30 Day SEO Challenge – Get Results for Free
30 Day SEO Challenge – Get Results
Welcome to the 30 day SEO Challenge! The next 30 days are designed to cover the basics of SEO, the best tools, and practices.
Imagine this happening – You’ve written gold content, put in hours of research, editing, and thought. You end up getting shares on social, comments on your posts, but no traffic from Google? What gives?
Take the 30 Day SEO Challenge , so that doesn’t happen to you! Let’s get keyword’n!
Day 1 – Check your current keyword ranking
Knowing what keywords you currently rank for is critical in the SEO game.
I love Ubersuggest. It’s a free tool that provides your current search rankings by Country. Export this data so you can track changes.
Day 2 – Check your Google Analytics
Which keywords are bringing customers to your buy page or contact page? You also want to consider which keywords are right for your site, lead to conversions or have a low bounce rate?
These are your tier 1 keywords. Jot them down on a different excel sheet. These are the ones you want to optimize first.
On a separate sheet place the remaining keywords. These you can optimize and lead into your conversion pages.
Day 3 – Keeping up with the Joneses – Check competitor data
I love SEM Rush (paid) and Ubbersuggest (free) they allow you to find all the competitor data you need to crush the SEO game. You want to select competitors who are at the same level as you and have similar domain authority.
It will provide you with top organic keywords, main organic competitors keywords, backlinks (we will get into this soon).
Export the data for a few websites and compile into one master list.
Below is a screenshot from Ubbersuggest showing how the search results will appear, and where you can find the keywords option to search.
Day 4 – Check your potential “Rank-ability” for competitor keywords
Moz is loaded with incredible tools, including a SERP Analysis Tool.
It will provide you with monthly volume, difficulty to rank, organic CTR, and so much more.
You can upload your compiled list into creating a new keyword list and voila. You can select the terms that are related to your website niche that you have a good chance to rank for.
The goal does depend on your site but generally its best to keep difficulty low (under 30), monthly volume high, organic click through rate high, and a high priority rating (over 40).
It also gives you other keyword suggestions and SERP Analysis with PA & DA (page authority and domain authority). If your DA is higher than the first page rankings, you have a stronger chance to rank for the particular keyword.
See below for results for SEO Guide 2019.
Day 5 – Review Your Final List and Start Planning
Check to see if you can optimize keywords that you are already ranking for. For fresh new content, you want to follow the next few days to see where you can optimize.
Check the list below to see if there is any more room to use these keywords.
If you are using WordPress, The Yoast plugin is fantastic for an on-page SEO checker.
- Title – Try to keep keywords at the beginning of your post.
- Header Tags & Sub Headings (H1,H2…)
- Body – It is suggested to use your keyword anywhere from 4-8 times. Don’t stuff keywords as it will have a negative ranking.
- Meta description – While it is said that it does not count toward your ranking, it can improve your click through rate. You essentially want it to reflect that hey! If “X” is what your looking for you can find it here!
Day 6 – Optimize your page titles and URL Slug
The length of your title shouldn’t be too long or too short. Keep it under 80 characters, but over 50.
Check how your competitors are using keywords in their title. If you have a blog check buzz sumo for popular articles in your niche, and add a creative spin.
If possible keep your keywords in the beginning of your title.
Check your title on CoSchedule Headling Anaylzer
Don’t forget about your URL slug. Try to incorporate your keyword if possible.
The suggestion is not to include a date, as you can easily refresh for it to stay Evergreen. You want to keep it short and to the point but if you can incorporate your keyword go for it.
Use that keyword in your URL slug, meta description, subheads, images, graphics, first sentence, last sentence, and body copy. Using your keyword throughout the content—combined with your headline—lets search engines know that your headline really does cover the content in the article.
Day 7. – Keyword in Description Tag (CTR)
Your CTR score reflects how well your SEO title tag and meta description of a landing page is optimized. The higher your CTR score, the better, as you will have a higher click-through rate.
This Free CTR checker is another great free tool and teaches you how to optimize. You will also love how it provides some options for power words and call to action words
Day 8 – TF-IDF
TF-IDF is the product of how often a keyword appears on a page (TF) and how often it appears (on average) on other websites, this is based on a larger set of documents (IDF). This is essentially why “niche” websites typically out rank multiple category websites. When you are niche your keywords are on many of your pages and not just one.
Day 9 – Optimize Images
Optimizing your images is a must. I know when you have a 10-15 images in a post it’s easier to say I will do it later, or does it really matter and move on. Here are three things you really shouldn’t miss.
