Search Engine Optimisation

A guide to SEO for Get Paid to Race readers

What is SEO?

 

It’s the process of increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to your website through search engines such as Google.

Search giant Moz.com does a better job of explaining this than I ever could, here’s how it breaks SEO down into parts:

Quality of traffic. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they’re coming to your site because Google tells them you’re a resource for Apple computers when really you’re a farmer selling apples, that is not quality traffic. Instead you want to attract visitors who are genuinely interested in products that you offer.

Quantity of traffic. Once you have the right people clicking through from those search engine results pages (SERPs), more traffic is better.

Organic results. Ads make up a significant portion of many SERPs. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don’t have to pay for.”

The basics

First things first, you need to consider your niche. There’s loads about this in Get Paid to Race when it comes to building your brand but it’s an important element of boosting your rankings with the search engines too. Once you understand your niche and why people want to read your content, you’ll have a better sense of what people will type into a search engine to find your content.

You need to optimise your website to make it valuable to others looking to do the same. Before you can even think about using your website’s SEO value as part of a sponsorship package, you need to make sure it’s ranking well and has an impressive domain authority.

Keyword research

Keyword research is the first step in understanding your audience and once you begin to optimise for a set of relevant keywords, you’ll start to rank for them. Think about your audience and ask yourself:

  • What types of things are they interested in?
  • What problems do they have?
  • What type of language do they use to describe the things that they do, the tools that they use, etc.?
  • What other content are they reading?

For example, what might someone search for if they’re interested in how a racing driver keeps fit?

Wordstream’s free keyword tool is a good place to start. Type in some search terms and keywords to get a sense of what ranks well, what people are searching for and what’s relevant to your audience.

Make a list of one or two terms you really want to rank for and then make a list of other relevant terms and keywords to back up your main targets.

On-page SEO

Once you know what terms you’re targetting, you should start to include them in your content. Bear in mind that the quality of your content is still the most important part of what you do but by including the right keywords, you’ll help people to find it.

Keyword stuffing doesn’t work so don’t force those keywords into your website and blog post copy. Keep it natural. As you write, consider what people might search for to get to that particular page or post.

On-page SEO is about much more than your page content, though. You also need to think about the words you use in descriptions, URLS and tags. Take a look at SEOlium’s on-page SEO guide for more info.

Off-page SEO

This is the process of getting links to your website and blog posts from other authoritative sites. Guest posting, while not as powerful as it once was, is a good way to go for this. Find websites that accept guest posts in your niche (this could be sport, motoring, fitness etc.). Make sure to link back to your site in your author bio.

Online PR is another great way to build these valuable backlinks. When writing your press release, make sure to include your web address in the content as you’re more likely to get linked back to this way.

There are a lot of rules around link building and it’s easy to get blacklisted by Google so be careful. Neil Patel (one of my favourite online marketing gurus) has a handy guide to off-page SEO here.

The more technical stuff

I don’t want to overwhelm you with information, which is why I’m just listing the basics on this page. Below are books you should read as well as some resources to help you monitor your SEO efforts.

For a more detailed look at SEO, take a look at Wordstream’s guide here.

Further reading

SEO is a complex subject so I recommend reading up on it if you’re going to maximise how you work with brands and sponsors.

3 Months to No.1 - by Will Coombe

3 Months to No.1: The “No-Nonsense” SEO Playbook for Getting Your Website Found on Google is a detailed book that will help you to reach the top of the search rankings.

Buy a copy

The Art of SEO by Eric Enge

The Art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine Optimization presents techniques from the basic to the advanced. It gives you all the information you need to execute a successful SEO campaign.

Buy a copy

Tools

Domain Authority

Moz.com is the go-to source of information when looking at how authoritative a site is. Brands often want to know your domain authority (DA) in order to judge how valuable your site it.

Check your domain authority here

SEOPressor

This WordPress plugin will give you an idea of how to improve your content, improve search relevancy and build a clean internal link structure. It’s a must-have plugin for anyone who is running a WordPress website and care about improving their search value.

Get it here

Trust Flow

Trust Flow is a metric trademarked by Majestic that analyses how trustworthy a site is by measuring its quality. Quality is the essential data of this metric. If a link pointing to your website is authoritative and qualitative, then your trust flow will increase.

Measure your trust flow

Google Webmaster Tools

If you want to measure the performance of your website on Google, this is the tool you need. It’s the first step to getting recognised with the search engine and will also allow you to see what people are searching for to get to your site.

Sign up here

Traffic Travis

This tool can assist you with all sort of elements of your SEO from keyword research through to the more technical stuff that could be holding you back. If you technically minded and want to take your on-page SEO to the next level, try out Traffic Travis.

Download for free