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Getting started with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Vikrant Duggal
Vikrant Duggal
• 3 min read

I'm enjoying blogging and I think I'll enjoy owning my incredibly tiny place on the Internet. I'm getting started with Search Engine Optimization.

Last week I wrote about this website's tech stack and I had just setup Google Analytics. Analytics is free and I wanted some insight into my website performance given my writing frequency and investment into this website and newsletter in that last twelve months.

Keyword data helps me understand why the website is performing well (or poorly) in the organic results of Google Search. Put simply, keywords or key phrases, are what people are searching for in search engines. As a business, they're important because the business wants to come up in search engines when people search for the keywords or phrases that are relevant to their products or services.

Let's look at a brilliant example.

MasterClass, which sells subscription to online courses taught by experts, has done an interesting job with this. A search for "how many teaspoons in a tablespoon" on Google will show their website as the top search result. And the page shares plenty of ways for the reader to sign up for one of their cooking classes. Big props to their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) team.

SEO was a core strategy for Thumbtack, another tech company, which is now valued over $1 billion.

For this website, much of the content focuses on growing B2B SaaS companies, independent consulting, and early-stage venture capital. These essays, if found when an individual is searching, feed into my consulting practice, courses, and venture fund.

In order to make the engine of this website perform Google Analytics gives me some insights.

When I log into Google Analytics this is what the Dashboard view looks like, today.

Google Analytics Dashboard view for website (2021)

There are a number of other details the Dashboard provides that I can click into. I can see what pages readers visit, how active they are over time, and how I'm performing against any goals that I've set. To start with, I created two simple goals: Engaged Visitors (how long a reader spends on the website) and Reader (how many articles a reader might read on the website).

Something was missing, the keyword data. I was trying to make meaning out of the data and learned that the Google Analytics tool does not provide any keyword insight (they used to, but now don't). A little research online and I found that I need to use Google Search Console (also a free tool).

I set up Google Console took a few days (data doesn't populate immediately). I was able to connect it into Analytics and view all the data from Console in the Analytics tool. Now I'm starting to see the keyword data over time.

What's next? I'll keep writing and sharing. Onward.