- Image size – If your not familiar with image compression in Photoshop or other software there are loads of online. Such as TinyPng. Page load times is one of your larger SEO factors, so this is really important
- Name your images using keywords – Naming your images with the correct keywords will help lead visitors to your site through Google Images and help your overall SEO.
- Alt Attributes – Text alternatives to images when a browser can not render them. They also are used for web accessibility. This text is the one that shows up when you hover over an image. Alt attributes are so so important to have for e-commerce sites.
Day 10 – Refresh content and check broken links
If you notice a ton of blogs use the current year in blog post titles “Best online marketing tools for 2019”, and this is great as long as you do not use this in your slug (post address). If you ever want to update it it will be a pain in the butt, and you could potentially loose a lot of links that you will never get back.
Day 11 – Optimize Content Length
This is really dependent on what industry and who your readers are. There have been some great blog posts that look at this from different perspectives (share ability, optimal time for reading, and SEO).
SEMRush says “According to the study, the average length of articles is 810 words. However, the average length for content we recommend is 1137 words; this advice is based on rivals’ articles that have appeared in Google’s top 10.”
Neil Patel has an amazing post on the optimal post length. Which points out long form content receives the most social shares.
I do believe it does depend on your industry. Neil Patel is in digital marketing and has the ability to really get in-depth and not loose his readers, but a recipe post that’s 2000 words might be way too much. I just want to get to the pretty images and the actual recipe already! Try a few different things and do your own research in your niche and see what works for you and your readers!
Day 12 – Check your site speed
Your page speed is so so so important as well. A great place to start is PageSpeed Insights by Google. This gives you page performance for mobile as well as desktop. It also provides the areas you need to optimize such as images, server response time etc. The next few days focus on this area as this is so important for good SEO.
Day 13 – Schema Markups
Schema markup is under-utliziled but is one of the most powerful forms of SEO available today. It tells Google not just what your data says but what it meansSchema markup is under-utliziled but is one of the most powerful forms of SEO available today. It tells Google not just what your data says but what it means. Click To Tweet
Schema.org, the website for schema markup, There are hundreds of markup types from books to events and everything in between.
There’s also Google’s structured data markup helper, it literally walks you through and helps you add content for markup then provides the html needed.
Day 14. Optimize for Speed – Plugns.
There are tons of plugins available. so depending on you site speed results you will have a better idea of what plugin you require.
Day 15 – Half Way Through the 30 Day SEO Challenge! Take a break and check your progress.
Going through 30 days of an SEO challenge is not easy but the results will be worth it. 15 days is definitely too early to see much difference, but knowing you are on the way to ranking for some keywords in definitely exciting.
Day 16 – Lazy Load
Lazy loading images means images are loaded on your website”out of sync,” images above-the-fold (visible before you start scrolling down) are fully loadded first. If a user were to scroll to the bottom of your page right away, those images wouldn’t be loaded.
There are again some great plugins available for this. It is in included in WP Rocket. If you do not want to purchase WP Rocket you are in luck as they created a free Lazy Load Plugin- Lazy Load by WP Rocket
Day 17 – CDN – Content Delivery Network
A CDN is a system of distributed servers (network) that deliver pages and other Web content to a user, based on the geographic locations of the user, the origin of the webpage and the content delivery server. This results in your server load time decreasing, content delivery is faster, and much more. It essentially takes your site from 0 to 60 real quick. 😉
Site Ground is a great hosting provider that provides this service in their monthly rate. They include Cloudfare CDN for every plan, are known for their customer service, and if you have multiple websites their plan starts at $5.95/month ($3.95 for 1 website).
Day 18 – Upgrading Your WordPress Website to PHP 7.2
Upgrading to PHP 7.2 is much faster and secure, According to Kinsta, WordPress 4.9.4 website with PHP 5.6 can handle 49.18 req/sec while a WordPress 4.9.4 site with PHP 7.2 can wield a surprising number at 148.80 req/sec. PHP 7 can handle three times as many visitors as PHP 5 can, using the same amount of memory.
If you using WordPress you should check the compatibility with your theme. WP created a PHP Compatibility Checker plugin and this will check the compatibility of any WordPress website on any web host. All you need to do is to download and install it on your WordPress website just like any other plugin.
Day 19 – Get Back Links
Why back links? Inbound links from other websites show Google that you have good content and they trusted your content enough to link from their website to yours. Trust is key in Google eyes, and it’s actually a term Trust Authority that adds to your search engine ranking.
Getting back links is by no means a easy task. Of course good content helps but you might have to wait years to develop solid backlink. Taking the time to acquire them is definitely worth it though, as this is most likely the most important to your SEO. Even more so than keywords or any other on-page optimization!
