From a freelance writer to an SEO specialist
No one can gloss over the fact that SEO (search engine optimisation) is one of the most important ways to stay top-notch in the digital market. When I was entering the SEO world, I was unaware of the amount of exposure one can get and experiments they can do.
If you are a web developer, you are a part of the digital community, and hence, you should know how you can benefit from SEO. Your clients come for website building but don’t you want your clients to stay? You can add SEO services, as the very next step after a website is live is to be seen on Google.
No matter how dynamic a website you have created, the future of the website depends on how good your SEO service is.
For the starters, let me tell you that SEO is much more than playing with the keywords. Behind the scenes there are a lot of technicalities that help determine where a website is found in search results.
I’ve met hundreds of web developers and digital marketers, and all I can say is that SEO fascinates everyone. Everyone has asked me the secret of doing SEO at least once.
Here are some of the excerpts from my journey, which can be meaningful for someone interested in knowing about client building and SEO.
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Does background matter? From reading commerce to ranking websites
Some of you might feel that learning something like digital marketing requires fancy knowledge of HTML, stuffing keywords, etc. Indeed it is a long journey of learning, implementing and failing several times, but the only thing needed in learning SEO is ‘passion.’
When I see the websites crawling up to the No. 1 position on Google, it gives me the passion for working even harder. Out of the million websites, when Google decides to put you on the top, that doesn’t only mean that Google trusts the website, but it also trusts your work.
Coming from a commerce background, I believe that education cannot be the barrier to getting your hands into something out of the box. The ruthless pattern of education we follow these days demotivate many smart people from becoming SEO experts.
If you are determined to learn and put a consistent effort into your website, I can guarantee from my personal experience that no one can stop you from reaching the top.
The qualities I learned from top SEO experts
The first thing to know is that everyone has their own approach.
Meeting 10 different SEO masters means learning 10 different SEO strategies.
Here are my three absolute favourite qualities which I have grasped from different SEO experts:
1. Know your goals
As an SEO consultant, you have to understand your goals.
- Do you like to focus on conversions? It means that a visitor to your website will become a paying customer.
- Do you want to increase the number of your web pages that show on the search engine results page (SERPS)?
- Are you working to increase the overall power of your domain?
SEO should be part of your complete digital marketing strategy. The focus of any strategy should be to achieve and measure specific goals; otherwise, you have no basis for determining success.
2. One trick flopped? Work on the other
Do not stick to one particular SEO factor; if it isn’t giving results, try something else. There are a lot of SEO consultants who keep working on the same keywords and the same link for a long time. Never waste your time on a trick that is not working out for your website.
Search engine optimization is an ongoing process, and even when an SEO expert works with you, they should introduce you to recent trends that are different from what they initially advised you to do. Search engine algorithms can change the game overnight and we should always keep our game on point.
3. Backlinks, backlinks, backlinks
One thing that every SEO expert has emphasized is to get as many backlinks as possible (backlinks are when other websites link to yours).
Those websites that are helpful and more popular than others and earn a higher position in Google’s search results.
Over the years, people have worked on creating hundreds of links to their websites, and as a result, the quality of Google’s search results is increased. In other words, your web pages move up in Google’s search rankings.
My SEO process
All SEO projects are unique because of the different keyword priorities, hosting structure, business goals, and content platforms. However, the basics are the same in every case.
The best place to hide a dead body is the second page of Google search.
I heavily rely on Three King optimization. If on-site SEO is the 80% of SEO in general, then Three King optimization is the 80-20 of on-site SEO, which includes Url, SEO title, and Page Title of a particular blog post or product page.
Get this right (target your keywords on these places), and you have a significant advantage in getting sites ranked. Get it wrong, and you’ve shot yourself in the foot.
Steps for an absolute beginner
An absolute beginner for me is anyone who is thinking about learning SEO but a step behind taking the risk. Let me just put it simply: a web developer or freelancer is not using their resources to the fullest until they are not earning six or seven figures.
Read the three steps to know how you can grow online in India:
Step #1. Work on network building
Do you know anyone in this industry? I am being practical right now; how will you find people who can help you? Don’t get scared; there are people out there who are ready to teach and share their rulebook of work with a newbie.
