CSS Grid for Beginners [2022]

CSS Grid allows you to layout items in 2 dimensions. It is similar to Flexbox but in 2D, instead of 1D (apparently).

You have a grid container, like in Flexbox. It is like a square perimeter around all the items or elements.

Grid has lines or tracks between the elements.

Getting Started with CSS Grid

You’ll want a code editor thingy, like Sublime Text, Visual Studio or if you’re old school, Notepad.

The easiest way to do this is to use codepen, but if you have Visual Studio, that’s ideal as you can test your code in real time.

Unless your using inline styles, you’ll want to create an HTML doc and a separate CSS sheet.

  • Getting started

If you want to follow along, you’ll want to add the <HTML> tags to declare you’re created a webpage with HTML, and add a <head>, a page title in <title> </title> tags and a <body> to add your content.

You should then save the HTML doc as something like “index.html”, just make sure it has .HTML at the end of the name.

In a separate doc/sheet, create your style sheet and save it as “styles.css”

You can then link to/connect your HTML doc to your CSS sheet in the <head> of the HTML doc with the code in bold:

<html>
 <head>
 <link rel="stylesheet" href="styles.css">
 <title>Grid Example</title>
 </head>
 <body>
 
 </body>
</html>
  1. In your HTML, create a container to wrap all your items in.

You can create a div to wrap all your items or elements within*

<div class = "grid-container">

2. You also need a div (or tag of some kind) to put yo grid items in

<div class="grid-item grid-item-1"> </div>
<div class="grid-item grid-item-2"> </div>
<div class="grid-item grid-item-3"> </div>

So now your HTML doc should look something like this:

<html>
 <head>
 <link rel="stylesheet" href="background_styles.css">
 <title>Grid Example</title>
 </head>
 <body>
  <div class = "grid-container">
   <div class="grid-item grid-item-1"> </div>
   <div class="grid-item grid-item-2"> </div>
   <div class="grid-item grid-item-3"> </div>
  </div>
 </body>
</html>

In your Styles.css sheet, you now need to declare the CSS Grid stuff.

.grid container {
 display: grid;
}

The code above just tells CSS lords that you are going to use grid, now you need to style the columns or rows.

We’ll declare the grid column sizes. You can use pixels, rems, percentages and all sorts. Pixels is prob the easiest.

To create a table/grid with 2 columns, the first being 200px wide and the second 100px, use the CSS code:

.grid container {
 display: grid;
 grid-template-columns: 200px 100px;
}

Because we declared 3 grid items in our CSS, the 3rd item will be put onto a second row:

css grid example

CSS Grid Fractions

People like to use “fractions” for CSS columns. Keeps things relative and simple.

.grid container {
 display: grid;
 grid-template-columns: 2fr 1fr;
}

The code above, would produce the same output as the first example.

we’ve used a total of 3fr’s. 2 thirds are used to set the width of the first column, and 1 third for the final column.

CSS Grid Repeats

If you wanted to have 4 columns, all 100px wide, instead of typing 100px out x 4, you can just use the repeat command (

.grid-container {
  display: grid;
  grid-template-columns: repeat(4, 100px);

CSS Grid Auto-Rows

If you don’t know how big your table or whatever will be, you can use:

grid-auto-rows: 150px;

Now, all the rows that are created, will be 150px tall

If you want to make sure you content, copy or images or whatever, fit in the rows, you can use the MinMax thing.

grid-auto-rows: minmax (150px, auto);

CSS Grid Gaps

If grid is a table, then the gaps are the thicknesses of the lines of the table.

You can use “grid-gap: 10px;” to set both the row and column gap width, or

grid-row-gap: 20px;
grid-column-gap:10px;

To set the row gaps to 20px and the column gap to 10px.

