This page is work in progress. Also, I must confess, that barring some points, this is not my own knowledge. I have acquired a lot from many sources and included that learning here.

SEO Mental Models

  • For urgency-driven services, Google Ads is more suited than SEO.

  • SEO is not useful if few people are searching for product/service and when the domain is < 1 month old.

  • Efforts on SEO won't reduce spend on Google Ads. These two are independent channels; use both.

  • Start with Google Ads. Prove efficiency there and then move to SEO. Layer-up. A concept I have covered elsewhere in this playbook. Buyer coming to you >> Google Ads → SEO → You going to buyer >> Social Media Ads → Content Marketing → PR.

  • Focus on a few channels - money and energy. And layer-up the channels. Don't fire up multiple marketing channels/initiatives.

Outline of SEO Efforts

  • Monitor SERP of target keywords [search engine result position] at the beginning.

  • Analysis of resultant traffic using Google Analytics.

  • Research keywords.

  • Identify key topics around primary and secondary keywords.

  • Create pages in pillar cluster format.

  • Carry out on-page optimization for these pages and rest of the website.

  • Follow it up by executing off-page optimization.

  • Monitor the progress.

  • Refine your efforts.

Four Pillars of SEO

On-Page Concepts

Keyword Research

Step 1: Brainstorm

  • Most obvious ones that come to your mind.

  • Use for more ideas.

Step 2: Use Google Keyword Planner

  • Go to "Find new keywords".

  • Enter keywords from step 1.

  • Click on "Get started button".

  • Note down keywords with good "avg no. of monthly searches".

  • Note down keywords in "idea" list if they are relevant and have good searches.

Step 3: Use SEMRush

  • Type 1 main keyword from your list.

  • Note down the competitor domain that comes up.

  • Search for that domain name in SEMRush.

  • Note down the organic search for that website.

  • Find out top organic keywords. Check 'view full report'.

  • Within that find the keyword you are researching for. Use filters.

  • Note down volume (should be same as Google suggested) and traffic %.*

  • Replicate the process for keywords you are researching for.

  • For smaller website, choose 10 keywords to concentrate on.

Check how lucrative the keywords are

  • Enough people searching.

  • Commercial intent.

  • Realistic competition.

*Note: Percentage traffic tells us no. of visitors to that website - at that ranking - from that keyword, which tells us how much traffic we can get by beating them. We can get how much money we can get from that keyword: Your conversion rate into that much traffic - say 3% of 57 = 1.5 new customers. That much you stand to gain.

Identifying Topics

Here is a hypothetical example of laying out key topics and sub-topics to develop pages in pillar (key topic) - cluster (secondary keywords) format for a HRTech SaaS product.

Web Page 1

Web Page 2

Web Page 3





Employee Engagement

Employee Recognition

Employee Retention

Primary keywords

engaging employees

employee recognition

retaining employees

Secondary keywords

  • drivers of employee engagement

  • employee engagement best practices

  • employee engagement in hr

  • employee recognition ideas

  • employee recognition programs

  • employee recognition examples

  • employee retention system

  • employee retention software

  • employee retention strategies

  • talent retention

  • employee pulse surveys .

Latent Semantic Indexing

Google knows what keywords "should be" there in a topic. Find those and include in your content. How to find these keywords:

  • From Google: Take a note of keywords at the bottom of the search results page.

  • Type primary keywords. It will give you results.

  • Competition: Use keyword density tool for top 5 organic results.

Social Media

  • What works: Inorganic measures - sales promotions and paid ads.

  • What doesn't: Organic measures with lousy content. Exceptional content.

  • For SEO: Don't make too much fuss about it. Be present on multiple channels. Have enough quality content which signals your "business is alive".

Directory Structure / Folders / URLs

  • Keep pages you are trying to rank for max one folder deep.

  • Use primary keyword in URL. Keep it 5 words or under.

  • Use primary keyword in Title Tag.

  • Use primary keywords near the start; ideally as first words.

  • H1 - use only H1; use primary keyword. H2 - use synonyms. H3 - whatever naturally fits in; don't strive for optimization.

Off-Page SEO Concepts


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