April 28, 2019

How do you get started improving SEO on your page?

I'm running a code learning site (Scrimba.com) that has tons of interactive tutorials created by us and our community. We've heavily underinvested in SEO, so I believe we're leaving lots of traffic "on the table". We have about 130-150K people visiting the site per month, 17% comes from organic search.

I'm curious to hear from other indie hackers how they've improved their SEO, and what results they got. Any checklist I should go through to make sure I've got the basics covered? Any specific approaches that usually works better than others?

I know, of course, that content is king. But we already have amazing content. However, I think it's underutilized when it comes to SEO.

#ask-ih

  1. 2

    Hi Per 👋

    I’ll copy/paste a short post I wrote a while ago that hopefully will help you with SEO (for the second time this week... maybe my idea to create a short SEO crash course isn't bad after all 🤔)

    1. Content

    What to do:

    Start with content that targets the long tail. This is true both for your product pages and for your blog posts. Don't go after high volume but rather go after buyer's intent (random example: “ dog food" vs “quality dog food for Chihuahua”).

    1. On page optimization

    What to do:

    • Optimize your product pages and your blog posts with the basic stuff (page title, h1,h2,h3, meta description, url, internal linking, image optimization…).
    1. Technical

    What to do:

    • There is a lot to say here but the most important things is having a lightning fast website. A common mistake I see is uploading big images that make pages super slow. Make sure to compress your images before uploading them, and use an external tool to check your speed.
    1. Links

    What to do:

    • Link building is really hard especially when you are just starting out. You could start using the content+outreach formula: focus on creating an interesting and original content (visual content works especially well) and promote it to other websites, magazines and influencers in your niche.
    1. User signals (CTR, bounce rate, dwell time...)

    What to do:

    • CTR: Write great titles and great meta descriptions (underestimated!) that answer search intent and will get you more clicks in the SERP

    • Bounce rate: DON'T show pop ups to new visitors for at least 30 seconds (welcome pop ups make a lot of people bounce away!)

    • Dwell time: Focus on having a great UX that makes users stay longer on your website. Add relevant internal links to your content to keep them engaged!

    Good luck with your rankings!

    1. 1

      Great tips! Thank you :)

  2. 2

    Heya, cool, I've seen Scrimba in some of the developer sites – very cool stuff!! I'm also in a similar situation in that I want to increase organic reach (though smaller scale, about 30.000 people visiting the site, 30-50% from search, it's currently decreasing, because absolute traffic from other sources is increasing).

    I think it's difficult to have a generic approach, every website is different and has different goals. So the main question would be: What is at the end of your funnel and what do you want to ultimately achieve?

    Specifically on your site: You already have a big amount of very cool content, perhaps you could focus on the content you already have and try to improve that part? Just taking 2 random examples:

    URL: https://scrimba.com/p/pnyeEhr/cGvvaqT8

    Title: "Import the SDK"

    You could e.g. re-structure the URLs to look something more like:

    /c/dropbox-expense-report-tutorial/import-dropbox-sdk

    and also rename the title to something like

    "How to import the Dropbox SDK" so it can be more "stand-alone" and understandable outside the context of the course and thus more easily understandable for people who want to come to this page directly from search.

    And e.g. here (for a very "lucrative" example):

    URL: https://scrimba.com/p/pVZJQfg/cagZeTW

    Title: "How they learn - Propagation"

    I think if you've renamed it to

    URL: /c/neural-networks-javascript/learning-propagation

    Title: "How Neural Networks Learn - Propagation | Neural Networks in JavaScript Tutorial"

    you will already increase the SEO significantly (if all the other parts, e.g. internal linking, etc, are there).

    And perhaps offer your instructors to have each video course transcribed so it can be used as SEO content (e.g. check out the text below this video in one of the latest Moz's whiteboard friday: https://moz.com/blog/one-hour-guide-to-seo-link-building).

    Hope this helps!

    Cheers,

    Oliver

    EDIT: Typo -- > "check out the text below this video" instead of "check out the link below this video"

    1. 1

      Thank you so much for these fantastic tips, Oliver! Totally agree that we need to improve our URLs and make the titles work better on their own. Going to go ahead with that :)

      Btw, love your concept of a sustainability job board!

  3. 1
    1. Do keyword research. I recommend paying $7 to Ahrefs and religiously using their keyword research tools for a week. Don't get distracted by a lot of bells and whistles. Focus on keywords with low competition and decent search volume. Ahrefs tells you both. You want to come out of this step with a list of keywords you want to optimize for ranked from most important to least important.

    2. On-site SEO. Plenty of articles on this so I won't repeat. Since you have good content already, you will additionally want to revisit the content and pepper in these keywords where it makes sense. Be careful about keyword cannibalization (i.e. where two pages are vying for the same keywords and competing with each other). In cases like this, think about merging related content.

    3. Assuming on-site SEO takes some time, pay another $7 to Ahrefs and run their site audit tool which checks your site for onsite SEO issues. You may need to use a different payment method from step 1.

    Good luck.

  4. 1

    I checked out your site. Great content. Some things to try from an SEO perspective on your site:

    · connect google search console

    · optimize title tags and URL's to be search and user friendly

    · keyword optimized site structure (menus, header, footer)

    · experiment with different text in the hero image on homepage. Darken text to improve accessibility.

    · keyword optimized youtube video (sneak peak) lead magnets

  5. 1

    You can start from a very simple step - just add more description to your tutorials. For example, this one https://scrimba.com/c/cQp82BT3 doesn't have any so someone who could find this example will not able to do it using search engines.

  6. 1

    Another tool is to check how your homepage looks like when it is shared.

    https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/sharing/

    What you are looking for with this tool is to define the meta tags in the way that better serves your purpose.

  7. 1

    I feel that the home page could be better organized

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