See the infographic below from MOZ that illustrates “Weighting of thematic clusters of ranking factors in Google”
Where to begin with back links? Brian Dean with Backlinko has an amazing article “Link Building Case Study: How I Increased My Search Traffic by 110% in 14 Days”. I highly urge that you use his sky-scrapper technique for content creation.
Day 20 – Keep an Eye Out For Toxic Links
The first place you can check is Google Webmaster Tools. To do this, log into your Google Webmaster Tools account and select traffic, then links to your site, then more. Here you will find some links to your site however if you want a complete list you will most likely need to use a paid service such as MOZ, or Ahrefs. Ubbersuggest recently launched a backlinks checker as well and best of all, its free.
So what can you do about a website that’s linking to you? Email them and ask them to take down your link or at least change it to a no follow link. Keep in mind that if it is a new site that hasn’t built up it’s domain authority yet, you might want to keep an eye on it before reaching out.
Day 21. Improve your internal linking system
Having an internal linking system, helps in website navigation, defines the architecture and hierarchy of a website, and provides Google with direction for what pages should have a higher page authority and ranking power.
While this sounds super complicated it is and at the same time it isn’t. If you follow a process that feels natural to you it will work out really well. For instance if I had another post about anchor text it would fit perfectly in this paragraph. It would feel natural flow with this post and provide another opportunity for me to hold a visitor for a longer period of time.
Day 22. Check Your Mobile-Friendlines
Mobile-friendliness is a ranking factor. Google created a mobile-friendly tester. The Google Mobile-friendly test shows how your website looks on mobile, and advises if there is any issues.
Day 23 – Social Media in the 30 Day SEO Challenge
While it’s been said that social sharing is not factored in SERP, as Neil Patel says “We need to understand that search engine optimization includes the search that happens on social media search engines. When it boils down to it SEO is about driving traffic to your website, so by ignoring “Social website SEO” you could be loosing website traffic and even more so loyal traffic.
Day 24 – Social Media SEO (part 2) – Ask people to share
Having sharing bar such as Social Warfare WordPress plugin, Easy Social Share Buttons, or Social Pug are all great options and make it easier for people to share your content. Better Click To Tweet is a great plugin that allows people to share a quote from your post with a click of a button.
Having a call to action, encourages users to click that share button.
Day 25 – How Sitemaps Help SEO and Why You Need Them
XML Sitemaps are important for SEO. They make it easier for google to find your web site’s pages. As Google does not rank websites but web pages.
You can submit your site map via Google Search Console.
Day 26 – Meta Tags
There are a few different types of meta tags. Title tag is probably one of the most important meta tag, next your meta description attribute. Both are important for different reasons. Title tags and meta description are important as it helps search engines define what your page is about. It’s also your 160 character opportunity to drive visitors to your page vs all the other results.
- Meta Keywords Attribute – A set of keywords you say are relevant to your page. This is said to not factor in SERP.
- Title Tag – This is your page title. This is important for SEO.
- Meta Description Attribute – This is your page description for your page.
- Meta Robots Attribute – A message to search engine crawlers (robots or “bots”) on how to handle your page
Day 27 – Start Tracking your DA (Domain Authority)
Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score that was developed by Moz. It’s used to predict how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). Essentially you want a higher DA, there are quite a few factors that are used to calculate DA. These include linking domains, number of total links and others.
Day 28 – Check for any other errors 411 pages
If you haven’t already sign up for Moz.com they offer a 30 day free trial. It provides a site audit and points out improvement and errors. Such as missing H1 or any other issues that may exist.
Day 29 – Google Search Console
Hopefully you have already signed up for Google Search Console. It helps track what keywords you are receiving impressions and clicks on. You can work on improving your CTR (click through rate).
- Org Markup: A study by Search Engine Land said adding rich snippets can increase CTR by 30%.
- Adjusting Your Title – Maybe your title isn’t enticing click through. Try adding emotion, power words or call to actions.
- Play with your meta description – Same thing as your title. Try addition emotion, power words or call to actions.
Day 30 – Congrats! You’ve complete the 30 Day SEO Challenge!
Give yourself a good ol high-five! Now don’t think your work here is done! SEO is a on-going task. You want to keep tracking broken links, asking for backlinks and use a checklist to ensure every posts and page is optimized.
I would love to hear what worked for you and any comments or questions you might have. Leave a comment below!
Are you interested in How to grow your Facebook page and help the share-ability of your posts? Read my post on 5 Hacks to Facebook Grow Your Facebook Page Organically