To begin with, I would suggest connecting potential clients and leads over email or LinkedIn, ask them what they want and if you can contribute. Network building isn’t as easy as it seems, but believe me, you will ultimately learn to communicate and convince others to trust you.
Step #2. Create your own website right away
As an old GoDaddy user, I would recommend creating a website with GoDaddy’s Website Builder as it is fast and intuitive. In a few itsy-bitsy steps, you can create your first website and have it published online.
First off, create an account, then:
- Choose an industry and name
- Choose a theme
- Adjust settings and content
- Preview and publish your website online
There are many sections and elements that can be added to all of your pages and an almost unlimited number of customizations.
Plus, GoDaddy offers excellent customer support and is available 24/7 for free. They offer fast, friendly help in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, and English.
Step #3. Show up everywhere your customers are online
If you are not active online in today’s era, you are dead in people’s eyes. Show your posts everywhere your customers are active, like Linkedin, Quora, Pinterest, Twitter. Once you build a regular viewer’s group, the chances of the success of your website go from zero to a hundred.
A secret no one tells you: how to find SEO clients
Choosing the right niche plays an important role in finding new SEO clients. India is engulfed in the 2nd wave of COVID 19, and a lot of industries are pretty much dead right now.
These include industries such as:
- Travel and tourism
You can use Google trends as well to define your niche.
Here are some niches that have grown significantly or remained stable through the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Tech startups
- Vitamins and supplement providers
- Email service providers
- Web design Agencies
- Online education companies
- Tech agencies
- Web hosting companies
Once you select the niche, the very next step is to ‘Find Potential Leads.’ If you’re providing SEO services, you can easily find thousands of leads through Ahrefs.
For example, if we are looking to provide SEO services for website design agencies you might enter these keywords in Ahrefs Keyword Explorer: “Best website design agency in Delhi” or “Top web design agency in Mumbai.”
All those websites that are not ranking on the 1st or 2nd page of Google are your potential leads.
How can you find leads for different geographic regions
If you want to provide SEO service in the US, UK, and any other countries, the process will be the same. Just type related keywords like “best web design agency New York” and change the desired country.
You can export up to 100 search results at once from Ahrefs.
By putting in different keyword variations and targeting other cities of a particular country, you’ll end up getting thousands of hot leads.
How to find a decision-maker’s email
To get a decision-maker’s email, I use snov.io. With the free version of snov.io, you can export up to 50 emails. Snov.io comes with a chrome extension called “snov.io email finder,” which makes finding emails very easy.
Open a website from your exported list: for example: topnotchdezigns.com.
Click on the snov.io extension, and the tool will show you all the active emails. Like this:
When you click on complete research, you’ll get all names with their respective positions, making cold calling a lot easier.
How to pitch (my exact template)
Once you get your leads and prospect emails, it’s time to reach out to them.
But this method never works; most of your messages will land on spam folder.
The most effective way to outreach is by giving a personal touch and doing some research about the company. Here is the exact pitching email we use for our company:
And the response rate will be a lot more.
Mistakes you should avoid
The biggest mistake I made last year was ignoring the Google algorithm updates. On May 4th, 2020 Google rolled out its core algorithm update, which was strongly related to E-A-T.
E-A-T optimized websites were among the biggest winners. Last year we didn’t focus too much on these signals and our website traffic tanked by 80%.
So, we revamped our website with high-quality content and high-quality links and eventually gained our position back.
Note: You must always be aware of the latest and upcoming Google updates and always remember that Google loves you when everyone else loves you first.
The future of SEO
It can be a challenging question to answer, but I would simply say that the future of SEO is in our hands, and Google is the upper hand that leads our ways.
The future of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not only bright but flourishing if someone uses it in the right way. Your online business pretty much depends on how well you have optimized your website.
Successful SEO is not about tricking Google. It’s about PARTNERING with Google to provide the best search results for Google’s users.” – Phil Frost
We can never predict what Google is going to decide in advance about the algorithm. It is a tricky game as we try to make the best out of our knowledge keeping the current Google algorithm in mind.
The latest Google updates indicate what we will need to compete at the top of the search results in the near future. SEO is becoming even more engaged, technical, and focused on website architecture up to page level.
If you have reached down here, I hope you have grabbed the gist of this article. It is not just about my journey; it is a map book of how I learned SEO, what mistakes I made and how you can generate recurring future income via SEO.