Small Business Website SEO Harford County
Table of Contents
Internet is all about keeping up. With every upload to the internet, there is only one subliminal message echoing through the void expanse of websites: Keep up. Naturally, it is not expected of you to ‘keep up’ with everything the internet offers-it is not possible. However, if you are someone who contributes to the mass of knowledge that is the internet, then your aim should be to put your content out there, right in everyone’s faces and make them WANT to read it. Of course, if it was that easy, everyone would know everything and the search engines would become pointless. Today, only the smartest search engine optimizers with latest SEO techniques and strategies, and the best content writers reach the pedestal where they are the number one hit on the SERPs. We are here to help you get there. Are you looking for some of the best & latest SEO techniques, strategies and trends? Keep reading… Pay attention to our following tips to learn the advanced SEO strategies, and start working on it before this year ends.
Let’s start with the first and the most important question. What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? SEO is a combination of strategies used to increase a website’s visibility and ranking in search engines. You can say, it is a way in which the webmasters inform the search engines about the quality of their websites, to drive more organic (non-paid) traffic by improved ranking in search engine result pages. It mainly depends on the content, structure, and links to a website. We just need to develop these things in a way, a search engine can understand better. But remember! While doing SEO to make our site search engine friendly, we should never ever forget the concerns of our viewers. We are definitely doing it for the best user experience. Why Do I Need To Do SEO Of My Website? Search engines are the biggest and best sources of web traffic. You may already know the major ones, which are:
For sure, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, etc. can also generate a bunch of visitors to your website. But when it comes to the primary source, it’s always a search engine. And also, a newbie will always open google to browse anything. Same stands true for regular internet users, whenever they wanna search anything like an article content, any type of services, products or even any information. Another big reason which is making the search engines unique is that they provide highly targeted traffic. We’ll get people on our website who are looking for what exactly we are offering. Search engines will do that on their own if we have done our website’s SEO. But if we don’t do that, search engines might not be able to find our site. In short, we’ll not be getting any traffic. Users’ search queries are the words that users type into the search bar for finding anything. Targeted traffic means increased exposure and revenue. So don’t hesitate to invest in SEO, if you want to get an excellent rate of return as compared to any other marketing option. What If I Don’t Do SEO Of My Website? Once your website is live, search engines will crawl it to find out what’s it about. Now if a user searches for a topic related to your site, search engines will show it in its result pages. Search engines are brilliant and continually improving their technology to crawl a website more efficiently. But still, they have limitations in their operation. This is precisely where SEO comes into action. SEO helps the search engines to know more about a website’s relevancy and some other factors, which they can’t do themselves. Rightly done SEO can give you thousands of viewers while some wrong moves can disappear your website from top search engine result pages leaving you with almost zero traffic. Can I Do SEO? No doubt SEO is a little bit complicated, but not that much if can keep track! The basics are easily understandable, and your way to do that can make a big difference. The Internet is full of free resources to learn it, including this wonder SEO Guide. Just learn then add some practice, and you are ready to go expert in that niche…! If your website is complex and you are not willing to learn and implement each and everything, you can seek the help from experts to take care of the things for you. But remember: Having a sound knowledge of the core concepts of SEO is a must…! Black Hat V/s White Hat Before diving into the field of SEO, you should be aware of White Hat and Black Hat SEO. Here is how these may be described…
Black Vs White Hat SEO
If you want to work SEO like a get-rich-quick scheme, you’ll probably end up doing what’s called black hat SEO.
This type of SEO focuses on optimizing your content only for the search engine, not considering humans at all. Since there are lots of ways to bend and break the rules to get your sites to rank high, these are a welcome way for black hat SEOs to make a few thousand dollars fast. Ultimately this approach results in spammy, crappy pages, which often get banned very fast, often leading to severe punishment for the marketer, ruining their chance of building something sustainable in the future. You might make a few grand this way, but will continuously have to be on the lookout for search engine updates and come up with new ways to dodge the rules. White hat SEO, on the other hand, is the way to build a sustainable online business. If you do SEO this way, you’ll focus on your human audience, trying to give them the best content possible and making it easily accessible to them, by playing according to the search engine’s rules. Needless to say, You should always go for white hat SEO. Before moving on further, below are the major divisions of SEO:
- Keyword Research
- On Page SEO
- Off Page SEO
#1 Keyword Research Almost all of the beginner’s guides to SEO on the internet are ignoring this factor. But according to me, it is the most important one. SEO is a game of Keywords. You must be aware of the keywords related to your topic or niche if you want to be successful in SEO. Different keywords have different value depending on their search volume and some other factors. In this SEO Guide, we don’t need to go deep into these factors. Different keywords have different value depending on their search volume and some other factors. In this SEO Guide, we don’t need to go deep into these factors. Keyword Research is all about finding the intentions of the users to use search engines. What exactly the users are searching for your topic, are your keywords. Using the right keywords while doing SEO of your website, is the career deciding thing for your site. It gives you an opportunity to know your targeted audience in a better way. It will increase your site’s relevancy to your topic, and that is a great thing for SEO and search engines. It will increase your site’s relevancy to your topic, and that is a great thing for SEO and search engines. You need to do proper research to find valuable keywords related to your topic before starting your website. Even if you already have a website and content on it, you can optimize it by using correct keywords. Even if you already have a website and content on it, you can optimize it by using correct keywords. #2 On Page SEO On Page means everything displayed on the web page and its back end programming. In On Page SEO, you need to optimize your website’s page and posts, etc. for search engines. In Short “Optimizing Content for Search Engine!” It covers a lot of things, so let’s break this into larger branches.
Content is the biggest division of On Page SEO. You might have heard that famous quote about content that: “Content is the King,” an there is no place for doubt about that.
Content is the King Google’s first priority is to provide its users with top quality content, and with best relevant information available on the web. These days Google also loves the right length of content. So, try to write long and informative. Content on your website isn’t only about the written article. It also includes videos, pictures, animated slides, and infographics, etc. Pay more attention to for better content:
- Titles – Create eye-catching titles that raise the reader’s interest. You only have one chance to make a great first impression.
- Keywords – Pick keywords that will help bring people to your site and are relevant.
- Links – Link to quality sites that compliment what your website is about. It’ll encourage sites in your niche to link to you as well.
- Quality – Try to publish unique and quality content. This prompts users to come to your site because they cannot easily find the content elsewhere.
- Freshness – If you are publishing content that does not age or becomes outdated, that’s great, but you also need to add new content on a regular basis. If you don’t have the time to add content to your website, consider adding a question and answer section or a blog to your site.
While writing your content, don’t ever forget to embed your keyword research in the best possible and natural looking way.
- Website Layout
After optimizing your content, Website Layout is the next thing you need to take care of while doing On Page SEO. An example of the worst website layout is when someone has totally irrelevant categories as compared to their topic. Can you just imagine visiting a website with a bad layout, there are more than 80% chances that you won’t like to visit that site again….So, why would anyone else! Then, why not making it user-friendly! And sure, Google loves that as well.
- Website Speed
Yes! Website Loading Speed matters a lot! When a user searches for something and your website appears on search engine result page (SERP). Then that user opens your site. Dwell time is the duration for how long that user stays on your site after clicking on it.
And that Dwell time is indeed an important search engine ranking factor.
In short, a user needs good speed, and Google also has an update for website speed. So, try to improve your site to increase its Dwell time and hence improving its ranking in SERPs.
- Website Design
Website design is another critical thing to have good user experience… Your theme needs to be Responsive and should have an Eye Catching Design. There are lots of sites which have excellent content but actually a bad design. Just ask yourself! How long can you keep visiting these type of sites, which are even worse when you are using your Smartphone… You’ll surely get tired and at the end, will stop visiting that site. Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. Hence, always use Responsive and Eye Catching Design. #2 Off Page SEO Just like you have done your On-Page SEO, you also need to do Off-Page SEO to make your domain authority in the eyes of search engines. In other words, we need to make our website trustworthy for search engines. And it will happen when other famous sites tell the search engine that our site has the best content about our topic. Now, how would it happen…? We need to get our website referred from other famous resources on the web about our niche. In technical terms, it is called link building. Naturally, it’s an automatic thing. We will post very high-quality content on our website and share it with topically interested people and internet marketing resources. Eventually, whoever would like our resource will link to it. The best link building strategy is to create something awesome and let everyone know about it. But Remember: In today’s competitive environment, we need to learn about proper link building strategies. Then plan and execute pre-defined and practical ways adopted by some quality sites. And your hard work in that activity will surely pay you with better ranking in SERPs. Just to know, here are the things which should be done:
- Use social network to promote your content
- Do some blogging and guest posting
- Refer your suggested solutions in discussion forums
- Photo and video sharing
- Relevant business and local listing
Conclusion: While doing all these things, keep on learning and improving. Exploring each subheading, you will find some new, website’s authority and ranking parameters defined by SEO experts. Like domain authority, page authority, trust flow, citation flow, do-follow backlinks, and spam score, etc. These parameters are actually useful and do change your ranking with increase or decrease in their values.
Advanced SEO tips and Strategies in 2
Based on WordPress data, there are 1.59 million blogs published every day. That’s only WordPress. It’s estimated there are 2.5 – 3 million articles published every day. Whether you’re a developer, start-up or business owner looking to rank on the first page of Google, we’ve got you covered.
- Mobile Friendliness is Paramount
According to BGR, mobile internet usage surpasses desktop usage for the first time in history and the trend is only going to get stronger. Google understands how important the mobile experience is to its users and harshly penalizes websites which offer an underwhelming mobile performance. When creating your website, be sure to optimize for mobile, removing items which might slow a mobile load time down and also updating your web page’s design and layout so that it offers a smooth and speedy mobile experience. 96.26% of new Smartphone’s run Android or iOS. Mobile SEO Actionable Tip Run your website in Google Speed test and learn two things – your site’s speed and mobile score. Both numbers range 0 – 100, with higher scores being better.
- When Creating Content, Write About One Topic First
For many industries/businesses, writing about one specific topic will showcase your company as an authoritative, professional voice in their industry, and Google loves authority. When starting a blog, we suggest focusing on one niche topic and making 80% of your initial posts about that specific subject. For example, if you are a home restoration company, instead of making your first handful of blogs about all different topics, like, one post about drywall, one post about patio restoration, one post about flood damage repair, and one post about home painting; instead, just choose one of those topics (say, home painting), and make almost all of your initial blogs about that topic. Posts might include: How to Paint the Interior of Your Home, What Are the Best Brands of Paint for the Exterior of My Home, How to Correctly Mix Paint, etc.. Focusing on one specific topic will help present you as an expert in that particular niche, and you will be more likely to begin ranking for a multitude of keywords regarding your niche topic, as well as invite an audience of users looking for more in-depth expertise on your subject of choice.
- Learn Important Keyword Metrics
- Search volume – Average number searches each month
- Clicks per search – How many average clicks per search
- Keyword difficulty – A score of 0 to 100 with higher scores being harder to rank for.
Try to find out what these metrics mean for your business.