Grid template areas

You can name and define different rows with “grid template areas”

CSS sheet


.grid-container {

grid-template-areas:
 
   "header header"
   "sidebar content"
   "sidebar content"
   "sidebar content"
}

More info here – https://www.w3schools.com/cssreF/tryit.php?filename=trycss_grid-template-areas3

The video should start at the grid template areas section:

Grid Alignment

Works similar to flexbox when it comes to aligning items.

  justify-content: center;

justify-content: center; will place all the items in the middle of the page

Centred Grid

To place the content to the left:

  justify-content: start;
justify-content: space-evenly;

Space-evenly, will spread the grid items evenly across the page:

*Everyone tends to use divs, but according to W3 (the internet police) you should be using divs as a last resort. More info here

Instead of <div class =classname>, you could for example, use <article class=”classname”> or <section class = “classname”>

***Remember to add specific styles to the .grid-container in the CSS sheet, and text-specific styles, such as text-align, in the grid.item styles section***

E.g. put this in the .grid-item styles, not the .grid-container:

.grid-item {
background: green;
text-align: center;
}

Styling a Single Grid Item

Let’s say you have made a grid, with 6 items, but you want the first one to be different to the rest. Probably the easiest way to achieve this, is to add a “.grid-item-1” styles section, below the CSS you’ve created for the rest of the grid items.

CSS Grid Layout Generator

The Grid Layout Generator that I find easiest to use, is the try it yourself grid layout tool on w3 schools – https://www.w3schools.com/css/tryit.asp?filename=trycss_grid

I find it easier, as the HTML and CSS is divided nicely to .grid-container and .grid-items.

I made this by copying and pasting the code from the W3schools try it yourself grid tool and adding column and row gaps.

If you use the W3 try it yourself tool, remember to click “Run” on the top left, as the code doesn’t update real time.

css grid equal height rows

If you add the value/property thing in CSS, to the .grid-container section of the CSS (assuming you’ve named the class of your container .grid-container) to “grid-auto-rows: 1fr;” – then all the rows should be equal height. Or you could just set the heights to 100px each

css grid background color

In this codepen example, the line

 background-color: #2196F3;

sets the background colour to blue.

Responsive Youtube IFrame Embed

Go to a YouTube video – on YouTube.com

  • Click “Share” then “Embed” and grab the code

Default Embed Code:

DEafult Youtube iframe embed HTML code



I changed the default width="560" at the start to width="100%"
Also added style="max-width: 600px;" - after allowfullscreen:


   

I can’t show an example unfortunately, as my Free WordPress.com blog doesn’t allow to add any code. The embed above isn’t fully responsive.

Content Marketing Fundamentals [2022]

Content marketing and inbound marketing is kind of, the new SEO. Google, as we’ve heard a million times, loves great content and great content attracts genuine links.

The process is easy, the execution can be a bit of a b@stard to do though.

  1. Identify your target audience
  2. Find out where they hang out online e.g. which Reddit forums and Facebook groups etc
  3. Identify your target audience’s common questions and pain points
  4. Use a tool like SEMRush to ID low competition search terms regarding the questions & pain points
  5. Create useful, in-depth copy/posts that helps your target audience
  6. If resource available, create videos for YouTube based on posts that get most traction
  7. Create short videos suitable for social – with captions

For blog content, see if you can match the topics you’ve found, with specific keywords, ideally with the highest volume.

Check the search engine results pages (SERPs) and identify any keywords which have “weak” or somewhat irrelevant results.

It’s a bit beyond the scope of this post, but look to optimise your blogs for “rich snippets”, by using lists and html tables.

To check for keywords, you’ll need Keyword Tool like SEMRush to do this, or search “free keyword tool”.

Keep each blog post specific to one or two keywords.

You can also promote your blog posts with outreach, although some content marketing gurus, say you’re better off investing all your time in creating content, rather than promoting it.

For Reddit, you can use this great Reddit Keyword Tool, to identify the most common topics of discussion, in a given forum/subReddit.

The backbone of good content, is that, well, it’s actually good – well written, easy to read, full of visual assets if possible.

When it comes to blog posts, make the content scannable with lists, bullet points and images. If you have the resource, infographics are always a good addition to a blog post.

Statistics are also a great way to attract links and citations from other websites. For example, if you work out the average price of a [given product or service] in the UK, it’s relatively likely to attract links. If you sell UK holiday homes or used campervans, you might work out the average price of new camper van, or the cost per holiday of an overseas holiday versus a holiday home.

Help, Help, Help, Sell

Gary V’s book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a bit old now, but the adage of setting up a sale several times, before trying to promote your service or product is still valid, in my opinion.

