SEO & content marketing is confusing as hell.

(I'm assuming you're a small business owner - if you're a content marketer, this article isn't for you. Try some of our other fun, sarcastic blog posts)

We're big fans of simplification at ContentFly, so I wanted to write an article just ridiculously simplifying it. If you're a small business owner trying to figure out SEO & content, let this be your definitive guide.

SEO for dummies

Alright, forget the super complicated tools, SEO audits, all that nonsense. You don't need any of that stuff. The SEO industry is loaded with nonsense, technical terms meant to overcomplicate everything.

We built ContentFly to simplify content. So let's simplify SEO.

(I'm definitely not winging this article as I go)

Anyway, here are the basics of SEO:

  • Pop open a keyword planner. We made a free one here.
  • Pick a random general keyword related to your business. Like "louisville dentist"
  • It'll generate a list of 50-100 related keywords
  • Take the 50 best ones ("best" being keywords that are related, and don't seem to have crazy high competition) and stuff em in a spreadsheet

Look at that - you're done! Well, not quite, but that's essentially all the "keyword research" you need in the beginning.

Don't waste tons of money on pointless tools. Unless you're already getting 100k hits per month you don't need that expert stuff.

Alright, I've got my keywords - now what?

You've got your big fat list of 50 keywords, you need to start putting out some articles now with those keywords. Why? People will read those articles, and then Google will start showing those articles for those keywords, and BOOM - you've ranked.

Couple of points before we start writing - make sure your blog is set up properly. This doesn't mean doing big fancy expensive SEO audits - just make sure you've got a few things straight.

1) Clear CTAs to your business. Whether a home button, or just a big red button on every blog saying "Click here to see my business" it doesn't matter - just make it easy to find your business

2) Stick your blog on /blog. Just do it - trust me. If you want the fancy-pants UX details, /blog makes Google treat your blog as part of your main domain for rank purposes.

(Yeah, you don't need to know that, just trust me.)

Write, write, write

OK, now the fun part: just write. Blog every day, maybe even more. Use ContentFly (yeah, yeah, I know, I know) to outsource your content creation.

Blog. Every. Day.

What you want is an article about every keyword on your list - probably more than 1. And no, you can't just write crappy 500 word articles stuffed with keywords like the old days - the articles actually have to be halfway useful.

That's SEO today - you can still use the old tactics, but you actually need to deliver value. Real value.

Imagine that!

OK, I've got a ton of articles - now what?

Unfortunately just loading up your blog with a bunch of content isn't enough - you actually need a few eyes on it to get going.

Here's how it goes: get a few people to see your blog, 1 or 2 might share it... just enough for Google to notice.

Best bet? Share on social networks. Use Buffer, or Missinglettr if you're extra lazy. If you have literally 0 followers, make use of hashtags - they're obnoxious, but they'll work.

Slowly each of your articles will get a few people looking at them - you might even convert some business, but don't worry about that for now.

These views will get you ranking for those fancy pants keywords.

Your goal is to get to the front page - and then get top 3.

That's where the real traffic is, for virtually any search term. Once you start seeing an article rank (make sure you have Google Analytics and Google Search Console set up - it'll make it easier to track this), push them on social even more.

That's it.

If this was useful to you, please email me at naeem@contentfly.co and let me know. If it was completely useless and you hate me, please email me at john@contentfly.co and let me know.

At ContentFly we're trying to make content/marketing easier for business owners so you can just focus on your business. This tactic works - I promise. It's the same one we use.

Good luck.