- Inbound Link Anchor Cloud
Within Ahrefs and Google Webmaster Tools, you are given access to your Inbound Link Anchor Cloud, which shows the popularity of different anchor text phrases based on the number of backlinks pointing to your site. Here’s an anchor cloud for one of the properties that reviews headphones, Headphone Charts:
Based on this example, you can recognize that 9% of their backlinks contain the anchor text “headphones better than beats”, and this makes sense because they have a popular post on Headphone Charts literally called Headphones Better than Beats, a post they put a fair amount of time into, and some effort link building for it. Real Ranking Data
When you view your anchor cloud and notice that a lot of your anchor keywords are irrelevant or not the types of keywords that you want from prospective customers, then you will need to make updates to your website link portfolio to rectify that, including creating content containing the keywords you want to rank for, and then be sure to build strong relevant backlinks by sharing your new content on other high quality websites.
- Focus on White-Hat SEO, Avoid Link Buying
An outdated and shortsighted black-hat link building technique focuses on spending money to buy backlinks from shady websites trying to sell “easy SEO” solutions to companies that would rather just spend money in exchange for improved Google rankings than spend the time and energy to utilize REAL SEO solutions. The problem with this strategy is that Google is getting very adept at knowing the difference between high quality, relevant organic backlinks, and low quality, irrelevant ones, making paid-for links not only useless, but they can absolutely get your site penalized by Google, causing your site to sink like a stone within Google search results.
- Use SEO Software Starting Day 1
If you’re going to put in all of the hard work needed to create a high quality website, it is mission critical that you begin monitoring your site with advanced analytics starting on Day 1.
- Free SEO Tools
- Google Analytics
- Google Webmaster Tools
- Google Optimize – A/B Testing
- Screaming Frog – Ugly interface, but great on-page SEO audit tool
- Paid SEO Tools
- Ahrefs (our most used tool at Placement Labs)
- SEM Rush
- Screaming Frog (Paid account allows you to crawl more than 500 pages) Diagnose and Eliminate Technical On-Site Issues
Most webmasters are often ignorant to the many issues their website has with regard to how effectively they can be crawled by Google’s spiders. Designing and coding your website without an emphasis on SEO can leave your site in a vulnerable position, as there is almost assuredly plenty of competition within your industry, including competition that has an SEO understanding and has already eliminated the majority of their on-page web issues, making them appear more authoritative in the eyes of Google. A few examples of issues that your site might have (and often can be easily fixed)
- Pages with missing meta titles/descriptions
- Images missing an alt-text attribute
- Pages with broken links (both internal and external)
- Pages with titles that are too long
- Multiple pages with duplicate meta information
- Pages that are missing language declarations
- SEO is Constantly Evolving, Keep Up with Google
Our lives as SEOs would be much easier if we believed we could continually offer the exact same services to our clients all the time, forever. However, that would be incredibly naive and short-sighted of us to assume that we can continue to always do the exact same things and expect the exact same results. As we touched on in our introduction, Google semi-regularly updates their internal algorithms to create better experiences for their users, but it is up to SEO experts to learn about and understand these changes, and know how to implement new services and techniques in compliance.
- Build Links from Websites with Relevant Content
One of the best ways to bolster your site’s credibility is to focus your link building efforts to sites that produce high quality content that is relevant to your site’s industry. We cannot stress enough that this process is not easy, and sadly, there is no magic technique which will automate the process. You have to sit down and do the hard work of finding backlink opportunities and physically reaching out to the site’s administrators in hopes of creating relationships which might yield future backlinks.
- Optimize Your Page Titles
When you enter a search into Google, and Google provides you with the first page of search results, you will see each search result shows a title for the link (in blue text), and a short description of the page directly beneath it. That blue title text is officially known as your Meta Title, and it is vitally important that you do a good job of optimizing these titles. Titles that are over 70 characters will not be fully shown in search results, and it comes off as quite unprofessional to users who can’t view the whole title.
- Create Easy to Read/Understand URLs
One mistake we see many companies/people make unwittingly is creating pages with really long URLs. This is often an issue we see on WordPress sites (though they are certainly not limited to WP sites), because many websites offer a default setting where the URL slug is automatically generated by duplicating the page’s title. Google likes and suggests a simple URL structure. From Google’s content guidelines: “Whenever possible, shorten URLs by trimming unnecessary parameters.” – Google content considerations
- Become an Early Adopter
This isn’t just an SEO tip; this is a LIFE TIP for anyone in business. Always immerse yourself in the latest news regarding your industry, and be on the lookout for anything new– new products, new techniques, new technologies, etc., and write about them as soon as you feel confident you have something valuable to add to the conversation. Early Adopter SEO Actionable Tip Use Google Trends to see and when people search for keywords. You can even look at keywords over a 5 year period to see growth or negative search trends. It’s not only great for keywords you are interested in but also showing you what trends the world cares about in real time. Great way to find some topics that are in your market and trending
- Focus on Referring Domains, Not Just Links
When creating backlinks, it is not only important to build as many as you can from high quality sources, it is also important to show Google that your website is well-balanced with regard to its backlink profile. Remember, there are many other link types than simply dot coms– there’s .com, .org, .net, .gov, .edu, and many more, those these are the main ones, and are referred to as generic top-level domains (TLDs). Your TLD profile is taken into consideration by Google as they score your website, and sites that are well balanced are generally well-received. For example, a website which features 5 .com backlinks, 5 .org, 5 .gov, and 5 .edu within its backlink profile will look authoritative to Google, and, therefore, will probably rank higher than a similar website that has 20 .com backlinks. The second website in the example may have the same overall backlink total, but they are not nearly as well balanced as the first website. 50 links from one domain has less SEO value than 3 links from 10 different referring domains (total 30 links from 10 referring domains). This is a super overlooked SEO tip!
- Don’t Forget About Geotargeting
Geotargeting is a useful tactic if you own (or represent) a local business, particularly one with a real storefront. In today’s mobile age, people are constantly searching for businesses on their smartphones near where they are at that given moment. Websites that clearly state their geographic location have an advantage of being listed in local searched over those which do not. Including your business’ location clearly and consistently formatted within your web content will help Google understand where you are located.
- Structured Data aka Schema Markup (SERP 2.0)
Schema Markup is a powerful tactic to make your Google search results appear more professional and eye-catching than your competition. Schema markup is code that you can add to your site which helps search engines return more informative results. Check out this example…When you search for “Stonewood Grill Menu”, you are presented with this as your first result:
The benefit is when Stonewood Grill updates the menu on the website, the changes will also be displayed in the above SERP (The image above). This is cost effective since the menu is mantained in one place online.It is also a better experience for the user who wants to just dive into the menu.
Ultimately, SEO is rapidly changing from one year to the next—even from one month to the next. Business owners and marketers have to adapt quickly, but it’s still possible to give your business website the edge on your competition. Just remember to focus on solid content creation and copywriting fundamentals, engage your viewers deeply, and stay abreast of technical trends like backlinks, SEO health, site speed, and schema.
Using Social media to improve your search ranks
Social media and search engine optimization (SEO) are undoubtedly connected and will only become more interdependent in the future. In this chapter, you’ll discover seven ways you can use social media to boost your search rankings.
The Role of Social Media in Rankings
Social media is too powerful a tool for brands to ignore, and unless there’s some seismic shift in the attitudes and habits of users, its value will only continue to grow over the coming years. That being said, it’s unclear exactly how search engines use social media to rank your website. While Google has flip-flopped on their algorithm’s use of social signals as a factor in search rankings, the official word for now is that social signals (likes, retweets, pins, shares, follows, etc.) don’t factor into search results. That being said, social is still a very powerful SEO tool, even if social signals don’t directly impact your search rankings.
Activate Your Brand Community to Reinforce Relevance
Though social may only indirectly affect your rankings, one of the ways it does is through the power of your community. Search engines factor in the size of your following on social media as a measure of your authenticity. After all, if you only created phony clickbait content, you wouldn’t have been able to build a large community of followers in the first place.
Do fake users count? In short, no, because fake users can’t engage with your content. Real users who click through from your social media accounts to your website or blog and share your content will ultimately boost critical website stats. As Google tries to determine authenticity and content value, it can look at that traffic as concrete proof that you’re doing something right. These three quick tips will help you craft social media posts that boost clicks to your website.
- Cut Down on Word Count
While the “ideal” length of copy varies from platform to platform, Neil Patel at Quick Sprout found that generally speaking, less is more when it comes to your social media copy. In fact, his research shows the click-through rate on paragraph-long Facebook copy is 2-6 times lower than updates that are approximately 40 characters long.
Try to keep your social media posts to around 40 characters.
Rather than using extended copy in your social media posts, opt for a lower word count. Use all of the words you need, and not one more.
- Tell People What You Want Them to Do
Sometimes, all your audience needs is a simple request so they know how to better interact with your content. A quick search of the most clickable words on social media prove that most lists have one thing in common: they’re full of call-to-action phrases. Use words and phrases like “check out,” “see,” “retweet,” “like,” and “follow” to get people to engage with your social media content.
Add a call to action to tell your audience what you want them to do.
Don’t leave clicks, conversions, or shares to chance. Use a clear, concise directive when you want viewers to do something.
- Give People a Reason to Click Through
It’s Youtility principle number one: If you want to connect with your audience, don’t sell to people; help them. Make sure the content you share on social media answers a problem or pain point that’s common to your customers and prospects. Use the copy in your social media posts to refer to both the problem and the solution, and people will happily click through to your website!
Help your readers solve a problem.Treat Social Media Like a Search Engine to Increase Discoverability
What about your social content itself? Don’t your social posts have some value as backlinks? Unfortunately, links you share on social media don’t add directly to your website’s search rankings. Once the posts are published, they receive a “nofollow tag” (a code that alerts search engines to ignore the origin). However, because social media platforms rank search results on keyword strength and popularity, your social presence should be crafted with SEO in mind. Here are two ways you can leverage social SEO for the same reason you use traditional SEO: to help people search for and discover you and your content.
- Optimize Profiles for Keyword Searches
First, identify your foundational SEO keywords and then include them in the headlines, summaries, links, and bios of each of your social media profiles. You can also use those keywords in the captions of relevant images you post. People searching Facebook or another network might happen across your company because of the foundation-level keywords built into your page. From there, they can be drawn into the funnel of your inbound strategy. Just take a look at the top two results when you search for “digital marketing” on Twitter:
Use relevant keywords in your social media profiles.
From the bios alone, it’s obvious that Jay Baer and his team have been very intentional about weaving the “digital marketing” keyword into these two profiles, and it has paid off in their Twitter search rankings.
- Optimize Your Copy With Keywords
From a single hashtagged post, a follower might find your profile, more of your similar content, and click through directly to your website. Use carefully selected keywords in your posts, links, and hashtags to help elevate your rank in social search results and add to the visibility of your brand.
Use Social Media Content to Amplify Your Online Footprint
The power of content lies in its ability to reach beyond established consumers and find new audiences and potential customers. Not only is content shared on blogs and other websites, it ranks on search engines as well. So naturally, your social media content can contribute heavily to your SEO.
