How To Do SEO Yourself!

Thank you for taking the time to look at my website.

In Hong Kong, I work as an InHouse SEO Specialist and mostly blog about Growth Hacking and SEO Services.

If you want to do SEO yourself….you can!

In this resource, I will outline how to do SEO yourself and get your website to the top of Google here in Hong Kong.

⚠️ ALERT!

If you do not believe in your product or service then this resource is not for you ~ however ~ if you’re willing to learn then you can do it and get your website to the top of Google in Hong Kong or internationally.

Doing SEO is Not That Difficult…

Why?

Because, as we will see in my SEO training resource, Google gives you the answers.

As long as you can commit:

  • Time ~ and ~
  • Patience

Then you can increase your rankings in Google, get more clients, and make more money.

OK! Tell me more πŸ”₯

Believe In Yourself! You CAN do it – and succeed!

You Can Do It!

About This Resource…

Getting your website to the top of Google is not difficult as long as:

  • Your expectations are realistic;
  • And, that you are diligent, consistent and willing to put some hard work in…

So, without further ado, let’s dive in and take a look at some SEO basics that will help you get to the top of Google.

Quick Backstory

I’ve worked with dozens of clients here in Hong Kong helping them with their SEO; in some cases growing their traffic from 0 to 250k+ monthly organic traffic. I currently work for a huge eCom company in Hong Kong and I manage their SEO for them. What I am going to share in this post will share the exact same process to get your site to get higher rankings.

The Three SEO Core Principles

There are three core SEO principles when it comes to doing it yourself.

  1. Publishing SEO optimized content
  2. Getting links to your SEO’d content
  3. Making sure your technical SEO is done properly

Which one of these is the most important?

The answer is all of them.

So, without further ado, let’s get down to it!


The SEO DIY Training!

Here’s everything I am going to cover in my Hong Kong SEO-orientated course:

  1. Getting your website to run and load 2x – 5x faster;
  2. Optimize your landing pages and get them to rank for direct intent keywords;
  3. Create content that indexes and converts for the niche that you are in;
  4. How we get a many inbound links (which is vital for SEO);
  5. How to improve your site’s rankings with SEO tools

Technical Optimization and On-Page SEO

Your technical SEO has to be excellent to be able to rank any content.

Some of this may be a bit technical, so you may want to forward this section to your tech team and skip forward, then just skip to “Step #2 – Keyword Research.”

The Basics

If you want the quick approach to ensuring that your On-Page SEO is on point and you’re using WordPress then just do the following:

Why is this important? Because Google considers speed as a ranking factor!

So – in summary – either install one of the plugins I’ve listed above (for overall speed-fixing and image optimization) – or- if you’re technically competent and want to improve your speed loading even more then I’d recommend you take a look at the following tips I provide.

πŸ‘‰ Proper Website Architecture

This is vital.

Think of this as the foundations of your property; i.e. the structural walls of the property, elements that are central to the ability of the structure to stay upright.

By architecture we mean the page and folder structure of the site, so:

www.domain.com/folder-1/folder-2/

Any page’s crawl depth should be less than four (i.e: any given page should be reached with no more than 3 clicks from the homepage). To correct this, you should enhance your interlinking (for more information, see step #6 of this article).

πŸ‘‰ Sitemap.xml file

A decent sitemap demonstrates to Google how to simply explore your website (and discover all of its information!). If you have a WordPress site, all you need to do is install YoastSEO or Rankmath SEO, and they will generate a sitemap for you. Alternatively, you may utilize an online XML Sitemap generator.

πŸ‘‰ Serve images in next-gen format

Next-generation image formats (JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, and WebP) may compress pictures much more efficiently than JPG or PNG images. Do you use WordPress? Simply use Smush, and it will perform ALL of the work for you. Otherwise, you may manually compress and re-upload all photos.

πŸ‘‰ Remove duplicate content

Google makes a lot of effort to remove duplicate content and it can affect your indexing and ranking if you have pages that are virtually identical. If you have duplicate pages, just combine them (using a 301 redirect) or just get rid of them.

πŸ‘‰ Update your β€˜robots.txt’ file

Hide any pages that you do not want Google to index (e.g: non-public, or unimportant pages). This would be the majority of your in-app pages if you’re a SaaS.

πŸ‘‰ Optimize all your pages by best practice

Google encourages you to follow a number of general best practices for your web pages (keep keyword density high, have an acceptable number of outbound links, and so on). Install and utilize YoastSEO or RankMath to optimize all of your web pages.

Remember that a robots.txt file is not obligatory – but I’d always advise that you use one.