The “jab” in the book title, is the useful or entertaining content aimed at your target audience

The “right hook” is a blog and/or social media post that aims to sell a product or service.

jab jab jab right hook book cover
Image Source

Consider:

  • Would you follow a social account or blog that’s just trying to sell you a service or product?

  • For example, if an accounting software company has a Facebook account that just promotrs its software directly in every single post, not many people will be interested. However, if the Facebook page posts about tax saving tips, digital marketing for small businesses etc it’s likely to get more engagement.

I’d also avoid lots of

  • Behind the scenes posts.unless you’re an established brand, nobody gives a shit
  • Virtue signalling posts

You might follow a brand or company on social media etc, that just promotes itself, if you already know the brand, or if you’re interested in working at the company.

However, unless you’re an established brand, or you create content just for recruitment purposes, then it’s generally best to create blog and social media posts that help, entertain, and/or interest your target audience.

Establish yourself as an authority in your niche, with helpful & insightful content

Drew Griffiths (2022)

It can definitely help to promote discounts and offers on social platforms and blogs, but that’s generally the that’s the “right hook”, whereas the “jab, jab, jab” relates to the helpful, insightful content that should take up about 75% of all your posts.

If you’re in the business to business sector for example, you can gain brand awareness and an online following by providing posts that provide helpful advise on SEO, PPC, Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing Tools etc. If you’re just trying to directly sell your office chairs, or accounting software in every single blog and social media post, you’re probably not going to get a large, engaged, following.

Don’t Post Links all the Time on Social Media

Social media platforms, from Facebook to LinkedIn, all want to keep users, on their platform. Links will tend to take people onto different websites, and as a result, posting links to your blog etc, will tend to kill your organic reach (the amount of people who see your social media post).

Keto Diet Products Example

If you were running a business selling Keto supplements and foods. You can study the Keto subreddits and Facebook groups, and you’d probably find that there are lots of questions regarding keto desserts.

Jump onto SEMRush, or another SEO Tool and find search terms, and potential headings for blog posts – that have a low level of competition – i.e. it’s relatively easy to rank for.

Image Source

Create in-depth keto dessert blog content that’s better than what already exists.

Optimise the content for the search terms that you’ve identified on SEMRush.

Reformat the content for social media. Captioned videos tend to do well, as these are the least popular form of content – social media is full of images and text posts, so it’s a bit easier to stand out with a video.

Consider creating a free eBook about keto desserts. Promote the eBook on social media to “warm up” your target audience to your brand* Remarket your products to those that download the eBook.

Create a serious of posts & videos regarding the best keto desserts, the best sweeteners and the best supplements to help with sugar cravings.

*It’s difficult to sell products, particularly high value products to people on Facebook, Instagram etc, as they’re not actively searching for something to buy. Best practice is said to be, create an offer e.g. an eBook, Webinar etc that’s directly of interest (and NOT necessarily directly about your product) and advertise it to your target market on social media – Then remarket to those that engage with your advert.

Hope this blog post helps!


I know the irony about in-depth, long format content that I’m touting in this post, but please bear in mind, I’m writing this on my lunch and I’m not trying to sell anything. Well, unless you want to buy an MMA T-shirt.


Examples of Great Content Marketing

HubSpot YouTube Channel

The channel covers how to put together powerpoints, how to create videos for your small business and lots of marketing fundamentals for business owners

Daniel Foley Carter Linkedin

Daniel posts about tips on how to optimise your SEO, SEO mistakes to avoid and some very high level, useful SEO techniques and strategies to adopt.

Net World Sports

Net World Sports have a great range of highly visual buyers’ guides, size guides and a regularly updated blog.

Viewing Code From another website

Thanks to all the external sheets, this has become tricky.

I’ve been using this technique, because I’m an SEO Executive, developing pages for our Magento site, without any dev help – so I’m using existing pages and robbing bits of code to help me layout images properly.

This is for personal reference – so apologies if it doesn’t work for you (let me know)

Right click – Inspect Element

Click the pointer near the top left of the inspect element window – or hover in the code until the area you want to copy is highlighted.

