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Day Five

It’s the final day of The Intuitive SEO 5-Day Challenge, which means that it’s time for one more action challenge, and a re-cap of everything we’ve done together this week.

Watch the final training video above (or download the slides here) to get today’s lesson and action challenge, plus a re-cap of everything we’ve learned and done this week.

{Again, this video is slightly longer than the others because it includes the re-cap, but don’t worry, the action challenge shouldn’t take you longer than 10-20 minutes if you want to stick to a strict time frame.}

Today, I’m talking about another side of SEO that enables Google to see that you’re a well-respected, trustworthy source.

Did you know that Google see links back to your website from other high-quality websites as “votes” in your favour?

In the industry, the practice of getting people to link back to your website, thereby increasing your “domain authority”, is called “link building”. It’s often talked about in a really spammy and sleazy way—in fact, you probably get lots of spam emails from people asking if you’d link to their website and if you’re anything like me you think “Why on earth would I link to your website or click on anything you send me? I don’t know who you are, and it doesn’t sound like we have similar interests or values at all…”

For today’s action challenge, I want to encourage you to think about “link building”, or growing your website’s authority in a more relationship-centred way. We’re talking, as always with Intuitive SEO, about quality over quantity here.

For some of you, the idea of reaching out to someone via email with an offer of collaboration (whether that’s to offer to write a guest post, pitch a podcast interview, or anything else) will be really daunting. Others might find this so natural because it’s something you’ve been doing in your work online already. Perhaps this challenge will be as simple as thinking of one person you’ve already collaborated with and have a good relationship with, that you could get in touch with and ask if they would mind adding a link to your website. How you handle today’s challenge really will be as unique as you and your relationships.

And, I should say before wrapping up: this is a major area where I differ from a lot of SEO experts… Many people propose an approach that relies on copy and paste email text that you’re supposed to send to everyone in your industry with a blog post that you think is relevant to something you offer. You can do this fast, firing off emails left right and centre, and you might even get decent results. But… I don’t know, that approach just feels icky to me. No judgement if you want to try that, but I have a feeling the reason you’re following my work and this challenge is because you want to do SEO in a different way—the slow and steady, less, but better way.

So, let’s just focus on crafting one great idea for a fruitful and mutually beneficial pitch you could send in 10 minutes (or thereabouts) today. If you’re stuck and want to cheat a little, I’m often open to collaborations, if our interests and values are a good fit: hello@sophiecaldecott.com 😉

{By the way, I love this post from Marie Forleo about giving with an open hand, not with the expectation of getting something in return; I think that principle really applies to this approach to link building. I know ideally everyone we collaborate with or offer something to would link back to our websites… but, if they don’t, that’s okay. Keep trying, and other opportunities to grow your domain authority will come!}

The tool I mention in the video that can help you find out what your “domain authority score” is, is called the MozBar—it’s free, and you can download and install it here. It does require access to some data and permissions from you, so if you’re uncomfortable with that don’t worry—it isn’t essential, just helpful. If it helps reassure you, I’ve been using this tool for the past 5 years or so without any security problems, and it’s a highly reputable company, but I do understand that everyone has a different level of comfort with privacy settings.

That’s it! That’s your final lesson and action challenge; congrats for finishing the challenge, and I hope you found it helpful. As I explained in the Welcome video, this challenge was not designed to be a guide to SEO, but rather a taster of how light it can feel and a gentle introduction to the mindset I’d love to encourage you to develop around growing your website’s search traffic.

Let’s re-cap what we learnt and the action we took over the past 5 days:

Day One

Learning: SEO is about making your website clearer, less confusing, easier, and more pleasant to use. Google wants to connect their users with high quality content that meets the needs of their users and serves them well.

Action step: Write a few sentences introducing yourself and your work to newcomers, making sure that they make it clear what you do/what you have to offer/who you serve.

Day Two

Learning: Google’s mission is to connect people with high-quality, useful content that meets their needs (and keeps them coming back to use Google again and again).

Action step: Think about how you’ve used search over the past week or so. I provided a journal template for you to download and use to take notes in over the next few weeks, to help you start noticing things like what makes you click on one website rather than another? When do you click deeper into the website/purchase something/follow/subscribe etc. vs. when do you just X out and click away? Now, Google your own organisation/business’s name—what comes up right now, including which social media/Amazon/Etsy profiles? Can you edit any of those profiles to make them appear more consistent and coherent when they show up in search results, using the introduction you drafted yesterday?

Day Three

Learning: If it’s not clear to Google what your website is all about and who it’s for, you’ll struggle to grow your search traffic.

Action step: Use the introduction copy you wrote on the first day, again, to write a very short meta/search title and description for your website’s Home and About pages, so that when you show up in search results for those pages, people will already get a sense of what you offer from the search results, and be encouraged to choose to click on your website over the other options.

Day Four

Learning: One way that Google can tell a website is serving its users really well is when someone clicks on to a page of your website from search results and stays there a while, then clicks on to other pages of your website after that. It makes sense if you think about it: if it wasn’t a great website or wasn’t what you were looking for, you’d probably click away quickly.

Action step: Encourage your website users to stay a while: either choose a page of your website that you know from looking at your analytics gets a lot/some search traffic, or just pick another key page like your Home or About page, or a popular blog post or product. Write a call to action for that page, encouraging your users to click on to some related/relevant content on your website, so that they will stay and look around a little longer.

Day Five

Learning: Google sees links back to your website from other websites as a sign that you’re a trustworthy source; there are some free tools, like the MozBar, that can measure your website’s “authority” based on how many links you have.

Action step: Think of one person in your niche you could pitch an idea for some kind of collaboration that might result in a link back to your website—try and focus on a way that you can serve them and make their life easier (perhaps a guest blog post, an interview in a series they’re running, a podcast interview). Send off a pitch to them!

***

Well done again, and thanks so much for being a part of this free challenge. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or feedback—I’m not always super speedy to respond, but I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. You can reach me at: hello@sophiecaldecott.com

If you’d like to learn more, do check out the other free resources I share in this resources library, on my blog, and via my newsletter, and you’ll also find other in-depth guidance in the form of courses and workshops, this way.

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