at least, if we spend any time or money at all, we will profit as soon as possible from it. Similarly to the satisfying the query intent variable, we will weight it from 0% to 100% meaning that 100% is a very low competence keyword, and 0% a very high competence keyword.
  3. Interest Volume: For obvious reasons, the more people that search certain keyword, the better. If a keyword like potato chips snack is searched 10.000 times per month while avocado snack is searched 100, the former will be a better choice, if the first two variables mentioned (satisfying the query intent and competence) are also greatly fulfilled.
  4. Estimated value: It's great that our keyword is searched by millions of people each month. But if we find that we can satisfy the intent + it has low competence, and it has a high 10K users per month interest volume, if we are going to receive 0.5 cents per visit on average, we will be potentially receiving $50 per month. In the other hand, if we had a low competence and highly satisfaction keyword, with just 100 visits per month, but we are going to receive $1 per visit, we will be potentially receiving $100, which doubles the massive audience keyword. Don't forget that visits are great, but they saturate the web service we purchase to have our page. We could have a wonderful site talking about the interesting world of ancient philosophies, but if anyone would be willing to pay for this or at most, 0.1 cents per visit for most of the keywords, maybe 100K visits per month will require a $50 hosting, and we will be earning barely $100 with that site.
Final disclaimer

I'm not going to focus much in the 4th aspect at first (estimated value) because it's important to understand the first 3 crystal clear. When we begin this journey, it's important to start driving visits as soon as possible because they are a great motivator (regardless of the money we can generate through them).

After that, we can become more picky and understand why not all visits are equally valuable.
 

goo99p

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What a GIFT <3
Please keep pushing that "Post reply" button sir :)
 

SirLouen

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Day 6: It's all about the ads
Most of the best guides I've ever read about SEO in my life, always start explaining Google Ads. They start explaining how to set a campaign in Google Ads to understand one, if not the most important concept in SEO and the first step of our 5 step model: Keyword research

The interesting part of Google Ads is that when we do Keyword Research, 75% of the information we retrieve come from there. Remember there are 4 parts:

  1. The volume: which we will pick from Google Ads
  2. The price: which we will pick from Google Ads
  3. The competence: which we can, partly, not always, infer from Google Ads price
  4. The search intention: which we could understand from a Google Ads campaign (but there are other additional methods we will explain)

So essentially, with a Google Ads account and a little money to invest, we can have 100% of the tools to do a top-tier Keyword Research: no $100/mo keyword tools needed and don't be fooled: keyword tools save you time, but with Google Ads, you can do the research in the same or even, less time for the same budget. But we will also use keyword tools at some point because they are an extra helper to find certain additional elements to refine our research.

Understanding Google Ads for SEO

First, we should create a Google Ads account. It's so easy that I'm not going to explain it. Just go https://ads.google.com and follow the steps. You don't even have to pay anything yet.
Simply don't set the campaign they suggest, leave it in a draft or simply switch to expert mode:

KBcsQXY.png


And simply create the account with any campaign.

What can we learn with our brand new Google Ads account?

Let's start with some basics. When we create a new campaign we have to observe each single aspect of the Ad creation process. Assuming that SEO will be like a simple "website traffic - search type" campaign, with the difference, that we will appear in the 4th or 5th place, just after the others that are actually paying for it. That simple.

Just by starting the new campaign, we can see how everything is formulated:
  1. First the bidding strategy.
  2. Secondly the keyword spitter/suggestion formula based on your niche
  3. Lastly, the copy elaboration, which we will cover much further when we start with the 3rd step, "Content Optimization"
Understanding how the bidding strategies work

Lastly I'm going to explain how the bidding strategies work very briefly and without much detail. Let's say that there are 5 companies bidding for the keyword: "dentist in Morgantown". Each of the companies have a budget, and maybe, but not all, they have preferred to set an automatic bidding strategy to set prices.

Generally Google, likes to optimize everything in a way, you spend 100% of your budget every day, no matter what. Let's say that we have these budgets:

  1. Company 1: $1000 per day
  2. Company 2: $200 per day
  3. Company 3: $100 per day
  4. Company 4: $50 per day
  5. Company 5: $500 per day
And the keyword: "dentist in Morgantown" have, on average 50000 searches per day.

Google is going to do, more or less, this strategy:

For the Company 1, it will show an ad for every single visit, meaning that Company 1 will spend their $1000 with those 500 searches, meaning that the "TOP" cost per 1 thousand searches will be $20. It's important to understand that Google don't care about the clicks but the impressions or searches. Everything is always measured in 1K search impressions. If you get 50 clicks or 100 clicks within 1000 impressions, good for you but Google will not charge you more. But to make this simple, I will talk about cost per click.

This said, Google will display for the whole 50.000 searches the Company 1, for $2 CPC (cost per click)
Then, we have the other 4 companies. Google will probably spend the whole budget of this company in the second position for lower prices: Maybe $1 for the 5th company for the whole day, and something in between $0.5-1 for other 3 companies competing for the third position.

But what happens in the Company 2, sets a bigger bidding price? Let's say, a bidding that access a $3 CPC? Then Google will put this company in the first position for a while, until it spends the whole budget at this price, keeping the Company 1 and 5 in the 2nd and 3rd position for this while.

Anyway, the important things here that we should remember are this:
  1. The keyword "dentist in Morgantown" have a volume of 50.000 searches per day, or 1.500.000 a month
  2. The average bidding price, will be around $2 CPC. This is the price
  3. There are 5 companies bidding: we cannot know this unless we frequently check the SERPs ads but the CPC amount compared to other keywords, can give us a good suggestion on how competitive is a word, at least in terms of paid positioning (but remember that sometimes there will be high paid keywords, with low competence in the organic SEO positions, which will be a huge opportunity to earn money through SEO. This is very rare, but they will be real gold nuggets)
  4. We cannot know much about the search intent because we have not already run the campaign. After we run the campaign, if we run multiple keywords, we will be able to see, for each keyword, the conversion rate (the % of people that have clicked on our ad of each keyword we have selected). With this information % Click-Through-Rate, we will be able to understand which keywords BETTER MATCH our search intent.
Next day I will start with the Keyword Planner Tool (KPT), which offers all this information, without having to run a paid campaign. Maybe not as precise, but way more cheap, and I will try to explain what value we can find in some other paid tools like KPT that, with the same information, add some "extras" to alleviate our full research process.
 
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SirLouen

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Day 7: Starting with the Keyword Research
First things first: Analysing God-gle's Keyword Planner

With all the theory in mind we can access the God-gle's Keyword Planner here:

0lRq7sG.png


From there we have access for 2 tools:
  1. Discovery
  2. Forecasts
In this case, the forecasts won't be of great use because the information provided there takes into account the constraints based on our Google Ads account. For example, our budget or our hypothetical budget. This is why we will observe certain weird numbers like a higher or lower amount of search volume or a different CPC compared to most tools.

We are going to focus then on Discovery. Here we could easily input any word. For example, let's say we are going to analyse the keyword "metal work" as an example, and we will progress further from here.

ei3KHc3.png


We will easily find 3 interesting elements:
  1. The average volume is shown as the Average Monthly Searches: in this case, it has an average Volume of 10K-100K. This is kind of weird because we won't be able to know if the keyword is more in the 90Ks or in the 10Ks which is a MASSIVE difference.
  2. Bid (lower range and higher range): Here we can use this for "pricing" purposes, but as I mentioned in the previous messages, we are going to leave this apart for some time. Just consider that we could do an average between these two components.
What is the main issue with this analysis report and how to solve it?

As I said, the keyword volume range is TOO high. There is a way to solve this: setting up a paid keyword campaign. With a paid campaign, we will have full access to this tool, having not only a more precise amount of monthly searches, but a seasonal graph to see if the number of visits was stable or not over the time (for example, certain keywords could have an extra explosion during certain months, like anything "Black Friday" related in November).