In the elements window, find the element you want to rob the code for and hover over it with the pointer

Move upwards, until the entire section is highlighted – if you move upwards with the pointer and it selects the element/section above, then you’ve gone too far, so move down one

Right click – Copy – Copy Element

Paste into your own code

Note – unlike me (I’m updating the same site as I’m stealing code from) if you are trying to get the code form another website, you’ll need to get the style sheet.

Right click on the webpage and “View source” – then look for:

<link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href

and click the link after “href” – that should take you to the CSS sheet

Semantic Search & SEO – Using Python and Google Colab

Semantic search adds context and meaning to search results. For example, if someone is searching for “Lego” – do they want to buy Lego toys, or see a Lego movie or TV show (Ninjago is great). Another example might be “Tesla” – do people want to see the latest self-driving car, or learn more about Tesla the scientist and inventor?

  • Make sure you understand search intent and any confusing searches like Tesla(inventor or car?), Jaguar (car or animal?), etc
  • Look for structured data opportunities
  • Optimise internal links – especially if you are using a “Pillar Post” and “Cluster Page” structure
  • Follow traditional on page SEO best practices with headers, meta titles, alt tags etc

SMA Marketing have done a cool YouTube video about Semantic Search and they recommend tools including:

  • Wordlift
  • Frase
  • Advanced Custom Fields for WordPress
  • Google Colab with a SpaCy

Before you publish a post – look at the search results for the keyword(s) you are optimising the post for. Check in incognito in Chrome to remove most of the personalisation of the results.

For any answer boxes or snippets, you can click the “3 dots” to get information about the results:

As well as the snippets, you can click the 3 dots next to any organic result. Here’s another result for “MMA training program pdf” with some additional information:

With this in mind – if you are looking to rank for “MMA training program pdf” then you will want to include the search terms highlighted in the “About this result” box: mma, training, program, pdf and ideally LSI keywords “workout” and “plan”.

It’s also a good idea to scroll down to the bottom of the SERP and check out the “related searches”

Take a look too at any breadcrumb results that pull through below the organic listings. Combining all this information will give you a good idea as to what Google understands by your search query and what people are looking for too.

Semantic Search & NLP

This is a bit techy, but thankfully, the guy at SMA Marketing (thank you if you’re reading this) has put together a file/load of python code that does most of the work for us. You can find it here – https://colab.research.google.com/drive/1PI6JBn06i3xNUdEuHZ9xKPG3oSRi1AUm?usp=sharing#scrollTo=uatWEoHp5nxZ

Hover over [1] and click the play icon that appears (highlighted yellow in screenshot below)

When that section has finished loading and refreshing, scroll down to the “Installation tensorflow + transformers + pipelines” section and click the play icon there.

When that’s finished doing it’s thing, scroll down again, and add your search query to the uQuery_1: section:

add your query and then press the “play” button on the left hand side opposite the uQuery_1 line

You should then see the top 10 organic results from Google on the left hand side – in the form of a list of URLs

Next, you can scrape all the results by scrolling down to the “Scraping results with Trafilatura” section and hover over the “[ ]” and press play again:

Next, when the scraping of results is done – scroll down to “Analyze terms from the corpus of results” section and click the play button that appears when you hover over “[ ]”

Next! when that’s done click the play button on the section full of code starting with:

“df_1[‘top_result’] = [‘Top 3’ if x <= 3 else ‘Positions 4 – 10’ for x in df_1[‘position’]] # add top_result = True when position <=3 “

Finally – scroll down and click the play button on the left of the “Visualizing the Top Results” section.

On the right hand side where it says “Top Top 3” and lists a load of keywords/terms – these are frequent and meaningful (apparently) terms used in the top 3 results for your search term.

Below that, you can see the terms used in the results from 4-10

Terms at the top of the graph are used frequently in the top 3 results e.g. “Mini bands”

Terms on the right are used frequently by the results in positions 4-10

From the graph above, I can see that for the search term “resistance bands” the top 3 results are using some terms, not used by 4-10 – including “Mini bands”, “superbands” “pick bodylastics”

  • If you click on a term/keyword in the graph – a ton of information appears just below:

e.g. if I click “mini bands”

Google Colab TOol

It’s interesting that “mini bands” is not featured at all in the results positioned 4-10

If you were currently ranking in position 7 for example, you’d probably want to look at adding “mini bands” into your post or product page

You can now go to the left-side-bar and click “Top 25 Terms” and click the “play icon” to refresh the data:

Semantic SEO tool

Obviously – use your experience etc and take the results with a pinch of salt – some won’t be relevant.