Other factors to consider to speed up your site could be:

  • Use a CDN;
  • Use lazy-loading for your images;
  • Consider caching your text and images;
  • Compress your CSS & JS (minify)

Again, if you can’t be bothered with all the above then just shoot back to the SEO speed basics section and simply install one of the WordPress plugins that I refer to.

Keyword Research

Keywords are vital – obviously!

With no keywords then you’d be shooting blind with regards to doing SEO.

SEO has to start somewhere – and this is the best place, i.e. with choosing keywords that are core to your business.

Once your website has been optimized for speed (Step #1) then we need to dive into keyword research. and execution, something which is a major part of SEO.

The best way to get started with this is by doing keyword research.

First off, you want to create a keyword research sheet. This is going to be your main hub for all your content operations.

Keyword Priorities

Think of your core business and establish what keywords your customers will be using to discover more about your product or services in Hong Kong.

Usually, I organize my keywords like this:

  • Priority High
  • Priority Medium
  • Priority Low

Keyword Topic Clustering

Once you’ve decided on your core keywords (that drive your business) then the next thing to do is organize the keywords into clusters.

Say for example you are selling “fruit”; you’d organize your keywords by all the types of fruit, so:

  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Oranges
  • – etc

Now that you have your keyword list organized and understand how it works, let’s discuss the β€œhow” of keyword research.

One proven way to do this is to list your top five SEO competitors; i.e. who is ranking for the keywords that you want to be.

Once you have a list of your competitors, but each of them through SEMrush’s “Organic Research” to obtain a comprehensive list of all the keywords they rank for.

Now, go through these keywords one by one and extract all of the relevant ones to your spreadsheet – or AirTable.

After you’ve gone through the top SEO competitors, your keyword research should be at least 80% complete.

To wrap up your keyword research, run your top keywords via an SEO tool like UberSuggest and let it work its magic. It will provide a list of keywords related to the keywords you entered.

Go through all of the results and extract everything that is relevant, and your keyword research should be now 90% complete.

You may now call it a day and go on to the next phase. Chances are, as time goes on, you’ll discover more keywords to add to your document, bringing you closer to that elusive 100 percent!

Create SEO Landing Pages

In this next step, we will apply what we learned in step #2 and place our magical keyword on specific landing pages.

This step is much easier than you would imagine.

First, you develop a unique landing page depending on the term.

This may be accomplished in two ways, depending on your niche:

πŸ‘‰ Option 1: Make a generic landing page template.

Copy and paste your landing page, change the subheadings, rephrase it, and add appropriate photos to the use case. If the keywords you’re targeting are quite comparable to your core use-case (for example, “SaaS CRM software” or “CRM Software”), you’d choose this option.

πŸ‘‰ Option 2: Make a separate landing page for each use-case.

If each use case is unique, then I’d advise that you do this first. For instance, if your solution (or product) has multiple solutions then this would be the recommended option – and you would therefore create new landing pages for each keyword.

Once you’ve completed a few of these pages, you should optimize them for their particular keywords.

This may be accomplished by running the page content via an SEO tool. If you’re using WordPress, you can use RankMath (like I am using on this site) or other SEO WordPress Plugins.

Both programs will provide you with detailed advice on how to optimize your page for the keyword.

SurferSEO or MarketMuse are excellent tools if you are not using WordPress.

Simply copy and paste your web page text, and it will provide you with suggestions on how to optimize it!

Once your new landing pages are ready, you must decide where you want them to appear on your website. Adding these pages to your website’s navigation menu (header) or footer is typically a good idea.

Finally, once you’ve created all of these new landing pages, you may be wondering, “What’s Next?” “How and when will my pages rank?”

Landing pages are generally more difficult to rank than content. Quality is really important when it comes to content. If you write better, longer, and more informative material than your rival, you’ll ultimately outrank them, even if they have more links.

Things aren’t as simple when it comes to landing pages. Most of the time, you can’t just “build a better landing page.”

Often, backlinks are what decide landing page keyword rankings.

If your rivals have 300 links on their landing pages and you only have 30, you won’t be able to outrank them.

Create SEO Blog Content

Writing content that is SEO optimized for both people and search engines is a talent, and in my opinion, is a blend of:

  • Science, and
  • Art

It may be both time-consuming and challenging.

To keep your readers interested, you must be strategic in your topic selection and writing. It is not the same as writing an article, therefore you must pay attention to the specifics and follow a set of SEO criteria.

A well-optimized blog post with high-quality (and converting “actionable”) content has a better probability of ranking higher in Google search, whereas a well-optimized blog post with low-quality content has a lower chance of ranking high.

