Mike Pearson is a veteran SEO expert and blogger over at Stupid Simple SEO and Credit Takeoff.
Before teaches the rest of us about SEO, he’s the guy who took an affiliate site to 1,000,000 views and over $95k in revenue…just with SEO. Do listen to the podcast interview, but I’ve also included the big takeaways below in blog post format 🙂
Listen to my episode with Mike Pearson here:
Key takeaways from today’s chat with Mike Pearson from Stupid Simple SEO:
Let’s break this down like a listicle today 😉
1 – Yoast is NOT the “be-all-end-all” for SEO!
Yoast is a fantastic tool.
I use the premium version myself…but just because Yoast is giving you green lights does NOT mean your post is going to rank well.
I wish that were the case.
No, Yoast is just the starting point for an SEO strategy.
- Don’t fret when you still have 1-2 orange or red lights…
- Don’t think those green lights are going to rank you all by themselves 🙂
2 – What does Google think your site is about?
If I learned anything from Mike, it was that site structure is incredibly important for SEO.
(And in my opinion, user experience. I see you out there non-SEO bloggers!).
Google WANTS to know what your entire site is about, not just any given blog post.
If your site structure is telling Google that your site is about dog grooming, but you’re hoping to rank for a student loan keyword…what is Google to do?
That doesn’t seem relevant to your site.
Check out these newbie-friendly SEO audit tips for a quickstart, else that link a few sentences above is a FANTASTIC Yoast blog post about structure.
3 – Cool little SEO keyword hack: Include a FAQ
FAQ stands for “Frequently Asked Questions.”
And what are people often typing into Google? QUESTIONS.
You can use tools like Answer the Public to come up with some SEO-friendly keywords that are in question format, and creating a “FAQ Section” at the end of your blog posts is a simple and non-spammy looking way to include these question-keywords.
4 – The 10 commandments of beginner SEO:
1 – Thou shalt have only one H1 tag per page.
WordPress, Squarespace, etc…these should automatically make your clickworthy headlines into an H1 tag.
2 – Thou shalt have a few carefully selected H2 tags per page.
These help tell Google the sub-topics you’re covering in your post. Read this post for a basic strategy to figure out what your H2 tags should be (at least 1 H2 should probably have your keywords in it).
3 – Thou shalt NOT worry about perfecting and over-optimizing exact keywords.
Google is smart these days. If you’re trying to include the LITERAL keywords “how to travel-hack your way to Europe” in every paragraph…that will make for lame content. Just produce a piece of content that actually satisfies that search query.
4 – Thou shalt include your keywords in your meta description
WordPress? Use Yoast for this. Not only should you include your keywords in your meta description, but you should also try to make this description as enticing as humanly possible.
Meta descriptions are where you try to convince Google users to click on YOUR content, as opposed to the results just above and below you 🙂
5 – Thou shalt include LSI keywords
Mike Pearson suggested a tool called LSI Graph. It’s awesome.
You enter your keywords, it spits back related keywords that you can mention in your posts (Again, don’t obsess over including every single one at 110%. They’re suggestions for other common search phrases that your piece of content could rank for.)
6 – Thou shalt try to produce the BEST piece of content on the internet for your KWs
This is the advice you hate to hear, but it’s really the only long-term SEO strategy that is 1,000% guaranteed to work.
Produce better content.
(Before you scream at me through your computer with “WHAT DOES THAT MEAN???” Read this post)
7 – Thou shalt include relevant images with appropriate alt tags
Alt tags = tells Google what the image is about.
What how meta I’m about to get…
I included the alt tag information in WordPress when I uploaded the image:
4 – The SEO Tools Mike uses
There’s no doubt about it, Ahrefs is so dang powerful!
(I use it as well btw, and that’s not an affiliate link above)
Yes, it’s expensive! But they do have a 7-day trial for $7 where you can fun a few reports for yourself 🙂
Alternatively, the following are great options:
- KWFinder – I also use these guys, and LOVE IT. There are a ton of features there (including a ranktracker), and it’s MUCH more affordable.
- Soolve is a cool FREE tool to see related search suggestions 🙂
- Click here to see the rest of the blogging tools I use btw.
Can you tell I’m feeling less and less creative with my sign-offs recently? 🙂
If you’re itching for more solid SEO tips and strategies for bloggers, don’t miss these:
- An SEO expert breaks down his “INSANE BLOG TRAFFIC” formula – Grant from Millennial Money
- SEO Category Pages – WHY they’re important and HOW to optimize them.