Course Chapters
Course Chapters

SEO For founders - Full Course

The bigger picture of SEO

The bigger picture of SEO

The bigger picture of SEO

Hi there, it's Olli ✌️ I'm Indie Hacker & Co-Founder at getspexia.com

I know that Founders struggle with SEO (I've been there). This is my take to make SEO more accessible & fun to learn. Because it is fun. I am continuously improving the content & hope you will find this valuable. Let me know on X if you spot any mistakes. Enjoy & keep rocking! 🤘

“Why should I write about this”, Yuan asked?

Yuan is great fun to work with & CMO at Flappie, one of our first customers.

The question came at no surprise to me.

Most Founders I’ve talked to underestimate the scope of SEO.

It is commonly believed that SEO is about optimising the existing pages & about creating content around questions people have for their product.

While this is true, the scope of SEO is a lot bigger.

In this chapter I will explain in detail what I mean by that & give you the bigger picture of SEO as a marketing channel.

Enjoy!

“Why should I write about this”, Yuan asked?

Yuan is great fun to work with & CMO at Flappie, one of our first customers.

The question came at no surprise to me.

Most Founders I’ve talked to underestimate the scope of SEO.

It is commonly believed that SEO is about optimising the existing pages & about creating content around questions people have for their product.

While this is true, the scope of SEO is a lot bigger.

In this chapter I will explain in detail what I mean by that & give you the bigger picture of SEO as a marketing channel.

Enjoy!

“Why should I write about this”, Yuan asked?

Yuan is great fun to work with & CMO at Flappie, one of our first customers.

The question came at no surprise to me.

Most Founders I’ve talked to underestimate the scope of SEO.

It is commonly believed that SEO is about optimising the existing pages & about creating content around questions people have for their product.

While this is true, the scope of SEO is a lot bigger.

In this chapter I will explain in detail what I mean by that & give you the bigger picture of SEO as a marketing channel.

Enjoy!

Summary

  • Google has one task: Show users the content that best fulfils their intent.

  • Publishing content is (mostly) only effective after you established some authority for your domain. To establish authority & because you want to get customers in the short term, SEO can't be the only marketing channel you use.

  • Thinking about SEO starts from day 0. Even before buying a domain.

  • The goal of SEO is to target the persona - not only the product - along the full customer journey & iteratively getting them in contact with your brand to build their intent to purchase over time.

  • Google has one task: Show users the content that best fulfils their intent.

  • Publishing content is (mostly) only effective after you established some authority for your domain. To establish authority & because you want to get customers in the short term, SEO can't be the only marketing channel you use.

  • Thinking about SEO starts from day 0. Even before buying a domain.

  • The goal of SEO is to target the persona - not only the product - along the full customer journey & iteratively getting them in contact with your brand to build their intent to purchase over time.

  • Google has one task: Show users the content that best fulfils their intent.

  • Publishing content is (mostly) only effective after you established some authority for your domain. To establish authority & because you want to get customers in the short term, SEO can't be the only marketing channel you use.

  • Thinking about SEO starts from day 0. Even before buying a domain.

  • The goal of SEO is to target the persona - not only the product - along the full customer journey & iteratively getting them in contact with your brand to build their intent to purchase over time.

SEO can be impactful

Let’s state the obvious here. SEO can be one of the main sources of traffic.

Let’s take Masterclass as an example. According to Similarweb.com, Masterclass drives close to 60% of their traffic from organic search.

TripAdvisor more than 75%.

That’s some crazy numbers & are just to show that SEO has big potential.

But it shouldn’t be the only source of traffic you rely on.

In fact, it can’t be.

Let’s state the obvious here. SEO can be one of the main sources of traffic.

Let’s take Masterclass as an example. According to Similarweb.com, Masterclass drives close to 60% of their traffic from organic search.

TripAdvisor more than 75%.

That’s some crazy numbers & are just to show that SEO has big potential.

But it shouldn’t be the only source of traffic you rely on.

In fact, it can’t be.

Let’s state the obvious here. SEO can be one of the main sources of traffic.

Let’s take Masterclass as an example. According to Similarweb.com, Masterclass drives close to 60% of their traffic from organic search.

TripAdvisor more than 75%.

That’s some crazy numbers & are just to show that SEO has big potential.

But it shouldn’t be the only source of traffic you rely on.

In fact, it can’t be.

SEO as marketing channel

Alex Hormozi defines marketing as: “the process of letting people know about your stuff”.

SEO is one way of doing that. One possible marketing channel.

Sometimes SEO is a very good channel, sometimes it’s not.

Yes. You heard that correctly.

SEO isn’t always a good fit.

Even though a lot of Founders would like to belief that SEO will magically make people appear that want to buy your stuff, that’s not the case.

You will have to use other channels as well.

Why is that?

One reason is time. SEO typically takes between 6-12 months to really drive meaningful results.

Thus, to get customers early on, it makes sense to pair it with other channels like Paid Advertisement, Social Media Marketing & PR.

The more important reason however is that SEO alone is actually not going to work.

You have to pair it with other channels.

Here's a diagram from Ethan Smiths talk that showcases this very well.

“But why is that exactly Olli”, I hear you ask, "why can't I just use SEO alone"?

It comes down to how Google ranks pages. So let’s understand that.

Alex Hormozi defines marketing as: “the process of letting people know about your stuff”.

SEO is one way of doing that. One possible marketing channel.

Sometimes SEO is a very good channel, sometimes it’s not.

Yes. You heard that correctly.

SEO isn’t always a good fit.

Even though a lot of Founders would like to belief that SEO will magically make people appear that want to buy your stuff, that’s not the case.

You will have to use other channels as well.

Why is that?

One reason is time. SEO typically takes between 6-12 months to really drive meaningful results.

Thus, to get customers early on, it makes sense to pair it with other channels like Paid Advertisement, Social Media Marketing & PR.

The more important reason however is that SEO alone is actually not going to work.

You have to pair it with other channels.

Here's a diagram from Ethan Smiths talk that showcases this very well.

“But why is that exactly Olli”, I hear you ask, "why can't I just use SEO alone"?

It comes down to how Google ranks pages. So let’s understand that.

Alex Hormozi defines marketing as: “the process of letting people know about your stuff”.

SEO is one way of doing that. One possible marketing channel.

Sometimes SEO is a very good channel, sometimes it’s not.

Yes. You heard that correctly.

SEO isn’t always a good fit.

Even though a lot of Founders would like to belief that SEO will magically make people appear that want to buy your stuff, that’s not the case.

You will have to use other channels as well.

Why is that?

One reason is time. SEO typically takes between 6-12 months to really drive meaningful results.

Thus, to get customers early on, it makes sense to pair it with other channels like Paid Advertisement, Social Media Marketing & PR.

The more important reason however is that SEO alone is actually not going to work.

You have to pair it with other channels.

Here's a diagram from Ethan Smiths talk that showcases this very well.

“But why is that exactly Olli”, I hear you ask, "why can't I just use SEO alone"?

It comes down to how Google ranks pages. So let’s understand that.

How does Google rank pages? By intent!

Google has one job. Show users content that will help them. Content that answers their question. Content that gives them what they are looking for.

In SEO we call this: Content that fulfils the intent of the users.

As an example let’s say the user searches for “sushi in zurich”.

His intent is to find a place to eat.

But what content fulfils his intent best?

Is it restaurant landing pages? Is it a review of a single restaurant? What is he looking for?

Well, Google knows.

So put the search term into Google and see what comes up.

Turns out it’s a map & a lot of top 10 articles giving the user an overview of sushi restaurant locations with reviews.

Indeed very helpful!

Thank you Google.

“But how did Google figure out what the user wants”, you may wonder?

Experiments. It’s called A/B tests.

Show a lot of users different content and see what they like better, meaning where they close Google afterwards as they found what they were looking for.

That’s the content that fulfils their intent.

Obviously this is simplified but it conveys the point.

Nobody knows how Google works exactly besides the Google-Engineers of course.

But they don't talk:/.

Still, here is a slide from one of Googles presentations showcasing that this is actually what they do.

Now we understand that Googles job is to show content that fulfils the users intent.

Okay.

But why can’t I just create a lot of useful content?

Why did you say I have to utilise other channels first?

That is because Google doesn’t trust you - yet.

When I say you, I mean your url. Your domain. The thing you have your content on.

Google has to know you are a credible source before showing your content to users.

Think about it, why should Google show your content right from the beginning if they don’t know you are trustworthy?

They have a ton of good content from authoritative (=trusted) pages already.

So why show yours?

It’s the same in your personal life. Would you go to a doctor that has no Google reviews or the one with hundreds of people endorsing him.

Exactly. Easy decision.

Of course, if there is no other content available, Google will rank your stuff early on as well.

You would also go to the doctor without reviews if there is no other doctor available.

But typically, Google has good content already for most topics.

That’s why you have to show Google you are a credible source before you can really start with creating new content.

How can you do that?

There are different ways to show Google you are a credible source. Different ways to convey trust.

These "ways" are called authority signals.

We’ll go into all the details on what those signals are & how to build authority when we talk about the SEO strategy and off page SEO.

But, to drive the point home & to give you an idea of authority signals, one such signal is non organic search traffic - think people visiting your page directly, e.g. by searching for "yourdomain.com" directly.

How can you achieve this?

An idea could be to utilise e.g. social media marketing or general PR!

That’s why SEO alone is not the way to go and should really be seen in the bigger picture with other marketing channels.

So, to summarise this, publishing content is (mostly) only effective after you established some authority for your domain.

To establish authority & because you want to get customers in the short term, SEO can't be the only marketing channel you use.

“So when should I start thinking about SEO then?

Great question, happy that you ask!

Google has one job. Show users content that will help them. Content that answers their question. Content that gives them what they are looking for.

In SEO we call this: Content that fulfils the intent of the users.

As an example let’s say the user searches for “sushi in zurich”.

His intent is to find a place to eat.

But what content fulfils his intent best?

Is it restaurant landing pages? Is it a review of a single restaurant? What is he looking for?

Well, Google knows.

So put the search term into Google and see what comes up.

Turns out it’s a map & a lot of top 10 articles giving the user an overview of sushi restaurant locations with reviews.

Indeed very helpful!

Thank you Google.

“But how did Google figure out what the user wants”, you may wonder?

Experiments. It’s called A/B tests.

Show a lot of users different content and see what they like better, meaning where they close Google afterwards as they found what they were looking for.

That’s the content that fulfils their intent.

Obviously this is simplified but it conveys the point.

Nobody knows how Google works exactly besides the Google-Engineers of course.

But they don't talk:/.

Still, here is a slide from one of Googles presentations showcasing that this is actually what they do.

Now we understand that Googles job is to show content that fulfils the users intent.

Okay.

But why can’t I just create a lot of useful content?

Why did you say I have to utilise other channels first?

That is because Google doesn’t trust you - yet.

When I say you, I mean your url. Your domain. The thing you have your content on.

Google has to know you are a credible source before showing your content to users.

Think about it, why should Google show your content right from the beginning if they don’t know you are trustworthy?

They have a ton of good content from authoritative (=trusted) pages already.

So why show yours?

It’s the same in your personal life. Would you go to a doctor that has no Google reviews or the one with hundreds of people endorsing him.

Exactly. Easy decision.

Of course, if there is no other content available, Google will rank your stuff early on as well.

You would also go to the doctor without reviews if there is no other doctor available.

But typically, Google has good content already for most topics.

That’s why you have to show Google you are a credible source before you can really start with creating new content.

How can you do that?

There are different ways to show Google you are a credible source. Different ways to convey trust.

These "ways" are called authority signals.

We’ll go into all the details on what those signals are & how to build authority when we talk about the SEO strategy and off page SEO.

But, to drive the point home & to give you an idea of authority signals, one such signal is non organic search traffic - think people visiting your page directly, e.g. by searching for "yourdomain.com" directly.

How can you achieve this?

An idea could be to utilise e.g. social media marketing or general PR!

That’s why SEO alone is not the way to go and should really be seen in the bigger picture with other marketing channels.

So, to summarise this, publishing content is (mostly) only effective after you established some authority for your domain.

To establish authority & because you want to get customers in the short term, SEO can't be the only marketing channel you use.

“So when should I start thinking about SEO then?

Great question, happy that you ask!

Google has one job. Show users content that will help them. Content that answers their question. Content that gives them what they are looking for.

In SEO we call this: Content that fulfils the intent of the users.

As an example let’s say the user searches for “sushi in zurich”.

His intent is to find a place to eat.

But what content fulfils his intent best?

Is it restaurant landing pages? Is it a review of a single restaurant? What is he looking for?

Well, Google knows.

So put the search term into Google and see what comes up.

Turns out it’s a map & a lot of top 10 articles giving the user an overview of sushi restaurant locations with reviews.

Indeed very helpful!

Thank you Google.

“But how did Google figure out what the user wants”, you may wonder?

Experiments. It’s called A/B tests.

Show a lot of users different content and see what they like better, meaning where they close Google afterwards as they found what they were looking for.

That’s the content that fulfils their intent.

Obviously this is simplified but it conveys the point.

Nobody knows how Google works exactly besides the Google-Engineers of course.

But they don't talk:/.

Still, here is a slide from one of Googles presentations showcasing that this is actually what they do.

Now we understand that Googles job is to show content that fulfils the users intent.

Okay.

But why can’t I just create a lot of useful content?

Why did you say I have to utilise other channels first?

That is because Google doesn’t trust you - yet.

When I say you, I mean your url. Your domain. The thing you have your content on.

Google has to know you are a credible source before showing your content to users.

Think about it, why should Google show your content right from the beginning if they don’t know you are trustworthy?

They have a ton of good content from authoritative (=trusted) pages already.

So why show yours?

It’s the same in your personal life. Would you go to a doctor that has no Google reviews or the one with hundreds of people endorsing him.

Exactly. Easy decision.

Of course, if there is no other content available, Google will rank your stuff early on as well.

You would also go to the doctor without reviews if there is no other doctor available.

But typically, Google has good content already for most topics.

That’s why you have to show Google you are a credible source before you can really start with creating new content.

How can you do that?

There are different ways to show Google you are a credible source. Different ways to convey trust.

These "ways" are called authority signals.

We’ll go into all the details on what those signals are & how to build authority when we talk about the SEO strategy and off page SEO.

But, to drive the point home & to give you an idea of authority signals, one such signal is non organic search traffic - think people visiting your page directly, e.g. by searching for "yourdomain.com" directly.

How can you achieve this?

An idea could be to utilise e.g. social media marketing or general PR!

That’s why SEO alone is not the way to go and should really be seen in the bigger picture with other marketing channels.

So, to summarise this, publishing content is (mostly) only effective after you established some authority for your domain.

To establish authority & because you want to get customers in the short term, SEO can't be the only marketing channel you use.

“So when should I start thinking about SEO then?

Great question, happy that you ask!

When to start with SEO?

I previously stated that you need to first establish authority before thinking about SEO, right?

No. It's a trick question - got you with this one, huh? ;)

You should start to think about publishing new content only after you established yourself as somewhat authoritative domain.

We will discuss this in more details in the when to start with SEO chapter.

But thinking about SEO is something that starts even before purchasing a domain.

What, why?

It's because a good domain can give you a competitive advantage in the fight for rankings.

It’s the thing I wish I had known before my first project.

That’s why we will discuss the potential advantages of exact match domains and partial match domains directly in the next chapter.

That was a lot.

Let’s do a quick recap:

  • Google has one task: Show users the content that best fulfils their intent.

  • Publishing content is (mostly) only effective after you established some authority for your domain. To establish authority & because you want to get customers in the short term, SEO can't be the only marketing channel you use.

  • Thinking about SEO starts from day 0. Even before buying a domain.

Let's move on.

A very interesting topic is coming up: Targeting the persona, not the product.

To understand this, let's assume you already have enough authority on your page & it's time to start creating new content.

The question arises, what kind of content should you create?

What should you write about?

I previously stated that you need to first establish authority before thinking about SEO, right?

No. It's a trick question - got you with this one, huh? ;)

You should start to think about publishing new content only after you established yourself as somewhat authoritative domain.

We will discuss this in more details in the when to start with SEO chapter.

But thinking about SEO is something that starts even before purchasing a domain.

What, why?

It's because a good domain can give you a competitive advantage in the fight for rankings.

It’s the thing I wish I had known before my first project.

That’s why we will discuss the potential advantages of exact match domains and partial match domains directly in the next chapter.

That was a lot.

Let’s do a quick recap:

  • Google has one task: Show users the content that best fulfils their intent.

  • Publishing content is (mostly) only effective after you established some authority for your domain. To establish authority & because you want to get customers in the short term, SEO can't be the only marketing channel you use.

  • Thinking about SEO starts from day 0. Even before buying a domain.

Let's move on.

A very interesting topic is coming up: Targeting the persona, not the product.

To understand this, let's assume you already have enough authority on your page & it's time to start creating new content.

The question arises, what kind of content should you create?

What should you write about?

I previously stated that you need to first establish authority before thinking about SEO, right?

No. It's a trick question - got you with this one, huh? ;)

You should start to think about publishing new content only after you established yourself as somewhat authoritative domain.

We will discuss this in more details in the when to start with SEO chapter.

But thinking about SEO is something that starts even before purchasing a domain.

What, why?

It's because a good domain can give you a competitive advantage in the fight for rankings.

It’s the thing I wish I had known before my first project.

That’s why we will discuss the potential advantages of exact match domains and partial match domains directly in the next chapter.

That was a lot.

Let’s do a quick recap:

  • Google has one task: Show users the content that best fulfils their intent.

  • Publishing content is (mostly) only effective after you established some authority for your domain. To establish authority & because you want to get customers in the short term, SEO can't be the only marketing channel you use.

  • Thinking about SEO starts from day 0. Even before buying a domain.

Let's move on.

A very interesting topic is coming up: Targeting the persona, not the product.

To understand this, let's assume you already have enough authority on your page & it's time to start creating new content.

The question arises, what kind of content should you create?

What should you write about?

Targeting the customer journey

It is commonly believed that the content you create should only cover topics around the problem their product solves: Product focus.

This is a big misconception among Founders.

In reality, the scope of a SEO strategy is a lot bigger. That’s the power of it.

Let me explain what I mean by that.

When I think about the customer journey I like to use the following framework:

  • Unaware → People aren’t aware they have a problem

  • Problem aware → People know they have a problem, don’t know the solution

  • Solution aware → People know they have a problem & possible solutions

  • Product aware → People know your product and how it solves their problem

  • Most aware → They are ready to purchase

Let’s use an example to make it more tangiable.

Flappie, one of our first customers at Spexia, develops a cat flap with prey detection.

As context it’s important to understand that in Europe cats are typically allowed to leave the house & thus often bring back mice & other prey through the cat flap.

The target persona are thus cat owners.

Let’s map possible search questions of the persona to the individual stages of the customer journey.

  • Unaware → What to feed a cat?, Cat breeds, How long do cats live?

  • Problem aware → Prevent cat from bringing home prey

  • Solution aware → Cat flap with prey detection

  • Product aware → Flappie cat flap

  • Most aware → Flappie shop

Let's discuss each stage in more detail bottom up.

Product & most aware stage

For the product aware & most aware stages you don’t have to do any SEO optimisation.

This is branded search.

As soon as you have some authority, Google understands people are looking for your page.

Solution aware stage

The solution aware stage is typically what you optimise your landing page for.

People searching for “cat flap with prey detection” don’t know any products & brands yet.

So it’s important that you rank first here.

We will see later how to optimise the landing page for SEO but it's not hard to recognise that Flappie is optimising for it.

The solution aware stage is also what you typically target with Paid Ads.

Problem aware stage

The problem aware stage is what most Founders want to target with their content.

While this is part of every SEO Strategy, it’s only a small aspect of it. Why?

You see, there are only a few different ways people can search for this problem.

Not a lot of unique content here to create.

That’s why most of the content focuses on the unaware stage.

Unaware stage

In the unaware stage, we target questions the target persona has: cat owners.

Whatever question/topic they are searching for, you want to optimally rank number 1 with your content.

The key is that even though the target persona is not directly looking for what you offer, they still might be interested.

They still might need it.

That’s why your task with the content is not only to fulfil their intent (answer their question/give them the information they were looking for), but also inform them that you exist & what problem you are solving.

Chances are, they have the problem you are solving and need your product.

That’s the key here: Targeting the Persona instead of the Product!

And you are right when saying that a lot of the people reading your content might not have that problem.

Even if they have the problem, they don’t have the intent to buy (yet).

They just want to get information about a certain topic/question.

All of this is true.

But it’s about informing them. Making them aware. Increasing the interactions with your brand.

Building their intent to purchase over time.

According to the marketing rule of 7, a person needs at least seven interactions with your brand before they are ready to make a purchase.

That’s what SEO is all about.

We’ll cover all this in more details when discussing the SEO strategy so don’t worry! This isn’t the last time you’ll hear about this.

Summing up, the goal is to target the persona - not only the product - along the full customer journey & iteratively getting them in contact with your brand to build their intent to purchase over time.

Puuhhh, amazing!

Finally, let's see how people categorise SEO and understand the structure for the rest of the course.

It is commonly believed that the content you create should only cover topics around the problem their product solves: Product focus.

This is a big misconception among Founders.

In reality, the scope of a SEO strategy is a lot bigger. That’s the power of it.

Let me explain what I mean by that.

When I think about the customer journey I like to use the following framework:

  • Unaware → People aren’t aware they have a problem

  • Problem aware → People know they have a problem, don’t know the solution

  • Solution aware → People know they have a problem & possible solutions

  • Product aware → People know your product and how it solves their problem

  • Most aware → They are ready to purchase

Let’s use an example to make it more tangiable.

Flappie, one of our first customers at Spexia, develops a cat flap with prey detection.

As context it’s important to understand that in Europe cats are typically allowed to leave the house & thus often bring back mice & other prey through the cat flap.

The target persona are thus cat owners.

Let’s map possible search questions of the persona to the individual stages of the customer journey.

  • Unaware → What to feed a cat?, Cat breeds, How long do cats live?

  • Problem aware → Prevent cat from bringing home prey

  • Solution aware → Cat flap with prey detection

  • Product aware → Flappie cat flap

  • Most aware → Flappie shop

Let's discuss each stage in more detail bottom up.

Product & most aware stage

For the product aware & most aware stages you don’t have to do any SEO optimisation.

This is branded search.

As soon as you have some authority, Google understands people are looking for your page.

Solution aware stage

The solution aware stage is typically what you optimise your landing page for.

People searching for “cat flap with prey detection” don’t know any products & brands yet.

So it’s important that you rank first here.

We will see later how to optimise the landing page for SEO but it's not hard to recognise that Flappie is optimising for it.

The solution aware stage is also what you typically target with Paid Ads.

Problem aware stage

The problem aware stage is what most Founders want to target with their content.

While this is part of every SEO Strategy, it’s only a small aspect of it. Why?

You see, there are only a few different ways people can search for this problem.

Not a lot of unique content here to create.

That’s why most of the content focuses on the unaware stage.

Unaware stage

In the unaware stage, we target questions the target persona has: cat owners.

Whatever question/topic they are searching for, you want to optimally rank number 1 with your content.

The key is that even though the target persona is not directly looking for what you offer, they still might be interested.

They still might need it.

That’s why your task with the content is not only to fulfil their intent (answer their question/give them the information they were looking for), but also inform them that you exist & what problem you are solving.

Chances are, they have the problem you are solving and need your product.

That’s the key here: Targeting the Persona instead of the Product!

And you are right when saying that a lot of the people reading your content might not have that problem.

Even if they have the problem, they don’t have the intent to buy (yet).

They just want to get information about a certain topic/question.

All of this is true.

But it’s about informing them. Making them aware. Increasing the interactions with your brand.

Building their intent to purchase over time.

According to the marketing rule of 7, a person needs at least seven interactions with your brand before they are ready to make a purchase.

That’s what SEO is all about.

We’ll cover all this in more details when discussing the SEO strategy so don’t worry! This isn’t the last time you’ll hear about this.

Summing up, the goal is to target the persona - not only the product - along the full customer journey & iteratively getting them in contact with your brand to build their intent to purchase over time.

Puuhhh, amazing!

Finally, let's see how people categorise SEO and understand the structure for the rest of the course.

It is commonly believed that the content you create should only cover topics around the problem their product solves: Product focus.

This is a big misconception among Founders.

In reality, the scope of a SEO strategy is a lot bigger. That’s the power of it.

Let me explain what I mean by that.

When I think about the customer journey I like to use the following framework:

  • Unaware → People aren’t aware they have a problem

  • Problem aware → People know they have a problem, don’t know the solution

  • Solution aware → People know they have a problem & possible solutions

  • Product aware → People know your product and how it solves their problem

  • Most aware → They are ready to purchase

Let’s use an example to make it more tangiable.

Flappie, one of our first customers at Spexia, develops a cat flap with prey detection.

As context it’s important to understand that in Europe cats are typically allowed to leave the house & thus often bring back mice & other prey through the cat flap.

The target persona are thus cat owners.

Let’s map possible search questions of the persona to the individual stages of the customer journey.

  • Unaware → What to feed a cat?, Cat breeds, How long do cats live?

  • Problem aware → Prevent cat from bringing home prey

  • Solution aware → Cat flap with prey detection

  • Product aware → Flappie cat flap

  • Most aware → Flappie shop

Let's discuss each stage in more detail bottom up.

Product & most aware stage

For the product aware & most aware stages you don’t have to do any SEO optimisation.

This is branded search.

As soon as you have some authority, Google understands people are looking for your page.

Solution aware stage

The solution aware stage is typically what you optimise your landing page for.

People searching for “cat flap with prey detection” don’t know any products & brands yet.

So it’s important that you rank first here.

We will see later how to optimise the landing page for SEO but it's not hard to recognise that Flappie is optimising for it.

The solution aware stage is also what you typically target with Paid Ads.

Problem aware stage

The problem aware stage is what most Founders want to target with their content.

While this is part of every SEO Strategy, it’s only a small aspect of it. Why?

You see, there are only a few different ways people can search for this problem.

Not a lot of unique content here to create.

That’s why most of the content focuses on the unaware stage.

Unaware stage

In the unaware stage, we target questions the target persona has: cat owners.

Whatever question/topic they are searching for, you want to optimally rank number 1 with your content.

The key is that even though the target persona is not directly looking for what you offer, they still might be interested.

They still might need it.

That’s why your task with the content is not only to fulfil their intent (answer their question/give them the information they were looking for), but also inform them that you exist & what problem you are solving.

Chances are, they have the problem you are solving and need your product.

That’s the key here: Targeting the Persona instead of the Product!

And you are right when saying that a lot of the people reading your content might not have that problem.

Even if they have the problem, they don’t have the intent to buy (yet).

They just want to get information about a certain topic/question.

All of this is true.

But it’s about informing them. Making them aware. Increasing the interactions with your brand.

Building their intent to purchase over time.

According to the marketing rule of 7, a person needs at least seven interactions with your brand before they are ready to make a purchase.

That’s what SEO is all about.

We’ll cover all this in more details when discussing the SEO strategy so don’t worry! This isn’t the last time you’ll hear about this.

Summing up, the goal is to target the persona - not only the product - along the full customer journey & iteratively getting them in contact with your brand to build their intent to purchase over time.

Puuhhh, amazing!

Finally, let's see how people categorise SEO and understand the structure for the rest of the course.

SEO Categorisation

SEO can be confusing.

One reason for that is the naming of different SEO subtypes.

I like to call them "SEO buckets".

Let’s introduce the main buckets of SEO, understand what they are & establish the outline for the rest of the course.

Shall we?

As previously discussed, the next two chapters will be about considerations before buying a domain and when SEO actually makes sense.

Then we will look into sizing the SEO opportunity to understand how big the impact could potentially be and if SEO is a valid channel.

Afterwards, it’s all about creating content & understanding user intent.

That’s what we need a SEO strategy for.

Given the SEO strategy, we’ll discuss two different ways of creating content:

Editorial SEO: The content is informational & typically created by human writers.

An example is this guide you are reading right now!

Programmatic SEO: The pages & content are dynamically created using data in a database. An example is TripAdvisor where the pages for restaurants are dynamically generated given the database entries.

Then there are also the technical details of a page.

This falls into the bucket of technical SEO. Most of technical SEO has low impact so we will skip a lot of it and focus on the 5% that actually do help you to rank.

With editorial, programmatic & technical SEO covered, we’ll quickly look at off page SEO which is about improving your rankings with tactics that take place outside of your domain.

Then I'll introduce how I would approach SEO if I had to start out from 0 in the SEO growth plan chapter.

A lot of Founders we work with want to expand to different languages with their content.

This can be useful to reach more people.

While this sounds easy, it’s actually not super straight forward.

We’ll discuss the details in the multilingual SEO chapter.

Finally, if you have a local business, local SEO is where we discuss everything you need to know.

The last two chapters are dedicated towards how to measure the SEO ROI & essential SEO tools you need to have set up.

In case you ever stumble over a word & you forgot what it means check out the SEO dictionary!

SEO can be confusing.

One reason for that is the naming of different SEO subtypes.

I like to call them "SEO buckets".

Let’s introduce the main buckets of SEO, understand what they are & establish the outline for the rest of the course.

Shall we?

As previously discussed, the next two chapters will be about considerations before buying a domain and when SEO actually makes sense.

Then we will look into sizing the SEO opportunity to understand how big the impact could potentially be and if SEO is a valid channel.

Afterwards, it’s all about creating content & understanding user intent.

That’s what we need a SEO strategy for.

Given the SEO strategy, we’ll discuss two different ways of creating content:

Editorial SEO: The content is informational & typically created by human writers.

An example is this guide you are reading right now!

Programmatic SEO: The pages & content are dynamically created using data in a database. An example is TripAdvisor where the pages for restaurants are dynamically generated given the database entries.

Then there are also the technical details of a page.

This falls into the bucket of technical SEO. Most of technical SEO has low impact so we will skip a lot of it and focus on the 5% that actually do help you to rank.

With editorial, programmatic & technical SEO covered, we’ll quickly look at off page SEO which is about improving your rankings with tactics that take place outside of your domain.

Then I'll introduce how I would approach SEO if I had to start out from 0 in the SEO growth plan chapter.

A lot of Founders we work with want to expand to different languages with their content.

This can be useful to reach more people.

While this sounds easy, it’s actually not super straight forward.

We’ll discuss the details in the multilingual SEO chapter.

Finally, if you have a local business, local SEO is where we discuss everything you need to know.

The last two chapters are dedicated towards how to measure the SEO ROI & essential SEO tools you need to have set up.

In case you ever stumble over a word & you forgot what it means check out the SEO dictionary!

SEO can be confusing.

One reason for that is the naming of different SEO subtypes.

I like to call them "SEO buckets".

Let’s introduce the main buckets of SEO, understand what they are & establish the outline for the rest of the course.

Shall we?

As previously discussed, the next two chapters will be about considerations before buying a domain and when SEO actually makes sense.

Then we will look into sizing the SEO opportunity to understand how big the impact could potentially be and if SEO is a valid channel.

Afterwards, it’s all about creating content & understanding user intent.

That’s what we need a SEO strategy for.

Given the SEO strategy, we’ll discuss two different ways of creating content:

Editorial SEO: The content is informational & typically created by human writers.

An example is this guide you are reading right now!

Programmatic SEO: The pages & content are dynamically created using data in a database. An example is TripAdvisor where the pages for restaurants are dynamically generated given the database entries.

Then there are also the technical details of a page.

This falls into the bucket of technical SEO. Most of technical SEO has low impact so we will skip a lot of it and focus on the 5% that actually do help you to rank.

With editorial, programmatic & technical SEO covered, we’ll quickly look at off page SEO which is about improving your rankings with tactics that take place outside of your domain.

Then I'll introduce how I would approach SEO if I had to start out from 0 in the SEO growth plan chapter.

A lot of Founders we work with want to expand to different languages with their content.

This can be useful to reach more people.

While this sounds easy, it’s actually not super straight forward.

We’ll discuss the details in the multilingual SEO chapter.

Finally, if you have a local business, local SEO is where we discuss everything you need to know.

The last two chapters are dedicated towards how to measure the SEO ROI & essential SEO tools you need to have set up.

In case you ever stumble over a word & you forgot what it means check out the SEO dictionary!

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Course Chapters

The SEO Operating System for Startups Founders

Copyright © 2024 Profaile GmbH. All rights reserved.

The SEO Operating System for Startups Founders

Copyright © 2024 Profaile GmbH. All rights reserved.

The SEO Operating System for Startups Founders

Copyright © 2024 Profaile GmbH. All rights reserved.