What we’re trying to imply is that if you want to go up in the rankings, you must enhance your writing talents.

Begin by following these guidelines for writing SEO-friendly blog content.

  • Create content around your desired search terms;
  • Understand the most pressing questions your audience are asking – and answer them;
  • Write and arrange your content in a way that keeps readers interested in your information
  • Match your content to the searcher’s aim.

Now that we’ve established our keywords and written our content we need to let Google know about our well-written (and useful!) content – how do we do that? By getting it indexed by links, i.e. we now need to get links.

Link Building Strategies

Here are the best-known link building strategies:

Rather than re-invent the wheel – you can read about the broad strokes of these strategies here – in SEMRush (a resource I highly recommend).

Advanced Link Building Strategies

  • Guest Posting (Mostly Paid)
  • Resources and Links List Pages (Can Be Paid)
  • Social Media Backlinks (Mostly Free)
  • Collaboration with Opinion Leaders (Free)
  • Skyscraper technique (100% Free)

Quick Strategies

  • Replicating Competitor’s Backlinks
  • Adding URL to a post
  • Forum and Blogs comments
  • Business Directories and Local Citations (Listings)
  • Broken backlinks
  • Unlinked mentions
  • Reciprocal links

Interlink Your Pages

The capacity of internal links to direct link equity throughout your website is the most important benefit of internal links in terms of SEO.

External links provide credibility and confidence to your website and, more particularly, the page to which they point.

The page that is directly linked will profit the most from a backlink, but you may spread some of that equity to other sites through internal linking.

While the SEO value decreases as you go away from the externally linked page, internal links might give a technique to increase the authority and trust of your lower-funnel, less linkable sites.

While not impossible, obtaining connections to converting or “money pages” is normally difficult because these pages typically provide minimal value and appeal to a tiny audience (those who are ready to buy your product).

However, by utilizing internal links from your link-worthy pages, you may overcome this problem and enhance organic exposure for these pages.

The best aspect about this method is that you only need to create one internal link, and your converting page will profit continually and gradually from each new backlink you gain to your linkable item.

Just keep in mind that internal connections must still be useful. Your internal link should make sense in the context of the page on which it is placed.

Internal links are also an excellent technique to assist new pages. Before launching an external link acquisition effort for a new page, explore your site for other related sites and generate some internal links to give your page a lift in the beginning.

Track & Improve Your Headline CTRs

Article CTRs play a significant influence in deciding whether or not an article ranks.

Assume your content is ranked #4 with a CTR of 15%. Google compares this CTR to the position’s typical CTR.

If the average CTR for position #4 is 12%, Google will believe that your post, with a CTR of 15%, is of high quality and will reward you with higher ranks.

If the average CTR is 18%, Google will believe that your post isn’t as important as other ranking content pieces and will drop your ranking.

As a result, it’s critical to monitor your Click Through Rates for all of your articles, and if you notice one that’s underperforming, you may experiment with other headlines to see if they enhance CTR.

You’re undoubtedly wondering how you can find out what the average CTR is.

Unfortunately, each search result is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all formula for calculating average CTR.

Google has been deploying a variety of different forms of search results over the last few years, including highlighted snippets, QAs, and a variety of other types of search results.

So, depending on how many of these clutter items there are and how many search results there are for a given term, you’ll receive different average CTRs by position.

As a general rule, you can adhere to the following values:

Position on Google CTR (“Click Through Rate”)
#131.73%
#224.71%
#318.66%
#413.60%
#59.51%
#66.23%
#74.15%
#83.12%
#92.97%
#103.09%
Source: ContentPowered

A good tactic here to improve your position on Google is to tweak the headlines because after all, that is what the users are clicking – and we want to increase those clicks!

Track Changes!

Now that you’ve done all this work – you need to track your work and see where you rank over time.

Whatever you can track you can control – so it’s vital that you continue to monitor your rankings and take necessary steps to improve them.


Hong Kong and/or International SEO?

Is your business aimed at the Hong Kong market?

Or, is it an international business?

Local SEO in Hong Kong

If your market is here in Hong Kong then your SEO strategy would be based upon local SEO tactics; and honestly, in my opinion, that’s slightly easier than an international strategy.

The majority of our clients and businesses that seek SEO services here in Hong Kong are local for increases in the local markets: research shows that 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information with 72% of consumers that did a local search visited a store within five miles.

International SEO

If your product or service is aimed at an international audience then yes, that would change the SEO strategy.

Whichever market you are going after, remember this: the principles are the same!

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