In the past, it was sufficient to spend like $0.5 per month in ads and have the full analysis available. But currently it's mandatory to have a running campaign to profit from this. Therefore, you can start a simple campaign for a low competition keyword (something like $0.1 a day) and for as low as $3/month you will have a fully featured Keyword Analysis Tool that not only offers a more precise search data, but the seasonality trend over the year. Example:

ADxJB7c.png


Keyword analysis alternatives

Considering that we are in a low budget, I'm going to comment some other alternatives:

  • SEO Surfer Chrome Extension: Brings Keyword surfer analysis which is very loose. I would not recommend this overall but still a good starter to check some data metrics
  • Ubersuggest from Neil Patel: Infamous free keyword analyser because similarly to SEO Surfer is pretty loose and many people think that it just helps Patel feed with information. I would not recommend it either just because it's too loose
  • Keywords Everywhere Chrome Extension: Great tool, very precise and reliable. Extremely cheap because it offers a huge amount of search credits for very low price. I would just install a portable Chrome browser with this extension just for this type of research (and avoid spending credits in our daily searches)
  • Keyword Revealer: a slightly more expensive alternative that is pretty great, which features a lifetime deal plan for less than $100

Overall, the advantage of the Chrome Extensions like SEO Surfer and Keywords Everywhere, is that you can see the volumes, just by searching in Google as you regularly do. You can benefit also from keyword related suggestions and other info in a pretty straightforward manner.

Personally, I'm currently using for Keyword research SEMrush and Mangools KWfinder, both paid solutions and relatively expensive. But for this first steps, you won't need any of them, and in fact, you will find more use in a Chrome Extension, for when we start the competition research process in the following steps.

Finally, there is a very popular tool called Keyword Tool, which I've never understood its value. It provides exactly the same info as all the other tools mentioned above, but the pricing is nuts: $69/month for that simple Keyword Tool? If someone can explain me its value, I would be interested to hear about it (Note: relatively recently, they have introduced other KW analysis, like Instagram, Play Store and YouTube, but 3 o 4 years ago, they were a plain Google KWT with some extra add-ons). Maybe currently with the other KW analysers it could be worthy, although I feel that is too expensive for the value.

Last but not least, we have Ahrefs keyword tool. Ahrefs is expensive AF, but we will be using it for sure, in the next days for other analysis elements (specially during the 4th part of SEO process as I mentioned in the Day 5). Technically, with Ahrefs we have an All-In-One tool to do this and much more. But I feel it's too early to go hands-on with such an expensive tool.

Anyway, if you know any other tool and want to comment on it, feel free to post it here, and I will do a follow-up in the next journey days.

Knowing that we already know two of the four aspects of a keyword search: volume and price, next day I will start focusing on competence analysis.
 

Tukolony

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Thanks OP for this great tutorial. Please don't leave this Journey thread. I am a silent follower and have enjoyed the in-depth guide and the way you simplify SEO to seem like a work over.
Adding to my experience. Great one once more.
 

SirLouen

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Thanks OP for this great tutorial. Please don't leave this Journey thread. I am a silent follower and have enjoyed the in-depth guide and the way you simplify SEO to seem like a work over.
Adding to my experience. Great one once more.

I'm currently working on the next days. I had a little hiccup, and we also got a little stuck on the keyword discovery process, which is extremely complex. I would say that 99% of the people that start SEO fail and leave this discipline at this point either by starting with a very poor analysis and wasting a huge amount of time for zero results or just by not finding anything at all, and starting with anything worthless that leads to nowhere.

This is also the main reason why most people in the forums are suspicious leaving their sites (niches) in forums. But I trully think that if you are strong at this point, one will succeed. This is why I'm maybe taking too much time with my peer at this point before proceeding to next steps.
 

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Able to see more information in this thread. Thanks OP and all the best..!!
 

SirLouen

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I was checking my posts and I completely forgot about this!

Got to say, that I have not fully ended with this journey. After 1 year, I had a big hiatus because both my friend and me had to go into some ventures, but for the last couple of months I have returned, and I'm basically creating videos with him (in Spanish, though)

1655053818300.png

These videos are, by no means, public viable because they have a lot of rant and fluff within (conversation apart from the course itself).

But maybe at some point I would restart here, and continue from where I left last (Keyword research)

Or perhaps I could put some videos on YouTube like the good loopline, but I'm 100% shit at editing :p

So far we have seen, after Keyword Research analysis:

1. Strategies to improve our site ON-PAGE SEO structure
2. Understanding Tools Metrics (DR, DA, TF...)
3. Other On-Page SEO Factors (Sitemaps, Content Validation, Images, Redirections and 404)
4. Linkbuilding Basics

... And still a whole lot to go!
 

TooCorny

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Hey, thanks for this great share of knowledge.

I´m also from Spain btw!

Eagerly eaiting for your next update!
 
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