Natural Language Processing

next click on “Natural Langauge Processing” in the side-menu

Click the “play” icons next to “df_entity =df_1[df_1[‘position’] < 6]” and the section below.

When they have finished running click the play icon next to “Extracting Entities”

Click “play” on the “remove duplicates” section and again on the “Visualising Data” section

This should present you with a colourful table, with more terms and keywords – although for me most of the terms weren’t relevant in this instance 😦

You can also copy the output from the “Extracting the content from Top 5” section:

Python Google Colab
Then paste it into the DEMO/API for NLP that Google have created here:

https://cloud.google.com/natural-language#section-2

You can then click the different tabs/headings and get some cool insights

Google NLP API

Remember to scroll right down to the bottom, as you’ll find some additional insights about important terms and their relevance

The Google NLP API is pretty interesting. You can also copy and paste your existing page copy into it, and see what Google categories different terms as, and how “salient” or important/relevant it thinks each term is. For some reason, it thinks “band” is an organisation in the above screenshot. You can look to improve the interpretations by adding relevant contextual copy around the term on the page, by using schema and internal links.

Quickly Scrape SERP Results for SEO

Go to Google.com

Press CTRL+D to bookmark the page

Add it to your bookmarks bar if possible

Copy the code below:

javascript:var a = document.getElementsByTagName('a'), arr = '';for(var i=0; i<a.length; i++) if (a[i].ping && !a[i].href.includes('google'))arr +=('<p>' + a[i].href + '</p>');var newWindow = window.open();newWindow.document.write(arr);newWindow.document.close();


Right click on the bookmark and click “Edit”

Where it says “URL” paste in the code

Rename the bookmark “URL Extractor”

Save the bookmark

That’s it!

Test the URL Extractor – do a Google Search and then click on the Bookmark you’ve just created

You should now have a new tab with all of the URLs listed in it

Change your Google Search settings to show 100 results – you can just copy and paste the tab full of extracted URLS into Google Sheets

Once in Google Sheets, you can easily extract the Meta Titles, Descriptions and keywords

You just need to find and replace the URL in these formulas:

=importxml("https://blackbeltwhitehat.com","//title")
=importxml("https://blackbeltwhitehat.com/","//meta[@name='description']/@content")
=importxml("https://blackbeltwhitehat.com/","//meta[@name='keywords']/@content")

=IMPORTXML("https://blackbeltwhitehat.com/","//h1")

Data Studio Fields & Filters – Notes

Once you’ve created a field – add it to your chart as a Dimension

Mixed Case URLs

Having a mix of URL cases in the letters can faff with your data as D.S. might think each capitalisation variation is a new URL:

  • Click on the Data Tab to the right – then “Create new field” or “Add a Field”
  • Name the field “Lower Source” type in “LOWER(“
  • Then add “Source” from “Available Fields” to the left
  • Click “Save” and add “Lower Source” to the table as a Dimension

Concatenate Data

  • Create or “Add a Field”
  • In the Formula box type “CONCAT” and then select the fields you want to use
  • Close the formula with the final “)” and save it

Internal Site Searches – Extract Search Query

Make the data look nicer and get the search term on its own in the table.

  • Select to a “Add a Field”
  • Use REGEXP_EXTRACT formula to pull out the search terms and get rid of “/search?q”
  • Use the REGEX shown below:

Search Queries – Pull Out Questions – What, Why, When?

