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SEO is easy - SEO from 0 to 200k monthly traffic and beyond

 SEO is easy. The EXACT process we use to scale our clients' SEO from 0 to 200k monthly traffic and beyond



Hey guys!
There's a TON of content on SEO out there - guides, articles, courses, videos, scams, people yelling about it on online forums, etc, etc..
Most of it, however, is super impractical. If you want to start doing SEO TODAY and start getting results ASAP, you'll need to do a TON of digging to figure out what's important and what's not.
If you haven’t heard of me, my co-founder and I own a digital marketing agency (Apollo Digital), and we’ve helped grow several companies to 200k+ monthly organic traffic (our best client, right now, is sitting at ~2 million / month).
...And we decided to distill our EXACT, step-by-step process into a quick guide to share with the internet.

This exact guide got 1,000+ upvotes on several subreddits, including /r/seo, /r/startups, /r/marketing, and a bunch of others, so thought you guys would appreciate it too.

The full article is down in the comments, but here’s

STEP #1 - START WITH TECHNICAL SEO

Whenever we start working with a client, the first thing we deal with is technical SEO. Here’s what this involves:
Ensure they have a GSC account
Create a sitemap.xml file and submit to GSC
Create a robots.txt file
Optimizing site architecture - ensure that the crawl depth for every page on the website is less than 4
Ensure that all pages are optimized according to on-page SEO best practices (proper URL-slugs, meta descriptions, title, etc…)

STEP #2 - IMPROVE WEBSITE LOAD SPEED

Make sure that all images on the website are losslessly compressed.
Resize images before uploading them instead of using JS or CSS to resize them.
Enable lazy loading for images.
If you are using Wordpress, use a caching and optimization plugin (WpRocket is our favorite, however, you can go for Autoptimize if you are looking for a free solution).
Use a CDN (Cloudflare or BunnyCDN are both good options).
Use Google Pagespeed Insight to optimize the site for the 3 Core Web Metrics, namely First Input Delay, Cumulative Layout Shift, and Largest Contentful Paint.
Defer any non-critical JavaScript.

STEP #3 - KEYWORD RESEARCH (THE EASY WAY)

Then, we do keyword research and content strategy. Here’s our process:
First, create a Google Sheet and include the following columns:
Keyword
Priority - High, medium, or low. We prioritize keywords that are low competition, high-volume, likely to convert or all of the above.
Status - What’s the current status of the article? Concept-phase? Writing? Editing? Etc.
CPC - While the cost per click isn’t that relevant to SEO, it helps you figure out which keywords are advertisers more inclined to bid on. E.g. if someone’s willing to bid 30 bucks for a keyword, chances are, it’s converting pretty well.
Competitiveness - We extract the # of backlinks for the top 3 ranking pages, as well as the # of ranking articles that rank on page 1 w/ less than 5 backlinks. This allows us to figure out which keywords are going to be easier to rank

Then, find 3 of your SEO competitors, and steal all their keywords with SEMrush.
If you have competitors that are dominating SEO in your niche, just by stealing their keywords, your keyword sheet should be 80% ready.
Finally, to make the keyword sheet as comprehensive as possible, input the keywords you found above as seed keywords into UberSuggest and generate even more keyword ideas.

STEP #4 - CREATE SEO LANDING PAGES

We usually focus on creating SEO landing pages for direct-intent keywords in the first 1-2 months into starting work with a client.
These pages tend to take a long time to rank, so try to get them out ASAP.
Usually, we follow one of these 2 methodologies for creating SEO landing pages:
Create a general template landing page. Pretty much copy-paste your homepage, alter the sub-headings, paraphrase it a bit, and add relevant images to the use-case. You’d go with this option if the keywords you’re targeting are very similar to your main use-case (e.g. “project management software” “project management system”).
Create a unique landing page for each use-case. You should do this if each use-case is unique. For example, if your software doubles as project management software and workflow management software. In this case, you’ll need two completely new landing pages for each keyword.

STEP #5 - CREATE QUALITY SEO CONTENT

This one’s easier said than done. If you’re hiring random writers on the web, giving them a keyword, and telling them to “knock yourself out,” you’re probably doing it wrong.
See, most content writers don’t know shit about SEO (other than that you have to optimize your article with Yoast), and whatever they write won’t rank.
Instead, here’s what you should do:
For each keyword you’re tackling, do a basic Google search, and extract the structure of the top-ranking articles.
E.g. if you Google “sales funnel,” you’ll see that most top-ranking articles use the following structure:
Introduction [h2]
What is a Sales Funnel [h2]
Understanding the Sales Funnel Stages [h2]
#1. Awareness [h3]
#2. Interest [h3]
#3. Decision [h3]
#4. Action [h3]

Meaning, this is what the Googler is looking for when searching for the keyword, and it’s also how YOU should structure your article.
Once you copy the structure, you need to one-up it. See, if you want to do well with SEO content, you shouldn’t just copy other people - you need to do 2x - 10x better than them.
So, to add additional value to your structure, look up what kind of information people look for around the topic (in this case, sales funnels).
Here are several ways you can do this:
Find relevant Reddit threats on the topic
See what kind of questions people ask about the topic on Quora
Check the “People Also Ask” section for FAQ ideas

Use information from these sources to upgrade your structure.
Other than that, here are several other ways to add even more value to the article:
Add more in-depth information on the topic. E.g. you could include what type of marketing initiatives can help drive a sales prospect from one stage to another.
Add more practical examples. Everyone likes a practical article they can instantly turn into something useful (vs reading about boring theory).
Make the article more comprehensive. Add additional information that others haven’t covered.
Make the article more visually appealing and readable. You can do this by adding more images, visuals, etc.

Finally, give this outline to the writer and ask them to fill it in (or write it yourself).

STEP #6 - LINK-BUILDING, INTERLINKING, AND MORE

We just hit 1k words, which we thought was a bit of an overkill for a Facebook post. If you want to read about our complete SEO process (which includes exact templates we use, writer outline examples, and more), check out the link in the comments.