- Use Keywords to Drive Content Creation
To boost your visibility on search engines across the board, make creating social media content designed to rank for specific keywords part of your marketing strategy. For example, check out how these chefs have created YouTube content to show up in search engine results for a query related to their expertise.
Design content that will rank for specific keywords.
- Publish Social Posts Worthy of Backlinks
Social media posts can end up in all sorts of places beyond traditional social networks. They’re being used in blog posts and articles, ebooks, and SlideShare presentations. If you create social media content other people want to reference, you’ll gain backlinks to your social media profiles and website, effectively increasing your authority with search engines. Free SEO Course This article from Greatist, “55 Must-Follow Twitter Accounts Guaranteed to Make Your Day,” is the perfect example.
Your social media posts could end up in places outside of social channels, such as blog posts and articles. Conclusion -Time for You to Unlock the Relationship Between Social and SEO It appears inevitable that eventually social media will tie directly to every website’s search rankings. For now, your social media should act as an extension of SEO; an inbound marketing tactic that directly impacts your reach, popularity, brand identity, and influence online.
Best ON-Page SEO Optimization Techniques
Want to make your post keyword-targeted, SEO-optimized, and ready to drive more traffic? Would you like to make it easier for search engines to understand what keyword(s) your blog should rank for? When it comes to optimizing a website or a blog post, there are two main factors at play:
This chapter will focus on on-page as well as Off Page optimization, lots of good on-page SEO techniques you should implement while working on optimizing your blog posts.
Why Do You Need On-Page Optimization?
When we do SEO-optimization of a post, we follow a certain set of proven methods to rank it higher on a search engine. Now, Google doesn’t only consider on-page SEO score when ranking an article. It also takes into account many other factors like social media signals (shares, likes, tweets, follows, etc.), backlinks, domain authority, and many other off-page metrics. Our goal with on-page SEO is to optimize an article in a natural, but smart way, so that search engines can easily pick out the target keyword and bring our website targeted visitors. Before some specific tricks, here are a few non-technical things that you can incorporate today:
Improve user experience.
Ensure that readers coming from search engines spend a lot of time on your site. If they hit the back button quickly, your ranking will drop quickly too.
Create good content.
Following are the 10 on-page optimization factors you should keep in mind while optimizing your blog posts.
1. Blog Post Title
You should try to use the targeted keyword or phrase toward the beginning of title (H1) tag, but if that’s not possible, make sure it’s at least somewhere in the title. You should also not repeat the same keyword more than once in the title tag because you think it will help the article rank higher. It won’t. It could actually hurt your ranking. Don’t do it. And keep the title length to under 65 characters.
Post Permalink Structure
Making sure your URL is displayed correctly is an important on-page metric. Again, you should use your target keyword in the URL, and avoid using special characters, symbols, brackets, commas, etc. within the actual URL. Use dashes to differentiate the strings in your URL structure. These are called “pretty” permalinks and are supported by most web browsers. Example of a good permalink:
You should use heading tags to highlight various headings, sub-headings, and important points. In WordPress, the title tag is set at H1. You don’t really need to use any more H1 tags anywhere in the article. One is enough. For section breaks, stick to H2 and H3 tags. Also, don’t use too many H2 or H3 tags as Google’s algorithms won’t like that.
You should keep the keyword density around 1.5% percent with a mix of LSI keywords. Use your main keyword once in the first paragraph and again in the last paragraph. And use it in the content where it makes sense.
You should add a unique and relevant meta description with each blog post. Again, you should use your use targeted keyword in the meta description, but don’t keyword spam your description. While search engines pick up on keywords, it’s also important for users to click on the post. You need to write user-friendly meta descriptions that make sense and are related to your post. With regards to meta keywords, Google has made it clear that they don’t care about them. But some search engines, like Bing, may still care a little.
Image optimization does help a lot in driving traffic from image searches. Keywords in the “image title” and the “alt text” help to make your blog post more focused and targeted. But there’s one very important point to note. Large images will slow down your site, and having a slow loading site will decrease your Google rank. So it’s very important to:
Word Count Per Post
Blog posts that don’t have a lot of words typically don’t perform well on search engines. That’s because they’re usually seen as being “less informative”. Ofcourse there are exceptions, but for a general information-based blog, creating posts with at least 500 words is pretty standard. It’s always better to be well-researched and overly informative than it is to not provide enough information. This is especially true if you’re targeting highly competitive keywords. Suggestion: Analyze other posts for your target keyword and see how many words they have.
Place links to related posts from your blog inside of your blog posts. Interlinking of blog posts will help your blog readers spend more time on your blog, and it will also help pass page rank to other pages of your site. When interlinking, try to use a keyword as the anchor text, but be very careful not to overdo it.
While linking out to external websites, you should link to trusted websites only. And if you have doubts about the authority or popularity of a website, you can use a nofollow tag to avoid passing your link juice to potentially bad sites. You should use dofollow links for trusted websites and nofollow links for those that are less trustworthy. But somewhere authoritative like Wikipedia, or CNN, or a major player in your niche, will not only be trustworthy, they’ll likely have relevant content that your readers will love. This will make your site appear more credible.
Write Engaging Content
If you’re trying to get by with low-quality content and “trick” search engines, you will surely fail. Your post should be a complete manual for that keyword. You should learn how to engage your audience in a way that works for them. Try asking your readers questions and answering them. Understand what they want to read, and then write that. Conclusion: So these are 10 tips that will help make your on-page SEO much better and more likely to rank on search engines. The things that rank the highest are the things that are the most informative, the most engaging, and the most useful. So strive to create content that readers love, and search engines will love you too.
Best OFF-Page SEO Optimization Techniques
What is Off-page SEO? Off page SEO is nothing but improving your website positions in Search Engine Results Page (SERP). It tells Google what others think about your site. Based on the links that you have in your site, search engine assume that you have great content. Links are the new web currency. But, most of the people assume that off page SEO is all about just link building. No, it is not just about links. Then what else it includes? Off page SEO is a combination of a lot of factors that include;
- Social media metrics (Facebook likes, Pinterest pins, Tweets etc)
- User engagement (comments)
- Social bookmarking
- Forum posting and a lot of other factors.
For Off-page SEO, backlinking is what is required to done extensively. Through links, search engines can not only analyze the popularity of websites but also metrics like trust, spam, and authority. Trustworthy sites tend to link to other trusted sites, while spammy sites receive very few links from trusted sources. You could use your content in the form of infographics, guest posts, social bookmarks. etc for getting link back to your site.
Best off page SEO strategies:
1. Get Authority Backlinks: Backlinks are the most important off-page SEO factor when it comes to content marketers and bloggers. Why? Because search engines trust your website more if your site has any authoritative relevant backlinks. When Google looks for fresh content, it indexes your new pages and makes it available for search users. When relevant search queries are triggered, Google uses some algorithm facts to determine whose pages will rank. This we call as Google ranking factors in SEO terminology. Here are the most important factors that Google considers while ranking:
- The number of linking domains. The number of domains linking to your site is one of the most important ranking factors
- Page rank of a linking page. The links from the high page rank website is considered more than the links from low PR pages. Yes, try to get links from high PR pages.
- The number of linking page. It is always recommended to have more links from individual domains rather than from a single domain.
- Authority of linking domain. A link from low pagerank page on a high pagerank site is better than from a low pagerank one.
- Count number of dofollow links. As Google officially stated that it won’t count nofollow links while ranking, it considers dofollow links.
- Contextual links. The links within the content of the page are worth more than the links in a sidebar.
- Links from homepage. The links from a homepage of a linking domain carry more strength than those on one of its pages.
- Link relevancy. The links from pages related to your pages topic carry more relevancy for search engines.
Google views your website as more valuable than others if you have many backlinks from authoritative websites. Google analyzes the questions about links like, where does the link comes from?, quality of the link, how fresh the link is? Etc.. That being said, well how to get those authoritative links?
#1. Guest blogging: No doubt, guest blogging takes you so far and helps a lot in acquiring great links. The only challenging task here is, you need to do lot of research about the topic. After that, you need to find out the top blogs in your niche and submit your pitch. If they accept and yes your article gets published.
#2. Broken link building: To earn the links, this method is pretty much faster than guest blogging. Do you know, lots of links on some authority blogs are actually dead. Why it happens? If hosting expires, during file transfer or migration of the sites, links are bound to break. The one good point is broken pages don’t affect your site’s ranking. But it does give bad experience to user. So, conduct a backlink analysis on your niche websites. Find broken links, contact the owner and let them know about their dead links. There are chances that they will do a return favour by including your link on their website or you can offer replacement link too.
#3. Create compelling infographics: If you want to attract huge number of audience and acquire authoritative back links, then infographics works the best. Because, the ideal customers respond to visual content better than the plain text. Infographics goes viral if you give sufficient promotion to it. When people share your infographics, it continuously generates organic traffic to your blog. Well, you generated backlinks.
2. Improve Your Social Media Signals Social is the NEW SEO. Here’s the image that tells you how social media impacts your SEO.
If someone wants to know more about your brand, they check your presence in Twitter, Facebook and of course other social media channels. Share your content in the form of content or images or video. Join related groups in facebook, linkedin, pinterest and share the content there too. It helps in connecting with potential users. Users go for Quora more to get right answer rather than Google or bing. Make the best use of it. Post your content in the relevant sections or threads in the Quora. One important note to remember here is, never do any promotion on this platform. Write really useful answers to the questions related to your niche and give your blog link at the end of the answer.
3. Focus On Your Keywords If you want to get more out of off page optimization, target the right keywords. The #1 factor that controls SEO is the keywords you choose. If you want to do great content campaign, keywords are the essential building blocks for it. The below diagram depicts the more accurate view of on-page SEO.
4. Save Your Site From Google Penalties How to stay away from Google penalty radar? Perform full backlink analysis and it helps to analyze which links are good and which are bad. Here is how you can ensure that your site is free from getting penalized.
#1. Perform site audit: You can use tools like SEMrush for finding and fixing website SEO related issues. You can find out all the reasons why your site is not ranking well on Google.
#2. Optimize your content: Content is the king always. You may not use right keywords but if it looks too promotional then nothing can stop it from going viral. Help your audience by creating useful and helpful content. Use visuals in your post, integrate data into your blog posts. Your audience tries to know more about you if you really give them valuable content.
#3. Use different keyword phrases: Once you are done with full backlink analysis and understands from where links are coming, focus on using different keyword phrases, generic content and brand names in your content so that Google considers your links as natural. Which means your links shouldn’t have exact match keywords in their anchor texts.
5. Contribute To Other Sites In the world of SEO, guest blogging is very common. But it’s something that many SEOs takes it as challenging. Why because if your guest post is solely to get links, in what way it will be helpful to SEO? What you get by contributing to other sites?
- It helps to build your authority.
- It can bring you lot of referral traffic.
- It helps in building links.
While writing guest posts for other sites, don’t link too much to your site. It spoils your relationship with the site owner. Even if you are writing guest post for others, give really awesome content. Low quality guest posting brings extra trouble to you.
6. Submit To Directories and Forums Off-page SEO helps you to make your website more popular on the Internet. To get more visibility, submit your stuff to directories and forums. Here are the sites where you can submit your blog content to enhance more visibility.
- Social bookmarking sites: These are the best platforms to promote your stuff. When you post on popular social bookmarking sites, it helps in gaining more traffic to your blog. Some of the sites are: stumbleupon, slashdot, digg, technorati.
- Submit to forums: Make sure that you participate in each forum related to your niche and build connections with community. Make the best use of do-follow forums. Some of the forum sites where you can submit are: blokube, Blog Engage, Indiblogger, bbpress, Warrior forum etc.
- Blog directory submission: It helps to build quality backlinks. It takes time to get better results but it definitely helps in long run. Select a proper category under each directory and start submitting your posts. Networkedblogs, elecdir are good blog directories to submit posts.
- Article submission sites: It is always good to submit the articles to high page rank directories. If you submit low quality content and has more keyword stuffing, then your article gets rejected. So, create highly unique content.
- Question and answer sites: You will get good amount of high traffic from question and answer websites. Join those sites and search for questions related to your niche, give helpful answer to any question. Don’t forget to give your blog link at the end of the answer. You can use the sites like Yahoo answers, Quora, blurtit etc.
- Share your videos to these sites: If you are a vblogger or any other, submit to these sites to make your videos popular. It is one of the ways to get quality backlinks. The sites which has high pagerank are: Youtube, vimeo, vine, ustream.
- Image submission sites: Make sure you optimize your images with the correct URL, title tag before submitting to these sites. Flickr, Instagram, picasa, tumblr, imgur.
- Submit your infographics: Make really impressive infographics and submit to these sites. Give reference link to your website. Some of the infographic submission sites are: visual.ly, reddit, submit infographics, infographics archive.
- Share to document sites: Create documents related to your niche. Make sure you create unique and helpful pdf or ppt. Upload that in these sites: issuu, slideshare, scribd.
All the sites mentioned here have high Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA). No doubt, off-page SEO gives better ranking to your website in Google search. Conclusion Off page SEO is NOT just about backlinks as most people think. It involves in your overall website trust, authority, social signals and many other things. This off page SEO guide is written to discuss some of the crucial factors that can improve your overall website authority on Google search. Don’t just rely upon On-page SEO if you want higher rankings. Whenever you publish a new post, make sure to follow the off-page SEO techniques mentioned in this guide.
YouTube SEO Tips
Ranking a YouTube video is not a tough job at all? It only seems like that. Yes! You are right, It’s about YouTube SEO. If rightly done, you will hit the 1st spot on both search engines. Find the best YouTube SEO Tips, in perfectly drafted guide’s form.
#1 Keyword ResearchIt doesn’t matter either for Blogging or YouTube video ranking, Keyword Research plays vital role which is a little different as compared to our traditional keyword finding methods. And the best way to find these keywords is looking into YouTube Suggestions. Because mostly views come from these suggestions, as viewers are too lazy to type in the complete keyword and end up clicking one of the suggestions. There are a lots of keywords which have high searches in google while very low in YouTube. And some others are vice versa. That’s why YouTube’s Keyword Research is a little different. Hence you need to find perfect keywords for your video to get maximum views and 1st place ranking. Find the best ways to find Perfect Keywords for your videos.#1. YouTube SuggestIts same like Google Search. You just need to type a Keyword in YouTube Search and it will show you some more keywords related to your main keyword. Just type in a keyword in YouTube search and it will show you more related to your main keyword.
#2. Video Keywords
Secondly there are typical video keywords. When we search some keywords in a search engine like Google, we usually get websites in SERPs. But you may have noticed that sometimes you get videos in search results, more than simply written content. These searches are “Video Keywords.” Not clear yet? Take a look at this:
In general, Google tends to display video results for these types of keywords:
- Keywords starting with “How To.”
- Keywords with the word “Video.”
You can use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, MOZ Keyword Explorer or any other you usually use to explore relevant keywords. Filter your video keywords from the list you generate by using different tools, and then you may inspect every single keyword in google to find if that’s actually a video keyword or not.
#3. Google Trends
Google Trends Tool is simple and contains tons of information to set-up our efficient predictions about user intention. All level up SEOs know that finding user’s intention of a keyword is lot more important than looking for its search volume. Its quite simple just explore any term/keyword and change the search type from “Web Search” to “YouTube Search”. Here is the graphic for clear understanding:
These displays are clearly indicating that “smart watch” is a web content friendly keyword whiles “How to tie a tie” is a pure video keyword.
Hope you all know much about on page SEO of a website‘s post. We need to do somewhat about same things for our video to optimize it for YouTube. These are very very simple things which need to be done.
- Change the name of the video to your keyword, by simply doing right click on the video and using “Rename” option.
- Then go to the properties, again by just doing right click and reaching “properties” on the menu.
- Now go to the “Details” tab and fill all the boxes with the name of your video.
#1. Video Title
The first and foremost signal for YouTube to check whats your video is all about, is the title of your video. What to do with this?
- Include your keyword once in your title
- Try to use attractive title.
By using attractive title you can get maximum Click Through Rate (CTR).
#2. Video Description
To give better understand of the video and its content to YouTube we use description. In the description, usually do:
- Write at least 200 words of unique & descriptive explanation. I like to summarize what the video is about (don’t ever stuff it with your target keyword).
- Add some external links to websites and social profiles.
This can help you to get your Video Featured in “YouTube Suggested Videos”.
#3. Video Tags
Video Tags are relevancy signals for YouTube. Do use cool and relevant tags. They are used for Classification. We can explore two different ways to find tags quickly…
1. Own Tags
Just like the name of this heading suggests, you have to find tags for your video on your own. Either you can brainstorm on your own to think of some relevant keywords or you can use Google suggest & YouTube suggest for this.
2. Competitor’s Tags
In this, we have to steal the tags of our Competitor. Here is quick walk through:
- Install TubeBuddy Chrome Extension.
- Type your main keyword into YouTube search.
- Click on top 5 ranked videos
- Click “tags” in TubeBuddy to view competitor tags
- Copy and paste these into your video’s tag place.
#4. Video Thumbnail
Thumbnail is the display picture of your video. The more engaging and attractive it is, better are the chances for the user to click on it. So, do some experiments to create most attractive thumbnail for your video. This can help you to get Awesome CTR. You can use these tools to create eye catching thumbnails.
Well, YouTube SEO is incomplete without Video Promotion. Just consider it and plan your video promotions even before posting on YouTube. One more thing as soon as you start promotions, it becomes a ranking signal for your videos. Simple Like: Video Promotion = Social Sharing = Higher Ranking Here is how and where to promote:
1. Attack Facebook Pages & Groups
You can promote your videos on Facebook Pages & Groups. Like if you’re publishing a video on Subway Surfer Game, then you can search for Subway Surfer’s pages and groups. Just look at the picture below:
You can post your video links in Groups.
- Reddit Gives You Premium Viewers
Reddit is a social network, full of people from Premium Countries like USA. You just need to increase your Reddit Link Karma and then post your videos in Sub-Reddit. What is Sub-Reddit? It is same like a Facebook Group. You’ll get very good traffic from Reddit.
- Google Gives a traffic boost
Google is very good source to get traffic. You need to find related Google Plus Communities and post your video link but again taking serious care to avoid spamming. TIP: Try to keep your video attractive as much as possible depending upon your topic. You can do research to develop informative videos with good amount of curiosity and that will surely increase user engagement level of your videos. In other words, Success of video promotion is directly proportional to its engagement and attractiveness. Video Ranking Lets get to link building of our videos just like we do off page SEO of our web page. And how you can build links for your videos?
- Web 2.0 Video Embedding
You just need to create a web 2.0, then do a post and embed your video there. Because Embedding YouTube Video is one of the most important ranking factor in YouTube algorithm.
- Forum Commenting
Just like we use to do Blog Commenting for SEO, we can do forum commenting to rank our YouTube Videos. Simply reach out some relevant forums and then search for your topical threads. After that leave a normal comment there with your YouTube video embed.
- Video Embeds By Outreach
Video Embed-ders are the people who have published content related to your video, on their websites. This is the best way to get contextual video embedded links. You just need to search for articles related to Google Assistant. How? You can use these queries: intitle:”Google Assistant”and inurl:”Google Assistant” This query will show you all the posts which are on “Google Assistant”. Just open the site, get their contact details and send them a mail.
- Quora Solves the Problems
You can give a quick try to Quora, and the community will get back to you with the best answer to your question most of the time. If you don’t have any idea, Quora is a question & answers related social community. If you are developing videos with answer to some very important questions, which might be a trend on Quora as well. It can be used for ranking as well as for traffic. You can embed your videos on Quora. You just need to search for your Video Relevant Topics on that platform. Find some questions and answer them with an embedded video. Google Knowledge Graphs also show the direct answers of questions. Conclusion Hope you’ve improved your knowledge. Even if you already knew all these things
SEO Link Building Techniques
Link building is still important for SEO ( Search Engine Optimization). Search engine determines the value of websites like how good and original content is and how many pages linking them regarding Authority, Trust, and Spam. So if we try to build low-quality links, e.g., Directory submission or over-optimized links will surely catch by search engine algorithms like Penguin and your site end with penalizing. So Avoid Links Spam. How to effectively make Link Building? Here is some Link Building Strategies will surely help you out.
- Grab Competitors Links
Always Monitor your competitor’s backlinks so you can grab new link building opportunities. Find how they got a link and try to replicate. For this, you can use tools like Ahrefs, Majestic SEO, Linkody or Openlinkprofiler. For example: Go to Ahrefs.com –> enter your competitor URL –> Explore
High DR Referring Domains
Identify their links like what kind of backlink it is, e.g. Guest blog profile-link, contextual or comment. Remove websites like directories or forums links. Go ahead and replicate those links. PS: You can also use Moz Domain Authority Metric for link analysis.
- Skyscraper Technique
It is Coined by Brian Dean – backlinko.com content-driven link building technique. The Skyscraper Technique: The idea is that find your competitors content which already got love in terms of social share and links. Rebuild content with something better than your competitors like improved one. Outreach the right people.
- Guest Posting
Guest posts is an excellent way to earn natural authority backlinks. This will also strengthen a relationship with industry-relevant bloggers and boost your brand. Find your Niche / Industry Related sites contribute content there because who doesn’t like creative contents. You can find Guest Blogging Opportunities with some Google Searches Like: [niche] write for us [Industry ] intitle:”write for us” keyword “guest post” keyword “submit a guest post”
Approach them & tell the topic you already were written. Send your post them (including author bio + link) and get your link.
- Broken Link Building
Broken Link Building Technique is one of the traditional ways to build White Hat Links. You just need to find your niche-specific sites with broken link. Outreach webmaster & pinpoint their broken links and ask for a replacement with your link. You can use Ahrefs tool for this Broken link building prospects. So how to find broken links? Go to Ahrefs.com –> Enter Prospect URL –> Explore
Select Dofollow for Editorial Links
Now outreach webmaster. PS: Your Link must be relevant to that broken link.
- Blog Commenting
Effective Keyword Research Tips
- GoPro accessories;
- gadgets for GoPro;
- GoPro add-ons.
Image taken from customerjourneymarketer.com
Whether you want to map your keywords to any of the existing models or come up with your very own one is entirely up to you. For example, Everett Sizemore from GoInflow.com suggests mapping keywords/topics to user personas. Stick with whatever makes the most sense for you. 3. Group by business value This grouping is actually closely related to grouping by intent. But this time, you need to figure out which intent drives the best ROI for your business. If you’re mainly looking for traffic and brand awareness, you might focus on keywords that will bring tons of visitors but won’t necessarily convert into leads or sales. That’s what HubsSpot does with content on their blog. Take a look at their top-performing articles:
Rock Your SEO with Blog Commenting
It can help you to rank your keywords. It is an extremely practical approach for link building and simplest off-page technique. So, let’s move on before wasting a single second.
What is Blog Commenting?
Blog Commenting is relation development process of bloggers with other bloggers, blogs and of course their lovely audience. It’s an awesome way to get linked, share your opinions and ideas about a specific blog topic.
Blog comments give you targeted traffic and a better social appearance. It is a way to get comments from another site to your site, just by inserting a comment like people do on Facebook and other social media platforms. It’s an important part of Off-Page SEO.
Blog Comment Types
One thing to remember here is that we are talking about blog commenting to get benefit in our SEO. We will get linked to other sites either in the form of a backlink or a relational link. It means you’ll get noticed by the owner of the site you are commenting on and maybe someday, he’d like to take a look at your web.
By the way, let’s look at its different types.
- Normal Comment Backlink
- KeywordLuv/CommentLuv Backlinks
- Anchor Text Backlink
Now let us see what’s inside each type:
- Normal Comment Backlink
You can say it is most common and simplest form of a comment backlink. You can get types, means do-follow or no-follow. And it’s in the hands the webmaster of the blog you are commenting on.
Almost all sites keep this enabled in their settings. You can get a backlink to your name.
Here is a picture giving you a view of Normal Comment Backlink.
- CommentLuv Backlinks
It’s a little different from the previous type. CommentLuv is a premium WordPress plugin, and bloggers use it to attract readers on their site.
By default, the backlinks you’ll get from this are no-follow. But the blog owner can change these to do-follow in the settings. Not only commenter but the site owner with Commentluv enabled also gets a huge benefit from this. He gets good traffic as well as excellent comments.
- Comments with Anchor Text Backlinks
This type of comment backlink is often spammy! So not much recommended. Why?
Because people often use these to give lots of outbound links to their sites for multiple backlinks with single comment.
Some bloggers allow you to comment on their sites with your anchor. How? These sites are allowing us to use some HTML tags in comment box. You can create a link with HTML Hyperlink tag, and you’ll get a backlink on your Anchor text. Again these can be of both types, mean Do-follow and No-follow.
Below is the example of Anchor Text Backlinks.
Anchor Text Backlinks
How do blog comments affect SEO for a website?
People have many a reason to leave blog comments. Some wants to share value knowledge or interesting stories, some intends to increase Alexa rank and apart of those, there are majority of people who are creating backlinks for SEO perspective.
In addition, blog commenting is not only done for backlinks but much more than that, so let’s talk about it:
This is one of key determinants why people are doing blog commenting. As far as top search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing are concerned, backlink is a fierce competition. When users enter the keywords, those engines always seek for the websites providing the most valuable result. Since the higher – valued website is the website that has more links, when it sends a link to another website, SE algorithms automatically give that link more authority.
If you feel that your website is not getting enough traffic, it probably because your site is not getting authority from search engines. When you comment on other’s blog, you are creating a backlink for yourself which is indirectly gaining traffic for your website.
Anyone commenting on the blog means leaving a backlink. In other words, backlink has the ability to drive traffic. Also, you need to bear in mind one important rule: Leave relevant comments.
By sharing thoughts, ideas and opinions, there will be commitment and connection between bloggers and viewers. Blog commenting is an amazing way to build relationships with bloggers and even administrators. In the first place, this might take time, thus, be patient and flexible, you will be noticed.
- Brand recognition:
When you are blogging in the post belonging to your niche, you will get attention of potential users. Even if they don’t link to your website or reply your common, your brand name at least made an impression on them and the chances are they will consider you if they want to buy product.
How To Make An Effective Comment?
It’s like whenever you comment on a post, you are on a stage to develop a relation with the author. If you keep your comments to “Wow Awesome Post,” “Great article,” you may get noticed by the author, but you’ll never be remembered.
But if you’ll take a little more time to analyze the post and then tend to start a discussion in the comment section, you have better chances for your comments to get approved anywhere.
- State your personal review of any specific point in the article. For example, consider this article. Now let’s assume that you know another way to find blog commenting sites, which haven’t been mentioned in this article. You can comment that, and it will surely attract the author. Now, just think if you have something to attract me.
- Ask a question. You may ask anything related to the topic which you think that author haven’t given the answer. Even if you think that article covers everything, you can ask a question about an aspect of a specific point. For example, you can ask me something like…. “Why anchor text backlinks should be used in event blogging, while you are not recommending these in general? ”
- Share your experience on a strategy, mentioned in the article, you already using.
- Make sure to keep your comments clean and impressive.
- And don’t forget to comment on your competitor’s blog. It will give you a brand’s look, and also you’ll have better chances of comment approval.
Blog Commenting Mistakes To Avoid
#1 Over Optimizing Your Keyword in Name Section
You may have seen this on many websites… many people are creating backlinks on their anchor text instead of creating on their names. This looks spammy.
#2 Avoid Short Names of the Bloggers
So, try taking your time to type the full name of the author. You’ll surely have better chances to get a response.
#3 Fake Email Usage
It’s deadly as no one would ever approve your comment with a fake email. It’s a big communication hindrance.
#4 Not using Gravatar with your email.
Once again it’s a sign of better trust if you have Gravatar attached to your email and having your photo with your smiley face. The more you comment carelessly, more are the chances for you to be ignored. You should better show that you care what you saying.
#5 Off-Topic Discussion.
Just as the relevancy of your backlinks in SEO is worthy, staying on the topic which is under discussion is critical. So, try to be on topic always.
#6 Writing a spammy comment
Don’t make your comment look like spam. If you don’t like spammy comments for your site, no one ever would for theirs. So, here is how you can make your comment to look real, as you are a human. Try asking a question or stating your opinion on any point of the discussion.
Blog commenting SEO Tips
To help you optimize your blog commenting strategy and avoid disappointing result , following are the tips:
- Use your Real Identity and Name
There are some bloggers who don’t think too much about whether you are a real person or a brand trying to make its way through. But using your real identity while appreciating others’ work or promoting your own brand or doing both at the same time is vital.
You will be surprised to see how much people value a real person. Using a real identity can be the fact separating you from being a spammer and a respected member of the discussion group. Even if you are someone new to a particular place, people will trust and rely on you more if you use your real name and other credentials.
Using Your Keywords or any other term instead of your real name not only will ruin your reputation but also the efforts will be waste of time as webmasters generally reject such comments.
- Learn About The Site You Are Commenting
Read the previous posts made by the author in the same website. The more you read, the closer you get to the author’s psyche.
You will understand the interests, the ways of thinking and the writing style of the author that will prompt you into commenting on his post in an impactful way.
- Study the Comments that People Make
Well, this is another basic of a good blog commenter. An Expert Blog Commenter will read the popular posts of a blog with good comments. If you are new at a certain community, it is a must for you. By reading other people’s comments, you will get to know their tone, their interests and above all, how they present themselves in the community. You can just replica other people’s comment adding something unique and using your own tone!
- Always Add Some Value
The topic you have selected to comment on is appealing, no doubt. You have knowledge on the field you are commenting on, great! You have read about the author and the topic, even better!
It has been quite some time for you in this community, Perfect! However, there is still something you need to check. That is, “Has your point already been made?” It is no use bringing up the same issue that one has already brought up. So, pay close attention to that.
The only way to know for sure if your point has already been made by someone is to go through all the comments beneath a certain blog post.
- Lengthier than Tweet, Shorter than Blog
Generally, blog commenter fixes their own length of comments. But ideal length is between a long tweet (which is 140 characters) and a short blog post (generally 200 – 300 words). The length should be enough to make a substantial point about the post which improves its quality.
You may express your own opinion and drop a reference link. If you feel the topic need further elaboration, you are welcome to write about it in your own blog. Who knows?
The author of the blog you are commenting on might edit his post and include your bit of the information along with your blog as a reference link! At any case, refrain from simply dropping links randomly.
- Avoid Generic Comments
Thinking of writing “Oh! What a great post this is and I am glad I found your post on the topic that I was looking for?” Drop the idea. Writing such a sentence would pose you as a spammer in the eyes of the community members. Even if you are not a spammer, you will be treated as one. It will do you a world of good if you can contribute to the post in an actual manner rather than posting some general messages like the one I’ve shown you.
- Get Involved in Conversations
When participating in other people’s discussions through comments, nothing beats the strategy of being a good listener. Be interactive. Discuss the issue with others through comments. Take their points into consideration and make your Point Clear to them.
- Avoid Excessive Links
If You Decide to Link Your Own Post Into the Comment, Make Sure you Do It only Once! You read it right. If you are commenting on an important issue, you can support your argument or point via reference links. People go for one, two or even three links inside their comments. But it is best for them to have actually one link in the comment section. That link can be any website you are using as reference even your own.
- Promote The Post You Commented On
This is another great strategy to get your comment noticed. You found a post interesting and commented on it. So why not promote the post publicly through your social media accounts? This way, more people will know about your post and the comment you made on it.
You can also tag the original blog authors on the social media post; you will surely get some natural link from the site next time!
You can do many things with this, but if you do this in a spammy way, it is harmful to your site…
If you are running Long Term blog then always make a comment on relevant sites, but if you are doing Event Blogging, then you can use Anchor Text backlink but don’t use anchor text backlinks for long term blog.
SEO Tips to dominate local search
If you’ve followed SEO strategies for any length of time, you know one thing: SEO changes all the time. When it comes to local SEO, it’s more important than ever that you optimize your on-site and off-site SEO strategies for clients and customers who may be searching for your local business. Local competition is heating up, and if you’re not on top of your rankings, you can bet your competitors will be.
Here are five solid local SEO tactics you can use this year to help your business rank higher for local search terms.
- Title and meta description tags still matter
Title and meta description tags are HTML elements that you can customize to reflect the content of your web page. The text of your title and description tags is displayed in search results. Think of this text as a “mini-ad” that you need to carefully craft.
- Last year, Google increased the width of the main search results area to 600px. In light of this, the generally acceptable length for title tags is approximately 50 to 60 characters, and description tags can be approximately 160 to 200 characters.Take advantage of this space and use it wisely — and make sure you double-check that your titles and descriptions aren’t getting cut off in search results.
If you’re not sure how your title and Meta description tags will look or how many characters you can get away with, try using an emulator like the one from SEOmofo or Yoast’s SEO Plugin for WordPress.
Writing titles and descriptions is considered an art in the SEO world. In a sea of competing search results, if this text isn’t unique, compelling and descriptive, then your click-through rate will suffer.
Additionally, one extra word or character could cut off your text with the dreaded ellipses (…). This may not be a true tragedy, but it does look unprofessional, especially when it shows up in the middle of a sentence, making your title or description less impactful.
This space is precious, and every character counts.
- Online directories and citations
According to Google, roughly four out of five consumers use search engines to conduct local searches. Yet many small businesses have not claimed even a single a local business listing online, which is a huge missed opportunity.
It’s important that you get your business listed correctly and consistently on top online business directories, like Yelp, Merchant Circle, City search and others. You will also want to seek out respectable local directories to get your business listed on.
Check with your local newspaper’s website and your Chamber of Commerce to see if they have a local business directory you can get listed on. You can also do a search for keywords like “[your city] directory” to find other local citation sites or directories.
It’s also important to get your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP) on the major citation data aggregators like Info group, Neustar (aka Localize), Acxiom and Factual.
Always make sure that your company’s NAP is consistent on as many of these directories and citation sites as possible. Discrepancies like misspellings, abbreviations, lack of suite number and wrong phone number can create havoc when Google can’t determine which information about your business is correct. If Google’s not sure, they may display incorrect information — or not show your business at all in search results.
- Google My Business: Claim and optimize
Google My Business (GMB) is considered a directory, but it’s a biggie, so it deserves its own section. It’s very important for local businesses to claim their Google My Business (and Bing Places for Business) page. It’s free and can get you incredible exposure if you’re optimized enough to show up in Google’s local three-pack:
To claim your Google My Business page, visit google.com/business. There’s a verification process you’ll need to go through where Google will send a postcard with a PIN to your business’s physical location. (No P.O. boxes allowed.) Then you’ll simply log in and enter the PIN to verify your business.
This verification process is necessary because Google wants to confirm that your business is legitimate, and that you are actually the business owner. Please note that according to Google’s terms of service, only the business owner can claim a GMB page. If you’re working with a digital marketing agency on your SEO efforts, you can then grant them permission to be a manager of your page — that way, you remain in control of your listing if you terminate your relationship with the agency.
The next step is to optimize your GMB listing with a solid description, categories, business hours, types of payments accepted and so on. You also want to make sure to upload your logo and photos of your business, products or services. (It’s generally recommended that you upload at least three photos.)
Fully populate each and every relevant section so that your listing is complete. If you’re a service business and don’t have a location customers or clients can visit, don’t worry; you can choose to hide your physical address as you’re setting up your Google My Business listing.
As mentioned above, Bing also has a comparable page for local businesses called Bing Places for Business. The process is very similar to GMB, and you should definitely have your business present on Bing’s local directory, too.
- Online reviews matter
Businesses are finally starting to realize the importance of online reviews from their customers. According to a recent survey, 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation and seven out of 10 customers will leave a review for a business if asked by the business.
There are several reputation marketing software and tool options you can use to track, manage and proactively try to get reviews. Here are some to check out:
Additionally, many social media platforms, like Hootsuite and Tiny Torch, allow you to monitor and get alerts any time your brand is mentioned. Whenever a review is left about your business, positive or negative, be sure to respond to it. That shows other people reading the reviews that you, the business owner, care what your customers think.
Two places where you should focus on getting reviews are your business’s Facebook page and Google My Business page. These are big ones. Many people turn to social media to see what their friends and family think about a business, so having good reviews on your business’s Facebook page can help to draw in prospective customers. Getting positive reviews on your Google My Business page is crucial because these reviews show up on Google when someone searches for your business.
Google also notes that “high-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility,” which implies that reviews might factor into rankings on the local pack.
- Use local structured data mark-up
Structured data mark-up — often referred to as “schema mark-up” or “schema.org mark-up” — can be added to your website’s code to provide search engines with more information about your business, like the products you sell, reviews you’ve collected, services you offer and so on.
Only 31.3 percent of websites are using this mark-up — and most are only using the basics. You can make your local business stand out (and possibly rank higher than your competitors) if you add structured data mark-up to your site where appropriate.
Google wants you to use structured data mark-up because it helps their spiders better determine what your site content is about. Google even offers a Structured Data Testing Tool so you can check to see if your mark-up is properly implemented.
If the thought of coding freaks you out, you can also use Google’s Data Highlighter to mark up content with your mouse. (Note that your website will need to be set up with Google Search Console in order for this to work.)
This is just of the tip of the iceberg when it comes to local SEO. Implementing the five local search tactics above will give you a head start on your competition. Get started today!
Best SEO Tools
If nobody created tools for us we’d never get anything done. And if we did, it would take 100x longer than it would with the right tool set.
When it comes to SEO, this couldn’t be any truer. As online marketers, bloggers, and small business owners, SEO is important. Some may even call it critical. A make or break type of thing.
In this chapter, we’ll be looking at 10 SEO tools that are either for keyword research, competitor research, rank tracking, and link building. There are many SEO tools. But these can be better than the rest.
Used for: Research and Analysis
Out of all the SEO tools out there, thousands of online marketers, small business owners, and SEO’s prefer to use Ahrefs to help them improve their search rankings.
Their Site Explorer is the best among backlink analysis tools.
They also have the Content Explorer, which searches the web for the most popular content for any topic or keyword.
- Ahrefs have one more tool, the Keyword Explorer 2.0.This gives you a keyword’s search volume (global or country), SERP overview and position history, related keyword ideas, and the difficulty level.
The pricing starts at $99 per month with annual options. But you’re allowed to have a free account with limitations.
They also offer free trials for all plans.
Used for: SEO Audit
Seobility is all about showing you how good or bad your website’s overall SEO optimization is.
They have 4 major tools/features:
SEO Check – which will test your website and give you tips for better search engine optimization?
Keyword Check – which will show how well your page is optimized for your target keyword(s)?
SEO Compare – which compares 2 pages for a keyword term?
Ranking Check – which checks your page’s rankings for any keyword?
They offer a free plan. But it only allows usage for one domain. Premium plans start at $40 per month with a 30-day free trial.
#3: Long Tail Pro
Used for: Keyword Research
Long Tail Pro recently went through an ownership change. Since their change, LTP has moved from being a downloaded application to being cloud-based (meaning you can now use it in your browser). Before going cloud, LTP was already one of the most popular keyword research tools in the SEO field. This will only make it 10x faster and 10x easier.
#4: SEM Rush
Used for: Keyword Competitor Research
SEM Rush really made a name for themselves over the past couple years. They basically took competitor research to a whole other level.
The best part about SEM Rush is there are more than 20 ways to research your competition. Robbie Richards calls them stealth tactics.
You can find their best backlinks, their best keywords, their best content, and more. It’s even great for paid traffic and PPC.
It’s definitely a must-have.
Used for: Outreach
Pitchbox isn’t exactly an SEO tool. But when you are link building, there’s usually a lot of outreach involved.
Pitchbox makes your overall outreach efforts 10x easier than it would manually. Their email sequence feature lets you set up follow-up emails automatically. They even have a couple SEO features, such as link monitoring.
Their plans allow multiple users. So if you’re working with a team, this will come in handy. Plans start at $195 per month, with a 15-day free trial so you can get your feet wet.
Used for: Competitor Research
SEOquake is a free browser extension. It’s like the MozBar. Except it pulls up more of the page’s data. Some of the page data or metrics it shows are:
- The number of (external) links.
- Google index.
- SEM Rush rank.
- Alexa rank.
- Webarchive age (domain age).
- And more.
When you’re researching your competitors or finding link opportunities, the SEOquake toolbar will come in very handy.
#7: Seed Keywords
Used for: Keyword Research
Seed Keywords is pretty cool. Here’s how it works: First, you’re going to create a scenario. Basically, you’ll be asking a question.
Example: “If you were looking for shoes, what would you search for?”
Second, you’re going to take the unique URL they give you and share it with as many people as you can. They can be your friends, social followers, or your email subscribers. Basically any of your contacts. Then, you wait.
When you get enough people answering your question, you’ll have a list of legit search terms from real-life internet users.
Used for: SEO Audit
When it comes to SEO, it’s great to know how well your overall SEO is. Knowing it’s bad tells you to work on things. Knowing it’s great tells you to keep doing what you’re doing.
SEOptimer will help you know your website’s SEO. It’ll show you yours on page metrics, such as keyword usage and user experience (ex: speed and mobile responsive). It’ll also show you off page metrics, such as your backlink profile and Domain Authority (a Moz metric).
When it completes the audit, SEOptimer will grade your website and even give you recommendations.
Used for: Link Building
Broken link building on steroids. LinkMiner takes it to the next level. Before LinkMiner, the Check My Links extension was the go-to tool for checking a page’s links. Yes, it’s still very useful. But the difference between the 2 is LinkMiner gives you more about the broken link. Check My Links simply finds out if the link works or not.
Some of the data LinkMiner pulls up are Facebook Likes, DA and PA, backlink numbers from Moz, Ahrefs, or Majestic, and more.
The reason it’s useful is because you get to know how popular the broken link is. And if it has a good amount of links from authority blogs, you can get your broken link building on.
#10: Authority Labs
Used for: Rank Tracking
Authority Labs is a rank tracking and SERP monitoring tool that gives you the ability to track results by country, city, or even postal code (which has rarely been done before).
The tool gives you your whole keywords, their rank positions, and their search volume.
Authority Labs also gives you the ability to track your competitors’ search rankings. This has its advantages. Knowing your competitor’s highest rankings and best keywords allow you to battle them for a top spot on page 1.
Some other great features include mobile rank tracking, weekly and monthly reports, and more.
Plans start at $99 per month with a 30-day free trial.
Whether you like it or not, SEO is a big part of your online business. It’s the largest source of free organic traffic, leads, and customers. The 10 SEO tools we shared above will help achieve high rankings this year. Your year. Your business’s time to shine. So go out there and make it yours.
Easy & Effective SEO Tips for small businesses
SEO is one of the most effective ways to drive prospects to your website and convert them, but it requires some work.
An efficient SEO program requires keyword research, audience research, development, and content marketing to work well and together. As a small business owner or employee, you are probably hard-pressed for time and resources.
Fortunately, there are hacks that you can use to bypass the time-consuming stages in implementing SEO strategy.
- Use competition to cover your keyword research
Keyword research is not only necessary for SEO but also PPC and content marketing. One of the easiest ways to identify keywords is by monitoring your competition.
If you have access to Slack, GrowthBot is a cool little marketing based Slack integration that you can use to conduct quick keyword research via a chat.
- Pre-plan your blog content strategy
Many companies overlook content strategy and planning. A vague idea and random effort won’t give you results like a planned and documented strategy will.
Using your target keywords, you can create a content plan for each month, quarter or year. Many successful publications choose themes for each month, cycling through a defined set of themes.
You can create blocks for each theme that shift every month and fill each block with topic ideas.
You can find topic ideas by asking GrowthBot what the top posts are on XYZ website (a top publication in your industry).
You could also use FAQFox, a tool that identifies questions being asked by people around your area of interest, on the websites you enter. You can create topic ideas that answer the questions that FAQFox finds you.
- Set-up keywords on a social content curator
It turns out that social signals do affect your SEO ranking, but it may not be what most people once thought it was about (the size of your social media following. The more engagement you have on your posts, the better your social media profiles are likely to rank/affect your rankings.
To build a rapport with your audience and convince them to visit your website, you have to show them that you are about more than selling your products.
You can’t post only the content that you create. Instead, you can plug the keywords that you found during step one into a social media management tool like DrumUp that also provides keyword-based content suggestions.
Use the @mention and #tag suggestions offered by the tool to increase visibility of your outgoing posts, so you can capture attention from relevant people.
- Always fill in your meta title, description, and keywords
Although Google doesn’t always consider the meta-description for page ranks, the search engine sometimes uses it when displaying your page as a query result. If your blog is WordPress based, you simply need to install the meta description and tags plugin and fill in the details each time you publish a post.
The activity takes less than seconds and you can always use your description as an ad space to communicate to viewers what they can expect and woo their clicks.
- Create a blogger outreach strategy
To improve your search rankings, you need external websites to link back to you. One way of facilitating this is by creating in-depth, useful resources that top bloggers and influencers in your niche would want to link to.
Many top sites create comprehensive collections of tips, tools, and statistics to attract backlinks. This strategy works well because many bloggers search for tips, tools, and statistics to include on their posts and that might lead them to mention or link to your post as a reference.
Alternatively, you can also commission bloggers to mention you on their posts where it makes sense. It is important to note that the bloggers own the sites where you are requesting mentions and that you compensate them with a fair amount for doing so.
A standard disclaimer is necessary when indulging in such an activity.
Many publications offer sponsored posts. These rarely have direct SEO benefits, but they can increase your ranking by increasing your website traffic.
SEO is one of the anchors of effective digital marketing. This indispensable platform is also ever-evolving. Search engines keep updating and algorithms are getting smarter. Today is no different as SEO is expected to be leaner and faster for better user experience.
Let’s look at some of the SEO trends this year and find out how you can them leverage for your brand.
- Dominance of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs)
Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMPs have been favored by Google in search rankings. It can load websites instantly with tests results showing that AMPs load four times faster and use eight times fewer data.
Google added a lightning icon beside sites running on AMPs and they are shown in a carousel format to highlight them even more. Here’s how it looks like:
Expect AMPs to dominate search engine results with its speed and usability. AMPs use lighter CSS and HTML, allowing sites to load almost instantaneously.
What you need to do: Revisit the framework of your site and start integrating AMPs. Do A/B testing of these pages. Being mobile-optimized isn’t enough anymore, it should load at lightning speed or else you will be left behind.
- Schema Markup Will Increase
Also known as structured data markup, schema markups are Google’s way of displaying rich answers to queries. As you can see below, the user is searching for a recipe on how to make a meatloaf. Instead of recommending sites, Google gives the answer right away along with the link to the site.
Schema markup allows you to rank better by providing a format that is digestible to readers. One study showed that sites with schema markup rank four times higher in SERPs than those without it. However, only 0.3 of all websites are using this tool.
What you need to do: Integrate schema markup in your content right away! Just go to Google’s Structured Date Markup Helper and follow the step-by-step instructions. The number of rich answers (aka direct answers) provided by Google has nearly doubled from 2014 to 2016 and it is expected to continue increasing this year.
- Strengthening of Personal Branding
Personal branding is all about creating an identity that embodies your brand but centered on an individual. This can be your company CEO, marketing director, or any executive with an influential position in your organization. So how does this help your SEO?
It makes guest posting easier as the approach is more personal than promotional. More importantly, it makes your brand more relatable to customers because they are engaging with someone, not something. These, in turn, can drive more traffic to your site.
What you need to do: Identify your brand influencer and use that person’s identity to speak on behalf of your company. Be active in guest posting to build your online reputation. Using that personal brand, engage with your customers more often.
- Increased Demand for Dense Content
Rewrites have become commonplace in content marketing. There’s really nothing new on the internet. You see the same topic refurbished several times. This paved the way for long-form content backed by extensive research. However, as much as it is informative, users have already grown tired of 2,000-word posts.
Readers are now looking for short but impactful content. Every word you write should have value as users are looking for straight answers backed by expertise and trusted data.
What you need to do: Take a look at your old posts and try to shorten it, leaving only the most important parts. This should be your new norm from here on. Solve your reader’s problems quickly by giving them concise yet valuable information. The denser, the better.
It seems like this year will be another exciting year for SEO as these technologies and trends all aim to improve the user experience. Review your marketing plan and see how you can better integrate SEO into your efforts. Capitalize on these trends and boost your SERP rankings this year!
SEO Tips for Content marketing strategy
If you’re a content marketer then you obviously know how critical it is to provide great content. But what’s just as important is being able to draw people to your site – after all, what’s the point of creating great info if no one’s reading it?
And that’s where SEO comes in.
Simply put, the Google rankings are the keys to the high-traffic castle, and it’s essential to employ the right SEO techniques in order to make the Google “spiders” happy. These spiders are deployed by Google to crawl around the thousands upon thousands of websites to determine if your site possesses certain indicators such as fresh content, back links, domain age, and traffic; if your website does, then congratulations, you’re going up the rankings; if not, your site’s most likely going to live in obscurity.
So you want to impress those spiders, and SEO is the way to do it. But great SEO is as much art as science. It’s an ever-evolving game, but one that does have age-old fundamentals, and the top SEO practices embrace them.
Following are those practices
- Be Original
Google wants its users to find what they’re looking for. This means that the core principles of SEO are based around showing Google that your site provides lots of useful and relevant information. By providing unique and helpful content, Google will see you as a trusted source and reward you with a nice boost up the rankings.
And don’t forget content doesn’t have to simply be articles or text; there are several other forms that can include:
- Photos – People are visual, and by posting attractive, relevant images to your site, you’ll entice viewers to keep coming back.
- Videos – A great way to help your visitors is to provide useful video tutorials on YouTube. Not only will your audience appreciate it, but YouTube is an amazingly popular place and your videos being shared can lead to a ton of new traffic to your site.
- Plugins and Tools – Google wants to be impressed, and if you want to rise up the rankings, creating and installing a helpful plug-inor tool into your website is a great way to do it.
- Work the Social Media Platforms
Social media is quickly becoming the bedrock for websites seeking to build their traffic levels. And for SEO purposes, Google now factors in social media popularity as a way to judge a site’s authority and importance. For example, the more Google sees an article being tweeted and retweeted, the better the chance it will decide your site provided something significant and reward it in the rankings.
Here are some ways to get your readers sharing your content on social media:
- Reciprocate – The classic technique of ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ applies big time in the world of social media promotion and the more content from other marketers you promote, tweet or share, the more likely you’ll see the favor returned.
- Provide Value-On-Top-Of-Value – Readers love the extra value. And by using the social media sites as places to provide content not found on your website, your readers will see the additional information as valuable bonus material which will only make them that much more loyal to you.
- Discover Who the Major Players Are – By identifying and casually getting to know Twitter’s power players in your niche, you’ll form a simple relationship where you tweet and re-tweet each other’s content.
- Own Your Property
While using a free website platform is fine for someone just looking to have some fun, if you want your site to be a business, you need to own the property. Think about it like this, Google wants to make its users happy, thus, it will be more likely to take you seriously and recommend you as a content provider if you’ve shown the commitment of purchasing your own hosting and domain. So make the investment, it will greatly enhance your SEO and pay off big in the rankings.
- SEO Your Theme
It’s essential to provide a pleasant experience for your site’s visitors and optimizing your theme is a great way to show Google that you’re a trustworthy player while also helping the search engine giant discover your content. Some ways to use SEO on your theme include:
- Make Sure There Are No Broken Links – Having links that lead nowhere is a great way to annoy your visitors, so make sure each link works and is intact.
- Be Intuitive – The last thing you want is for your site’s navigation to frustrate visitors, so provide a user-friendly theme that’s both functional and easy-to-use.
- (Slow) Speed Kills – In a world that keeps moving faster and faster, a slow loading site can cause visitors to jump somewhere else without thinking twice about it. So it’s crucial to keep your site’s speed up to standard. Both Google and your users will thank you for it.
- Optimize Permalinks
People don’t just fall out of the online sky onto your site, they find it through permalinks; these are links containing both a root and an extension.
If you want to optimize your permalinks even more, just run a search on the top keywords you want to rank under and modify your URL to include these words.
A keynote, you only want to modify new permalinks; don’t mess around with the old ones since doing so will break your backlinks.
- Build Backlinks
By creating backlinks, you can connect other people’s sites to your own. Just remember, the best way to develop a stable of impressive backlinks is to provide superior original content for your website, use it to gain the respect of your peers and then parlaying that respect into invites for guest posting on the top sites in your niche.
- Be Smart With Your Keywords
If you play fast and loose with your keywords there’s a good chance you won’t be getting much out of your SEO. So you want to put in some time and research to figure out what the best words to use are, and considering some important factors and questions regarding keyword optimization and content marketing is strongly advised.
Proper SEO can be tricky, but if you follow the tips in this list, you create a powerful SEO foundation for drawing visitors to your site. From that point on it’s up to you. You can just keep focusing on the fundamentals, or you can venture off to some of the flavor-of-the-month techniques that can give that extra SEO edge.
Tracking your SEO with Google Analytics
One of the first indications of how your website’s SEO is doing is looking at the amount of traffic coming to your website. In Google Analytics, you can find the overview of your traffic in the Audience section. This tells you how many sessions there were on your website in a given time period.
However, this doesn’t tell you which part of that traffic results from your SEO efforts. It just shows you all traffic to your site. To find the traffic that’s coming directly from search engines (called ‘organic’ in Google Analytics), you’ll need to go somewhere else.
If you go to Acquisition > All Traffic, you’ll see a list of sources where your traffic comes from. Usually, the traffic from search engines (more specifically, Google) is somewhere to be found in the top 3. Find the search engines you want to know the volume of traffic for – recognizable as medium=organic – and select those check boxes. If you hit “Plot Rows” after that, you’ll get a nice graph showing you the total traffic and lines in other colors for the sources you’ve selected.
If you want a view that’s a bit more precise, you can click the pie chart icon to see exact numbers and percentages of the total. And if you want to see all the organic traffic combined into one, simply click the medium tab. Of course you can again plot the row for the line graph here as well.
Unfortunately, the organic keyword tab that’s listed under the campaign tab doesn’t do much anymore nowadays. Apart from showing (not set) it just shows you where people end up and doesn’t provide many keywords (np = not provided).
What does organic traffic say about my SEO?
Now you know what to look at in Google Analytics to see how much traffic you’re getting from search engines. If you’re not getting a lot of traffic from search engines, then that tells you that you need to work on your SEO. There’s a lot of potential traffic you may be missing out!
If you notice the number of organic traffic is declining, then you need to work on your SEO as well. Especially if the decline is large. Perhaps you’ve got a crawlability or another technical SEO issue. If the decrease is drastic, all alarm bells should go off. Dive into your Google Search Console and check if you can find what’s causing the decline.
If you’re noticing an increase in organic traffic, well done! Think about what you’ve been doing lately that might have caused this increase. You want to know these kinds of things, because it’ll help you understand your own SEO better.
The above only tells you how your overall SEO is doing. However, most times, you’d want to focus on something more specific than your entire site. You’d want to focus on a specific page or post.
- Page-specific SEO monitoring
If you want to see your analytics at a per page level, you have to go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. Here you’ll see your site’s top 10 pages, ranked on amount of page views. If you have a specific page you want look at, you can simply fill in the URL (without domain name) in the search bar. You’ll now be able to see that page’s data. However, these are still all the page views, not specified to traffic coming from search engines. To find the traffic originating from search engines there are two ways to go.
The first one is via filtering the data in the table: you have to click the “Secondary dimension” dropdown and click Acquisition > Medium. Additionally, you can click Source/Medium if you want to specify per search engine. Clicking the check box for “Organic” medium and hitting “Plot Rows” again, will give you the line graph for your total and organic traffic. It’ll also show you other traffic sources, which is always interesting.
Again, if you want a more specific view, click on the pie chart icon. Comparing the percentages of organic traffic for your specific page to your total organic traffic can also give you a good idea of how your page is doing. And obviously, ideally, you’d want to see a line that’s moving up (or at least not downward).
Tip: To make the data even clearer, you can add another filter (using the search bar) to only include medium containing “Organic”. This will give you just the organic traffic data for every page.
The second way to go is creating a segment that only includes ‘Organic traffic’. I absolutely adore segments, because it makes Google Analytics so much easier to use. You can read more about my love for segments in the ‘Why use segments in Google Analytics‘post. Google Analytics offers you a ready-made segment called ‘Organic traffic’. Choose that segment from the list and voila, you’ll only see traffic coming from search engines. Now you can analyze all pages in the Behavior section and check if you see an upward trend (or not).
Obviously, everything I mentioned here is related to monitoring your SEO and not actually finding issues that might be related to your SEO. To find possible issues we always look at a lot of things, a few of which are explained below. These things will help you find issues that might be related to your SEO.
- Bounce rate
If you click on Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages, you’ll get a list of pages through which people enter your site. Landing pages are important, because they’re the first thing your visitors will see. They’re literally pages people land on coming from a traffic source. An important metric on this screen is the ‘Bounce Rate’. This metric gives you the percentage of people that left your landing page without having done anything on that page. And although Google doesn’t take the Google Analytics bounce rate into account as a ranking factor, it does look at how quick people hit the back button and return to the search results page. So you want visitors to spend more time on your pages and, preferably, even engage with your site.
To get a good idea of which pages have a high bounce rate, click the Comparison icon. In the last column, select bounce rate. This will give the bounce rate compared to the site average for all your pages starting from the most visited page. Any page that has a red bar is below your site’s average bounce rate. Anywhere between 0-10% in red is basically fine, but anything above 20-30% should definitely be looked at. Especially, if it concerns pages in the top 10.
The bounce rate is important because it tells you something about the quality of your traffic and/or the quality of the page. It has an indirect influence on your SEO. If people quickly jump back to the search results after a glimpse on your page, that means they probably haven’t found what they’re looking for. Google takes this to mean your page isn’t relevant enough for the keyword the person has searched for, and rightfully so.
- Internal site search
If you click on Behavior > Site Search > Overview, you’ll find a list of search terms people have searched for on your site, using your site’s search. This is always a good dataset to keep track of as well since it can give you a good idea of what your audience expects to find on your site. If there is any search terms there that you haven’t created a page for yet, it’s probably a good idea to try and fit a page on that subject in. Plus, it gives great insight in the words people are using. Do they match the keywords you’re using?
Obviously, you do need to have your Site Search set up the right way. You have to enable site search and fill in the right query string for searches. You can check this Google Analytics documentation for more information.
- Mobile traffic
Perhaps you’ve heard about “Mobilegeddon“? Is a Google mobile update; if your website isn’t mobile-friendly then chances are it won’t rank in mobile search results. Especially if a large portion of your audience visits your site using a mobile phone, optimizing for mobile is key!
If you go to Audience > Mobile > Overview, you’ll get a dataset that shows you how many people are entering your site using a desktop, a mobile phone or a tablet. Once again, click on the pie chart icon to get a good view of how many mobile visitors you have. If that’s more than 10%, you should definitely make sure your website looks good and works fine on a mobile phone. Also, if you’re noticing your bounce rate on mobile is significantly higher than on desktop, this can indicate that your mobile site isn’t all that mobile-friendly.
As said before, Google is taking responsiveness of websites more and more seriously and it has become a true ranking factor in mobile search results, so it’s really imperative that you improve your mobile site as much as possible and keep tracking this for your SEO.
- Site speed
Next to mobile-friendliness is site speed a ranking factor as well. Not only is it a ranking factor, it has its impact on conversion and the usability of your site as well. Checking speed performance of your pages and improving it, is a big win for your entire site. Google Analytics has a special Site Speed section which you can find under Behavior > Site Speed. If you click on Page Timings, you can see the Average Page Load Time compared to the site average. Additionally, you’ll get a quick overview of pages that are ‘slow’ so this immediately gives you a to-do list of pages you need to optimize first. There are a couple of site speed tools that can help you with optimizing your site’s speed.
What Reports You Should Focus On First?
The visitors report gives you a whole view of the type of people who visit your site. It includes such information as:
- the number of people who visited your site for the period you specified,
- how many new vs. returned visitors you received
- average time on site
- bounce rate and more
Traffic report shows you what channels your visitors came from. It includes every single sources of traffic to your site:
- organic / search engines,
- referring sites,
- direct traffic,
- social media etc.
It also shows the percentage share of each channel in your traffic.
- Landing Pages
Landing page report shows you which pages visitors entered your website through. It indicates not only which pages are popular but also popular topics. I.e. if one particular blog post receives a lot of traffic (and the traffic doesn’t bounce), it might be worth to create more content on the topic, going deeper into it and showing more thorough information.
This report shows what keywords visitors used to find your site in search. It used to be highly important report but since the encryption of search data, a lot of it keywords are shown as (not provided).
You can still see some keywords in the report and they can still provide insight into what topics bring visitors to your site.
Lastly, you have certain goals you want your visitors to complete. Sign up for your newsletter, inquire about your service, order a product and so on. These are conversion on your site and this report can show you when, where and how they happened. It can also show you if there is a problem and in spite of getting traffic there are no conversion on the site.
Segmentation allows you to segment your traffic into groups to isolate or compare specific traffic types. Google Analytics features some built-in segments you can start using straight away.
- Data segmentation
Data comparison allows you to compare traffic from two periods of time. With it you can quickly see your traffic change compared to previous week, month or even a day.
These are just some of the basic options and reports available in Google Analytics. Once you start using them, you’ll quickly discover an abundance of other information readily available to you. These essential reports however are enough to establish the performance of your website and gain intelligence to improve it further.
Breakdown of results
This is a great case study that shows how powerful a content marketing strategy can be in the right hands.With a change in keyword tactic, and an overhauled content plan, the subject of the case study was able to dramatically increase their results.
Further, they make extensive use of the Skyscraper Technique which is definitely something you should check out if you haven’t already.
- The Skyscraper Technique is still as effective today as when it was first identified/created
- Keyword research is critical to content marketing
Breakdown of results
Ready for a long read? Hope so, this one doesn’t pull any punches.
That being said, it’s not overly wordy and actually remains quite succinct throughout. It’s lengthy because it outlines in great detail a fully-fledged SEO attack plan for a brand new niche website.
What’s even cooler is that the results are plain as day. The author’s efforts are clearly successful as they quickly earn top rankings and start generating significant traffic.
If you’re interested in learning about SEO, this may be one of the best places to start.
- Basic SEO techniques like keyword research, content marketing and outreach are still essential
- Forum marketing and Quora posts are great additional resources to leverage for quality links
Breakdown of results
Glen outlines a step-by-step approach to getting started with Facebook paid advertising. The study shows how this can quickly generate traffic at an extremely low price-point.
While this won’t necessarily directly correlate with an increase in conversions, Glen digs into how you can jerry-rig a set-up that will do just that without increasing your overhead.
PPC compliments SEO exceptionally well and you’ll find out exactly how powerful the combination can be in this case study.
- PPC is an essential part of any complete internet marketing or SEO plan
- You don’t need a ton of money or expertise to get started
Breakdown of results
This one is pretty hard to summarize as it contains almost 20 individual articles.
It’s also a bit dated now, but there is just such a wealth of information shared here that it’s not to be missed.
Pat values transparency and his “tell-all” style illuminates all of his triumphs and failures along the way to growing a site from scratch to getting a five-figure offer for its purchase.
- SEO and CRO are ongoing processes. There is no finish line.
- It’s still more than possible to create a new online resource and generate passive income
- “400 visits per day with a 2 months old Niche Site” By Hunain Ahmed
Breakdown of Results
This one is particularly interesting because if the author’s claims are true, he’s a newcomer to SEO.
Through mainly content creation and promotion, he was able to achieve drastically improved rankings and generate some serious traffic.
While the authors laissez-faire attitude towards SEO in general is not recommended, but it’s still nice to see that content can be such a powerful tool even in the complete absence of a more traditional SEO strategy.
- You don’t have to be a seasoned pro or SEO expert to make some waves
- Content marketing is an incredibly powerful tool that can hold its own
Breakdown of Results
This case study covers a different angle, one of a manual Google penalty.
When Yonatan and his team stepped in, the trick for them was to figure out what had gone wrong and why the penalty had been assessed on their client since they hadn’t engaged in any black hat SEO tactics.
Yonatan had to dig pretty deep, and ended up finding a very unlikely and surprising culprit: strange and spammy links targeting keywords like “occurred” and “subsequently”. These links were most likely caused by automated spam-bots, unbeknownst to the site-owner.
The case study is particularly useful since it gets into the nitty-gritty of how to assess your links for quality, and how to deal with a penalty if you’re ever in such an unfortunate position yourself.
- Monitor your backlink profile regularly using Ahrefs
Don’t give up hope if you get a Google penalty. Diagnose, repair, and appeal.
SEO Is Constantly Changing
Ultimately, SEO is rapidly changing from one year to the next—even from one month to the next. Business owners and marketers have to adapt quickly, but it’s still possible to give your business website the edge on your competition.Just remember to focus on solid content creation and copywriting fundamentals, engage your viewers deeply, and stay abreast of technical trends like backlinks, SEO health, site speed, and schema.If all this seems overwhelming—take a deep breath. Taking the effort to understand even the basics of SEO will help your site gain higher click-through rates, engagement, and of course, rankings. Fact is, a little bit of reading and tinkering on your own can still go a very long way.
We hope this guide helped you realize that, search engine optimization isn’t optional anymore.
While it doesn’t take a lot of effort to get a few basics right, it might kill your online presence if you don’t.
Don’t worry if you’ve already made some SEO decisions in the past that might not have been the perfect choice.
Just commit to getting started today. Do your keyword research before you write your next blog post and optimize the basics, like title tags, using your keywords and adjusting your description. And who knows – maybe the next times you press publish, you’ll stand out.