  • Create / Add a New Field
  • Add REGEX as shown below and save
  • Add New Field as a Dimension to the table
  • Create a table/data Filter so that you include only table rows that equate to “True” in the new dimension/column

CASE Formulas in Data Studio

CASE formulas are basically “If this, then do that” formulas

When X happens, Then do Y

You can use the CASE Formula to classify and group channels together

For example:

WHEN query matches “who”, then display text “Who?” in the table

  • In the Formula – you need a “catch all” default for when nothing is true in the criteria
  • If the search doesn’t contain “who, what, why” etc. then:
    ELSE “others”

    So if the search term, doesn’t match any of the REGEX criteria – classify it as “others”
– Save the CASE statement
  • Add the new field – to the table or report

Date Ranges & Filter Controls

Taken me ages to work this out – I’ve only just twigged:

You can add Comparisons, Search Boxes, Drop Down Menus and all sorts to your Data Studio Reports

For controls and filters to work – you need the chart or table to have “Default Date Range” set to “Auto”

See my post about REGEX for SEO here.

Ta

If you want a pre-made Data Studio template, you can send me some money and hope for the best.

Online Marketing for New Businesses

Started a business?

Got a website?

Okay, now you need to look at building your brand and getting traffic and engagement on your website and social media accounts.

Website Checklist

  • Trust signals – include membership badges, university logos prominently
  • Humanize the site – include images and videos of people who work for the business
  • Social Proof – include reviews and testimonials. TrustPilot and video testimonials work well
  • Site Speed – make sure the site is quick and works perfectly on mobile devices
  • EAT – Expertise Authority & Trust – show your credentials on the about us page
  • Contact Form – Make it as easy as possible to be contacted
  • Trust & Transparency – Include full contact info if possible – address, tel number, email
  • Have you got Google Analytics & Search Console installed?

You will also need to think about the colour scheme and imagery.

Think about what mood you want to portray

https://www.bedtracks.com/blog/2017/6/15/how-to-coordinate-music-with-the-colour-in-your-video

  • Strong Call To Action

You will probably want a “Call to Action” or “CTA” button, such as “Buy Now”, “Learn More” or “Contact Us”

This CTA button is generally placed “above the fold” on most pages, so that people don’t have to scroll down or look for a way to get in touch or buy from you.

“Join Free for a Month” – is the CTA on Netflix’s homepage (at the time of writing)

For more expensive, high end or though-out purchases such as – buying a car or contacting a therapist, sometimes it’s better to have the CTA below the fold. The best thing to do is test it, with Google Optimize.

For more information about “Conversion Rate Opimization” (CRO), see this article:

https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/conversion-rate-optimization-guide

For a full SEO (Search Engine Optimization) checklist for your website – to help get visibility on Google – see this article – https://backlinko.com/seo-checklist

Google My Business

Register your website and your office with Google My Business

You can go through the steps here:

https://www.google.com/intl/en_uk/business/

Google will send out a postcard to your office (or home) address

The postcard has a code – so you can confirm you are at that address

Local Directories

Register your business with high quality, local directories such as

  • Bing Places
  • Yelp
  • Yell
  • Free Index
  • Open Di

Try and get on any local government directories too.

Social Media & Captioned Videos

If relevant, register your business on:

  • Linkedin
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • TikTok


    Arguably the best way to get noticed on social media at the moment, is to create videos with captions – so they can be watched on mute.

Linkedin is said to have the greatest organic reach at the moment too – meaning you can get your video, image or text-post in front of more people, without paying for ads.

Social media sites like people posting videos too – because they drive a high rate of engagement and keep people on the site for longer.

  • Do NOT post to YouTube and then post a link on social media

Instead – upload your video direct to the platform.

Social media sites will tend to kill your reach if you post a link – they don’t want people to click and leave their website

YouTube is also showing on more and more Search Results Pages on Google.

Consider creating a YouTube channel with lots of informative, helpful and entertaining content. You can then edit the videos and post to specific social media platforms.

Jab, Jab, Jab – Right Hook

General principle of content and social media marketing by Gary V.

Identify your target market

Identify their issues and pain points

Post helpful content related to their pain points and problems

Do NOT constantly promote your business – slip in the odd “Right Hook”, every 3 or 4 posts

People do not want to be sold to constantly, they want helpful, insightful and funny content.

For example.

If you target market is small business owners, take a look on Quora and Reddit and see what people are talking about. If a common theme is Facebook advertising for example, make some helpful videos and blog posts about Facebook marketing.

SEO, PPC and More

The above is just a foundation.

