Common Sense SEO

Lesson 10 – Track Your Progress

7 minutes


Your Assignment:

Download the Progress Tracker. It is in excel format, so you may want to combine it with your previous spreadsheets as another page.

Use Google Analytics to find the following pieces of information – total organic traffic, total direct traffic, and top landing pages.

Record your traffic numbers into the worksheet and calculate your organic / direct ratio.

Record your top pages. Over time, the pages you are developing and enhancing should climb to the top of your list.

Put a reminder on your calendar to update your numbers.


When you are finished with your assignment, press the Mark Complete button to finish your course.

Lesson 9 – Re-optimize

7 minutes


Google demands new fresh content in exchange for keeping your page at the top of search results. Instead of pounding out new content week after week, update OLD posts with NEW content. Here is the process for updating old posts.

  1. Research – Refer back to your list of questions. Look for pages or posts which match the most common ones.
  2. Select a specific key word – Use it in the title and meta description. DO NOT change the URL, as it will break the existing link. If you are using a rich snippet tool, update that text as well.
  3. Add at least one new word to the post – Comment on something that has changed or provide additional examples to round out the post.
  4. Add photos – 25% of all searches are image searches. If the post didn’t have a photo originally, add one. Find a picture that improves the user experience by supporting what you are talking about. Make sure that the photo has an actual title and not “image one”.
  5. Add links – Add links to some of your new FAQ’s or blog posts which answer specific questions.
  6. Add multimedia – If you have a podcast or a video on a related topic, add that to the post as well. This will enhance the user experience and keep visitors on the page longer. Google looks at the time a visitor spends on your page as a sign of engagement so multimedia will help increase that rank criteria.
  7. Re-share – Once the post is updated, let people know you have something new. Create a new social share graphic to give the content an updated feel. Then share, share, and share again on social media and in your newsletter.

Your Assignment:

Download the Re-optimization Record. It is in excel format, so you may want to combine it with your previous spreadsheet as a second page.

Review your existing pages and post and select one for re-optimization.

Record the changes you made on the re-optimization record.

Include the updated content in your social media and newsletter schedule.

Set a reminder to update one page or post every week.


When you are finished with your assignment, press the Mark Complete button to advance to the next lesson.

Lesson 8 – Power Words

6 minutes


Your Assignment:

Download the Power Words Workbook and use it to help you practice using power words in your writing.

Revise the blog post you wrote from the previous lesson. Include power words in the title and content.

Share your post on social media using power words in your description.


When you are finished with your assignment, press the Mark Complete button to advance to the next lesson.

Lesson 7 – Think Like Google

8 minutes


Your Assignment:

It is easy to assume Google is smart as it conducts thousands of searches per second. But at the end of the day, it is a machine and can be confused by words with multiple meanings. You can help Google accurately index your pages using synonyms and related phrases to give context.

Brainstorm a list of synonyms and related phrases for the top questions on your spreadsheet. Provide context to help Google properly understand and index your content.

For each keyword on your spreadsheet, find 5 synonyms or related phrases which provide the context Google will need to properly index your content.

Update one of your blog posts, by adding phrases from your list.


When you are finished with your assignment, press the Mark Complete button to advance to the next lesson.

Lesson 6 – Blog Basics

2 minute video


11 minute audio

For a common sense audio discussion of how to get good at SEO, listen to this podcast from More Than A Few Words, a marketing conversation for business owners.

For more marketing tips, check out Best Blogging Tips summary page from More Than A Few Words. It is a collection of interviews with marketing professionals sharing some of their favorite blogging tips.


Your Assignment:

Download the Blog Post Planner and use it to help you write a 600 word blog post.

Using your spreadsheet, select a question which you are not answering specifically on your website.

Leave it in draft until you complete the next section on Power Words and Headlines.


When you are finished with your assignment, press the Mark Complete button to advance to the next lesson.

Lesson 5 – Internal Links

7 minutes


Your Assignment:

This is an ongoing assignment that you will work towards as you update your website with content. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Create content that answers the FAQ and the questions on your spreadsheet so you have pages to link.

Use anchor text wisely. Do not always use the same word or phrase in the hyperlink.

Don’t overuse links. Limit the internal links to one or two per page.

Link to rich pages with lots of content demonstrating your subject matter expertise.

Make the links relevant.

With that information in mind, now go back to the links that you identified for your FAQ page and see how well they measure up. Are there any quick updates you can make to the content to make it more relevant? If not, simply flag them for follow up later.


Once you are finished with your assignment, press the Mark Complete button to advance to the next lesson.

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