Gentlemen, This Is Football… Erm SEO

Vince Lombardi, a great football coach once told his players, “Gentlemen, this is football.” What was he really saying? He was saying, “Let’s master the basics.” Gee golly, there are product launches after product launches every day. New marketers are getting confused and, as a result, they don’t get results. The purpose of this post is to get back to the basics of SEO. In this post I will cover:

  • Keyword Research
  • On-page SEO
  • Off-page SEO
  • Let’s begin

1. Keyword Research

This is where SEO all begins.

There are a few things you should look for when doing your research. Analyze the competition. You do that by looking at the 1st page SERP’s (search engine results page). What is your competition’s:

  • domain age & authority
  • incoming links ?

There are just some keywords that have way too much competition and you don’t stand a chance. You will stand a better chance if you play the ‘long tail keyword’ game. A keyword is long tail when it contains more words. An example of a long tail keyword would be: how to generate leads online. They do get less traffic, but they are easier to rank for. If you rank for a long tail keyword, you may get anywhere from 1-100 visitors a month. Rank for a number of long tail keywords and that traffic will begin to add up. Just going after a good keyword is only a third of the game.

2. On-Page SEO

Google loves a relevant page. They’re all about improving the user experience. What better way to do this, by rewarding users by giving the searchers something they’re searching for. I know this sounds a big too obvious, but if you were searching for SEO tips and you got results on list-building, you’d click the X fast and become a ‘frustrated searcher’. Having said that, there are certain places to put your keywords.

  • Title Tag, Description Tag, Keyword Tag
  • Image Alt Text
  • In the body of the article

When doing this, target 1 keyword or keyword phrase per page. The most important place for your keyword is in the Title and the Description. Google will bold your keyword and show that to your searchers. Make these tags compelling and you’ll earn visitors.

3. Off-Page SEO

Many marketers lack understanding on, what is known, as off-page SEO/incoming links/back-links. Those are some of the more popular terms. All meaning the same thing. When a page has these links, it shows to Google that a page is popular. More links = more popularity; which leads to higher ranking in the SERP’s. You should know that it’s best to get a variety of links. Get links from .edu, .gov, .org, and higher page-rank blogs.

I would like to give you some of the easiest ways to build these types of links. Beware of buying links, as that puts you at risk for a Google Ban. Guest-posting is a great way to build these links. You can put these links in your “Author Bio” or in the body copy of your guest-post. A lot of marketers want results fast and now. I’ll be the first to tell you that this strategy is slow and more long-term. Yet, it doesn’t put you at risk of getting banned.

Another way to build back-links is by interviewing an expert. When you do this, you essentially stroke the ego of another marketer. A great person who does a great job is m buddy Adam, he’s always interviewing people and getting tons of links to his blog.  This is a great way to linkbait. When they see this, they’ll more often than not link to the interview. That gets you a back-link or a ‘popularity vote’.  I love conducting interviews and I find that they are truly a 1+1=3 kind of scenario.  A win win for both you and the expert you interviewed.

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14 thoughts on “Gentlemen, This Is Football… Erm SEO”

  1. Ehsan Ullah says:

    Hey John,

    You did a great job by covering some of the basics of SEO because I’ve seen there are still a lot of new bloggers and marketers seeking for this information.

    BTW, I also had some doubts regarding Off page SEO, but you cleared it 😀

    1. Agreed, good job on the article.

      For off-page SEO, there is a difference in the quality of links as well. It is always better to go for the higher quality links, even though they require more effort as the results can be much more rewarding

  2. I like the interviewing idea.

  3. Richard Ng says:

    Thanks for the simple yet comprehensive view of SEO.

    On point 2 (on-page SEO), one thing to take note is keywords density i.e. the ratio of keywords appeared in your overall content. We need to make sure not to overload the content with keywords or else it would be deemed as keywords stuffing, which Google will view it negatively.


  4. Where can I go for solid keyword research?


    1. Abhik says:

      Google Adwords Keyword tool might give you a basic idea, but if you need more in-depth results, try some paid tools.

  5. Mark says:

    Andrew you might try google adwords to get an idea of the competition for various keywords etc.

  6. How do you get back links to be indexed and stick? I have made several sincere comments on blogs and forums, and not been fortunate in seeing the results.

    I refuse to use spammy software or black hat techniques when I know they are garbage.

  7. Abhik says:

    Awesome read, John.
    Yes, the basics are always important. You need to learn them even if you a pro in your field.

  8. Nick J says:

    Awesome sharing, thanks John.
    I’m doing some SEO now, and read your post really useful information thanks!
    For SEO I use some SEO tools too, Which i think will really help to get high ranking on SEO.
    I’m using one website where i’m getting SEO tools for free
    Check out friends:

  9. Richard says:

    Hi I guess building links is a long slow process. I run a car valeting business, I find it very to find blogs related to my industry and there hard to rank highly. I guess from your post its to do with my URL age only being 2 months old

  10. faisal says:

    Nice tips but we need to be patient and understand it takes time.

  11. Debbie Cruze says:

    There are some things about SEO that you should be able to learn. There are also some tools that will help you with your task so that it would be much easier.

  12. Sometimes you really do just need to go back to the basics. When you make things too complicated, that can be when you make mistakes. The search engines are rewarding sites with natural link portfolios. Going overboard and over thinking it can lead to penalties for “over optimization”.

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