If you have the time and resources, you will ideally produce lots of insightful blog content, earn lots of inbound links and work your way to the top of Google.

You will also want to consider “PPC” – Pay Per Click ads on Google, Facebook and Linkedin.

One beginner mistake to avoid with ads – is sending people to your homepage.

Have a specific “landing page” for each advertising campaign.

oh – make sure you have a good looking logo too. You can use Canva or hire someone on PeoplePerHour.com

A good place to start with SEO is to check your website using an On-Page SEO Checklist.

Videos are great for social media, and YouTube is also starting to show more and more often in the Google results. I would personally have a good go at gaining an online presence using videos and social media – particularly Linkedin at the moment.

Build a Brand

Here’s a good article that some hero wrote about building your brand as a small business

  • Nail down your USP
  • Identify other propositions “why use me/us and not the competitor?”
  • Write down your brand story
  • Use high quality photography & videography (avoid stock pictures)

Consider making customer support a key element of your brand – this can help with online reviews too. Pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase consumer stages are all opportunities to impress and help.

Get Content Ideas from Competitor Websites (SEMRush)

Requires:

  • SEMRush
  • A computer
  • The internet

If competitor has articles and blog posts inside a subfolder e.g. “buyers-guides” or “/blog” – make a note of the sub-folder name

  • Add Competitor’s homepage URL in “Search Bar” on SEMRush Homepage
  • Click “Organic Research”
  • Click on the “Positions” tab
  • Click on “Advanced Filter” and add the subfolder name e.g. “blog”
  • Export Results into Excel
  • Create a Pivot Table
  • Use the settings below – you’ll need to change position to “average” instead of “sum of”:
  • Tick the check-box for “URL” at the top
  • Drag search volume, traffic and position into “Values” box at the bottom right
  • Click the little arrow on the right of “Sum of Position” – go to “Value Field Settings” and choose “average”
  • Analyse which articles get the most traffic (approximately) and have most potential

Obvs. the URLs of my competitor have been blacked-out in the image above

If the competitor has all their articles at the root domain level e.g.

https://barbend.com/best-weightlifting-belts/

Just use SEMRush – Organic Research – Positions tab and download and pivot the pages data – no need for advanced filter

  • Once you’ve found the blog posts with the most traffic, you can analyse the “Exact URL” in SEMRush
  • This analysis, should show you the keywords on the page that generate most of the search traffic
  • I personally like to go after KWs with a Keyword Difficulty score of less than 20 for my personal blog and under 30 for my employer’s blog

You can also use Reddit & Quora for Content Ideas

Unsolicited #SEO tip: You can get great ideas for specific content ahead of features like PAAs being generated by using Google site operators with specific sites. For instance, I can use the command:

site:reddit[dot]com/r/amateur_boxing “how do i”

To search just the amateur boxing subreddit for questions starting with “how do I?” You can apply this on any niche or on other sites like Quora to get up to the minute questions people are asking.

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/markseo_seo-activity-6902220002146275329-MNVS/

How to Create a Topic Cluster for SEO

Using Ahrefs with Wikipedia

  • Find the most relevant Wikipedia page, for example:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_football

  • Add the Wikipedia URL and click “submit”
  • Click “Copy to Clipboard”
  • Paste all the keywords/topics into a Google Sheet and remove any that aren’t relevant
  • In Ahrefs (or a similar tool like SEMRush’s KW Manager) – go to KW explorer
  • Paste in the keywords/topics
  • In Ahrefs – click “matching terms” then “Questions”

Using SEMRush with UGC

  • Copy the homepage URL of a UGC* website such as Pinterest or Quora
  • Put the URL in the main “search bar” in SEMRush
  • Go to “Organic Research” using the sidebar
  • Click “Positions”
  • Add a Keyword to the “Filter by Keyword” search box
  • Click a relevant Keyword in the table of results
  • Under “Questions” click “View all….”
  • Go back and click other relevant keywords
  • Click the “Questions” tab again – make a note or download all the relevant questions
  • Organise KWs and questions into main pillar posts and “cluster content”

See Hubspot’s article about Pillar Pages and Cluster Content – here

*UGC – User Generated Content