Understanding SEO Basics In 3 Easy Steps (For B2B Beginners & Businesses)
Understanding SEO basics has booked Cleverly 100+ calls each and every month:
The best part? All our SEO leads are free and mostly from evergreen SEO content.
Evergreen means our pages will rank and drive traffic for months and often years with few updates.
We rank and get hundreds of clicks for targeted/valuable search terms like:
- “LinkedIn ads agency”
- “LinkedIn lead generation agency”
- “How to get 500 connections on LinkedIn”
We’ll show you which pages we optimized and precisely how we did our SEO for those pages, so you can copy our exact basic SEO strategy.
Understanding Why Most Businesses Fail At Basic SEO
First, understand that most companies fail to drive qualified leads from organic search/basic SEO for these 4 main reasons:
1. They rank for top-of-funnel searches which don’t signal purchase intent.
For example, a search for “Top Accountants in San Diego” is better than (i.e. this search signals purchase intent and is more “bottom-of-funnel”) ranking for “What’s a public stock”.
2. They pick the wrong keywords and misinterpret the search intent behind keywords.
3. They miss one or more on-page or off-page SEO principles.
4. Their content is surface-level, usually written by an outsourced, non-expert blog writer.
Read on to avoid all the pitfalls above.
See, SEO is actually very simple.
Google’s algorithm ranks pages that provide the best information for each search term. So, it wouldn’t surprise you that their top ranking criteria includes:
- How relevant a page is to a search term (Google crawls pages for keywords that match searches)
- Answers the question: “Does a user get what they came for?” (using signals like time-on-page, if they proceeded to read other articles on your site, and/or if they clicked around or scrolled further on your page).
How To Rank Any Page At The Top Of Google Using Basic SEO
Here are 3 steps to rank any page in the top couple of spots on Google:
Step 1 - Research and pick the right focus keyword
Every single key page or blog on your website should have one (1) focus keyword.
A focus keyword is a term your prospect would search for in Google to discover or learn more about your service, industry or product.
An example focus keyword for a local roofer would be: “Roof contractor in Dallas”.
To find keywords, go to Google’s Keyword Planner and type in terms and keywords you think your prospects are using or searching for.
Use these 5 factors to pick great focus keywords:
- Volume - the more monthly searches the better
- Relevance - how relevant is the search to your business?
- Intent - does that keyword signal someone is ready to buy or just learning about something?
- Consumer or B2B search - would your prospect or decision-maker search this?
- Competition - do much bigger competitors already rank on the first page of Google for the exact search term you chose?
Step 2 - Outline and build your page
In the next section, I’ll give you a list of 9 pages to build and perform basic SEO for maximum results.
Step 3 - Put your focus keyword in the essential spots
Your focus keyword should be in these 3 places (at a minimum):
- Headlines/Headers - technically referred to as H1, H2, H3, etc.
- Meta title and meta description - look up where to find and edit this in your website’s backend/CMS
- URL - near the domain URL like example.com/focus-keyword
If you pick a non-competitive, long-tail keyword, you’ll likely rank on page 1 just by following the three steps above.
*Ninja tip: Your pages can rank for multiple, similar keywords. A lot of search terms will have what are called “related keywords” or “related questions”, which are variations of a search. For instance, if you want your homepage to rank for “Executive Leadership Coach”, you can also include related terms like “executive coaching firm” or “what is an executive leadership coach” on the page.
The rest is all advanced SEO, but it’s not rocket science.
Hot take: most websites don’t need to worry about technical SEO. Link-building, anchor text, Ahrefs/Moz, keyword density, Schema markup, DA, skyscraper posts, etc. all definitely help, but they are not essential for smaller companies. Cleverly doesn’t even worry about those strategies too much.
If you want to learn more, here’s the best SEO guide on the internet: (my previous boss passed this guide down to me, and now I pass it on to you): Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
Once you have the fundamentals, it just takes consistency, time and amazing/expert content.
The next section will give you a magical blueprint to the only pages you need to optimize for that will drive the majority of all your organic search leads. Read the next section and then build a few of the recommended pages right after: